The occupation of West Papua receives little attention in the UK. This is, in no small part, due to Indonesia’s ban on foreign journalists and its outlawing of West Papuan social movements who try to speak out internationally. However, West Papua has not been forgotten by international corporations, including companies from the UK. For them, Indonesia’s brutal occupation of West Papua provides lucrative opportunities for profit.
The Resources Regulator Lee Shearer revealed in a Budget Estimates hearing on September 1 that it is investigating whether Korean mining company KEPCO is fit and proper to hold a mining licence in New South Wales, after serious international fraud and corruption allegations against the company were made.
KEPCO is proposing to develop two open-cut coalmines in the beautiful Bylong Valley, about 55 km north-east of Mudgee in north-western NSW. The mine is expected to produce up to 6.5 million tonnes of coal a year for 25 years, commencing early next year.
Omnia Sunt Communia: On the Commons & the Transformation to Postcapitalism
By Massimo De Angelis
456 pp, $20.76
Massimo De Angelis, an Italian academic based at the University of East London, has produced a thought-provoking guide to “commons” as a means of transforming and ultimately displacing capitalism. Commons, referring to collective forms of ownership, are increasingly seen as a way of moving beyond both oppressive states and exploitative markets.
More than 200 people participated in a rally and march for refugee rights on September 2. A similar rally was also held in Sydney.
The demonstration was organised at short notice by the Refugee Action Collective in response to the federal government's decision to end the $100 a week income support for people who were brought to Australia from Manus Island and Nauru for medical treatment and evict them from the houses they are living in. This will initially affect 100 people, but may eventually affect many more.
September 5 was a big day for Victoria’s extreme Right.
In the morning, three fascists, United Patriots Front leader Blair Cottrell, the Party for Freedom’s Neil Erikson and supporter Christopher Shortis, were all found guilty of inciting serious contempt of Muslims.
In the evening, nine protesters from Party of Freedom, armed with megaphones and clutching signs reading "Love it or leave it", stormed the Yarra Council meeting to oppose its decision to stop referring to January 26 as Australia Day and to cease holding any citizenship ceremonies on that day.
Members of Sydney's Iranian community and their supporters marked the 29th anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in Iran with an exhibition and gathering in Sydney's Martin Place on September 3. The display included an 8-metre-long list containing the names of more than 4700 victims.
During the summer of 1988, thousands of Iranian political prisoners were executed across the country. These prisoners had survived the mass executions of the early years of repression which followed the crushing of the 1979 revolution and were serving long sentences.
About 100 people attended a community celebration in Port Augusta on September 2 to mark a huge win for the local community: the state government’s support for Australia’s first solar thermal power plant with storage in Port Augusta.
This was the culmination of a seven-year campaign and it will have a far-reaching impact on the future of renewable energy in this country. US company SolarReserve will begin construction of the 150MW plant in 2018. It is expected to be completed in 2020.
In his September 2 article “Responding on Sanders and reforming the Democrats”, Barry Sheppard fundamentally mischaracterises the position I outlined in “Socialists and Bernie Sanders”. I specifically did not argue in favour of the far left in the US trying to “reform” the Democratic Party.
When Australia began forcibly moving people out of Manus Island detention centre to East Lorengau and Port Moresby in August, peaceful protests were launched in the detention centre.
When Australia cut off the power and water, people continued to defiantly protest.
When a detainee, Hamed, was found dead, his body beaten and hung from a tree near the East Lorengau transit centre, a vigil was held for him and the protests continued.
Not only is the controversial WestConnex system of motorways and tunnels a social and environmental disaster, the tolls set to be charged by the NSW Coalition government will rip off ordinary motorists on behalf of the giant private roadway companies.
The latest revelation is that the M5 motorway could be tolled for 40 years after 2026, when the existing toll was due to end.
The threat of nuclear annihilation is closer than at any time since the end of the Cold War as two heads of state use nuclear weapons as props in what looks like a fight between two adolescent boys.
On one side is a narcissistic bully, born to inherit great power and with credible reports that his personal life includes indulging in acts of sadism, whose policies in government are driven by a combination of xenophobia, ego and whim and who is threatening nuclear Armageddon if he doesn't get his way.
On the other side is North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Adani lobbyist and former Queensland Labor Party state secretary Cameron Milner, who played a key role in the 2015 election win of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, has returned to Labor headquarters.
The strike at two branches of McDonald’s in Britain was “just the start”, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said on September 4. Speaking at a rally outside Parliament the day before, the shadow chancellor hailed the striking workers as an “absolute inspiration”.
Workers at the burger giant’s restaurants in Cambridge and Crayford, south-east London, downed aprons in protest at the harassment of workers and the victimisation of union members.
Aboriginal AFL star Leon Davis has backed up the allegations made by his former Collingwood teammate Heritier Lumumba about racism inside the club, saying he “shared his pain and grief” as a Black man.
In another example of wage theft, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has revealed that employers have failed to pay superannuation for their staff by an average of $2.81 billion every year between 2009 and 2015: a total of $17 billion.
The worst offenders were small and medium businesses in the construction, retail, food and accommodation sectors.
The ATO has been investigating "the superannuation guarantee gap" — the difference between the 9.5% superannuation guarantee payment required by law and the contributions employers actually make.
Life could become harder for some of Australia's lowest paid workers.
The Australian Industry Group, on behalf of Hair and Beauty Australia, has asked the Fair Work Commission to slash Sunday and public holiday penalty rates in the hairdressing industry.
They want to reduce Sunday penalty rates for hairdressers from 200% to 150% and public holiday rates from 250% to 225%.
The Australian Workers Union said the cut would mean a qualified hairdresser could lose $85 a week for an eight-hour Sunday shift and almost $4500 a year.