Australian journalist Austin Mackell, United States student Derek Ludovici, translator Aliya Alwi and veteran union activist Kamal al-Fayyumi were detained by the police in Mahalla El-Kubra, Egypt on February 11 while trying to interview workers in the city. Sign a petition calling for their release here.
Supporters of a proposed deal between Nyoongar people and the WA state government say that it has the potential to “close the gap” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Yet opponents say the deal is no good. The state government has proposed a deal that would put $60 million a year for 10 years into a trust fund . After the 10 years, the government says this “future fund”, would be used to develop “economic opportunities” for Aboriginal people.
The Occupy movement in the US may have disappeared from media headlines. But it has not disappeared from the streets of many US cities. However, dropping attendances and ongoing police repression have caused problems for the movement. Inspired by protests in the Arab world and Europe, the wave of occupations began in September last year. Thousands gathered in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street in New York to protest against the system that promotes inequality and undemocratic rule by the super-rich — the “1%”. Similar protest sites sprang up across the US and many other countries.
A Buddhist monk has set himself on fire in what is believed to have been a protest for Tibetan independence, the BBC said on February 9. The immolation follows a series of pro-independence protests in Sichuan, an ethnically Tibetan region of southwest China, which is outside of the Tibetan autonomous region. The incident was said to be the 20th self-immolation by Tibetan Buddhists since 2011.
China’s transition to state-led capitalism over the past three decades has generated numerous social struggles against the state and capital. With China’s ascent in the capitalist world economy, the social struggles inside China not only have a significant domestic impact, but increasingly international ramifications. As China celebrates the Year of the Dragon, it is an opportune time to critically review the situation for social struggles and their prospects for the future. State and elite politics
By now we all know that the rich get richer under capitalism. But many are astounded at the incredible pace this takes place. Last week it was reported that Australian billionaire James Packer celebrated a 560% increase in his casino investment in Macau. Great reward for making totally unproductive, indeed socially and morally destructive, investments.
She’s proposed nuclear explosions for open-cut mining, funded tours by climate deniers and called for bringing in cheap migrant labour to work her mines. Now Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, has bought the largest individual stake in Fairfax Media, which runs the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review, plus various radio stations and regional papers.
Now that both Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry's marriages are over, and things seem quiet on the Brangelina front, the corporate media have been reduced to feverish speculation over another B-Grade celebrity circus: who will lead the seemingly doomed Labor government? Will the skittish Labor caucus, freaked by polling data, stick with Julia Gillard or execute a dramatic reverse coup and bring back Kevin Rudd? Or will it be Wayne Swan or maybe that Simon someone-or-other who looks kinda familiar?
Liam Flenady is a Resistance member and Socialist Alliance candidate for the March 24 state election. He spoke with Green Left Weekly’s Patrick Harrison about his campaign priorities and issues facing young people today. *** Why are you running in the election? What does it mean to be a youth candidate? I want people to see that there is an alternative to [Premier Anna] Bligh and [opposition leader Campbell] Newman.
Murdoch likes compliant politics “Only met PMs when asked ... and NEVER asked for anything”. Rupert Murdoch on Twitter, reassuring us that Australia’s political leaders are so compliant, he hasn’t had to resort to hacking. ― February 5 Rinehart's bid to nuke Oz “It’s a pity it didn’t happen”. Gina Rinehart lamenting that her plan to use nuclear explosions in open cut mining never radiated. — Australian Story, May 1997 Banker greed “An opportunity for the customer to get ahead by paying more than they need to.”
Palestine prisoner's rights group Addameer released the statement below on February 9 on the condition of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan. At the time of the statement, Adnan was 54 days into a hunger strike and in a critical condition. Adnan is being held in “administrative detention” ― without charge or trial. The statement is abridged from Electronic Intifada.
The Australian government is pushing to deport the first Afghan asylum seeker since it signed a deal with the Afghanistan government in January last year to allow Afghan asylum seekers to be returned against their will. But a February 7 report by Fairfax journalist Rory Callinan revealed that a flagship $8 million resettlement project for deported asylum seekers — funded by Australia in a province outside Kabul — had fallen into chaotic disrepair.
Mike Crook, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sandgate in the March 24 Queensland state elections, released the statement below on February 10. *** The Socialist Alliance pledges its full support to the Queensland mining unionists engaged in industrial battle with Australia's biggest corporation, BHP Billiton. The company is now in line to make a full-year profit almost equal to that of the four big Australian banks combined.
Queensland coalminers will strike for a week from February 15 to step up the longstanding dispute with BHP Billiton over safety, wages and conditions. The company's seven coal mines in Queensland will be closed down after 15 months of negotiations broke down between the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) and management. The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) operates the mines. It is likely to lose up to 1 million tonnes in forgone or deferred production. The value of the coal production lost will total $200-300 million.
A study of national hospital audit figures found Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who suffer a stroke had threefold odds of dying or becoming dependent as a result of lower post-stroke care. The study, conducted for the National Stroke Foundation, said: “Australian Indigenous patients with stroke received a reduced quality of care in hospitals and experienced worse outcomes than non-Indigenous patients.”
United States' singer/songwriter Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) was encouraged by boycott activists to cancel her gig in Tel Aviv, scheduled for February 12. It looks like the pressure worked. On February 9, Cat Power announced her show had been cancelled, and tweeted: “Music is healing and it is not humane if all cannot have the choice, the right, to attend.”


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