Issue 1004

Australia

ADELAIDE: Sun 13 April 2pm, at the steps of Parliament House. Gather there then walk to Light Square via the Immigration office in Currie Street

ARMIDALE: Sun 13 April 11am, Central Park

BRISBANE: Sat 12 April 1pm, King George Square

CANBERRA: Sun 13 April 1pm, Gareema...

The campaign to win equal wages for young workers made a big gain last month, when the Fair Work Commission ruled that 20-year-old retail workers must be paid full wages.

The ruling applies to workers with more than six months experience who are employed under the General Retail Industry...

A decision by the Fremantle City Council at its March 26 meeting to reject a Main Roads WA request to voluntarily hand over land began a dramatic new phase in the campaign against the state government's freeway building agenda.

The state government wants to replace a section of High...

A defiant protest of public housing advocates gathered in Sydney on March 27. The rally of 150 people, organised by Hands off Glebe, marched from Hyde Park to New South Wales Parliament to demand $330 million in repairs that the state government is behind in paying.

It also rallied to...

Federal minister for the environment Greg Hunt faces two big threats to waste reduction in Australia, but appears not to be aware of the problems.

Hunt boasted on March 6 about the effectiveness of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.

Australia had recycled “the...

About 200 people rallied in Melbourne on March 27 to express their opposition to the death sentences imposed on 529 Egyptians at a mass trial of alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the city of Minya.

Protestors held placards with slogans including “Say yes to democracy and no to...

Qantas workers are "very worried" about their jobs, full-time Qantas baggage handler Jim Mitropoulos told a rally of more than 100 airport workers in Tempe on March 30.

Mitropoulos has worked at Sydney Airport for 28 years. He said: "Management has destroyed this company. But if they...

An historic High Court case on April 2 granted Norrie, a Redfern resident and activist, non-sex specific status. Norrie had been granted “sex: non-specific” status by the NSW Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages in 2010, but, under the reign of ALP Premier Kristina Keneally, reversed its...

About 1000 unionists rallied outside Queensland's Parliament House on April 1 to support doctors in their ongoing dispute with the state government.

The government has demanded that doctors sign individual contracts, which are due to come into effect on July 1, by the end of April or...

Chanting "Julie Bishop you can't hide — you support genocide", supporters of human rights in Sri Lanka gathered outside the foreign affairs minister's electorate office in Subiaco on March 29.

The protest was in response to the Australian government's public opposition to the independent...

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) said it is taking part in a “global crackdown” on tax cheats. The project is aimed at recovering billions in tax revenue held in bank accounts in offshore tax havens.

It is part of what is said to be a "global war" against tax evasion following recent work...

A group of refugee rights activists staged an eight-hour blockade outside Villawood Immigration Detention Centre on April 3 to try to stop buses forcibly relocating refugees to Curtin Detention Centre in remote WA. Eight protesters, including Green Left Weekly's live blogger ...

The Super A-Mart workers in Somerton have now been locked out of their workplace for three weeks. Management has refused the workers’ demands to raise wage rates to the industry average of $24 an hour, improve health and safety standards, start monthly rostered days off, and allow casual workers...

World

Je yang camp, located a 30 minutes drive on often unpaved or rocky road from Laiza, the capital of rebels in Kachin State in northern Burma, accommodates about 8000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The wild landscape around the camp suggests the scenery would have been far more...

“In a few short months,” principle speaker for Left Unity Salman Shaheen said in a March 31 New Statesman article, the new party “has attracted more than 1,800 members. With a new member joining every 10 minutes over the weekend, the party is going from strength to strength.”

...

April marks the 50th anniversary of the US-backed military coup d’etat in Brazil. The coup kicked off a brutal 20 military dictatorship.

Military coups followed in Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. With the support of the US government and Paraguay, under dictator General Alfredo...

In New South Wales, politicians have been debating a bill known as “Zoe's Law”, originally introduced by Christian Democratic Party’s Fred Nile.

Zoe’s Law aim to give legal rights to foetuses older than 20 weeks or weighing more than 400 grams. The law opens up the possibility of a...

Why does Bosnia-Herzegovina inspire so little interest and curiosity in the media and political class when, on the contrary, Ukraine is front-page news?

Is it because its name evokes the war that, 20 years ago, claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of men and women more than 200,...

