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The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks sits on the precipice. With it sits freedom of expression and freedom of the press — two fundamental human rights encapsulated in the charter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. WikiLeaks is under a series of attacks and could be forced to close some time next year if it is unable to break a United States-backed financial blockade, editor-in-chief Julian Assange said on October 24.
Justice for West Papua I write to express my deep distress at the recent brutal attacks and killings by the Indonesian military in West Papua. While the Australian government and people should strive for good relations with Indonesia, this should not at the expense of Australia covering up, excusing, condoning or abetting human rights violations and repression in West Papua. The Indonesian army has a long, sordid history of abuses and other appalling actions in East Timor and elsewhere and is still pursuing these same brutal, oppressive policies in West Papua.
Thousands of palm oil workers in the Puerto Wilches district, Colombia, were on general strike on October 27. The workers were defending collective bargaining and opposing the spread of casualisation and precarious work on palm oil farms. In early August, a major company, Palmas Oleaginosas Bucarelia, refused to enter into meaningful negotiations with the agricultural workers’ union Sintrainagro for the renewal of the collective agreement. Bucarelia instead proposed to cut benefits, restrict union activity on the farm and increase precarious work through more use of outsourced labour.
The Party of Wall Street has ruled unchallenged in the United States for far too long. It has totally dominated the policies of presidents over at least four decades (if not longer). It has legally corrupted Congress via the craven dependency of politicians in both parties upon its money and upon access to the mainstream media it controls.
A 50% cut of part of Greece’s debt was decided on by a summit of European leaders on October 26. The deal will entail long-term austerity measures being enforced on the Greek people. Representatives of the “troika” (the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — IMF) will be permanently placed in all Greek ministries to supervise how things are run. If they manage to impose it on Greece, this new form of occupation will likely spread to other countries. See also
Amid the worldwide media coverage of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s death, a historic development in another conflict went largely unnoticed. After more than 40 years of a military campaign against the Spanish state, the Basque armed group ETA announced a permanent end to its use of violence in the struggle for an independent and socialist Basque state. This follows previous announcements from the group, declaring a desire to pursue independence for the Basque Country through peaceful measures.
Jess Moore from Stop CSG Illawarra addressed Occupy Sydney at Martin Place on October 22. Moore, who is also a member of the Socialist Alliance, was awared the NSW Nature Conservation Council's Rising Star award for "the most outstanding environmental effort of an individual under 30". Her speech appears below. * * * To increase the wealth of the already astoundingly wealthy, the tiny few, the planet that sustains all life is being destroyed. As the world’s leading climatologist James Hansen said, this is our last chance to save humanity.
Warren Smith, assistant secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, addressed Occupy Sydney at Martin Place on October 22. His speech appears below. * * * Some people have been asking why the Maritime Union of Australia is here today, why we’ve been here since day one, why we have given the support and solidarity that we have, and will continue to give, to this wonderful movement right around Australia and right around the world.
Support for the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement that has swept more than 100 cities in the United States is rising among current and former members of the US military. The support from former and current soldiers for the Occupy movement against corporate greed was brought into the spotlight when Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull after being shot in the head by a tear gas canister fired by Oakland police on October 25.
In what conservative columnists are describing as a martyrdom for Christian lefties, the iconic “jeans and T-shirt” canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Reverend Rev Dr Giles Fraser, has resigned in protest as the cathedral moves to evict Occupy London from its steps. Fraser, a lecturer in philosophy at Wadham College, Oxford, has written for a number of radical newspapers including the Socialist Worker. Fraser advocates for marriage equality and understands the Christian message to mean solidarity with the oppressed.
Australian police in two cities now have decided to follow in the footsteps of their counterparts in the US and Europe and forcibly break up peaceful Occupy protests. But rather than deter this broad non-partisan movement of the 99%, it is helping it grow and re-occupy.
The Araluen Spirit crew took strong action on Thursday 27 October in defence of Australian shipping jobs. At the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) National Council on 27 October, the Council resolved the following in support of the Araluen Spirit crew: National Council Resolution on Araluen Spirit Stoppage
About 40 people gathered on the outskirts of Villawood detention centre for a nighttime vigil on October 26 to commemorate the death of a Tamil refugee detainee who had taken his own life that morning. The gathering included refugee activists, members of the Tamil community and friends of Daya Jayasakara, or “Shooty”, as he was known. Shooty had been in detention for two years after arriving in Australia by boat seeking asylum. He had been granted refugee status several months earlier and was waiting for ASIO security clearance.
The Caroona Coal Action Group released the statement below on October 27. * * * Landowners from communities across the Liverpool Plains have been forced to take direct action against the mining giant Santos to stop it pushing ahead with ‘pilot production’ of coal seam gas (CSG) before the potential risks to the region’s iconic water systems are known.
Bad as Me Tom Waits ANTI- Records www.tomwaits.com Listen to the album here Tom Waits, the 61-year-old veteran musical maverick, released his first album of entirely new music in seven years on October 25. The 17th studio album by famously rough-voiced California-based singer, who was inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame by Neil Young this year, continues his obsession with telling tales from the wrong side of the tracks.

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