1096

“When one farmer kills themselves you can call it suicide. But when a quarter of a million farmers kill themselves, how can the government call it suicide? It is genocide. These farmers are being killed by design.” So opens Cotton For My Shroud, a documentary about embattled Indian farmers and the assault on traditional rural agricultural life waged by Monsanto and the political class in its pockets.
Ian Angus at global launch of ‘Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System’. Sydney, May 13.
Thousands of people from a diversity of local campaigns came out to protest Premier Mike Baird and corporate control over democracy in NSW. Some of the issues raised included included stop westconnex, stop the council amalgamations, anti-CSG, save tafe and other services and opposing the the new police powers like the anti-protest laws among others. The rally was organized by March Australia - Sydney. Here are some photos of the rally:
The Victorian branch of the Country Women's Association (CWA) has voted in support of marriage equality at their latest conference. The CWA's decision contrasts with its conservative image and defies stereotypes of rural communities as being less accepting of LGBTIQ people. The motion was titled "That the CWA of Victoria Inc advocates for equality for all Australians under the Commonwealth Marriage Act".
The Malcolm Turnbull Coalition government's economic spin is that they are managing a “transition” from “strong resource investment-led growth to broader-based drivers of economic activity”. This, it claims in the 2016 budget papers, is a transition to more “labour-intensive sectors, such as services”. Hence the Coalition's mantra: “Growth and jobs”. Sounds nice, but what does this mean for the different classes in Australia?
Sydney's Kurdish community and their supporters took to Martin Place on May 23 in a snap protest against Turkey's increasingly repressive Recep Tayyip Erdogan government after it cancelled the parliamentary immunity of progressive opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MPs. This is part of a bloody war the regime has been waging against the Kurdish people since June last year. Socialist Alliance candidate for the federal seat of Sydney Peter Boyle addressed the rally.
Hundreds of people lined the shores in “Hands Across the Sand” events across southern Australia on May 21 to protest BP's plans to drill for oil in the pristine waters of the Great Australian Bight. Hands are used to symbolise a barrier to oil hitting our shores. Similar events were held around the world to raise awareness of the risks posed by the offshore oil and gas industry.
A community assembly as part of a communal council in Caracas. Photo by Rachael Boothroyd Rojas/Venezuela Analysis. Leading Marxist author Michael Lebowitz spent six years (2004-2010) in Venezuela working as a director of the program for Transformative Practice and Human Development at the Miranda International Centre (CIM) in Caracas. There, he had the chance to take part in the building of socialism for the 21st century.
A report released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis on May 19 has said that the $800 million gas pipeline planned for the Northern Territory is economically unviable, to the extent that it is described as the “whitest of white elephants”. The pipeline, known as the North East Gas Interconnector (NEGI), has been the crown of the NT Country Liberal Party’s economic strategy in the lead-up to the August election. The pipeline is designed to transport the vast shale gas reserves in the NT from Tennant Creek to Mt Isa for sale to the rest of the world.
Veteran British director Ken Loach has won his second Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for I, Daniel Blake. The film is a warm and realistic drama about a middle-aged widower who, after a heart attack, can neither work nor get benefits. It follows his frustrations as he winds his way through an archaic system that seems designed to bring him down. Accepting the festival's top prize, Loach said: "We must give a message of hope, we must say another world is possible.
About 100 members of Fair Go for Pensioners (FGFP) rallied in Melbourne on May 25 to call on political parties to reverse severe funding cuts to welfare, health and education in the federal budget which will condemn more pensioners and low-income families to living below the poverty line. FGFP president Roger Wilson said the budget focus on giving the business sector generous tax cuts came at the expense of slashing services for the most vulnerable — pensioners, low-income families, the unemployed and those fearing homelessness.
La Trobe University has become the first university in Australia to commit to full divestment from fossil fuel companies. Vice-chancellor John Dewar said that over the next five years, La Trobe will “divest from the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies ranked by the carbon content of their fossil fuel reserves.” He said the University was also committed to transparency and “Accordingly, we will also disclose the carbon exposure of our investments and provide annual reports of our divestment progress over the next five years”.
Chasing Asylum Directed by Eva Orner Chasing Asylum is a new documentary that shows the Nauru and Manus Island detention centres for the “Hell on Earth” and “human dumping grounds” they are.
Two weeks into a protracted election campaign, it is looking ever-more likely that climate change is to be placed way down the order of business – at least for the major parties. The contest over climate change that characterised the previous three federal elections seems to have disappeared despite the issue being more urgent than ever.

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