The 'blue growth' illusion won't save our oceans

The Indonesian government hosted the fifth Our Ocean Conference in Bali on October 29 and 30. It was the latest in a string of oceans-focused summits — with more on the way, such as the The Economist’s World Ocean Summits and the Sustainable Oceans Summits organised by the industry-coalition the World Ocean Council.

These meetings typically bring together different actors including heads of state, transnational environmental NGOs, corporations from a broad array of ocean industries, and so-called “impact investors” to discuss how best to ensure a supposed “sustainable” and “win-win-win” use of coastal and marine resources.

In Germany, thousands took park in an historic mass civil disobedience action against coal

After the recent successful defence of the Hambacher Forest against the threat of destruction by coal giant RWE, more than 5000 people joined a mass civil disobedience action on October 27 and 28 in the coalfields of the German state of North-Rhein Westphalia (NRW).

The action was called by Ende Gelaende, an anti-capitalist environmental group committed to non-violent direct action tactics. It aims to win an immediate end to coal production at Europe’s biggest open-cast mine, the Hambach lignite (brown coal) mine.

Police harassment of the protesters included the eviction of their entire camp on the night before participants were due to arrive, and kettling of activists arriving on a specially chartered train. Organisers were able to relocate and set up a base for direct-action environmentalists from all over Europe.

Running for human rights: Palestine needs support

As I walked through the tight alleyways of Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza earlier this year, I was followed by dozens of curious barefoot children, fascinated that a foreigner had made them a visit. The siege on Gaza has made it nearly impossible for outsiders to enter.

With the children a few steps behind me, smiling and giggling, I made my way through the dusty camp, being greeted and welcomed by Palestinians who came to their doorways as we passed.

I gratefully accepted an invitation from a fisher’s wife to come into their home to see how they lived. She offered me tea on a small silver tray as we stood in her dark kitchen adjacent to one other room, which made up their whole house. Her husband sat on the floor untangling his fishing line after risking his life that day in the sea.

As Trump complains, Mexicans support Central American refugees

United States President Donald Trump has resorted to racist comments and extreme measures in response to a procession of refugees and migrants heading towards the US.

In mid-October, thousands of Hondurans left for a journey of many weeks through Guatemala and Mexico to the US. At its peak, the procession of refugees and migrants has included more than 7000 people fleeing unemployment, poverty and gang violence.

In Spanish and some English press, the procession has been referred to as a “caravan”, but Irineo Mujica, director of Pueblo sin Fronteras (People without Borders) said it was more like an “exodus created by hunger and death”.

Brazilian social leader: 'We defeated the military dictatorship, we'll defeat Bolsonaro'

Shockwaves were sent around the world when fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro won 55% in the second round in Brazil’s presidential elections on October 28, defeating Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT).

Infamous for his support for torture and military dictatorship as well as extreme bigotry towards  women, the LGBTI community and indigenous peoples, millions in Brazil and globally were horrified and frightened. Not so investors, with Brazil’s stock market soaring to new highs on the news of the win by a candidate who has pledged to open up all of Brazil — including ecologically crucial sections of the Amazon — for corporate exploitation.

Bolsonaro’s election benefited from a scare campaign by Brazil’s overwhelmingly right-wing media, as well as a nasty social media campaign. He also had the advantage of the most popular politician — the PT’s Lula — being barred from running by a court order.

'No to Bolsonaro, no to fascism', say solidarity activists in Sydney

Within 24 hours of Brazil’s election result being announced, protesters gathered outside the Brazilian consulate in Sydney to express their opposition to president-elect Jair Bolsonaro and his fascist agenda.

Far-right candidate Bolsonaro was elected president in a second round run-off against Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad on October 28.

However, many have pointed out the undemocratic nature of the elections, which were held under an illegitimate government imposed through a constitutional coup and in which the most popular candidate, PT leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was jailed in order to stop him from running.

Representatives from the Maritime Union of Australia and the National Tertiary Education Union, along with solidarity activists and members of the Brazilian community in Sydney addressed the October 30 snap action.

New doco highlights how residents fought to save public housing

The Eviction: (FKA On the Rocks)
Directed by Blue Lucine

“Millers Point is now an AirBNB ghost town,” director Blue Lucine told the audience of several hundred at the Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, at the world premiere of her powerful documentary, The Eviction (FKA On the Rocks), on October 13.

The Eviction is the story of the NSW Coalition government’s assault on the public housing community in the inner-Sydney suburb of Millers Point.

“I hoped the film would be an account of a community winning its struggle to survive,” Lucine told the Q&A session, following premiere showing. “This is a cautionary tale, a tragedy, of the ‘social cleansing’ of a whole community. But it also shows people not giving up, sticking together, and fighting to the end.


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