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.

Wikileaks rallies in Australia hit a nerve

Green Left Weekly reports comprehensively on last week’s Australian pro-Wikileaks rallies:

More than 1000 people rallied at Sydney’s Town Hall at 1pm on December 10 to show their support for Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange. Rallies also occurred in Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth.

The rally, held to coincide with International Human Rights Day, highlighted the importance of freedom of information and the need for transparency in government.

“We have a right to know about our government’s operations and the circumstances and behind their decisions and policies,” said Simon Frew from the Pirate Party.

Independent journalist Antony Loewenstein chaired the event. He said much of the mainstream press had dismissed the recent Wikileaks revelations.

Loewenstein addressed the media present: “The question is this: is your job to be an insider and a player, or someone who actually cares about the truth?”

It is the job of journalists to hold governments to account. “It’s not that complicated”, he said.

“As Australian citizens we reject monitoring, we promote transparency and we praise Wikileaks and Assange for that.”

Loewenstein quoted veteran journalist Laurie Oakes saying: “Freedom of information, free press and non-censorship is the only way a free society can operate.”

Video of Antony Loewenstein’s speech

Greens Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon also spoke. She acknowledged the courage of whistle-blowers, agreeing with popular sentiment that, “Clearly, the world needs Wikileaks”.

“Julian Assange is an Australian”, she said. “That makes me and I’m sure it makes you feel very proud.

“But we can certainly not feel proud of our government.

“Ms Gillard has said that Wikileaks activities are illegal, but she can’t tell us what the laws are that they have broken.”

Video of Lee Rhiannon’s speech.

Green Left Weekly co-editor Simon Butler called on Julian Assange to be considered for the Australian of the Year award. He said the government should be respecting media freedom and supporting Wikileaks, not attempting to silence it.

“How is it possible that a prominent political figure in the US can call for the assassination of an Australian citizen, and our government doesn’t say back off, they say nothing.

“Only one thing could be worse, if our voice doesn’t drown out Gillard’s.”

Butler also condemned the companies who had shut down Wikileaks’ use of their services.

“To any corporation or any government who wants to stand in the way of the truth, who wants to silence Wikileaks, our message today is: you’re not going to win.”

Video of Simon Butler’s speech

Following their refusal to service Wikileaks, the websites of Paypal, MasterCard and Visa suffered ongoing DDoS (denial of service) attacks rendering them temporarily offline as part of “Operation Payback” organised by online activist group Anonymous.

Other speakers included David Shoebridge from the NSW Greens, acting director of GetUp! Sam McLean and Asher Wolf from WLCentral.org.

Members of the crowd held signs declaring “Julian not Julia”, “Supporting Assange not terrorism” and “In Wikileaks we trust”.

Photos of Sydney protest
More Sydney photos

More Sydney photos

In Melbourne, 1500 people marched in the evening of December 10. Protesters staged a sit-in on La Trobe Street in the city, disrupting peak hour traffic.

Pictures of Melbourne’s rally

In Brisbane, 350 protesters marched in defence of Wikileaks on the evening of December 9.The next day, 400 people rallied outside the offices of the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Protesters then marched through the CBD to the rousing chant of “Free Julian Now!”

Speakers at the December 10 protest included: Greens representative Andrew Bartlett; radical academic Gary McLennan; the lawyer for victimised Indian Doctor Mohamed Haneef; Sri Lankan campaigner for Tamil rights Dr Brian Senewiratne; pro-Choice women’s rights activist member Kathy Newnam; anti-war veterans’ organisation Steadfast spokesperson Hamish Chitts; and Socialist Alliance co-convenor Jim McIlroy.

Pictures of Brisbane December 10 rally
Video of December 9 march

About 100 people rallied in Perth on December 10 to mark International Human Rights Day. A key demand of the protest was defence of Wikileaks. About 150 people also rallied in an angry protest in Hobart on December 11.

More than 500 people marched outside Parliament House Adelaide on December 12.

Photos of Perth rally
Video of Socialist Alliance activist Renfrey Clarke speaking at Adelaide protest

There have also been protests in support of Wikileaks in Spain and other countries. A protest is scheduled in London for the evening of December 13 outside the Australian embassy.

In Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, further protests have been called for the evening of December 14 to coincide with a court hearing for Wikileaks editor-in chief Julian Assange in London. In Sydney, the newly formed Supporters of Wikileaks Coalition has also called a protest for January 15, which it hopes is taken up as a date for protests nationally and internationally.

The secret cables released by Wikileaks so far have revealed details of war crimes in Sri Lanka, vows to extend war in the Middle East, moves by the US to undermine countries in Latin America and evidence oil company Shell had infiltrated the Nigerian government (which is infamous for human rights abuses against anti-Shell activists).

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