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.

Calling all Zionist artists; come protect occupying Israel and do your duty

A rather tragic story in the Jerusalem Post, which yet again utterly ignores why an increasing number of musicians and artists in general are boycotting and ignoring Israel; it’s the occupation, stupid. No amount of PR will change the brutal facts on the ground:

Their aim, as an old Elvis Costello song professes, is true.

An influential group of US entertainment industry executives has for the first time launched an organization to counter cultural boycott efforts against Israel, the likes of which contributed to Costello’s canceling of scheduled shows here last year.

Creative Community For Peace (CCFP) pledges to use a wide range of measures to bolster the resolve of artists who sign contracts to perform in or travel to Israel and then face calls from various “boycott groups” to cancel their trips, according one of its founders, Steve Schnur.

Schnur is a worldwide executive of music and marketing for Electronic Arts and president of Artwerk Music Group, and is responsible for licensing music for some of the most popular computer video games.

“We felt that if we could create a place where artists can get information from other artists and from people they know who understand what Israel is really about – the freedom, the democracy and equal rights – and not rely on the disinformation they’re given about ‘apartheid’ Israel, then maybe we could change things,” Schnur said in a phone call this week from Los Angeles.

“Our aim isn’t to applaud the fact that artists have come to Israel, but to enable others to continue to go there.”

The boycott issue has always been present with regard to international artists and Israel, but in the past few years, pro-Palestinian organizations abroad have stepped up efforts to bombard scheduled acts with e-mails, letters and Facebook campaigns urging them to cancel.

While most artists have withstood or ignored the pressure, some, like Costello, the Pixies and the late Gil Scott-Heron, have succumbed to the campaigns and scrapped their shows here. According to Schnur, many others likely don’t even bother to consider booking a show in Israel, to avoid the expected brouhaha.

He recalled his “aha” moment while attending the Elton John show in Ramat Gan Stadium last year in the shadow of the controversy over the previously mentioned cancellations.

“I was visiting Israel on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and giving a master class in Tel Aviv,” said Schnur. “It was shortly after the flotilla incident, and the Costello and Pixies cancellations, which were really exploited in the media as being part of an all-out boycott effort.

“It was really the first time I had heard the word ‘apartheid’ associated with Israel, and it really angered me. So I’m sitting at the Elton John show, and he comes out and makes his statement, saying, ‘Nobody’s gonna stop us from coming here’ and ‘We don’t cherry-pick our conscience,’ and it hit me over the head that I needed to do something.

“I’ve always been involved in Jewish and Zionist activities and I could have written a check, but I wanted to get my hands dirty and make a difference this time. The next day, I saw David Renzer [then-chairman/ CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group] at the master class and told him what I was thinking. Together, we decided that if we could help educate artists by having direct contact with them, we could change the grotesque bombardment of disinformation and threats coming their way so they could make decisions based on critical thinking and accurate information.”

Schnur and Renzer are joined on the CCFP advisory board by a growing list of prominent media execs, artists, attorneys and agents, including Idan Raichel; David Lonner, CEO of Oasis Media Group; Gary Foster, principal of Krasnoff Foster Productions; Doug Frank, former president of music operations for Warner Brothers Pictures; and the organization’s Israel point man, Ran Geffen-Lifshitz, CEO of Media Men Group, the country’s largest music publishing company.

“What we’re doing is to help people make the right decision on the question of boycotting Israel,” Geffen-Lifshitz said this week.

“Music should be separated from politics; this whole boycott issue is a slippery slope.

Once an artist gives in to boycott pressure and cancels an appearance here, his fans begin to think that boycotting Israel is legitimate.

From there, what’s to stop a boycott of Israeli products? We have to say ‘stop’ now.”

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Think before you travel to “paradise”

Ethical tourism is an issue that rarely permeates the mainstream media (hello New York Times).

Congrats to Reporters Without Borders for launching “Censorship Paradise” about three nations regularly visited, Thailand, Mexico and Vietnam.

