Talks between Eurozone finance ministers and Greek officials abruptly broke down on February 16 after Greece was offered a deal that it said was “unacceptable”. Both sides ended debt-restructuring negotiations in Brussels, creating pessimism that a deal will be reached before a February 28 deadline. A draft agreement offered by the eurozone proposed that Greece accept a six-month extension of its bailout under existing bailout conditions.
A series of coordinated early morning police raids in south-west Dublin have seen at least seventeen people – including several left-wing politicians – arrested for attending a peaceful rally against water charges last November, amid claims of “political policing” and intimidation. Shortly before 7am on Monday February 9, six police arrested Anti-Austerity Alliaaul Murphy TDnce (AAA) TD and Socialist Party member Paul Murphy at his home while he was still in his pyjamas, having breakfast with his children.
Following SYRIZA’s victory in the Greek election on January 25, a number of commentators have turned their attention toward Spain, where the left-wing Podemos party, which originally emerged from the Indignados protest movement, has been receiving strong polling numbers since the end of 2014.
The New York Times reported on January 26 that “a CIA drone strike in Yemen … killed three suspected al Qaeda fighters on Monday.” How did they know the identity of the dead? As usual, it was in part because “American officials said.” There was not a whiff of scepticism about this claim despite the fact that “a senior American official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, declined to confirm the names of the victims” and “a CIA spokesman declined to comment”.
Rosewater Written & directed by Jon Stewart Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Kim Bodnia In cinemas now Written and directed by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show fame, Rosewater is a film set in Iran about the ever-present danger of an unaccountable government. This film is based on Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari’s memoir And Then They Came For Me, detailing his jailing by the Iranian regime. While it focuses on the Iranian government, the film should also provoke reflection on the actions of Western governments, including Australia’s.
The following statement was released on February 10 by Parti Sosialis Malaysia secretary general S. Arutchelvan after the conviction of opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges, in a show trial condemned by international legal observers. * * * Parti Sosialis Malaysia is appalled with the disgraceful Judgement by the highest court in the nation on Anwar’s “Sodomy II” case.
Actions in solidarity with Greece’s anti-austerity government are being planned across Europe and beyond as Greece’s left-wing SYRIZA-led government confronts a European elite determined to destroy its pro-people platform. Plans for protests to support Greece came as international institutions failed to reach an agreement with the SYRIZA government, TeleSUR English said on February 11. Talks were set to resume on February 16.
The European political and financial elite reacted with horror to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's opening speech to parliament on February 5. In his speech, he ruled out an extension of the financial bailout and the accompanying harsh austerity measures that have plunged the economy into a 1930s-style depression. On February 9, European leaders lined up to warn the SYRIZA government that its proposals, which have included a partial write-off of the country's immense foreign debt, would be rejected by other European nations.
Although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims it is part of the solution, the IMF is really part of the problem of underdevelopment and it has been for decades. The latest proof is that the conditions imposed on countries in need have had serious impacts on the development of these countries’ public health services. In some countries, this means letting epidemics destroy the lives of thousands of people. The latest example involves the Ebola epidemic.
Greece, Venezuela discuss cooperation Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has invited the newly-elected Greek prime minister to Caracas, TeleSUR English said on February 9. “I have invited Alexis Tsipras, comrade Alexis, to visit us as soon as he can, here in Venezuela,” Maduro told Venezuelan public TV. “He plans to come to Latin America. He mentioned all the pressures that he is under. Because of a savage, savage neoliberal system that has been applied in Greece.” Tsipras expressed an interest in touring Latin America, starting with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
On February 4 a coalition uniting the resistance of Indonesian-occupied West Papua submitted an application to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
Socialists and World War I: Turn the imperialist war into a civil war It has been 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. The centennial of the “war to end all wars” has had countless commemorations … Yet missing from all of the observances of the war are the deeper questions of its causes —divide colonies among predatory ruling classes – and the heroism of those who opposed the mass slaughter. European Greens: 'We want to cooperate with the new Greek government'
Sport is a huge feature of Australian society, and the way it is promoted helps shape our view of men and women. So it was refreshing to see a female sports commentator, Stephanie Brantz, leading the discussion on the ABC during the men’s football (soccer) Asian Cup held last month in Australia. The resources and media dedicated to this event, however, is something that women athletes and sports teams can only dream about. Many women athletes and teams have achieved great success, but only a few achieve the esteem and popularity of Dawn Fraser or Kathy Freeman.
What lessons can we learn from the recent victory of SYRIZA for building the anti austerity movement and a political alternative to neoliberalism here in Australia? Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, in her recent article in New Matilda [see reprinted article on page 6], writes that the left in Australia should wake up and take notice of what is happening in Europe. I couldn’t agree more.
In the lead-up to the first global divestment day on February 14, the University of Sydney announced it will reduce the carbon footprint of its investments by 20% within three years by divesting from heavy polluters. But it has shied away from divesting from fossil fuels altogether. The decision follows a sustained student-led campaign, with support from Greenpeace, that has been urging the university to completely divest its investments in fossil fuels.
Around 60 people attended a public forum in Sydney on February 9 to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the re-establishment of the Palestinian People's Party (PPP). The party was retitled from its original name of Palestinian Communist Party, which was founded 96 years ago. Shamikh Badra outlined the history of the PPP, from its early days in 1920s Palestine, to its re-founding in 1982. He explained the role of the PPP after it joined the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) in 1987 and fought for militant policies within the Palestinian liberation movement.