Around 200 people turned out for the February 13 protest in Casula to tell Barry O’Farrell to "lock the state" on coal seam gas companies. The protest was initiated by Socialist Alliance and Greens activists in Western Sydney. The breadth of growing anger against the CSG industry was on display through the number of groups that supported and spoke at the rally. This included representatives from the Scenic Hills Association, SOS Rivers, NSW Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham as well as Stop CSG groups from St Peters, Ingleburn, Blacktown, Blue Mountains and Illawarra,
Protesters gathered in Redfern on February 14, to mark the ninth anniversary of the death of the 17-year-old Aboriginal youth TJ Hickey and repeat the call for an inquest into his death. In 2005, police pursued Hickey causing him be thrown off his bike and land on a spiked fence.
Guess who thinks the Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) is working well? Sorry, but there's no prize if you guessed right. “The MRRT was designed as a tax on super profits on the mining industry and importantly the tax is actually operating as it was physically designed," mining giant Rio Tinto's new chief executive Sam Walsh told AAP. Err, yes, very well designed — for some — by a Gillard government fresh from the ALP leadership coup, with more than a little help from the biggest mining companies.
Parliamentary leader of the far-right Dutch Freedom Party, Geert Wilders, is visiting Australia this week. He is speaking at public meetings in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Wilders makes use of a tightly rehearsed script focusing on opposition to Islam which he describes as a "totalitarian ideology" to cover for his racist and fascist outlook.
Verbal Reality Volume One Provocalz Native Sun / Hustle Hard, 2012 $15 www.provocalz.bigcartel.com "Every time you see in the media someone's been killed by police it always just happens to be an Aboriginal," says radical rapper Provocalz. It's 9.30 on a Saturday morning and the south-west Sydney spitter is telling Green Left why he made his hard-hitting horrorcore track, "Cop Shot".
At first it appeared to be another too common American story. A worker with a grievance goes on a deadly shooting spree, targeting his bosses and coworkers. It quickly turned out that the killer was a former officer of the Los Angeles Police Department, who vowed to shoot as many of his former officers as he can, as well as their family members. The LAPD says the killer is Christopher Dorner, who shot and killed a young woman who was the daughter of a former police captain, as well as her fiance. He then ambushed a police car, killing one officer and wounding another.
The British government's controversial back-to-work programmes lay in tatters after the Court of Appeal ruled their regulations unlawful on February 12. Three judges unanimously ruled that the regulations which most of the schemes have been created must be quashed. The ruling is a huge setback for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) whose flagship reforms have been beset with problems from the beginning, with campaigners and unions accusing ministers of effectively introducing forced labour.
Comedian and socialist Mark Steel addressed a protest against cuts and privitisation at Sussex University on February 12. Students at Sussex University have been occupying the university's conference centre since February 6 against the university's outsourcing of key services.
As the fossil fuel lobby tells it, natural gas — in chemical terms, almost all methane — is clean and green. Burn it in a modern power plant, and per unit of electricity produced, only about half as much carbon dioxide is sent up the exhaust stack compared to good-quality coal. That’s like saying you’re making progress if you get off heroin onto amphetamines. Natural gas is still a fossil fuel. Even if the sums worked the way the gas corporations suggest, a wholesale switch to gas would put off climate disaster only by a few decades.
Lionel Bopage, 68, was jailed twice and tortured for his roll as a former leader of a mass liberation movement in Sri Lanka in the 1970s and 1980s, called the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People's Liberation Front). He rose to the position of general secretary of the JVP but resigned from the group in 1984 over a number of differences, including his principled support for the right of national self-determination for the Tamil people. He was eventually forced into political exile together with his wife, Chitra.