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A small but vocal group of people gathered outside the Land and Environment Court in Sydney on August 20 to protest against Rio Tinto’s plans to extend its Mount Thorley Warkworth coalmine near Bulga, in Singleton Shire in the NSW Hunter Valley. The protesters held banners saying “Don’t bugger Bulga”, “Stop coal and gas destroying NSW” and “Save the Warkworth Sands Woodlands”, while they chanted slogans such as “Rack off Rio Tinto.”
OK, nobody panic or anything, but it seems another key plank in Gina Rinehart's plot to destroy the Earth has been given the green light. Gina Rinehart's multibillion-dollar Alpha coal mine and rail project in central Queensland has been granted federal government approval, ABC.net.au said on August 23.
The personal saga of WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has been used to overshadow the ground-breaking journalism of WikiLeaks in exposing the secrets of governments and corporations around the world.
Smokey’s Haunt Urthboy Elefant Traks Out October 12 Touring from August 30 Has the internet turned activists into "slacktivists"? It's just one of the questions posed on Smokey’s Haunt, the new album by the persistently provocative Urthboy. "Kony 2012 is a perfect example," the Australian hip hop pioneer tells Green Left. The online Kony campaign was seen by millions, but has so far failed in its goal to arrest Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony.
Occupy La Trobe, formed by La Trobe University students to fight cuts proposed to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Services (HUSS), published the statement below from the Stop the HUSS Cuts Collective on August 23. * * *
More than 2 million square kilometres of Arctic ice that should be there, is not. A few years ago, United Nations models predicted climate change would lead to ice-free Arctic summers within 100 years. Now, some scientists say it could melt away completely within the next few 100 weeks. And there is next to no chance it will recover. For climate solutions plan, see: The Socialist Alliance 10-point climate action plan
In an act as appropriate as it is overdue, the Australian parliament began debating issuing an official state apology on August 20 to the country's late, great sprinter Peter Norman. Norman won the 200-meter silver medal at the 1968 Olympics, but that is not why he is either remembered or owed apologies.
Go Back To Where You Came From Series Two SBS One From Tuesday, August 28, at 8.30pm Catherine Deveny wasn’t quite sure what she would be in for when she agreed to appear in the second series of SBS’s hit refugee reality TV show, Go Back To Where You Came From. But it seems everyone on the show, which makes Australians re-trace the steps of asylum seekers fleeing war zones, was equally wary of her. It was only when the left-wing author, comic and Green Left fundraiser turned up for filming that she found out who her co-stars were.
Organisers of an Adelaide rally to support WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released the statement below on August 22. * * * Supporters of Julian Assange have organised a protest today (Wednesday, 21st August) at 5pm at Parliament House. The rally is one of many protests that have already taken place around Australia after the decision of the UK government to deny Julian Assange safe passage to Ecuador.
The Socialist Alliance NSW released the statement below on August 21. * * * “Parramatta City Council has a civic responsibility to respond urgently to the report from the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) that the lack of affordable housing has reached crisis levels”, said Kerryn Williams, a Socialist Alliance candidate for the Woodville ward in the Parramatta council election.
One hundred and fifty people attended a lively conference held over August 18-19 titled “Fidel in the 21st century: his contribution and ideas for a better world”. The event examined the inspiring life and historic political contribution of former Cuban President Fidel Castro. The conference was organised by the Latin America Social Forum (LASF), the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society, the Cuba Solidarity Committee (Western Suburbs), and the Free the Cuba Five Committee, with the support of the Cuban Embassy and the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).
The Coal Terminal Action Group hosted a public forum on August 21, with several expert speakers opposing the proposed fourth coal loader for Newcastle, known as the “T4”. Georgina Woods, senior climate campaigner with Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said T4 was not “just another coal terminal … It is part of a long process of continual expansion that will more than double coal exports with an extra 120 million tonnes and 107 extra trains per day and destroy an internationally listed wetlands.
Residents of Fullerton Cove, on the outskirts of Newcastle, set up a blockade on Monday 20 August to prevent Dart Energy from drilling two coal seam gas pilot wells that are currently under construction.
Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on August 22. * * * The fire last week that consumed 1600 hectares of bush around Bulli Tops, forced the F6 to close, and threatened homes at Darkes Forest also burned right through one of the approved (now lapsed) CSG well sites in the northern Illawarra.
About 200 people rallied against La Trobe University executives’ massive cuts to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences on August 22. Protesters occupied the Agora at La Trobe’s Bundoora campus in support of a hunger strike against the cuts. They occupied the campus overnight. The cuts will result in hundreds of subjects being slashed, entire areas of study being abolished and at least 41 job losses. A mass meeting of staff and students in July passed a resolution demanding all cuts be withdrawn.
What is solidarity? It is a term used frequently on the left, and one that demands attention. Solidarity refers to an act or expression of mutual support among a group of people. However, capitalism can narrow the parameters of solidarity and weaken its collective power to acts of individualism.

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