Issue 897

Australia

Israeli activist and author Miko Peled, currently touring Australia, is convinced that the Israel-Palestine conflict can be solved.

But, he told public meetings in Sydney and Newcastle, he doesn't believe that it will happen while the government of Israel remains committed to Zionism (...

“Most countries don’t detain asylum seekers” or, if they are detained, they “are only detained until the UNHCR recognises them and then they are released,” Robyn Sampson, researcher with the International Detention Coalition told a public meeting on alternatives to detention of asylum seekers...

The group “Conserve West Lake Macquarie Now” is working with local government and lobbying the New South Wales government and a coal company to gazette the woodlands of West Lake Macquarie on the NSW central coast as a State Conservation Area.

The area is Crown land, some of it leased by...

“The process of building socialism, as shown in Venezuela, is very complex. It is often a matter of two steps forward, one step back,” said John Cleary, coordinator of the May Day 2011 solidarity brigade to Venezuela, at a forum at the Brisbane Activist Centre on September 17.

The...

Chanting “Coal seam gas, we will stop it; our community is not for profit”, 2000 locals marched on September 18 from Newtown’s Camperdown Park to Sydney Park in St Peters, just 200 metres from a proposed CSG mining site.

The colourful march packed King Street, where most cafes and shops...

A group of refugee activists from the Refugee Advocacy Network and the Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) took on a very ambitious project a few years ago, which has culminated in the Just Like Us exhibition.

The exhibition opened on August 26 — the 10th anniversary of the...

Australia introduced new rules on September 15 allowing people to nominate their gender as male, female or indeterminate on their passport. Sex reassignment surgery is no longer a precondition for nominating a passport gender different from the one on your birth certificate.

Sex and/or...

A report released on September 24 by Friends of the Earth has revealed that the new Victorian planning laws restricting wind farms are costing the state dearly in jobs and investment.

Cam Walker, campaigns co-ordinator at Friends of the Earth Melbourne, said: “In a little more than three...

More than 60 people assembled outside Blacktown Council on September 24 to protest plans to mine for coal-seam gas in Blacktown. Mining has already begun in the Blacktown area at Eastern Creek and threatens the integrity of the Prospect Reservoir, organisers said.

Ben Hammond from the...

More than 100 locals attended a public meeting in Forrest, in Victoria's Otway ranges on September 16 to show their concern about coal seam gas (CSG) exploration in the area.

Two companies, CFT CBM Holdings and ECI International, have CSG exploration licences over large areas in the...

A dramatic stand-off between police and a group of squatters took place at the main campus of the University of Sydney on September 16. The squatters, who had been living at the abandoned St Michael’s College, staged a protest action during the eviction.

The group of about 15 had lived...

Several community environment groups released the statement below on September 22.

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Environment, health and community groups have gathered in Sydney on September 22 to discuss the future of wind energy in NSW. As electricity prices continue to rise for most NSW households,...

Activists from the Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN) in Adelaide, accompanied by Mark Ogge from Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), went on a road trip to Port Augusta over September 15 to 18 to campaign for solar thermal power.

Port Augusta’s two ageing coal-fired power stations,...

The statement below was released by the Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) on September 20.

* * *

Refugee activists oppose removing human rights from Migration Act; All MPs who support human rights should vote against Gillard’s amendments.

The Refugee Action Collective...

World

Newly released figures confirm unemployment is going through the roof, austerity measures are causing global unrest, huge strike action has occurred recently in place like Chile and the biggest strike in Britain since 1926 seems increasingly likely in November with plans for sustained industrial...

The lead-up to the payment of the sixth installment of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans to Greece, to be handed out in October, finds Greek people in a state of shock and helplessness.

The first “memorandum” agreement was signed by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK)...

The South Asian Social Forum will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from November 18-22. Part of the World Social Forum, SASF takes the democratisation process as its core theme.

The World Social Forum, which was formed in 2001, has its roots in the early 1990s and different NGO initiatives...

Elections in the city-state of Berlin on September 18 delivered another serious blow to the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, even as her party’s vote increased.

Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) came in second place in the Berlin election, winning 23.4...

Speaking in Rome on September 15, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Italian executive board member of the European Central Bank (ECB), said of the design of the euro: “The assumption was made ― largely theoretical ― that there would be no crises.”

Oh, indeed. And now with Europe and the world showing...

Statements, articles, letters and petitions have been circulating on the internet for the past month calling for an end to the "destruction of the Amazon".

