Giving voice to freedom fighters in the region

Sivarajan Arumugam from the Socialist Party of Malaysia.

Over the past 27 years, Green Left Weekly has given voice to activists in the Asia-Pacific region fighting for justice and freedom and built up strong bonds of internationalist solidarity with the movements and parties they are part of.

We believe it is important that GLW continues to report on struggles in neighbouring countries from the point of view of the oppressed and exploited majority.

Australia is a junior partner in the cabal of rich, robber states that have long exploited all corners of the world and monopolised its wealth. Every time the United States launches an imperial war, Australian governments — Coalition or Labor — rush to send military forces in.

Australian governments are always squarely on the side of the multinational companies, as the scandalous prosecution of a former Australian spy, Witness K, and his lawyer for allegedly whistleblowing on the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) bugging of East Timor government offices in 2004 shows.

That is why GLW has been reporting on the response by Timorese people to this latest outrageous attack on their sovereignty by their rich neighbour.

Speaking to GLW, Tomas Freitas, from the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT), who has been working with us on this coverage, had this to say: “The first time I read GLW was in 2002, when the first brigade of Democratic Socialist Party comrades arrived in Dili and brought some copies with them.

“I remember for the first time international and local activists rallied together in front of the Mercado Lamain Dili to protest against the signing of an unfair Timor Sea agreement between [then-Australian prime minister] John Howard and [then-East Timor PM] Mari Alkatiri. 

“Now it’s been 16 years and GLW still continues. My admiration for the comrades who never tire of writing and producing this publication! 

“We Timorese activists really appreciate that GLW is always there to tell Australian people about our ongoing fight for sovereignty. We don't feel alone because you always stand with us, Kamaradas.

Muito Obrigado e AlutaKontinua!," said Freitas, which translates as “Thank you very much and the struggle continues!”

It is not just activists in East Timor that appreciate GLW’s role. Here is what a few other activists from the region had to say:

Sonny Melencio, Party of the Labouring Masses (Philippines): “GLW is … an international weekly. It covers events, issues and struggles of peoples across the globe. 

“We are fortunate to have GLW covering happenings in the Philippines too, especially now when our rights are under attack by a neo-fascistic government that has unleashed a killing spree against the poor under the guise of a ‘war on drugs’, and which has redoubled neoliberal policies...”

GLW coverage … allows us to learn about the struggles of movements in Australia and around the world against neoliberalism, human rights violations, racism, environmental degradation, and other pressing issues that highlight capitalist decay.

“Through the paper, we become a part of international movements and trends clamouring for an end to barbarism and collectively struggling for socialism.”

Kavita Krishnan, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation: “GLW has shown the global left how it can do battle with corporate media and create a platform for people's media which will prioritise people’s movements and people's perspectives and ideas.”

Sivarajan Arumugam, Socialist Party of Malaysia: “[GLW is] my source of critical analysis and a call for activism in Australia and all around the world. It is a reliable alternative news media to expose capitalism.”

Farooq Tariq, Awami Workers Party (Pakistan): “I have been regularly reading GLW now for over 20 years. It is a great source of political information not only about the left and labour movement in Australia but also internationally.”

“My red salute to all those who are producing it, contributing by selling and giving donations, and all those who are reading and spreading progressive ideas in Australia and around the world.

“You do your work for the ultimate goal of a socialist revolution, we will do ours for the same cause — a united struggle against capitalism helped and aided by GLW.”

Here at GLW, we know it is not only Australian governments that are consistently on the wrong side of justice and freedom in the Asia-Pacific. The big business media conglomerates are also on the side of the corporate robbers.

This is why independent, people-powered media projects such as GLW are so important.

GLW has recently launched a new system where readers can become regular financial supporters of this vital project.

If you’re on a limited budget, chip in as little as $5 a month and we will send you a digital copy of GLW each week. Chip in $10 or more a month and you will get a digital or hard copy, or both. It’s up to you.

We’ll bring you more of these stories from supporters over the coming weeks and months. You too can add your story by writing to us at subscriptions@greenleft.org.au.

More importantly, you can help grow this important media project by becoming a regular supporter. Sign up today or phone us on 1800 634 206 (free call from anywhere in Australia).