Issue 1249

News

A protest for climate action in Parramatta on January 14.

Rally co-organiser Katrina James told the 600-strong crowd: “It’s really heartening to see young people have turned out to really have their voices heard."

A protest outside Siemens office in Melbourne, December 10.

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser issued a statement on January 12 confirming the multinational conglomerate will fulfil its contract with Indian mining giant Adani to undertake signalling work for the rail link project to its proposed mega coal mine in Central Queensland.

Disgracefully, Victorian authorities took more than a week to confirm the death in custody of another Yorta Yorta woman on January 2. Veronica Nelson was being held at a maximum-security prison in Melbourne for a minor crime when she died.

Uncle Wayne Wharton told Green Left that the federal Coalition government are hypocrites for spending millions of dollars marking James Cook’s 1770 landing on the east coast. He said First Nations communities are “totally insulted” by the millions of dollars being spent on the celebrations.

Gandolfo Gardens picket, January 15

The battle to save a historic park in Melbourne's inner north from the Victorian state government’s wrecking ball is continuing, despite police efforts to stop it.

A list of Invasion Day protests and events happening across Australia on January 26.

Several hundred people marched through the streets of Parramatta for climate action on January 14 in one of the largest rallies there in years.

As catastrophic bushfires continue and the climate emergency escalates, speakers called on Western Sydney councils, including Parramatta, to declare a climate emergency, for a swift transition away from fossil-fuels to renewable energy and for proper support and funding for firefighters.

Analysis

A protest to demand climate action, Sydney, January 10.

The far right traditionally grows in the context of political despair when fear is channelled into scapegoating.

At the height of the fire crisis over the New Year an Aboriginal elder, who had evacuated from Lakes Entrance to Bairnsdale in Victoria, joined other evacuees in registering for emergency relief. But he was told by a St Vincent de Paul staffer that the agency had “helped enough of your people today”, given a $20 fuel voucher and told not to tell other Aboriginal people about it. The elder walked out, humiliated, and asked his niece to return the voucher.

CFMEU organiser Mark Cross. Photo: Extinction Rebellion

A strategy to promote union participation in the climate movement will draw us one step closer to finishing off PM Scott Morrison and moving to a sustainable future.

The dire lack of government leadership over the New Year bushfire crisis contrasted strongly with the incredible community solidarity and self-organising that took place on the ground. If there is a silver lining to the bush fire catastrophe, it is this community power, which prevented more death and destruction.

While some do not want to discuss the cause of Australia’s horrendous bushfires — runaway climate change — even fewer want to talk about how catastrophic fires are disproportionately affecting women and how it should be tackled. Mary Merkenich looks at the way women cope in emergencies and how the system treats them.

World

The cracks in Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron's neoliberal government are beginning to show and the strikes are continuing to broaden, writes John Mullen.

On January 14–17, fresh strikes and demonstrations took place across France.

According to media reports, several French ports were blocked by a 72-hour strike by members of the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), as part of the ongoing mass transportation strikes over Prime Minister Emanuel Macron’s attacks on the pension system.

The CGT called a 72-hour walk-out starting from January 14 and for pickets on January 17, in what the union has called “opération ports morts” (operation dead ports).

The following statement, translated by Farhang Jahanpour, was issued by students taking part in a protest at the Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran on January 12. The protest followed the downing of Ukraine Flight 752 by Iranian Air Defence Unit anti-aircraft missiles on January 8 and violent attacks on protesters at the funeral of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani, who was assassinated in Iraq by the United States in a military strike on January 3.

IRANIAN authorities blocked internet access on January 14, with pressure continuing to mount on the theocratic regime as student protests calling for a new revolution swept the country.

According to the internet-tracking organisation NetBlocks, Iran experienced an outage at 5.25pm local time with “high impact to almost all providers” for a duration of 10 minutes.

The government was previously accused of blocking the internet as security services moved against protesters during demonstrations in November.

Students, mostly from leftist unions, at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi were brutally attacked on campus in an ambush led by a mob of right-wing thugs on January 5.

Paul Gregoire travelled to Bangladesh and met with climate experts and communities bearing the brunt of the climate emergency.

Culture

The winter of humankind draws near
Science has spoken in alarm
The day may be warm, unseasonal
Land whips at our faces
Too spoiled to take root
For all the rot we fed it
The well of life ran dry
As the last drop fell from our swollen lips
Our gods of gold had fallen short
Adorned in accolades we buried them too

Perhaps one day another kind
Will unveil our bones of mystery
On what was once such fertile ground
Should they enquire
How we never grew to regard our limits

Bombshell
Directed by Jay Roach
Staring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman & Margot Robbie
In cinemas now

Nominated for three Oscars, this powerful drama is based on the real-life sexual harassment scandal and the women who brought down Roger Ailes, the infamous head and creator of Fox News, laying the foundations for the Me Too and Time's Up movements that were to come.

Radical Perth, Militant Fremantle 2nd Ed.
Edited by Charlie Fox, Alexis Vassiley, Bobbie Oliver & Lenore Layman
Interventions Inc., 2019
462 pages, pb

Following the success of the first edition of Radical Perth, Militant Fremantle in 2017, the editors heeded calls for the anthology to publish a second, more updated edition.The editors made several very apparent changes from the first edition.

While the rise of the Chinese economy has often been touted as a miracle, many economists have pointed out some alarming risks.

BoJack Horseman Season 6
Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Starring Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Paul F Tompkins & Alison Brie
Season 6 now on Netflix

After the various trials and tribulations of the acclaimed Netflix series BoJack Horesman's titular character and his friends in season 5, BoJack (Will Arnett) starts season 6 with a stint in rehab trying to turn his life around and make amends for his past actions.