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.

Sydney police see their job as stopping pro-Wikileaks rally

This report from ZDNet today is an accurate representation of last night’s Wikileaks protest in Sydney. Thuggish police interrupting a legitimate and democratic rally to defend Julian Assange:

Four men were arrested last night at a Sydney rally in aid of Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.

The NSW Police yesterday issued a letter (PDF) to the organisers of the rally voicing its opposition to the action after the Support Wikileaks Coalition aired plans to march on the US Consulate at Martin Place.

According to the NSW Police Service, the group was given permission to march along the footpath towards the consulate at 7:30pm (AEDST) last night.

When the protest march arrived at the intersection of King Street, police allege that three protesters blocked the flow of traffic, which resulted in their arrest.

A fourth man then allegedly punched an officer and was subsequently charged with assault. He is set to appear in Downing Centre Local Court on 11 January 2011.

Rally chairperson and key speaker Antony Loewenstein told ZDNet Australia today that around 800 people attended the static protest at Sydney’s Town Hall, with roughly 400 embarking on the march.

Pirate Party member Rodney Serkowski said that the presence of mounted police, dog units and riot police was antagonistic.

“We worked with the police to make sure everything was fine, but the use of mounted police and bringing dogs was a little bit unnecessary,” Serkowski said.

“It seemed a bit antagonistic,” he added.

Loewenstein agreed, saying that police were inflexible about the rally from the outset.

“The police were very inflexible about allowing [the march] to happen. There was a sense that they were trying to avoid any embarrassment while Oprah is in town,” Loewenstein said.

Loewenstein and Serkowski both maintain that the scuffles have not tarnished the message of support.

“I don’t know who the fault lies with here but generally you always get a few people who do, you know, make a bit of trouble. But the issue of Wikileaks transcends left and right divides,” said Serkowski.

Greens MP David Shoebridge told the ABC this morning that police handled the situation poorly.

“The police refused to give permission to the organisers and instead there was a confrontation on the streets caused by that police intransigence,” he told ABC News this morning.

Organisers are planning an even bigger group action on 15 January 2011. And public events before that time will depend on the results of Assange’s legal battle in London.

Political activist group GetUp! today took out a full page advertisement in The Australian urging Prime Minister Gillard to stand up for the rights of Julian Assange and to support Wikileaks’ actions.

GetUp! is set to publish a similar open letter in The Washington Times and The New York Times to US President Barack Obama and US Attorney General Eric Holder to do the same.

GetUp! told ZDNet Australia in a statement that it chose The Washington Times after it called for “the death of Julian Assange” and selected The New York Times due to the prestige of the masthead itself.

The US advertisements are slated for print in tomorrow’s editions.

So far, 91,429 people have signed the GetUp! petition, with 9187 people donating a grand total of $363,564 to take out the print ads.

“It works out at an average donation of $39.50 per person,” GetUp! said.

GetUp! was unsure of the cost of the advertisements, saying that the deals were worked out between the publication using ad buyers.

3 comments ↪
  • We went to Amazon's headquarters yesterday and gave them some crap.
    http://siratyst.blogspot.com/2010/12/seattles-ama
    Way to go, you Aussies.  Keep up the great work and we will too.

     

  • I think the way police are so quick to attack dissenters is interesting. It seems that every few years they become quicker to violence.

    I also think that we should keep in mind how violent the British police have been in response to dissent over the aristocratisation of higher education there (on December 9 police were filimed pulling a disabled man from his wheelchair and dragging him across a street), as well as the recent FBI subopenas to antiwar activists in Chicago.

    Perhaps their side is getting a lot more serious about dissent than we are…?

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