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VoteClimate.org.au has released a detailed description of the climate policies of parties contesting the August 21 federal election. It is the world’s first dedicated climate election website and is run by climate activist Adrian Whitehead, a founder of Beyond Zero Emissions and a Target300.org campaigner. The site, which includes links to each partiy’s policies, ranked the policies as following:
The following is an August 3 statement by the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. * * * The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) endorses and supports the call for boycott of Arizona on account of its manifestly racist laws, SB 1070 and HB 2281. SB 1070 calls for police officers to require documentation from people to establish resident status. The law essentially requires police to engage in racial profiling and discrimination on the basis of appearance.
Aboriginal activist Michael Eckford, better known as Michael Anderson, launched his campaign for the NSW Senate on August 3. Eckford was forced to stand under his birth certificate name because of Australian Electoral Commission regulations. Eckford is running with former ALP member Criselee Stevens, who said she quit Labor because “they are so out of touch with the real grassroots concerns and priorities”.
Mumia Abu-Jamal — on death row for more than 30 years in Pennsylvania for a murder he didn't commit — is an iconic figure. Yet while the struggle for his freedom continues, less attention is given to his role as a political leader. While Mumia has not, to my knowledge, used the term ecosocialist, his passionate message to the US Social Forum on June 22 had a clear ecosocialist content.
Review: Vale Kwementyaye Ryder — a photo essay Bob Gosford, The Northern Myth
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.
Outstanding service Fairfax columnist Gerald Henderson quotes Australian Workers’ Union leader Paul Howes concerning the family background of Greens Senate candidate Lee Rhiannon in the July 27 Sydney Morning Herald. I knew her parents, Bill and Freda Brown, since 1944, and I was privileged to be Bill’s campaign director when he stood for the federal parliament on several occasions.
Review: The Imperial Controversy: Challenging the Empire Apologists By Andrew Murray, Foreword by George Galloway Manifesto Press, 152 pages, paperback £12.95 In the past decade or so, politicians, journalists and academics have attempted to rehabilitate the notions of empire and imperialism. For example, in 2009 then-British PM Gordon Brown told the Daily Mail newspaper: “The days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over. We should move forward. We should celebrate much of our past rather than apologise for it.”
As of June 25, more than 4116 people, 566 of them children, were in Australian immigration detention centres, according to figures published on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website. The site also noted an increase of 46 people in the past week. In a country of 22 million people, 46 is a minute figure. That “stopping the boats” is a key election promise of both major parties illustrates the mean-spiritedness of their campaign.
Abdul Ramahi is a Palestinian-Australian who lives in Melbourne. A member of the Socialist Alliance, he is active in campaigns to raise awareness on the plight of the Palestinian people. His own story, which he told Green Left Weekly, illustrates how the lives of Palestinians in the global diaspora are shaped by the ongoing injustice and resistance in their homeland. Born in 1938, in a village called Muzeira, five kilometres from present-day Tel Aviv, he had a happy childhood. His father was a justice of the peace and owned a large amount of land — close to 100 hectares.
On August 3, following an international campaign of solidarity, Gerardo Hernandez was transferred from “the hole” — the punitive isolation unit at the maximum-security Victorville penitentiary in California — and returned to the general prison population. Arrested in 1998, Hernandez was sentenced in 2001 to two life terms plus 15 years on a legally dubious espionage conviction.
Preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games have turned Delhi into a swirl of mud, scaffolding and scandal. Government officials connected to the games appear confident that Delhi’s upturned streets and impassable traffic jams will soon turn into something spectacular. On the horizon is the transformation of India’s congested national capital into a “world class city”, worthy not only of hosting this high-prestige sporting event, but also of India’s growing reputation as the next Asian superpower.
On August 3, the Ecuadorian government signed a landmark deal to prevent drilling for oil in the ecologically unique Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini areas of the Yasuni National Park (Yasuni-ITT). The agreement, signed by the government of left-wing President Rafael Correa and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), guarantees that the estimated 900 million barrels of oil that lie beneath the pristine Amazonian region will remain untouched, as will the forest above.
Last month, thousands of people around the country marched in solidarity with Ark Tribe, the construction worker from Adelaide who faces six months’ jail for refusing to attend an interview with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). Adorned with emblems of union pride, rank and file union members, representatives from unions, political parties and the broader community, took to the streets to send a clear message to the government and the big construction bosses that “If Ark goes in, we'll go out''.
From August 9 to 12, high school students will be able to take part in a mock election thanks to the Google Student Voice initiative. Students aged 15 to 17 will be able to participate in the online poll. Google sent information packs to schools around Australia The vote will allow students to choose between the candidates standing in their electorates for the federal election. Results of the simulated election will be released on August 15.
“The major parties, Labor and Liberal, have failed to highlight Indigenous issues, and have largely ignored problems important to my community in this election”, Sam Watson, Aboriginal activist and Socialist Alliance Senate candidate for Queensland, said at a rally to launch his campaign for the Queensland Senate on July 31.

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