Leaders of the Congolese community in Australia, at a meeting organised by the Latin American Social Forum in Sydney, explained the crisis the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing after more than 50 years of exploitation by the Western countries and their local allies, and appealed for solidarity from the international socialist movement. See also: Congo: Mineral profits fuel violence.
The statement below was released by a range of Asian left and workers' organisations on December 11. * * * Workers at the Freeport-McMoRan Grasberg mine in West Papua are striking for a wage increase. The strike started on September 15 and it involves nearly 12,000 workers. It was called after the negotiation between the union and the management went into deadlock. The striking workers want to be paid US$7.50 per hour (for grade F1) to $18 per hour (for grade A5) instead of the $2.10 per hour to $3.50 per hour they are currently receiving.
On December 17, activists gathered in Perth’s city centre for a speakout as part of an international day of action for accused Wikileaks' whistleblower Bradley Manning. The action defied attempts by the Perth City Council to close down stalls and take down banners for the action. In May 2010, 24 year old Bradley Manning was arrested over suspicion of leaking secret US military and government documents to Wikileaks.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17) was held in Durban from November 28 to December 11. The statement below was published on December 11 in response to the conference's outcomes by Climate Justice Now!, a network of organisations and movements from across the globe committed to the fight for social, ecological and gender justice.
After a year of ferocious debate, the New South Wales Greens decided on December 4 to retreat from supporting the global pro-Palestine Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. It does not mean the NSW Green Party has abandoned all support for the Palestinian struggle for justice, but it marks a setback for the left inside the Greens and the pro-Palestine movement in Australia.
The statement below was released n December 12 by the Refugee Rights Action Network WA. * * * Today, just a few hours before he was due to be returned to Sri Lanka, a Tamil father's deportation order was stopped by the High Court. On Friday, the Federal Magistrates court dismissed an application for an injunction on the deportation of two Tamil asylum seekers. However on Friday Mr F's case was added to a High Court Challenge to elements of off shore processing that violate procedural fairness.
The strategy of most people when they hear a racist or xenophobic comment is to be silent and hope that it will go away. The problem is, that strategy just tends to embolden the racists. So it has proved with Tony Greig. His constant derogatory remarks about Indians or “the Indians”, as he refers to them, are not only offensive, they are part of a pattern of blatant racism and xenophobia that Greig has shown through his playing and commentating career. See also: Australian cricket's corruption denial syndrome
Police violence has been increasing against the Occupy Melbourne camp, now located at Flagstaff Gardens. There have been a number of extremely questionable police actions in recent days against Occupy Melbourne. These include: the establishment of a 24/7 police presence and operations van next at Flagstaff Gardens; the arrest of a man for swearing; and -- worse of all -- the forced removal of Occupier’s clothing when wearing tent costumes.
In response to the news that the Philadelphia District Attorny's office has dropped its push to apply the death penalty to Mumia Abu-Jumal, framed for the 1981 murder of a police officer, FreeMumia.com released the statement below. * * * South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal: “Now that it is clear that Mumia should never have been on death row in the first place, justice will not be served by relegating him to prison for the rest of his life -- yet another form of death sentence.
What's striking about the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Movement and its popular slogan “We are the 99%” is how much the central demand of the movement resonates with the Black community. African Americans, with few exceptions, are in the bottom 20% of income and wealth. Double digit unemployment is the norm in “good” economic times. Yet the social composition of most OWS occupations (some 10,000 including college campuses) has had few Black faces including in urban areas with large Black populations.
A task of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, now under way in Durban, South Africa, is to extend earlier policy decisions that were limited in scope and only partially implemented. These decisions trace back to the U.N. Convention of 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, which the U.S. refused to join. The Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends in 2012. A fairly general pre-conference mood was captured by a New York Times headline: “Urgent Issues but Low Expectations.”
Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra responds to the 'second intervention' otherwise known as 'Stronger Futures in the NT', a new Commonwealth Government initiative which will maintain key powers introduced through the NT Intervention. This message was screened in Sydney on Saturday December 3, at a meeting hosted by the CFMEU Indigenous Committee, "The Case Against the NT Intervention". The meetings was part of the official Fringe program of the ALP national conference. Dr Gondarra is a Senior Elder from Elcho Island.
Rally for marriage equality outside the ALP national conference, December 3.
The savage austerity in Greece has affected people’s lives in many different ways. The hardship faced by Greek people has been directly reflected in their psychological condition. It is indicative that there has been a big increase in suicides in Greece. In September, the Greek health ministry said suicides in the first five months of 2011 may have risen by 40% compared to the same period of 2010. See also Greece: New gov't follows austerity script
Despite a significant, if partial, win for the marriage equality movement, the right-ward shift of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) continued apace at its recently concluded national conference. The tone of the 10,000-strong demonstration for equal marriage rights for same-sex couples outside the conference in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on December 4 was more angry than celebratory — even though the conference had just voted to accept marriage equality in ALP policy.