Issue 811

Australia

Britain-based risk analysts Maplecroft confirmed that Australia is the world's worst polluter per capita in a September 9 report.

Its Climate Change Risk Report 2009/2010 said Australia's heavy reliance on burning fossil fuels for energy had pushed it to the number one position...

Workers at the Campbell's Soup factory at Shepparton in Victoria have delivered a setback to the federal Labor government's plan to apply individual contracts by stealth.

On September 15, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) came to an in-principle agreement with the company...

The NSW state government is introducing police powers similar to those during the APEC meeting in Sydney in 2007.

The Major Events Bill was introduced on September 10 in the Legislative Assembly. The bill proposes a whole range of powers for "major events". The minister administering the...

A Colombian human rights group has accused the Australia Federal Police (AFP) of illegally interrogating political prisoner Liliany Obando in a Bogata jail.

Obando, a trade unionist and human rights campaigner, was arrested by the Colombian authorities in August 2008. She was charged...

In 2008, Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett promised voters the ALP state government would no longer guarantee financial support to forestry giant Gunns' unpopular pulp mill proposal for the Tamar Valley, near Launceston.

"The government has drawn a line in the sand regarding any future...

"I feel very sad to be leaving, but happy and proud to receive your great gift of solidarity with the people of Venezuela and Latin America", Daniel Sanchez, a community leader from Valencia, Venezuela, told an audience of 50 at the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) hall on September 17.

...

The Justice for Mr Ward campaign organised a lunchtime rally to hand over 5000 petitions to the WA state government on September 16, followed by an evening public meeting. More than 100 people attended the rally and about 200 attended the meeting.

Ward was an Aboriginal elder who was...

On September 15, 1500 firefighters and supporters marched through Melbourne, chanting "more firefighters, not less".

The Country Fire Authority (CFA), the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB) and the state Labor government are trying to reduce the number of firefighters by...

The campaign for the September 21-25 University of Queensland (UQ) student elections has begun. Resistance organiser Dominic Hale is running for environment officer with Flynn Rush from the UQ Greens on the broad-left ticket, Change.

Change is challenging the incumbents Fresh (the Liberal...

Sixty people protested outside the closed Solar Systems factory in Abbotsford on September 18. The factory closed a week earlier when Solar Systems went into receivership due to its major investor, TRUenergy, withdrawing its investment.

Employees were given no notice and sent home without...

After two years of controversy, community hostility and political debate, the Queensland government has finally provided the federal environment department with a draft set of conditions under which it believes the planned Traveston Dam can proceed.

The conditions include measures aimed...

World

Green Left Weekly is planning to run ongoing coverage on the dramatic developments in the struggle for democracy and justice in Honduras over the coming days. Six reports, from September 21-25, are published below. To listen to an inteview with Democracy Now! journalist Andres...

Residents of Hato de Enmedio, Tegucigalpa, take control of their barrio. September 22:

Protests outside the Brazilian embassy, where legitimate President Manuel Zelaya is, being violently broken up by police

Caracas, September 21, 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today congratulated the democratically elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya on his "heroic" return to his homeland eighty-six days after he was ousted by a military coup on June 28. Chavez also called...

Democracy Now! report on Zelaya's dramatic return to Honduras part 1:

Part 2:

Cuban revolutionary hero Juan Almeida Bosque passed away on September 11 at the age of 82. Almeida was a life-long revolutionary, who started work at the age of 11 as a brick layer. He took part in Fidel Castro's failed assault on the Moncada Barracks on July 26 1953, often seen as the start of...

Washington is continuing to step up its offensive to reestablish dominance over Latin America as South American governments take Colombia to task over the proposed installation of five new US military bases in its territory.

At the same time, fissures and realignments in the region are...

The United States was founded as an "infant empire", in the words of George Washington. From the earliest days, control over the hemisphere was a critical goal.

Latin America has retained its primacy in US global planning. If the US cannot control Latin America, it cannot expect "to...

Bolivian President Evo Morales recalled on September 13 that, as leader of the coca growers of the Chapare region, he had been "a permanent victim" of the US military presence in his country. Morales said that "thanks to the consciousness of the Bolivian people, this has finished".

...

The statement published below was released by the British Palestine Solidarity Campaign. To read the full Trades Union Congress motion, or for more information, visit www.palestinecampaign.org.

In a landmark decision, Britain's trade unions have voted overwhelmingly to commit to build a...

"The war could have finished the day before I arrived", independent journalist and author Antony Loewenstein told Green Left Weekly of his recent trip to the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza.

His trip in July was months after the December-January war, in which more than...

"Constant fighting and threats to health workers have forced the closure of at least 11 of the 38 health facilities across [Kandahar] province, the population of which is estimated at over one million", provincial health officials said, IRIN reported on September 17.

The article said the...

Political prisoners and Cuba can be a confusing mix, in our time of mass propaganda. Three groups have attracted international attention over the past decade.

The first group, 70 or so (the "dissidents"), were arrested in March 2003 by the Cuban government and charged with taking money...

