Features interviews with Sue Bolton, the newly elected Socialist Alliance councillor for Moreland in Melbourne and Lindsay Hawkins, one of the Progressive PSA team that have won control of the union representing NSW public servants.
Messages of support for Julian Assange from some of the 300 people at Green Left Weekly's 'defend WikiLeaks' dinner in November 10. Special guest was passionate advocate Christine Assange, the mother of the WikiLeaks founder, who gives a warm message to her son.
Verbal Diary Sneake1 www.facebook.com/Sneake1Music When George Sambo was about seven years old, he used a wad of crooked cash to shout all his mates sausage rolls. The Queensland schoolboy couldn't have known then that those fatty rolls would set him rolling on a path to making phat rolling beats. But that's what happened. "The first time I stole was when I was, like, Grade Four, Five, jumping in someone's window," he tells Green Left, fresh from stepping off stage at the Oxford Arts Factory in Sydney.
An Iranian man known as Omid, who is held in the Nauru detention camp, has been on hunger strike for 33 days. Refugees said medical staff had told Omid his kidneys and brain were going to fail and he would be moved to hospital “in the coming days”. The rest of the group decided to end their 13-day hunger strike this morning, said, after Amnesty International said it would visit the island on a fact-finding mission next week.
Green Left Weekly’s Alex Bainbridge spoke to an asylum seeker imprisoned on Nauru on November 12 as a hunger strike involving hundreds of detainees reached its twelfth day. His responses are below. On November 13, most refugees chose to end the hunger strike after news that Amnesty International would visit the camp. Six refugees, including one man who had not eaten for 33 days, were continuing to refuse food. * * *
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa counts on a high level of support at home. But internationally, he has been criticed for policies on development, the environment and indigenous peoples. Tackling these issues in an interview in the September-October issue of New Left Review, Correa raised some important issues for activists in the global North. See also: Rafael Correa speaks on 'Citizen's Revolution'
While European governments continue to impose policies aimed at making working people pay for a crisis they did not cause, the Ecuadorian government of Rafael Correa has taken a different course. “Those who are earning too much will be giving more to the poorest of this country,” a November 1 Reuters dispatch quoted Correa as saying. He was announcing a new measure to raise taxes on banks to help fund social security payments. Ecuador’s banking sector has registered US$349 million in after-tax profits, a November 8 El Telegrafo article said.
I am working with the International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS) based in the village of Deir Istiya in the Salfit area in central West Bank. A lot of this area has been taken over by the Israeli settler colony of Ariel. IWPS work in solidarity with the local people and has received a number of plaques in appreciation of their work over many years. We were privileged to be invited to the celebration party for the homecoming of 21 year-old Ahmed Shtawi after seven-and-a-half months imprisonment. He was arrested on March 16 after a vicious attack by an army dog.
The statement below was released by the newly formed Awami Workers Party on November 2. * * * Three leftist parties, Awami Party Pakistan, Labour Party Pakistan and Workers Party Pakistan, will formally merge into a new party called the Awami Workers Party (AWP) on November 11. It is a first step towards building an alternative to the status quo that has brought the Pakistani state and society to the brink of collapse. This was stated by leaders of the three parties at a press conference held on November 2 at the Islamabad Hotel.
Pages From a Black Radical’s Notebook: A James Boggs Reader Edited by Stephen M. Ward, Wayne State University Press, 2011 401 pp, $US27.95 The Italian Marxist leader Antonio Gramsci coined the term “organic intellectual” to describe workers who educated themselves in advanced economic and social theory. Such people are essential to the task of the working-class understanding its historical role in changing society, he believed.
More than 300 people packed out the Leichhardt Town Hall on November 10 for the Green Left Weekly annual dinner in Sydney with guest speaker Christine Assange. “I've come here tonight not just to support Julian but also to support Green Left Weekly," said Assange. “We need you guys to keep having the guts to tell the truth!”
The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World’s Favorite Soft Drink By Michael Blanding Avery/Penguin, 2012 375 pages, $19.95 (pb) The Truth About Ikea: The Secret Behind the World’s Fifth Richest Man and the Success of the Swedish Flatpack Giant By Johan Stenebo Gibson Square, 2011 256 pages, $22.99 (pb) Sleeping With The Enemy: Coco Chanel, Nazi Agent By Hal Vaughan Chatto & Windus, 2011 279 pages, $32.95 (pb)
Germany is usually presented in the mainstream media as having successfully weathered Europe’s vast economic crisis. German Chancellor Angel Merkel from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has gained enormous influence on the European political and financial scene. By contrast, in protests across Greece, Spain and other countries hit hardest by the crisis, references about Germany as the “Fourth Reich” are increasingly being voiced.
If the mainstream Western media is to be believed, the world witnessed a shining example of true democracy in action in the United States on November 6. In the Washington Post, Dan Balz described the US presidential race as a “contest of competing visions”. Apparently, democracy is epitomised by a race between two representatives of the 1% fighting to impose “competing” agendas that ― with differences of nuance ― bear more similarities to each other than to public opinion.
About 300 students from the Paraguayan National University and the private Catholic University marched to the national police headquarters in Asuncion on October 25 to protest the new Law of Higher Education (LES). The law passed through the lower house of the Paraguayan Congress three weeks earlier, and is currently before the Upper House. During the protest, Romilio Gonzalez and Johana Orihuela, members of the Popular University Movement, spoke to Green Left Weekly. “This is one of a number of actions we are carrying out,” Orihuela said.
Did you think there is a housing bubble in Australia? Not so, according to the chairperson of Aussie Home Loans, John Symond, who said last month: “I am confident, notwithstanding a lot of hype from offshore analysts about a housing bubble, of Australia’s fundamentals.” Symond wants us to trust him, not those offshore analysts, because it's not as if the owner of a home loans company has any interest in the maintenance of an overpriced property market.