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FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Put Out More Flags or Shut Up

What Australian Elites Don’t Understand About Freedom

by JOHN PILGER

Following a week in Australia in which the words “heroes” and “heroism” bobbed on a tsunami of raw propaganda, a tribute is due to two unrecognized heroes. The first is Ray Jackson, who died on 23 April.

Ray spoke and fought for a truth which the powerful and bigoted hate to hear, see or read. He said this was a land not of brave Anzac “legacies”, but of dirty secrets and enduring injustices that only a national cowardice could sustain. “Conformity is widely understood and obeyed in Australia,” he wrote to me, “freedom is not.”

I first met Ray in 2004 during the Indigenous uprising in Redfern, Sydney, that followed the violent death of a 17-year-old, Terence Hickey. Known as “TJ”, he was chased by a police car, lost control of his bike and was impaled on an iron fence. The police denied they had caused his death. Not a single Aboriginal person believed them, least of all Ray, whose campaign for justice will not go away.

A Wiradjuri man, Ray was stolen from his mother at the age of two and given to a white family. The experience taught him about Australian genocide. A lifelong socialist, his speciality was his unflagging investigations into police thuggery towards Aboriginal people, especially the multiple deaths in police and prison custody that routinely go unpunished. Australia incarcerates black Australians at a higher rate than that of apartheid South Africa.

When Prime Minister John Howard decimated Indigenous institutions and funding, Ray took his files and videos to his single-bedroom flat and founded the Indigenous Social Justice Association. He fought for the memory of young Kwementaye Briscoe, left to die in a police cell in Alice Springs, and Brazilian Roberto Curti, tasered to death by police in Sydney. He was the champion of countless locked-up Iraqi, Iranian and Tamil refugees. “Never stop fighting for your freedom,” he told them. Shaming official Australia, the French Government awarded him one of its highest human rights laureates.

Ray loathed warmongering and would approve of my second hero. This is Scott McIntyre, a young SBS soccer journalist who, in four now famous Tweets, set out to counter the authoritarian sludge that demands that Australians celebrate the centenary of a criminal waste of life in the British imperial invasion of Turkey a century ago — in which Australians and New Zealanders, the “Anzacs”, took part — rather than recognise unpalatable truths about the past and present.

Opportunistic politicians and journalists have turned this melancholy event into a death cult that puzzles foreigners.  Federal governments have spent almost $400 million promoting it as a fake patriotism – more than Britain, France, Germany and Canada combined: countries that lost many more men in the 1914-18 bloodfest. Today, the...

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