How to make mining corporations in Africa respect human rights

The reality of international and Australian mining corporations in Africa can be grim for local civilians. My latest Guardian investigation examines these issues. I interview a journalist from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Will Fitzgibbon, about his organisation’s recent work on the subject and the following is the full interview extracted in the Guardian:…

Why it's time for UN sanctions against Australia

My weekly Guardian column is published today: This month, the United Nations accused Canberra of… potentially breaking international law… by forcibly repelling refugee boats back to Indonesia.… Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN high commissioner for refugees,… said… that the international body was “concerned by any policy or practice that involved pushing asylum-seeker boats back at sea without a proper…

Disaster capitalism strikes at the heart of African mining

A key focus of my forthcoming book and film about disaster capitalism is the way Western resource companies exploit poor nations and often commit human rights abuses in the process (I’m looking at Papua New Guinea and Haiti). Here’s an interesting Human Rights Watch report about Eritrea: International mining firms rushing to invest in Eritrea’s…

One more Western government far too keen to assist the private security industry

A worrying global trend sees Western officials increasingly working with unaccountable private security firms in the name of “efficiency”. Canada’s conservative government is joining in: This fall the Government of Canada will reintroduce… legislation that would expand the power of citizen’s arrest. In 2010 Bill C-60, as it was called, died on the order paper; this…

Legacy of Tamil Tigers still resonate

Renouncing terrorism as part of a national liberation struggle is a complex business, either done for pragmatic reasons or genuine remorse. Whatever the reason, Tamils in Sri Lanka remain deeply oppressed: Five years after they were caught buying arms for Sri Lankan rebels, three Canadians have signed an open letter from prison acknowledging they were…

On Obama, AIPAC, occupation, revolutions and the status-quo

So much discussion about the latest elaborate dance between the US under Barack Obama and Israel. In many ways, little has changed over the years, as Washington occasionally talks tough with Israel but then never does anything more. Words are cheap in the Middle East, especially as the occupation deepens every day. And, as if…