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The fourth report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on November 17, concludes that there is “unequivocal” evidence that human-induced global warming is already under way and, if left unchecked, will lead to rising sea levels, more fierce storms, and more floods and droughts.
A struggle to reignite, restore and respect Aboriginal community control is being waged in Fitzroy, a place of historical significance to the contemporary Indigenous rights movement.
The split in the English anti-war party, Respect — The Unity Coalition, which has scored the most successful electoral results for forces to the left of Labour since World War II, saw two conferences by the different sides of the split held simultaneously on November 17. One side are those backing Respect MP George Galloway, including some left-wing Muslim leaders and other independent socialists. On the other is mainly the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the largest socialist group in England, which has played a leading role in the anti-war movement and been a key component of Respect from its inception.
Two years on, the full impact of “voluntary student unionism” (VSU) is now being felt at Australian universities. Legislation to implement VSU was introduced in 2005 by the Howard government, despite the opposition of much of the student population. Its intention was to defund student organisations and cripple their ability to take effective political action in support of their members’ interests.
On November 21, up to 10,000 Victorian teachers went on strike, travelling from around the state to fill the Vodafone Arena in Melbourne. Around 150 schools were closed as a result of the industrial action. The teachers are calling for a 10% per annum pay rise over the next three years.
Two conferences of the English anti-war party, Respect — The Unity Coalition, were convened on November 17 in London. Both were attended by around 350 people. The “Respect Renewal” forces were led by MP George Galloway and 19 other non-Socialist Workers Party members of Respect’s national council. The SWP convened its own conference across town.
“A US military convoy opened fire on a column of cars Sunday morning, killing at least two Iraqi civilians in southern Iraq and igniting a new round of anger over the apparent loss of innocent life”, the US McClatchy Newspapers chain reported on November 18. “Police charged that the shootings were unprovoked and said six people, including two Iraqi policemen, died in a barrage of bullets.”
Indonesian activists in the National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS) continue to face government-sponsored thuggery and have appealed for support from Australian activists to help them defend their democratic rights.
More than 200 prominent individuals from the arts and showbusiness in the United States have signed a letter addressed to President George Bush expressing their support for cultural relations between the US and Cuba.
For over a decade now, Australian universities have been under attack. PM John Howard’s whittling away at the public funding of tertiary education came to a head in 2005, with the implementation of the Nelson Review. The review promoted a shift away from government funding of universities, which meant that they had to seek funding elsewhere — fee-paying students and big business.
Chickenhawk-in-chief "I would say that we would always try diplomacy first. In other words, I've committed our troops into harm's way twice, and it's not a pleasant experience because I understand the consequences firsthand." — Emperor George

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