Australia

No One is Too Small to Make a Difference
By Greta Thunberg
Allen Lane/Penguin Books, 2019

On August 20, 2018, rather than go to school, Greta Thunberg sat outside the Swedish parliament to protest inaction on climate change. The then-15-year-old Swedish school student had with her some flyers and a hand-painted wooden sign that read Skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for the climate).

Around 100 people formed a circle at the Queen Victoria Building on January 5 to call for urgent government intervention on the fire emergency, support for the firefighters, and real action to combat climate change. The vigil was organised by Extinction Rebellion Sydney.

XR vigil outside NSW Parliament

Sydney Extinction rebellion began an indefinite vigil outside NSW Parliament House on January 6 to demand that the NSW and federal governments declare a climate and ecological emergency.

"Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the fire crisis had escalated to an unprecedented level.

East Gippsland is one region among many affected by disastrous bushfires. Three quarters of it — stretching about 250 km from west to east and 150 km from south to north — has been burned as I write this: about 700,000 hectares.

As the catastrophic fires raged over several states from late December into early January, Green Left’s Pip Hinman asked Shaun McDonald, a professional firefighter currently based in Tasmania about his views. McDonald has been a firefighter for 13 years, fighting fires in three states and territories, including recently being deployed to NSW.

The horror of the devastating and apocalyptic fires in NSW and Victoria not only dampened the New Year party mood, it has fanned anger over the government's obvious failure to respond to the climate emergency.

Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society: The Life of Karl Marx and the Development of His Work
Volume 1: 1818-1841
By Michael Heinrich
Monthly Review Press, 2019 
390 pp., $46.00

In the opening lines of this book Michael Heinrich quotes from an 1868 letter in which Karl Marx mentions a publisher’s request for a biography. “Not only did I not send one”, said Marx, “I did not even reply to the letter.”

Bill Ryan, one of Australia's foremost environmental activists, has died in Sydney at the age of 97.

Greg Adler came into left-wing politics in the late 1960s at a time of great political turmoil in Brisbane.

The reactionary Joh Bjelke-Petersen government had moved to shackle the unions and crush dissent, provoking a series of mass protests. In 1969, Greg joined the Revolutionary Socialist Alliance, part of which went on to join the Socialist Labour League (SLL).

Perth Pride assembled its biggest parade to date on November 30, with 115 floats. But many in the LGBTIQ community were unhappy that a large number belonged to corporate sponsors and police while smaller community floats were squeezed out.

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