There is one obvious answer to the climate change crisis that is rarely up for discussion — the government has to take the lead with a huge green public investment drive.
Photo: Alex Bainbridge A large gathering of people from the Vietnamese and Catholic communities - alongside supporters of refugee rights - gathered at the St Mary's Cathedral in Perth on November 8 to highlight the situation of Vietnamese refugees in the Yongah Hill Detention Centre. About 700 Vietnamese refugees have arrived in Australia in recent years complaining about religious persecution in Vietnam.
In December last year, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles.
Jahangir Hosseini has been on hunger strike outside the immigration offices in Melbourne since September 19. He has been joined by his wife and five other Iranians. He is drinking water but is refusing all food. Hosseini feels dizzy and has lost a significant amount of weight but he is determined to remain on hunger strike until seven Iranian hostages being held in an Iraqi jail have been freed. Hosseini told Green Left Weekly this is his fifth hunger strike.
The company responsible for running many of Australia’s refugee detention centres, Serco, has been accused of ordering asylum seekers not to speak to the media as the federal government moves to deport more asylum seekers to their country of origin. Asylum seekers in the Darwin Airport Lodge (DAL) detention centre have been subject to intimidation and several have been moved to Christmas Island after speaking to the media.
WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was officially re-elected on November 4 after an historic recount of WA Senate votes from the September federal election. He and the Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich won over the ALP's Louise Pratt and Dio Wang from the Palmer United Party. Before the recount, a 14 vote difference between the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers Party led to a preference flow that supported Pratt. After the recount, a 12 vote margin favoured Ludlam.
The Victorian government has released the East West Link Comprehensive Impact Statement (CIS). Public comment has been sought until December 12. The consultation process ends in July next year. The proposed East West Link is an 18-kilometre road project, including a multilane tunnel, which would extend from Hoddle St to the Western Ring Road at Sunshine East. The CIS covers the eastern section of the proposed road, extending from Clifton Hill through Parkville to the Port of Melbourne precinct.
Unity negotiations between Australia's two largest socialist organisations, the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative, ended after the latter's National Committee decided on October 26-27 that the unity process had “reached an impasse and consequently we are for ending the negotiations with the Alliance”. Over the past few months there were tactical disagreements between the two groups over how to advance the movements for the rights of asylum seekers and for women's liberation.
Unionists at the Woolworths warehouse in Barnawartha, northern Victoria, have won an 8.3% wage rise and other benefits after an eight-day strike that ended on November 1. The 350 members of the National Union of Workers (NUW) went on strike on October 25 due to pay rates much lower than Melbourne employees doing the same job. A NUW statement said management had offered a raise of 74¢ per hour for Barnawartha workers, compared to $1.04 for Melbourne employees. Members at the Barnawartha warehouse already earned $203 a week less than workers in Melbourne.
Young Socialist Alliance and Resistance activists and their collaborators will be heading to Brisbane over December 13-15 for the education conference “How to make a Revolution”. Green Left Weekly spoke to some of those that plan to attend about what they hope to get out of the conference.