Naomi Klein: reparations

Naomi Klein writes about the movement by developing countries for climate change reparations from rich countries.

DN reports.

World Leaders: No Binding Deal on Climate Change Until 2010

President Obama and other world leaders have conceded that a binding deal to combat climate change won’t be reached until at least next year. Asia-Pacific leaders, including President Obama, have backed a proposal to only reach an interim political agreement at next month’s climate talks in Copenhagen while postponing contentious decisions on emissions targets, financing and technology transfer until sometime in 2010. The delay has frustrated those who feel time is running out to prevent calamitous levels of climate change. Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change described the compromise deal as a severe disappointment. He said the scientific consensus on global warming demands immediate action, not stalling tactics.

Our racist “justice” system.

In my view, race is clearly an issue in this case, at least to the extent that we know Aboriginal young people do not receive the same diversionary benefits as non-Aboriginal youth. We have known for well over a decade that Aboriginal youth are less likely to receive a police caution or other less intrusive intervention (such as a warning) than non-Aboriginal youth.

Aboriginal young people are more likely to be arrested, charged and placed before the courts than non-Aboriginal young people detained for similar offences and with similar prior records. For example, research in NSW in the early 1990s found that if two girls, both without prior records, were detained for shoplifting by police, then the non-Aboriginal girl was more than twice as likely to receive a caution from the police officer. For the non-Aboriginal girl, the matter ended there. The Aboriginal girl was more likely to be arrested, transported to the police station, bailed to appear in court, convicted, possibly fined or placed on an order, and left with a criminal record.

Research published this year has made similar findings in relation to disparities in the treatment of Aboriginal young people in other states including Western Australia and South Australia. These are also states, along with the Northern Territory, with high rates of incarceration of Aboriginal young people.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the criminalisation of Aboriginal juveniles is the young age they are brought into the justice system – more than 70 per cent of children held in detention in Australia who are under the age of 14 are Aboriginal.

We also know from research that those young people brought into the system early are the ones most likely to become entrenched in a life of moving in and out of juvenile detention and then adult jail as they get older.

There was a certain irony that on the day the Prime Minister apologised to the Forgotten Australians for the child abuse and neglect arising from institutionalisation in church and state homes, another child was being unnecessarily placed on the road to incarceration.

Many Aboriginal people have argued that the current juvenile justice system is replicating past policies of the stolen generations by removing Aboriginal children from their families and communities, and institutionalising them at extraordinarily high levels.

On any day there are more than 1000 young people held in juvenile detention centres across Australia. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, more than 50 per cent of those held are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. It is a damning indictment of a country that prides itself on the rule of law and the principle of equality before the law. As much as we might like to deny it, justice in Australia is coloured. Perhaps it takes a 12-year-old Aboriginal boy and a 70-cent piece of chocolate to remind us of that.

The US pretends to care about the settlements its aid subsidises. 900 new settlement homes are planned in occupied east Jerusalem. Meanwhile, it’s openly acknowledged pressuring the PA not to declare a Palestinian state. This is a farce anyway – Abbas always follows his instructions from the US. Besides, 450 000 settlers won’t vanish because Abbas says they’re in Palestine.

Meanwhile, Peres loyally serves US foreign interests, denouncing Chavez in Latin America. Peres doesn’t realise that Chavez is far more popular than him there.

I think I might stop linking to Andrew Bolt articles. He reminds me, more than anything, of the scopes trial and William Jennings Bryan. Can’t you just imagine him declaring the bible is good enough for him, he doesn’t need to hear all this fancy science talk about climate change?

That aside, morally, it’s hard to even describe him. He says, for example,

Rudd deceived you again when he suggested no boats would contain terrorists, when the Sri Lankan Government itself warned they did.

Can you imagine the stupidity and criminality of someone who would say that? Like, “Keating lied when he said the boats from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq contained no terrorists, when Saddam himself said they did.” Yes, this is the government they’re fleeing.


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