Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Serco continues its glorious work in the UK

Guess who runs this privatised detention centre in Britain? Serco:

A pregnant woman detained at Yarl’s Wood immigration centre who was told by a midwife she could not find her baby’s heartbeat was refused a scan for four days despite repeated requests and a high court order.

Theresa Diedericks, 26, a South African who has suffered from anxiety and depression since a miscarriage last year, was panic-stricken and believed her baby was dead.

Despite her growing anxiety, she says, it took a second court order before staff from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) finally took her to hospital for a scan. Michael Randle, her British fiancé and the father of her unborn child, said he was “appalled” at the medical treatment she received and was considering civil proceedings against the Home Office, UKBA and the medical staff at Yarl’s Wood.

  • Victoria

    Below is part of my correspondence with a DIAC staffer as RRAN continues to try and determine why this same private prison co has "acquired" donated goods and made them their own property. We are still waiting for the letters that were gathered. We are still waiting to hear why the letters to and from children were initially "misplaced" found (once the AFP gave the centre a ring) and then lost again.


    Mr Richards,

    On August 14 a contingent of 22 members of Perth based Refugee Rights Action Network journeyed to Leonora with letters for the children written by a class at Lake Monger Primary School, and $2000 worth of toys & books.

    We informed the town council, the local aboriginal community, the DIAC manager and the Detention Centre that we would be visiting the centre. Several of us visit detention centres on a regular basis. Included in our group were teachers, nurses, social workers, mental health workers and other professionals.

    Only 4 of us were given permission to enter the centre and visit. 

    We were treated in a bizarrely hostile and aggressive manner and witnessed several inappropriately aggressive interactions between staff at the centre and detainees attempting to give us letters while we were being escorted to the visitor's area in the centre. I have since received an apology from DIAC for this, and for the fact letters and correspondence intended for us was never given to us nor sent. This is currently the subject of an investigation by the ombudsman. 

    I have subsequently made numerous inquiries regarding the toys and books we delivered. I have been informed that the toys have been acquired by Serco and form part of their toy library. I will continue to press  politicians, the department, the ombudsman and Serco to justify why a private company is benefiting from property that was never intended to belong to it. These goods were to become the property of the children.  

    Serco is responsible for purchasing its own equipment. The good people of Perth who donated toys never intended these should become the property of a private prison company. 

    On 14/10/2010, at 17:34 PM, wrote:


    I have no knowledge of the matter to which you refer.  I have copied in Fatime Shyqyr who is responsible for our detention operations (north and west).  Fatime will make enquiries and get back to you tomorrow.



    Subject: Toys delivered to Leonora detention Centre by RRAN in August

    Why have the toys not been delivered to the children at Leonora?

    I remain very concerned as to the mechanism by which a private prison company, in this instance Serco, can lay claim to property clearly not intended for them, and specifically requested NOT be retained as their possession.

    How does this differ, legally, from theft?

    I am given to understand these items have all been added to the company's inventory.

    Over $2000 worth of toys were delivered to the families at Leonora. It was made very clear to both the DIAC manager and Serco that in no instance were these items to become the property of the government or the private prison company. They were to be given to parents to remain in the possession of those families and their children. These goods were not provided in order to underwrite the provision of recreational supplies by Serco as part of the company's contract, but were to become the possession of the children for them to have access to play items in their own domiciles and to be taken away with them when they leave the detention centre.

    This constitutes natural play and is an absolutely necessary part o a child's needs. RRAN's early childhood teachers, social workers and mental health workers have been very clear on this need.

    It would appear that Serco has acquired goods in a manner that allows them to unfairly profit from a charitable donation absolutely not intended to benefit them.

    Should the company remain in possession of these items we would request a fair reimbursement of the value of these goods.



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