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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.
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.
Protesters in Athens on February 11

Radical leftist party SYRIZA has swept to power in Greece promising to end austerity and threatening to spark an anti-austerity fightback across Europe. Green Left Weekly's European correspondent and Socialist Alliance member Dick Nichols, usually based in Barcelona, was in Athens for the historic win. He is speaking across the country about SYRIZA's challenge to austerity and elite rule.

A refugee has won his claim for protection because the High Court ruled that the basis of his arrival, by boat, was not a valid ground to reject him. Former immigration minister Scott Morrison denied the Pakistani man a visa because he arrived by boat, even though the department had found him to be a genuine refugee and Australia was legally obliged to provide protection. The High Court unanimously ordered the immigration minister, now Peter Dutton, to grant him a permanent protection visa. Dutton said a visa would be issued within seven days.
A special commission of the two largest associations of Latin American nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC, which includes all of the Latin America and the Caribbean) and Union of South American Nations(UNASUR, which represents South American countries) met to discuss US attacks on Venezuelan democracy in a February 11 meeting. Held in Montevideo, Uruguay, to analyse the relationship between the United States and Venezuela as well as the situation inside Venezuela, the joint commission was convened at the request of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The self-styled Islamic State (IS) may be one of the few unifying forces in the Middle East. A range of mutually antagonistic regional and global powers and non-state groups have joined the fight against them. While Western politicians’ pronouncements that the IS has declared war on the world are clichéd, they are echoed by the group’s own statements.
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.
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is the second-largest bank in the world. It operates in most countries, including Switzerland, which has long had a reputation for the secrecy of its finance sector. In 2008, a former HSBC employee gave the French government a list of the names of 261 Australians who held HSBC bank accounts in Switzerland. In 2010, the year that HSBC’s 25th branch office in Australia was opened in North Sydney by Treasurer Joe Hockey, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) received a copy of the list — a fact it disclosed on February 9.
The Latin American Social Forum held a forum on February 7 in Sydney. About 80 people attended. We were welcomed by the Ecuadorian indigenous folksinger Manuel with a ceremonial greeting in Quechua to Pachamama and soulful pipe playing. The evening began with a video conference with Pablo Fajardo, representing the 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorians fighting against the ecological disaster caused by Chevron-Texaco.
Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, the lead Socialist Alliance candidate for the Legislative Council in the upcoming March 28 NSW elections, released this statement on February 11. * * * The NSW and other state governments must share the blame for the latest shameful and outrageous results of the Closing The Gap Report tabled by PM Tony Abbott in federal parliament today.
Eighty days on hunger strike has put an Iranian man who sought safety in Australia at death's door, as advocates around Australia fight for the immigration department to act to save his life. “Martin” took the non-violent step to refuse to eat last November after the Australian government denied him refugee protection and redetained him in the remote Wickham Point Detention Centre. At least 15 other men in the same situation as Martin have also taken up a hunger strike.
“Half the world is dying of starvation and the other half is dying of boredom.” This expression, one of many popularised during the protests of the 1960s, encapsulates a feeling of alienation that many young people today can still relate to. The capitalist world system, despite its proponents’ claims, does not offer a future worth having to any person, whether they live in the relatively secure - though increasingly less so - core nations or the impoverished and exploited periphery states.