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Thousands of people flocked to the La Rinconada area, south of Caracas, on October 15, to hear socialist President Hugo Chavez inaugurate the new “Ezequiel Zamora” train line from Caracas to Cua, in the Valles del Tuy — the first new above-ground train line constructed in Venezuela for more than 70 years.
“We guarantee that all Venezuelans will receive free education, to the highest level, as a promise of the revolutionary government. This [event] demonstrates the importance that the [Bolivarian] revolution gives to education”, Hugo Chavez declared on October 8. The Venezuelan president was officially re-opening the Andres Bello high school, situated in the metropolitan centre of the Caracas. The high school has been extensively renovated and upgraded to provide for a student population of 1700, the October 9 Ultimas Noticias reported.
On October 16, the Mexico’s national ombudsman, Jose Luis Soberanes Fernandez, delivered the recommendations of his report into the killing of two young men and the detention of another 207 people by municipal, state and federal security forces on May 3 and 4 in the municipalities of Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco. The clashes were sparked by attempts to remove flower venders without licences from a market.
Welcome to the new Green Left Weekly website. GLW is taking a one-week break — our next issue will be dated November 8.
Ever since the federal Coalition government introduced Work Choices, the trade union movement has been united behind the demand that the legislation be repealed. The debate has been over what alternative industrial relations system the movement should advocate.
Youth Rock the Block, held in Redfern on October 14, featured young community performers expressing their culture and raising money for a local women and children dance studio. The day included singing in the Indigenous Darug language, original dance pieces, renditions of well-known Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal pop songs and hip-hop.
Peter Bray from Rising Tide has questioned the independence and make-up of the “independent expert panel” set up to assess the proposed coal export terminal in Newcastle, branding it a “coal-dependent export panel” designed to ignore climate change.
On November 18-19, Melbourne will host some of the world’s most brutal warmongers and economic rationalists. They will be meeting under the auspices of the G20, with this year’s meeting chaired by Treasurer Peter Costello. A chief architect of the US war on Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz, will also be present, in his capacity as World Bank president.
Why did PM John Howard pre-empt his own inquiry, and a universal Australian corporate view that it makes no economic sense, to declare himself “very strongly” in favour of nuclear power last week?
On October 20, 65 people attended a public meeting to discuss the campaign to make the Newnes Plateau and other areas around the Gardens of Stone National Park, on the western edge of the Blue Mountains, a state conservation area. David Brazil from the Colong Foundation explained that the area has the highest density of rare plants in the Blue Mountains, contains important sites of Aboriginal heritage and provides a refuge for cool-climate species as global warming increases.
On October 15, more than 1500 people, including survivors, attended a memorial event on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin to mark the tragic sinking of the SIEV-X on October 19, 2001, in waters between Indonesia and Australia. The event featured Arnhem logs decorated by more than 260 school, church and community groups from around Australia to signify and honour the 353 Iraqi and Afghan asylum seekers who drowned. Organisers had hoped to display the logs for three weeks as a step towards establishing a permanent memorial to the worst maritime disaster in the region since World War II. Despite negotiating with the National Capital Authority since 2003 to ensure the project went smoothly, however, the NCA refused permission less than two weeks before the event. To support the campaign for a permanent memorial, visit <http://www.sievxmemorial.com>.
Bernadette Peters is a part-time cleaner and a full-time activist. She is also the partner of Mal Peters, one of the “Leighton Kumagai 107", who were fined $22,000 by the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) for a strike in February in defence of a sacked health and safety delegate.
At a Just Peace meeting on October 20, it was proposed by Wade McDonald, a leader of the International Socialist Organisation, that all “paper selling” be banned outside an upcoming forum on Islamophobia co-hosted by Just Peace.
A workshop involving trade unionists from around Australia is being held in Geelong on October 28 from 1pm. Socialist Alliance initiated the workshop because union activists are telling us that there are many issues in the campaign against Work Choices that aren’t getting discussed.
Millions of people on low-lying islands and lands in the Asia-Pacific region will become refugees in the next 40 years due to rising sea levels induced by climate change, according to a CSIRO report issued on October 8. The report was written by scientists with CSIRO’s marine and atmospheric research division, and was commissioned by aid and conservation agencies forming the national Climate Change and Development Roundtable.
Melbourne’s public transport system is in crisis — despite a huge increase in subsidies since privatisation. Delays, cancellations and standing room only — this is the reality for passengers across the system. And on top of the bad service, Melbourne has the most expensive fares of any Australian capital city.

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