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After four venues cancelled bookings under pressure from protesters, the World Congress of Families announced a fifth venue for its conference in Victoria — the headquarters of notorious anti-Muslim hate group Catch the Fire Ministries. A coalition of groups opposing the WCF called a media conference on August 28 to explain why they were determined to stop the right-wing fundamentalist Christian conference from going ahead in Melbourne on August 30.
Around 50 protesters held a picket outside the opening of the World Congress of Families on August 30, which finally found a venue in the bunker-like premises of the Catch the Fire Ministries in outer suburban Hallam. This sect gained notoriety for declaring the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires were a punishment from God due to the decriminalisation of abortion in Victoria. READ MORE: Why we disrupted the World Congress of Families
Stop the War Coalition released this statement on August 29. *** Sydney Stop the War Coalition opposes the Australian government’s moves to involve Australian military forces in another US-led war on Iraq. Spokesperson Pip Hinman said: “The [Tony] Abbott government’s motives are more about trying to shore up support for itself rather than any professed concern about Sunni and Christian communities.
"The last thing Australia needs is a holy war," Nick Deane, spokesperson for the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN), said. "Our federal government should reject completely any consideration of sending our air force personnel to drop bombs on Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, or sending our troops or SAS into combat in those countries. We know now only too well the inevitable civilian casualties from such actions.
Jews Against the Occupation released this statement on August 27. *** "The anti-Semitic leaflet distributed widely in Sydney's eastern suburbs is disgusting" said Vivienne Porzsolt of Jews Against the Occupation. "It replicates the ancient shibboleths of traditional European hatred of Jews which has no place in a modern democracy.
The National Tertiary Education Union released the statement below today. *** The Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, has today introduced legislation that if passed would see the most radical changes to the way Australian higher education is regulated and funded in over a generation. Mr Pyne claims that his Bill will give Australian universities the chance to be the best in the world. However his so called reforms are all about cutting government’s funding commitment to public universities and subsidizing private providers and leaving students with massive debts.
The Dealer Is The Devil Adrian Newstead Brandl & Schlesinger Published February 2014 480 pages, $49.95 www.book.cooeeart.com.au Adrian Newstead was one of the first people to study climate change in Australia. "I went to a place called the Barren Grounds, which were down the New South Wales south coast down near Kangaroo Valley," the 66-year-old tells Green Left Weekly.
Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets as celebration broke over a long-term truce agreement was reached on August 26. As news spread that the seven-week Israeli assault on Gaza may have ended with a long term cease-fire agreement, the population of the battered strip flooded to the streets to celebrate. The deal calls for an indefinite halt to hostilities, immediately opening Gaza’s blockaded crossings with Israel and Egypt and extending the fishing zone for Gaza's fisherfolk.
China’s Second Continent: How a million migrants are building a new Empire in Africa Howard W French Knopf Published May 20, 2014 304 pages www.howardwfrench.com In his 2009 film Rethink Afghanistan, director Robert Greenwald suggested that the US should not try to control the world through military means, but by building schools and hospitals in the countries it wishes to invade. Journalist Howard French's book China's Second Continent shows how such a model can work in practice.
The Radical Independence Campaign released the largest public canvass sample in the referendum to-date on August 19 (see graphic). The findings are in stark contrast to the official polling companies, and show that communities all over Scotland are simply not swallowing Project Fear. Having been failed by decades of Westminster rule, and now facing the Tory cuts, privatisation and austerity, people are increasingly looking towards a Yes vote as a platform for social change.

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