An indigenous uprising in the Peruvian Amazon has forced the US-backed government of President Alan Garcia to repeal key decrees that aimed to open the region to greater exploitation by oil and gas corporations. However, indigenous people faced violent repression from security forces as they...

Over the last few years it's become one of our quaint English traditions that on any day following the announcement of immigration figures, certain newspapers display headlines such as "TEN MILLION OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT POLES TO SWARM INTO BRITAIN LIKE PLUMBING LOCUSTS!!! And they plan to...

October 1 will mark 60 years since Mao Zedong proclaimed the creation of the Peoples Republic of China. This followed the victory of the People's Liberation Army, led by the Communist Party of China, over the US-backed Guomindang (Nationalist Party).

In 1921, when the communist party was...

The article below is the September editorial of the Indian-based Analytical Monthly Review. It is reprinted from MRZine.

We now face the immediate need of a qualitative change in our most fundamental economic relationship — delivery of food supply.

The problem is not the...

It happened in Europe earlier this year — for the second time. And now it has happened again.

The biggest carbon trading scheme in the United States has collapsed. Prices for the schemes carbon permits plummeted 33% at a September 9 auction.

The "right to pollute" has never been...

Analysis

Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is the name of a World Bank sponsored carbon offset program. The idea is to pay owners of forests in the global South to stop deforestation as a way of reducing carbon emissions.

The scheme generates "credits" for the...

Eighteen-year-old South African athlete Caster Semenya has done nothing wrong. Yet she has been accused of deceiving the world about her gender. There is nothing wrong with Semenya's body. Yet her body has been paraded in front of the world by the mass media as if she were a sideshow freak....

The problem is obvious to anyone who uses public transport — in Sydney or any other major city in Australia. Public transport networks, designed in the 1940s, are straining to service growing cities.

In Sydney alone, patronage of the CityRail network increased by more than 8 million...

Over September 12-13, more than 400 people travelled to the Hazelwood coal-fired power station in Victoria's Latrobe Valley to send a clear message: "Switch off Hazelwood, switch on renewables."

People, including families, came from across the state, to what was the first of several...

On September 2, 40 people attended a public forum organised by Refugee Action Collective (RAC) Queensland on the treatment of asylum seekers under the Rudd Labor government.

The meeting marked the eighth anniversary of the Tampa event. It was also prompted by recent events such as the...

The following sign-on statement asks people to join and/or support the Climate Camp protests at the Port Augusta power stations in South Australia from September 24 to 27. To add your name visit climatecampsa.org.

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We are gravely concerned by the near-daily reports from...

The Mt Victoria to Lithgow upgrade of the Great Western Highway was conceived for one election campaign and its life may be extinguished with another. It has caused everything from bemusement to misery and has distracted attention from needier causes.

In the saga's latest instalment,...

"If you don't give a shit, that's what you get", was a favourite chant of striking Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) city campus staff at their picket lines on September 16.

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) day of industrial action to secure new collective...

With the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission's Interim Report tabled last month, it is now up to various state governments and the federal government to respond quickly to save lives when the next catastrophic fires happen.

Many of the report's 51 recommendations would help resolve...

Letters

Civil rights activists of our time

Those who participated in the protests against the continuing pollution, which deliberately puts our futures at risk, at Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria over the weekend, are the civil rights activists of our time. They are standing...

General

We are letting the readers and supporters of Green Left Weekly explain why you should make a special donation for the Spring Offensive to help make our $250,000 fighting fund target.

Dick Bryan, Professor of Political Economy, University of Sydney, said: "...

Resistance!

In July, the suicide of a 14-year-old girl brought attention to an appallingly under-reported issue — mental health among young people and youth suicide.

This is not because youth suicide itself is big news, but because she was the fourth student from the same school, Western Heights...

Resistance activists were among the 500 people that took protest action for renewable energy on September 12 and 13 at the Hazelwood power station in Victoria's Latrobe Valley. They demanded the Victorian government Switch-off Hazelwood.

Protesters served Hazelwood — Australia's dirtiest...

Culture

In 1978, John Reid, chair of James Hardie Industries, boasted: "Every time you walk into an office building, a home, a factory; every time you put your foot on the brake, ride in a train … the chances are that a product from the James Hardie group of companies has a part in it".

He didn't...

Battlelines
By Tony Abbott
Melbourne University Press, 2009
$34.99, 187 pages

Tony Abbott, John Howard's health minister, arch head-kicker and stalwart monarchist, said Battlelines is not his Liberal party leadership job application....

Quique Cruz sums up the story of his long life journey towards the creation of an extraordinary work of art and human testimony called Archaeology of Memory: "The day after my nineteenth birthday, I was detained by Pinochet's secret police and spent one month as a desaparecido...

Many Tongues: One Voice – Looks at how communities are retrieving their dormant languages and maintaining these languages through promoting and teaching not only Aboriginal youth but all Australians. ABC1, Friday, September 25, 6pm.

The Professor...