More here:

Reporters Without Borders is launching a new awareness campaign today, one aimed at drawing the attention of holidaymakers to free speech and freedom of information problems in Thailand, Vietnam and Mexico.

“This campaign’s aim is to make people think before they set off for the sun,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said. “We are not calling for a boycott of these destinations but we want travellers to see what is behind the scenes. We have chosen three countries that are a paradise for vacationers and a hell for journalists: Mexico, Vietnam and Thailand.

“The palm trees, beaches and temples often conceal harsh treatment of journalists and bloggers. We advocate responsible tourism. It is your choice where you take your vacation but it is our duty to tell you where you are venturing.”

Eighty journalists have been killed in the past 10 years in Mexico. Covering drug trafficking has become a risky activity there. Murders of journalists go unpunished so nothing stops the killers from continuing to ply their trade.

Many subjects are taboo in Thailand and Vietnam. Criticising their rulers or exposing the corruption that permeates the upper levels of government can land you in jail for 15 or 20 years.

The campaign consists of three visual ads that will be placed in magazines and in free press publications covering all of France, and on the Internet. A dedicated website, www.censorship-paradise.com, will support the entire campaign, which will be relayed by Reporters Without Borders’ international bureaux and will be circulated to its network of correspondents all over the world.

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BDS movement against Max Brenner gets make-over in Sydney

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Those poor military contractors in Iraq just need a good hug

Trouble in paradise, as a legacy of American war-making (privatised security) faces new challenges. CNN reports:

With the removal of all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year looking more likely, absent an agreement to extend legal immunity, a large contingent of U.S. contractors will still remain facing their own legal and logistical ambiguities and challenges.

The complexity of the situation is not lost on top officials at the State Department who are busy preparing to assume control of every U.S. responsibility in Iraq – including contracting operations.

“The State Department is doing something that quite frankly we have never done before, this is not going to be easy and I think we all understand that,” Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides told CNN.

“We owe it to the families (who have lost loved ones in Iraq), and to the taxpayers to get this transition done correctly,” he added.

For years, thousands of civilian contractors have worked in Iraq operating in a variety of military and support functions. But they have always lacked the same criminal immunity from Iraqi laws that the U.S. military enjoys under existing agreements between the two countries. And for the most part, they operated under the purview of the Defense Department.

While contractors would be subject to the Iraqi criminal justice system as they always have, ambiguities will still exist as to how they would also be held accountable under U.S. law if a situation similar to the 2007 incident involving contractors working for Blackwater (now operating as Xe Services) were to occur.

The issues surrounding their presence in Iraq are likely to become only more complex when U.S. troops do pull out and leave the oversight of the entire contracting force to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

“What the State Department does is diplomacy, and you’re going to have the State Department managing contractors that are going to be flying helicopters, driving MRAP’s, medevac-ing wounded personnel,” Richard Fontaine, and expert on contracting issues with the Center for a New American Security, told CNN.

“This is the kind of thing that the State Department has very little in-house experience in managing,” he said.

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Journalists get warning over sources; far safer to speak to Wikileaks than MSM

Christopher Soghoian, a fellow at the Open Society Foundations, writes a stunning piece in the New York Times about the distinct lack of awareness amongst media practitioners about online security. And who really gets it? Wikileaks:

Brave journalists have defied court orders and have even been jailed rather than compromise their ethical duty to protect sources. But as governments increasingly record their citizens’ every communication — even wiretapping journalists and searching their computers — the safety of anonymous sources will depend not only on journalists’ ethics, but on their computer skills.

Sadly, operational computer security is still not taught in most journalism schools, and poor data security practices remain widespread in news organizations. Confidential information is sent over regular phone lines and via text messages and e-mail, all of which are easy to intercept. Few journalists use secure-communication tools, even ones that are widely available and easy to use.

Government officials often attempt to get journalists to reveal their sources by obtaining subpoenas and compelling testimony and the required telecommunications records. But sometimes that’s not even necessary, because sources have already been exposed by their own lax communications. And then there is illicit monitoring — I believe that American journalists should assume that their communications are being monitored by their government — and possibly other governments as well.

