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.
The fight to stop WestConnex intensified in November with the release — finally — of the motorway's Strategic Business Case. Four months after roads minister Duncan Gay's promised release date, a heavily redacted Strategic Business Case for WestConnex was released. This was testament to the ongoing pressure of campaigners.
The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris were an ideal political gift for Europe's warmongers. It offers a chance to fulfill some previously out-of-reach dreams — such as restoring Germany to a fully-fledged offensive military role or to finally split the British Labour Party between its pro- and anti-war wings. In Spain, however, the militarists — led by the governing People’s Party (PP) of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the official opposition Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) — have a tricky job getting the country on board the “war on terror”.
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
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.
Family members and supporters gathered on December 2 outside the inquest into the death in custody of 22-year-old Ms Dhu. The protest was a response to the shocking evidence of neglect and institutionalised racism revealed at the inquest and the fact that the conclusion of the inquest has been delayed so that police testimony won't be heard until at least March 2016.
British parliament sat late into the night on December 2 before eventually voting up Prime Minister David Cameron's proposal to join the US-led air war in Syria. Opposition Labour Party leader and veteran anti-war activist Jeremy Corbyn argued strongly against bombing Syria, as did protesters outside parliament. However, many right-wing Labour MPs supported the government.
We have all heard the story of when, during a visit to the United States, a journalist asked Mahatma Gandhi what he thought of Western civilisation, and Gandhi is said to have replied that he thought it “would be a very good idea.” Former Greek finance minister and outspoken opponent of the savage austerity programs forced on Greece, Yanis Varoufakis recalled Gandhi’s words in the talk he gave at the University of Sydney on November 26. Varoufakis’ message was clear: Like Western civilisation, European democracy would indeed be a very good idea.
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.
The right wing's attacks on women's access to abortion once again turned deadly on November 27. Colorado Spring police arrested Robert Dear six hours after he entered a Planned Parenthood facility wielding an AK-47 rifle. By then, he had murdered three people and wounded nine.
Viewers of the ABC TV documentary Hitting Home, screened to coincide with the International Day against Violence Against Women on November 25, could be forgiven for thinking Australia’s “domestic violence crisis” is finally being taken seriously. Produced by ABC TV's Sarah Ferguson in cooperation with NSW Police and the NSW Department of Justice, Episode 1 of the two-part series took viewers inside DV refuges, specialist police units and courtrooms and featured interviews with incredibly courageous survivors. Their message to victims, and Ferguson’s, was clear: “Get out. Now”.