The online journal Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is hosting a series of commentaries from left-wing groups and commentators from around the world on the crucial question of whether or not to support the US-NATO military intervention in Libya.
The bad news for Ohio’s 350,000 public workers is that a new law bans them from striking — the good news is at least they will no longer risk jail for doing so. A March 30 Reuters article said: “Ohio’s legislature on Wednesday passed a Republican measure to curb the collective bargaining rights of about 350,000 state employees, and Governor John Kasich said he will sign it into law.” The new law will ban unions from striking in support of public workers and limit workers’ ability to collectively bargain.
A popular rebellion is shaking the regime of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad — and highlighting the hypocrisy of US policy in the region. The protests of recent weeks spread further following Friday prayers on March 25. The Syrian regime responded with vicious repression that left at least 61 people dead, and with a belated promise of reform.
Secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks on March 15 show that former US ambassador to Nepal, James Moriarty, actively sought to destabilise Nepal’s peace process in order to prevent a Maoist rise to power. The Maoist-led People’s Liberation Army waged a decade-long “people’s war” against Nepal’s centuries-old feudal monarchy. A people’s uprising in 2006 brought the monarchy down, opening the way for an elected constituent assembly in 2008.
US coal giant Drummond paid right-wing paramilitaries accused of murder and human rights abuses for protection of its Colombian operations, Colombiareports.com said on March 16. The article said the information was revealed in secret diplomatic cables sent between 2006-2010 released by WikiLeaks to the Colombian paper El Espectador,
I was having a conversation about the likely outcome of the NSW elections on Radio SkidRow, a Sydney community radio station, just days before the March 26 election. “We know what is going to happen after [the Liberals'] Barry O’Farrell wins the election, don’t we?” I said. “He’ll wait a couple of weeks then he will announce that Labor has left the cupboard bare so they’ll have to bring in an emergency budget.
See the activist calendar for details of screenings in your city. John Pilger’s latest film, The War You Don’t See, looks at the power wielded by journalists reporting conflict. It examines the responsibility of the media in justifying and supporting the wars our governments wage. Pilger asks: “What is the role of the media in rapacious wars like Iraq and Afghanistan and how are the crimes of war reported and justified? “Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power.”
Good politicians are few and far between, but British health secretary Andrew Lansley is among the worst. In 2008, he was forced to apologise after saying recessions brought "good things" such as people being able to spend more time with their families. In Britain’s parliamentary expenses scandal in 2009, he was accused of claiming for the renovation of a rural cottage, selling it, then “flipping” his second home designation to a London flat and claiming thousands of pounds for furniture. He said his claims were "within the rules".
The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) issued a statement on March 29 calling for the immediate release of five West Papuan nurses who have been arrested and jailed by the Indonesian government for taking part in industrial action. Eight nurses and midwives were detained on March 20 by the criminal investigation unit of the Papuan police in Jayapura, ANF acting federal secretary Yvonne Chaperon said. Five remain in jail.
On March 29, pro-choice protestors gave Melbourne City Council (MCC) a clear message: don’t mess with our free speech rights! Councillor Cathy Oke tabled a bulky tome — nearly 600 statements signed by individuals and organisations, telling the council to uphold the right to protest and stop using local laws against pro-choicers defending the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne against anti-abortion harassment. From the public gallery, placards demanding “Make Melbourne a free speech city!” underscored the message.
Writing in the aftermath of the several high profile WikiLeaks publications including the Collateral Murder video and the Afghanistan and Iraq War Logs, News Corporation journalist Brad Norington set out on a crusade against online media, and more specifically, against WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.
Rob Stary, an Australian lawyer representing WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, spoke to the WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance on February 4. In the interview below, Stary discusses the persecution of WikiLeaks and the failure of the Australian government to uphold Assange’s rights.
For many years, competitions granting prizes have been a successful tool used by marketers to try to promote their cause or business. However, there should be great concern when the prize up for grabs represents sexist ideas and targets women who feel inadequate about their appearance. Last month, Sin City Nightclub on the Gold Coast promoted breast enhancement surgery “worth $10,000” as a competition prize.
Modern ALP is a joke I’m writing to comment on the interview with Andrew Ferguson in GLW #872. Was this a joke or fair dinkum? Ferguson (and the dynasty he comes from) seems to me to represent everything that is wrong with the ALP. Another union boss who never worked in the industry in which he was supposed to represent construction workers (three weeks or something as a stonemasons’ labourer ain’t what I call experience in everyday battling to survive).
Leonard Weinglass, a leading left-wing lawyer in the United States with an international perspective, died in the early evening on March 23, 2011. Len, who died on his 78th birthday, fell ill in late January while in Cuba. In the first days of February, exploratory surgery at Montefiore Hospital discovered that he had inoperable cancer of the pancreas. Lenny, a 1958 graduate of Yale Law School, became active in the US left lawyers’ organisation, the National Lawyers Guild, in the course of the civil rights movements of the 1960s.
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 last century, the March 26 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 in primary votes.