Peter Boyle

Intimidation by armed right-wing thugs and police harassment failed to disperse the January 18-20 founding congress of Indonesia’s new National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) at Kaliurang, near Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

Last Friday, as I sat down to write this, a progress report on the Green Left Weekly fighting fund was emailed in from Will who heads our small but serious finance team. More than $16,000 came in from our supporters the previous week (donations and fund raising events), taking the total raised this year to $203,815.

One of the biggest lies that the corporate media has relentlessly pushed for many years is that the trade union movement is a “special interest group”. They argue this because only 23% of workers are members of trade unions today. However, studies show that the great majority of workers look to unions to defend their rights at work, would join unions if given the opportunity and if they didn’t risk being penalised by their boss.

For most of us, if you lose your job you’re in serious financial trouble. Not so for recently sacked US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

How hard is it to raise $76,500 before the end of this year? Not hard at all for some organisations. As the November 1 Sydney Morning Herald reported: “Opposition Leader, Peter Debnam, took to the harbour last night for a fund-raising cruise with the property industry aboard a luxury cruiser owned by a developer, Greg Gav.

If the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund is going to make its target of $250,000 by the end of this year we will have to raise $95,000 over the next 10 weeks. That is a challenge, but we’ve made this sort of dash before and we can do it again.

One of the first things I usually do on a Saturday morning is read the “Number Crunch” column in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine. I find the assorted collection of interesting statistics irresistible.

When Indigenous activist and socialist Sam Watson talks about "serious political business" he means just that.

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