The sixth plenum of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist — UCPN(M)) began on November 20 in Gorka District. It was the largest meeting in the party’s history; more then 7000 local members are taking part in discussions. The Nepalese revolution is in a state of limbo. The current government resigned in May, but continues in a caretaker fashion, as no alternative has come forward.
Western Australia’s proposed “stop-and-search” laws look dead in the water after the National Party opposed the bill on November 11. The proposed laws were to expand WA police powers to search people without having to provide grounds for suspicion. The laws would also allow the police minister to declare areas in which police had the power to arbitrarily stop and search people.
The Anti-Porn Men Project was recently launched. Anti-Porn Men is a website providing men with information and a platform to explore anti-pornography views and arguments. Criticisms of porn from moralistic and religious standpoints are nothing new, but the Anti-Porn Men Project isn’t about moralistic preaching — it comes from a feminist and pro-sex perspective.
Resistance’s Ben Peterson spoke to Mitch Cherry, a member of the Geelong Resistance branch and the Socialist Alliance candidate for Bellarine in the November 27 Victorian state election. Why are you running in the election? What does it mean to be a youth candidate?
On October 20, the committee of the WA parliament tasked to look into the proposed Criminal Investigation Amendment Bill 2009 reported its findings. A majority of the committee opposed the bill, which would drastically expand police stop-and-search powers at the expense of civil liberties. The report was delayed twice due to the controversial nature of the bill and disagreements on the committee. Protests against the proposed laws were held this year by the group, Search For Your Rights.
What’s on your iPod? Personally I have an eclectic mix — from hippyesque acoustic folk through to American “gangsta” rap and random electronic post-modern wankery you'll only hear on Triple J. Musically, we all enjoy different stuff. Most readers of Green Left Weekly would have broadly similar political beliefs, so why the difference? Why don’t people who converge politically also enjoy similar cultural tastes?
The 2006 Jana Andolan (“People’s Movement”), which shut down Nepal and overthrew the 240-year-old Shah monarchy, was widely hailed as the birth of a new era of democracy. For the first time, the people of Nepal were able to elect a constituent assembly in 2008, giving the mass of Nepalis an unprecedented say in the future of their country.
On September 6, 35 people attended a meeting held by the Perth Refugee Rights Action Network to hear a reportback from participants of the RRAN “Compassion Caravan”. The Compassion Caravan involved 25 people traveling to the Leonora detention centre, in remote Western Australia, where 200 men, women and children refugees are detained. The caravan delivered toys and welcome notes to the refugees, written by Perth primary school children.
Eighty people gathered at the State School Teachers Union offices in Perth for the Socialist Ideas Conference over the weekend of June 26-27. Speakers included Jeyakumar Devaraj, Socialist Party of Malaysia MP, and Richard Downs, spokesperson for the Alyawarr People's Walk-off in the Northern Territory.
On April 20, 200 angry protesters shouted down state police minister Rob Johnson, as he tried to justify the anti-democratic “stop-and-search” laws. The proposed legislation allows police to conduct potentially intrusive body searches without suspicion of a crime. The laws would also allow the minister to make any space a “declared area”, which drastically increases police powers in that area. The crowd was also addressed by Greens MLC Giz Watson, Labor opposition police spokesperson Margaret Quirk and Dr David Indermaur from the Crime Research Centre.
Ben Peterson is an activist with the socialist youth organisation Resistance and the Socialist Alliance who spent four-and-half-months in Nepal last year. In New Zealand for a March 21-26 speaking tour, Peterson spoke to UNITYblog, run by Socialist Worker New Zealand, about his experiences in Nepal — where a mass movement brought down a centuries-old monarchy, established a republic in 2008, and the poor continue to struggle for genuine democracy and social justice.
On March 11, 40 people attended a public forum about fighting the Western Australian government’s proposed “stop and search” laws.
Around 200 people attended Camp for Climate Action (Western Australia) near the coalmining town of Collie, 200 kilometres south of Perth from December 17-21.
The movement in Nepal for the restoration of civilian supremacy continued in December, with 100,000 people demonstrating in Kathamndu on December 22 on the final day of a three-day general strike called by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M).
A recent study by Foundation for Young Australians has shown that racism permeates Australian schools. Eighty percent of students from a non-Anglo background said they have been the subjected to racial prejudice. Even white Australians feel they have been subject to racism when at schools. In all, more than two-thirds of young people in Australia feel they are the victims of racism while at school. What a disgrace! We should all feel disgusted and ashamed that racism is still an issue we are yet to overcome. It truly is a sad reflection on the world we live in.
The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M) has initiated a nationwide “people’s movement” to topple the government and anti-people forces.