Bolivia is demonstrating to the world why nationalising natural resources is a crucial first step for any government seeking to put people and the environment before profits. On May 1, 2006, less than four months after becoming president, Evo Morales decreed the nationalisation of the country’s gas reserves. This move restored state control over the strategic resource.
The Kinetic Energy theatre company, a Sydney-based independent company, has just returned from its first national tour of the year: four weeks of performing our Village Space theatre-in-education program in Tasmania, Melbourne, Gippsland, and the Riverina, across April and May. Over the years, we have developed an engaging way of educating young people about social justice. We focus on issues such as poverty, inequality, refugees, Indigenous struggle and the environment, and how these issues are interconnected.
Round Nine of the Australian Football League, held from May 24-26, was designated the “Indigenous Round” in honour of Aboriginal players and culture. However, former Age sports journalist Trevor Grant writes that, despite progress, the AFL continues to block Aboriginal access to key aspects of the sport ― on and off the field. The article is slightly abridged from Grant's website What's The Score, Sport, where more of his writings on sport and politics can be found. * * *
WikiLeaks released an enormous treasure-trove of classified US government documents in 2010. It included US military logs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, over 250,000 diplomatic cables, and Collateral Murder, a video depicting the killing of 12 civilians by a US helicopter gunship in Iraq. The source of the leaks, US Private Bradley Manning, acted on his conscience. He believed that people have a right to see the information he had been privy to as an army intelligence analyst. He was prepared to risk his life and liberty to reveal that information.
An important summit of global significance, held in Brazil May 16-20, has largely passed below the radar of most media outlets, including many left and progressive sources. This summit was not the usual type, involving heads of states and business leaders. Instead, it was a gathering of social movement representatives from across Latin America and the Caribbean -- the site of some of the most intense struggles and popular rebellions of the past few decades.
The May 22 attack in Woolwich yesterday was horrific. There can be no justification for a murderous attack on an individual soldier in the streets of London. It must have been awful, too, for the local people who witnessed it. Unlike with most terrorist attacks or indeed other crimes, we have been able to see film footage of the perpetrators, hear testimony from the witnesses who saw or talked to them. So we know what these men say motivated them.
Over 1000 people - organisers said 1600 - marched through the streets of Perth in opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the company Monsanto (which is one of the foremost proponents of GMO technology).
Delegates arriving at the Australia-China Minerals Investment Summit in Darwin on May 17 were met with about 20 protesters. The group had a strong message for those going into the convention centre: “Stop uranium mining, lock the gates on shale oil and gas, go solar!”
A lively protest took place outside federal MP for Wakefield Nick Champion's office in Adelaide’s Northern Suburbs on May 20. The protest was organised by Stop Income Management in Playford (SIMPla) and Single Parents Action Group (SPAG). SIMPla was founded last year in response to the introduction of income management in Playford. SPAG began in response to the Julia Gillard government cutting single parents' income by moving them off the single parent benefit to the lower Newstart allowance.
As part of its federal election campaign this year, the Socialist Alliance is calling for the mining industry, the big banks and the energy companies to be put back into public hands, so that they can be run in a way that respects the environment and social justice. But several other important industries should also be in line for nationalisation under workers' and community control in future.
The North West Alliance released this statement on May 23. *** A broad range of farmers and community members concerned about the impacts of new mining and coal seam gas proposals across NSW north-west are expressing their support for the Gomeroi native title claimants in their recent stance to halt all mining in the region. The Gomeroi native title claimants are the latest group to publicly oppose coal seam gas in the north-west, joining a range of farmers, town residents, conservationists and church ministers in the battle.
This statement was released by Socialist Alliance on May 25. *** The Gonski review into school funding showed the need for an immediate injection of funds into public schools. The independent Gonski review into school funding reaffirms what many teachers and parents already knew. Current school funding arrangements are dysfunctional and inequitable. The failure to reform the way we resource our public schools has come at a big social and economic cost. Gonski’s recommendations are far from perfect — it recommends continued public funding of elite private schools.