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 looks deaf, dumb and blind in Australia

Another day and another tragedy in Australia’s detention centres. It’s clearly too much for the media to investigate  the role of the company that runs the places, Serco:

Detainees at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney are planning a hunger strike today after the suicide of an inmate.

It is the second suicide at the centre in just over two months.

A 41-year-old Iraqi man was found unconscious and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead early this morning.

Other detainees at Villawood say the man had been in detention for about a year and had his claim for asylum refused.

They say he had asked to be sent back to Iraq to be with his wife and family.

An Iranian inmate at Villawood, Mosan Manoucheripour, says a lot of people are grieving.

“We start to do the hunger strike for showing my protest against the act of Immigration, and we want to mourn for this man who died,” he said.

Mr Manoucheripour says about 30 detainees have gathered to listen to the Koran.

“They are very very upset and confused and they couldn’t sleep, they want to be awake until morning and they want to start the hunger strike,” he said.

Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition says he hopes this latest incident will lead to change.

“The fact is that there have been suicides and deaths inside detention previously and we haven’t seen a lot of change, but at some point the Government will have [to change],” he said.

“The reality is we cannot keep presiding over the dysfunctional system that is mandatory detention.”

Mr Rintoul says detainees are also concerned about the speed of the response to the death.

“They’re pretty angry really because it took 45 minutes for the ambulance to come. There was some attempt to resuscitate him there, which according to eyewitnesses failed, but they took him to hospital anyway,” he said.

The New South Wales Ambulance Service says a crew got to Villawood 12 minutes after the triple-zero call, which was made by a member of staff at 12:21am (AEDT).

A spokesman for the immigration department, Sandi Logan says everything was done for the man and an ambulance was quickly called for.

“Every step was taken by the detention service’s staff when the man was discovered not breathing,” he said.

“CPR was commenced immediately, he was transferred shortly thereafter by ambulance to hospital but was unfortunately later pronounced dead.”

The Department of Immigration says the incident will now become the subject of a coronial inquiry.

In a story yesterday, Serco was mentioned in passing:

Overcrowding has been blamed for a violent brawl involving about 50 children at a Melbourne detention facility.

The Immigration Department does not call it a detention centre, but the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation facility in Broadmeadows is one of the sites the department uses to hold hundreds of unaccompanied children who are seeking asylum in Australia.

Last week there were 43 boys there, but another 98 were flown in from Christmas Island on the weekend.

On Sunday night tensions flared up and police were called in to stop what the department says was a series of scuffles involving 50 mostly Afghan detainees.

Refugee advocate Nicole Mousley, who visited the centre a week ago, says the brawl was probably the result of overcrowding.

“From what I saw, I don’t think that centre is equipped to deal with that many boys,” she said.

“The common room is not designed to hold that many people.

“The boys were telling me they were a bit concerned about the new people coming and weren’t sure what was going to happen once everybody got there.

“The boys actually told me they thought they would be kept separate from the new arrivals for a while.

“So if the new arrivals have been put in straight away and expected to share the common area, I think then maybe some of the boys who have been there previously have been a bit surprised by that.”

Immigration Department spokesman Sandi Logan says he is concerned by the situation.

“We are concerned about ensuring the centre remains in order, remains calm and that we are in control, which we are,” he said.

“These are all young men, all minors under the age of 18 who were involved in the disturbance. It was a series of scuffles. We believe focusing around access to computers, but we’ve still really to get to the bottom of that.”

Mr Logan says the capacity of the centre is 150 and he is confident it can comfortably house that many.

He denies there are inadequate facilities for the 136 boys now there.

“We are confident Serco, the detention services provider, is able to manage the accommodation and the good order of the centre,” he said.

“We’re also confident the expansion of the centre has been done appropriately with enough recreation facilities, enough opportunities for all of the detainees within the centre to have enough activity to keep them active, to keep them engaged.”

Ms Mousley says it is not appropriate to have Serco investigate an incident which happened under its own management.

  • Naomi

    I'm not a huge fan of Serco, and I am very interested in the 'missing 30 minutes' that will hopefully be investigated in the coronial inquiry.

    But the reality is, it is the Australian Government who has the policy of keeping distraught people locked up indefinitely for the non-crime of seeking asylum.  There are over 200 people detained in Villawood, and everyone of them has been forced to witness two suicides in two months.  This is staggering in the new age of recognizing mental health issues.

    Clearly, Serco could make improvements – but it's the policy at fault here.

    Just to be clear (and to end on a positive note), asylum seekers housed in the community would have better mental health outcomes, better settlement outcomes and heaven help me, it would be cheaper for the tax payer.

  • Marilyn

    And the fucking children should not be in detention since the policy change in 2005.

    These deaths belong to the media and their worthless fucking hysteria over the arrival of just 17 people per day.

  • Rob

    the hungry beast file always stood out to me…

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