848

Media statement August 9, 2010

Rachel Evans, the lead NSW Senate candidate for Socialist Alliance, condemned Family First’s Wendy Francis’ likening the legalisation of same-sex marriage to the legalisation of child abuse as “homophobic” and “incitement to more violence against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer people”.

The Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group (TGLRG) organised political candidates to publicly sign a pledge stating their party would not use election material that incited hatred or ridicule against people based on their sexuality or gender.

The pledge signing took place at Salamanca markets in Hobart on July 31 and was signed by the Socialist Alliance, Greens, Democrats and Labor candidates and independent candidate Andrew Wilkie.

The following open letter was written by Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the US, to the Washington Post editorial board. He wrote in response to a July 30 editorial that accused Venezuela of harbouring Colombian “terrorists”. Alvarez said: “This letter has been made public given that The Washington Post rarely publishes our responses.”

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Liberal leader and extreme conservative Tony Abbott, who famously described climate change as “absolute crap”, is looking dangerously close to becoming prime minister on August 21. The prospect of a government headed by a Christian fundamentalist nicknamed “the mad monk” has struck dread into many progressive-minded people.

The August 7 Sydney Morning Herald reported that a Herald/Nielson poll showed the Liberal/National Coalition had increased its lead in the primary vote to 44% to Labor’s 36%. Coalition led Labor 51% to 49% on a two-party preferred basis.

Conservation groups from Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales, Canberra and Queensland took part in local actions on August 5 to highlight the threats to biodiversity that burning native forests for electricity will create.

The Gaslight Anthem must be sick of the Springsteen references by now. Ever since bursting into international consciousness a few years back, there’s been no shortage of critics willing to draw the connections between them and the Boss.

More than 850 people packed into the Sydney Town Hall for a “Save Sydney from Over-development” public meeting organised by Friends of Barangaroo on August 3. The meetings was organised to in response to a proposed development of the harbour-side Barangaroo area.

There are serious community concerns about the plan to hand over public space to private developer Lend Lease, which plans to build a large hotel on the land.

Dismayed by the Labor government’s inaction on climate change and looking for an alternative? Don’t look to the Liberals.

If the ALP has been dodgy on the issue, Tony Abbott’s party has been dodgier.

Sincere commitment on the issue is hard for Abbott. At a public meeting last September, he said global warming was “absolute crap”.

But the Liberal leader is remarkably consistent on one thing — the “need” to funnel large amounts of public money to big business.

In Fremont, Nebraska in the US mid-west, some of the biggest names in indie rock played a sold-out pro-immigrant benefit gig on July 31 titled “Concert for Equality”.

Omaha.com said on August 2: “The theme of the day — and the reason for the show — was to fight Fremont’s recently passed immigration ordinance, which would fine employers and landlords who hire or rent to illegal immigrants.”

All proceeds from the gig were offered to the American Liberties Civil Union to assist its fight against the law, Pollstar.com said on August 4.

Jim Sharp, a well-known veteran of the left and labour movements in the city, launched his book of poetry, entitled Leftside at the Queensland Council of Unions building on July 31. About 100 people attended. Speakers included Marxist historian Humphrey McQueen and music was provided by Jumping Fences.

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