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Below is a eulogy to Mark Fordham, an Aboriginal activist and Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union member from the Northern Territory, released by: Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney; Brisbane Aboriginal Rights Coalition; UQ Students for Indigenous Rights; and Sydney University Anti-Racism Collective. ****
Two long-time ALP members, Luis Ernesto Almario and Rosendo Duran, announced their resignation from the ALP on February 17. Both will stand as Socialist Alliance (SA) candidates for the Legislative Council in the March NSW state elections. Almario and Duran are both political exiles from Colombia, forced to leave because of political persecution. Arriving in Australia in the mid-’80s, Almario joined his local branch of the ALP in Blacktown, and was later active in the ALP Parramatta branch.
Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) is still holding dozens of protesters arrested during and after the January 30 protests against Omar al Bashir’s government. The protests were inspired by the Egyptian revolution. The protesters are being held without charge. There are reports that many have suffered torture, including electrocution and sleep deprivation. Women detainees have been threatened with rape.
Your Skirt’s Too Short — Sex, Power, Choice By Emily Maguire 2010, The Text Publishing Company “Does your boyfriend or brother spend a lot of money on skin and hair care products?” “Do the majority of fathers you know spend most of their time at home washing, cleaning, cooking and taking care of their kids? Do you often hear mothers refer to looking after their own kids as ‘babysitting’?” “Are you sick of hearing men go on about how hard it is to balance work and parenthood?”
Friends of Cuba in Australia are invited to take part in the sixth International Brigade of Volunteer Work and Solidarity with Cuba, which will run from April 25 to May 7, 2011. The tour, which is organised by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), will coincide with the 50th anniversary of Cuba’s defeat of the US invasion at the Bay of Pigs (Playa Giron) in the Matanzas province.
Climate action groups from across Australia will assemble in Melbourne over April 9 to 11 for the third Climate Action Summit. Organised by the Community Climate Network, which involves more than 100 grassroots climate action groups, the summit will provide an opportunity for activists to share information and discuss ways to build a stronger movement for real action on climate change. The 2011 summit will build on the successes of the previous two events, both of which took place in Canberra and involved between 300 and 500 climate activists.
In December last year, Kojonup organic grain farmer Steve Marsh found genetically modified (GM) canola plants from a neighbouring farm had contaminated 293 hectares — 63% — of his property. The farm in Western Australia’s Great Southern region is Australia’s first known case of GM canola contamination. Marsh has had his organic certification revoked as a result. The Monsanto Round-Up Ready Canola was being grown on a neighbouring farm after a moratorium on growing GM crops was lifted a year ago by the WA Liberal government.
A lot of my mates tell me that they're just not that into politics. However, I think what they really mean is that they're not into politicians. And too right, almost all of our politicians are decidedly uninspiring. But these uninspiring politicians also are condemning, imprisoning and killing innocent people. And they are doing it in our name. This makes politics something we can't afford not to be interested in.
The Socialist Alliance has called for changes to the federal Labor government’s proposed flood levy to reduce the burden on workers and make Australia’s wealthiest corporations pay more. Socialist Alliance national convener Peter Boyle said on February 18: "The government should start with at least a 1.5% levy on the profits of corporations employing more than 20 people. “Corporations profiting from high carbon emitting industries could be levied an extra 0.5% as their actions are contributing to climate change.
The Business Council of Australia (BCA), which represents Australia's 100 biggest companies, said on February 14 that the federal government should consider cutting the disability pension as an alternative to the Queensland flood levy. How low can these grubs go? Only days later, BCA’s biggest member, BHP-Billiton, posted a record $10.5 billion half-year profit.
When the first issue of Green Left Weekly came out on February 18, 1991, it was a dark time for the left. The collapse of Stalinist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe had capitalism’s mouthpieces loudly proclaiming the “end of history”. But GLW saw it very differently. It was launched by members of the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP — which has now merged into the Socialist Alliance) to help regroup progressive forces to keep pushing for a pro-people alternative.
Peter Boyle, the Socialist Alliance upper house lead candidate in the March NSW elections, spoke at an election forum on climate change hosted by Climate Action Central Coast on February 9. The chief speaker was Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) executive director Matthew Wright. Candidates for the NSW seat of Gosford, Peter Freewater (Greens) and Chris Holstein (Liberal), also spoke. Labor candidate Katie Smith was invited, but did not attend. The article below is based on Boyle’s presentation. * * *
In the lead up to the NSW state elections, several organisations and individuals have joined forces to demand the incoming NSW parliament pass a bill for equal marriage rights. Activists representing Community Action Against Homophobia, Australian Marriage Equality, the Metropolitan Community Church Crave, Organisation Intersex International, The Greens and the Socialist Alliance gathered for a joint press conference outside state parliament on February 18. Below is a video of the press conference by Liz Duck-Chong:
Australian illusions about Labor are likely to have more serious consequences in the very near future. Unable to charter any real alternatives to the neoliberal formula of war, privatisation and social exclusion, Labor’s pseudo-social democracy will fail, delivering us to neo-fascist regimes and multiple global crises. The Labor government of Julia Gillard will be replaced by as ugly a bunch of thugs as we have ever seen; just as Obama will be replaced by the same neo-fascists that drew us into a series of bloody wars.
Climate change could lead to the disappearance of up to two-thirds of the world’s permafrost by the end of the century, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said on February 16. Should the Earth’s permafrost (or permanently frozen soil) thaw out to this extent, it would release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — and make climate change even worse. NSIDC scientist Kevin Schaefer said the carbon released would be “equivalent to half the amount of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere since the dawn of the industrial age”.

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