With the defeat of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s proposed constitutional reforms, aimed at “opening the path to socialism” in the referendum on December 2, by a tiny margin of 50.7% to 49.3% with 90% of the vote counted, many Venezuelans and supporters of the Bolivarian revolution internationally are asking “what happened?”.
Kevin Rudd is a prime minister in a big hurry. Only a fortnight has passed since the Howard government was thrown into the dustbin, and the new Labor cabinet is already scurrying about its work.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
By Ilan Pappe
Oneworld Publications, 2006
313 pages, $39.95 (hb)
The next issue of Green Left Weekly will be dated January 23, 2008. Thanks for all your support.
The First Zionist Bunny — In a country where women have long been soldiers and prime ministers, is being a Playboy Channel hostess the ultimate post-feminist success? SBS, Friday, December 14, 10pm. India’s Ladyboys — Follows a group of Hirjas, those who were born hermaphrodites and those who were born men and have since been castrated, who are still considered outsiders in their own country. ABC, Monday, December 17, 12:10am. Cutting Edge: Spying on the Home Front — In a permanent war against a hidden enemy, how far has the government gone in hunting terrorists by watching us? SBS, Monday, December 17, 1.30pm. Energy War — Describes the geopolitical consequences of the dependency on fossil fuels. SBS, Tuesday, December 18, 8.30pm. Crude Impact — Examines the future implications of “peak oil”, the point in time when the amount of petroleum available worldwide begins a steady, inexorable decline. SBS, Tuesday, December 18, 10pm. Summer of Love — San Francisco’s hippy movement was born out of youth who’d grown up with post-WWII affluence but were now dealing with Vietnam, racism, and the threat of nuclear annihilation. SBS, Wednesday December 19, 8.30pm,. Waste Equals Food — In the early ’90s, the US “green” architect William McDonough and German “green” chemist Michael Braungart teamed up to realise the Waste = Food principle in human-made products. SBS, Thursday, December 20, 1.30pm. Days that Changed the World: The Storming of the Bastille — Looks at the infamous date, July 14, 1789: The French revolution which began in Paris with the storming of the Bastille. SBS, Friday, December 21, 2.30pm. Dirty War — Against a geo-political backdrop of war, terrorism, and shifting global alliances, this is the struggle between a group of poisoned Filipino peasants and allegedly one of the largest, and certainly most powerful, polluters on the planet — the US military. SBS, Saturday, December 22, 12.50am. The Butterfly Effect — Terri Janke is a Sydney-based Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property lawyer, whose firm is the only one in the country dealing with the issue of ICIP rights for Indigenous people. ABC, Sunday December 23, 1.30pm.
Throughout history, young people have often been in the forefront of struggles for social change. The enthusiasm and energy of young people engaging in political protest can inspire and give confidence to the wider population. That is why Resistance is a socialist youth organisation. We know that it will take ordinary working people of all ages to change society, but by being part of a youth organisation young people have the space to develop confidence as political activists and to help lead others in struggle.
In New South Wales
bridges tell the tale
of life’s travail
for the not so beautiful elite @poetry = The homeless out of work
share a space of dirt
beneath your bridges
under the souls of your feet @poetry = There’s no dreaming here
romance is out of date
beauty is the sadness
of a quintessential fate @poetry = Mums ’n kids share
8 x 2 tin cans with lids
and wait for that day of the meek
but it won’t be this week @poetry = There communards
sleep by streets
on a park bench
where the soup kitchen meets @poetry = Real jobs have gone
old industries fled
and the rest of youse
have left us for dead @poetry = In New South Wales
histories tell the tale
of a social elite
with mud at their feet @poetry = and egos that never skip a beat
With the Howard government gone, now is the time to remove Work Choices once and for all. Unfortunately, the new Rudd government has decided to maintain key sections of the laws, such as maintaining Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs — individual contracts) and limiting unfair dismissal laws.
@poetry = Someone is crying in the dark,
She lost her son (a monk who stood up for people)
Someone had woken up in the middle of the night,
She longs for her rights as a human being. @poetry = Someone had been beaten to death on the road,
For he was holding a signboard. @poetry = Someone is praying in Insein jail,
He was arrested and tortured all day. @poetry = They have sacrificed for their country,
But their country has not been freed. @poetry = We have to hand over their works,
If you dare to fight for their rights! @poetry = We have to follow their way,
Which they’ve walked with hope, love and prayers. @poetry = We will fight to reach our goal, @poetry = Don’t wait until tommorrow!
The November 27 decision by the Victorian Premier John Brumby’s Labor government to lift a moratorium on commercially-grown genetically-modified canola has drawn sharp criticism from scientific researchers and environmental activists. Labor MPs declared that the decision had been made secretly, and should have been open to debate.
On November 29, Ecuador’s new constituent assembly sat for the first time, beginning the process of rewriting the country’s constitution as part of self-described socialist President Rafael Correa’s project of refounding the country through a “citizen’s revolution”.
Workers at the Foster’s brewery at Yatala, south of Brisbane, have stepped up their campaign for a union agreement, following a victory over the latest attempt by the company’s management to impose a non-union agreement on the work force at the plant. Scott Wilson, Electrical Trades Union (ETU) organiser for the site, told Green Left Weekly that the Yatala workers had voted by 154 to 120 to reject management’s third offer of a non-union agreement, which provides wages and conditions significantly below those of workers at other breweries in southern states.
On the night of March 25, 1971 the Pakistani army began a campaign to murder and rape thousands of Bengalis in an attempt to curb the rise of the Bengali national independence movement in what was then East Pakistan — Bangladesh today.
Victorian unions have begun discussing the next stage of the campaign to rip up all of Work Choices.
Music from Archie Roach
Liberation Music, 2007, $30
A bill legalising aspects of brothel operation is being debated by Western Australia’s parliament. The Prostitution Amendment Bill 2007 would change the current legislative approach to brothels from one of “containment” (brothels, while technically illegal, are regulated by the police), to one where brothel managers and owners could be formally registered.


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