My new book, Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe, is now out and last week I was interviewed by the great Californian radio show, Middle East in Focus. We talked about war contractors making money in Afghanistan, privatised immigration centres in America and beyond:
Yesterday I appeared on the Al Jazeera English program, The Stream (thankfully the poor internet here in South Sudan came through):
Deadly floodwaters caused one of the biggest evacuations in US history when Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, Louisiana. Ten years on, the city still hasn’t fully recovered. New economic, educational and housing models are in play, but critics say they’re hurting the longtime residents who need help most. On Tuesday at 19:30 GMT, The Stream asks New Orleans residents how “disaster capitalism” has affected them, and explores how the city’s growing pains are similar to disaster zones around the world.
In this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Antony Loewenstein @antloewenstein
Journalist and author (forthcoming) ‘Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe‘
Raynard Sanders @NOLAEQUITY
Erika McConduit-Diggs @ulgno
President & CEO of Urban League greater New Orleans
Terri Coleman @TFSColeman
New Orleans resident
My comments appear at 15:13, 23:30, 25:22, 35:02, 40:30:
British multinational Serco is causing trouble in New Zealand, with behaviour at its privately-run prisons fraught with violence and unaccountability. It’s the normal Serco way and only fools will be surprised.
I was interviewed by Radio New Zealand’s Sunday Morning (on a very bad phone line in South Sudan) on the company’s inability and unwillingness to operate with necessary staffing levels and training. It’s a point I’ve investigated in my forthcoming book, Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out of Catastrophe:
[New Zealand] Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga says some of the information provided to him on Serco’s running of Mount Eden Prison has not been up to standard.
Under the private contractor, the facility has been the subject of a string of complaints about organised fights, contraband, prisoner injuries and the death of one inmate.
Corrections has appointed a director to manage the day-to-day running of the prison from tomorrow and will impose financial penalties on Serco.
Mr Lotu-Iiga said he was unhappy with the flow of information from his department on the running of the prison.
“I’ve made it clear that I’ve been disappointed about some of the communication of reports and other information that could come up the chain through myself and through the chief executive.”
Mr Lotu-Iiga expects the situation at Mount Eden Prison to begin to settle with his department in charge from tomorrow.
Serco deliberately understaffs its operations worldwide in order to make as much money as possible, according to an independent journalist who has written books about the company.
Australian journalist Antony Loewenstein told Sunday Morning that governments believed they were being efficient by outsourcing prisons or detention centres, but it came at a human cost.
Mr Lowenstein said he has found it was very hard to get information from Serco or governments about their operations, without whistleblowers.
After last week’s siege in central Sydney, Al Jazeera’s The Listening Post analysed the media coverage and found it severely lacking. I was asked to add a comment (starting at 9:25):
It’s been a crazy year filled with ISIS, war, Tony Abbott, terrorism and much in between. I was interviewed by Triple R’s Spoke about it all:
This week’s horrific terrorist attack in Sydney, a crazed self-styled cleric held people hostage in the Lindt cafe in central Sydney killing three people including the gunman, has shocked the country and generated global headlines. Too much of the media coverage was exploitative and sensational, framing the event as led or even inspired by ISIS. Rupert Murdoch’s outlets were particularly egregious.
I was asked to comment about the wider political issues for Al Jazeera America. I wasn’t an eyewitness to the siege so offered some context for such events in Australia and globally:
Last night I appeared on ABCTV News24’s The Drum talking about ISIS, terrorism and Gough Whitlam’s collusion in the occupation of East Timor:
Last week I received a surprising email from the producer of a new US radio program hosted by the famed Zionist academic and writer Alan Dershowitz. It’s called Debate Dershowitz. I was invited on as a guest last weekend to discuss Israel, Palestine, occupation and war. As one of America’s most vocal and blind defenders of Israel I wasn’t expecting a calm and rational discussion. It was sometimes hard getting a word in, Dershowitz loves defending Israel and its every actions, but I’m happy to report I mentioned boycotts, violence, Jews turning away from Zionism and the one-state solution. My interview begins at 26:49:
Yesterday I was interviewed by Melbourne’s Triple R Spoke program about the current war against ISIS, the Middle East and media blindness and complicity: