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.
Food giant Coca-Cola Amatil has threatened to close the SPC Ardmona fruit canning company in Victoria, unless the federal government and Victorian government give it $25 million each in assistance. The company wants to spend $161 million on upgrading and restructuring its manufacturing facilities in Shepparton. If the plant is closed, about 3000 jobs in the Goulburn Valley, and many small orchard farms, would be lost.
Talking about music might sound strange for people who live in refugee camps and are deeply burdened with many other problems needing to be voiced. But the huge role music played in the Saharawi people's struggle for independence leaves me with no choice e but to try to talk a little about the magical role revolutionary songs are playing in my people’s daily fight for self-determination.
The Refugee Action Coalition released this statement on February 5. *** The daily protests by hundreds of asylum seekers on Manus Island that began on January 25 have now spread to all four compounds inside the detention centre. Since January 25, up to 500 asylum seekers in the Oscar compound, the most deprived of the compounds, have been staging daily protests. On January 30, the protests extended to Mike compound. And on January 31, hundreds more asylum seekers were in involved in protests in all four compounds.
Electrical Trades Union Victorian Secretary Troy Gray wrote this statement on the ETU Facebook page on February 6. *** Australian Workers Union Secretary Paul Howes is slitting the throat of Australian workers for his own political ambitions. Recent headline grabbing statements by Howes have more to do with his naked ambition to be a politician and his resolve to distance himself from the AWU skeletons, than any attempt to improve the lives of working people or his own members.
Corrupt Fucking System Doom Black Cloud Records Released December 23, 2013 www.doomcrustpunk.com Outspoken British crust-punk pioneers Doom have a stonking new album out and are heading to Australia. Guitarist and founding member Brian Talbot, aka Bri Doom, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward. ***
Queensland woman Sheila Oakley has been left blind in one eye after being tasered by police outside her home on February 6. Oakley underwent surgery after the metal barb from the Taser hit her in her left eye, the Guardian reported on February 7. A senior constable, who is reported to be a qualified Taser instructor, fired the Taser. Police said the woman was holding a table leg when they arrived at her home.
Well it's my first day back at work and already the year has started with the predictable attack on workers that usually accompanies conservative governments in their first term of office. They always claim that unions are corrupt and should have special laws to prevent them from being involved in workplaces or politics.
About 7000 people rallied at Cottesloe Beach in Perth on February 1 to protest against the shark culling policy of the Western Australian Liberal government. This “catch and kill” policy requires the Western Australian Department of Fisheries to maintain baited drum lines 1.4 kilometres off the coast. Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt granted an exemption for this under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act because it is in the “national interest” of protecting public safety and tourism.
The union representing ambulance employees in Victoria has abandoned talks with the government, saying that Ambulance Victoria and the government arrived at negotiations on February 3 with an offer of a pay rise half that of previous negotiations. Ambulance Employees Australia secretary Steve McGhie told Green Left Weekly: “This offer is an insult, it's disappointing that they have moved backwards rather than moved forward. “They reduced their wage offer by half, only offering 6%. Our members rejected a 12% pay rise offer, you can imagine what they would say to this.
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.
"One year after Hugo Chavez's death: Eyewitness reports from Venezuela," was the title of a public forum organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) at the Resistance Centre on February 4. More than 40 people attended the forum, which heard a panel of speakers discuss issues facing the Bolivarian revolution today.