Issue 815

Australia

The Australian Greens announced on October 23 that high profile economist and environmentalist Clive Hamilton would stand for the party in the upcoming by-election for the federal seat of Higgins in Victoria.

Hamilton said he planned to make climate change a central issue of the by-...

"A revolution is sweeping Latin America, and Venezuela is at the centre of the process that is radically changing the social order there", Jim McIlroy told a forum on October 22.

McIlroy and Coral Wynter were guest speakers at a meeting of 15 people, organised by the New England branch of...

A motion calling for a halt to the Queensland ALP government's plans to privatise public rail, port, road and forestry assets was passed with support of 70% of delegates at the ALP's Far Northern regional conference on October 18.

About 60 rail and electricity industry workers protested...

Community and conservation groups fighting the controversial Mary River Traveston Crossing Dam proposal, near Gympie, have recently held a series of campaign strategy meetings. This followed the Queensland coordinator general's October 6 approval of the proposal, which attached 1200 conditions...

About 200 people attended a tribute dinner on October 17 to unionist and living legend Fred Moore.

Organised by the South Coast May Day committee, the dinner celebrated Moore's lifelong dedication to the struggle.

Speakers included Tony Maher, president of the Mining and Energy...

Five hundred people gathered in West End's iconic Boundary Street on October 17 to protest against a Brisbane City Council development plan.

The council wants to approve new buildings of up to 30 storeys along the south of Brisbane River. This would bring an extra 25,000 residents and 14,...

More than 175 different climate change actions took place across Australia on October 24. The protests were part of the 350.org international day of climate action.

Leading climate scientists say the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide must be drawn down below 350 parts per...

Hot on the heels of its hugely unpopular privatisation plans, the Queensland government has waded into more trouble. It announced plans to ramp up the cost of public transport in a five-year plan starting January 2010.

Under the guise of encouraging take-up of the error-riddled "Go Card"...

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) national council meeting over October 9-11 adopted key resolutions around climate change amid significant and vigorous debate.

Two resolutions were adopted after NTEU member surveys in NSW and Victoria drew thousands of responses.

The...

SYDNEY — On October 20, 200 people protested outside Parliament House against the Rees Labor government's moves to repeal 100-year-old laws requiring parliament to approve any sales of land reserved for railways. A wide range of groups were represented, including the transport unions, Greens,...

World

Almost eight years after choosing Hamid Karzai to head the Afghan government, Uncle Sam would like to give him a pink slip.

But it's not easy. And the grim fiasco of Afghanistan's last election is shadowing the next.

Another display of electioneering and voting has been ordered up...

The article below is abridged from an October 18 Tamilnet.org report.

More than 30,000 British Tamils marched to draw attention to the Sri Lankan government's continued incarceration of more than 280,000 Tamils in military supervised camps. This is despite a Sri Lankan government pledge...

A massive protest was held on October 17 in Donostia/San Sebastian in the Basque Country to protest against the Spanish government's new wave of arrests against the Basque pro-independence and labour movement.

On October 13, 10 prominent activists were arrested and accused of trying to "...

Can we expect decent climate policy when most of the decision-making elite are ignorant of the real scientific imperatives, or believe they can negotiate with the laws of physics and chemistry? The answer is bleak, judging by the lead-up talks to the climate summit in Copenhagen in December....

The mass resistance of the poor majority to the coup regime that overthrew elected President Manuel Zelaya on June 28 continues after nearly 120 days. Talks between the coup regime and Zelaya to resolve the crisis, which is costing the Honduran economy millions of dollars, were finally declared...

Tens of thousands of people are expected to take part in climate action protests in the Danish capital of Copenhagen during the United Nations-sponsored climate talks in December.

The biggest action will be a six-kilometre march under the slogan "People First — Planet First". More than...

Before the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement was ratified in 2007, many Peruvian and international human rights and environmental organisations said the deal would lead to increased social destabilisation and drug production.

Archbishop Pedro Barreto, president of the Episcopal Commission for...

US-Venezuelan lawyer Eva Golinger points out in her books exposing US intervention into Venezuela that the constant stream of lies about Venezuela and its popular President Hugo Chavez are best seen as the leading edge of an integrated strategy of destabilisation and "regime change" for the...

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has tried to buyoff electricity workers facing redundancy as part of his campaign to privatise the state-owned power company Luz y Fuerza, by offering free English lessons on top of redundancy payments.

However, fewer than 100 people showed up to collect...

The seventh summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), a nine-nation anti-imperialist trading bloc established in 2004 by Cuba and Venezuela, was held in Cochabamba, Bolivia over October 16-17.

It concluded with a call to respect the rights of "mother earth", steps to...

United States measures for resisting progressive changes in Latin America have included funding for right-wing opposition groups, military deployment throughout the region, and the reactivating of the US Navy Fourth Fleet for monitoring the continent.

