To listen to its advocates, there is little shale gas won’t do: bring down energy prices, cut carbon emissions, support renewables and bring us out of recession. The “climate-sceptic” Global Warming Policy Foundation even claimed that “because of shale gas, wealth and health will be distributed more equitably over the planet”. Add to this newspaper stories with misunderstood numbers saying that there is enough shale gas to heat British homes for 1500 years and you can see why some people are getting excited.
More than 50 people gathered in the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre in Wellington on May 31 and June 1 for the annual conference of the socialist organisation Fightback. The sessions were filled with lively and respectful debate across a number of different perspectives within the left on national and international issues. Fightback 2013 featured speakers from Fightback, the International Socialist Organisation (Aotearoa), the Socialist Party of Australia, and the Australian Socialist Alliance.
Green Left TV's coverage of the Sydney World Refugee Day rally, held on Sunday June 16.
When the Turkish Prime Minister ayyip Erdogan called the protesters in the streets of Istanbul plunderers (çapulcu) on June 2, he contributed a new verb to the English language. A video clip of the resistance — entitled “Everyday I'm Chapuling” — hit the internet on June 4 with new lyrics written on the pop song “Everyday I'm Shufflin”. And the new English verb was born: to chapul. Soon after, the word moved to the French language and found a place among such words as liberte, egalite and fraternite: chapulite.
The Harmony Centre, a coalition of left-wing parties, won 59% of popular vote in the municipal elections held in this Eastern European country on June 1. The coalition is made up of the social-democratic party Harmony and the Socialist Party of Latvia (heir of the Communist Party, which was declared illegal in 1994).
World Refugee Day comes amid reports of more deaths at sea, forced deportations to torture and execution, malaria in the offshore camps in Nauru and Manus Island, suicide in detention, babies imprisoned as security threats and revelations of refugees on bridging visas without food, housing or work rights. A competition in cruelty
Representatives from the Environment Centre NT (ECNT) and the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the NT (AFANT) travelled to Mataranka on June 13 to host a public meeting about water allocations in the region. The Country Liberal Party government has made changes to the allocation process, which threatens the Roper River region’s environment, as well as pastoral and Indigenous interests.
Australian foreign Minister Bob Carr finally acknowledged the US grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange on June 5. This investigation will decide whether Assange should be prosecuted for his role in releasing confidential documents through WikiLeaks. Despite the risk to Assange, Carr told a Senate budget estimates committee that the Australian government will not be seeking information from the US government about the grand jury, because “it doesn’t affect Australian interests”.
Moreland City Council has voted to accept an offer from the Victorian government to fund the installation of CCTV cameras on Sydney Road in Brunswick. The offer was made following the rape and murder of Brunswick resident Jill Meagher in a side street near Sydney Road last year. Three councillors voted against the decision: Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton, and Greens councillors Samantha Ratnam and Lenka Thomson.