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Seven years after being launched by the Venezuelan and Cuban governments, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) has become an important voice on the global stage willing to stand up and denounce capitalism. ALBA has grown to include eight Latin American and Caribbean countries (Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The statement below was released by Friends of the Earth International on November 16 and is reprinted from www.foe.org. * * * Friends of the Earth International is inspired and energised by the unfolding of world-historic, transformative events. From the popular uprisings in Northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to the indignados of Europe, from the encampments of the #occupy movement to the student movements in Latin America and Britain, people from all over the world are calling for economic and socio-political justice.
Lt. John Pike casually pepper sprays students

The shocking image of a campus cop at the University of California (UC) Davis coldly circling in front of a line of seated protesters, taking aim and pepper-spraying them at point-blank range has now been seen around the world.

On November 25, a group of around 50 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists protested against Israel's apartheid separation wall near the village of Bil'in in the West Bank. Weekly protests in the village have been taking place for six years. Residents also protested the arrest of Ashraf Abu-Rahma, a young activist from the village, who has been detained for three weeks.

The South Korean government is building a naval base on Jeju Island, officially named the “Island of World Peace”. The base will be one of the largest in the world.

A November 8 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear regulatory authority, has been used by the United States and other Western powers as a pretext for a new round of economic sanctions against Iran and the ramping up of belligerent rhetoric. “The phraseology is ponderous but the message is clear,” BBC diplomatic and defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus explained on November 8. “Iran, the IAEA believes, may well have been working on research for a nuclear bomb to arm one of its long-range missiles.”
The November 20 Spanish election went as the polls had forecast: the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government was massacred, with its lowest vote in 34 years. The right-wing Popular Party got a 186-seat absolute majority in the 350-seat parliament and left and left-nationalist forces emerged stronger, led by the United Left (IU) and Amaiur, the Basque left-nationalist coalition.
A new uprising has exploded in Egypt since police attacked protesters in Tahrir Square on November 19. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Cairo and other cities to demand the end of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) that has governed Egypt since dictator Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February. Dozens of people have been killed by the police and military and much larger numbers injured.
It’s another statistic showing up the criminal absurdity of Plan Colombia and Washington’s “war on drugs.” Last year, according to recent United States Drug Enforcement Administration sources, Peru produced about 325 metric tonnes of pure cocaine, surpassing Colombia’s output of 275 tonnes. For the first time since the early 1990s, Peru has emerged as the world’s leading cocaine producer. Bolivian production is also reportedly up. In its traditional, folk medicinal form, coca is a blessing that dispels ailments such as indigestion and altitude sickness with remarkable efficacy.
United States Undersecretary of State James Steinberg, speaking in Bogota on October 26, claimed the future relationship between Washington and its most favoured client in Latin America, Colombia, would be based on “reciprocity and mutual respect”. The stated purpose of Steinberg’s visit was to “re-launch the agenda” of US-Colombian relations” by initiating a “High-Level Partnership Dialogue”.
After ammonia gas leaked from Orica’s Kooragang Island chemical plant on November 9 and made two people four kilometers away very ill, the Environment Protection Authority ordered the plant to shut down. But because Orica is its major supplier, the Hunter’s coal industry has as little as three to four weeks of explosives in stock. The largest Hunter mining company, Coal & Allied, told the November 22 Newcastle Herald it had cut production due to the explosives shortage.
Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life By Michael Moore Allen Lane, 2011 427 pages, $29.95 (pb) In 1968, the 14-year-old Michael Moore was expelled from the seminary where he was training to become a Catholic priest. His offense had been to ask awkward questions, like why can’t women become priests. As Moore had to be reminded by Church authorities, “you either have to accept things or not”. For Moore, accepting the status quo was not an option, so authority would always be having trouble with Moore.