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A magistrate at the Geelong Magistrates Court dismissed the charges against nine peace activists on November 29. The activists had blocked the road to Swan Island Defence Training Facility in Queenscliff on June 16. The activists — Jessica Morrison, Julie Moyle, Trent Hawkins, Mitch Cherry, Tom Beattie, Shane Anderson, Dave Fagg, Ellen McNaught, Leesl Wegner — were charged with hindering police and obstructing a road. On June 16, the court dismissed charges against four activists who entered the base in March and shut off equipment.
November 20 was Trans Remembrance Day. Sally Goldner, spokesperson for TransGender Victoria, gave the following speech at the 3000-strong marriage equality rally held in Melbourne that day. * * * Trans Remembrance Day started to mark the violent death of Rita Hester, a transgender African American woman who was murdered in Boston on November 28, 1998. Prejudice against trans people comes from the same evil seed as any form of prejudice — and all manifestations are totally unacceptable.
As indigenous peoples, we are extremely concerned that the principles agreed upon in the Cochabamba People’s Agreement have been unilaterally removed from the negotiating document [for the Cancun climate conference] that was released on November 24. Equally alarming is the misrepresentation of the Copenhagen Accord as a legitimate path forward, despite its widespread denouncement by civil society and its tepid reception last December in Denmark, when the United Nations merely “took note of” it.
One of the features of advances in military technology is that an increasing proportion of those killed in wars are civilians, not combatants. During the 20th century, airstrikes became the preferred form of warfare by technologically well-resourced superpowers. This led to civilians becoming the majority of those killed in wars worldwide. In the first decade of the new century, new developments in military technology have raised the possibility for powerful countries of increasingly dispensing with combatants entirely.
Public displays of sexual desire, sex and agency are almost synonymous with the broad Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) rights movement. Positive displays of queer sexuality challenge narrow and dominant ideas about "acceptable" sex and sexuality. They play an important role in the struggle for democratic rights and against persecution; and in exploring sexual pleasure and desire. Sections of the women's liberation movement investigate and promote women's sexuality and sexual pleasure for similar reasons.
The United Nations global climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, looks set to repeat the failures of Copenhagen. The chances of Cancun producing a binding agreement that would avert climate disaster are next to zero. Many world leaders have not even bothered to attend the summit, which runs from November 29 to December 10. Leaders of rich nations and the media talked much about the “low expectations” of an agreement in the lead-up to the conference.
The Venezuelan government released a statement accusing the United States of provoking the ongoing conflict between North and South Korea to further US interests in the region, Venezuelanalysis.com said November 26. The statement came amid escalating tensions, as the US and South Korea carried out military exercises in disputed waters North Korea claims as its own.
The Socialist Alternative Michael Lebowitz Monthly Review Press, 2010 pp 192; US$15.95 The onset of the global economic crisis in mid 2008, symbolised by the collapse of some of Wall Street’s most iconic companies, led to soaring sales of Karl Marx’s seminal work Das Kapital, as many sought explanations to the tumultuous events unfolding. Although written more than 100 years ago, this devastating and insightful dissection of how capital functions is still a powerful tool for people looking to understand and change the world.
Wikileaks graphic that says 'Information wants to be free'.

Anti-war activists salute Wikileaks’ courage and determination in exposing the lies about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ruthlessness with which the biggest imperial power — the US — seeks to maintain its global dominance.

Many liberal environmentalists say that people must sacrifice some luxuries to save the environment and/or help the world’s poor. A more equitable sharing of the world’s resources means some will have to give up a bit. For the well-off, sacrifice is like charity: giving up a few privileges to make themselves feel better. For such people, the idea of sacrifice tends to reinforce an elitist mentality. But for poorer, working-class people, sacrifice has a different connotation.
I do not support women being forced to wear the burqa. I see it as one manifestation of the myriad of ways women are oppressed in this patriarchal society. But I want to make it clear that I do not support a ban on the wearing of a burqa. Banning the wearing of a burqa would simply mean that the person who wears it — voluntarily or otherwise — is criminalised. It would not, as some female supporters of the ban argue, help women extricate themselves from patriarchal control over their lives.
A common right-wing perception is that one either is, or is not, a member of David Hicks’ “cheer squad”. Chris Merritt, reviewing this book in the October 22 Australian, actually referred to a Hick’s “cheer squad”. Merritt lamented: “The whole appalling story of his treatment by the US military commission would be trotted out.” Trotted out? A clever way to admit that what Hick’s says is true, but at the same time trivialise the details. I am not sure what Hicks’ personal views have been on a number of issues, and not addressing them is perhaps a weakness of the book.