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Cajamarca, a town with tragic associations in Peruvian history, is the setting of another devastating imperialist onslaught. In 1532, a band of Spanish conquistadores ambushed the Inca king Atahualpa in the central plaza of this Andean town. The brutal spirit of conquista is alive and well in contemporary Cajamarca, in the form of the US-based Newmont mining corporation, an outfit with a slick PR machine and a very dirty environmental and human rights track record.
Film: Hunger ― A harrowing, award-winning drama on the final months of Irish republican prisoner Bobby Sands, as he went on hunger strike to protest the treatment of political prisoners by British prison guards. SBS2, Wed Feb 8, 9.35pm.
Do you remember what happened on February 2 last year? On that day, one year ago, Tahrir Square was attacked by thugs on camels, horses and donkeys. These clashes, which lasted for hours and were watched live on TV all over the world, came to be known as the Camel Battle. It was an unforgettable day in Egypt's 18 days of protests that ended with the toppling of Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011.
From January 24-29, the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre was again the staging ground for the World Social Forum (WSF), an annual international gathering of anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist activists. Among the various movements present, one of the most visible was Brazil's Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST), possibly the largest social movement in Latin America.
Truth and accuracy have never been the highest priorities for the mainstream media. But hysteria and misrepresentation of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy protest in Canberra on January 26 have been taken to an absurd level. Terms like “mob violence”, “thuggery” and “riot” have been used by journalists and politicians to describe a protest where no one was injured, no property was damaged and no one was arrested.
In an historic decision, Fair Work Australia (FWA) awarded pay rises of 19-41% to 150,000 mostly female workers in the social and community services sector (SACS) on February 1. It was the most important equal pay case since equal pay for work of equal value was formally recognised in 1972. The decision awards an extra 4% rise in loadings, designed to recognise impediments to bargaining in the industry. Workers will also be entitled to any wage review by FWA each year. The pay rises are effective from December 1, to be phased in over eight years.
Activists from Western Australia’s Refugee Rights Action Network traveled more than 800 kilometres from Perth to the remote Leonora detention centre over January 27-29. The journey sought to draw attention to the 160 unaccompanied minors locked up in the detention centre. Immigration minister Chris Bowen had previously promised that all children would be moved out of detention centres by June last year.  
Well, it is only February and one thing is certain: a federal election doesn’t have to be called until as late as November 2013, but the Tony Abbott-led Coalition smells blood and, as far as they are concerned, they are in election mode. This means if you are dark-skinned, downtrodden or desperate, you had better look out. You are right in the Coalition’s firing line, and just behind them is a desperate Labor government (led, for now, by Julia Gillard) eager to play the futile game of blunting attacks from the right by joining in.
In the week after the January 26 Aboriginal Tent Embassy anniversary celebrations and protests, the mainstream media poured out a continuous stream of negative, scathing commentary on the Tent Embassy and the people that defended it. Ignoring the thousands of people gathered for three days to recognise the achievements of the Tent Embassy and protest against ongoing attacks to Aboriginal people today, the corporate media ran stories of an “angry mob” that surrounded a Canberra restaurant and “besieged” Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Liberal leader Tony Abbott.
Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Ruthlessly Targets Children Joel Bakan Random House, 2011 277 pages Parents who read Joel Bakan's new book, Childhood Under Siege, may find themselves un-liking Facebook. In it, the law professor ― whose previous book The Corporation was made into Canada's biggest-grossing documentary ― describes the effect of the social media giant's applications on his 13-year-old daughter.
Five anti-nuclear activists travelled from Australia to attend the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World held in the Japanese port city of Yokohama, over January 14–15. The conference was attended by 11,500 people over the two days including 100 international participants from 30 countries.
Recent national figures published by the Sydney Morning Herald show the rate of youth unemployment in Australia is well above the national average, hitting 17.3%. The figure is more than triple national unemployment, which stood at 5.2% in December. Almost one in five people aged 15 to 19 and not studying are out of work.