1079

"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.”
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, on November 30. Morales called capitalism “the formula that has destroyed our species” and delivered a manifesto to save Mother Earth and life.
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. 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.
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 use of the drug ice in Australia is said to be at “epidemic'' levels. There is nothing new in this claim for both Australia and much of the rest of the world. Epidemics have accompanied the use and misuse of stimulants since the late-19th century. John Rainford traces that history in the final part of this three-part series. * * * The rise in the use of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, shows the self-defeating mechanism of drug prohibition.
Residents of the Millers Point public housing area in inner-city Sydney face "Sophie's Choice" on the future of their accommodation, Chris Hinkley, of the Millers Point community working party, and a 44-year resident of the suburb, said on November 19. He was commenting on the decision by the NSW Coalition government to offer 28 non-heritage listed apartments to the estimated 90 remaining residents, in exchange for their agreement to move out of their existing homes.
Over the last 18 months there has been a flurry of editorials and full page opinion pieces in Perth's only daily newspaper, The West Australian, demanding the state government keep its promise to build light rail to Mirabooka and unfavourably comparing Perth's infamous car dependent urban sprawl to European cities. It even ran a "tale of two cities" special feature celebrating the decision by Vancouver in the 1970s not to allow freeways into its inner city.
Victoria passed legislation on November 27 creating exclusion zones of 150 metres around abortion clinics. Victoria decriminalised abortion in 2008. But each month right-wing Christians organised protests that harass women seeking to use clinics that offer abortions. The legislation makes it an offence to film people without consent or block access to footpaths, roads and vehicles within the zone around GP clinics, hospitals and other health services offering abortions.
The campaign against the Perth Freight Link freeway continues to gather momentum with more than 3000 people participating in its contingent at the Fremantle Festival Parade on November 1 and a similar number converging on the Beeliar Wetlands on November 22. The Rethink Perth Freight Link Alliance has now linked 32 organisations opposed to the freeway and in support of alternative transport solutions, including better public transport, more freight on rail and the building of a second container port in Cockburn Sound.
The statement below was released by four mayors of cities in the Spanish state — Barcelona, Cadiz, Zaragoza and A Coruna — and signed by many well-known figures from Spanish media and culture. It was translated for Green Left Weekly by Dick Nichols. * * * The brutal attacks in Paris on November 13 were designed to install a climate of terror in the population, raising walls of suspicion and hatred between neighbours, shattering community life and bringing the politics of fear into our daily lives.
He fell in Afghanistan Sometime the day before The Major from the New Mexico National Guard couldn't find my house and it was a stormy night in Albuquerque So we talked by cell phone instead-- No dress uniforms at my door-- It was a clean three shots Straight through the heart He was dead before he hit the ground The Major was a father himself he said I could hear his kid behind the phone I could see my own son reaching up to his dad The Major called back later The government could fly me the Major said to the Dignified Transfer at Dover base I asked where that was

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