Kill the Power Skindred Released January 24, 2013 Touring Australia from Feb 22 to March 3 www.skindred.net Welsh ragga-punk-electronica festival favourites Skindred have hit back at all oppressors on their latest album, Kill The Power - and they're bringing their hard-hitting message to Australia with the touring Soundwave festival from February 22. Big-bearded guitarist Mikey Demus spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward. ***
The next time you see another arrogant Liberal or National Party politician repeat Joe Hockey’s mantra “the age of entitlement is over, and the age of personal responsibility has begun,” think of billionaire Gina Rinehart. Rinehart, the richest person in Australia, inherited her fortune from her mining mogul father Lang Hancock, who once proposed that nuclear bombs be used get iron ore out of the ground in Western Australia.
The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney hosted a talk by Basque activist Endika Zarrabeitia Salterain on February 3. Zarrabeitia is a member of SORTU, a left Basque political party fighting for independence from Spain in a framework of moving towards socialism. Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon introduced the evening, reminding the audience of the high number of Australian workers and Communist Party members, who fought on behalf of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War in 1935.
I wonder how useless you have to be as a banker before they don’t give you a bonus. If you turned up for work drunk on Special Brew and Dubonnet, and wet yourself over the computers causing the FTSE to short circuit, bankrupting Brazil and forcing the defence ministry to pawn its tanks at a Cash Converters in Southend, maybe they’d say: “You get just half a million this year, until you wipe yourself down with a sponge.”
Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson’s plans to issue students with a “tertiary transport concession card” by March 3 in order to cut down on young people “rorting” on cheap fares has been met with resistance by students. Emerson made the proposal after claiming too many young people are getting cheap tickets while not being students and are “ripping off honest users”.
Britain: Woman in coma told to find work “A mentally ill woman forced on to the Coalition’s Work Programme is in a coma ― but is still being sent letters by benefits assessors. "Bipolar patient Sheila Holt, 47, was sectioned in December after being taken off Income Support. Days later she had a heart attack and fell into the coma. “This weekend, Miss Holt, of Rochdale, Gtr Manchester, was sent a letter by Atos to ask why she was not working.”
A Marrickville councillor is fighting suspension following his exposure of a developer’s attempt to curry favour with the council on a controversial development in the inner west known as the Lewisham Towers. Marrickville Greens councillor Max Phillips has lodged an appeal against the Division of Local Government’s decision to suspend him for two months from February 17. The suspension request was made by a bloc of Liberal, Labor and independent councillors in April last year after Phillips refused to apologise to council and to big developer Meriton.
Victoria’s scorching January heatwave has focused a lot of attention on the problem of coping with the immediate fallout from climate change. According to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, in the period January 13 to 23 there were 139 deaths in excess of the expected average. There were reports of homeless people being forced away from airconditioned areas as they sought relief from the relentless heat. http://m.smh.com.au/victoria/anger-over-spike-in-deaths-during-record-victorian-heatwave-20140126-31gxb.html
If you want evidence that the corporate rich are turning “sustainable” into a dirty word, then consider the recent award won by Australian bank Westpac. At last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the bank was named the most sustainable company in the world.
When the Black Power movement emerged in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in the late 60s, thousands of Aboriginal people took to the streets demanding national uniform land rights legislation and recognition of our right to self-determination. The establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972 further galvanised this groundswell of Black activism. Thousands of Aboriginal people converged on Brisbane to protest the ’82 Commonwealth Games, and then came the call for a Treaty.
As Green Left Weekly approaches its 1000th issue, more than 20 years after it first hit the streets, we will be looking back at some of the campaigns it has covered and its role as an alternative source of news. *** Green Left Weekly began its life in a time of war in the Middle East, increasing attacks on the environment — and the Hawke government’s Prices and Incomes Accord which lasted from 1983 until 1996.
Representatives from 225 communes met over January 31 to February 1 in Barinas in western Venezuela to discuss strengthening the communal economy. Communes are made up of elected representatives from the communal councils, grassroots bodies that bring together local neighbourhoods. The conference was called and organised by the Bolivar and Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ). The CRBZ is a current in the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
Venezuela’s Mission Sucre has reached 10 years of providing higher education to more 695,000 people, including 379,000 who have already graduated. The government launched Mission Sucre in November 2003 to provide university education to those who previously didn’t have access to it. Many of its current students are people who have a low income and middle-aged mothers who weren’t able to continue their studies because they raised children.
Beloved Land: Stories, Struggles & Secrets From Timor-Leste Gordon Peake Scribe, 2013 250 pages, $29.95 (pb) East Timor is a tale of two statistics, says Gordon Peake in Beloved Land, his engaging blend of history, memoir and travelogue about the former Portuguese and Indonesian colony. One of the world's poorest nations, East Timor ranks a lowly 120th of 169 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index, but scores high on corruption at 15th on the World Bank’s business transparency report.
On February 3, 50 communications sector workers and community members gathered outside the Geelong Mail Centre to protest the proposed privatisation and downsizing of Australia Post. These changes would see further job losses in the already hard-hit Geelong region. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union of Australia, the Community and Public Sector Union, Geelong Trades Hall, Socialist Alliance and the Australian Labor Party.
The movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel has captured headlines around the world after actress Scarlett Johansson signed a promotion deal with Israeli company SodaStream. Johansson signed the deal to become SodaStream's first “global brand ambassador” on January 1. A Super Bowl halftime commercial starring the actress airing on February 2. However, the deal resulted in an instant furore due to the company's use of an Israeli occupied industrial settlement zone in Palestinian West Bank to make their home soda machines.