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All Along the Watchtower: Memoir of a Sixties Revolutionary
By Michael Hyde
The Vulgar Press, 2010
272 pages, $32.95 (pb)

Red Silk: The Life of Elliott Johnston QC
By Penelope Debelle
Wakefield Press, 2011
212 pages, $32.95 (pb)

Phillip Adams: The Ideas Man — A Life Revealed
By Philip Luker
JoJo Publishing, 2011
337 pages, $34.99 (pb)

Once I ruled the Northern plains,
my clan roamed free and wild,
the lush Dakotas were my home,
the gods were on my side.

Every leafy shrub was mine,
every blade of grass,
every creature trembled when
a herd of bison passed.

My family has been slaughtered
for food, for prize, for fun,
of all the kings that roamed the earth
I’m now the only one.

Am I now a laughing stock?
The object of your pity?
A weakling of the prairies, while
you prosper in the city?

And who was it that killed my clan?
Let’s set the record straight:
that bastard son of Europe’s womb —

On October 7, Rene Gonzalez will be released from a United States prison in Florida after serving a 15 year sentence. Gonzalez is one of the Cuban Five — five Cuban men jailed in the US for infiltrating right-wing anti-Cuban terrorist groups to defend the security of the Cuban people.

The US government is now trying to stop Gonzalez’s immediate return to his homeland after his release. In the most cynical and mean-spirited fashion, a US court is extending his punishment by making him spend three years on probation in Florida.

More than 60 people assembled outside Blacktown Council on September 24 to protest plans to mine for coal-seam gas in Blacktown. Mining has already begun in the Blacktown area at Eastern Creek and threatens the integrity of the Prospect Reservoir, organisers said.

Ben Hammond from the Blacktown Greens told the rally that Dart Energy was already mining coal-seam gas in Blacktown while AGL was seeking approval to mine also.

A dramatic stand-off between police and a group of squatters took place at the main campus of the University of Sydney on September 16. The squatters, who had been living at the abandoned St Michael’s College, staged a protest action during the eviction.

With climate change, humanity basically doesn’t get any second chances. For a recognisable climate to be preserved, net global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak within the next decade, then decline to zero by around mid-century. It’s a tight call, so we have to get things right first time. If we delay, the laws of physics will not be kind.

Several community environment groups released the statement below on September 22.

* * *

Environment, health and community groups have gathered in Sydney on September 22 to discuss the future of wind energy in NSW. As electricity prices continue to rise for most NSW households, the groups have welcomed reports from South Australia that wind power is cutting pollution and lowering the wholesale market cost of electricity.

Activists from the Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN) in Adelaide, accompanied by Mark Ogge from Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), went on a road trip to Port Augusta over September 15 to 18 to campaign for solar thermal power.

Port Augusta’s two ageing coal-fired power stations, Northern and Playford B, are due to be replaced in the near future.

CLEAN and BZE argue that concentrating solar thermal power plants are the logical way forward for Port Augusta and its workforce.

The statement below was released by the Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) on September 20.

* * *

Refugee activists oppose removing human rights from Migration Act; All MPs who support human rights should vote against Gillard’s amendments.

The Refugee Action Collective opposes the proposed changes to the Migration Act by the Labor government and any amendments proposed by the Liberal opposition.

It believes all amendments seek to strip any safeguards for human rights and defies international law.

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