A “controlled burn” by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) got way out of control in south-west Western Australia on November 23, turning into a raging bushfire that destroyed thirty homes and was still not under control days later. Suburbs affected include Gnarabup and Prevelly. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes.
After months of relentless propaganda by mining companies and the corporate media, the idea of taxing the super profits of the big mining companies remains a popular measure. Recent Essential Research polling said 51% support such a tax (up from 50% since July 2010). Opposition to it rose from 28% to 33%.

Tahrir (“Liberation”) Square in Cairo was the birthplace of hope for millions if not billions of people this year. It was here that the Egyptian people launched a mighty democratic revolution, writes Peter Boyle.

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on November 25. * * * The federal government, through its “Stronger Futures” bill and associated legislation, seeks to lock in “intervention mark II” — for 10 years.
The increased US military presence in Australia, announced by PM Julia Gillard and US President Barack Obama during Obama’s November 16-17 visit, is a setback for peace. Australia should be closing existing US military bases in Australia and put an end to existing joint military exercises with US forces. Australia should stop taking part in US-led military aggression. In particular, it should withdraw Australian soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Gillard and Abbott fly in and out of Afghanistan under heavy protection from harm. Both curry political advantage from the khaki vote. The rest of us see young Ozzie lives ripped apart without any obvious gain to ordinary Afghans. Let the pollies go and fight their own useless war …” “Dan51” from Sydney, who made this comment under a November 22 Sydney Morning Herald article, is part of the majority (64% in the November 21 Essential Poll or 72% according to Roy Morgan), who want Australian soldiers out of Afghanistan.
A voluntary system of certifying whether goods are free from forced labour is about as far as things go in Australia when it comes to abolishing the slave trade throughout the world. Though it is illegal to import slave made goods, there has never been a single prosecution for the crime in Australia. STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia believes it should not be left to the ethics of consumers to decide whether to purchase products made by slaves. Rather, they simply shouldn’t be available in Australia.
Stop the War Coalition Sydney released the statement below on November 23. * * * Since November 17, Egyptians demanding an end to military government and for a democratically-elected and controlled government have battled riot police and security forces.
Socialist Alliance released the statement below on November 24. * * * "The Australian government should come out and support the Egyptian people in their demand that the Egyptian Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) return the government to the people who successfully ousted the former dictator Hosni Murbarak in February this year, " Socialist Alliance national convenor Peter Boyle said today., Nov 22 -- This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement's "vision statement" to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:
The Mercury, Nov 22 -- There they fell during 2011, one after the other in past-their-prime domino descent. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from Tunis, Hosni Mubarak from Cairo, Dominique Strauss-Kahn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Muammar Gaddafi from Tripoli, Georgios Papandreou from Athens, Silvio Berlusconi from Rome, US football guru and sex-crime cover-upper Joe Paterno from Penn State University. Media baron Rupert Murdoch, soccer supremo Sepp Blatter, Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad and Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh looking decidedly shaky, too.
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on November 16. * * * "PM Julia Gillard's policy backflip on the sale of uranium to India, a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), is yet another sorry betrayal of ALP policy on the mining and export of uranium," said Socialist Alliance national convenor Peter Boyle. "This will become yet another reactionary bi-partisan policy, in a parliament dominated by two big parties for the corporate rich.