1025

I am the Socialist Alliance candidate for Geelong in the upcoming state elections. I am a 24-year-old Gordon TAFE student living on youth allowance and for that reason my candidacy may not be taken seriously by the media and the other candidates, but it is for that exact reason I am running in the state elections. Young people do not have a voice in this country or in our state. We are one of the first groups to be targeted so that our government can “balance the budget” and one of the groups most affected by the cuts to welfare, education, health, and housing.
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.
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.
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”.
In Scotland, a remarkable popular movement, the campaign for independence, is heading towards it decisive test. On September 18, a referendum is being held on whether the country will remain part of the “United Kingdom”. To better understand the surge in pro-independence sentiment over the last weeks of the campaign, Green Left Weekly's European correspondent Dick Nichols spoke with Alister Black, editor of the Scottish independent Marxist review Frontline.

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