Issue 1003

Australia

“We hope Christians will reflect on what it means to follow and worship a refugee God, and to stand in the tradition of a people who were sojourners and strangers in a foreign land,” said Matt Anslow, a Uniting Church member who participated in a prayer vigil protesting the detention of asylum...

In Canberra on April 21, there will be the first meeting of representatives of the groups that together make up the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN). The individual representatives will be drawn from every state and territory.

On April 22, the main conference will take...

"We'll win this, because we'll stick together", Barney Gardner, a long-time resident of the Millers Point public housing area in inner-city Sydney, told a rally of several hundred at Argyle Place on March 25.

The rally heard a variety of speakers condemn the Barry O'Farrell NSW...

Staff at Villawood detention centre denied Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers the right to celebrate Persian New Year’s, a festival that has been celebrated for more than 3000 years, over the weekend beginning on March 21.

A group of 10 volunteers, including former inmates, were denied...

After 1370 votes went missing during the Western Australian senate election last year, the vote was declared void. Another election has been called for April 5.

The difference between this election and the last one is that the agenda of prime minister Tony Abbott is clearer. Anti-Abbott...

A forum on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement will be presented in Sydney on April 8, and will be an opportunity to hear an open and informative discussion on peaceful non-violent resistance in Israel and Palestine.

As the Australian media and politicians debate the...

University students and staff protested proposed cuts to tertiary education in Sydney’s CBD on March 26.

The event involved about 200 people from various faculties, who marched against the proposed $2.3 billion dollar cuts to their universities.

Students from as far away as the...

A public meeting organised by the Queensland Civil Liberties Network was held at Brisbane City Hall on March 24, the second anniversary of the election of the Queensland Liberal National government.

Speakers included Indigenous elder and long-term activist Sam Watson; union and community...

A new documentary film Radical Wollongong, produced by Green Left TV, will premiere in Wollongong in early May, followed by screenings in other cities and regional centres.

The film features activist participants from Wollongong's radical history of strikes and community rallies...

World

Newly re-elected President Michelle Bachelet has reaffirmed her election promise to introduce free tertiary education in Chile — one of the demands of the country’s powerful student movement.

In elections in December, the New Majority coalition of centre-left parties won a majority in...

When the later president Hugo Chavez was first elected president in 1998, it began a process of change that has sought to expand the democratic and social rights of the poor majority who had previously been excluded. This process is known as the Bolivarian revolution.

It has included a...

Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, lashed out against the CIA on March 11 in a sharply worded 45-minute speech that took other Senators by surprise.

President Barack Obama’s appointee to head the CIA, John Brennon, issued a denial a few hours after Feinstein’...

Cracks have been deepening in Turkey's new religious ruling class since the Gezi uprising in May last year. There is now an open and brutal war between two governing factions. This will likely escalate after the local government elections on March 30.

Followers of Turkey’s best-known...

Campaigning in India's general elections, to be held in phases over April 7 to May 12, has already been marked by a reign of terror that has included the assassination of left activists.

The Communist Party of India ― Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML) is fielding candidates in about 83...

Shuhada Street was the major thoroughfare, and bustling, principle commercial centre, in the Palestinian town of Hebron in the south of the Israeli occupied West Bank. Today, the street is all but deserted, an empty place of boarded-up houses and shuttered shops.

On February 25, 1994,...

Thailand's notorious Constitutional Court has once again worked hand in glove with the anti-democratic elite, ruling that the February 2 election was “unconstitutional”.

This is a re-run of the ruling that the 2006 elections were null and void. The 2006 ruling, along with anti-democrat...

A court in the Upper Egyptian province of Minya has sentenced 529 defendants to death in a trial that has been condemned as “grotesque” by Amnesty International. Take action now and add your name to the statement below statement published at the British-based Egypt Solidarity Initiative....

United States President Barack Obama has received scorn for remarks made during a speech in Brussels on March 26. Obama defended the US invasion of Iraq in a bid to chastise Russia for its actions in Crimea and Ukraine.

Fending off repeated accusations that the US has lost its moral...

In a recent article, Amnesty International accused the Venezuelan government of a “witch hunt” when a right-wing opposition mayor Daniel Ceballos was arrested.

However, Amnesty has yet to use such strong language against the five weeks of human rights violations people in Venezuela have...

Mainstream media coverage of the first round of France's March 23 local elections stressed the rise in support for the far-right, racist National Front (FN).

The only other stories found worthy of comment were the sharp decline in support for the ruling Socialist Party (PS) of president...

