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Socialist Alliance released this statement on May 1. *** As workers around the world take to the streets to celebrate May Day, we are sharply aware that the capitalist system has reached a point of development where it threatens the habitability of the planet on which we all live.
This weekend unionists around Australia will march to celebrate the achievements of working people. While May 1 is the traditional day to remember the struggle of workers to form unions and fight for a better life, in Australia the marches and parades usually occur on the first weekend of May. This year, a range of socialist and activist groups will be marching together in joint contingents across Australia behind banners saying, “It's time for a fightback”.
A mob led by Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka attacked a clothing shop owned by Muslims in March, setting fire to clothes while police looked on. The attack on the Fashion Bug shop in Pepiliyana, a suburb of Colombo, followed the spreading of a false rumour that a Sinhala Buddhist employee had been raped by a Muslim employee on the premises.
West Papua has been gaining international support recently, especially in its pursuit of inclusion in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), a regional intergovernmental organisation that has supported the independence movements of its members. Controversially, Indonesia, which has occupied West Papua for decades, has had observer status in MSG since 2011.
The Campaign Kings Konekted Class A Records April 19, 2013 www.classarecords.com Kings Konekted have just released some of the choicest cuts in Australian hip-hop - and they were inspired by some of the whackest cuts in Australian politics. The Brisbane b-boys' new EP The Campaign paints a pretty gritty picture of life under cost-cutting Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
A selection of this week's politically-relevant celebrity news... Rebel Diaz Arts Collective finds new home http://bit.ly/11ztAet Cuban video game recreates revolutionary history http://gu.com/p/3enpq/tw Pussy Riot member denied early release from prison: http://gu.com/p/3fedq/tf Hear the new Neon Neon concept album about Italian publisher and leftwing activist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. http://gu.com/p/3fak2/tw Rapper Danny Brown Gets Oral Sex On Stage, Continues Rapping http://bit.ly/ZUUbEF
As the packed galleries burst into an impassioned version of “Pokarekare Ana” (a well-known traditional Maori love song) in response to the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill by 77-44 votes on April 17, a crowd of more than 1000 celebrated outside parliament in Wellington. The vote made New Zealand the 13th nation to legalise same-sex marriage. France has since become the 14th.
About 10,000 workers rallied in Melbourne on April 30, demanding better safety on Grocon construction sites. The rally marched to the Grocon-owned site in Swanston street where a wall collapsed onto a public footpath in March and killed three people. The march then moved to another Grocon site where a crane operator was killed earlier this year. Protesters demanded industrial manslaughter laws for bosses be introduced.
The 39th anniversary of Portugal’s 1974 “revolution of the carnations” that overthrew a 48-year-long dictatorship, was marked on April 25 by a huge march against austerity in Lisbon. The symbols of that revolution — the carnations and the song “Grandola, Vila Morena” (broadcast in the early hours of April 25, 1974 as the signal to start the revolt )— were massively present. They now stand for the need for another rebellion, this time against the austerity imposed on the country by the “troika” -- the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
An article by journalist Elizabeth Farrelly, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on April 11 titled “Protecting a cultural right to abuse”, starts by posing the question, “At what point does autonomy slide into apartheid?” It argues that a policy of self-determination for Aboriginal people will lead to violence in Aboriginal communities, based on the claim that violence was endemic to pre-contact Aboriginal culture.
The fertile plains of the Ord River Irrigation Area around Kununurra in Western Australia are being transformed by plantations of Indian sandalwood, Santalum album It is the largest commercial production of Indian sandalwood in the world. In more than 60% of the total farming area around Kununurra, about 3500 hectares, sandalwood has supplanted food crops such as melons, pumpkins, legumes, chick peas, bananas, and many other crops.
The wealthiest people, banks and corporations have long avoided paying tax by hiding their assets in tax havens, outside their own countries. Many of these tax havens are so secret that even the banks themselves do not know who owns the accounts. But now, a huge leak of secret documents has led a global network of journalists to expose the world’s richest tax evaders.
The Tamil Refugee Council released this statement on April 18. *** Two world-renowned authors, American Noam Chomsky and Australian Thomas Keneally, have called on the Australian government to end indefinite detention of refugees after a 10-day hunger strike ended at the Broadmeadows detention centre in Melbourne. “The true measure of the moral level of a society is how it treats the most vulnerable people,” Chomsky said in a message this week to the Tamil Refugee Council in Australia.
The Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority released this statement on April 22. *** It is with considerable sadness that we announce the passing of Thomas Trevorrow at the age of 58 from a heart attack at his office at Camp Coorong, Meningie. Trevorrow was a strong and proud Ngarrindjeri man and a leading advocate for Aboriginal rights in Australia. He worked throughout his life to better the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and to support the advancement and recognition of the Ngarrindjeri people.
Robert (Bob) McMahon, a founding member of Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill (TAP), died in his sleep on April 17. The anti-pulp-mill activist passed away at the age of 62, leaving behind his wife and fellow activist Susie McMahon, as well as two children and five grandchildren. TAP was founded in June, 2006, as a grassroots community opposition group to the proposed Gunns Bell Bay pulp mill.
A range of socialist and activist groups will be marching together in joint contingents in this year’s May Day rallies across Australia behind banners saying, “It's time for a fightback”. Initiated by the Socialist Alliance, the contingents have been supported by a range of groups, including Resistance, Socialist Alternative, Latin American Social Forum, Solidarity, the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Committee in Solidarity with Cuba, and Sydney University Education Action Group.

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