The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released the statement below on May 23. * * * Following a report on ASIO negative Tamil refugees, aired on the ABC’s current affairs program, 7:30, on May 21, Serco guards raided and searched the accommodation rooms of ASIO-negative Tamils late Tuesday afternoon.
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on May 23. * * * The private corporation that runs immigration detention centres, Serco, has recently insisted that Serco security guards watch over visitors and asylum seekers when members of the Darwin community visit the Darwin Airport Lodge.
Nuclear Kop The Super Raelene Brothers www.superraelenebrothers.com.au Anti-nuclear activist band The Super Raelene Brothers first made it into the pages of Green Left Weekly in 1995. But the duo, who have just dropped their latest atomic-bomb-atomising EP, Nuclear Kop, were making music way before then. “We've been making music since we were kids,” says guitarist and vocalist Basil Schild, who makes up one half of the band with his violinist brother, Derek.
The sensational outcome of the Greek elections on May 6 in which SYRIZA, a coalition of left-reformist and radical left groups, came second to right-wing New Democracy (ND) with nearly 17% of the vote, came on the back of the catastrophe being imposed on the Greek working class. It is being forced to pay for the crisis of Greek and European capital. This catastrophe has resulted in Greek workers and pensioners, already on some of the lowest wages and social security entitlements in Europe, having their incomes directly cut by as much as 40% over the past few years.
The strike of post-secondary students in Quebec has taken a dramatic turn with the May 18 approval by the provincial government of a special law to cancel the school year at strike-bound institutions and outlaw protest activity deemed disruptive of institutions not participating in the strike. Details of Bill 78 were unveiled the day before and debated in a special, overnight session of Quebec’s National Assembly.
In the week before the first anniversary of the indignado (“the outraged”) protests and camps that broke out across Spain on May 15 last year, the Spanish media was full of opinionated wishful thinking about the state of what became known as the 15-M movement. This wasn’t just the usual malice of the right-wing media, which can always be relied upon to play up the inevitable roughness of some indignado actions ― like call-outs where only a handful respond and end up outnumbered by police and TV crews.
The announcement by giant US bank JPMorgan Chase that it had lost US$2 billion in a shady deal shows the kinds of financial speculation that led to the 2007-2009 financial collapse continue to steam ahead. It also underscores that both Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Democrat president Barack Obama are in Wall Street’s pocket. As the financial system was collapsing in the waning months of the George W Bush administration, it responded with huge bailouts of banks and other financial institutions.
The rulers of the world are panicking over the results of Greek democracy. As stock markets plummet globally, the crisis in Greece has become the main item for discussion for the world’s most powerful politicians at the May 19-20 G8 meeting at the US presidential retreat, Camp David. See also: Greece: Mass anger, left gains shows urgent need for united front Mark Steel: Starve the Greeks and they'll feel better
The rhetoric from Tunisia's interim government, led by the Islamist party Ennahda (the Renaissance), as well as the financial establishment, is that the old regime is gone. What is needed now, they say, is stability and the restoration of economic growth to complete the transition to democracy. International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on April 2: "Investors and the population at large need to regain confidence in the future of the economy, to look beyond the short-term difficulties and provide the foundations for a rebound of the Tunisian economy."
Up until now the argument has been that there's no alternative. We have to slash public spending and wages because there's so much debt that otherwise there'll be chaos, absolute chaos. The joy of this method is it saves having to make a case for your actions, so it ought to be used more often. Journalists accused of phone hacking could say, "I had no choice but to listen to a dead soldier's voicemail because otherwise there'd be chaos, absolute chaos. Just look at Greece, they didn't hack any phones and look at the mess they're in, there was no alternative."
Economic collapse drives workers into hunger and destitution. Foreign powers extort huge payments, forcing the national economy toward bankruptcy. The government forces workers to pay the costs of capitalist crisis. This description of Greece in 2012 applies equally to Germany in 1921. How should a workers’ party respond? The German Communist Party (KPD) proposed a simple fiscal policy: tax those who own the country’s productive wealth.
Voters in Germany’s largest state of 18 million people, North Rhine Westphalia, went to the polls on May 13 to reject Chancellor Angela Merkel’s politics. This came a week after the loss for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the election of Schleswig Holstein. These results mark a rejection of the hard line austerity politics pushed across Europe by the Merkel-led coalition government.
There is no end in sight to violence and repression in Honduras. There is also no end in sight to the United States and Canadian governments and business maintaining political, economic and military relations with the country's military-backed regime. Even after US Drug Enforcement Administration officers killed at least four Honduran civilians ― including two pregnant women ― in the name of the "drug war", two more journalists, Alfredo Villatoro and Erick Martinez Avila, have been killed in the Central American nation.
The controversial Ramu nickel mine near Madang in Papua New Guinea has come under fire for new claims of environmental damage. The mine has been the subject of a long-running battle with locals over plans to pump 100 million tonnes of mine waste into Basamuk Bay over 20 years. The dumping threatens the pristine ecosystem of the area as well as the livelihoods of local people.
Some years ago, travelling on the presidential plane of Venezulea's left-wing President Hugo Chavez of with a French friend from Le Monde Diplomatique, we were asked what we thought was happening in Europe. Was there any chance of a move to the left? We replied in the depressed and pessimistic tones typical of the early years of the 21st century. Neither in Britain nor France, nor anywhere in the eurozone, did we see much chance of a political breakthrough. Then maybe, said Chavez with a twinkle, they could come to our assistance.