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Why Marx Was Right By Terry Eagleton Yale University Press, 2011 272 pp., $32.95 In August, the Wall Street Journal website ran a video of an interview with Nouriel Roubini as its top story under the headline, "Roubini: Marx was Right." Roubini is a mainstream economist who achieved fame by predicting the 2008 financial collapse, earning himself the nickname "Dr. Doom" among the Wall Street speculators.
Dirty Money: The True Cost of Australia’s Mineral Boom By Matthew Benns William Heinemann, 2011, 296 pages, $34.95 (pb) Australian mining companies hand over $10 million a year in political donations to state and federal political parties. They don’t expect to be bitten on the hand by those they are feeding, as the Rudd Labor government did with its proposed mining super profits tax. Time for the big stick of a fear-mongering $22 million campaign to remind the government who really rules in Australia.
Hamza Kashgari, a Saudi Arabian newspaper columnist, was recently extradited from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia, where he had been arrested while trying to flee to New Zealand. An arrest warrant was issued in Saudi Arabia after Kashgari posted three twitter comments deemed to be insulting to the prophet Mohammed. Kashgari fled the country. The three mild posts included lines such as: "I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you."
Climate action group No Planet B released the statement below on February 15. * * * Two people and a banner are suspended from the side of Black Mountain Tower in Canberra as part of a global day of action for Tasmania’s native forests threatened by logging giant Ta Ann.
The statement below was released by the Refugee Action Collective Victoria on February 14. *** As tensions once again rise at MITA (Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation) in Broadmeadows, an Iranian man, aged 28, stitched his lips up this morning (Monday) as a sign of desperation. He has been detained for 11 months.
Hundreds marched in Redfern on February 14 to commemorate the killing of T J Hickey during a police pursuit eight years ago and to protest all Aboriginal deaths in custody. There have been more than 400 Aboriginal deaths in custody since 1980 . That's one death in custody a month, or more than 13 deaths a year. Less than a third of the 339 recommendations handed down in 1991 by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody have been implemented.
Pride Of The Underdog Deeder Zaman Modulor, 2011 www.deederzaman.com When Deeder Zaman was at the height of his fame as the vocalist for British dance rock group Asian Dub Foundation (ADF), he hung up his mike to become a full-time activist. So why did he swap such a high-profile, influential position for low-profile work with the National Civil Rights Movement, the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, the Miscarriages Of Justice Organisation and the Children with Aids Charity?
The Support Assange and WikiLeaks coalition released the statement below on February 14. * * * Linda Pearson, spokesperson for the Support Assange & WikiLeaks Coalition, announced today that Jennifer Robinson, Julian Assange’s principal lawyer, will attend a public forum at 6pm on Friday, 17 February at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Member countries of Latin America’s alternative integration bloc, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), met for its 11th summit in Caracas on February 4 and 5 to discuss advancing the organisation. ALBA is made up of the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. Formed in 2004, ALBA seeks to develop trade on the basis of solidarity and cooperation.
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim & Laura Gilbie The self-immolation of five activists in January briefly brought international attention to growing unrest in Morocco, evidenced by the mass demonstrations that began a year ago. It is in the capital, however, where political rallies have become something of a permanent fixture. Three times a week, the well-tended boulevards of the Moroccan capital are overrun with dissatisfied tertiary graduates, demanding jobs. The rallies can last for up to six hours.
Industry groups, building industry spokespeople and opposition politicians have made full use of the Senate inquiry into proposed laws to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). They’ve claimed that the Gillard government’s proposed changes will turn the laws against construction workers into a “toothless tiger”.
Australian journalist Austin Mackell, United States student Derek Ludovici, translator Aliya Alwi and veteran union activist Kamal al-Fayyumi were detained by the police in Mahalla El-Kubra, Egypt on February 11 while trying to interview workers in the city. Sign a petition calling for their release here.
Supporters of a proposed deal between Nyoongar people and the WA state government say that it has the potential to “close the gap” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Yet opponents say the deal is no good. The state government has proposed a deal that would put $60 million a year for 10 years into a trust fund . After the 10 years, the government says this “future fund”, would be used to develop “economic opportunities” for Aboriginal people.
The Occupy movement in the US may have disappeared from media headlines. But it has not disappeared from the streets of many US cities. However, dropping attendances and ongoing police repression have caused problems for the movement. Inspired by protests in the Arab world and Europe, the wave of occupations began in September last year. Thousands gathered in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street in New York to protest against the system that promotes inequality and undemocratic rule by the super-rich — the “1%”. Similar protest sites sprang up across the US and many other countries.
A Buddhist monk has set himself on fire in what is believed to have been a protest for Tibetan independence, the BBC said on February 9. The immolation follows a series of pro-independence protests in Sichuan, an ethnically Tibetan region of southwest China, which is outside of the Tibetan autonomous region. The incident was said to be the 20th self-immolation by Tibetan Buddhists since 2011.
Greek unions launched a two-day general strike on February 10 against new extreme austerity measures the “troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union is seeking to impose on the southern European nation. The deal will give Greece a new “bail-out” worth 130 billion euros (A$161 billion) in return for fresh spending cuts. Amid ongoing street protests and building occupations, the Greek cabinet approved the deal on February 10. Six cabinet members resigned in protest. Greek parliament was scheduled to vote on the deal on the evening of February 12.

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