All political forces in Spain are now straining to adjust to the huge 1 million to 2 million-strong March for Dignity demonstration in Madrid. On March 22, the march greeted the protest columns that had converged on Spain's capital from 12 outlying cities and towns over the previous week.

...

The Venezuelan opposition and much of the media use the term “peaceful protests” to distinguish gatherings of protesting students and other young people from the more violent actions by opponents of President Nicolas Maduro's government -- including vandalism and shootings carried out by those...

The United Nations general assembly voted on March 27 ― with 100 votes for, 11 against and 58 abstentions ― to not recognise the results of the March 16 referendum in Crimea. In the poll, most voted for the territory to leave Ukraine and join Russia.

The resolution was put by Ukraine and...

Analysis

The tape is searing. There is the voice of an infant screaming as he is wrenched from his mother, who pleads, "There is nothing wrong with my baby. Why are you doing this to us? I would've been hung years ago, wouldn't I? Because [as an Australian Aborigine] you're guilty before you're found...

Over the past year, Geelong has been hit hard by job cuts at Ford, Alcoa, Target, Holden, Toyota and Avalon Airport, as well as state and federal government departments. Geelong Trades Hall has organised a rally on April 7, calling for more manufacturing jobs in the region.

Geelong...

Stop Income Management in Playford released this statement on March 26.

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The number of income management clients in the city of Playford in northern Adelaide increased almost 700% over the second half of last year, according to data from the Department of Social Services....

It is the end of the “age of entitlement”, we have been told by the federal Coalition government. But now they have brought back feudal titles.

Not content with making the poor poorer and the filthy rich even richer, they want to rub our noses in their class privilege. They add insult to...

The Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy (BASE) celebrated its two-year anniversary on March 22. During the past two years, BASE has experienced community support and state repression in their struggle to put Indigenous sovereignty on the agenda in Brisbane and has served as a beacon for...

The 10th national conference of the Socialist Alliance will be held in Sydney over the long weekend of June 7-9.

This gathering will take place at a time of extreme inequality, intensified conflict and ecological crisis on a global scale. Even in Australia, one of the “richest suburbs”...

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended Papua New Guinea's efforts to shut down at least two legal inquiries into the treatment of asylum seekers in the Manus Island detention centre, after the violence that left one man dead and scores injured.

A PNG National Court judge,...

These are dark times, so we should celebrate what victories come the way of working people facing the brunt of the Abbott gang's “kick everyone and their dog” strategy.

And so we should celebrate the big win for workers' rights with media star, would-be politician and part-time...

PRIME MINISTER TONY Abbott introduced a “red tape repeal day” on March 26. About 9500 regulations contained in more than 50,000 pages of legislation and related documents got the chop.

One of the “red tape regulations” that will be scrapped is the Commonwealth Cleaning Services...

Born in 1929, Michael Denborough studied medicine in Cape Town, South Africa, and as part of his training went to treat people in the black townships. Later as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, he saw the stark contrast between the two worlds and his passion for social justice was ignited.

...

Community Services Minister Pru Goward announced that 293 public housing in Millers Point and The Rocks on Sydney's harbourside would be sold. The billions gained would be used to invest in public housing in the rest of the state, Goward said. But the sell-off would come at a human cost — the...

The parade of ALP politicians before the latest NSW corruption inquiry has given way to a cross-party merry-go-round. As the Independent Commission Against Corruption calls the tune, Liberal Party luminaries are now on the carousel.

Liberal Senator and Assistant Treasurer, Arthur...

Culture

Cuba & Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion
By Arnold August
Fernwood Publishing
January 2013
288pp, C$29.95

Surrounded by emerging participatory democracies unshackling themselves from US hegemony, Arnold August writes that Cuba is a...

Brothers Part One: Gallipoli 1915
By John Tognolini
163pp $20 paperback, $5 ebook
www.writersandebooks.com

In the Junius Pamphlet, composed while she was in prison in 1915, Polish-born revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg wrote on the horror of...

The Show Will Go On
Mau Power
Coming soon
www.maupower.com

Mau Power's new album takes listeners through the big changes in his life - and the first of those came when he was jailed. "In 2001, I got incarcerated," the Torres Strait Islands...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Bosnia: Tulzla the 'unknown workers' capital of Europe'

Why does Bosnia-Herzegovina inspire so little interest and curiosity in the media and the political class when, on the contrary, Ukraine is front-page news, asks Olivier Besancenot. In recent weeks, this country has...