The Democratic Socialist Perspective will be holding its biennial educational conference at Sydney University on January 4-7, 2007. The conference theme — “Ideas to change the world” — is inspired by Karl Marx’s 11th Thesis on Feuerbach (1845): “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”
Australians have joined the international campaign calling on U2’s Bono — who has appealed to the world for peace and poverty reduction — to apply those same values to block the manufacture and distribution of a video game that promotes the invasion and destruction of Venezuela.
Three to four thousand people joined a rally and march against the G20 meeting on November 18. The rally opposed the neoliberal and militarist agenda of the meeting, which brought together finance ministers from the G8 group of rich nations, Australia, the European Union and 10 economically significant Third World nations, as well as the heads of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Protest actions were held around Australia on November 17 as part of the “Chavez not Bush!” international week of solidarity with Venezuela. The actions called opposed US interference in Venezuela’s December 3 presidential election. In Sydney (pictured), 40 people picketing the US consulate were addressed by Keysar Trad from the Islamic Friendship Association, and Kiraz Janicke and Marce Cameron from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. Trad spoke strongly in favour of Venezuela’s right to self-determination and pointed to Iraq and Afghanistan as disastrous examples of the US government’s failure to respect this principle.
At a joint November 17 press conference with his New Zealand counterpart Helen Clark, Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced that a “joint Australian-New Zealand force of both military personnel and police will, in response to a request from the government of Tonga, go to Tonga tomorrow morning”.
More than 200 Aboriginal activists and other supporters of justice for Indigenous people marched through Brisbane to commemorate the second anniversary of the death in custody of Palm Islander Mulrunji. A coroner’s report found that Mulrunji was killed by Queensland police sergeant Chris Hurley.
The Burj el Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon and Doctors for Iraq will be the beneficiaries of a peace festival and benefit concert on November 25 at the Pioneer Park in Leichhardt.
As the Venezuelan presidential elections on December 3 draw closer, and the tensions grow as the revolutionary forces led by President Hugo Chavez face off against the US-backed opposition fronted by Manuel Rosales, the world is watching with huge interest. The stakes in this election are immense: the future of the Bolivarian revolution and the struggle to construct socialism of the 21st century are on the line.
On November 16, 45 people rallied outside the Philippines consulate in the CBD to demand an end to the killings and harassment of political and trade union activists in the Philippines.
On November 11, the state Labor MP for Prahran, Tony Lupton, said there are discussions between gay rights activists and the government about a Tasmanian-style relationship registry being established in Victoria. But Civil Union Action (CUA) spokesperson John Kloprogge said same-sex couples want to know if Premier Steve Bracks’ Labor government will commit to legal equality.
Quoting New York Times economics writer Jeff Madrick, Newcastle University lecturer Chris Dorran told a November 13 meeting that “by almost any mainstream economists’ standard, the plan [for the economic transformation of Iraq] is extreme; in fact, stunning”.
A 550-strong lecture sponsored by the Australian Lawyers Alliance on November 13 heard David Hicks’ US military lawyer, Major Michael Mori, slam the Bush administration’s new military commission law, which will be used to try Guantanamo Bay detainees. Hicks is one of approximately 400 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay being held without charge.
On November 14, the federal court ordered the reinstatement of two National Union of Workers (NUW) delegates after their employer, Saint-Gobain Abrasives, was unable to prove that its decision to dismiss them was unrelated to their involvement with the union.
The Road to Guantanamo
Directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross
In cinemas now
The Inheritance — In 2000, Hungary's Tisza River was flooded with 120,000 tons of cyanide from an Australian-Romanian gold mine in Baia Mare, Romania. SBS, Friday, November 24, 1pm. Message Stick: 50 Years Indigenous TV — A look at the
Eva Golinger is a Venezuelan-American lawyer and author of The Chavez Code, which exposed US government involvement in the April 2002 military coup that briefly ousted left-wing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, before he was reinstated by a popular uprising. Golinger is a determined campaigner against Washington’s attacks on revolutionary Venezuela. She has just published a new book, Bush vs Chavez: Washington’s War on Venezuela, detailing the current US threats to Venezuela. She spoke to Green Left Weekly in late October.


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