Issue 898

Australia

The secretary of the Communications Workers Union Victoria, Len Cooper, sent the letter below to the Occupy Melbourne community outreach working group on October 12.

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Dear friends,

I am writing on behalf of my union to endorse your call for real democracy.

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More than 300 people of all ages gathered in Adelaide on September 24 calling for world leading concentrating solar thermal (CST) technology to replace Port Augusta’s aging coal fired power stations.

The action was organised by several environment groups, including the Australian Youth...

The Occupy Melbourne Community Outreach Working Group has released the letter below addressed to Australian unions and union members.

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Dear union member,

We write to address you on a social movement that may have great impact on issues affecting all workers and union...

The Australian Nuclear Free Alliance released the statement below on October 11.

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In the wake of the approval of BHP-Billiton’s Olympic Dam expansion, the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) is calling for a moratorium on uranium mining due to the long-term impacts...

Tasmanian-based environmental group Code Green released the statement below on October 11.

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Ten protesters from environmental group Code Green have blocked a road that leads to at least two active logging coupes in east Ben Lomond in Tasmania’s north-east. One protester was...

The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on October 9.

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The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) has called on NT members of the federal government, member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon and Senator Trish Crossin,...

Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on October 10.

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Stop CSG Illawarra — the community group that organised the 3000-plus person human sign action on Austinmer Beach in late May — is planning a community walk across the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge for October 16....

The Last Stand released the statement below on October 8.

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Today, over 30 actions took place around the world as part of a global 24 hours of action targeting retailer Harvey Norman for their role in helping to drive the destruction of Australia’s native forests.

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Hazara asylum seekers inside Darwin detention centre released the statement below to explain the aims of their recent protest.

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We the Hazara Afghan asylum seekers held a peaceful protest in Darwin detention centre with number of 100 asylum seekers on September 24.

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Just about every passerby stopped at a recent Green Left Weekly stall in Hamilton, Newcastle, to sign a Lock the Gate Alliance petition for a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) mining.

All those who stopped were concerned about plans to mine CSG at nearby Fullerton Cove.

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Mining company ECI International has “submitted a surrender request” to the state government for its coal and gas exploration licence covering 500 square kilometers — including the town of Colac and a large region of the Otway Ranges — said the October 7 Colac Herald.

This is...

More than 500 people gathered in Melbourne over September 30 to October 3 to take part in four days of stimulating talks and discussion at the second Climate Change Social Change conference. The conference, which featured five plenary sessions, 39 workshops and more than 90 speakers, was...

More than 29 Hazaras traveling on a bus near Quetta, Pakistan, were separated from other passengers and executed by Islamic fundamentalists on September 20. This was the third time Hazaras have been attacked in a month.

After hearing the news, more than 400 Hazara asylum seekers in...

Workers in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship have won pay rises of about 11% over three years. Management initially offered only 9%, but conceded bigger rises following a 65% “no” vote to the offer in a staff ballot. Members of the Community and Public Sector Union had threatened...

“For the good of both peoples, the Separation Wall must come down, the Israeli control over the lives of Palestinians must be defied so that a secular democracy where all Israelis and Palestinians live as equals can be established in our shared homeland," says Miko Peled, Israeli writer and...

Inspired by the three-week-long Occupy Wall Street protest in New York, which has now spread to more than 100 cities across the US, ad-hoc activist coalitions in several Australian cities have called for similar occupations beginning on October 15.

Wall Street-style occupations have been...

At noon on October 8, Stop the War Coalition Sydney will mark the 10th anniversary of the start of the longest running war in Australia’s history. A protest, starting at Town Hall, will hear from a state MP, an aid worker and a lawyer and had intended to march via the Sydney Cenotaph in Martin...

Liberal students at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have run a bogus ticket under the name “Green Left” in the QUT Student Guild elections, held over September 20 to 23.

The two main tickets in the election were Epic, backed by the Liberals, and Activate, backed by the Labor...

Fay Waddington, a long-time activist in the Palestine solidarity movement in Brisbane, held a free give-away of “Mohammed Brenner chocolates” to passersby in Boundary Street, West End, on September 24.

Waddington and other supporters have held a regular weekly Palestine solidarity stall...

Pat Eatock laughs at the suggestion that her successful Federal Court action against Andrew Bolt and News Ltd has jeopardised free speech. Bolt is one of Australia’s most widely read columnists, boasting 3 million visits a month.

On September 28, Justice Mordecai Bromberg ruled that the...

World

Crowds burned a US flag in Kabul on October 6 at a rally to mark the 10th anniversary the next day of the US-led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

For three hours, Reuters said, “men and women … with placards and banners accusing the United States of massacring civilians while...

Lina Ben Mhenni, 27, is a Tunisian blogger and activist for freedom of speech, women’s rights and student rights. Her blog, A Tunisian Girl, was censored under Zine el Abidine Ben Ali’s regime.

During the early days of the uprising against Ben Ali that started...

“We Tamils, inside and outside the island of Sri Lanka, still want an independent state,” Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, prime minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), told me recently in New York.

“And because the war crimes and severe brutality of the Mahinda...

A secret cable sent from the US Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1996, released by WikiLeaks, provides an in-depth account of the processes of wealth distribution and waste within the ruling House of Saud.

