About 50 people attended a Latin American forum and cultural night at the Spanish Centre in Brisbane on November 2 to hear a panel of speakers discuss various aspects of Latin American politics and history. The forum was co-sponsored by Australian Solidarity with Latin America in Brisbane and the Sydney-based Latin American Social Forum. Talks focused on issues in five countries of the continent: El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay. Links to Australia were also highlighted in some presentations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On November 3, Brian Manning, one of the Northern Territory’s most respected activists and trade unionists, passed away surrounded by friends and family at the age of 81. He was a long-time member of the Communist Party of Australia and the Search Foundation. This obituary was written by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). *** Manning was a wharfie and staunch MUA member up until his retirement in 2002. He continued to be very active in the trade union movement until his passing.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in 2002 at The Hague in the Netherlands to prosecute individuals alleged to have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide. From the ICC’s inception, the US objected to the possibility that its nationals could be subject to the court’s jurisdiction.