As an expert on privacy and government surveillance, I regularly speak with journalists at major news organizations, here and abroad. Of the hundreds of conversations I’ve had with journalists over the past few years, I can count on one hand the number who mentioned using some kind of intercept-resistant encrypted communication tools.

Even when journalists try to do the right thing, they still make dangerous mistakes, like relying on Skype. Skype is slightly more secure than phones but is by no means safe from snooping — which can be done with commercially available interception software.

Many major media organizations have distanced themselves from WikiLeaks, which, they tell us, is reckless, and does not engage in real journalism. The announcement this week by WikiLeaks’s founder, Julian Assange, that it might close because companies like MasterCard and Visa will no longer process donations to the group, highlights the threat the group faces.

But if the hallmark of quality journalism is the ability to protect confidential sources, then WikiLeaks should, in fact, be seen as a beacon of best practices. In contrast to the shameful practices of most journalists, WikiLeaks has spectacular operational security: encrypted instant messages are used for all real-time communications, strong encryption technology is used to protect files as they are passed between individuals, and servers are hidden using the Tor Project, a popular privacy tool that enables anonymous communication.

Whatever one thinks of Mr. Assange, he is a skilled data security expert. He knows an awful lot more about information security than even the most tech-savvy journalist. His platform appears to have worked: none of WikiLeaks’s confidential sources have ever been exposed by the organization. (Bradley E. Manning, the detained Army private who has been accused of the leak, was exposed by an acquaintance.)

Until journalists take their security obligations seriously, it will be safer to leak something to WikiLeaks — or groups like it — than to the mainstream press.

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Maintaining pressure on the autocratic thugs in Sri Lanka

I was honoured to be asked to sign the following statement released yesterday by Federal Greens MP Lee Rhiannon about the ongoing horrors in Sri Lanka:

Commenting on the arrival of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Australia for CHOGM, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said: “Attorney General Robert McClelland’s decision to refuse permission for a criminal investigation of Mr Rajapaksa under the Commonwealth criminal code seriously tarnishes Australia’s human rights record.

“The Attorney General should have allowed this case to be tested in court,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“An investigation undertaken by a United Nations appointed panel found that up to 40,000 mainly Tamil civilians were killed in 2009 in the final months of the war.

“The same UN report found credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity which should be investigated.

“The failure of the Australian government to take strong action on the war crimes committed in the Sri Lankan civil war will undermine the Prime Minister’s push to reform Commonwealth institutions to encourage democracy and human rights.

“A broad alliance of Australians from across the political spectrum have joined together to call for a suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth until the Sri Lankan government agree to an independent investigation into war crimes. (Full statement and names below).

“Julian Burnside QC, former Liberal Attorney General John Dowd and author Thomas Keneally signed onto this statement following a roundtable on Sri Lanka initiated by the Australian Greens.

“The Australian government should respond to this growing call for action by moving at the Perth meeting to ensure Sri Lanka does not host the 2013 CHOGM events.

“The Australian government is setting a dangerous precedent by rolling out the red carpet for Sri Lankan officials at CHOGM while allegations of war crimes remain unanswered.

“A report by the Eminent Persons Group has highlighted the failure of the Commonwealth to call countries to account for human rights violations.

“CHOGM is the time for the Commonwealth to show that the Sri Lankan government cannot escape unscathed against war crimes allegations,” Senator Rhiannon said.

Contact – 0487 350 880

Statement

We call on the Australian Government and the Federal Opposition to:

1. Support calls for Sri Lanka to be suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth until the government of Sri Lanka agrees to an international independent investigation into war crimes, restoration of human rights and the rule of law and the implementation of all of the recommendations of the UN Expert Panel Report on War Crimes in Sri Lanka. Failing that event occurring within a reasonable time that steps be instituted to suspend Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth.