The cable noted: “Royals still seem more adept at squandering than accumulating...

A blog of those that support the Occupy Wall Street protests, that began in New York in September and have since spread to hundreds of US cities, hosts a series of personal testimonies from ordinary people across the United States. It indicates the source of the deep anger at the corporate elite...

There is a sharp reality disconnect in the Black community.

On the one hand, the Black population continues to support the first African American president, Barack Obama, by more than 90%.

Yet the plight of the Black communities is at its worst condition in three decades....

September 25 will go down as one of the darkest days in Bolivia since Evo Morales was elected as the country’s first indigenous president almost six years ago.

After more than 40 days of indigenous protesters marching, police officers moved in to repress those opposed to the government’s...

Members of the Philippines Air Lines Employees Association (PALEA) have been engaged in three weeks of pickets at the Philippines Airlines (PAL) terminal at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

About 2600 ground crew have fought against forced contractualisation — the...

The Europe Against Austerity conference held in London on October 1 was attended by 681 people, including 150 from outside Britain. This happened the same weekend that two big demonstrations took place.

In Glasgow, a “People First” demonstration of 15,000 called by the Scottish TUC took...

Pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain have gone on the offensive in the face of government repression and harsh sentences for activists arrested in the first wave of protests in February and March.

Large protests began on September 23 against sham by-elections for Bahrain’s toothless...

Inspired by the Arab Spring and Spain's movement of The Indignants (which began occupying city squares to build a citizens' movement for real democracy and against austerity), the Occupy Wall Street movement began taking to the streets in September in the famous financial district in New York....

The declaration published below was unanimously passed by all members of Occupy Wall Street on September 29. It is the first official document for release. Receive an official press copy of the latest version by emailing c2anycga@gmail.com .

#OccupyWallStreet is a people-powered movement...

September 25 will go down as one of the darkest days in Bolivia since Evo Morales was elected as the country’s first indigenous president almost six years ago.

After more than 40 days of indigenous protesters marching, police officers moved in to repress those opposed to the government’s...

Analysis

I am a member of Pulp the Mill, a group of peaceful community protesters who engage in civil disobedience to protest the politically corrupted Tamar Valley pulp mill assessment process in Tasmania.

Pulp the Mill has repeatedly called for a Royal Commission into this corrupted process,...

As part of its attacks on the NSW public sector, the O’Farrell Liberal government will begin charging parents up to $40 a day for each child they send to the once-free public preschools run by the Department of Education and Community Services (DEC). The fees will be introduced next year to the...

Dr Aunty Ruby Langford Ginibi, one of Australia’s foremost Aboriginal authors, passed away on October 2 in a Sydney nursing home. Through her numerous books, short stories, poetry, interviews and public appearances and her commitment to “edu-ma-cating” non-Aboriginal people about Indigenous...

Australia, at least for me, is a paradox. As Dorothy McKellar famously wrote, “I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges and droughts and flooding rains”.

The extremes in our landscape and our weather seem to have been etched into our national psyche...

Ian Angus is editor of climateandcapitalism.com and co-author, with Simon Butler, of the new book Too Many People?. This is his keynote presentation to the recent Climate Change Social Change conference in Melbourne.

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Meetings such as this play a vital role in...

As the world watched the Egyptian people overthrow the hated dictator Hosni Mubarak earlier this year, there would have been many who asked themselves: Could it happen in my country too?

Some did more than wonder, they took to the streets and tried to “walk like an Egyptian” and a wave...

NSW education minister Adrian Piccol has announced a process of “community consultation on the reform of TAFE and the vocational education and training sector in NSW”.

The NSW Liberal government plans to repeat its Victorian counterpart’s attacks on public education and further privatise...

The statement below is a call for solidarity with jailed Pakistani activists, including the Labor Party Pakistan’s Baba Jan. It was released on September 22. To add your support to the statement email politic.ofthepoor@gmail.com.

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On August 11, Pakistani police used live...

Pat Eatock laughs at the suggestion that her successful Federal Court action against Andrew Bolt and News Ltd has jeopardised free speech. Bolt is one of Australia’s most widely read conservative columnists. His blog boasts 3 million web hits a month.

On September 28, Justice Mordecai...

Culture

There’s no doubt that the explosion of social media, mobile technology and online-organising capabilities have dramatically altered the battle terrain of class struggles today in ways good, bad and ugly.

From the Arab Spring to New York’s ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests, social media...

The Woman Who Shot Mussolini
By Frances Stonor Saunders
Faber and Faber, 2010
375 pages, $32.99 (pb)

The Honourable Violet Gibson was not like the other women of the Anglo-Irish elite when it came to Benito Mussolini, the leader of Italy's...

Natacha Atlas, the award-winning electronic-worldbeat artist, has canceled her upcoming show in Israel and will be boycotting the state until the apartheid regime is dismantled.

A statement on her Facebook page reads: "I had an idea that performing in Israel would have been a unique...

Entering the darkened space of the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation that held Vietnamese artist Dinh Q Le’s latest installation, Erasure, which finished on September 10, I imagined myself to be stepping into the psychological space of a disturbed memory.

The brooding...