Caroline Lund, a lifelong fighter for socialism, workers’ rights and women’s liberation, died at her home in Oakland, California, on October 14, aged 62. She will be sorely missed by her friends and comrades in the US and around the world, especially her lifelong partner and comrade Barry Sheppard.
At a Just Peace meeting on October 20, it was proposed by Wade McDonald, a leader of the International Socialist Organisation, that all paper selling be banned outside an upcoming forum on Islamophobia co-hosted by Just Peace.
Millions of people on low-lying islands and lands in the Asia-Pacific region will become refugees in the next 40 years due to rising sea levels induced by climate change, according to a CSIRO report issued on October 8. The report was written by scientists with CSIROs marine and atmospheric research division, and was commissioned by aid and conservation agencies forming the national Climate Change and Development Roundtable.
On October 27, women and their supporters will rally in many cities, towns and rural areas around the world to protest against sexual violence against women and children. Over the past 28 years, Reclaim the Night rallies and marches have encouraged women to protest against violence and sexual assault.
Al Gores documentary An Inconvenient Truth has helped focus attention on the threat posed by fossil-fuel driven climate change. Gores film was met with a predictable barrage of criticism by right-wing pundits. For example Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt wrote in a September 13 article that the former US vice-presidents ludicrous scaremongering contains exaggerations, half-truths and falsehoods.
Biofuels such as ethanol have been presented by alternative energy entrepreneurs and many environmentalists as a clean, green alternative to fossil fuels. But recently a growing chorus of scientists have warned of the dangers of biofuels.
“Liberal Senator Gary Humphries has attempted to reignite a 50-year-old political fear of reds under the bed”, reported the Canberra Times on Thursday October 12. The article was referring to an October 10 speech in the Australian Senate, during which Humphries launched an attack on socialist Cuba and Australian supporters of the Cuban Revolution.
Aint that the truth, said the Socialist Alliances lead upper house candidate in next Marchs NSW state election, Susan Price. And it sums up why were running against them.
Architects for Peace, Australia, took an active part in the protests against Israels attacks on Lebanon and Palestine. Beatriz Maturana, a founder of the group, told Green Left Weekly that the group formed in February 2003, in response to the invasion of Iraq. It continues to campaign against the US-led occupation of Iraq.
In the first eight days of October, 30 coalition troops and close to 300 Iraqi civilians and security forces were killed. Iraq has become such a shameful example of Western arrogance that such figures barely warrant a mention on our television screens or in newspapers.
Pope Benedict XVI is reported to be on the verge of authorising the return of the Latin Tridentine mass. This would open the way for some of the most extreme clerical reactionaries and anti-Semites to rejoin the Catholic Church.
Australia has the most concentrated media ownership in the Western world. Nonetheless, the new media bill passed by the Senate on October 12 will further relax ownership regulation and allow the media barons to operate in two out of three media sectors print, radio and television.
The federal government last week pushed through its new cross-media ownership laws, ensuring greater concentration of media ownership and a loss of diversity in Australias media. The following article by Christian Downie, published on Online Opinion (<http://www.onlineopinion.com.au>) provides some background to the debate over the media laws.
The last issue of Green Left Weekly published the story of gay asylum seeker Mohatar Hussein. Hussein fled homophobic persecution in Bangladesh to seek refugee status in Australia, only to be locked up in Villawood detention centre for the last two years. The Refugee Review Tribunal twice knocked back Husseins applications, despite having ample evidence that he had suffered persecution as an openly gay man.
Two cases of ruthless exploitation of Chinese guest workers have recently come to light in the printing industry, throwing the spotlight on the plight of the growing number of guest workers.
Gary Meyerhoff, long-time activist and founder of the Network Against Prohibition (NAP), died from an AIDS-related illness on October 7. A tireless campaigner for the rights all those who slipped through societys cracks, Meyerhoff was an optimist and not afraid to push the limits. He organised around issues and with sections of society that other activists usually put in the too-hard basket.