The secretary of the Communications Workers Union Victoria, Len Cooper, sent the letter below to the Occupy Melbourne community outreach working group on October 12. * * * Dear friends, I am writing on behalf of my union to endorse your call for real democracy. Today in the City of Boston, America, one of our sister unions, IBEW Local 2222, representing Boston telecom workers will read out a statement supporting the Wall Street and Boston occupations.
The Occupy Melbourne Community Outreach Working Group has released the letter below addressed to Australian unions and union members. * * * Dear union member, We write to address you on a social movement that may have great impact on issues affecting all workers and union members in Australia.
More than 300 people of all ages gathered in Adelaide on September 24 calling for world leading concentrating solar thermal (CST) technology to replace Port Augusta’s aging coal fired power stations. The action was organised by several environment groups, including the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Climate Emergency Action Network, the Socialist Alliance, Resistance and the Young Greens. The crowd met in Adelaide’s Rymill Park and then took to the streets in a colourful, rhythmic parade, featuring a moving solar thermal tower.
The Last Stand released the statement below on October 8. * * * Today, over 30 actions took place around the world as part of a global 24 hours of action targeting retailer Harvey Norman for their role in helping to drive the destruction of Australia’s native forests.
I am a member of Pulp the Mill, a group of peaceful community protesters who engage in civil disobedience to protest the politically corrupted Tamar Valley pulp mill assessment process in Tasmania. Pulp the Mill has repeatedly called for a Royal Commission into this corrupted process, and in particular into Section 11 of the Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007, a clause that removes the right of people to either claim compensation, or take legal action, should the pulp mill cause a negative impact on their health or livelihoods in any way whatsoever.
Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on October 10. * * * Stop CSG Illawarra — the community group that organised the 3000-plus person human sign action on Austinmer Beach in late May — is planning a community walk across the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge for October 16. The walk is part of a national day of coordinated actions under the theme “Defend Our Water”, and is calling for a moratorium on the coal seam gas (CSG) industry, a Royal Commission into CSG and a ban on “fracking”.
The Australian Nuclear Free Alliance released the statement below on October 11. * * * In the wake of the approval of BHP-Billiton’s Olympic Dam expansion, the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) is calling for a moratorium on uranium mining due to the long-term impacts associated with the nuclear industry. Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, Arabunna elder from Lake Eyre and president of ANFA, addressed a rally at parliament House in Adelaide on October 11 held in response to the approvals announced by the state and federal government:
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on October 9. * * * The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) has called on NT members of the federal government, member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon and Senator Trish Crossin, to vote against legislation to be introduced this week that would allow the offshore processing of asylum seekers. Snowdon was reported as strongly supporting the proposed amendments in caucus.
Tasmanian-based environmental group Code Green released the statement below on October 11. * * * Ten protesters from environmental group Code Green have blocked a road that leads to at least two active logging coupes in east Ben Lomond in Tasmania’s north-east. One protester was suspended in a tree attached to a tripod in the middle of the road. The coupes are within the 430,000 hectares highlighted for immediate protection in the Intergovernmental Agreement of August 7, signed by the federal and state governments.
There’s no doubt that the explosion of social media, mobile technology and online-organising capabilities have dramatically altered the battle terrain of class struggles today in ways good, bad and ugly. From the Arab Spring to New York’s ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests, social media and online organising are clearly transforming the way that small, isolated campaigns develop into mass movements in the streets. But how do we separate the genuinely useful aspects of social media from the “data smog” of media hype?
The Woman Who Shot Mussolini By Frances Stonor Saunders Faber and Faber, 2010 375 pages, $32.99 (pb) The Honourable Violet Gibson was not like the other women of the Anglo-Irish elite when it came to Benito Mussolini, the leader of Italy's fascists. While Lady Asquith (wife of the former prime minister) was delighted by Mussolini, and Clementine Churchill (wife of the future prime minister) was awestruck by “one of the most wonderful men of our times”, Violet Gibson aimed a revolver at the fascist dictator in Italy in April 1926 and shot him in the nose.
Entering the darkened space of the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation that held Vietnamese artist Dinh Q Le’s latest installation, Erasure, which finished on September 10, I imagined myself to be stepping into the psychological space of a disturbed memory. The brooding political and cultural climate surrounding the issue of refugees in Australia has involved politicians exploiting the sensitive subject in a game of political football.
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