When the right-wing press isn’t hacking the voicemail of murdered teenagers, much of its energy goes to denouncing “green extremists”. You know, the ones who’d destroy our economy just to claw back a few tonnes of greenhouse emissions. So what would Rupert Murdoch, Andrew Bolt and their whole tribe prefer be done, in practice and in the near term, to stop global warming? Let’s be honest — nothing. Cutting emissions, they implicitly argue, will inevitably cost more than if society lets carbon polluters get on with what they do best.
About 200 people have arrived on boats to claim refugee protection in Australia since the Australian and Malaysian governments signed a deal to “swap” refugees on July 25. The countries agreed to exchange up to 800 refugees in Australia for 4000 refugees registered with the United Nations in Malaysia. The immigration department has refused to look at the new arrivals’ claims for asylum, but is holding them in an isolated compound of the Christmas Island detention centre. A boat that arrived on August 11 carried more than 100 refugees, many of them children.
Distinguished US activist, writer and former political prisoner Angela Davis addressed a public forum in Sydney on August 11 organised by the prisoner rights group Sisters Inside. Davis was a keynote speaker at Sisters Inside's sixth International Conference on the criminalisation of women and imprisonment, held in Sydney over August 10 to 12. Her speech at the August 11 public forum is below. * * *
Boycott Israel 19, August 11 - Israeli activists from the pro boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign in Israel issued the statement below on August 11 in support of Australian pro-Palestine activists in Melbourne who have faced arrests and intimidation from the Victorian government. * * * Following anti-Democratic Arrests and Intimidation Attempts: Israeli Citizens in Solidarity with Australian BDS Activists!
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on August 10.
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 the Rupert Murdoch-owned News International plant at Wapping against the sacking of more than 5000 workers and the de-recognition of unions.
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 community opposition.
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 better then the Tories? Isn’t it our party? Well, it is a party that’s designed for progressives, unionists and activists, but that doesn’t mean that it's ours. If you look at its history, the ALP has attracted progressive people but rarely helped create change.
Australian musician Olivia Newton-John released this open letter on July 31. * * * My fellow Australians: I love this country, its people, its rugged beauty, its rainforests, its vastness and unique wildlife. And, as a longtime advocate of the environment, I am greatly concerned for the continued health and wellness of Australia. My dream is that our children and grandchildren can enjoy the Australia that we all know and love. That is why I am horrified to learn of the extensive plans for coal seam gas and shale gas exploration in Australia.
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, not anywhere”, released the open letter below on July 27. * * * To ministers Tanya Plibersek and Jenny Macklin and to the local federal members for Banks, Blaxland and Watson.
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 media. * * * In some ways the scandal around Rupert Murdoch’s media empire shows the potential crisis of the corporate media in a negative sense.
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 the NSW Greens, also featured a health professional and community campaigners that said coal seam gas was bad for humans and the environment. They called for a moratorium on the industry — covering current and future mining — until more research had been done on the impacts of coal seam gas mining.