Phil Orchard

100,000 people marching

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law a bill that bans collective bargaining by most of the state’s public sector workers right on March 11. High school students in the capital, Madison, walked out of school in protest the same day — the second straight day of student strikes in the city.

Protest in Madison Wisonsin

The protests that began on February 14 in Madison, Wisconsin against an anti-union bill have continued to grow. On February 26, an estimated 100,000 people defied sub-zero temperatures to rally against the bill. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s bill would outlaw collective bargaining for public sector workers, as well as slash pay and conditions. However, several events have combined to compound pressure on public sector workers and unions resisting the attacks. It remains to be seen whether this pressure will result in the proposed bill becoming law.

If you have consulted Karl Marx for an answer to the recent global economic crisis, you are not alone. Google has confirmed the popularity of Marx’s writings is booming as people around the world try to make sense of increasingly harsh economic conditions. The phenomenon was reported in an article posted at by Rana Foroohar, who said: “I consulted Google to see if the term ‘Marxism’ was trending upward. It was and has been ever since the end of December.”
If you intended to remedy the global collapse of fishing stocks, the last thing you would do is book a date with Japanese whalers at an upmarket seafood restaurant. Similarly, if you were writing a book on human rights, asking Kim Jong Il to write a chapter might undermine its credibility. By the same logic, inviting the world’s corporate and political elites to a ski resort in the Swiss Alps to discuss the growing disparity between the world’s rich and poor is distasteful and ludicrous.
The fall of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak sent waves of joy, jubilation and relief through Sydney's Egyptian community, who celebrated their country's newfound freedom outside Town Hall on February 12. Amnesty International hosted the celebrations. Socialist Alliance members, and members of other left groups, were also present as part of their ongoing campaign of solidarity with the Egyptian people. Chants of “Down, down Mubarak” from previous solidarity rallies were replaced with choruses of “Freedom for Muslims, Christians, Jews! Freedom for everyone!"
Hopes & Prospects By Noam Chomsky Haymarket Books, 2010 US$16 Noam Chomsky requires little by way of introduction. Eminent professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Chomsky has been one of the world’s leading public intellectuals for the past 50 years. His advocacy and activism for countless causes, and his many books, have long been a source of courage and inspiration for those fighting for a more just, democratic and peaceful world.