Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets of Caracas on November 4, in a massive sea of red, to support the proposed constitutional reforms adopted by the National Assembly that will be put to a referendum on December 2. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has explained that the reforms aim to deepen the Bolivarian revolution that his government is leading, which has already achieved significant gains in redistributing wealth and power to the poor majority.
KERRY NETTLE has been a NSW Greens senator since 2001. She spoke to Green Left Weeklys PIP HINMAN about what the Greens had achieved, and why it was critical that they hold the balance of power in the new Senate.
The idea that we build something much better than capitalism had been around for generations but, 90 years ago in Russia, for the first time an alliance of workers and peasants made a revolution that was to frame the course of history ever since.
Thousands of people across the country took part in Walk Against Warming rallies on November 11 calling for action on climate change. Pictured: Activists prepare for a radical `youth contingent' in Sydney's Hyde Park that marched to the main rally. Organisers estimate that 30,000 people joined the main protest. In Parramatta, 150 people rallied before the demonstration in the city, in a protest organised by the Climate Action Network. In Adelaide, 1500 people joined the WAW demonstration; in Hobart 3000 protested; and 500 people joined a Brisbane WAW, 40 of them part of a youth contingent. Between 15,000 and 20,000 people rallied in Melbourne, 400 in Cairns, while more than 500 joined the Newcastle protest. In Wollongong, 300 people rallied on November 10. Organisers estimated 8000 turned out in Canberra.
“When Ken Fry came back from a funeral several years ago he complained that one of the speakers ’went on about the bloke as though he was a blessed saint … I hope they don’t go on about me like that when I go …’.”
After complaining bitterly about federal ALP leader Kevin Rudds plan to keep key elements of the Howard governments Work Choices laws such as restrictions on the right to strike, the Victorian branches of the Electrical Trades Union and the United Firefighters Union have decided to give substantial support to the Greens in the November 24 federal election. Both unions have constructed big billboards on their offices advocating a vote for Greens candidate Adam Bandt in the seat of Melbourne. The ETU has also donated $20,000 to the Greens.
People before profits was the message coming from the rally for rights organised by the Socialist Alliance in Newtown on November 9. The rally was addressed by Catholic priest Peter Maher, Your Rights At Work campaigner Michael Haines, three representatives from Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) and Greens candidate for Grayndler, Saeed Kahn.
Figures released by the Howard governments Workplace Authority on November 9 showed that almost half of the industrial agreements so far vetted by the authority since the government introduced its fairness test in May have been rejected by the authority.
Workers at the Foster’s Yatala brewery, south of Brisbane, have voted down two non-union agreements put forward by Carlton and United Brewery (CUB) management, and are engaged in industrial action to win a union collective agreement. The brewery workers — 85% of whom are pro-union — come from the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU), the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).
More than 100 people gathered in the Footscray mall for the western suburbs community rally African refugees are welcome here! on November 10. The rally was organised in response to immigration minister Kevin Andrews' comments last month that African refugees were not adjusting, and the slashing of the African refugee intake from 70% to 30%. The rally demanded an increase overall refugee intake; no cuts to African immigration; and an end to the racist attacks on the Sudanese and African community. The rally was supported by the African Think Tank, Maribyrnong Mayor Michael Clarke, Eritrean Community Association, Sheik Isse Musse from the Virgin Mary Mosque, AfricanOz.com.au and the Socialist Alliance.
Labor leader Kevin Rudd and IR spokesperson Julia Gillard have fallen into the trap set for them by PM John Howard. By accepting the need to crack down on unionists in order to make Labor look respectable to big business, Rudd and Gillard have given credibility to the Coalitions witch-hunt about the union threat to the economy.
No housing crisis in la-la land Writing in the Australian Financial Review, former Labor leader Mark Latham opines that the "housing crisis" is completely manufactured, a creation of people who are having trouble upgrading from two- to three-car
As the federal governments Northern Territory intervention grinds on with an escalating price-tag and concomitant obfuscation from politicians and bureaucrats about its actual implementation, we are beginning to see media reports especially from the rampantly pro-intervention Rupert Murdoch stable of support for the measures from the affected communities. While most of these refer to whitefella bureaucrats or store managers, the most cherished, obviously, have been apparent endorsements from Indigenous people as each new phase is rolled out. Most recently, weve seen the same pattern as welfare quarantining has started to come into effect in some communities.
What about your preferences? At its November 1 meeting the Socialist Alliance national executive decided its recommendation on preference flows for "above-the-line" voting for the Senate. It also urged all SA House of Representatives campaigns to
Aboriginal voters will abandon the Labor Party in droves and vote for the minor parties on election day, because of the failure of Kevin Rudd to offer any real alternatives to the dictatorial and racist policies of the Howard government.
About 260 employees at hearing implant manufacturer Cochlears the Lane Cove factory in north Sydney are being pressured by the company to accept Australian Workplace Agreements (individual employment contracts) despite having twice voted in favour of having a union-negotiated collective agreement.