1075

Hurricane Patricia — the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere — was downgraded to a tropical depression on October 24. It offered a reminder of the consequences of a warming planet.
Members of the Teachers and Education Support Staff Alliance (TESA) have been re-elected to the state-wide council of the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) in elections that took place in October. TESA also contested the four senior officer positions: branch president, branch deputy president, branch secretary and branch deputy secretary.
Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance (RYSA) released the following statement on October 27 in support of the Fossil Free UTas occupation. The following day Fossil Free UTas announced that they were ending the occupation and restarting negotiations after two days of productive meetings with the university management. * * *
Several polls show that the new PM — and by extension, the Coalition — is very popular. Explaining Malcolm Turnbull's high approval rating is relatively easy: it is not too hard to be more popular than the hated Tony Abbott and Labor has long since given up on being an opposition. According to Newspoll, Fairfax-Ipsos, Roy Morgan and Essential Research, Turnbull's numbers keep improving, even after 6 weeks in office. Depending on which poll you look at, Turnbull's approval is either Mr 52%, Mr 53% or Mr 68%.
Brisbane See a film at Red Cinema: Disruption. This film looks at the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York. Entry $15/$10 conc. Meal and drinks available. Friday November 6 at 6pm. Brisbane Activist Centre, 74B Wickham St, Fortitude Valley. Phone Angus 0431 935 576. Melbourne
Wits students protest in Johannesburg against a proposed tuition fee hike tuition fees on October 15. A historic victory over neoliberalism in South Africa was won on October 23, after the most intense three-week burst of mobilisation in the country since liberation from apartheid in 1994.
The recent knifing of Tony Abbott by Malcolm Turnbull held a brief glimpse of hope for marriage equality in Australia. Unfortunately, the change of PM did not bring any change of policy, and the Liberal Party’s homophobic agenda has remained the same. Turnbull professes to personally support marriage equality, but has asked the rainbow community to wait for a plebiscite until after the federal elections. This amounts to a position worse than Abbott who was dragged kicking and screaming to agree to a plebiscite together with the elections.
Portugal's incoming government will most probably prove to be the briefest in modern Portuguese history. It is headed by conservative Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Pedro Passos Coelho, whom Portuguese President Cavaco Silva appointed on October 22 to continue as prime minister. Passos Coelho has already overseen the 2011 “bail-out” memorandum applied to Portugal by the “Troika” (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund).
Around two thousand people rallied in Sydney on October 11 in support of refugees. The protest was called by the Refugee Action Coalition and came in the wake of claims of mistreatment and sexual abuse against refugee women on Nauru and Manus Island. The rally's demands included that the government bring the women to Australia for medical treatment and that all refugees be freed.
Wollongong activists before their large Reclaim the Night rally on October 29. Two hundred people rallied in Melbourne on October 24 as part of the annual Reclaim the Night march to stop violence against women. Rally speakers spoke in support of the Somali refugee woman known as Abyan and other women who have been sexually assaulted while imprisoned in Nauru detention centre.
It is rare that a critical article on Australia's military spending appears in one of the corporate newspapers but on October 25, the Melbourne Age published such an article by senior correspondent Daniel Flitton entitled “Does Australia's military need such tentacles of defence?”. Flitton argued that while Australian governments have “talked the good talk of regional co-operation and engagement for decades” their “staggering shopping list of new military hardware was signalling a very different message to the region.
The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid held a speak-out for Palestine in Melbourne on October 23. Among the demands were: end Israeli occupation now; dismantle Israeli apartheid; tear down the apartheid wall; lift the siege on Gaza; and end extrajudicial killings. Speakers called on the Australian government to cut all ties with Israel and spoke in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The Refugee Action Collective Victoria has filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court over the Australian government’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. The complaint requests the ICC to investigate and prosecute ministers and former ministers of the Australian government, specifically former prime minister Tony Abbott, former immigration minister Scott Morrison, current immigration minister Peter Dutton, and attorney-general George Brandis.
Moreland council has become one of the first organisations to vote against participating in the federal Work for the Dole scheme. The federal government scheme was expanded in July to incorporate jobseekers aged under 50 who have been receiving welfare payments for more than six months. Sue Bolton, a Socialist Alliance councillor on Moreland council moved a motion on October 7 against council participating in the Work for the Dole scheme.
Feminist author and career academic Germaine Greer has sparked outrage once again following a controversial interview she gave to the BBC on October 24 where she reaffirmed her position that transgender women are not “real” women. Greer's devolution from an ideological pillar of the 1960's women's liberation movement to a source of loathing for sections of the feminist community needs to be discussed. Her comments provide an important opportunity for putting forward a clear argument against trans-exclusionary feminism.

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