About 8000 people from across NSW’s Northern Rivers region gathered in Lismore on November 1 for a rally to declare the region gasfield free. Protesters marched through Lismore CBD to demand the government cancel all petroleum licences in the region. It then officially launched four large signs at each of the roads leading into the region, proclaiming: "Gasfield Free Northern Rivers – protected by community.” Organiser Elly Bird said: "This community is saying loud and clear that they want full cancellation of the licenses across the region, and nothing less will serve.
The witch-hunt into unions descended into farce last month as the Royal Commission’s attempt to justify its existence instead showed that it is an inquiry compromised by its politically motivated construction and damned by its own incompetence. The week began with Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) assistant secretary Tim Lyons attacking royal commissioner Dyson Heydon and senior counsel assisting Jeremy Stoljar for confusing workplace bargaining with corruption and failing to understand the role of unions they had been asked to investigate.
Almost 300 people gathered near Ipswich in Queensland for The Sunrise Project's Beyond Coal and Gas conference from October 24 to 27. The event featured more than 100 workshops and drew people from all states and territories as well as international visitors. There was a huge diversity of people and organisations including campaigners, activists, researchers, traditional owners and youth.
Sarah Hathway and Sean Brocklehurst are running as Socialist Alliance candidates in the Victorian election. They released this statement on November 7. *** The federal government's concern about “corruption” is very selective. For many months, there have been calls for a royal commission into the Commonwealth Bank and ASIC to investigate how thousands of people were stripped of their life savings as a result of fraud by dodgy financial planners working for the bank.
Brisbane is almost in lockdown as preparations get under way for the G20 Summit over November 15 and 16. Road closures began a week before world leaders and their media lackeys were due to arrive. Manholes and utility service grates in footpaths in the CBD and around the G20 venue in South Brisbane have been sealed as a precaution against sabotage.
Millions of residents of Catalonia will indicate their preference for the future political status of their country, one of the 17 “autonomous communities” (regional governments) within the Spanish state, in the November 9 Catalan “participatory process”. The “process” will present voters with the same ballot paper as the original non-binding consultation adopted by the Catalan parliament on September 26 — which was immediately suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court. Its asks: “(1) Do you want Catalonia to become a state? (2) If yes, do you want that state to be independent?”
Melbourne solidarity rally with Kobani, October 23.
For those paying attention to the science of climate change, it might seem counterintuitive to talk about hope. To some it might even seem in bad taste, given that the future impacts include the melting away of the Himalayan glaciers that provide fresh water for 1.3 billion people in Asia and the possibility that many low-lying island nations may become uninhabitable.
Residents of Millers Point public housing are supporting the campaign to stop the sell-off and possible demolition of the iconic Sirius apartments in the nearby suburb of The Rocks. The Save Our Sirius (SOS) campaign was launched on November 2 with an open day at the Sirius apartments building. The Sirius apartments were designed by Tao Gofers in 1975 for the NSW Housing Commission. Sitting beside the southern approaches to the Harbour Bridge, the apartments look out to Circular Quay and the Opera House.
About 1700 people packed Sydney Town Hall, and an overflow crowd of thousands filled the adjacent square, for the official memorial service for former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam on November 5. Sprinkled through the crowd were people who still had their iconic “It's Time” T-shirts and badges from the 1972 election that brought the Whitlam government to power. It was a memorable gathering not just because of the passing of this former PM, but because Whitlam has come to symbolise a long-lost era of progressive reform in this country.
Hundreds of Aboriginal elders and leaders will gather in Alice Springs for the Freedom Summit at the end of this month.
Tunisians are now enjoying the pleasure of thinking up the most improbable “scenarios” of political alliances between political Islamists, militant secularists and left wingers. Why? The Tunisian parliamentary elections of October 26 did not produce a majority party and rumours are everywhere. For the left, the results have posed serious problems.