Pulling Strings Izzy n The Profit www.izzyntheprofit.com It’s midnight in midwest Sydney and Izzy n The Profit are whipping a crowd into a full-blown frenzy. The audience is tiny, but the rappers are leaping around the Rooty Hill RSL like they’re ripping the roof off a stadium.
November marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Rage Against the Machine's self-titled debut album. For two decades, the US band has helped activists all over the world ruin their stereo speakers by giving them something truly worthy of cranking up. Rage’s unique sound — a fusion of rap, hardcore punk and metal — is one of the most recognisable sounds in music, up there with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Primus. Lead singer Zack de la Rocha, of Mexican heritage, writes incredible lyrics and raps them just as well. His voice is indispensable in making Rage's sound so recognisable.
The United Nations has warned that world grain reserves have fallen to critically low levels as world food prices have risen to levels close to that of 2008 — a year in which food riots took place in more than 30 countries.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was re-elected in October 7, winning more than 55% of the vote. He stood on a detailed 39-page program to deepen the popular revolution his government is leading, which has already lowered extreme poverty by more than 70%. The plan to push for a socialist transition over Chavez's next six-year term will be debated in communities and popular organisations across Venezuela over the coming months, before it is put to the National Assembly for adoption early next year.
The results of October 21 election for the parliament of Euskadi, the Basque autonomous community within the Spanish state, are expected to confirm the rising popularity of the left nationalist coalition, Euskal Herria Bildu (EH Bildu―Basque Country Assembly). Regardless of whether EH Bildu tops the vote or is pipped by the conservative Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), progressive politics in Euskadi seems certain to record its best ever result.
In 1988, then Labor Prime Minster Bob Hawke famously promised: “By the year 1990, there will be no Australian child living in poverty.” Yet the recently released 2012 Poverty In Australia report by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) reveals that 2,265,000 people, including 575,000 children, are still living below the poverty line in Australia.
It’s just before the turn of the 20th century, and colonial Australia is desperate to forge a “nation” and pull away from self-governing British colonies. So-called native-born Australians are swept up in a wave of nationalism, keen to cut the apron strings of mother England. At the same time, on the southern edge of the Kimberley, another battle for independence is underway. But this one won’t result in a constitution or the formation of a Commonwealth; it will end in rivers of black blood and the deaths of many.
Elders and activists from the Nyoongar Tent Embassy in Perth took to the streets on October 18 in a march to state parliament in defiance of Premier Colin Barnett's attempts to do away with native title. Traffic was stopped as the crowd of 50 people took over St George's Terrace in Perth's CBD and made its way to parliament. The protest delivered a petition putting the Barnett government and the South West Land and Sea Council (SWLSC) “on notice” because they are illegitimate bodies to make policy decisions affecting local Aboriginal people.
A debate about sexism erupted when female prime minister Julia Gillard attacked the opposition leader in Australian parliament for his misogynist attitudes. It was a reminder that even after all the advances in the past 40 years, many women still face high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault, they shoulder the burden of child care and housework, in the workforce they make up most casual and underpaid jobs while earning 70% of what men earn, and battle daily with sexism in culture and relationships.
The Guardian’s description of Australia’s opposition leader Tony Abbott as “neanderthal” is not unreasonable. Misogyny is an Australian blight and a craven reality in political life. But for so many commentators around the world to describe Julia Gillard’s attack on Abbott as a “turning point for Australian women” is absurd.
PM Julia Gillard's sharp serve against opposition leader Tony Abbott’s sexism gave many, especially women, long overdue cause to fist-pump the air and think, “Finally, a point for us.” She threw a verbal hand grenade on top of the simmering indignation that had pent up due to radio broadcaster Alan Jones’ relentless misogyny and the aftermath of the brutal rape and murder of ABC journalist Jill Meagher. The speech rapidly went viral, hit global news and connected with thousands of women fed up with being told to shut up and accept the double standards.
Protesters at a save TAFE rally in Geelong on October 19 chanted, “No cuts, no second term. We all have a right to learn, learn, learn!” Almost 200 people took part in the rally. It coincided with the VECCI business convention at the Mercure Hotel in Geelong, which Premier Ted Baillieu was to speak at. Protesters were angered to learn Baillieu had made his appearance but had left through the back door two hours before the rally began.
Unionist Bob Carnegie was charged with 54 counts of contempt of court on October 17 for taking part in a community protest during a dispute between builders' unions and building firm Abigroup at the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) construction site. It is a sign of things to come for community activists. About 650 workers took strike actions against Abigroup for refusing to meet demands over working conditions, subcontractor terms and an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).
Over the past three years Christian Super, a not-for-profit industry fund, has engaged in dialogue with Australian company Wesfarmers over its sourcing of phosphate rock from Western Sahara. Phosphate is used in its production of agricultural superphosphate. “Western Sahara is a disputed territory where human rights abuses have been reported,” said Tim Macready, chief investment officer for Christian Super. “Companies doing business in this area may unwittingly aggravate the conflict or become complicit to oppression.”
Hundreds of people are expected to take part in Reclaim the Night in Fremantle on October 26. The annual march to stop violence against women has been held in Perth since 1978, the rally. But this year's march and festival will be a first for the port city of Fremantle. The event is being held to demand an end to violence against women at home and on the street, an end to victim blaming, and the implementation of comprehensive consent education in schools and communities.
Channel 9's morning news program showed footage of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard stumbling and falling during her official visit to India over and over again — at least 10 times in succession. Then for “balance” it showed footage of a similar stumble by former PM John Howard (who, unlike Gillard, wasn't wearing high-heeled shoes on grass at the time) — replayed just three times.