Continuing strategic dependence on the US or strategic independence for Australia?

by Bevan Ramsden *

Bevan RamsdenA People’s Inquiry has been opened by IPAN for submissions on the impact of the U.S. -Australia alliance, its costs and consequences and to canvas alternatives. Readers and contributors to Pearls and Irritations are invited to respond and join this urgent national conversation.

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) has launched a national People’s Inquiry into the costs and consequences of Australia’s involvement in US-led wars and the US alliance and what are the alternatives.

Its aim is to promote a national conversation on this vital subject and is inviting submissions from a wide range of organisations and individuals, and that invitation is extended to the readers and contributors to Pearls and Irritations. The great majority of Australians have never been asked about this alliance, it’s implications and its limitations.

Read more: Continuing strategic dependence on the US or strategic independence for Australia?

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Black Madonna

by Humphrey McQueen

Have you paid much attention to your Xmas card stamps? In this article, McQueen surveys Australia's stamp history. Commenting on the contenders who got a guernsey, he points out that First peoples' art is missing, other than for mere decoration, from the collection. Given the current state of vitriol and ideological state of affairs in Australia First Peoples' art won't appear too soon on Aussie stamps. The conqueror's mentality prevails.

Our Lady of the AboriginesWhen Pope Paul VI visited Australia in December 1970, the Vatican issued commemorative stamps. One is of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. The other shows a painting from the St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral in Darwin entitled ‘Our Lady of the Aborigines.’

The artist was a Czech, Karel Kupka, who lived and worked with Aborigines in northern Australia, on and off, from the mid-1950s. Darwin’s Bishop O’Loughlin commissioned him ‘to bring religion to the people in terms of local understanding’ by creating something similar to Chinese and Japanese Madonnas.

The Virgin’s face is individual and the child is a person, each expressive of ‘nobility and natural dignity,’ in the words of the Darwin missionary, Father Frank Flynn.

Read more: Black Madonna

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Skewed Responsibility: Australian War Crimes in Afghanistan

by Dr Binoy Kampmark

SAS fly Nazi flagThe Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force Afghanistan Inquiry was always going to make for a gruesome read – and that was only the redacted version.  The findings of the four-year investigation, led by New South Wales Court of Appeal Justice and Army Reserve Major-General Paul Brereton, point to “credible evidence” that 39 Afghan non-combatants and prisoners were allegedly killed by Australian special forces personnel.  Two others were also treated with cruelty.  The Report recommends referring 36 cases for criminal investigation to the Australian Federal Police. These involve 23 incidents and 19 individuals who have been referred to the newly created Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Read more: Skewed Responsibility: Australian War Crimes in Afghanistan

Parent Category: Spirit Content

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The Spirit of Eureka Committee was established in the lead up to the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade in 2004, to give a strong and united voice to the current struggles of Australia’s working people.

The Spirit of Eureka draws on the continuity and relevance of this important event in the history of Australia to present day endeavours and struggles for justice, democracy and sovereignty.

The Eureka rebellion laid the foundations for Australia’s continuing social, industrial and political struggles. It was advanced for its time and represents an important fighting tradition that continues to inspire our fight today.


Eureka Day

Eureka Day Eureka Day
Past Eureka Day anniversary commemorations organised by the Spirit of Eureka                     Melb Eureka Dinner 2018        Melb Eureka Dinner 2019        Melb Eureka...

Our Mining Tax Petition

Our Mining Tax Petition Our Mining Tax Petition
Take Action: sign our petition calling for an increase to the Minerals Rent Resource Tax. Australia is a country rich in natural resources. This sovereign...

Spirit of Eureka Award

Spirit of Eureka Award Spirit of Eureka Award

The 2019 and Inaugural Spirit of Eureka Award is open for nominations.

The Award will recognise someone who, in the spirit of the Eureka rebels, has demonstrated an outstanding and ongoing...

Charter of Rights

Charter of Rights
We pay tribute to Australia’s Indigenous people in recognition of their struggles since British colonization in 1788. OUR VISION: The Spirit of Eureka Committee actively seeks to promote a vision and...

Driving Disunity Now a Free Book

When Lindy Nolan's 'Driving Disunity: The Business Council versus Aboriginal Community' was published in 2017, it lifted the lid on a network of corporate influence and control of First People's organisations and individuals. As publisher, Spirit of Eureka is pleased to republish this copy without charge. It may be quoted or shared, as long as the source is credited.

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