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GLW is taking a break. Our next printed edition will be dated September 1 (and published online on the evening of August 29).

However, the Green Left website will be updated after August 21 with news and analysis of the federal election outcome.

Visit Green Left and please consider taking out an e-subscription so we can continue to bring you an independent voice.

Victorian Socialist Alliance Federal election candidates strongly condemn the Australian Federal Police raids on the Kurdish Association of Victoria and community members as a cynical pre-election maneuver and yet another attempt to sow fear and suspicion into the boarder community.

Greens candidate for Mackellar Dr Jonathan King is a blue-blooded radical. King gained national prominence in 1988 when he staged an $11 million recreation of the First Fleet's voyage. The historian and former journalist became, in his own words, “political hot property,” courted by both major parties.

He declined their overtures. Politics “was in [his] blood”, King said, but he was “too radical” for the major parties.

Following the bicentennial voyage, King found his “next big project, and that was helping the environment”.

Sick of the manipulative, increasingly policy-free barrage of major party negative advertising in the race to the August 21 Australian federal election? Here are some antidotes:

First, check out the table below comparing the policies of Socialist Alliance with that of the Greens, ALP and Liberals: Policy comparison from Left to Right compiled by Dick Nichols.

Second, have a look at the independent Vote Climate survey on which parties the best policy on on climate change.

On August 16, Darwin was the venue for a screening of Our Generation, a landmark new documentary about the plight of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory living under the repressive NT intervention.

The film focuses on the effects of the intervention on the Yolngu people of East Arnhem Land, which coincided with a move by the NT Labor government to move people off traditional homelands and into larger towns (the “hub town” policy).

About 500 people rallied in Melbourne on August 13 to put the Liberal and Labor parties on notice that the refugee rights movement is rebuilding, and a growing number of people are willing to stand up for refugees.

The Refugee Action Collective organised the protest under the slogan of “Stand up for Refugees” in a bid to have the treatment of asylum seekers recognized as a human rights issue.

There were contingents of Greens, socialists and the Community Public Sector Union. Protesters chanted, “East Timor no solution, let the refugees in”.

BRISBANE — A meeting of about 150 members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at the University of Queensland on August 5 passed a motion of no-confidence in UQ vice-chancellor Paul Greenfield.

The meeting voted to start rolling stop-works within two weeks if they do not receive an improved pay offer from university management.

UQ staff are due to receive only a 3.1% pay increase for 2010. An NTEU leaflet said that, by comparison, the vice-chancellor’s salary rose by $110,000 in 2009 to $989,999, an increase of 12.5%.

This open letter to Elton John was released on July 30 by Alexander Billet. It is reprinted from Sociarts.com. Billet’s blog on popular music can be read at Rebelfrequencies.blogspot.com.

* * *

Dear Elton,

First of all, I hope you don’t mind that I refuse to call you “Sir”. Knights swing swords and ride horses. You play a piano.

After a successful strike and picket line on August 8, Victoria University’s (VU) vice chancellor, Liz Harman, agreed to negotiate on pay and conditions.

Until then, senior management had demanded that promised pay rises this year be in return for abandoning regulation of workloads in the current enterprise bargaining round. The National Tertiary Education Union Branch (NTEU) has now suspended its bans on releasing results. Stood down union members have been reinstated.

BRISBANE — Quien Dijo Miedo (“We are not afraid”), an film about the popular resistance to the military coup that took place in June last year in the Central American country of Honduras, was shown at the Queensland Council of Unions building on August 6.

The screening was sponsored by organisations including the Communist Party of Australia, the Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Socialist Alliance, Guatemalan group URNG-MAIZ Australia, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, and the El Salvadoran FMLN.

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