2. Oppose Sri Lanka hosting CHOGM in 2013.

We call on the Prime Minister Julia Gillard to follow the lead of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in saying he will not attend CHOGM in Sri Lanka in 2013 if there is no progress in Sri Lanka’s human rights and the establishment of an independent investigation into war crimes.

Endorsees

Thomas Keneally, Author
Robert Stary, Lawyer
Hon John Dowd AO QC, President of the International Commission of Jurists Australia
Professor Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor (retired), Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston
Julian Burnside AO QC, Barrister and Human Rights Advocate
Bruce Haigh, retired diplomat, political commentator and adviser to the UK-based Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice
Senator Bob Brown, the leader of the Australian Greens and Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon
Phil Lynch, Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre
Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees, Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation and adviser to the UK-based Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice
Associate Professor Jake Lynch, Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Sydney University and adviser to the UK-based Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice
Professor Damien Kingsbury, Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights, Deakin University
Peter Arndt, Executive Officer of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Brisbane
Professor Ben Saul, Professor of International Law at The University of Sydney
Dan Patrushnko, President of NSW Young Lawyers
Dr Raj Rajeswaran, Chairman of the Australian Tamil Congress
Rev Dr. S.J.Emmanuel, President of the Global Tamil Forum
Professor Wendy Bacon, The University of Technology, Sydney
Antony Loewenstein, independent journalist and adviser to the UK-based Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice
Edward Mortimer, Chair of the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice
Professor Chris Nash, Professor of Journalism, Monash University

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Of course #occupy is justified, here’s why

More here.

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Murdoch press salutes “moderate” Palestinians (who indulge occupation)

Today’s editorial in the Australian praises those calm and lovely voices who speak nicely about “democratic” Israel and salute a “peace process” (that has only entrenched occupation of Palestine):

Given the increasingly febrile tone of anti-Israel rhetoric and protests this year, it was comforting yesterday to hear sensible words of moderation from the Palestinian Territories’ Australian representative.

The head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Izzat Abdulhadi, poured oil on the waters stirred up in recent months by Greens and academic activists. Mr Izzat told The Australian’s Imre Salusinszky that he did not support full-scale or violent imposition of the boycotts, divestments and sanctions campaign. This campaign has seen protesting mobs descend upon Max Brenner chocolate shops, urging a customer boycott because the company also supplies chocolate to the Israeli defence forces. “I don’t think it’s the right of anybody to use BDS as a violent action,” Mr Izzat said, “or to prevent people from buying from any place.” He should be heeded by the activists, some of whom would go so far as to have Sydney’s Marrickville Council sign up to the BDS campaign, and by the protesters, whose ugly intimidation has conjured up distasteful comparisons with the targeting of Jewish shops in Germany in the late-1930s.

Mr Izzat also sensibly defended a Sydney University Israel Research Forum, noting that a similar Arab forum would be held next year. An enlightened exchange of ideas must not be held hostage to partisan posturing over a conflict where there is plenty of blame to share around. This newspaper, along with the Palestinian and Israeli leaderships, supports a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. While the anti-Israel protesters often focus on Israeli settlements outside the 1967 borders, they avoid any criticism of Palestinian actions. Resolution of this conflict cannot occur without considering how Israel’s complete withdrawal from Gaza was greeted only with a menacing stream of deadly rockets targeting its citizens. While Arabs in Egypt, Libya, Syria and Bahrain have taken to the streets demanding an end to tyranny and a say in their own affairs, their sympathisers in the West have assailed chocolate stores, railing against the Middle East’s only established democracy. Israel is a place where Arabs already have a vote, and continue to hold seats in parliament. As Mr Izzat suggested, rather than foment hatred, there are good reasons for people to be constructive on this issue.

UPDATE: After a great deal of criticism of Izzat’s position, the Ambassador released the following response re BDS and Palestine.

