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The Save Coburg group has already registered a win. The group was formed at a public meeting of about 60 residents, facilitated by newly elected Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton. The main concern at the meeting was the scale of a development proposed by Moreland Council, which will create two huge corridors of 10-storey buildings on Louisa, Waterfield and Bell Street.
The shale gas industry-commissioned white paper, The Global Anti-Fracking Movement: What it Wants, How it Operates and What’s Next, makes for some very interesting reading. It was produced late last year by Control Risks, an “independent, global risk consultancy specialising in helping organisations manage political, integrity and security risks in complex and hostile environments”.
“France is in Mali for the long haul.” That was the headline of France’s daily newspaper Le Monde on February 4. The newspaper's front page, as well as pages 2 and 3, were devoted to a discussion over “what next” for France in Mali.
For a moment he lost himself in the old, familiar dream. He imagined that he was master of the sky, that the world lay spread out beneath him, inviting him to travel where he willed. It was not the world of his own time that he saw, but the lost world of the dawn -- a rich and living panorama of hills and lakes and forests. He felt bitter envy of his unknown ancestors, who had flown with such freedom over all the earth, and who had let its beauty die. -- Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars Capitalism stands as a death sentinel over planetary life.
Statement on the military intervention in Mali by the Africa Network of the Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt (CADTM), January 29. * * *
President Barack Obama's nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA underscores the administration's drive to assert absolute executive power in the “war on terrorism” without any outside constraints or possibility of review. Brennan was a public defender of the use of torture and "special rendition" under the Bush administration.
It was great to see all big health unions in Victoria hold a joint community rally on February 3 to protest against the state and federal governments’ slashing of health funding in Victoria. But any casual observer couldn’t help feeling that a re-elect Labor strategy was lurking. It was true that all of the secretaries from the key health unions roundly condemned the state Coalition and federal Labor governments for the $107 million cut to be implemented by June this year. The cut will result in more than 300 beds closing, elective surgery delays and job losses in many hospitals.
About 100 people gathered outside the Queensland state government’s executive building on February 1 to voice concerns over the coal industry’s destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. The rally was organised under Greenpeace's Save the Reef campaign. It was supported by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Friends of the Earth and Beyond Zero Emissions.
Sam Wainwright has been a Socialist Alliance councillor on the City of Fremantle council since 2009, when he was elected in the Hilton ward with 33% of the vote. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mel Barnesabout what he has been able to achieve while on council. The first part of this interview “Making Fremantle a 'social justice town'” was published in last week’s issue. *** What are the challenges to working on council?
Important rallies were held across the country in defence of the single parent payment on February 5. After having the welfare safety net in Australia for some time, it seems insane there is a need to protest to protect such rights. But protests like these made welfare a reality in the first place. These protests are defending an unprecedented attack, it's a return to the action that made social welfare possible. To do so, it is important to understand the reason that welfare is under attack in the first place.

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