typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Are Woolworths shitting on Asia’s old growth forests? Web campaign kicks in as boycotts approach outlaw status.

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Seems that Woolworths are marking dodgily sourced poo paper as ‘sustainable forest fibre’. Wendy Frew – one of Australia’s most vital environmental journos – has just tun a story in the Sydney Morning Herald calling attention to the issue.

It (Woolworths) also appears to be sourcing at least some of the paper from Asia Pulp and Paper, an Indonesian company with what green groups have described as an appalling environment and human rights reputation.

Woolworths is using a “Sustainable Forest Fibre” logo on its premium home brand “Select” range of tissue and paper products, and claims they are “from a certified environmentally managed company that is environmentally, socially and economically responsible”.

However, timber industry and environment organisations contacted by the Herald had never heard of “Sustainable Forest Fibre”. The paper producers are clearly marked as Indonesian, but the supplier is not named. However, the “Select” packs of six tissues are embossed with “APP”.

Asia Pulp and Paper, one of the world’s biggest pulp and paper companies, has engaged in illegal logging in Indonesia and destroyed a large area of the nation’s rainforests, said a Greens member of the NSW Parliament, John Kaye.

“As long as Woolworths refuses to name their suppliers, assertions of environmental or social responsibility are meaningless. It is impossible to verify them and consumers should treat such claims as greenwash and spin,” Dr Kaye said.

A blogger/s, calling themself/ves ‘Voice’ is running a purpose-built website called Expose Woolworths which seems to be an excellent source of info – past and current. It’s a little disconcerting that the site gives no information about ‘Voice’ (maybe they work for Coles?) but given that the thrust of info on EW points toward a boycott of Woolworths paper products it is perfectly understandable.

Peter Costello, the jackboot-in-waiting, has finally got his Bill for the punishing of protesters who call for boycotts of any sort. There is of course a justificational history behind it but like almost all Bills brought under Howard to curtail civil liberties the reason given is all spin and financial patriotism. The real reasons are sinister and the outcome thoroughly open to, if not demanding of, abuse by a system already tipped toward neofascism.

From the David Marr article:

But Costello’s bill is designed to protect businesses of any size – all the way up to BHP Billiton – not by outlawing intimidation, but by punishing persuasion.

Hurt a business simply by arguing that it’s ethically repugnant to buy its products and the commission will be able to step in and sue to recover the company’s lost profits. It’s quite a service.

No free-speech defence is immediately available. You won’t be able to go to court to plead the pros and cons of open-range chooks or gentler methods than mulesing to save sheep from fly strike.

The new law will catch lone campaigners, community groups, NGOs, lobby groups and even the media – anyone whose campaign for what the law calls a “secondary boycott” actually hits the mark and causes financial pain.

“Secondary boycotts can have a significant impact on our economy,” Costello told Parliament. “They disrupt trade, they reduce output and they inhibit competition. It is important that we provide a strong disincentive for those people who would target, intimidate and bully small business by applying a secondary boycott to that business.”

Doesn’t that just pull the old heartstring? Of course, the same rule will apply – likely far more heavily – if you want to protest about BHP destroying inland water sources and Aboriginal sites of significance in their quest to export uranium to non-signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, for example. There is simply no justification for this proposed law – whether in recent history, current reality, or prospective possible futures.

This absolutely is a fascistic move. Gunns failed to make their case against the Gunns 20, the Business Council of Australia was disappointed, Costello is attempting to create a more dependable option for corporate terrorists wishing to crush freedom of speech, thought, action, and association. Doing so will ensure that business profits not only continue but increase sufficiently to heavily finance his leadership of the Opposition once Howard loses and Turnbull becomes deputy.

The erotic lure of donor gratitude as legislative stimulant – Simple.


Written by typingisnotactivism

August 25, 2007 at 3:50 pm

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