1026

United States President Barack Obama pledged on June 30 that in the face of Republican intransigence on immigration, he would take executive action to ease the plight of undocumented immigrants facing deportation.

On September 6, the White House announced that it would delay any action until after the November midterm election.

Cristina Jimenez, managing director for United We Dream, an advocacy coalition for immigrants largely made up of young Latinos, said: “The President’s latest broken promise is a slap in the face of the Latino and immigrant communities.”

A fortnight out from Brazil’s October 5 national elections, the big news is the significant surge in support for Marina Silva, with some polls predicting the former Workers’ Party (PT) government minister and environmental activist could end up winning the presidential race.

Incumbent president and PT candidate Dilma Rousseff maintains a narrow lead over Silva, but the election will almost certainly go to a second round run-off on October 26.

The People’s Bill, an initiative of the Lock the Gate Alliance to oppose the growing coal seam gas and coal industries, was launched in Brisbane on September 4.

The People’s Common Rights and Provisions Bill 2014 would amend the Mineral Resources Act to give land holders, local governments, Aboriginal communities and others the power to deny mining companies access to their land.

The Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance club on University of Western Sydney (UWS) Bankstown campus organised a free barbecue for students and staff on September 10.

The BBQ raised $100 in donations for Gaza recovery charities. A week later, on September 16, it held a campus film screening of Hope in a Slingshot, a film about Palestinian resistance.

Resistance is taking a proactive stand for support of Palestine with weekly petitioning and distributing information and organising contingents for upcoming rallies and events.

Christianity, Islam and Atheism: reflections on Religion, Society and Politics
By Micheal Cooke
Resistance Books 2014
124 pages, paperback, $15

For a time I stopped referring to myself as an atheist in public. I was intensely embarrassed by seeing ads on buses promoting atheism around the time of the World Atheist Conference in Melbourne.

For a while I simply became “not religious” for public purposes. I found it embarrassing because public evangelism is the one thing that particularly galls me about religion.

The Disability Services Commission (DSC) in Western Australia announced last October that it planned to privatise 60% of its accommodation and early childhood intervention services, relinquish its status as a registered training organisation and dismantle its learning and development arm.

At the same time it abolished its Community Development Directorate, dissolved its Post School Options section and made its staff in the Community and Family Living team redundant.

A Jewish academic will walk from Sydney to Canberra in September to promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel for its continuing subjugation of the Palestinians.

Marcelo Svirsky is a lecturer in politics at the University of Wollongong and an Australian-Israeli Palestine activist. He is the author of several academic works on Israel-Palestine, activism and colonialism, and is an active member of the National Tertiary Education Union.

More than 800 police carried out simultaneous raids on houses in Sydney and Brisbane on September 18. Fifteen people were detained as a result, but only two were charged.

The high profile police raid – coordinated with the media – has been described as the “nation’s biggest counter terrorism operation in history”. It comes one week before the government plans to bring anti-democratic “terror laws” to a vote in parliament and as troops are deployed for a new Iraq war.

A solidarity conference called, "Venezuela: The Revolution Continues" will be held in Sydney on October 6. It is sponsored by the Venezuelan Embassy in Australia and supported by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, the Bolivarian Circle and other organisations, including the Socialist Alliance.

Yet again, the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate (a federal government body set up to attack unions in the building industry) has launched legal action in the Federal Court against the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU).

The inspectorate said on September 12 that CFMEU organiser Theo Theodorou was alleged to have told the director of a demolition company wishing to work at a Carlton building site that: “as [the demolition company] is working in the city, it needs to obtain an enterprise agreement with the CFMEU for its employees”.

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