Dave Holmes

Kobane’s epic resistance against the assault of the genocidal Islamic State (IS) gangs had entered its fourth week by October 10.

The defence had held out against overwhelming odds. The defenders had been forced back, but their lines had not been broken. In some neighbourhoods, street fighting was taking place.

Besieged since September 15, the northern Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Kobane (whose Arabic name is Ayn al-Arab) has mounted a heroic, all-out resistance to the murderous Islamic State gangs.

As of September 25, despite the superior heavy weaponry deployed by the IS, it appears that fierce resistance and determined counter-attacks have halted or slowed the assault. Nonetheless, the IS has pushed closer to the city centre than ever before and the situation remains perilous.

Since September 15, the city of Kobane in the Kurdish-majority liberated area of Rojava in northern Syria has been under intense attack by the murderous forces of the self-styled "Islamic State (IS)".

In July, Kobane (Arabic name: Ayn al-Arab) was besieged by 5000 IS thugs armed with US heavy weapons seized from the disintegrating Iraqi army. The defenders managed to hold out and inflict a heavy defeat on the IS gangs. But this time the attack appears far more serious.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has committed Australia to join the US’s latest military intervention in the Middle East. About 600 Australian military personnel and aircraft operating from a base in the United Arab Emirates will join US forces in bombing Islamic State forces in Iraq and assisting the Kurdistan Regional Government with weapons and training.

‘HUMANITARIAN’ WARMAKING

The Kurdish people are facing an unprecedented challenge. Across a vast swathe of northern Syria and Iraq, the region’s Kurds are locked in a desperate and heroic struggle with the genocidal forces of the so-called Islamic State (IS).

Fighting is raging across a huge front hundreds of kilometres wide, from Aleppo and Kobane in Syria to Mosul and Kirkuk in Iraq — and all points in between.

Moreland council has threatened to divest from any bank that invests in fossil fuel projects.

Since 2008, the big four banks — Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac and NAB — have invested $18.8 billion in fossil fuel projects in Australia. Moreland council has traditionally banked with the Commonwealth Bank, which provides more than $1 billion to new projects that will ship coal and gas through the Great Barrier Reef.


Doug Jordan is arrested during the 1990 tramway strike.

The conference room at the North Melbourne offices of the Electrical Trades Union was packed for a memorial for long-time socialist activist Doug Jordan who died on May 19.

About 130 people attended the moving June 14 function. This showed the high regard in which Doug was held by a wide range of people and his consistent commitment to the struggle on various fronts.

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Samuel Johnson’s aphorism is well known. But what does patriotism actually mean? Is it simply a matter of liking the sunshine, the gum trees, the beaches and a certain lifestyle? Is it about being overcome with emotion when we see the Australian flag or the Anzac Day dawn service?

REAL LOVE OF COUNTRY

The movers and shakers and heavy hitters in our society — politicians, business moguls, journalists in the corporate media, and so on — are all patriotic. But we should be very cynical about this.

Victoria’s scorching January heatwave has focused a lot of attention on the problem of coping with the immediate fallout from climate change.

According to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, in the period January 13 to 23 there were 139 deaths in excess of the expected average. There were reports of homeless people being forced away from airconditioned areas as they sought relief from the relentless heat.

http://m.smh.com.au/victoria/anger-over-spike-in-deaths-during-record-vi...

The unity discussions between the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative have come to an end.
In a November 3 letter on behalf of the Socialist Alternative National Executive, Mick Armstrong wrote: “The overall political projects of both organisations are not sufficiently similar to carry through a sustained and productive unity that could advance the cause of the revolutionary left in Australia and the broader class struggle.”

The Socialist Alternative letter lists four major political differences:

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