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At a packed Leichhardt Town Hall candidates meeting on February 7, education minister Verity Firth all but conceded that the Labor state government would not be returned on March 26. Firth said she was looking forward to rebuilding the ALP from the opposition benches. She was unconvincing. Firth told the meeting she joined the ALP when she was a 15-year-old idealist. “Genuine lasting change is about more than slogans,” she said. “When you’re in government you cannot just issue a press release or organise a protest rally ... because governing is far more complex.”
I have thought for a long time that it is essential the Australian climate movement tune in more directly to the natural climate cycle, and thus popular consciousness of climate itself. We as a country have just experienced the traumas of floods, then the most intense cyclone in recorded history, and now devastating bushfires in Western Australia. Deadly bushfires swept the country a couple of summers before that, followed by another record heatwave in South Australia in 2010.
Evo Morales.

Bolivian President Evo Morales praised “the popular uprisings in Tunisia and in Egypt” in his speech to the opening ceremony of the World Social Forum in the west African nation of Senegal on February 6. Morales said the uprisings were part of the “rebellion by the peoples of the Arab countries against US imperialism”. “This struggle by the people is going to be unstoppable,” Morales said, “even though the US government provides millions and millions of dollars of financing to try and finish these social movements. “But this is not going to stop.”

Twenty years ago, on Monday February 18, 1991, the first issue of Green Left Weekly was produced. Its full-colour poster-style cover expressed opposition to the Gulf War, the first US-led invasion of Iraq.

It isn’t often that socialists, Greens, Liberals and NGOs agree on an issue. But that is the case regarding uranium exploration in the Arkaroola region in the Flinders Ranges, 700 kilometres north of Adelaide. Marathon Resources announced on February 7 that the South Australian Labor government had renewed the company's mining licence in Arkaroola. The Arkaroola area is a unique environment, unlike anywhere else on Earth. It has over 160 species of birds, is home to species of fauna found nowhere else in the world and is a sanctuary for the endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby.
In the space of a few weeks, Australia and the world have been rocked by devastating weather events, from huge snowstorms across the US to flash flooding and cyclones in Australia. Many of these events have not just been catastrophic, but have set new records for weather. Let’s pause to list some of the recent extreme weather events in Australia: · Serious and long-lasting floods in Queensland around Rockhampton. · Unprecedented flash flooding in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley. · The biggest floods on record in western Victoria. · A 100-year record flood in Brisbane.

US investigators have admitted their efforts to find grounds on which to prosecute WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange over the whistleblowing website’s release of hundreds of thousands of classified US documents were in trouble.

With the world beginning to feel the initial effects of changing weather patterns due to climate change, governments around the world are faced with immense challenges to ensure the safety of their citizens. The lack of action from most governments and key decision-makers reflects policies that put profitability ahead of human security. This blind and greedy agenda means the great majority of the world’s people are left defenceless. Venezuela stands in stark contrast to this norm.
When a Billion Chinese Jump — How China Will Save the World, or Destroy It By Jonathan Watts Faber & Faber, 2010 485 pages, $32.95 http://site.whenabillionchinesejump.com/ When Jonathan Watts was a child growing up in England, he used to pray that all the people in China would not jump at once, lest they send the earth spinning off its axis.
Venezuela marked the 12th anniversary of President Hugo Chavez’s first oath of office in February 1999 on February 2. Chavez won presidential elections in December 1998 on a pro-poor program that pledged to break the corrupt, two-party system that had dominated Venezuela since 1958. To commemorate the occasion, Chavez and supporters held four televised site visits in Caracas. The visits highlighted gains in education, food, health and people’s power that have occurred as part of the “Bolivarian revolution” the Chavez government is leading.
Youth are leading revolts in Egypt, Tunisia and the rest of the Arab world to overthrow US backed regimes. February 8 statement by Resistance, socialist youth organisation. Resistance stands in solidarity with people in Tunisia, Egypt and the Arab world to overthrow US backed regimes. Once again the youth in these countries are at the forefront of a popular revolt against dictatorship.
Nine weeks after a boat carrying asylum seekers was smashed apart on the shores of Christmas Island on December 15, traumatised survivors remained locked up by the department of immigration. They are almost completely cut off from family and support. At least 48 people may have died in the devastating shipwreck. The wooden vessel, named SIEV221 by authorities, was thrown onto rocks in savage seas to the north of the island at about 5am.