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Australian Unions has initiated a petition against NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell's cuts to the NSW fire service. Text is below, sign it here. * * *
The National Tertiary Education Union released this statement on October 21. *** Australian immigration officials have refused to grant a visa to a Bangladeshi union activist on the basis that he is too poor. The activist's trip was to be sponsored by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) as part of its contribution to Anti-Poverty Week, which draws attention to issues of poverty and social exclusion.
When I first stepped into kampong (“village”) Hakka a year ago, I was amazed that to find a new Chinese village complete with temple, community hall and school existed. I was further shocked to learn that all the people living there had been declared illegals just because a rich company had bought their land.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has launched the second phase of his Street Government initiative, with the aim of inaugurating new projects and strengthening community organisation. The Street Government is a governance mechanism implemented by Maduro this year which involves the national executive visiting Venezuela’s regions and holding meetings with different neighbourhoods and social groups. These meetings allow the government to orientate its regional development strategies and launch new projects with the support and involvement of communities.
In an interview with independent progressive media outlet Democracy Now! last month, Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, discussed why President Rafael Correa did not attend the United Nations General Assembly then taking place.
Jasmine Acosta and Hector Zabala are social activists from the Caracas neighbourhood of 23 de Enero (January 23). They come from a working-class neighbourhood with a strong tradition of community activism. This barrio of about 250,000 inhabitants has been part of all the major revolutionary moments in Venezuelan history.
The mother of Ribhi al-Battat, 60, gave birth to him in one of the caves inhabited by the people of the small Palestinian village of Zanuta in the West Bank, about 30 kilometres north-east of Be'er Sheva. Battat says his mother, Mariam, gave birth to her own children and midwifed many of his relatives and neighbours in the caves that once served as homes for centuries and are now used primarily as pens for sheep, or for storage.
Fourteen Caribbean nations are suing the governments of Britain, France and the Netherlands for reparations over what the plaintiffs say is the lingering legacy of the Atlantic slave trade, AlJazeera.com said on September 27. In a September 27 speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves said the European nations must pay for their deeds.
Naming the Dead is a project run by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a not-for-profit research organisation based in London. The project aims to identify those killed in CIA drone strikes on Pakistan on its website. The site said: “Over the past nine years, the tribal region of Pakistan’s north west has been hit by hundreds of drone attacks ... Missiles launched from these high-tech, unmanned aircraft have hit homes, cars, schools, shops and gatherings.
In April, Calgary-based pipeline company TransCanada ― the same company behind the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline ― formally proposed and launched an open season for a monumental new project: the Energy East tar sands pipeline, a C$12 billion, 4400 kilometer long pipeline connecting Hardisty, Alberta to dedicated export terminals at ports in Quebec City and Saint John, New Brunswick. The project could carry up to 1.1 million barrels per day of crude oil including a substantial amount of diluted bitumen tar sands crude.
An unprecedented lawsuit has been launched against the United Nations over the world body’s responsibility for the cholera epidemic in Haiti that exploded in October 2010. The epidemic killed more than 8300 people and stricken more than 650,000. The legal action was formally launched in New York City on October 9 by the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), its partner office in Port au Prince, the Office of International Lawyers (BAI), and the Miami-based civil rights law firm Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzelli & Pratt (KKWT).
An “extraordinary summit” of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on October 11 and 12 took place without a threatened mass withdrawal of AU member nations from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The mass withdrawal threat was in response to the ongoing prosecution by the ICC of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice-President William Ruto. They were elected in March this year while already facing charges for political violence after Kenya’s previous elections in 2007.
“It’s a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking,” British-born Tamil singer MIA said in response to being sued by the National Football League in the United States over her performance at last year's Superbowl performance. “They want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrist.”
Thousands of high school students have confronted authorities in Paris after several asylum seekers were deported by the French government. Protests broke out on October 17 with students building barricades in the streets and occupied their schools, as well as engaging in clashes with riot police. The students were opposing the deportation of several of their peers who had been stolen away by the racist French government.
Socialist Alliance WA co-convenor Sam Wainwright was re-elected to the Fremantle council on October 19. In the other wards, progressive councillors defeated conservative opponents, and Mayor Brad Pettitt was also returned. Wainwright won 58% of the vote in his ward compared to 33% at the 2009 poll. Wainwright's absolute vote also increased from 438 votes to 602 this year.
First Nations people have blockaded motorways on October 17 in Rexton, New Brunswick in Canada's west in protest against the violation of their traditional homelands by colonist mining companies seeking to commence fracking for shale gas. Protsters from the Elsipogtog First Nation were joined by other local residents to stop shale gas exploration over fears it would lead to environmentally damaging fracking processes.

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