UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called a special Climate Summit at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on September 23. This meeting, which is in addition to the annual UN Climate Change Conferences within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is intended to “mobilize action and ambition on climate change”. Because this event will take place during the annual UN General Assembly meeting, Ban can expect a large number of heads of state to attend, as well as the “business, finance, civil society and local leaders” that he has invited.
The Coalition government in Victoria has disregarded public opposition and transparency and named a Lend Lease consortium to carry out phase one of the $6-8 billion East West Link toll road.
Hundreds of Australians endure the ordeal of jail because of unpaid fines. Their poverty is a burden. Disproportionately, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are incarcerated “to pay off” their fines. Ray Jackson, president of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, says this “draconian practice criminalises people and destroys families and futures”. Recently, “unpaid fines” cost the life of a 22-year-old Yamatji woman, Juliecka Dhu. Dhu and her boyfriend, Dion Ruffin, were arrested on August 2 and detained by Western Australia’s South Hedland police.
The bust the budget campaign stands at a crossroads right now. Although the federal government has succeeded in ramming some of its harsh austerity measures through parliament, there are large parts of the budget which are still held up in the Senate — largely due to the public hostility to these cutbacks.
The Sydney Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on September 10. *** Refugee advocates have rejected immigration minister Scott Morrison’s latest push to introduce temporary protection visas. “The Minister is holding asylum seeker children hostage to the introduction of temporary protection visas,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. "We are calling on all parliamentarians to reject the minister’s blackmail attempt and vote against the reintroduction of TPVs.
Nauru detention camps’ water reserves are close to running dry, leaked emails showed on September 10. A Transfield operations manager wrote in an email: “We are currently nearly out of water … Due to recent outages at the DIBP RO [immigration department reverse osmosis facility] we have not been able to build up stock so have been slowly going backwards.”
A small but growing group of workers in Sydney has been turning the tables on exploitative employers who have cheated staff out of minimum entitlements. Organised in the Sydney Solidarity Network (SydSol), workers have been using direct action to win wages from bosses who have paid employees less than the minimum wage, or not paid them for their work at all.
While Prime Minister Tony Abbott sealed a deal in New Delhi to export uranium to India, the Queensland government granted six mining development leases to two companies on September 5. No uranium has been mined in Queensland since 1982 and has been banned since 1989. However in October 2012 the QLD government lifted the mining ban. Summit Resources was granted four of the mining development leases and Fusion resources were granted two. The leases cover areas near Mount Isa and are the latest stage in Premier Campbell Newman’s plan for the uranium industry.
I often wish this government would cut the crap and just admit it governs for the rich and is determined to shift as much wealth as possible into their hands. We'd be saved their mind-boggling attempts at “logic”. Like their argument that we have a budget emergency, so we must absolutely take action now or our children and our children's children and our children's children's children will all die horrific deaths from starvation, so that is why we must abolish the mining tax.
Stop the War Coalition in Sydney released the statement below on September 11. *** Anti-war activists gathered outside the Defence Department in Sydney on September 11 to say no to another war on Iraq. Called by Stop the War Coalition (STWC) and Marrickville Peace Group, the snap action heard from several activists, who said Western military and political interference was largely to blame for the rise of fundamentalist and sectarian groups in the Middle East.
The following statement was adopted by the Socialist Alliance national executive on September 4 in response to the Australian government's decision to join the US and other imperialist states in further military intervention in Iraq. *** The US wars on Iraq, in 1991 and 2003, killed hundreds of thousands of people and completely wrecked the country. The US promoted sectarian divisions to maintain control. It created the conditions for the rise of the “Islamic State” and is thus responsible for the crisis.
This article is an abridged September 10 editorial from US Socialist Worker. That day, US President Barack Obama announced plans to extend US air strikes into Syria. * * * Barack Obama and the US political establishment — Democrats and Republicans alike — are whipping up support for a new war drive in the Middle East.
Confronting Injustice: Social Activism in the Age of Individualism Umair Muhammad www.confrontinginjustice.com Too many supposedly radical books are written by academics for academics, apparently competing to see who can produce the most incomprehensible prose. My list of “books to be reviewed” contains literally dozens of overstuffed and overpriced volumes that only a handful of specialists will ever read, and with little relevance to the non-university world.
If you were in Newport and Cardiff in south-east Wales during the first week of September, you might have thought you’d entered a warzone. Instead, it was simply the September 4 and 5 NATO Summit. As NATO warships drifted ominously into the harbour and US Osprey and Nighthawk helicopters thundered in the sky, above mile after mile of steel fencing, disgruntled residents were left taking to Twitter to complain about their desks shaking at work. “The amount of helicopters I have heard today makes it sound like we’re at war,” one said.
“Tom Morello, as his alter ego the Nightwatchman, performed a new cut called ‘Marching on Ferguson’ at the Jail Guitar Doors' Rock Out! benefit concert September 5th at Los Angeles' Ford Theatre,” Rolling Stone said on September 7.
Live coverage of a speech by Britain's Trade Union Congress general secretary Frances O’Grady was cut off minutes after she had warned of a return to a “Downton Abbey” society, The Independent said on September 8, “for a newsflash announcing that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second child”.