Further rallies and meetings

More than 1000 people rallied at Sydney’s Town Hall at 1pm on December 10 to show their support for Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange. Rallies also occurred in Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth.

The rally, held to coincide with International Human Rights Day, highlighted the importance of freedom of information and the need for transparency in government.

When it comes to rape, the left “still doesn’t get it”, so says Katha Pollitt writing recently in the London Guardian on the defence of Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who is currently being held in Britain facing allegations of sex crimes in Sweden.

The United Nations global climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, looks set to repeat the failures of Copenhagen. The chances of Cancun producing a binding agreement that would avert climate disaster are next to zero.

Many world leaders have not even bothered to attend the summit, which runs from November 29 to December 10.

Leaders of rich nations and the media talked much about the “low expectations” of an agreement in the lead-up to the conference.

As indigenous peoples, we are extremely concerned that the principles agreed upon in the Cochabamba People’s Agreement have been unilaterally removed from the negotiating document [for the Cancun climate conference] that was released on November 24.

Equally alarming is the misrepresentation of the Copenhagen Accord as a legitimate path forward, despite its widespread denouncement by civil society and its tepid reception last December in Denmark, when the United Nations merely “took note of” it.

• The 251,287 leaked cables cover from December 28, 1966 to February 28 2010 and originate from 274 US embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions.

• 15,652 are classified secret.

• 101,748 are confidential.

• 133,887 are unclassified.

• Iraq was the most discussed country, named in 15,365 cables.

• There are 8017 cables from the office of the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a “war of perception... conducted continuously using the news media”. What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where “the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences”.

Reading this, I was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. “We had a secret weapon,” he boasted. “We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media.”

The launch of the community guide to the draft Murray Darling Basin Plan marks the latest step in the largely bipartisan process of water reform that started with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reforms of 1994.

It also graphically displays the risks inherent in the increasingly centralised, Commonwealth-driven approach to water planning that developed under the Howard government and has intensified since.

See also: Philippines: regional conference discusses socialist solutions

The streets of Ayala, Manila, were taken over by about 5000 people on November 25 in a protest against the growing use of contract labour.

Philippine Airlines (PAL), owned by the Philippines second richest man, is the latest company to sack 2700 of his workers and rehire them as outsourced contractors. Contracting out workers allows bosses to pay lower wages and less benefits, and denies workers the security of a permanent job.

Green Left Weekly issue #864 will be our final issue for 2010 as we take a break in production of the hard copy of GLW over the holiday period. The next hard copy edition of GLW will be dated January 26. However, we aim to continue updating this site with news and analysis where possible and necessary over this period. We thank all our readers for your support and wish you the best for holiday season.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of rock star John Lennon’s assassination. Lennon was also an anti-war activist and, in the most radical period of his life in the early 1970s, an unashamed socialist. (You can read an interview given by Lennon and his partner Yoko Ono to British revolutionary socialist magazine Red Mole in 1971 here.)


Subscribe to 864