Venezuelans went to the polls for the second time this year on December 16, and delivered another overwhelming victory to President Hugo Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Chavez is leading a process of social change, known as the Bolivarian revolution, that has halved poverty in the oil-rich nation and promoted participatory democracy. After presidential elections returned Chavez with more than 55% of the vote, the PSUV increased its majority of state governorships and legislatures.
Joint statement by Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative. *** The National Executives of the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative agreed on December 13 to terms under which Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly will endorse and participate the Marxism 2013 conference to be held in Melbourne, March 28-April 1. This first significant national co-operation between our two organisations is a product of discussions that began between the two organisations on November 4 to explore the possibility of closer collaboration and unity.
Beyond Zero Emissions released this statement on December 17. *** “Fracking” to tap unconventional gas resources could destroy the much-hyped “clean coal” carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
Australian gas company Santos have recently commenced commercial drilling for shale gas in the Cooper Basin in Moomba, South Australia. Like coal seam gas, shale gas is a form of unconventional gas that requires "fracking" to release it. The Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN) held a protest on December 14 in front of Christmas shoppers in Adelaide's Rundle Mall, before marching to Santos HQ. Their message to the SA state government was: "No to unconventional gas - Yes to renewables". The text below is a speech given at the protest by CLEAN activist Gemma Weedall. ***
Sibylle Kaczorek and Jody Betzien, from the Australian Socialist Alliance, interviewed Yiannis Bournous in Athens. Yiannis is a leading activst in the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza), Greek's rapidly growing left party.
The Tamil Refugee Council released this statement on December 14. *** The Tamil Refugee Council (TRC) strongly rejects the claim by the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia that Tamils in Australia have terrorist connections. TRC spokesman, Mal Bala, said the high commissioner Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, had cast unjust and unproven aspersions upon many groups that have spoken out against the murder and persecution of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Resistance released this statement on December 14. *** The Sydney University (USYD) Resistance club condemns the attack by the Australian on the university’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies for its decision to uphold a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
The statement below was released by students charged over protests against cuts at Melbourne's La Trobe University. * * * Three La Trobe students are under threat of expulsion from the university for their participation in a campaign to stop major cuts in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HUSS) department.
Mick Armstrong, a national leader of Socialist Alternative, has written the response below to Socialist Alliance national co-convenor Peter Boyle's article What politics to unite Australia's left?. The two organisations are holding discussions over the possibility of greater unity, and released a joint statement on Socialist Alliance andorsing and taking part in Marxism 2013.