Monday, December 29, 2008

Protest massacre in Gaza at Hamilton Clocktower Wens 31st @ 4pm

Speakout against the massacre being conducted in Gaza by the IDF
Join the world in condemning this hideous crime

At Hamilton Clocktower, Beaumont St
4 pm, Wednesday, 31st December

Here are some links:

Slaughter In Gaza

The BBC Video Report

Israeli F-16 bombers have pounded targets across the Gaza Strip, killing more than 200 people, according to local medical workers. Click to view

Eyewitness: Chaos in Gaza
We can see from our office here in Gaza, in the middle of Gaza City, ambulances are still evacuating the injured from buildings and school kids are trying to find secure places. 

Enquiries: Niko Leka, 0406296141
Newcastle NoWAR Collective

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sixty people occupy Sharon Grierson's office

Sixty people marched into and occupied Sharon Grierson's office on Tuesday, in an immediate and angry reaction to the failure of the Rudd government to deal with climate change.

The protest, organised by Climate Action Newcastle, was organised after Ms. Grierson had repeatedly ignored requests to meet with the group in the lead-up to what spokesperson Duncan Jinks called the most important white paper in Australia's history.

Australian climate scientist, Professor Barry Brook, said in his blog on Monday that "the scientific reality of the physics, chemistry and biology of climate change and climate feedbacks [is] a process which cares nothing for these bold ambitions or how hard we might be trying."

Australia has received international condemnation for the weakest 2020 target in the developed world, which amounts to a 13% increase on 1990 levels, worse than the US 0% increase on 1990 levels, and far worse than the 25-40% on 1990 levels recommended by scientists.

Churches in the Pacific Islands, some of which nations are already looking for evacuation plans due to rising sea levels and crop salinity, immediately lashed out at the government, saying that "Australia has just outdone the minimum!"

South Africa, India and China also criticised Australia in Poznan for its expected failure to meet the 25-40% commitment generally agreed to at Bali. 49 of the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs), called on the world to aim for greenhouse concentrations of 350ppm, which would commit developed countries to much higher reductions.

The sit-in at Sharon Grierson's office, which coincided with 10 other office occupations around the country and rallies of hundreds of people in every major Australian city, demonstrated that Australians would act on climate change even if the government did not, and even if it meant breaking the law.

A small hope for the planet.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rudd gives up on climate

The Rudd government has officially given up on an effective climate action strategy in an announcement at the National Press club today.

The Prime Minister announced that Australia would emit 95% of its current emissions in 2020, and would only go down to 85% if pressured by the rest of the world.

In either scenario, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would rise indefinitely, making the complete melting of the Arctic ice cap very likely.

As Mr. Rudd made the announcement, three Newcastle women interrupted him, yelling "No! You have given up on the Great Barrier Reef. We will never walk away from climate change!"

The gallery, filled with senior journalists, cabinet members and Greens parliamentarians, appeared stunned as they heard the news.

It is unclear what science Rudd is using to back up his targets.

Five minutes after the announcement, 15 people occupied Rudd's Brisbane office and 50 people converged on Wong's Adelaide office, calling on the government to halve carbon emissions by 2020 and indicating that they would continue to take direct action if the Government failed to address the science.

It is expected that waves of people from community climate action groups will stage similar protests over the next week.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

World to Australia - don't wreck negotiations again

China and South Africa are among countries at the international climate talk-fest in Poznan pleading with the Australian government not to block consensus on binding short-term emissions reduction targets yet again.

Although it is widely known that Australia helped to wreck climate negotiations all through the denialist Howard years, it is less widely known that at the UNFCC in Bali, one month after the Rudd government's election, Australia yet again teamed up with the US, Canada and Japan to block consensus on binding short-term targets.

Instead, Australia committed to an aspirational target of 25-40% by 2020, a promise which they are expected to break when Penny Wong announces Australia's target next Monday.

China, whom Rudd and Wong routinely blame for climate change, has now called on Australia to keep its promise and not to pull a Bali again.

Scientists are unsure that a 40% reduction by 2020, if implemented universally, will be enough to prevent humanity from completely melting the Arctic ice cap and tipping us into a dangerous runaway climate zone.

However, new hopes emerged at Stansted airport this morning, where 57 people from the action group Plane Stupid have put their freedom on the line by blockading the runaway and leading to the cancellation of 50 flights, saving 2300 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The activists were protesting against the hypocritical approval of an airport expansion intended largely to service short-haul "love mile" flights, even as the UK has adopted a stricter 80% by 2050 emissions reduction target.

"We're afraid of what the police might do to us, we're afraid of going to jail but nothing scares us as much as the threat of runaway climate change. We've thought through the consequences of what we're doing here but we're determined to stop as many tonnes of CO2 as we can," said spokesperson Lily Kember.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Support Oz's progressive independent paper, Green Left Weeky

David Rovics (USA) and Alistair Hulett (Scotland) will be playing  for our major Green Left Weekly fundraiser at the Croatian Club, Wickham, from 8:30pm on Wednesday 17th December.

It will be a night of revolutionary political music opening with local political songwriter Paul Spencer, and closing by dancing to Newcastle chunky hip hop underground band DHOPEC.

David Rovics is called the musical voice of the progressive movement in the US. He spends most of his time on the road,. playing with musicians like Billy Bragg and the Indigo Girls. He will make you laugh, he will make you cry, and he will make the revolution irresistible.

Alistair Hulett founded the Oz folk punk band, Roaring Jack in the 90s. He’s played with the likes of Billy Bragg, The Pogues and lately with Dave Swarbick (Fairport Convention). Although he presents his material in a relaxed way, his hard edged social and political commentary will grab you. 

So grab your friends 'n family 'n party animals and come along. $15/$13, licensed venue and food available. Contact Niko 0406296141.