Issue 935

Australia

A small but vocal group of people gathered outside the Land and Environment Court in Sydney on August 20 to protest against Rio Tinto’s plans to extend its Mount Thorley Warkworth coalmine near Bulga, in Singleton Shire in the NSW Hunter Valley.

The protesters held banners saying “Don’t...

In response to attacks on jobs and services by the Barry O’Farrell Coalition NSW government, Unions NSW is launching Local Union and Community Councils (LUCCs) across the state. Many of these groups are based upon networks established during the Your Rights At Work campaign in 2007.

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Telstra sends jobs offshore

Regional communities are furious at Telstra’s announcement that it will axe 651 jobs from Queensland, NSW and Victoria. Last year, Telstra made $3.4 billion profit.

Local councils say the 126 job cuts in Townsville and 116 job cuts at...

Residents in Sydney’s southwest have slammed AGL’s coal seam gas activity in NSW. AGL has admitted that it failed for three years to meet a requirement to monitor air emissions from its Camden Gas Project.

The August 22 Camden-Narellan Advertiser reported that the Scenic Hills...

The South Australian Feminist Collective (SAFC) brings together feminists from different backgrounds. It holds regular meetings and forums on issues relating to women in Australia today. The collective held a forum on reproductive rights last month, which focussed on the current legislation...

Students will vote on proposed amendments to the University of South Australia's (UniSA) UniLife constitution from August 27 to September 3. UniLife provides various amenities to UniSA students and is run by an elected student board.

Over the past nine months, the board has redrafted...

The Arid Lands Environment Centre and the Environment Centre Northern Territory released the statement below on August 8.

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The Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) and the Environment Centre NT are calling for a moratorium on approvals for non-conventional gas extraction and...

Friends of the Earth and Quit Coal released the statement below on August 24.

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While it is a vindication of the community’s concerns about the harmful impacts of coal seam gas mining, today’s announcement by the Baillieu Government of a moratorium on coal seam gas fracking...

Representatives of the taxi industry have urged the Victorian Taxi Industry Inquiry to adopt its proposal for centrally booked door-to-door share ride minibuses as an alternative to many regular bus routes.

Peter Erwin and Douglas Clark, who describe themselves as having extensive...

The campaign against the Liberal National Party Queensland government’s public sector cuts and suppression of alternative views is gathering momentum in the state’s Far North region.

The union Together has organised a rally in the Atherton Tablelands town of Mareeba on August 26. The...

Occupy La Trobe, formed by La Trobe University students to fight cuts proposed to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Services (HUSS), published the statement below from the Stop the HUSS Cuts Collective on August 23.

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We the Stop the HUSS Cuts collective have peaceably...

Residents of Fullerton Cove, on the outskirts of Newcastle, set up a blockade on Monday 20 August to prevent Dart Energy from drilling two coal seam gas pilot wells that are currently under construction.

The Fullerton Cove Residents Action Group wrote to Dart Energy questioning the...

The Coal Terminal Action Group hosted a public forum on August 21, with several expert speakers opposing the proposed fourth coal loader for Newcastle, known as the “T4”.

Georgina Woods, senior climate campaigner with Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said T4 was not “just another coal...

About 200 people rallied against La Trobe University executives’ massive cuts to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences on August 22. Protesters occupied the Agora at La Trobe’s Bundoora campus in support of a hunger strike against the cuts.

They occupied the campus overnight....

The Socialist Alliance NSW released the statement below on August 21.

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“Parramatta City Council has a civic responsibility to respond urgently to the report from the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) that the lack of affordable housing has reached crisis levels...

One hundred and fifty people attended a lively conference held over August 18-19 titled “Fidel in the 21st century: his contribution and ideas for a better world”. The event examined the inspiring life and historic political contribution of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

The...

Organisers of an Adelaide rally to support WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released the statement below on August 22.

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Supporters of Julian Assange have organised a protest today (Wednesday, 21st August) at 5pm at Parliament House. The rally is one of many protests that...

World



Sonny Melencio, chairperson of the Partido Lakas ng Masa, reflects on the politics of class and catastrophic climate change in the wake of the 2012 Manila floods.



Jade Lee, a residents' rights and environmental activist, explains why there is powerful community opposition to the commencement of operation of a rare earth refinery in Malaysia by Lynas, an Australian company.

See also: Stop Lynas campaigners challenge company's licence to operate...

In the early evening of August 6, a series of explosions at the Richmond Chevron oil refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area sparked a huge fire that burned for hours.

The fire sent a huge black cloud that went for miles over densely populated areas. Tens of thousands of residents were...

In May 2008, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez endorsed Plan Socialist Guyana (PGS), drawn up by elected representatives from workers in Venezuela's heavy industry sector in Guyana.

This plan calls for the introduction of workers' control across the state-owned industries grouped in the...

With weary familiarity, Britain’s government deficit — the gap between what it spends, and what it receives from taxes — has been revealed as far worse than anticipated.

Last month, the government borrowed £557 million ($846 million). In July last year, it saved £2.5 billion — spending...

British-Pakistani author, journalist and activist Tariq Ali chaired a rally outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on August 19. The rally came before WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange's widely publicised speech. Ali also gave two speeches. In the second, he spoke about...

