Israeli activist and author Miko Peled, currently touring Australia, is convinced that the Israel-Palestine conflict can be solved. But, he told public meetings in Sydney and Newcastle, he doesn't believe that it will happen while the government of Israel remains committed to Zionism (the maintenance of Israel as an exclusively "Jewish" state) and continues its ethnic cleansing operation by moving Palestinians off their land. “It is not some inexorable process of nature,” Peled said. “It is a conflict between people, and it is therefore something over which people can have control.”
“Most countries don’t detain asylum seekers” or, if they are detained, they “are only detained until the UNHCR recognises them and then they are released,” Robyn Sampson, researcher with the International Detention Coalition told a public meeting on alternatives to detention of asylum seekers.
For the past seven years, the community action group TAP into better Tasmania, formerly Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill, has campaigned against Gunns Ltd’s attempts to build a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. TAP spokesperson Bob McMahon spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Susan Austin. * * * How many years has the campaign against Gunns’ pulp mill been going for?
The South Asian Social Forum will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from November 18-22. Part of the World Social Forum, SASF takes the democratisation process as its core theme. The World Social Forum, which was formed in 2001, has its roots in the early 1990s and different NGO initiatives and activities parallel to those of the United Nations. Its formation was inspired by the mass upsurge across Latin America, in particular the struggle of the Zapitistas in southern Mexico and the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organisation.
Statements, articles, letters and petitions have been circulating on the internet for the past month calling for an end to the "destruction of the Amazon". The target of these initiatives has not been transnational corporations or the powerful governments that back them, but the government of Bolivia's first indigenous president, Evo Morales. See also: Bolivia: Conflict deepens over Amazon highway plan
Green Left Weekly, Socialist Alliance and other left-wing groups, have received more attention than normal in recent weeks in the mainstream media and even in state and federal parliamentary debates. This attention has mainly been in response to the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid and has mostly consisted of nasty allegations of anti-Semitism, with endless colourful references to Hitler and the Nazi’s Holocaust.
“The process of building socialism, as shown in Venezuela, is very complex. It is often a matter of two steps forward, one step back,” said John Cleary, coordinator of the May Day 2011 solidarity brigade to Venezuela, at a forum at the Brisbane Activist Centre on September 17. The Brisbane forum, sponsored by the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN), heard a report from Cleary about his recent trip to Venezuela, and to Bolivia on the brigade that followed.
Over the past month, humanities and social sciences students at Adelaide University have successfully fought back against attempted cuts to their tutorials. In July, deputy vice-chancellor Professor Pascale Quester announced cuts to tutorial numbers from 12 to 10 or nine. The lost tutorials would be replaced by optional one-on-one consultation time with tutorial teachers. On August 24, at a student-management forum organised by Adelaide University Union (AUU) president Raffaele Piccolo, Quester tried to justify the cuts on educational grounds.
If Julia Gillard is deposed as Australia’s prime minister, she has only herself to blame. Gillard’s ALP is barely distinguishable from the Coalition, varying only by a nuance here or there. More than any other reason, this explains her bottomless unpopularity. The ALP has continually abandoned its supposed constituency, the working class, in favour of the wealthy, who contribute more and more to the ALP’s coffers. It’s true Gillard didn’t start the rightward shift of the ALP, but she has taken it so far that Abbott can now attack Gillard from the “left”.
Elections in the city-state of Berlin on September 18 delivered another serious blow to the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, even as her party’s vote increased. Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) came in second place in the Berlin election, winning 23.4% of the vote – up from 21.3% in 2006.