I think it was anthropologist Ghassan Hage who once said that Australians are in constant fear of their country being stolen — again. Australia has a history of policy-making based on the fear of the outsider. But of all the acts of government based on that fear the new Home Affairs portfolio of Peter Dutton will rank as one of the most dangerous.
Early childhood educators, from Cairns to Hobart and from Perth to Townsville; from big cities like Sydney to the smallest like Launceston, walked off the job on September 7 to demand equal pay.
Around Australia, 90 child care centres and more than 3000 educators, parents, children and supporters from other unions and community groups joined the largest early childhood walk-off in Australia’s history.
There is a climate emergency. The massive forest fires in Canada, the Lucifer heatwave engulfing southern Europe and Australia experiencing its warmest July on record have all happened within the past fortnight. Yet, Australia’s carbon emissions continue to rise.
The growing movement to prevent the Adani Carmichael coalmine, as well as fossil fuel divestment campaigns, show we are making headway. But activism is not enough.
The NSW Coalition government has sold off more than $9 billion in publicly-owned property since it took power six years ago, a state parliamentary inquiry was told on September 4.
"Over the last six years ... approximately $9.14 billion of real property assets have been recycled [sold or leased] by government agencies," the CEO of Property NSW Brett Newman told a Budget Estimates hearing.
A coordinated, virulent and sustained campaign for "regime change" against the government and people of Venezuela is occurring around the world right now.
Led by the US, the campaign involves a systematic stream of "fake news" in the international media, backed by an unholy alliance of right-wing and "liberal" politicians and commentators, all singing from the same song sheet — that Venezuela is a "socialist dictatorship" with a collapsing economy and the unfortunate people of that country are yearning to be free of that regime.
The huge devastation, death and misery that Hurricane Harvey wreaked upon Texas and Louisiana has been seen around the world.
Meanwhile, fresh havoc is being wreaked upon the Caribbean and the US’s south-east by Hurricane Irma. In less reported news, more than 1400 people have been killed in recent weeks by horrific flooding in South Asia. The consequences of such disasters caused by extreme weather reveal the intersection of crises caused by the capitalist system.
More than 350 activists participated in the Sydney Stop Adani Summit on September 2.
Participants came from a range of organisations. Some were part of the Stop Adani Alliance, which includes the Bob Brown Foundation, the Australian Conservation Foundation, 350.org, GetUp!, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, Sea Shepherd and the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim group who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar.
Many Rohingya came to Myanmar from what is now Bangladesh during the British colonial period (1820s to 1940s) to expand rice cultivation in Rakhine State.
About 1 million Rohingya live in Myanmar, mostly in Rakhine State, making up some 2% of the country’s population and about 30% of the state’s population.
During the early hours of August 25, some 20 to 30 police posts were attacked in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships in the north of Rakhine State in Myanmar (also known as Burma). Twelve police were killed along with 16 attackers.
Responsibility for these attacks was later claimed by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
In the two weeks since, the Myanmar military’s response has been brutal, widespread and indiscriminate. While accurate figures are not available, between 400 (military’s estimate), and “around a thousand” (United Nations estimate) Rohingya have been killed by the army.
“The US is doing the same thing as it did with the economic blockade on Cuba, to try and suffocate the Venezuelan economy” explained Williams Camacaro, a long-time Venezuelan grassroots activist based in New York.
Speaking to Green Left Weekly in Caracas, Camacaro said “The sanctions will cause a lot of difficulties for Venezuela”, but “the reality is that a lot of time has passed since [the blockade was first imposed on Cuba]. Many things have changed.”