Issue 890

Australia

More than 200 people rallied outside the State ALP conference at the Country Club Casino in Launceston on August 6. Health workers, teachers, child protection workers and police protested against public service budget cuts. TAP into a better Tasmania protested against the pulp mill while Code...

Victorian planning minister Matthew Guy has taken control of planning issues at Fitzroy and Richmond housing estates, enraging Yarra Council and tenants.

In the July 26 Melbourne Times Weekly, Alana Schetzer: “The Department of Human Services last week informed the council of...

Public opposition has prevented the expansion of coal mining in south-west Victoria.

“More than 250 residents gathered in the Deans Marsh town hall last night to question the managing director of Mantle Mining, Ian Kraemer, over the plan to explore for brown coal, south-east of Colac,”...

The grassroots campaign for a community driven council in Wollongong is well underway, as the election approaches on September 3.

Community Voice is standing a full ticket across all three local wards including Michael Organ, former Greens MP for Cunningham, for mayor.

Organ is a...

Mark Goudkamp from the Sydney Refugee Action Coalition, Gleny Rae, a participant in the SBS series Go Back Where You Came From, and Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young addressed the biggest meeting supporting asylum seekers seen in Newcastle since the Howard era on August 4.

...

Supporters of justice for former Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks rallied outside the NSW Supreme Court on August 3 to condemn moves by the Department of Public Prosecutions to seize the proceeds of Hicks’ 2010 book Guantanamo: My Journey under “proceeds of crime” laws.

...

About 50 staff and students gathered outside the University of Melbourne ERC Library on August 2 to protest ongoing cuts in the library workforce.

Corey Rabaut, an industrial officer with the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), said 13 University of Melbourne library staff members...

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry held one-hour stopwork meetings at 40 sites around Australia on August 4.

They are campaigning for a pay rise greater than the 3% a year offered by management.

They voted to...

Around 200 people attended a "Unite Against Racism" rally in the King George Square on August 6. It was staged in opposition to a rally organised by the far-right Australian Defence League (ADL) attacking Islam and calling for a ban on the burqa.

The tiny ADL rally was aimed at inciting...

Local residents made clear their opposition to plans for coal seam gas (CSG) drilling in Sydney’s inner-west at a heated public forum held in Leichhardt on Monday 1 August.

Dart Energy told the crowd that it intention to drill was no longer immediate, but that exploratory drilling at the...

The annual Hiroshima Day rally and march, commemorating the US atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945, was held in Brisbane on August 6.

The rally, under the theme, "For a nuclear-free and independent Australia," attracted about 100 people to Brisbane Square, to hear...

Rising Tide Newcastle released the statement below on August 5.

* * *

This morning climate activists scaled a 15 metre high coal conveyor belt in Newcastle’s coal port and suspended a banner saying, “We’re sorry Somalia. Coal = climate change and starvation”.

Their action...

The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on August 3.

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DASSAN today expressed concern about the increase of the number of children being detained in immigration detention centres in Darwin. As at August 3, figures provided...

The Australian Forests and Climate Alliance (AFCA) released this statement on August 1.

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Forest conservation and climate action groups across Australia, joined by prominent conservationist Peter Cundall, today warned the Julia Gillard and Lara Giddings governments that their...

Conservation group South East Forest Rescue released the statement below on August 1 to coincide with its protest outside the headquarters of Forests NSW.

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Following the recent Nature Conservation Council/Environmental Defenders Office report If a Tree Falls: Compliance...

World

You've probably heard it said a dozen times today: "It's like 28 Days Later out there."

Every thirty seconds, there's a new riot zone.

I've rarely known the capital to be this wound up. It's kicked off in East Ham, then Whitechapel, then Ealing Broadway (really?), then Waltham...

In early August, £500 billion was wiped off the value of the largest British companies. The United States stock market fell by the largest amount since the early days of the financial crisis in 2008.

The panic has now spread to Asian markets.

On August 5, British markets...

Speaking to CNN en Espanol on July 27, Bolivian President Evo Morales said “When presidents do not submit to the United States government, to its policies, there are coups.”

His comments are backed by attempts by the US and Bolivia’s right wing to bring down his government.

...

Thousands of West Papuans rallied for independence on August 2, despite attempts by the Indonesian government to scare people away.

About 10,000 people protested across Indonesian-occupied West Papua, Radio Australia's Pacific Beat said on August 3.

They demanded a referendum on...

On my first day in Cuba, in 1967, I waited in a bus queue that was really a conga line. Ahead of me were two large, funny females resplendent in frills of blinding yellow; one of them had an especially long bongo under her arm.

When the bus arrived, painted in Cuba's colours for its...

At least 15 people were killed on August 5 by security forces cracking down on protests in cities and towns throughout Syria, the August 6 Gulf News said.

Escalating protests and government violence have marked every Friday since the Arab Spring reached Syria in March. But...

The Israeli ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schutz, has just finished his term in Madrid. In an op-ed in Israeli paper Haaretz’s Hebrew edition, he summarised what he termed as a very dismal stay and seemed genuinely relieved to leave.

This kind of complaint now seems to be the...

As the United States prepares itself for the approaching 2012 presidential election, voters in primaries to select the Republican candidate find themselves inundated by a selection of arch-conservative contenders vying for the opportunity to seize the nomination.

Guided by “God”, free-...

The article below is an abridged August 2 editorial from Socialist Worker (US).

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If your eyes are glazing over at the large numbers and the complicated mechanics of the deal to cut US$2.1 trillion from the United States federal budget over the next decade, here’s a short...

