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”.
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).
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.
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”.
New Zealand’s National Party-led government announced on July 18 a law that would allow bosses to fire new workers at will, restrict access to unions, cut workers’ entitlements to sick leave and holidays, and remove the right to appeal against unfair sackings. On August 21, unions will respond with rallies across the country. The two most significant aspects of the government’s plans are the extension of 90-day “trial period” and a requirement for union organisers to gain permission from employers before visiting union members or potential recruits on the job.
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.
As Colombia launched its new offensive against Venezuela, an emergency summit of Central American presidents on July 20 restored Honduras to “its rightful” status. That status was lost internationally when former president Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a military coup in June 2009. Using the pretext of the relaunch of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama agreed to reincorporate Honduras into the regional bloc and encouraged the Organisation of American States (OAS) to do the same.
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%.
If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, Friends of Palestine (WA — FOPWA) must be doing something right: Friends of Israel (WA) was launched on August 8. The group’s website is a mix of nationalism and barely concealed racism. “Israel is in the front lines of the global battle between those who love life and those who glorify death”, it says. The launch took place at the Victory Life Centre, a fundamentalist Christian church, in Osborne Park, Perth.
Tony Blair must be prosecuted, not indulged like his mentor Peter Mandelson. Both have produced self-serving memoirs for which they have been paid fortunes. Blair’s will appear next month and earn him £4.6 million.
The Green Left website
has once again been ranked by Hitwise in the top10 most visited Australian websites in the category Lifestyle — Politics.
Hitwise ranked the website number eight for the six-month period to June 2010. Green Left was also in the top 10 in the previous six months, and has won several such awards in the past.
The interest in, and dire need for, independent, alternative news is obvious. But it doesn’t come cheap. If you are an online reader, please consider taking out an e-subscription to ensure this important publication continues.
Thousands of people took part in a demonstration and formed a human chain in the main avenues and plazas of Caracas on August 7. This action, initiated and promoted by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), was a show of support for peace in the Latin American region and friendly relations between the peoples of Colombia and Venezuela.
The cover of the August 9 edition edition of Time magazine featured a shocking picture of Bibi Aisha, a young woman whose nose and ears had been cut off. The photo was accompanied by the headline: “What happens if we leave Afghanistan”. However, what happened to Aisha took place in Afghanistan under Western occupation. In return for allowing Time to publish her photo, Aisha was flown to the US for reconstructive surgery. However, although Time ensured her mutilated face was seen worldwide, they appear less keen for her voice to be heard.
If you are not at least a little bit scared about the Russian heatwave or the huge floods in Pakistan, then you really should be. Extreme and dangerous weather events will be far more common in a warmer world. These devastating fires and floods are a taste of our future climate — unless we can force a political breakthrough on climate change and cut greenhouse gas emissions sharply. The disasters of the past few weeks sound an unmistakable warning: we’ve emitted so many greenhouse gases already that we are losing a safe climate.