Five new books for green lefts and left greens — as compiled by ecosocialist site Climate & Capitalism, which is edited by Facing the Anthropocene author Ian Angus. It features Cuban science fiction, the birth of the Anthropocene, agribusiness and disease, surviving catastrophe, rising seas and the private plunder of public assets. ***
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro warned his country’s right-wing opposition leaders on August 9 not to stir up violent unrest as the threat of a recall vote against him waned, the Morning Star said on August 11.
Labor's deputy leader Tanya Plibersek's office fence on Broadway in Ultimo was adorned with cardboard cut-outs of children trapped behind bars on August 15, with some holding messages urging that the refugees be bought to Australia. The Sydney-based action was part of more than 40 nation-wide that were initiated by Love Makes A Way and organised by local groups, including the Uniting Church.
Phillip Galea, linked to far right groups Reclaim Australia and United Patriots Front, was arrested on August 7 as part of raids on four properties in and around Melbourne and charged with making documents likely to facilitate a terrorist act and planning or preparing for a terrorist act. He was jailed last November for possession of several stun guns and bomb precursor chemicals.
Author Ian Angus at the launch of 'Facing the Anthropocene'. Sydney, May 13. Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism & the Crisis of the Earth System By Ian Angus Monthly Review Press New York, 2016 We are living in a time of unparalleled ecological breakdowns and the crisis is much worse than most people realise. There are other books that tell this harrowing story, but Ian Angus's Facing the Anthropocene is different.
Fans at Rio Olympics hold “Fora Temer” (“Temer out”) signs. August 10. As Brazil’s media focuses its attention on the Rio Olympics, new revelations continue to shine a light on the glaring contradictions in the unelected government's efforts to impeach suspended President Dilma Rousseff for allegations of fraud.
Protesters gathered in Melbourne on August 8 to urge the replacement Hazelwood Power Station with renewable energy. Australia's dirtiest power station, Hazelwood is owned by Engie France and Mitsui Japan. According to the OECD it is one of the world's most polluting power stations, both in terms of the toxic cocktail of chemicals it daily emits and its carbon emissions. Hazelwood is also Australia's least efficient power station and a major consumer of water: 1.31 megalitres of water is consumed per gigawatt hour of power generated.
Israel is intensifying its efforts to crack down on activists working for freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians. On August 7, interior minister Aryeh Deri and public security minister Gilad Erdan formed a new inter-ministerial task force that will, as the The Times of Israel reported, “target supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement”. The task force aims to prevent the entry of foreign activists allegedly affiliated with groups that support BDS. It also aims to expel those who have already entered territories under Israeli control.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Staff Association says the Turnbull government's backflip on climate science research does not go far enough to repair the damage done by the deep and ongoing cuts to Australia's leading public research body. CSIRO management is continuing with plans to slash 296 jobs across the organisation, including more than 60 experienced climate and marine scientists. About 40% of the jobs are expected to be cut through forced redundancies.
Deaths in Custody Watch Committee WA and Refugee Rights Action Network WA released this joint statement on August 10. * * * Every afternoon at 4pm on Nauru, asylum seeking adults and children stage a peaceful protest at the gate of the OPC3 family camp, which they have done since March 20 (Palm Sunday). Four weeks into their protest, refugees in the RPC3 camp opposite joined them.
“While police tactics and accountability measures are being examined, many black people are also questioning their safety and place in society,” the San Francisco Chronicle wrote on July 31. “They worry about the next time they interact with police, and about the difficult conversations they must have with their children.” Black people make up 6% of San Francisco's population — and suffer 40% of the city's shootings by cops. The city's statistics on police stops of Blacks and violence mirror other cities, especially in the Midwest and South.
Two peace activists, Greg Rolles and Shane Anderson, locked themselves to Lockheed Martin's main gates on August 11, blocking the entrance to the Dandenong research facility in an attempt to disrupt the making of missiles for military drones.
Despite the rain, about 100 people rallied in Hyde Park on August 6 to declare, "Hiroshima Never Again," on the 71st anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. The themes of the rally were: "Ban nuclear weapons," and "No nuclear waste dumps in Australia". A dramatic round of traditional drumming by a local Japanese cultural group and a set by the band Urban Guerrillas kicked off the rally.
Worksafe Victoria has released a draft of new regulations, which, if adopted, will mean that buildings constructed after 2003 will no longer have to undergo mandatory asbestos checks. The controversial changes come just after a string of health scares on Australian building sites, where potentially deadly asbestos fibres have been discovered in materials imported from China.
In Treasurer Scott Morrison's budget speech he promised to "ensure the government lives within its means" and warned "this is not a time to be splashing money around". Shortly afterwards, he hosted an invitation-only party, which cost taxpayers $11,625 for food and drinks. This is more than even Joe Hockey spent on post-budget parties. In all, the Treasurer spent $4620 on a selection of hot and cold canapes, $5445 on alcohol, and $560 for eight wait staff to cater the 90-minute function for 100 people.
More than 200 people gathered in Sydney's Domain on August 7 to mark the symbolic founding of "New Bulga" behind the NSW State Parliament building. The pop-up village of New Bulga was set up to continue the fight by the residents of the village of Bulga in the Upper Hunter Valley against ongoing moves by Rio Tinto to expand its Warkworth coalmine closer to the town.