Green Left Weekly will be liveblogging the Bust the Budget rallies today. We'll being updating this blog with news, photos and video from rallies all over the country throughout the day. *** Updated 4.20pm. Over on the west coast, the Bust the Budget rally in Perth has begun after having to change location due to bad weather. Hundreds have braved the rain to hear from speakers in the Murray Street mall.
Official statistics from the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Information have revealed that 1518 Palestinian children were killed by Israel's occupation forces from the outbreak of the second intifada ("uprising") in September 2000 up to April last year. That's the equivalent of one Palestinian child killed by Israel every three days for almost 13 years.
Since the bodies of three missing Israeli youths were discovered in the occupied West Bank on Monday, Israeli politicians have whipped the public up with demands for “revenge.”
When Gerry Conlon died on June 21, it reminded the world once more of the cases of the Guilford Four and the Birmingham Six, Irish people framed for bombings in England they had noting to do with. Conlon, of the Guilford Four, jailed in 1974, endured more than 14 years in prison, including solitary confinement, before finally clearing his name.
Washington has embarked on a risky course in Iraq that may lead to a new US war. In the face of the swift advance by a Sunni coalition headed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which captured a large swathe of northern and western Iraq, the Obama administration has sent 300 soldiers back into the country. This force, referred to as “observers” or “advisers”, are there to shore up the US-installed Baghdad government in a situation of developing civil war.
One cannot but feel privileged and awed to meet three of Burma's “88 Generation” student uprising leaders: Min Ko Naing who has spent most of the years since 1988 uprising jailed by the Burmese military dictatorship for his opposition activities; Ko Jimmy, who spent 20 years as a political prisoner and who was recently thrown back into what he wryly describes as “our second home” for protesting against fuel price hikes; and Ko Ko Gyi who spent 17 years in prison for opposing the military regime.
A spectre is haunting Venezuela ― the spectre of the colectivos. All the powers of old Venezuela have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise these colectivos: political parties, NGOs, the foreign press, and of course, Twitter users. “Armed thugs”, “vigilantes”, “paramilitaries” ― these are just a few of the hyperbolic terms attached to what has suddenly emerged as the central bogey of the Venezuelan opposition today: “los colectivos.”
Under intense lobbying by big electricity companies, the Tony Abbott government is attempting to scrap the Renewable Energy Target (RET) which aims to have 20% of Australia’s electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2020. In response to this threat, a new community group called Solar Citizens is campaigning to defend existing solar power and extend solar to even more households. They have held public meetings in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.
Australian environmental campaigner Natalie Lowrey has been released after spending five days in a Malaysian prison. She was arrested in Kuantan, Malaysia on June 22 after participating in a protest against Australian company Lynas. A petition for her release gained 15,000 signatures and protests calling for her release were held in Sydney, Perth and Alice Springs. The “Shut Lynas Down” protest was organised by the Green Assembly, a Malaysian environment movement protesting Lynas’ polluting rare earths processing plant.
A glaring omission from the strategy debate over how to fight the budget has been any solid discussion from most union leaders about how and when to deploy industrial action. At the packed out mass delegates' meeting in Sydney on June 12, National Tertiary Education Union activist Susan Price moved two amendments to the official motion that, judging from the room, had they been put would have committed Unions NSW to do just that.
LIFE FOR MOST AUSTRALIANS IS GETTING HARDER, WHILE POLITICIANS SERVE THE WEALTHY. BUT PUBLIC BACKLASH IS BREWING INTO A MOVEMENT TO CHALLENGE THIS SYSTEM, WRITES SUSAN PRICE. In handing down its first budget, the Coalition government echoed its National Commission of Audit, warning that a “business as usual” scenario for public spending on welfare, pensions, public services, health and education is “unsustainable”, even “irresponsible” in Australia today.
Is it just me, or are the government going out of their way to be such extreme bastards on such a wide array of issues, that it seems a plot to just wear us all out? Because once you've screamed “AAAAAAAAARRGGHH” for the 17th time in the first half hour after waking up, you've got no voice left with which to register a protest about the 18th insane injustice — inevitably some proposal to force disabled pensioners to sell at least two still-functioning organs or face being put to work as indentured servants for Gina Rinehart.
In the Shadow of Gallipoli By Robert Bollard NewSouth, Sydney 2013 On April 25, 1915, Australian troops landed at Gallipoli on Turkey’s coast. They were part of a British imperial force aiming to capture Constantinople (now called Istanbul) and the land alongside the narrow waterway linking the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. It was hoped this would enable British ships to enter the Black Sea and bring supplies to allied Russia.
When Treasurer Joe Hockey addressed the Sydney Institute on June 11, he complained that it is not fair that more than $6000 a head will be spent by the government on welfare this year. He said this means "the average working Australian, be they a cleaner, a plumber or a teacher, is working over one month full time each year just to pay for the welfare of another Australian."
The statement below was released by the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN), supported the Sydney Stop the War Coalition, on June 26. *** Anti-war and peace groups from across the nation are uniting to urge the Australian government not to involve itself in any further military action in Iraq. The groups insist that Australia should resist any pressure it might be under to follow the US’s lead – in the way that it did in 2003.
Breakthrough 2014, National Climate Restoration Forum, held over June 21 to 22 in Melbourne, brought together scientists, economists, engineers, business leaders and climate activists. In some regards, the forum represented an important step forward for the Australian climate movement. It highlighted the urgent need to respond to the climate crisis and discussed the possibility of restoring a reasonably safe climate in which human civilisation could continue.