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The Labor Party has enjoyed a remarkable recovery in the recent Queensland elections. Three years ago, after Labor privatised publicly owned railways, ports and forests, the party was reduced to a 27% primary vote and seven state seats. At the January 31 election, its primary vote rose to 38% and, with a stronger flow of Greens preferences, it won at least 43 seats with a possible total of 45 — the final result will be determined by further counting. Forty five seats would give the party an absolute majority in state parliament.
About 3000 people marched through Sydney's inner-west suburbs of Newtown and St Peters on February 1 to show their opposition to the $12 billion WestConnex motorway project. The project would destroy 80 homes and bulldoze sections of six local parks. Iconic Sydney Park is projected to lose 12,000 square metres of green space. WestConnex Action Group and Reclaim the Streets organised the rally.
In the wake of the Queensland election result the federal government has decided to postpone a decision on whether to allow dredge spoil from a north Queensland port expansion to be dumped on nearby wetlands. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed that he will delay a decision on whether to allow dredge spoil from the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal, near Bowen, to be dumped on the Caley Valley wetlands, until he can talk to the new Queensland government.
The statement below was published on Transform-network.org on February 3. It has been signed by seven out of nine presidents of Germany's trade unions, all members of the executive boards of DGB and IG Metall, and mainly Social Democratic Party politicians in Germany's parliament and the European Parliament, including two vice-chairs of SPD, as well as numerous academics. * * *
Leading trade unionists, Irish republican party Sinn Fein and a range of other left voices have backed a call for a new anti-austerity force in Irish politics capable of winning government. In the wake of SYRIZA’s historic win in the Greek elections on January 25, Sinn Fein national chairperson, Declan Kearney, called for formal discussions to begin on building an Irish left coalition to cohere an anti-austerity government in the South.
The Refugee Action Coalition released this statement on February 5. *** Fifteen Iranian asylum seekers are on their 19th day of hunger strike in Darwin’s Wickham Point detention centre. Meanwhile, Martin, who has been on hunger strike since November last year, is very weak and close to death. Martin and the 15 are part of a group of about 35 Iranian asylum seekers who are being held indefinitely in detention. The government is unable to remove them to Iran because the Iranian government refuses to accept forced removals from Australia.
Phoenix is the name of a mythical bird which, after death, rose from the ashes to live with renewed vigour and start the cycle all over again. It’s also the name of an illegal activity in Australia where directors wind-up a company and then create a new one while leaving their debts behind. Workers loose their wages and entitlements, and other creditors are left with no chance of recovering the debts they are owed. It’s a rort that’s common in the construction industry, and fiddled to the tune of more than $3 billion a year.
As Scots gathered together at Christmas and Hogmanay last year, conversations inevitably turned to politics. Most were agreed that the year ahead would be an interesting one. The impact of the independence referendum on September 18 last year, won by the “No” vote, is still being felt throughout Scottish society. Its impact is reverberating across the British state as well.

Songs of Alex Glasgow 1 & 2 Now & Then: Songs of Alex Glasgow 3 Northern Drift & Joe Lives Alex Glasgow www.mawson-wareham.com During the British miners’ strike in 1984, when Margaret Thatcher set out to break the National Union of Miners and push for her neoliberal counter-revolution, I somehow received word that Alex Glasgow was flying to Britain to perform solidarity concerts.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Madrid on January 31 in a huge “March for Change” to support Spain's new anti-austerity party Podemos. The party has grown in support after the left-wing, anti-austerity SYRIZA party in Greece won last week's elections. This has brought hope that change could be in the air for other European countries whose debt is being used to justify austerity. On the demonstration, people chanted “yes we can” and “tic tac tic tac” ― suggesting the clock was ticking and time was running out for the political elite.
If anyone was still wondering whether European politics and a Europe-wide class struggle actually exist, reactions from all quarters to the first two weeks of Greece’s new SYRIZA-led government would have cleared up any doubts. The conflict between Europe’s ruling elite and the new Greek anti-austerity administration, headed by radical left party SYRIZA, reached a high point on February 4-5.
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"When was the last time you saw Greeks protesting in support of the government?", Keep Talking Greece asked on February 5.