874

If the last federal election promised the beginnings of a break from the two-parties-for-capitalism electoral system that has plagued Australian politics for the past century, the March 29, 2011 NSW election seems to be a lurch in the other direction.

The Liberal-National Coalition won dominance of the Legislative Assembly and (with small right-wing parties) control of the Legislative Council because a large number of working class voters punished the Labor party with a -13.5% swing.

More than 40 people attended a rally in Fremantle on March 21 in support of Zimbabwean political activists who have been charged with treason.

The rally was held to coincide with the court hearing in Harare for activists Munyaradzi Gwisai, Tafadzwa Choto, Hopewell Gumbo, Welcome Zimuto, Tatenda Mombeyara and Edson Chakuma.

Independent MP for Fremantle Adele Carles told the crowd: “These brave men and women are charged with treason and face the death penalty.

The situation inside every one of Australia’s refugee detention centres has grown dangerously volatile.

Just days after the Christmas Island breakout and subsequent protests, nine refugees climbed on the roof of a detention centre in Darwin after watching the assault of another refugee on March 15.

Two days later, a 20-year-old Afghan man hanged himself with a bedsheet at the Scherger detention centre after his refugee application was rejected.

The statement below was published by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Working Group (South Africa) on March 23. It’s abridged from www.pacbi.org .

* * *

Today, setting a worldwide precedent in the academic boycott of Israel, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has effectively severed ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU).

This was after UJ’s Senate rejected a last ditch motion by pro-Israeli lobbyists to have two separate bilateral agreements — one with a Palestinian University and another with an Israeli University.

Greetings from prison in Zimbabwe

On behalf of the Medical Professional and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe, a trade Union that organizes workers in the private Medical sector in Zimbabwe, I wish to express our heartfelt appreciation of the camaraderie you extended to Zimbabwean Comrades who were coldheartedly incarcerated and charged with treason by the ZANU PF regime for merely watching heroic actions by our brothers and sisters in the North part of Africa that dealt with tyrants. We are humbled by your determination to see Zimbabwean working class free.

It can sometimes feel like we’re losing a race against time to avoid environmental catastrophe and social collapse.

Climate change is already extinguishing species, destroying essential food production and forcing thousands of people to flee their island homes.

People are directly affected by more wars than ever before in history.

While the underlying causes of the recent global financial crisis remain, governments are imposing vicious austerity policies on the majority of people in the Global North and South to pay for the capitalists’ greed.

Israeli settlers observed their own “Day of Rage” on March 17, launching reprisal attacks on Palestinians for the recent murder of a settler family in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

It was also in response to Israeli authorities’ demolition of a settlement structure.

Israeli settlers in the Palestinian West Bank have long carried out the much-publicised “price tag” policy of intimidation and violence against Palestinians and their property every time Israeli officials have demolished a settler outpost.

The United Nations Security Council voted on March 19 to approve a military intervention into Libya, with 10 votes in favour and five absentions.

It was presented as a response to calls from besieged rebels fighting the Muammar Gaddafi dictatorship for a “no-fly zone” to protect them, especially in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. The rebels also said they opposed “Western intervention”.

Coal seam gas exploration is becoming a key political issue in NSW. The Labor and Liberal parties are pushing for a huge expansion in gas mining, including coal seam gas.

But farmers, regional communities and city-dwellers are becoming increasingly worried about the health and environmental consequences of the gas rush.

The NSW government recently approved energy company AGL’s bid to drill 90 coal seam gas wells and build a pipeline and processing centre near Gloucester, north of Sydney.

Israeli warplanes launched four simultaneous attacks in the Gaza Strip on March 24, Xinhuanet.com said the next day.

Since the flare-up of violence that began on March 19, Israel has killed 10 Palestinians, six of them civilians, in different airstrikes and shootings, the article said.

“The targets included an abandoned building which used to be the headquarters of the Palestinian National Authority’s intelligence department, a nearby sports hall and a neighboring training camp for the military wing of Islamic Hamas movement in northwest Gaza City," it said.

Pages

Subscribe to 874