Australia

The NSW Land and Environment Court’s decision to refuse the Rocky Hill coalmine near Gloucester on February 8 is ground breaking. For the first time in legal history, the impact of a new coalmine on climate change was a determining factor in refusing consent.

Children are off Nauru, Hakeem is back in Australia and parliament has passed the medical evacuation bill. For what feels like the first time in forever, the refugee rights movement is making gains, writes Zebedee Parkes.

February 4 marked the 80th anniversary of the little-known 1939 Cummeragunja Walk-Off, when 200 Yorta Yorta people left the Cummera mission in southern New South Wales in protest against their mistreatment by mission bosses and the theft of their land.

Dr Wayne Atkinson, an elder of the Yorta Yorta nations of the Murray-Goulburn region, was one of a number of people who addressed a gathering of the strikers’ descendents at Barmah on the banks of the Murray River in Victoria.

Last year, shortly after we participated in a protest against the Australian government’s cruel refugee policy, we were snatched off the street by police and taken to Newtown Police Station. Once inside we were separated and strip searched. We were not charged with any offence. What happened to us happens to marginalised people all the time and it needs to stop.

As some of the rich and powerful gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum last month, Oxfam International issued a report revealing that the combined fortunes of the world’s billionaires rose by 12% last year as the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11%.

The School Strike 4 Climate organisers are keen to involve unions and other community and faith-based organisations in their struggle for action on climate change. Below is a model motion to help you get organised.

School students are calling on universities, unions, faith groups and others to join their next strike for climate on March 15.

Transport Workers Union (TWU) members employed by bus company Transdev WA organised a 4-hour stoppage on February 7 as part of their campaign for parity in wages and conditions with other drivers.

The stoppage, which affected routes through Rockingham, Mandurah, Fremantle and Joondalup, was the latest action in the union’s long-running industrial campaign that began in January last year. Talks between the Western Australian TWU leadership and the French multinational transport company broke down last October.

Against Charity
By Daniel Raventos & Julie Wark
AK Press, 2018
294 pages, $16.95

One often hears that we should “give to charity”. Is this a good idea? Daniel Raventos and Julie Wark wrote their view in Against Charity. Admittedly, the title is a give-away.

Charities aren’t new, but in modern capitalist societies, many states have legislated to regulate charities. In this way, “the crumbs from the rich man’s table can safely be given to the poor”.

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at five new releases for an ecosocialist bookshelf. Inclusion doesn’t necessarily imply agreement with a book’s contents.

***

End Of The Megafauna: The Fate of the World’s Hugest, Fiercest and Strangest Animals
Written by Ross DE MacPhee & illustrated by Peter Schouten
WW Norton, 2019

Pages

Subscribe to Australia