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12 Years a Slave Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch Directed by Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave has received countless accolades from critics. The New Yorker has called it “easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery”. High praise, and the end result lives up to it. The film is a moving portrait of Solomon Northup's struggle to survive as a man while he is made to be a beast to enrich a Southern ruling class.
“A new union report alleges rampant lawlessness in the lucrative and growing reality TV industry,” Josh Eidelson wrote in a November 19 Salon.com article. “The Writers Guild of America, East [WGAE], which authored the report based on a survey of current and former non-union workers, contends that it reveals an ugly reality behind top shows like 'Pawn Stars' and 'Fatal Encounters,' which have been supplanting unionized, scripted sitcoms and dramas.”
A Melbourne woman has taken to living in a treehouse suspended from a tall mountain ash in the Toolangi area north-east of Melbourne, to highlight loss of Victoria's native forest and the critically endangered Leadbeater's possum. Hannah Patchett told community radio 3CR that she decided to take the action because “a lot of people didn't even know where Toolangi was, let alone that there was clearfell logging happening in Leadbeater habitat.
Eleven years to the day after the crew of the 80,000 tonne oil tanker Prestige heard the huge bang that marked the start of its break-up and of Europe’s most devastating oil spill, a high court panel in the Galician city of A Coruna delivered its verdict in the case on November 13. Who was guilty of an environmental catastrophe when the tanker broke in two and spilled 63,000 tonnes of sticky, sulphurous fuel oil along 2900 kilometres of Spain’s and France’s Atlantic coast?
At just 16 years old, Malala Yusufzai is the youngest person to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. When the Pakistani teenager was shot in her head by Taliban gunmen because she spoke out about her right to education, it sent shock waves around the world. The Western media took notice. Her attack was used as an excuse by Western media and governments to justify the invasion of Afghanistan. Malala is a courageous young woman, whose brave example in the face of barbaric violence is being used to justify the barbaric military violence associated with the occupation of Afghanistan.
The New York Yankees of Egyptian football, Al Ahly, have officially expelled one of its top players, striker Ahmed Abdel Zaher. Did this extraordinary act take place in the aftermath of a heartbreaking loss? No, the team had actually just triumphed 2-0 and Zaher had even scored a goal. Was there an off-field scandal? Did Zaher find himself caught with steroids, or bullying teammates or running a dog-fighting ring? None of that. He was, by all accounts, a model citizen.

New at LINKS International Journal of Socialist RenewalStrengthening the socialist movement today and Denmark: Red-Green Alliance big winner in municipal elections.

Young Palestinian prisoner Hassan Abdul-Halim Turabi, who suffered from leukemia, died at the Afula Israeli Hospital aged 22 on the November 5. Turabi was killed by deliberate Israeli medical neglect, after being denied essential treatment. The number of Palestinian prisoners who have died in Israeli jails since 1967 now sits at 205. Turabi was taken prisoner more than 10 months ago. Due to his ill health, Israel said it would release him but did not. When he first started experiencing pain, he asked for medical treatment in the prison clinic and was given painkillers.
Continuing New Zealand’s proud history of protests at sea, attempts by Texan oil giant Andarko to start deep-sea oil drilling are being blocked by a tiny sailing boat. Thousands came out to NZ's west coast beaches on November 23 to support the Oil Free Flotilla in its stand against Anadarko. More than 1000 gathered for the main event at West Auckland's iconic Piha beach, carrying colourful home-made banners with messages such as "We love our beaches", "No drill, no spill" and "Anadarko go home".
Macquarie Street, home to NSW Supreme Court and Parliament, reverberated with chants for justice as 150 Aboriginal people and supporters marched to demand justice for the Bowraville three on November 21.   In 1991, a triple murder of three Aboriginal youths took place within five months in Bowraville on the New South Wales mid north coast.  
About 150 people walked through Perth on November 16 to call for an end to blaming victims of sexual assault, in the city's third annual SlutWalk. Initiated in response to comments made by a Canadian police officer that women should avoid looking like sluts if they don't want to be raped, SlutWalk continues to attract global support.
Unionists and community activists protested outside the Melbourne headquarters of Australian-based mining company OceanaGold on November 15, in solidarity with the people of El Salvador and the Philippines. The protest took place in support of a tour by an anti-mining activist from El Salvador, Vidalina Morales. A grassroots environmental advocate, Morales has been a leader in her local area in the struggle to oppose mining in El Salvador's Cabañas province since 2006.