In an article in the Guardian on October 28, Antony Loewenstein says that he does not write about feminism because he fears being “attacked by women for questioning a consensus position on feminist issues”. “Writing about feminism when male is like gate crashing a party,” he said, “and I’m concerned I’ll be slammed for daring to arrive without an invitation.”
A young Kurdish woman called “Rehana” has garnered a great deal of media attention over the past few days, after reports emerged claiming she had killed more than 100 Islamic State (IS) fighters ― single-handedly ― in the struggle to defend predominantly Kurdish Rojava in Syria's north. A picture of the smiling beauty, wearing combat gear and toting a rifle, is still making the rounds of social media. Even as Rehana's circumstances remain uncorroborated, the overabundance of attention she has received raises several important questions.
Israel’s July-August war on Gaza, under the pretext of Operation Protective Edge to counter Palestinian rocket fire, demonstrated why it will never defeat the Palestinian resistance. Israel formally withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2005, yet has retained absolute control over the strip via its siege. Israel controls everything going in and out of Gaza. It officially imposed its blockade and a “buffer zone” inside Gaza that led to 20% of the strip being declared a no-go area for Palestinians.
Israeli drink machine company SodaStream announced on October 29 that it will close its settlement-based factory in the occupied West Bank next year. The move was hailed as a victory by campaigners for the boycott of Israel, who said they would continue to target SodaStream for its other human rights violations.
The Vancouver Sun published a description on October 24 of the troubled man who killed a guard in Ottawa two days before and then entered Canada’s parliament building carrying his gun. The 32-year-old man, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was shot and killed by police. The Sun reporters spoke to people who knew Zehaf-Bibeau while he lived in Vancouver during recent years. They described an angry and troubled man grappling with mental illness and drug addiction.
Australian urban roots and reggae band Blue King Brown have joined musicians, artists and writers using their artistic talents to expose the political fraud and brutal genocide that the Indonesian government has committed against the West Papuan people.
Australian-based company OceanaGold is suing El Salvador for US$301 million for its “right” to continue operating a gold mine that is destroying the Central American nation's water supply. The El Dorado goldmine was originally owned by Canadian company Pacific Rim, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of OceanaGold last year. The Australian company is continuing Pacific Rim's lawsuit, suing the Salvadoran government over a moratorium on mining permits. In 2008, the right-wing National Republican Alliance (ARENA) government was forced by public demand to issue the moratorium.
The Making of English Social Democracy By Peter Cockcroft. Australian Ebook Publisher Kindle edition 236 pages, $1.05 It may seem a strange ask to encourage socialists to examine the politics of late Victorian Britain when there is so much else to be done. But Peter Cockcroft makes a significant case that understanding this aspect of the past can help us to make some sense of where we are now.
The University of Western Sydney Resistance club released this statement on October 28. *** Student campus councillor at UWS Bankstown Mia Sanders has slammed the federal government’s higher education reform bill which went before the Senate on October 28.
A fierce debate over women’s participation in video game culture has erupted online. Known as “GamerGate”, it is a battle over power and sexism in video games. Women now represent nearly half of those who play video games, and the traditional gamer identity is being challenged. The problem of sexism in video games is part of a wider problem of misogyny in society, and in the same way misogyny is being confronted in parliament or at universities, it is also being confronted in gaming.
"We talked about the real issues that the ALP couldn't face up to and received a good hearing from local people," Steve O'Brien, Socialist Alliance candidate for the Newcastle byelection on October 25, told Green Left Weekly. The byelection followed the forced resignation of Liberal MPs for the state seats of Newcastle and Charlestown, who were implicated in corruption scandals.
When the idea that the US Congress should establish the House Un-American Activities Committee was first proposed in 1934, the un-American activity that was to be investigated was the racist propaganda from fascist Germany that was being spread by organisations such as the Ku Klux Klan.
Susan Price, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Summer Hill in the NSW state election next year, released this statement on October 30. *** Socialist Alliance candidate calls on West Ward residents to reject the racist Australia First Party (AFP) on November 15 in the Marrickville Council by-election. Susan Price, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Summer Hill in the NSW state election next March, was horrified to receive election material in her Dulwich Hill letterbox from the Australia First Party's Jim Saleam over the weekend.
Leaders from the Landless Peasants' Movement (MST) and the Homeless Workers' Movement (MTST), powerful social movements in Brazil, have declared their intentions to increase their mobilisations this coming year in the afermath of the presidential elections. The Workers' Party (PT) candidate and incumbent Dilma Rousseff won the second round of Brazil's presidential elections on October 26 with 51.6% of the vote. The pledge for greater mobilisation is in sharp contrast to the decisions of these movements to suspend political actions after the first PT government was elected in 2002.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called for “a mature debate” on whether to raise the GST — and, make no mistake, he'll shirtfront any economic girlie-men who try to stop it.
Pirates, Punks & Politics, FC St. Pauli: Falling in Love With a Radical Football Club By Nick Davidson Sports Books, 2014 251 pp., $16.50 I must admit that I don’t know one end of a soccer ball from another, but having read this book I don’t care. I’m now passionately interested in this extraordinary German football club, FC St Pauli, with its skull-and-cross-bones emblem.