931

A team of progressive activists has formed an independent “Housing Action” ticket to run in the September 8 council elections in the City of Sydney. The united platform “Decent housing is a human right” is a further step towards practical unity between independent socialists and members of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) and the Socialist Allliance (SA). The team has come together to challenge City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s pro-corporate development stance. It is also championing public housing and human rights over pro-development and big business.
The world's super-rich have hidden between US$21 trillion and US$32 trillion of their wealth in various tax havens around the world, according to , a collection of tax experts and economists advocating the end of secrecy and tax evasion.
A nuclear war using as few as 100 weapons would disrupt the global climate and agricultural production so severely that the lives of more than a billion people would be at risk, according to research released in April by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and its Australian affiliate, the Medical Association for Prevention of War.
Nuclear fission is an innately dangerous process – and the nuclear industry’s record of handling the dangers has been well short of perfect. Traditionally, that’s been enough for the environment movement to reject nuclear energy. Climate change, though, subjects this established position to an important challenge. The final death toll from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, by some estimates, could reach hundreds of thousands. But a full-scale climate disaster could kill most of humanity − thousands of millions of people.
Australia’s spy agencies are seeking to drastically expand their powers to spy on Australian citizens online and through social media. They are also hoping to collect and keep the phone and internet data of all individuals for two years. Some of the proposals appear to be broad enough to allow whistleblowing groups like WikiLeaks to be directly targeted.
A report published on July 23 calls for Australia to institute a moratorium on new fossil fuel developments as the centrepiece of a global campaign to phase out fossil fuels. Hundreds attended the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane meetings to launch the latest report from climate research group Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), Laggard to Leader: How Australia Can Lead the World to Zero Carbon Prosperity.
About 200 people packed Petersham Town Hall in Sydney's inner west on July 25 for a night of trivia and fundraising organised by Stop Coal Seam Gas Sydney. The group, which has campaigned for 20 months against exploratory CSG drilling planned for St Peters, had a recent victory when Dart Energy said it would not go ahead with drilling in the suburb.
The obvious question posed by Labor's recent attacks on the Greens for being dangerous extremists is: who the hell keeps asking Paul Howes for his opinion?
Activists in Melbourne have won a big victory for the right to political protest after the charges against the Max Brenner 16 were dismissed on July 23. The court trial lasted for 17 days in May. The 16 Palestine solidarity activists had been arrested and charged over a protest outside the Max Brenner chocolate shop in QV Square, Melbourne in July last year. The protest was part of the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and the occupation of Palestine.
The ALP has narrowly held on to the Victorian seat of Melbourne despite a swing to the Greens in the July 21 by-election. Greens candidate Cathy Oke won the highest primary vote, getting 36.5% to ALP candidate Jennifer Kanis’ 33.4%. But distribution of preferences gave the ALP 52% and the Greens 48%. The Greens’ vote increased by 4.6%. The Liberals did not run in the election, although a Liberal Party member running as an independent won 4.7% of the primary vote.
For two weeks “Nothing in, Nothing out” was the mantra on the picket as the trucks were turned away at the Coles warehouse in Somerton, Melbourne. Angered by the fact that workers for Coles warehouses in other states were receiving better working conditions, even though they were doing the same job, the National Union of Workers (NUW) members at the Coles Somerton warehouse took action. Coles owns the warehouse, but management is outsourced to Toll Logistics. Workers are paid below industry standards despite both companies making obscene profits.
Two of the world's largest consultancy firms, Deloitte and KPMG, have in South Australia's health system to save $83 million.
The antics of Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer have served as a useful foil for Labor. They're like caricature capitalists lifted from a comic book. Attacking them has given Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan the opportunity to make up for their earlier capitulation on the Rudd mining tax with a bit of populist rhetoric, while letting BHP and Rio Tinto just get on with it.
A 100 second compilation on the question 'what does socialism mean to you?' from participants at the Resistance national conference in Adelaide, held from July 20 until July 22. To get involved in the socialist youth group Resistance, visit resistance.org.au. Film by Green Left TV. Visit GreenLeftTV.org.au, subscribe on YouTube, 'like' on facebook at facebook.com/user/GreenLeftTV, contact at GreenLeftTV@gmail.com

A small action in Sydney on July 27 outside the NSW Corrections Department - called by the Indigenous Social Justice Association - marked the latest Aboriginal death in custody: Peter Clarke who died in the Alice Springs on April 3, 2012. The rally was addressed by Ray Jackson (ISJA), Raul Bassi (ISJA), Diane Fieldes (Socialist Alternative) and Rachel Evans (Socialist Alliance). The ISJA has promised to hold a protest to make every Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal death in police or prison custody in Australia.

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