More than 500 Indian migrant workers have died in Qatar since January 2012, The Guardian said on February 19, “revealing for the first time the shocking scale of death toll among those building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup”.

The revelation came after The...

More than 1000 people from 50 countries have signed the statement launched by Egypt Solidarity in response to mass death sentences imposed by Egypt’s military regime on alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

On March 24, a court in Minya province condemned 529 people to death for...

Despite its secrecy and lack of appropriate media coverage, many people have heard about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the huge free trade agreement being negotiated by some of the biggest economies on the Pacific rim.

Some of it details have been leaked by WikiLeaks, exposing the...

In yet another parliamentary coup, new austerity measures were passed through parliament, albeit by a narrow majority, on March 30.

The bill contained three articles, which seem to give the final blow to the remaining worker and pension rights, the country’s economy and public ownership...

As they are prone to do, the private media have invented a new thing. In both English and Spanish, they are calling it the colectivos.

They are meant to be irrational, cruel, grotesque armed motorbike riders who “enforce” the revolution in Venezuela and are responsible for most...

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a US-sponsored resolution on “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” on March 27.

But the resolution makes no mention of the plight of the Tamil people. The word “Tamil” does not appear once.

The...

Via Campesina is a global organisation of peasants and one of the largest and most significant international social movements. The statement below in solidarity with Venezuela’s revolution and peasants was released by its International Coordinating Commission of Via Campesina International,...

Analysis

The campaign against Melbourne's East West Tunnel received a boost when about 1500 residents and members of community groups rallied in Brunswick on March 30. The rally sent a strong message to the Denis Napthine government that the project should be scrapped and the money be spent on expanding...

The first cab off the rank in the federal Coalition government's great privatisation push has now been confirmed: Medibank Private. Finance minister Mathias Cormann announced on March 26 that the government-owned health insurance company would be sold off through an initial public offering in...

The Great Barrier Reef is almost certainly going to suffer permanent damage due to coral bleaching if countries do not act to reduce carbon emissions, the Fifth Assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on March 31.

A lead author of the report, Chris...

Queensland Racing Minister Steve Dickson has just given the green light to a new greyhound racing track at Cronulla Park in Logan, one of Australia’s fastest-growing urban corridors.

Dickson has confirmed that construction on the $12 million publicly funded track at Cronulla Park will...

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell implemented a six-month freeze on processing new applications for coal seam gas (CSG) exploration licences on March 26. At the same time, the minister for resources and energy, Anthony Roberts, announced that the licence application fee would increase from $1000, set...

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...

Michael Williamson, former national president of the Labor Party and the Health Services Union (HSU), was sentenced in the NSW District Court on March 28 to seven- and-a-half years in jail with a non-parole period of five years for defrauding union members.

The sentencing judge described...

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that the number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon had gone over 1 million. Half of these are children and most live in dire poverty.

"The influx of a million refugees would be massive in any country. For...

Nobody told me Game of Thrones was starting early this year.

Wonderful to hear King Abbott pronounce the return of titles, especially after Sir Joseph of the Coffers recently declared the end of entitlement. I guess he was only referring to us common folk.

But we don’t have to...

When refugee activists found out about the imminent transfer of at least 83 asylum seekers from Villawood detention centre to a remote detention centre in Curtin in Western Australia, a picket was hastily organised to try to stop the buses leaving.

Even though there was very little time...

Asylum seekers claiming automatic protection after the immigration department accidently leaked their identities online in February are being transferred to the other side of the country before their case returns to court.

Buses were at the gates of Villawood detention centre early on...

Culture

Spoiled Indentity EP
Iron Reagan
Relapse Records
April 1, 2014
Free download

Radical punk-metal supergroup Iron Reagan have just released a free 13-track EP and are now playing it live across the US. Vocalist Tony Foresta...

Recent developments in the A-League football (soccer) competition in Australia help to show how the realm of sport entertainment is increasingly colonised by capitalist markets and how popular participation is undermined.

Green Left Weekly has reported on attacks on the rights...

Noah
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Starring Russell Crowe & Jennifer Connolly
In cinemas now

The self-avowed atheist Darren Aronofsky, who directed the recently released Hollywood epic Noah, called it the “least biblical biblical...

RAPtivism
Aisha Fukushima
March 2012
www.raptivism.bandcamp.com

Travelling the world is a big enough challenge for most people, but Aisha Fukushima also managed to make a politically-charged hip-hop album while she did it. ...