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Electrical Trades Union members around the country are currently voting for national and state union officials. The ballot goes from August 8-29. Nationally, a team of Howard Worthing, former assistant Victorian secretary, and Greg Wilton, former Western Australia organiser, are challenging incumbent national secretary Peter Tighe and Allen Hicks, for the positions of national secretary and assistant national secretary respectively. Allen Hicks is former Queensland assistant secretary. Reconnect ETU is running a full ticket against the Victorian incumbent leadership.
As I write these words, out-of-control hordes are swarming throughout downtown Manhattan. Their disregard for human decency, for the sanctity of people’s homes, jobs, property and health is beyond anything seen since the Dark Ages. These men and women, almost all of them white and disturbingly antiseptic for people living in a filthy and crowded city, are dressed in bizarre outfits.
Forming in New York City around 1990, The Casualties started out with an idea to return to the “Golden Age” of street punk, something they felt had been on sharp decline since the mid 1980s. Having racked up eight full length albums, three EPs, three live albums and countless miles in the tour van, The Casualties continue to enjoy success more than 20 years after their inception. The band is touring Australia in September. Green Left Weekly's Chris Peterson caught up with them for a bite-sized interview. * * *
Contested Territory 11- 28 August 2011 Curated by Luisa Velasco At the Vanishing Point gallery, 565 King Street, Newtown, Sydney www.atthevanishingpoint.com.au Contested Territory explores ― through contemporary art ― narratives highlighting areas of dispute, particularly issues of land and human rights of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples in the Middle East. At the same time, Contested Territory delves into the phenomenon of Islamophobia and our own historical and contemporary cultural disposition toward the fear of otherness.
Talking about the Supreme Court, how about a little history. On June 15, 2009 the United States Supreme Court announced its decision to reject the request for a revision of the Cuban Five case. The Cuban Five are Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, and Rene Gonzalez The five Cuban men jailed in the US for their role in collecting information on behalf of the Cuban government on potential terrorist acts by violent anti-Cuban groups in Miami.
British inequality growing “A detailed and startling analysis of how unequal Britain has become offers a snapshot of an increasingly divided nation where the richest 10% of the population are more than 100 times as wealthy as the poorest 10% of society... “The report, An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK, scrutinises the degree to which the country has become more unequal over the past 30 years …
The Bob Marley songbook is bursting with eloquent social protest, exposing the poverty, oppression and injustice endured by inhabitants of the “developing” world. “Burning and Looting”, for example: “This morning I woke up in a curfew. O my God I was a prisoner too … Could not recognise the faces standing over me, they were all dressed in uniforms of brutality.”
Protesters rallied across Australia on August 13 in support of equal marriage rights. In Sydney, protesters gathered at Town Hall. Below, is footage of the speech by Jade Wren Still Fierce, a group that campaigns for the rights of intersex, sex and/or gender diverse (ISGD) people, to the rally. Below: Photos by Peter Boyle of the march that followed the Sydney rally.
This years global uprisings remind us how infectious the revolutionary spirit can be. In recent weeks, a social movement within Israel has sprung to life in an almost spontaneous manner. A small housing protest that started on July 14 has swept hundreds of thousands of people into protest across the country. As in many other countries, people in Israel face rapidly rising living costs and the privatisation of public assets. Israel once saw itself as a welfare state (though its policies have been designed to benefit mainly the Jewish population since its inception).
Luz Smedbron ― a disabled mother of three originally from Ecuador ― and about a dozen housing rights advocates, stood together on Smedbrons' porch in Addison, Illinois on July 29. With protest signs in hand, they chanted: "The people united, will never be defeated!" DuPage County sheriffs moved in, but protesters stood their ground. As news cameras arrived on the scene, the officers slunk back to their patrol cars, looking confused and embarrassed. They radioed for reinforcements.
Up to 400 people gathered in Queens Park here on August 13, as part of a national day of action for equal marriage rights. The rally and march that followed were called for the seventh anniversary of the former Howard government's 2004 ban on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) people's legal right to marry.
Botswana has become the latest country to follow the Western powers in recognising the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council (TNC), set up by rebel forces opposed to Muammar Gaddafi's dictatorship, as the legitimate government of Libya, Mmegi said on August 12. Meanwhile, the August 12 British Telegraph reported that Gaddafi’s regime in Tripoli was threatened by splits.
US President Barack Obama's war on whistleblowers has suffered several setbacks. Two high-profile prosecutions against whistleblowers failed and the mistreatment of alleged WikiLeaks source, military analyst Bradley Manning, has been confirmed. The cases show a pattern of vindictive harassment against anyone involved in leaking information the US government deems “secret”. These cases are part of a broader attack on the public's right to know what governments do behind closed doors.
The family of Mark Duggan, shot dead by police in Tottenham on August 4 have called for a second postmortem to be carried out into the cause of his death. Mark Duggan was shot dead by armed police in Ferry Lane, Tottenham Hale, on the evening of August 4 after the minicab in which he was travelling was stopped in a pre-planned operation. The first postmortem suggested he had been shot twice, once in the arm and once in the chest.
Inspired by Brisbane flash mob actions in support of the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” campaign against Israel, I hunted for songs to adapt and use here in Newcastle. I came across flash mobs action around Australia, France and the US. And then I came across a song, that rocked me way back to the early '80s. “The” song in the era of action against South Africa’s apartheid was “Free Nelson Mandela” by English ska band The Specials. “Freedom for Palestine” by British-based collective Oneworld is the equivalent for our era of action against Israel’s apartheid practices.
As part of the “Don’t Dance for Israeli Apartheid” campaign in Ireland ― organized by the Irish Palestine Solidarity Committee (IPSC) ― activists in Dublin are protesting Irish dance troupe Riverdance’s decision to perform in Israel in September, ElectronicIntifada.net said on August 11. IPSC is organising a protest on August 18 outside the Gaiety Theater ― “the final action in our series of ongoing protests before Riverdance heads to perform for Israeli  Apartheid”.

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