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Hundreds of people joined the #GlobalNoise protest in Melbourne in October 13. Similar protests took place in hundreds of cities around world during the Global Noise week of action, from October 12 to October 20. Video by The Contraceptive Elbow
Under the banner of the Lock the Gate Alliance, about 100 demonstrators assembled outside Brisbane’s Convention Centre for the Queensland Gas Conference and exhibition on October 9 to protest their exclusion from the Australian Petroleum and Production Association’s (APPEA) inaugural Coal Seam Gas (CSG) Conference and Exhibition. Lock the Gate formally requested that its observers be permitted entry to the conference seminars concerning “social licence to operate”.
Sydney Stop CSG organised a human sign action at Sydney Park, St Peters, as its part of an Australia-wide week of action on this issue. A thousand people participated in this successful event.
Residents of the Nad Ali district staged a demonstration on October 6 against NATO-led troops in Lashkargah, the capital of southern Helmand province, Pajhwok Afghan News said that say. About 100 protesters accused the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers of killing innocent civilians during operations in the district, PAN said. District security was recently handed to Afghan forces. The article said: “[O]ne tribal elder claimed Afghan and foreign forces killed his son during a nighttime raid two days back.
The reality of the Vietnam War as a brutal, imperialist adventure has been carefully omitted from official ceremonies in the United States held to mark the 50th anniversary of the war’s beginning in 1962. Starting this year, the government will implement “a 13-year program to honor and give thanks to a generation of proud Americans who saw our country through one of the most challenging missions we have ever faced”.
Tommy Docherty, the legendary wit and former manager of Manchester United, once quipped after his team had suffered a humiliating defeat, “We lost 4-0 and frankly we were lucky to get the nil”. The Tories in Scotland know just how he felt, for they are so hated that out of 56 MPs they have just one, and they were lucky to get that!
Malalai Joya is an Afghan feminist and democracy activist who organised underground resistance to the Taliban regime and opposes the US-led occupation of her nation. Joya was elected to the Afghan parliament in 2005, and was undemocratically expelled from it for exposing the fundamentalist warlords in the US-backed Hamid Karzai regime. In an October 13 statement, Joya responded to the Taliban's attempted murder of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai for the crime of organising for women's rights. * * *
Indonesia has further intensified its repression of West Papuan independence activists, in an apparent response to independence leaders speaking to foreign media. Eight independence activists from the West Papua National Committee (KNBP) were arrested in Wamena on September 29 and accused of bomb-making and treason, West Papua Media (WPM) said on September 30. The operation involved the notorious Australian funded and trained Detachment 88 anti-terrorist unit.
“Venezuela Elections 'Free, But Not Fair'”, was Germany’s Spiegel Online headline on a piece about Venezuela's October 7 presidential poll, won by socialist President Hugo Chavez by more than 55% of the vote. “Chavismo wins, Venezuela loses”, was The Wall Street Journal's take. Compared with such headlines, the Sydney Morning Herald’s reprint of a New York Times article “Socialist Chavez hangs onto Power in Venezuela” by William Neuman might seem a reasonably balanced report. It is not.
There is something incredibly frustrating about the fact that the Red Hot Chili Peppers played a concert in Israel, ignoring international pleas for them to cancel and observe the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). Admittedly, I wasn’t even quite aware of just how much their decision stung until the day after their appearance at the Pic.Nic festival in Tel Aviv.
Alejandro Fierro from Rebelion spells out five key lessons to be taken from the Venezuela's presidential elections, which were one by President Hugo Chavez with 55% of the vote. It was translated by Tamara Pearson from Venezuela Analysis. * * * 1. Venezuela is an authentic democracy
Nothing quite prepares you for a first visit to Venezuela ― especially when the country is polarised between two very different visions for the future. This is how it was just before the October 7 presidential elections, which socialist President Hugo Chavez won with 55% of the vote in the largest turnout, more than 81%, in Venezuelan history.
There is a statue in revolutionary Havana of Don Quixote, the literary creation of 17th century Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, who fought for his principles, even if he was crazy. I know I’m a bit crazy. With less than a month to go before the US presidential elections, the farce we have been living through for more than a year becomes even more grotesque. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on advertisements for US President Barack Obama or Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Money has never been so awash in an election before.
The petition for certification of Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM) as a national political party was approved by the Commission on Elections in September. With this approval, the fight for a national political party representing the marginalised sectors has escalated to new heights. This is a confirmation of the PLM’s three-and-a-half years of existence and its expansion as a political party with a mass constituency and grassroots chapter-formations.
Independent journalist, political activist and author Antony Loewenstein discusses his new book After Zionism, at Sydney's Gleebooks on October 2. In discussion with Peter Manning and the audience, Loewenstein covers questions of zionism, one or two state solutions, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, Israel as an apartheid state, debates in Palestine, Israel and beyond, the Gaza flotillas, and much more.
Love & Capital: Karl & Jenny Marx & the Birth of a Revolution By Mary Gabriel, Little, Brown & Company 2011 707 pages, $39.99 The spectre of Karl Marx still haunts the capitalist world. Only 11 people attended his funeral in 1883 and the corporate press still loves to dance on his grave, constantly declaring that his ideas are irrelevant. Yet with every economic crisis all eyes return to Marx's masterpiece, Capital, to understand what is really going on in our economic system.

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