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A few years ago, in the run up to the 2009 climate negotiations at Copenhagen, the fossil fuel industry seemed on the defensive, with pressure to cut carbon emissions mounting. With energy prices rising and doubts raised about the industry’s ability to increase oil production, it seemed like a dinosaur struggling to survive. Today that same industry is on the offensive. Far from facing constraints, is actively driving a huge expansion of fossil fuel extraction into new areas of the globe. From denial to an 'engineering problem'
Campaigners vowed today to challenge the use of “extreme” pressure-point tactics to break the anti-fracking blockade tagretted operations of energy giant Cuadrilla in Balcombe, Morning Star said on August 22. Sussex Police used the “mandibular angle” technique to drag people away from a peaceful sit-in on the road to the site on August 19, the article said. The martial arts-style move involves applying force to a pressure point just behind the ear and delivers excruciating pain but no lasting injury.
On November 18, 2001, Laura Bush gave her first radio address urging worldwide condemnation of the treatment of women in Afghanistan. She stated that the “fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women”. The plight of women and children in Afghanistan, the then-US First Lady said, was “a matter of deliberate human cruelty, carried out by those who seek to intimidate and control”.
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on August 28. * * * The Socialist Alliance condemns the threatened US-led Western military assault on Syria. We call on the Australian government to reject this latest imperial aggression, to extract itself from its military alliance with the US and end its involvement in all aggressive multinational military operations.
The removal of the Mohamad Morsi government by Egypt's military on July 3 and subsequent bloody repression against Muslim Brotherhood supporters had caused debate on the international left on how to understand the events and what attitude to take to the anti-Morsi protests, the July 3 coup and protests against the military regime. The contribution below is from John Riddell, a Toronto-based activist and historian of the socialist movement.
The Signal And The Noise Asian Dub Foundation Out now in Japan, rest of the world soon www.asiandubfoundation.com Legendary punk-dub-electronica group Asian Dub Foundation are celebrating their 20th year with the release of a typically topical new album, The Signal And The Noise. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to founding member, guitarist and band leader Steve Chandra Savale, a one-man riff factory who always has his finger on the political pulse. ***
In a move aimed at demobilising and splitting the opposition, the leaders of Tunisia's governing party, Ennahda, reached out to Beji Caid Essebsi, leader of the secular ex-regime party Nidaa Tounes. It was part of a bid to resolve the political crisis that has crippled the north African nation for weeks.
The Australian government has made it clear that it will not offer consular help to activists on the West Papua Freedom Flotilla if they are arrested by Papua New Guinea NG or Indonesian authorities. The flotilla is expected to enter Indonesian territory early next month. Carrying West Papuan and Australian Aboriginal activists, its aim is to raise awareness about the occupation of West Papua by Indonesia.
Seven Iranian families — comprising 14 adults and 12 children — were sent to Nauru’s detention camp on August 21. Immigration minister Tony Burke said the children were aged between five and 15. He said more families would be sent to the island and “before long” unaccompanied minors would also face possible removal from Australia to Nauru. The Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on August 21. *** The Refugee Action Coalition has condemned the Labor government’s transfer of asylum seeker families to Nauru.
You may have heard of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and US army private Chelsea (formerly known as Bradley) Manning, who both leaked large amounts of secret US government information, and wondered what all the fuss was about. Well, not much, if you ask Australian attorney-general Mark Dreyfus.
The US army whistleblower formerly known as Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks. In a statement after the sentencing, Manning announced her decision to transition to life as a woman and requested to be called Chelsea. The Sydney Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition released this statement on August 22. ***
I disagree with a few points in the article “Blind workers fight for jobs at Vision Australia”. There are lots of parts of welfare to work which are not great but there is a particular part which helps people with disabilities be able to compete on the labour market or become self employed more easily.
The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua departed on August 17, a week after the arrival of its supporters who had travelled in a land convoy from Lake Eyre. Aboriginal elders, West Papuan refugees, filmmakers, musicians and artists will sail the flotilla’s two boats to West Papuan waters, via Cooktown, Thursday Island and Daru, in Papua New Guinea.
The Victorian Blind Workers Union and United Voice Queensland have stepped up the fight to save the jobs of 73 vision-impaired workers. The workers are due to be sacked within three months by Vision Australia Enterprises in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. Not-for-profit organisation Vision Australia plans to cease its supported employment program due to financial problems.
Margarita Windisch is the Socialist Alliance candidate for the Victorian seat of Wills. This is an edited version of a speech she gave to a rally for equal marriage rights in Melbourne on August 17. *** Oscar Wilde once said that disobedience and rebellion are the original virtues of humanity. It is through disobedience and rebellion that we have achieved real progress. This protest today is an important demonstration of rebellion against an unjust law.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions emailed 90,000 union members on August 21, urging them to “go hard against Abbott” in the last two-and-a-half weeks of the election campaign. They will have to in South Australia if the Newspoll released on the same day is accurate. A breakdown of voting intentions by state showed a 7.2 percentage point swing against Labor in South Australia compared with the 2010 election result.

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