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A group of 14 Occupy Sydney activists faced charges at Downing St District Court in Sydney on December 5. The charges arose out of the police eviction of Occupy Sydney's camp in Martin Place on October 23. The cases were "stood over", allowing human rights lawyer Stuart Littlemore to take some of these cases to the High Court in the new year. Occupy activist Tim Davis-Frank quipped "It looks like we'll be occupying the court system for a while!" A solidarity demonstration outside the court involved a few rogue Occupy tents on legs, who were refused admission into court.
Egyptians went to the polls on November 28 in the first round of parliamentary elections since dictator Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February. Large numbers of people turned out to vote despite calls from some revolutionary groups for a boycott of a process seen as a means to legitimise the rule of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). The elections were held amid ongoing protests against the military regime by thousands of pro-democracy activists in Tahrir Square in Cairo and elsewhere across the country.
Cricket is on the verge of a corruption-induced implosion, yet you wouldn’t know in Australia. As far as Australian cricket administrators are concerned, it is the end of the world as they know it and they feel fine. Despite more and more revelations coming out about corruption in cricket, it was still shocking for many to hear former Indian batsman Vinod Kambli claim that something was “amiss” in the semi-final of the 1996 World Cup.
Britain's High Pay Commission has just published a report about the trend in salaries paid to the highest 0.1% of earners, and it seems that someone must have made a terrible mistake. Because, in this time of unprecedented debt and sacrifice, the government's making daily statements such as "in order to keep old age pensions viable, we are insisting from now on that the elderly contribute towards their upkeep, by going on the game for just two days a week”.
“Preliminary results from Congo’s presidential election show incumbent Joseph Kabila leading,” Associated Press reported on December 3. For several reasons, this is not surprising news from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The reasons include election-related violence, in which the police and army were not neutral, and electoral fraud. Violence escalated in the final days before the November 28 poll.
The Occupy protests are part of a global movement that is questioning the basic structures of the political and economic system to an extent not seen since 1968. Whether it will succeed in changing these structures is unclear. But, Roger Burbach says, it has already created something far more powerful: a global shift in consciousness. * * * “Shut It Down”, “No More Shipping for the 1%” and “Death to Capitalism” proclaimed some of the banners near me as I joined thousands of demonstrators who converged on the Port of Oakland on a sunny afternoon in November.
“There is money.” That was the major election campaign slogan of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in October 2009.   It was pompously used by the party’s leader, George Papandreou. PASOK won the election largely on that basis.   By saying that money existed, Papandreou was promising to alleviate some of the suffering caused through years of brutal neoliberal attacks. People believed a PASOK government would redress some of the injustice.   See also
The article below is reprinted from a December 1 post at OccupyOakland.org. For more information on the December 12 shutdown, visit . * * * As of November 27, the Occupy movement in every major West Coast port city: Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy San Diego, Occupy Portland, Occupy Tacoma, Occupy Seattle have joined Occupy Oakland in calling for and organising a coordinated West Coast Port Blockade and Shutdown on December 12.
The Occupy movement in the United States continues to gain strength, despite wide-scale repression. The article below is abridged from a US editorial. * * * The raids, arrests and police violence against the Occupy movement that has been occurring across the United States are about trying to silence a movement giving voice to the accumulated discontent of the working-class majority. They're also about showing who's the boss ― the political and business establishment.
A year has gone by since the results of the climate change negotiations in Cancun were imposed, with the objection of only Bolivia. It’s time to take stock and see where we are now. In Cancun, the developed countries listed their greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges for the 2012-2020 period. The US and Canada said they would reduce emissions by 3% based on 1990 levels, the European Union between 20% and 30%, Japan 25%, and Russia from 15% to 25%.
Cuadrilla Resources, which is exploring for natural shale gas in north-west England, has admitted its use of the notorious process of “fracking” was responsible for earthquakes in the region this year, BusinessInsider.com said on November 7. Fracking is a dangerous process involving fracturing rock with pressurised liquid. Some of the health and environmental dangers of the process were revealed by the film Gasland, about the impact of the practice in the United States.
The World Bank Out of Climate Finance coalition issued the statement below on December 1 from Durban, South Africa. * * * Today, 163 civil society organisations from 39 countries released a letter exposing an attempt led by the US, Britain and Japan to turn the Green Climate Fund into a “Greedy Corporate Fund” at UN climate talks in South Africa. The Green Climate Fund was created to support people in developing countries — people who are the most affected by the climate crisis but are the least responsible for it.
Israeli officials suspect that France-based megabank BNP Parisbas has pulled out of Israel due to pressure from Palestine solidarity groups, even though the bank itself has denied this. Israeli paper Haaretz reported on 24 November: “The powers that be are furious at BNP Paribas for shuttering its operations in Israel, and suspect it is acting due to Arab and anti-Israeli pressure in France, the bank’s home base.
Despite the crushing victory of incumbent Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the October 23 Argentine presidential elections, the campaign and results also demonstrated that an important social and political left alternative continues to exist. The unpredictable consequences of the global economic crisis and the reaction by Cristina’s mixed social base to future policy decisions may prove important challenges to her new government.
Because there is a better way A safer way to touch and cradle humanity Because understanding starts with understanding And understanding that is just the start. Because caring is intellectual Not the ineffectual nonsense demeaned by Right-wing amoral propagandering Meandering fiscal drivel driven by market forces Apocalyptic horses Pounding down and out at the worst of our fears. I'm a socialist because there are always years Ready for a redder dawn Ears born to listen to wider concerns Yearning to sort it out. Because caring means fighting back

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