1045

US hemispheric policy reached a new low on March 9 when President Barack Obama invoked emergency powers to declare “a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.” Thanks to Obama’s action, the US has now blatantly rehabilitated its traditional imperial posture towards the South and challenged the continent-wide Bolivarian cause of Latin American and Caribbean independence and sovereignty.
It increasingly seems these days that we don't have a prime minister, we have an instant Internet meme creator. In fact, I am starting think that Tony Abbott is proving so good at generating outrage and bemused laughter in equal measures that he might actually be a left-wing plant. How else could he prove so useless at actually pushing the hard-right, pro-rich, anti-poor, socially reactionary agenda he claims to stand for?
Western Sahara is recognised by the United Nations as the last non-self-governing territory in Africa. Between 1973 and 1991 it was at war, as the pro-independence Polisario Front fought first against colonial rulers Spain, and after 1975, against Morocco, which invaded with Spanish encouragement. In 1991, a United Nations-sponsored ceasefire was supposed to bring peace, based on a referendum on independence. However, the UN-promised referendum has never been held. Overt support from France, and more tacit support from the US, has enabled Morocco to have it indefinitely postponed.
Jenny Leong is the Greens candidate in the NSW seat of Newtown – an area often called the most progressive in the country. Green Left Weekly’s Pip Hinman spoke to her about the Greens’ platform and approach to the election. * * * What are people telling you about the proposed WestConnex tollway and Labor's response? The government wants to dump 10 lanes of traffic on the south end of King Street and spend billions on a tollway that won’t solve Sydney's transport needs.
In This Changes Everything, author Naomi Klein raises the question of how capitalist societies will “adapt” to the people made homeless and jobless by increasingly intense and frequent natural disasters. One of the issues she focuses on is the reaction of insurance companies, pointing out that the chief executive officer of Swiss Re America admits that climate change is “what keeps us up at night”.
Grrl Fest is an independent multi-platform music and arts event, celebrating and empowering women-identified artists. This year, the Melbourne event will be celebrating its third year. Grrl Fest will be held on March 21 at the Northcote Town Hall. There will be an outdoor venue, markets, music, workshops, cocktails and cabaret. The venue is a change up from the dusty warehouse beginnings of Grrl Fest.
About 1000 Aboriginal rights activists shut down Melbourne’s CBD on March 13 in a protest against the WA government’s plan to close 150 of the state’s 274 remote Indigenous communities. The communities house more than 12,000 Aboriginal people. Protest organier Meriki Onus, a member of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, said Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comments that living in remote communities was a “lifestyle choice” were “blatantly racist”.
Some 20,000 people marched through central London on Saturday, in the Time to Act! protest, demanding that climate change be taken seriously by political parties in the coming General Election. Time to Act!, launched by the Campaign Against Climate Change, brought together a wide coalition of environmental and left wing organisations. The march was young, vibrant and diverse: placards from the Greens, Socialist Worker and Left Unity mixed with banners and flags from Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Peoples’ Assembly and trade unions.
A month after the Labor landslide electoral victory, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has begun to fine-tune her government’s opposition to the sale of public assets. The sale of public assets caused the demise of both the previous Labor and Liberal-National Party governments. The Palaszczuk Labor government was elected on a platform of halting the proposed sale of state assets, such as electricity and ports.
In much the same way that the Tony Abbott government’s attacks on Gillian Triggs deflected media attention away from the horrific substance of the Human Rights Commission’s report on children living in detention, his “lifestyle choices” comment this week ensured the media has paid little attention to the government’s cuts to Aboriginal services.
The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.
An Aboriginal encampment returned to Matagarup (also known as Heirisson Island) on March 1. Police moved in on March 13 to close it down but were unsuccessful.
The NSW government’s decision to buy back coal seam gas (CSG) licences in the upper Hunter just before a state election raises more questions than it answers.
A largely unknown region to the rest of the world became one of the most talked about globally in recent months. Kobane is a town that suffered a too-harsh fate. Innocent civilians never think that one day they would face massacres — except that being a Kurd in a town like Kobane (in a largely Kurdish area in the north-west of the Syrian state), means you face such things.
Several commentators have pointed out that treasurer Joe Hockey's Intergenerational Report is a partisan document designed to bash Labor over the head.
What does the victory of radical left party SYRIZA in Greece's January 25 elections mean for politics in Europe, at Europe-wide and national levels? Both levels are closely intertwined, and since SYRIZA’s win have been having rapid feedback effects on each another. Across Europe, the reverberations of SYRIZA’s win are being felt with rising force, both in “peripheral” Europe, but also in the German-led European Union “core”.

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