Tasmania is in the grip of an energy crisis as drought reduces output from its hydro-electric dams and the undersea power cable — which had been providing up to 40% of its power needs from Victoria — is shut down. Basslink is planning a major operation to repair its undersea power cable, which was shut down after a fault was discovered about 100 kilometres off the Tasmanian coast.
Conservationists from Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) have re-established a forest blockade in the Kuark forest north-east of Orbost in East Gippsland, Victoria. A person in a tree platform tied to logging machinery stopped logging for four days. Another person is also positioned 8 metres above the ground on a timber tripod, blocking access to the contentious logging coupe. A third person is positioned up a large timber pole attached to logging machines, which is preventing logging from continuing.
Sea Shepherd has announced it will join the Great Australian Bight Alliance to fight BP’s proposal to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight. They will join the Wilderness Society, Oil Free Seas Kangaroo Island, elders from the Mirning and Kokatha people and the Clean Bight Alliance Australia. BP wants to drill four deep-water exploration wells between 1000 and 2500 metres deep, about 300 kilometres south-west of Ceduna. The Alliance fears an oil spill will have dire consequences for Australia's southern coast.
An immigration department review into the forcible removal of Save the Children Fund workers from the Nauru immigration detention centre, released on January 15, recommended that they be paid compensation. The nine charity workers were ordered to leave Nauru by the Australian government in October 2014 after they claimed that women and children at the detention centre were being sexually abused.
In May last year Nazanin, a 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker, was raped on Nauru. It took three months and a medical emergency for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to send her to Australia for treatment. At the time, the department said Nazanin's mother and brother would also be brought to Australia to provide critical family support.
The Northern Territory has the highest rate of youth detention in the country, six times the national average. Of those detained in the juvenile justice system 97% are Aboriginal youth. There have been a number of reports and investigations in the past two years into the treatment of Aboriginal youth in custody. They show that by deliberate design and policy Aboriginal youth are treated in a barbarous, inhumane and illegal way.
Resistance members are currently taking part in a tour of Malaysia with the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM). The tour has visited Buntong where the PSM has set up an after-school care program for children from poor families who work long shifts. They also traveled to Pusing, a 100-year-old tin mining town where many farmers are engaged in a struggle for land rights against developers.
Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members at Patrick Stevedores terminals struck for 24 hours on January 18 at the ports of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle to demand job security and an improved enterprise agreement. The strike followed the imposition of work bans at the Port Botany site in Sydney from January 4.
Two forest activists protesting against the clearfelling of native forest in north-western Tasmania have become the first people charged under the state's controversial anti-protest laws. John Henshaw and Jessica Hoyt were part of a group of nine protesters who walked on to a Forestry Tasmania coup at Lapoinya, 37 kilometers from Burnie on January 18. About 70 other protesters have gathered at the entrance to the coup for the past week to oppose the logging.
Ergon workers in Bundaberg walked off the job in response to the company's plans to axe front line jobs in the region and across the state. This follows a similar walkout in Atherton on January 15 over the same issue. Electricians and linesmen from the Bundaberg depot walked off the job on January 20 in response to the company's decision to outsource more work at the expense of permanent frontline positions.
Three Knitting Nannas Against Gas were arrested on January 18 after chaining themselves to the gates of the Santos Leewood water treatment plant near Narrabri.
President Rafael Correa giving a speech in Guayaquil to celebrate the 9th anniversary of the Citizens' Revolution. Photo: Presidencia de la República del Ecuador Flickr. “We are celebrating nine years of reborn hope, of fulfilled promises and of homeland for all,” Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa told crowds at an event marking the ninth anniversary of the start of the country's “Citizen's Revolution”.
British-Tamil musician M.I.A.'s video for her new song "Borders", which expresses solidarity with refugees seeking to flee to safety, has caused controversy. French football team Paris Saint-Germain has requested the video, directed by the artist herself, be taken offline because M.I.A. is seen in the video wearing a modified version of the club's shirt.
Left-wing members of the European parliament have called on the European Union to pressure the Turkish government to immediately end its attacks against the Kurdish community in northern Kurdistan (southeast Turkey). The call was made by Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson, part of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left parliamentary bloc, after a meeting on January 13 with a Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) delegation.
Poor People's March at Lafayette Park on June 18, 1968, in Washington, DC. Photo: Kairos. On the third Monday of January, the US marks Martin Luther King Day with a federal holiday celebrating his contribution to the civil rights struggle.