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On November 16, police attacked and dismantled the Occupy Melbourne site in Treasury Gardens. Three activists were arrested. At a general assembly in City Square this evening, activists will plan their response. “Any major decisions will be made in a democratic process tonight. Anyone is welcome, including the police commissioner [Ken Lay] and Robert Doyle,” Occupy Melbourne activist Carl Scrase told the Age.
The Australian government is moving to deport a 27 year-old Afghan asylum seeker, Ismail Mirza Jan, from Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in western Sydney to Kabul, Afghanistan. Mirza Jan is an ethnic Hazara who fled Afghanistan after his father was killed by the Taliban for his imputed association with the political group Hezbe-e-Wahdat. At his mother’s urging, he was assisted by people smugglers to escape Afghanistan and has spent the last 11 years trying to seek safety from any country that will provide him protection and a chance at life.
Socialist Worker -- New York City police destroyed the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park in an early-morning surprise attack on November 15. Hundreds of people who were sleeping at the park found themselves surrounded by police with no warning, and then subject to arrest or the violence of the NYPD.
Australian Marriage Equality released the statement below on November 15. * * * Marriage equality advocates are disappointed Prime Minister Julia Gillard has today affirmed her opposition to same-sex marriage and has tried to pre-empt the outcome of Labor’s National Conference by calling for a conscience vote. The Prime Minister’s comments are below and appear in an opinion piece published in the November 15 Age.
The Monash Refugee Action Collective released the statement below on November 14. * * * Three student activists at Monash University are facing a disciplinary hearing for speaking out against mandatory detention.
The Northern Inland Council for the Environment and The Wilderness Society Newcastle released the statement below on November 14. * * * Environment groups have responded to news that the NSW government plans to stop a single coal seam gas pilot production well on the Liverpool Plains with calls for a far more extensive moratorium.
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge gave the speech below in NSW Parliament on November 11. It is republished from his blog. * * * The Occupy movement began with a single protest in New York on September 17, 2011, called “Occupy Wall Street”. This protest targets corporate greed and growing inequality across the globe. The protesters’ slogan “We are the 99%” refers to the vast disparity in wealth, particularly in the United States, between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the country.
Green Left Weekly’s Ted Walker spoke to two young members of the Egyptian Socialist Party, Basem Osman and Amr Bahaa, in Cairo in September. They discussed their experiences during the uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak and the future of Egypt’s revolution. * * * Why did you join the Egyptian Socialist Party?
After two weeks of hard work to obtain signatures and the constitutive documents, on October 27 the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) presented before the Supreme Electoral Tribunal more than 81,000 signatures and other documents supporting the request for the inscription of the political instrument, the Freedom and Refoundation Party (LIBRE).
About 4500 people marched and rallied in Hobart on November 12 against the state government cuts to essential services. Angry health care, education, children's services and other public sector workers, including police, joined with the broader community to chant "no more cuts", drowning out the efforts of Labor Premier Lara Giddings who tried to convince them that the government had no other option. Greens leader and cabinet minister Nick McKim was also booed and heckled as he tried to defend the cuts.
Arlene TextaQueen textaqueen.com When my wife and I were in the supermarket the other day, we got chatting to a kindly white stranger. After a few seconds, the woman asked my wife, "And how long have you been here?"
There was a sea of red when public sector nurses filled Melbourne’s Festival Hall on November 11 to decide on further industrial action. About 50 buses brought nurses from across the state. A swing version of “Danny Boy” played in the background to set a sombre but defiant tone. Messages of support came from Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney and the California Nurses Association.
In the Crossfire: Adventures of a Vietnamese Revolutionary By Ngo Van AK Press, 2011 264 pages, $43.99 Australians know of the Vietnam War from the arrival of Australian troops in 1965 through to their withdrawal in 1973. People in the United States generally date it from the arrival of US advisors through to the inglorious departure of US helicopters in 1975. However, for the Vietnamese the struggle began long before that, from their colonisation by the French in the 19th Century.
On the eve of US President Barack Obama’s visit to mark 60 years of the ANZUS military alliance, PM Julia Gillard is not convincing people that Australia must “stay the course” in Afghanistan. A November 4 Roy Morgan poll, taken six days after an Afghan army trainee killed three Australian soldiers and wounded seven, said 72% of people want troops out, the biggest opposition since the war began 10 years ago. Supporters of the pro-war parties polled closely: 69% of ALP voters and 67% of Liberal-National Party voters want troops out. Among Greens supporters, the figure is 80%.
I originally heard about a proposed occupation in Brisbane when I was following the other global Occupy movements. I was immediately excited and very interested in being involved, as I have never really experienced anything like it before. From my (young) perspective, this was a significant and unique event, unparalleled since the anti-globalisation protests of the ’90s and early 2000s.
The Man on Devil's Island: Alfred Dreyfus & the Affair that Divided France By Ruth Harris Allen Lane, 2011 542 pages, $26.95 (pb) The Dreyfus Affair in France a century ago shows how little has changed. “National security” was on the lips of politicians and military officers as an innocent man from a vilified group was framed for treason in a rigged military court and sent to rot in a prison hell-hole to serve political ends amid war hysteria. Make the name “Alfred Dreyfus” or “David Hicks” and the template fits.

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