For more news on the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, see Electronic Intifada's BDS Beat

South African students renew call to boycott Israel

Representatives of South Africa’s oldest and largest student bodies in Johannesburg...

Analysis

Dart Energy, the company that holds a licence to mine for coal seam gas in the Sydney basin, fronted a packed out meeting at Leichhardt Town Hall on August 1. But the CEO failed to convince the 250-strong crowd of the so-called green benefits of coal seam gas.

The meeting, organised by...

An Aboriginal youth, Rex Bellotti Jnr, aged 15 was run over by a police four-wheel-drive Holden Rodeo and more than two years have passed without any compensation, without any closure. When it comes to Aboriginal victims this is nothing new.

Nyungar-Yamatji Maaman Rex Bellotti Sr and...

Australian musician Olivia Newton-John released this open letter on July 31.

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My fellow Australians:

I love this country, its people, its rugged beauty, its rainforests, its vastness and unique wildlife.

And, as a longtime advocate...

The ALP is the party for ordinary Australians, right?

Resistance members will often talk about the importance of political movements being independent of political parties, but what does this mean for the ALP?

Isn’t the ALP Australia’s party of progress? And surely they are...

Conservation groups have criticised a new deal on Tasmania’s forest industry, saying it will not end the logging of old growth forests, it will hand millions of dollars to the logging industry and will not stop Gunns Ltd’s proposed pulp mill in northern Tasmania going ahead in the face of...

Friends of Palestine (WA) member Alex Bainbridge wrote the letter of complaint that appears below to the producers of The Bolt Report and Network Ten after a segment on the show tried to link the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid...

Green Left Weekly coeditor Stuart Munckton spoke on a panel with independent journalists Wendy Bacon and Antony Loewenstein at an August 2 forum in Sydney.

Below is an abridged version of Munckton’s talk, which discussed building alternatives to the corporate...

A coalition of groups in New South Wales came together in June to campaign against the federal government’s plan to introduce income management for welfare recipients in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown.

The new coalition, called “Say no to government’s income management: not in Bankstown...

Ten countries and nine jurisdictions in the world have recognised marriage equality since 2001. Many other parts of the world recognise civil unions, registration schemes or same-sex marriages performed outside of the respective country.

Australians are ready to follow suit. Seventy-five...

About 40% of new Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients may be ruled ineligible as the federal Labor government updates the tables for the assessment of work-related impairment for DSP.

Community services minister Jenny Macklin said on July 30 that the revised impairment tables will...

John Bellamy Foster, the keynote speaker at the upcoming World At A Crossroads: Climate Change Social Change conference — to be held in Melbourne from September 30 to October 3 — is the co-author (with Fred Magdoff) of a newly published book: What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About...

Federal riot police have the go-ahead to use Tasers, tear gas, batons, capsicum spray and handcuffs to force refugees onto a flight to Malaysia from Christmas Island. Immigration officials say they will film the ordeal to put online as a “potent message” to other refugees.

The first...

Nineteen-year-old Michael Delaney died after being run over by a truck in east London on a Saturday night in January 1987.

An inquest jury found that he had been a victim of unlawful killing. But nobody has ever been prosecuted.

Delaney had been among trade unionists picketing...

War criminal and former British PM Tony Blair had only just completed a lucrative commercial speaking tour of Australia when Australia’s federal Director of Public Prosecutions began court proceeding to prosecute former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks under “proceeds of crime” laws.

...

Editorial

The NSW government was evasive for several days on whether it would allow uranium exploration and mining, banned since 1986.

This followed the call by federal resources minister Martin Ferguson in May for NSW and Victoria to rethink their uranium mining bans.

Premier Barry O’...

Letters

Australian detention harms asylum seekers

Australia is confronted by the tragic phenomena of detention centre deaths, with five suicides in the last 10 months, over 1000 suicide attempts and thousands of self-inflicted injuries among asylum seekers.

There have...

Resistance!

The Refugee Advocacy Group (RAG) was recently formed by high school students in Geelong. The group organised a refugee rights protest in the city on August 13. Green Left Weekly’s Ben Peterson spoke to Max Hill, a year 11 student and founder of RAG....

Culture

I wander
in a city
with hard
games
no fun and games
no laughing matter
(we don’t play we don’t laugh)
life
Russian roulette
inside
Russian dolls
boxes
within
boxes
within –
built-up
blocks of land...

The Most Dangerous Man in the World
By Andrew Fowler
Melbourne University Press, 2011
271 pages, $32.99 (pb)
Underground
By Suelette Drefus & Julian Assange
William Heinemann, 2011
479 pages, $24.95...

Special Treatment
Starring Isabelle Huppert, Bouli Lanners, Richard Debuisne, Sabila Moussadek, Valerie Dreville
Directed by Jeanne Labrune
In cinemas now

A comedy film about prostitutes and psychoanalysis? Surely only the French could do it,...

Anima Mundi: Permaculture, Climate Change, Peak Oil & the Soul of the World
Directed by Peter Downey
Visit Animamundimovie.com
Permaculture Pioneers: Stories from the New Frontier
Edited by Kerry Dawborn &...

Fighting Fund

The double meaning in the popular slogan “White Australia has a black history”, sadly, still applies to federal, state and territory government policies.

Governments may have apologised for past mistreatment but they are still destroying Aboriginal communities and stealing Aboriginal...

We kid you not

United States: Land of the 1%

“The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five...