A Socialist Alliance statement on the ‘Tasmanian Forests Statement of Principles’ *** Since its inception in 2001, the Socialist Alliance has been actively involved in campaigns to protect high conservation native forests from being logged and we support an end to the forestry conflict in Tasmania.
Haiti's November 28 election was marred by widespread fraud. Despite the call of all the leading candidates but one to cancel the exercise, officials with the UN Security Council mission as well as the United States, Canada and Europe are voicing satisfaction with the result and urging the country’s electoral commission to press ahead with a second-round runoff vote in January.
Sombat Boonngamanong is a long-time NGO activist in Thailand and has been of great help to renewing public Red Shirt activity following the bloody April-May military crackdown. Lee Yu Kyung spoke to him about the prospects for the democracy movement in Thailand. * * *
The streets of Ayala, the old financial capital of Manila, were taken over by about 5000 people on November 25 in a protest against the growing use of contract labour. Philippine Airlines, owned by the Philippines second richest man, is the latest company to sack its workforce and rehire them as contract workers – with lower wages and without the benefits and security guaranteed to formal, permanent workers.
Irish election officials said on November 26 that Sinn Fein candidate Pearse Doherty had won a long-awaited by-election in Donegal with an overwhelming 40% of the vote. The election was blocked for months before it was forced on Prime Minister Brian Cowen by the Irish courts. Cowen faces a struggle to win votes on raising taxes and cutting spending when the 2011 budget is unveiled in parliament on December 7.
The Rise of the Green Left: Inside the Worldwide Ecosocialist Movement By Derek Wall Pluto Press, 190 pages, paperback www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745330365& Review by Mat Ward As the threat of climate catastrophe looms ever larger, Derek Wall has written what he calls "an explicit call to non-violent arms".
Representatives of 76 indigenous peoples said they reject market-based mechanisms as a false solution to the climate crisis at a recent international conference. They said UN-backed carbon trading schemes such as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD), “are offered as solutions but have negative impacts and cause divisions among indigenous peoples, whose access and control of forest resources are eroded”.
Mulrunji Doomadgee died in police custody on Palm Island in November 2004. Despite reviewing findings highly critical of police by coroner Brian Hine at the third Coronial Inquest in May, on November 23 the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission (CMC) found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the officers involved.
It should come as no surprise that Latin America, a region converted into a laboratory for ongoing experiments in social change, has increasingly become the topic of discussion and debate among the broader left. Latin America has not only dealt blows to imperialism but also raised the banner of socialism on a global scale. It is of strategic importance for those fighting for a better world, especially at a time when capitalism is in systemic crisis.
The federal Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard filed a submission to Fair Work Australia (FWA) on November18, which backed away from its year-long commitment to support the Australian Services Union (ASU) application for an Equal Remuneration Order for social and community sector and disability workers. The government said it supported the principle of pay equity, and agreed community sector workers were underpaid, but its submission argued against granting equal pay to this historically exploited section of the workforce because of budget constraints.
Maire Leadbeater is a spokesperson for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee (Auckland). She recently returned from West Papua, a nation that has faced repression since its occupation by Indonesia in 1963. She spoke to Green Left Weekly's Ash Pemberton. * * * Can you give your impressions of West Papuan society under Indonesian occupation?
The Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) refugee centre in Broadmeadows has beds for 50 people. It housed 46 unaccompanied refugee teenagers until the government expanded the facility to detain more refugees. The centre now detains 132 boys, all aged under 17. The youngest is 13 or 14. Most of the boys are unclear about their own ages, and many don’t carry any form of ID, passports or birth certificates. After the arrival of 98 new people, there was a “riot” on November 13. Forty were injured and seven hospitalised.
Despite pledges at the recent Millennium Development Goals (MDG) summit to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, there has been a constant battle across the global South for access to vital antiretroviral HIV/AIDS treatments and antibiotics for malaria and tuberculosis (TB). One of the greatest challenges in accessing high-quality and affordable medicines is the collusion between rich governments and pharmaceutical giants.
Irish socialist republican party eirigi chairperson Brian Leeson has labelled the Dublin government’s four-year fiscal adjustment plan “a criminal charter for the wrecking of working class communities”. Among the measures contained within the plan are: • A €2.8 billion cut in the social welfare budget. • The gradual increase of the pension age to 68 by 2028 and the reduction of the pension rate for retired public sector workers. • The reduction of the minimum wage to €7.65 an hour. • The raising of university registration fees to €2000.
Portugal's working class brought the country to a standstill on November 24 to press the Socialist Party government to scrap its regressive cuts program. The general strike against European Union-mandated austerity, the first to be organised jointly by Portugal's two main unions since 1988, is the country's largest ever stoppage. Trains and buses did not run, planes were grounded and banking services halted.