On November 18-19, Melbourne will host some of the worlds most brutal warmongers and economic rationalists. They will be meeting under the auspices of the G20, with this years 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.
At an October 6 public meeting in Boston, US dissident intellectual Noam Chomsky gave the following remarks on the threat posed to the radical governments of Venezuela and Bolivia by Washington in response to an audience members question.
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.
CBD office cleaners in cities across Australia and New Zealand staged protests on October 18 as part of the Clean Start: Fair Deal for All Cleaners campaign. About 70 cleaners and their supporters rallied outside the Tasmanian parliament marching to the Town Hall to present a letter to the city council.
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>.
On October 16, 250 people attended an early morning community picket outside Botany Cranes to support sacked delegate Barry Hemsworth. Sixty picketers returned the following day, blocking cranes from leaving the company’s yard until they were moved on by police.
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.
Caroline Lund, a lifelong fighter for socialism, workers’ rights and women’s liberation, died at her home in Oakland, California, on October 14, aged 62. She will be sorely missed by her friends and comrades in the US and around the world, especially her lifelong partner and comrade Barry Sheppard.
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 CSIROs marine and atmospheric research division, and was commissioned by aid and conservation agencies forming the national Climate Change and Development Roundtable.
According to an October 19 media release from the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), workers under the age of 15 are now signing Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs individual work contracts) under the Howard governments Work Choices legislation, which came into effect at the end of March.
No full-medal jacket As the American-led Coalition of the Willing prepared to storm Baghdad 3½ years ago, some of our Armys top brass were privately condemning Australias involvement as a contemptible waste of money and effort. Not because some were quietly warning, presciently as it transpired, that Australia would be committing to a war without apparent end No. They were angry that Canberra was willing to commit so much military capital (more than $1.6bn so far) to a war for which the Australian Army would receive precious little recognition. September 27 Bulletin magazine.
Around the country, campus and high-school environment activists are focusing on getting young people to participate in the November 4 Walk against Warming international day of action on climate change.