"Should Team Autralia Be Disqualified?' was the theme of a comedy debate held as a fundraiser for Green Left Weekly in Sydney on October 17.
A proposal for a refugee hub at Callan Park has won the support of Leichhardt Council. Leichhardt Council decided on December 8 to write to the state and federal governments to request funding for the establishment of a Refugee Welcome Centre in Callan Park. Leichardt Mayor Darcy Byrne said: “By offering a place in our own backyard to the orphans and widows fleeing Syria and elsewhere, we can put our good intentions into action.”
The poorest half of the world suffering the worst impacts of climate change is responsible for just 10% of global carbon emissions, while the richest 10% spew out half of all emissions, says a new report released by Oxfam on December 2. TeleSUR English said that day that the findings of Oxfam's Extreme Carbon Inequality highlight the need for world leaders to heed the calls of social movements and pay attention to the vastly unequal contributions to climate change to craft a deal based on global climate justice.
Up to 100 people gathered in Wollongong on December 5 to witness the New South Wales government's costly operation to move 25 tonnes of highly radioactive nuclear waste through Port Kembla to the Lucas Heights facility in southern Sydney. After a welcome to country by a prominent traditional land owner and elder, we were addressed by representatives from the Maritime Union of Australia, the South Coast Labour Council and Beyond Nuclear initiative. Overnight and into the early morning, Greenpeace activists on flotillas witnessed the incoming shipment on their flotillas.
Even with protests banned in Paris ahead of the United Nation's COP21 climate talks, about 2300 climate protests sent a global message to leaders at the talks. Hundreds of thousands of people joined climate change protests, marches and other events around the world on November 29 to send a message to leaders on the eve of COP21 that the world is waiting for climate change action. The 2300 climate actions included 175 countries.
In July 2012, the residents Kobanê rose up against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, making it the centre of the liberated cantons of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan). In the rest of Syria, various forces — including the regime, the so-called "Islamic State" and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front have turned the country into a battleground, fuelled ethnic and religious divisions and competed with each other in cruelty to civilians. By contrast, in Rojava's liberated cantons a new society based on participatory democracy, ethnic equality, religious tolerance and feminism is emerging.
Bolivian President Evo Morales has blamed capitalism for environmental destruction during his speech at the opening plenary at the United Nations COP21 climate summit in Paris, France, TeleSUR English said on November 30. Morales called capitalism “the formula that has destroyed our species” and delivered a manifesto to save Mother Earth and life.
On December 6, Venezuela held its 20th election in 17 years and one of its most difficult yet. With the opposition upping the ante in terms of media attacks and sabotage, 2.5 years of economic difficulties and since the passing of revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez, not to mention a recent right-wing victory in Argentina, the left and right around the world turned anxious eyes to Venezuela.
Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution will face its toughest challenge yet this Sunday, when voters go to the polls to elect a new National Assembly. Amid an economic crisis marked by currency instability and inflation, many Venezuelans are understandably going to be thinking hard before casting what would be seen as a vote in support of President Nicolás Maduro.
The Butterfly Prison Tamara Pearson 343pps Open Books www.open-bks.com In her debut novel The Butterfly Prison, Tamara Pearson, an Australian journalist working for Latin American news site TeleSUR in Quito, uses a poet’s sensitivity and language combined with a journalist’s eye for reportage. She weaves storylines that situate the poor and alienated as actors in resisting the living prison which dehumanises them.
Red and Black Bloc banner on November 29. A large-scale revolt of fans of the A-League, Australia's leading football (soccer) competition, has broken out. With several “active support” fan groups on an indefinite strike and fans from each of the 10 clubs protesting in one form or another, it is one of the largest sporting-related protests in Australia's history.
This year the Earth's climate scored the global warming trifecta: it passed the milestone of 1°C of warming since pre-industrial times; it is set to be the hottest year on record; and it will be the first year in which the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is over 400 parts per million (ppm) on average due to the continued burning of fossil fuels. This is uncharted territory for the Earth. It came as world leaders met in Paris for Climate talks on how to keep warming below 2°C.
Over the past few months, refugees who were once deemed by ASIO to be a threat to national security have been gradually released from indefinite detention. It appears that one of Australia's most internationally criticised immigration detention policies is being quietly abandoned. The most high-profile victims of this policy, Ranjini and her son, who was born in detention and had never known a day of freedom, were released on November 13.
When the First Fleet sailed into Port Jackson on January 26, 1788, it carried more than the physical paraphernalia for European settlement. Along with tools, agricultural implements, chains, handcuffs, the cat-o'-nine-tails and gunpowder, the colonists brought with them an entrenched world-view.
The dam took just half-an-hour to entomb half the village of Bento Rodrigues in 18 metres of iron-ore tailings, reddish mud and water slurry. A “mountain tsunami” is how firefighters in Mariana, in Minas Gerais in south-eastern Brazil, described the bursting of mining company Samarco Santarem’s iron-ore tailings dam on November 5. Marcos de Eufrasio, a 38-year-old stonemason who was cutting rock on that sunny afternoon, said that, from nowhere, he heard a “mighty roar”.
More than 2000 People's Climate Marches were held over the weekend of November 27 to 29. In Australia more than 140,000 people took to the streets to show they care, passionately, about climate change. They are also angry at government inaction, as illustrated by the many homemade placards and props. These marches were the biggest national anti-government mobilisations for many years. The Melbourne march — a huge 60,000 people — was the biggest street march there since the anti-Work Choices protests of 2005.