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National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at the University of Western Sydney, Parramatta South campus, staged a half-day strike and picket at the university on October 23. Staff picketed the main entrance to the campus and persuaded many vehicles trying to enter the university to turn away, despite harassment by security guards.
The bid by Republicans to defeat President Barack Obama’s health care program by shutting down the government and threatening to cause a default ended in failure. The result opened fissures within the Republican Party between its “moderate” right wing and the further right-wing Tea Party. The difference is not over “Obamacare”, which the whole Republican Party is against, but over the Tea Party’s tactics. The Tea Party drove the failed effort to force its way. So what does the Tea Party represent?
About 500 people rallied in Perth on October 19 to protest against a new forest management plan approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in July, which could destroy 2000 square kilometres of native forest over the next 10 years.  The rally was organised by campaign group Forest Legacy, and indicates the re-emergence of the movement to protect forests in WA, important at a time of increased attacks from state and federal Liberal governments. 
A leaked draft of the second Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, due to be released in March, gives a sobering picture of what lies ahead for Aboriginal communities in Australia as climate change intensifies. Last month, the IPCC said it was 95% certain that human activity was the main cause of climate change. The recent leaked report did not look at the science, but rather the impacts climate change will have, particularly in areas of vulnerability and adaptation.
Women and men took to the street in Brunswick for Melbourne's Reclaim the Night rally and march on October 19, to demand an end to victim blaming and violence against women. Speakers included Yorta Yorta woman Monica Morgan, chairperson of Elizabeth Hoffman House, Poppy Jacob from Hollaback Melbourne, an organisation dedicated to ending the street harassment of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer individuals, Rose Ljubicic from the Council of Single Mothers and their Children, and Jane Green, a sex worker activist from the Vixen Collective.
The results of the September 28 Portuguese local government elections would seem obvious: the big winner was the opposition Socialist Party (SP), and the big loser the governing alliance of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Democratic and Social Centre—People’s Party (CDS-PP). The pattern was the same at all three layers of local government for which the Portuguese vote — municipal assemblies (councils in Australia), municipal chambers (the councils’ full-time executives, headed by the mayor), and parish or ward committees.
“More than 100 survivors of a shipwreck in which hundreds of African immigrants died burst through the gates of a holding center on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Monday in a protest against the refusal of authorities to allow them to attend a funeral ceremony for the victims,” Reuters reported on October 21. At least 366 people, mainly Eritrean, died in the October 3 disaster. The survivors tried to catch a ferry to the Sicilian city of Agrigento, where an official ceremony was held.
Demonstrators clashed with police on October 19 as tens of thousands marched through Rome to protest against the government's intensifying austerity program. They chanted slogans against unemployment and government cuts to benefits and social housing programs. Many camped throughout the night in front of the Infrastructure Ministry.
Five months ago, I was in Tarija in southern Bolivia taking part in a forum debating the political process in this country, a process we call the “democratic and cultural revolution”. A participant asked me whether it was possible to deepen this revolution, to make it an economic and social revolution, without the participation of the working class. My immediate response was no.