Analysis

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.
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.
MichaelMoore.com, 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.
City of Sydney Greens councillor Irene Doutney gave the speech below to Occupy Sydney’s Corporate Tour protest on November 19. * * * I’d like to acknowledge that we are meeting on Aboriginal land, Gadigal land, land that was never sold, ceded or given away. I pay my respects to elders past, present and future. This is Aboriginal land — always was and always will be.
US President Barack Obama announced during his visit to Australia on November 17 a deal with Australia to base 2500 US marines in Darwin. The deal militarises the Asia Pacific and cements Australia as an ally of US imperialist designs in the region. Obama said a US marine task force would be set up in Darwin for humanitarian and disaster relief efforts, but advanced military training, including live firing of ammunition, will be part of the cooperation deal.
Community and Public Sector Union Tasmania general secretary Tom Lynch gave the speech below to a 4500-strong rally in Hobart on November 12. The rally was held in protest at the Labor-Greens state government’s budget cutbacks. * * * While external forces often determine the overall direction a government takes, the path it chooses to get there is for it to determine based on its values and beliefs and the will of the people it represents.
In early November, a Twitter hashtag called #mencallmethings was set up, under which women bloggers can post the sexist, misogynistic and often threatening comments they receive. Tigerbeatdown.com’s Sady Doyle started the tag after becoming angry and disillusioned with the huge amount of sexist hate mail she and other female bloggers had received. Doyle saw the need to publicly challenge this culture of silencing women bloggers.
Renowned Australian historian Humphrey McQueen spoke outside Parliament House, Canberra, at a November 17 protest to mark US President Barack Obama’s Australian visit. His speech, which first appeared on ChrisWhiteOnline, is below. * * * Ten years ago, we were told that we were going to choose who came here. Today, we are exercising that choice by protesting at the arrival of the war and economic criminal Obama.