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Gough Whitlam has passed away aged 98. Green Left will run more detailed analysis of his significance and legacy, but for now here is Sydney-based Celtic punk band Roaring Jack, fronted by Scottish socialist Alistair Hulett, with "The Ballad of '75" about the coup that removed the Whitlam government from power. See also: Uncovering the real Gough Whitlam
As 35 busloads of teacher-training students from Michoacan headed for Guerrero state to join increasingly militant protests for justice, students from major universities in Mexico City called a two-day strike on October 13. The protests were in response to the disappearance of dozens of students.
The Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) has written to Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop over the banning of rallies in West Papua that had been called for October 13. The purpose of the rallies was to call on the Indonesian government to free the two French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois who were arrested on the 6th of August in Wamena and remain detained in Jayapura. They could face up to five years in prison.
New information was released on October 14 at the Financing Development with Transparency annual conference about the controversial operations of US mining company Newmont. Journalist Raul Weiner and accountant Juan Torres released their investigation, claiming it proves the US transnational committed tax fraud by not paying the Peruvian state about US$137 million last year alone. Newmont owns Yanacocha in Peru, a set of five gold mines that make up the second largest gold exploration in the world. The transnational also owns an expansion project called Conga.
What's The Catch is a new three-part documentary series that will premiere on SBS on October 30. The series follows Gourmet Farmer star Matthew Evans as he uncovers the state of Australia's seafood industry and begins a campaign for labelling laws.
Richard Avedon People Exhibition, Art Gallery of Western Australia Until November 17. More than ever, we live in the “society of the spectacle” that Guy Debord theorised in 1967. Bourgeois commodification is augmented by reducing reality to a shallow image of itself. However, the spectacle itself “is the historical movement in which we are caught”.
“Iraq is our main effort, and it has to be, and the things that we’re doing right now in Syria are being done primarily to shape the conditions in Iraq,” General Lloyd Austin, the US commander overseeing the air strikes against Iraq and Syria told an October 17 Washington press conference. However, the first significant victory against the official enemy in the latest US-war in the Middle East ― the ultra-violent terrorist group that calls itself “the Islamic State” (IS) ― is being won in the Kurdish town of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border.
No Place To Hide: Edward Snowden, The NSA & The Surveillance State Glenn Greenwald Hamish Hamilton, 2014 259 pages, $29.99 (pb) Glenn Greenwald’s No Place To Hide is not just a thrilling account of the award-winning journalist’s “cloak-and-dagger” encounter with National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, but a clinical and impassioned analysis of the danger posed by the US’s vast surveillance state.

In celebration of the nationally acclaimed Day of Indigenous Resistance on October 13, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro handed over collective land titles to 14 original communities. Maduro also established a presidential council for indigenous peoples, lowered the threshold age for indigenous pensioners, and announced the creation of an institute to protect the country’s 44 native languages.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) on October 13 gained Fair Work Australia authorisation for a ballot of members on protected industrial action in support of a fairer agreement in the federal Department of Human Services. The electronic ballot will start in late October for the 15,000 CPSU members in Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support.
Steve O'Brien, Socialist Alliance candidate for the byelection in the NSW state seat of Newcastle, slammed the NSW government’s decision to close the heavy rail line to Newcastle at Broadmeadow, cutting the city centre from rail traffic from December 26. "This move is wrong and completely unacceptable for the people of Newcastle," O'Brien said. O'Brien was speaking at the campaign launch at the Rail Sheds, Newcastle East Foreshore Park, on October 12. The by-election will be held on October 25.
When the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption was set up by the federal government, it was widely seen as a political witch hunt intended to smear the union movement with guilt by association to the scandals that had emerged in the Health Services Union (HSU). With a bit of good fortune and a lot of spin-doctoring it would also provide the Coalition with handy ammunition against the ALP at the next federal election, likely to be held in late 2016 — a contrived “ticking Tampa”.
Something fishy was going on outside Westpac headquarters in Melbourne on October 11, as colourfully dressed protesters came together to reveal the true cost of potential investment in the Great Barrier Reef coal port expansion. Protests took place across Australia against controversial new plans to increase coal shipping through the World Heritage Area. Though Westpac released its own promising report on climate change in 2009, Market Forces estimates it has since lent more than $900 million to fossil fuel export projects within the marine park.
NSW ALP Senator John Faulkner, luminary of the Labor left, has been complaining of the structural flaws in the party for decades. Despite being a long-time beneficiary of the party’s factionalism, almost 10 years ago he was writing of the “shared venality” of party apparatchiks that led it back beyond factionalism. “It is feudalism, and it is killing the ALP.” Last week he was at it again in his address to the “Light on the Hill Society” at Revesby Workers Club in western Sydney.
Sarah Hathway, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Geelong, and Sean Brocklehurst, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale, released this statement on October 16. *** We strongly support the Reclaim the Night marches organised across Victoria and the world. Violence against women is endemic to the sexist culture promoted by our oppressive, exploitative, capitalist society. Vibrant public campaigns protesting such violence can help win better safety and rights for women, and are an important part of the struggle for a better world.
The City of Moreland became the first council in Victoria to rule out direct investments in fossil fuels and the first council in Australia to start developing a strategy to move investments away from financial institutions that fund fossil fuel developments, after a vote at its October 8 meeting.

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