The statement below was released on August 23 by Craig Murray, a former British ambassador and career diplomat, on the Ecuadorean embassy siege in London. It is reprinted from www.wikileaks.org.

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My name is Craig John Murray. I am a retired British...

Free Syrian Army (FSA) leader Abdul Salaam types on his Dell laptop while a comrade sitting nearby taps a text message on his iPhone.

Eight of his fighters lounge around an apartment living room late one night. Their 150-man brigade, Ahrar Syria (Free People of Syria), even has its own...

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to Montreal's streets on August 22 for the monthly protest march of Quebec's student movement.

The movement has organised big marches on the 22nd of each month since March of this year.

The march was an impressive display of militancy and...

The 34,000 employees who work at the Polar Business food production conglomerate in Venezuela have denounced what they describe as a violation of their labour and social rights.

The workers accused the company of trying to destabilise the country in the run up to the presidential...

The deluded and deranged fantasy world of the woman-hating, anti-choice right wing filled front page headlines in August, thanks to the comments of Missouri Republican representative and Senate candidate, Todd Akin.

Asked during an interview on August 19 whether he thinks abortion should...

In the aftermath of the terrible Marikana massacre on August 16, many statements have been released by South Africa's left, condemning and explaining the murder of more than 34 miners that day and several others in the weeks previously. Many of these statements can be read at Green Left...

Burger King is trying to intimidate and silence its workers and the Unite union from criticising the company.

The company has applied to the Employment Relations Authority seeking an injunction to stop Unite from organising teach-ins at its stores about how the company is treating its...

More than 2 million square kilometres of Arctic ice that should be there, is not. A few years ago, United Nations models predicted climate change would lead to ice-free Arctic summers within 100 years.

Now, some scientists say it could melt away completely within the next few 100 weeks....

Analysis

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on August 25.

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The government of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa gave Julia Gillard's Australian government a lesson in dignity on August 16 when, facing British threats to raid its London embassy, it granted asylum to...

Sydney City Greens councillor Irene Doutney is a fighter. She’s a public housing tenant and knows a thing or two about the dispossessed and disadvantaged. She is part of a rich council that sprawls from Millers’ Point in the north and Annandale in the West to Moore Park in the east to St Peters...

The attacks on tertiary education around Australia continue to escalate. The University of Wollongong has announced it would reduce the current 11 faculties into five “super-faculties” as part of a five-year plan aimed at putting the university in the “top 1%” of global institutions.

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1. Set immediate emission cut targets to reduce net emissions to zero as soon as possible, including a target to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2020. Introduce emissions reduction targets of at least 5% a year.

2. Begin new international treaty negotiations aimed to get all countries...

OK, nobody panic or anything, but it seems another key plank in Gina Rinehart's plot to destroy the Earth has been given the green light. Gina Rinehart's multibillion-dollar Alpha coal mine and rail project in central Queensland has been granted federal government approval, ABC.net.au said on...

The Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on August 24.

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The Refugee Action Coalition has welcomed the government’s announcement to immediately increase Australia’s refugee intake to 20,000. But the government could and should have increased the intake...

In recent months, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has taken to highlighting the role of state electricity utilities in pushing up power prices. Average power bills have been rising rapidly — 69% over four years in NSW.

Gillard said on June 14: “The big mass of the costs, coming out of the...

The independent Gonski review, commissioned by the federal government into school funding, was released in February. It concluded that Australia is investing far too little in education and that in our wealthy country there are many schools that are underprivileged.

It also concluded...

The Tasmanian Greens have proposed the “biggest reform in the Tasmanian electricity sector since the dams were built", in its response to an expert panel that reviewed the state’s electricity industry earlier this year.

About 80% of the Tasmania’s electricity comes from hydro power,...

Five words sum up federal opposition leader Tony Abbott's response to some sharp questions put to him by journalist Leigh Sales in the August 22 episode of ABC TV's 7.30: Liar, liar, pants on fire!

If you need a good example of a person with a chronic disposition to lie, this is...

The personal saga of WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has been used to overshadow the ground-breaking journalism of WikiLeaks in exposing the secrets of governments and corporations around the world.

Australian diplomatic cables obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald in...

Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on August 22.

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The fire last week that consumed 1600 hectares of bush around Bulli Tops, forced the F6 to close, and threatened homes at Darkes Forest also burned right through one of the approved (now lapsed) CSG well sites in...

What is solidarity? It is a term used frequently on the left, and one that demands attention. Solidarity refers to an act or expression of mutual support among a group of people. However, capitalism can narrow the parameters of solidarity and weaken its collective power to acts of individualism...

Culture

Smokey’s Haunt
Urthboy
Elefant Traks
Out October 12
Touring from August 30

Has the internet turned activists into "slacktivists"? It's just one of the questions posed on Smokey’s Haunt, the new album by the persistently...

Go Back To Where You Came From
Series Two
SBS One
From Tuesday, August 28, at 8.30pm

Catherine Deveny wasn’t quite sure what she would be in for when she agreed to appear in the second series of SBS’s hit refugee reality TV show, Go Back To...

In an act as appropriate as it is overdue, the Australian parliament began debating issuing an official state apology on August 20 to the country's late, great sprinter Peter Norman.

Norman won the 200-meter silver medal at the 1968 Olympics, but that is not why he is either remembered...