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The statement below was released on May 1, international workers' day, by Socialist Alliance co-convenors Peter Boyle and Susan Price.

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ABBOTT'S 'STRONGER', 'HAPPIER' AUSTRALIA EQUALS MORE PAIN FOR WORKERS, PENSIONERS AND THE POOR

A casino was a fitting venue to host PM Tony Abbott's keynote address to the 25th birthday dinner of conservative think tank, the Sydney Institute on April 28.

Gaza's Ark, a Palestinian-built protest boat which was preparing to run Israel's naval blockade of the territory, was badly damaged in an explosion on April 29 that organisers blamed on Israel, Alarabiya.net said that day.

The newly formed Left Unity party held its first major policy conference in Manchester on March 29, following its founding conference in November last year. The party has its origins in a call for a new party to the left of Labour made by veteran left-wing filmmaker Ken Loach.

Imagine trying to win public approval for the following scenario: detonate a hydrogen bomb in a remote region of the Pacific that has little contact with the outside world, in meteorological conditions guaranteed to spread radioactive contamination for hundreds of miles, then refuse to evacuate those affected for days finally taking the affected communities to research facilities for extensive and intrusive testing.

There is little doubt that the Catholic Church is in crisis as a result of deep internal problems.

Alongside revelations that child abuse has been widespread within the Church, and that high ranking Church figures were involved in covering up these crimes, it has also been revealed that the Institute for Religious Work (IOR), better known as the “Vatican Bank”, was used for money laundering.

The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands began a legal battle today to demand the world’s nine nuclear-armed powers meet their disarmament obligations. It accused them of “flagrant violations” of international law.

The island group, which was used for 67 US nuclear tests, filed a case with the International Court of Justice in the Hague. It claims the nine countries are modernising their nuclear arsenals instead of negotiating disarmament.
The countries targeted include the US, Russia, Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea.

Since its founding in 1985, the Patriotic Union (UP), a Colombian leftist political party, has been victim of calculated violence from actors across the political spectrum.

Colombia is the only country in the world that includes “political genocide” in its constitution. This is the label given to the violence suffered by the UP ― more than 5000 of whose members and supporters have been assassinated since 1985.

This violence has meant that since 2002, the party has not had enough members to meet the threshold to legally qualify as an officially registered party.

Land & Labour: Marxism, Ecology & Human History
Martin Empson
Bookmarks Publications
London, 2014

With several serious global environmental crises bearing down on us, the question of our age must be “what can we do?”

British socialist Martin Empson urges us to look into the past and into the future for answers in his new book Land and Labour. His message is that human destruction of its environment is not inevitable, although it is very likely if we don’t draw upon the best and worst examples from humanity’s diverse experience.

Oil & Honey: The Education Of An Unlikely Activist
Bill McKibben
Black Inc., 2013
255 pages, $29.95(pb)

When the United States environmental writer Bill McKibben became a climate change activist, he discovered the delights of internet abuse and public meeting crazies, as he entertainingly describes in Oil and Honey.

More than 1100 people, including a large number of young activists, attended Marxism 2014: Ideas to change the system, hosted in Melbourne by Socialist Alternative over April 17-20.

The event continues to be an important public conference in Australia. This year there was an impressive Indigenous history and struggle stream, including activists such as Lex Wotton, who was jailed following the community response to Mulrunji Doomadgee's murder in custody by police on Palm Island, veteran activist Gary Foley; Marjorie Thorpe; Vicky Roach and former Tracker editor Chris Graham.

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