The target of these initiatives has not been transnational corporations or the powerful governments that back them, but the...

United Nations-African Union joint special representative Ibrahim Gambari said in Khartoum on September 15, that attacks in Darfur were down by about 70% over the past three years thanks to the peacekeeping efforts.

However, a September 16 statement by Hussein Abu Sharati, a spokesperson...

Two months after the secession of South Sudan, Khartoum’s ruling elite is making no retreat from the strategy that eventually forced the country’s division.

This strategy includes marginalisation and neglect of the outlying regions; the forced imposition of Khartoum’s right-wing Islamic...

Cuba is a world leader in ecologically sustainable practices. It is the only country to have begun the large-scale transition from conventional farming, which is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, to a new agricultural paradigm known as low-input sustainable agriculture.

Thriving urban...

On September 21, death row prisoner in the state of Georgia, Troy Davis, was killed by lethal injection. His execution came despite a campaign from around the world in his defence, including by Amnesty International, and protests outside the prison where he was held and...

Voters should expect to see “a new Chavez, a rejuvenated Chavez, touring the country as a candidate, touring the streets at a rhythm set by the circumstances”, said Venezuela’s socialist president Hugo Chavez after the date for Venezuela’s presidential elections was announced as October 7, 2012...

On October 7, Rene Gonzalez will be released from a United States prison in Florida after serving a 15 year sentence. Gonzalez is one of the Cuban Five — five Cuban men jailed in the US for infiltrating right-wing anti-Cuban terrorist groups to defend the security of the Cuban people.

...

Analysis

Green Left Weekly, Socialist Alliance and other left-wing groups, have received more attention than normal in recent weeks in the mainstream media and even in state and federal parliamentary debates.

This attention has mainly been in response to the movement for boycott,...

For the past seven years, the community action group TAP into better Tasmania, formerly Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill, has campaigned against Gunns Ltd’s attempts to build a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. TAP spokesperson Bob McMahon spoke to Green Left...

If Julia Gillard is deposed as Australia’s prime minister, she has only herself to blame.

Gillard’s ALP is barely distinguishable from the Coalition, varying only by a nuance here or there. More than any other reason, this explains her bottomless unpopularity.

The ALP has...

The newly appointed head of Infrastructure NSW, former Liberal NSW premier Nick Greiner, laid out his agenda in a speech to the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce on September 15.

The Sydney Morning Herald said Greiner’s advice to the NSW Liberal government was to privatise...

A vote on the Labor government’s harsh proposed changes to Australia’s migration laws was postponed until October 11, after parliament failed to vote on them on September 22.

This followed a bizarre twist in the farcical refugee debate on September 19 when new laws were passed increasing...

Nala Mansell-McKenna is a well-known Aboriginal political activist in Tasmania, who was recently elected state secretary of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC).

“We like to call the secretary the role that’s our main political spokesperson, but when you work in the same building as...

In recent debates around solutions to the climate crisis, several ideas hold the largest share of government support and media coverage. These include: green consumerism, carbon offsetting, carbon taxes, carbon trading, geo-engineering and carbon capture and storage.

But do these “...

The development of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry brings risks to Australia’s limited water resources. It draws contaminated water out of the ground, damages aquifers and uses and pollutes large quantities of freshwater.

These risks, and the implications for health, agriculture and the...

With climate change, humanity basically doesn’t get any second chances. For a recognisable climate to be preserved, net global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak within the next decade, then decline to zero by around mid-century. It’s a tight call, so we have to get things right first time....

Resistance!

Over the past month, humanities and social sciences students at Adelaide University have successfully fought back against attempted cuts to their tutorials.

In July, deputy vice-chancellor Professor Pascale Quester announced cuts to tutorial numbers from 12 to 10 or nine. The lost...

Culture

Australian Made
King Brown
Sound Planet Records
www.reverbnation.com/kingbrown1

When far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik went on a mass killing spree in Norway on July 22, he was listening on his headphones to "Lux Aeterna", a mournful...

All Along the Watchtower: Memoir of a Sixties Revolutionary
By Michael Hyde
The Vulgar Press, 2010
272 pages, $32.95 (pb)

Red Silk: The Life of Elliott Johnston QC
By Penelope Debelle
Wakefield Press, 2011...

Once I ruled the Northern plains,
my clan roamed free and wild,
the lush Dakotas were my home,
the gods were on my side.

Every leafy shrub was mine,
every blade of grass,
every creature trembled when
a herd of bison passed.

My family has been...