This year ,seven new bases have been...

The struggle of striking British postal workers against privatisation plans is as vital for democracy as any national event in recent years. The campaign against them is part of a historic shift from the last vestiges of political democracy in Britain to a corporate world of insecurity and war...

Thousands of people from various sectors of society protested to mark the inauguration of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as president and Boediono as vice-president near the national parliament on October 20. Yudhoyono was elected to his second five-year term.

Spokeperson of the Street...

Analysis

There are three main problems with the nuclear "solution" to climate change — it is a blunt instrument, a dangerous one, and it is unnecessary.

First, nuclear power could at most make a modest contribution to climate change abatement. The main limitation is that it is used almost...

On October 10, a hole was burnt in the doormat of Gunns Limited chairperson, John Gay. Some crude graffiti was also drawn on his fence.

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was politically motivated. However, this didn't stop some of the most rabid supporters of Gunns'...

The Australian government is getting desperate and showing its true colours. Not long after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd personally intervened to turn away a boat of 260 Tamil refugees in international waters, a second boat — also carrying refugees from Sri Lanka — sent out a distress signal off...

Let's start by establishing some common ground between myself and anti-nuclear campaigners like Jim Green. Green and I both understand the seriousness of the climate crisis and the imperative for a rapid transformation of our energy system to technologies that emit no carbon when generating...

The following statement is by Geelong Trades Hall Council secretary Tim Gooden.

Geelong Trades Hall Council (GTHC) backs Australian Workers Union (AWU) national secretary Paul Howes 100% in his call for Australia to roll out the red carpet for refugees.
It's a relief that a union...

A domestic violence shelter in Alice Springs told ABC radio's AM on May 1 that between January 1 and mid-April this year, it provided accommodation for 157 children and 149 women. However, due to lack of funding, it turned away a further 158 women and 100 children seeking support.

...

Indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin announced in May that the federal Labor government would reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act by the end of October. But she has also said key policies of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) would remain — discriminatory policies that...

The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) — a right-wing economic think tank — released its What's Next for Welfare-to-Work? report on October 15. As part of a strategy to push more people off welfare, the report called for a fall in the minimum wage and a tightening of eligibility rules...

The Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2009 is scheduled for Senate debate on October 26. The bill would change the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (BCII Act). This would affect the building and construction industry's...

It is a pattern that is being repeated over and over worldwide. Security agencies conduct secret surveillance of suspects, record their conversations, then convict them under anti-terrorism laws so broad that expressions of opinion and radical talk are sufficient to define a terrorist.

No...

Editorial

The big nuclear push is on. The nuclear industry is trying to re-brand yellowcake as "green".

Most people see global warming as the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced. But nuclear industry executives see a business opportunity to arrest their declining fortunes.
Supporters of...

Letters

Balibo I

Clinton Fernandes describes himself as a "consulting historian" to the movie Balibo. He is a former military intelligence officer, who has his own reasons for promoting the official line on whether Australian intelligence was forewarned about the...

Simon Butler precisely explains his concerns about the inadequacy of the Greens' climate change amendment proposals ("The good and the bad of the Greens CPRS amendments", GLW #814). However, like the mainstream media, he overlooks some of the Greens' visionary bills on efficiency and...

General

A wave of deep moral revulsion swept through everyone in this country with a social conscience after Labor PM Kevin Rudd uttered that ugly sentence: "This government makes no apology for a hard-line approach to people smuggling and border security."

We are back to Tampa. An "Indonesian...

With the help of Socialist Alliance members in the growing Sudanese community in Australia, Green Left Weekly is proud to publish a regular Arabic language supplement. The Flame covers news from the Arabic-speaking world as well as news and issues from within Australia. The...

Please ciruclate and add your name to this letter by emailing weekly.greenleft@gmail.com

An open letter to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs

To: Stephen Smith
Minister for Foreign Affairs
PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600
Tel: 02-6277...

Resistance!

There are social expectations on everyone, men and women, to act in particular ways based on our sex. This is bad for everyone because it's stifling, but it's worse for women and queers.

These gender stereotypes and roles put men first and women second:
· Women own less than 2% of...

Culture

Balibo
By Jill Jolliffe
Scribe Publications, 2009
416 pages, $29.95 (pb)

"In one fell swoop, I have lost my past, present and future and nobody really has put out a hand of compassion", wrote Shonny Dryden, mother of slain Australian journalist...

The Global Fight for Climate Justice: Anticapitalist Responses to Global Warming and Environmental Destruction
Edited by Ian Angus
Resistance Books, London, 2009
286 pages, $49 (pb)

With crunch time rapidly approaching for the climate crisis,...

Steven Sodebergh's epic films, Che Part I & II, give a detailed portrayal of the experience of Argentinean-born socialist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara in the Cuban revolutionary war and his failed Bolivia campaign that ended in his execution on October 9, 1967.

The...