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On December 11 the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union said that the Australian Industrial Relations Commission’s (AIRC) second consecutive rejection of carpet manufacturer Godfrey Hirst’s sub-standard AWA (individual contract) is a clear message for the company to scrap it plans to strip existing rights and conditions from more than 300 Feltex workers.

While turmoil in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca has been in the headlines for weeks, little media coverage has noted that at its centre is a crusading newspaper, Noticias (The News). The daily’s sportswriter is now a leading spokesperson for the teachers, doctors, nurses, newspaper workers and others who have joined together to call for greater democracy, and a new direction for the state’s economy. David Bacon interviewed Noticias’s Jaime Medina in northern Mexico, where the writer was seeking support from the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras.

“Reports from refugee advocates indicate that six people at the Baxter detention centre have attempted to end their lives in separate incidents over the last four days by hanging”, WA group Project SafeCom announced on December 12. “Some of them have also slashed themselves with broken glass and mirrors.”

Comments by Peter Garret, Labor's federal environment spokesperson, that Australia’s coal is a “blessing” to be utilised, were condemned by climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle on December 12. “Apparently”, said Rising Tide’s Steve Phillips, “[Garret] regards the cause of the present global climate crisis as a blessing”.

With the advent of the industrial revolution society underwent significant changes. The age of steam had arrived and a huge new source of energy was unleashed upon society. The immediate effect of this new source of energy was to bring about a qualitative change in the productive forces. The method of production became social in character.

Workers at the Braeside bolt-making factory of Ajax Fasteners are waging a struggle to protect their redundancy entitlements. The company has gone into liquidation. The workers have been stood down and fear they will soon be sacked.

Trent Hawkins is a leader of Resistance, an Australian socialist youth organisation, who participated in the December solidarity brigade to Venezuela organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. Below is his account of the December 3 presidential election and its aftermath.

A year after the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, which involves 166 countries and commits 36 industrialised nations to binding CO2 emission cuts of 5.2% by 2012, global emissions are rising faster than ever. This is because Kyoto promotes carbon trading as the key mechanism to reduce CO2 emissions. Today the global carbon market worth US$22 billion is being called a “green goldrush”.

The federal government’s Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Review, released on November 21, had only one real purpose — to provide John Howard with “evidence” for championing the nuclear power cycle.
What other conclusion can we come to, when the review made its assessments while ignoring Australia’s most spectacular renewable energy resource — the “hot dry rock” geothermal energy of the Cooper Basin and other regions.

Arterial Bloc

I agree with some aspects of some of the critiques of what the Arterial Bloc did at G20, however this call by Socialist Alternative is wrong: "[All the left should] politically oppose anyone coming to protest rallies wearing masks or

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