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The statement below was released by Socialist Alliance on December 16. *** The Socialist Alliance has warned of a dangerous escalation of incitement of racial violence against Australia's Muslim communities in the wake of the tragic hostage incident in Sydney. “Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families and loved ones of the two victims who died and to all those caught up in the terrifying and tragic siege in Sydney's Martin Place over the past 24 hours,” said Socialist Alliance national co-convener Susan Price today.
Protest and counter-protest descended on Penrith on December 8 as Penrith’s council voted to uphold their decision to allow the construction of an Islamic community centre in Kemps Creek. Various far right groups turned up to show their opposition to the construction of the two-storey centre, including the Australia First Party, with chairman Jim Saleam present, as well as the Australian Defence League, Party for Freedom and Squadron 88. Counter-protestors in support of the centre’s construction included various left groups, the Greens and Antifa, the anti-fascist group.

This year seemed to have more than the usual quota of politically potent albums. Here, in no particular order, are 52 from 2014 - one for every week of the year. What album, or albums, would you suggest? Comment below, on Twitter or Facebook. * * * 1. BRISBANE BLACKS - INVASION DAY MIXTAPE

Up to 100,000 protesters shut down Dublin city on December 10 in the latest mass demonstration against the introduction of water charges. Protesters from across the country braved media hysteria, riot police and police barricades, and the threat of a fierce storm, to descend on the centre of Dublin, placing Leinster House – home of the Dáil (Irish parliament) – and other government buildings in “lock down”.
On the night of September 26-27, the local police of Iguala, Guerrero, shot at several buses carrying the Ayotzinapa students, killing three of them and another three civilians. Then, according to authorities, the police “arrested” 43 students and handed them to the local gang known as United Warriors.
About 500 Chinese farmers in the state of Perak, in northern Malaysia, with the support of the Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) are resisting attempted evictions from land they have occupied for more than 40 years.
"The Abbott government's proposed back-door GP tax is a massive scam, and should be totally rejected by the whole community," Susan Price, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Summer Hill in the March 2015 NSW state election, said on December 10. "Today, International Human Rights Day, is a good time to stand up for universal public health as a basic human right. Abbott's proposed cut to the Medicare rebate for doctors still means the beginning of the end of our treasured universal, national public health system, Medicare," she said.
Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers? Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what’s called the mainstream media is not information, but power?
The head of the Austrian Forensic Medicine laboratory considers extremely difficult for more identifications to come out of the remains found in the Cocula dump, thus the investigation remains uncertain. Even after the identification of one of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa Teacher’s Training School, the possibilities of identifying any other are extremely small due to the terrible conditions of the remains found in a dump in Cocula, on the southern state of Guerrero, according to the opinion of head specialist from the Innsbruck Legal medicine Institute, Richard Scheithauer.
Players for A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers are in dispute with club management over their share of prize money for taking part in the Club World Cup in Morocco. Wanderers players have not ruled out boycotting their December 13 match against Mexican team Cruz Azul if no agreement is reached. The players earned 50% of the prize money for taking part in the Asian Champions League, which the Wanderers became the first Australian team to win on November 1, booking their place at the CWC.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed an agreement in September to allow sales of Australian uranium to India for the first time. Uranium sales were initially approved by then-Coalition PM John Howard in August 2007 but Howard’s successor, Kevin Rudd, reinstated the ban. Rudd’s action was in accordance with long-standing Labor Party policy that uranium should only be sold to countries that have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). A 2008 Lowy Institute poll found that 88% of Australians supported this policy.
Despite pledging in 2009 to phase out public subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, G20 countries have disregarded those promises and are now spending US$88 billion a year to fund the discovery of new gas, coal, and oil deposits around the world, according to a new report published last month by the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International.
Maralinga: The Chilling Expose of Our Secret Nuclear Shame & Betrayal of Our Troops & Country By Frank Walker Hachette, 2014 Frank Walker, who worked as a journalist for Australian and international publications for 38 years, was talking to his daughter's university friends one day and discovered they had no idea atomic bombs had been exploded in Australia. In fact, 12 had ― excluding the 300-600 minor trials at Maralinga, Emu Field, both in the South Australian desert, and Monte Bello Islands off the Western Australian coast.
Trans Canada Pipelines announced on December 2 it would stop work on building an oilshipping terminal on the St Lawrence River at Cacouna, Quebec. The immediate reason is that the project will threaten the beluga whale population in the river. Another, unreported, reason is that a broad citizens’ movement in Quebec fiercely opposes the project.
Israeli MPs passed a motion on December 3 paving the way for early elections, Morning Star Online said that day. Further votes were expected in coming days to officially dissolve Israel's parliament, ushering in new polls on March 17 next year.
Latin America 2014 conference, in solidarity with the continent's progressive struggles, was held in London on November 29 and attracted hundreds of participants. Held in the Trade Union Congress building, it was jointly organised by several trade unions, Latin America solitary groups and other supporters of the progressive and revolutionary struggles in the region. The participants took part in more than 30 workshops across a broad range of topics surrounding the achievements and challenges of the various governments, social and political movements across the continent.

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