Jade Lee, a residents' rights and environmental activist, explains why there is powerful community opposition to the commencement of operation of a rare earth refinery in Malaysia by Lynas, an Australian company. See also: Stop Lynas campaigners challenge company's licence to operate
Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to Montreal's streets on August 22 for the monthly protest march of Quebec's student movement. The movement has organised big marches on the 22nd of each month since March of this year. The march was an impressive display of militancy and determination just 12 days before the September 4 provincial election. Some members of the radical Broad Coalition of the Association for Student Union Solidarity (CLASSE) student association said that 100,000 people took part.
With weary familiarity, Britain’s government deficit — the gap between what it spends, and what it receives from taxes — has been revealed as far worse than anticipated. Last month, the government borrowed £557 million ($846 million). In July last year, it saved £2.5 billion — spending less than it received in taxes. For the financial year since April, its total deficit has risen to £44 bllion, £11.6 billion higher than the same period last year.
The deluded and deranged fantasy world of the woman-hating, anti-choice right wing filled front page headlines in August, thanks to the comments of Missouri Republican representative and Senate candidate, Todd Akin. Asked during an interview on August 19 whether he thinks abortion should be legal in cases of rape, Akin explained: “That's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
In the early evening of August 6, a series of explosions at the Richmond Chevron oil refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area sparked a huge fire that burned for hours. The fire sent a huge black cloud that went for miles over densely populated areas. Tens of thousands of residents were ordered to stay in their homes, with windows and doors closed. Local authorities issued a level three warning, meaning the cloud would cause eye, skin, nose and respiratory sickness.
British-Pakistani author, journalist and activist Tariq Ali chaired a rally outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on August 19. The rally came before WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange's widely publicised speech. Ali also gave two speeches. In the second, he spoke about why it was that Assange and WikiLeaks had found support in Ecuador and Latin America more generally — and highlighted the revolutionary movements that have swept the continent to challenge US corporate domination.
Free Syrian Army (FSA) leader Abdul Salaam types on his Dell laptop while a comrade sitting nearby taps a text message on his iPhone. Eight of his fighters lounge around an apartment living room late one night. Their 150-man brigade, Ahrar Syria (Free People of Syria), even has its own Facebook page. The brigade sports modern techno gadgets, but it lacks sophisticated arms and ammunition. So instead of fighting in the battle of Aleppo, the militants help smuggle refugees and injured fighters from war-torn Syria into Turkey.
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on August 25. * * * The government of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa gave Julia Gillard's Australian government a lesson in dignity on August 16 when, facing British threats to raid its London embassy, it granted asylum to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.
In May 2008, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez endorsed Plan Socialist Guyana (PGS), drawn up by elected representatives from workers in Venezuela's heavy industry sector in Guyana. This plan calls for the introduction of workers' control across the state-owned industries grouped in the Guyana Venezuela Corporation(CGV), as well as a shift away from producing raw materials for multinationals towards Venezuela's development needs and taking the needs of communities and the environment into consideration.
The statement below was released on August 23 by Craig Murray, a former British ambassador and career diplomat, on the Ecuadorean embassy siege in London. It is reprinted from www.wikileaks.org. * * * My name is Craig John Murray. I am a retired British diplomat. I was a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service for over 20 years, and a member of the Senior Management Structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over six years.
The 34,000 employees who work at the Polar Business food production conglomerate in Venezuela have denounced what they describe as a violation of their labour and social rights. The workers accused the company of trying to destabilise the country in the run up to the presidential elections on October 7. Polls show that President Hugo Chavez is far ahead of his right-wing rival, Henrique Capriles Radonski. Chavez is campaigning on a platform of deepening the socialist transformation of Venezuela.
In the aftermath of the terrible Marikana massacre on August 16, many statements have been released by South Africa's left, condemning and explaining the murder of more than 34 miners that day and several others in the weeks previously. Many of these statements can be read at Green Left Weekly's sister publication Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Below is the August 23 statement by the Democratic Left Front, a South African anti-capitalist group formed in January last year. * * *
Burger King is trying to intimidate and silence its workers and the Unite union from criticising the company. The company has applied to the Employment Relations Authority seeking an injunction to stop Unite from organising teach-ins at its stores about how the company is treating its workers. It also wants to shut down the union's blog from reporting on Burger King and its activities. Burger King has told its staff that if any of them speak up at teach-ins outside its stores they face “serious consequences”.
The latest episode of the Green left Report has a focus on Aboriginal rights, with a feature interview with Chris Graham, managing editor of Tracker. The show also includes activist news on Aboriginal boxer Damien Hooper; refugee deportations; equal marriage rallies; Miranda Gibson's tree sit; the super trawler; Quebec's student uprising and from the Resistance conference, plus the return of Carlo Sands and his take on the ALP-Coalition refugee deal.
The attacks on tertiary education around Australia continue to escalate. The University of Wollongong has announced it would reduce the current 11 faculties into five “super-faculties” as part of a five-year plan aimed at putting the university in the “top 1%” of global institutions.