1065

The year-long vilification of Aboriginal AFL star Adam Goodes should not be trivialised and dismissed as simply ignorance or mob mentality. This is a valuable opportunity to reflect on race relations in Australia and the ways racism is perpetuated. After taking a brief break in the face of sustained booing that dogged him whenever he took to the field, the Sydney Swans star returned to the game for the Swans August 8 win over Geelong. The Geelong crowd warmly welcomed Goodes in a public demonstration of all that is humane and open-hearted in the Australian public.
World famous climate scientist James Hansen, known as the “father of global warming” for being the first to see the threat of catastrophic climate change in 1988, has issued a new warning. Sea level changes are likely to be much higher, less stable and happen much sooner than previous predictions.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and social movements behind Ecuador’s “Citizens' Revolution” are engaged in yet another battle against the South American country's entrenched elites. Supporters of Correa marched through the capital of Quito on August 12 to the presidential palace, where they intend to maintain a permanent presence to help defend the elected government. The next day, violent opposition protests led to 86 police officers being injured, the interior ministry said, along with 20 civilians and three members of the press.
By any logic, Greece's SYRIZA-led government should be sinking in the opinion polls. At the Brussels Eurosummit of Eurozone leaders on July 12, SYRIZA Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to a set of draconian preconditions for obtaining a third €86 billion bailout. The decision effectively reversed the opposition to austerity on which SYRIZA was elected in January.
The ABC has revealed that a report prepared for the Queensland government says that hundreds of square kilometres of prime agricultural land are at risk from an experimental plant operated by mining company Linc Energy. Queensland’s environment department alleges that the Linc plant at Chinchilla is responsible for the toxic chemicals and explosive gases that have caused “irreversible” damage to valuable Darling Downs farming land.
“The only cost-effective way to stop illegal immigrants trying to storm through the Channel Tunnel is to set up a machine gun and take out a few people,” Steve Uncles, the extreme right-wing English Democrats' candidate for the post Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, wrote in an August 4 Facebook rant. “[T]hat would stop it very quickly and immediately cut dead this tactic … who has got the guts to do this in our politically correct society?”
Melbourne climate activists staged an “End of Coal” parade on August 13. They were celebrating the Commonwealth Bank’s decision to cancel its involvement with Adani’s Galilee coal proposals. They called on all Australia’s Banks to stop investing in fossil fuels.
Heat and corruption are a heady mix. As Iraq swelters in record-breaking temperatures, thousands of largely young Iraqis are taking to the streets to protest the miserable conditions they face. They are angry about the lack of electricity and water - and blame rampant government corruption.
"We have won the first battle in a long war," Paul McAleer, Sydney secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) told a rally of several hundred waterside workers and other unionists at the entrance to the Hutchison Ports terminal at Port Botany on the evening of August 13. He was speaking as news emerged of the important, if temporary, victory the union had achieved in winning a court injunction to order reinstatement of the sacked Hutchison workers in Sydney and Brisbane.
In 1972, Aboriginal rights campaigners successfully pressured the Whitlam Labor government to grant funds for the Aboriginal Housing Company to begin buying houses in Redfern for low-cost housing for Aboriginal people. Now, Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) is fighting for The Block to retain this role instead of being sacrificed to greedy developers.
The great power of Vincent Lingiariʼs story is that it teaches us how this land sings to us all, how it holds us and nurtures us. This is the common ground that we share. When the Gurindji leader and his people walked off Wave Hill Station, camping by the Victoria River and then eventually by Wattie Creek at Dagaragu almost half a century ago, they understood that the land was their birthright and their destiny.
Amnesty International (AI) adopted a resolution on August 11 supporting the full decriminalisation of sex work and supporting the rights of sex workers. It described the resolution as being based on “harm reduction” and in line with its “overarching commitment to advancing gender equality and women’s rights”.
Almost 50 people marched from Parliament House to Dumas House (where the state treasury offices are located) to present petitions to treasurer Mike Nahan on August 14. The petitions called for the removal of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on tampons and other women's sanitary products. Protesters pointed out that products more commonly used by men including condoms and shaving cream are not taxed yet tampons and pads are.
Seventy years ago this month, the US committed two of the worst terrorist attacks in human history. The incineration of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs represented the bloody climax of World War II. The nation that committed this heinous crime soon itself came to be the only remaining capitalist superpower.
Adani loses Standard Chartered bank British bank Standard Chartered announced it has ended its role advising Indian mining giant Adani on finance for its Galilee Basin mega coalmine and Abbot Point port expansion on the Great Barrier Reef. Standard Chartered was the last big bank to retain ties with Adani and leaves it without a financial adviser. This follows the Commonwealth Bank cancelling its involvement with Adani and the Federal Court setting aside Greg Hunt’s approval of Adani’s Carmichael coalmine on August 5.
A Greens Bill to protect NSW from the invasive coal seam gas industry failed in the Legislative Council by just three votes — 16 to 19 — on August 13. The Liberal National Coalition and Shooters and Fishers Party voted to protect the unconventional gas industry, while repeating the lie that it could co-exist with agriculture and pristine water catchments.

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