Susan Price

Following the European Union’s agreement to grant Boris Johnson’s government until next January to exit the EU, the House of Commons voted to hold a snap election on December 12. At the time of writing the election bill has yet to pass the House of Lords, but looks a certainty.

A ferry workers strike in Brisbane on December 6, 2018.

Governments — and the corporations they serve — understand that as the economic and climate crises deepen, they will need to resort to more authoritarian measures to maintain their ecologically and socially destructive system.

The decades-long struggle of the West Papuan people for self-determination has intensified in recent months — and Australia’s role in aiding and abetting the Indonesian occupation is once again being brought under international scrutiny.

Well-known justice activist Shirley Shackleton managed to interrupt celebrations in Dili marking the 20th anniversary of Timor Leste’s independence to hand a petition demanding Australia end its persecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K to Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

Shackleton’s husband, Greg, was murdered in Balibo along with four other journalists in 1975. She has never given up the quest for justice.

La’o Hamutuk and other Timor-Leste civil society organisations hosted an international conference in Dili from August 28–30, to mark the 20th anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence referendum.

With only a few hours’ notice, thousands of people filled London’s Parliament Square on August 28 to protest against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to shut down parliament for several weeks ahead of the Brexit deadline on October 31.

The shutdown is aimed at undermining attempts by MPs to prevent a No-Deal Brexit, or attempts to move a motion of no confidence in Johnson’s leadership.

Chanting “You shut down the parliament, we shut down the streets”, more than 10,000 protesters blocked main thoroughfares around parliament for several hours.

Following months of mass mobilisations, which successfully toppled former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir only to have the military attempt a take-over, the Forces for Freedom and Change and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) agreed on August 17 to a transitional government.

While there is relief that, for now, the violence has ended, many Sudanese remain wary. No one has been held responsible for the deaths of more than 100 peaceful protesters killed on June 3, when the army opened fire on the mass sit-in outside the military headquarters.

Human rights organisations, solidarity groups and the European Union have condemned the Turkish government’s removal of three democratically elected HDP (Peoples Democratic Party) mayors on August 19 and the arrests of more than 450 municipal officers and staff.

Narendra Modi’s BJP government's decision on August 5 to unilaterally revoke Kashmir’s autonomy, send in troops, impose a curfew and shut down all communications means Kashmir is, for the moment, a prison under military control.

Green Footprints
Ecopella
2018

If you like political music, and appreciate the power of many voices singing and harmonising together, then you should get a hold of this 2018 offering from Sydney-based choir Ecopella.

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