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Taking on Assad in Syria

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Globalised terror; from Palestine to America

Welcome to a world where the rapacious arms industry has a global reach, and sees no difference between helping an occupying army and thuggish police in a supposed democracy. Max Blumenthal reports:

With the rise of the Occupy Wall Street, a new generation of mostly middle class Americans is learning for the first time about the militarization of their local police forces. And they are learning the hard way, through confrontations with phalanxes of riot cops armed with the latest in “non-lethal” crowd control weaponry. Yesterday’s protests in Oakland, California were the site of perhaps the harshest police violence leveled against the Occupy movement so far. Members of the Oakland Police Department and the California Sheriff’s Department attacked unarmed protesters with teargas canisters, beanbag rounds, percussion grenades, and allegedly with rubber bullets, leaving a number of demonstrators with deep contusions and bloody head wounds. It is not difficult to imagine such scenes becoming commonplace as the Occupy protests intensify across the country.

The police repression on display in Oakland reminded me of tactics I witnessed the Israeli army employ against Palestinian popular struggle demonstrations in occupied West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh, Ni’lin and Bilin. So I was not surprised when I learned that the same company that supplies the Israeli army with teargas rounds and other weapons of mass suppression is selling its dangerous wares to the Oakland police. The company is Defense Technology, a Casper, Wyoming based arms firm that claims to “specialize in less lethal technology” and other “crowd management products.” Defense Tech sells everything from rubber-coated teargas rounds that bounce in order to maximize gas dispersal to 40 millimeter “direct impact” sponge rounds to “specialty impact” 12 gauge rubber bullets.

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Holding power to account in PNG when resource curse hits hard

This is welcome news, as corporations are systemically raping Papua New Guinea; it’s disaster capitalism on crack with little oversight:

A US federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit seeking to hold Rio Tinto responsible for human rights violations and thousands of deaths linked to a Bougainville copper and gold mine it once ran.

A divided 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reversed a lower court’s dismissal of claims against the mining giant for genocide and war crimes, while upholding the dismissal of claims for racial discrimination and crimes against humanity.

“The complaint alleges purposeful conduct undertaken by Rio Tinto with the intent to assist in the commission of violence, injury, and death, to the degree necessary to keep its mines open,” Judge Mary Schroeder wrote.

The 6-5 decision on Tuesday revives an 11-year-old lawsuit on behalf of about 10,000 current and former residents of the South Pacific island of Bougainville, where a late 1980s uprising led to the use of military force and many deaths.

The Bougainville residents claimed Rio Tinto’s Panguna mine operations polluted the island and the company forced native workers to live in “slave like” conditions.

They also contended that after workers began to sabotage the mine in 1988, Rio Tinto goaded the government of Papua New Guinea into exacting retribution and conspired to impose a blockade that resulted in the deaths of 10,000 civilians by 1997.

Rio Tinto shut the mine in 1989.

Steve Berman, a lawyer for the Rio Tinto plaintiffs, said: “My clients believe Rio has been covering up its complicity in war crimes and genocide. We’re pleased to be able to return to the district court and begin proving our case.”

Writing for the 9th Circuit, Judge Schroeder said the complaint’s allegation that Rio Tinto’s “worldwide modus operandi” was to treat indigenous non-Caucasians as “expendable” justified restoring the genocide claim to the case.

She also said the allegation that Rio Tinto acted for its own private ends in inducing Papua New Guinea’s military to murder civilians justified restoring the war crimes claim.

Rio Tinto spokesman Tony Shaffer said: “We intend to defend ourselves vigorously against these improper claims.”

The appeals court has returned the case to US District Judge Margaret Morrow in Los Angeles for further proceedings.

But some dissenting judges protested against allowing a lawsuit to proceed in federal courts brought by non-US residents against non-US companies such as Rio Tinto, which has corporate offices in the UK and Australia.

The case is one of several in which non-US residents seek to hold companies responsible in US courts for alleged human rights violations on foreign soil, under a 1789 US law known as the Alien Tort Statute.

Rio Tinto is one of the world’s largest mining companies, with a market value exceeding $95 billion.

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Sky News comparing #OccupyLSE protesters to Nazi occupation of France

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