The gulf between the science and the politics of climate change has never been wider. Consider the Arctic ice cap, which has lost half its volume in the five years from 2005. Experts say the Arctic ice cap is now in a “death spiral”. The region is warming two to four times faster than the global average.
After a week of being subjected to headache-inducing politicians posturing and spinning about the Great Budget Deficit, all that was needed was that speech from Richest-Australian-and-Walking-ATM Gina Rinehart. Billionaire Numero Uno was only outdone by Billionaire-Would-Be-PM Clive Palmer, who successfully outflanked, on Q&A, Labor and Liberals from the left on the treatment of refugees.
The Country Liberal (CLP) government of the Northern Territory announced sweeping new police powers on May 10 that will, in effect, criminalise drinking across the NT. Police will be able to issue “alcohol protection orders” to anybody charged with an alcohol-related offence that carries a minimum sentence of six months in prison. The orders will be issued for three months at a time (up to 12 months in total), and prevent the person from consuming alcohol or being on licensed premises.
The fight against homophobia is arguably the civil rights issue of our times. It is increasingly unacceptable that, in 2013, society continues to discriminate against people based on their sexuality. This is most obviously demonstrated by the continued refusal to grant equal marriage rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LBGTI) people.
“I’m in Villawood!” Jock Palfreeman exclaimed, with the cheerful exuberance he displayed throughout an interview conducted through glass and wire-mesh partitions in the gloomy surroundings of the visiting room of Sofia central prison. He told Green Left Weekly that it was the plight of refugees detained in Sydney's Villawood detention centre that first radicalised him. His first protest, as a high school student in Sydney, was a blockade of the offices of Villawood’s then operator Australasian Correctional Management on May Day in 2002.
The other day, I stood outside the strangely silent building where I began life as a journalist. It is no longer the human warren that was Consolidated Press in Sydney, though ghosts still drink at the King's Head pub nearby. As a cadet reporter, I might have walked on to the set of Lewis Milestone's The Front Page. Men in red braces did shout, "Hold the front page", and tilt back their felt hats and talk rapidly with a roll-your-own attached indefinitely to their lower lip. You could feel the presses rumbling beneath and smell the ink.
Newcastle Trades Hall Council (NTHC) and Lock The Gate released this statement on May 14. *** The Lock The Gate Alliance looks forward to working with the Newcastle Trades Hall Council, after the peak union body declared it is totally opposed to further coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and drilling in the Hunter Valley. The motion passed by the Council cites risks to the environment and the community, and concerns for agricultural lands and townships, and supports the NTHC working closely with groups opposing CSG until the unconventional gas mining practice is proven safe.
About 100 people packed into the Gaelic Club on May 10 for the Politics in the Pub forum: "Venezuela — A New Democracy or a Command Capitalist State?" Speakers were Latin America’s Turbulent Transitions co-author Federico Fuentes and Latin American studies post-graduate Rodrigo Acuna. The speakers rejected the "Command Capitalist State" definition of Venezuela today.
Over the last eight months at least seven political activists around Australia have been approached by federal or state intelligence agents for information about other activists. Green Left Weekly spoke to human rights lawyer and researcher Dale Mills who explains what rights activists have — and what they should do — if they are approached for information by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) or other political police. * * *
"Haiti offers a marvelous opportunity for American investment," reported Financial America in 1926. "The run-of-the-mill Haitian is handy, easily directed and gives a hard day's labor for 20 cents, while in Panama the same day's work costs [US]$3." That may be the most honest portrayal of the offshore industry in Haiti yet.
A meeting was held in Geelong on April 30 for students to discuss and plan action against the continued cuts to public sector education. University, TAFE and High School students were invited. At this meeting, the Student Action Collective (SAC) was formed and a list of immediate demands, mid-term and long-term goals were developed.
A selection of this week's politically-relevant entertainment news.