Issue 1006

Australia

More than 1000 people gathered in Sunshine in Melbourne’s west on April 22, to pay their respects to Fiona Warzywoda, a mother of four who was murdered in public after she attended a court hearing in relation to family violence matters.

Local resident Sophie Dutertre organised a silent...

The Richmond Valley Council has asked a large protest camp in Bentley, near Lismore in NSW, to dismantle. The camp was set up to protect the local area from gas drilling by Metgasco. Several hundred people in the camp have maintained an ongoing blockade to prevent access to the site where test...

More than 1100 people, including a large number of young activists, attended Marxism 2014: Ideas to change the system, hosted in Melbourne by Socialist Alternative over April 17-20.

The event continues to be an important public conference in Australia. This year there was an impressive...

The workers at a Super A-Mart warehousing and distribution centre in Somerton, Victoria, have scored a victory over company management nearly six weeks after they were locked out of their workplace.

The workers have won a 10% wage rise over the next three years, improved redundancy...

The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released this statement on April 16.

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An outbreak of dengue fever has hit Nauru, raising concerns for the short-term and long-term heath and welfare of asylum seekers being held on the island.

At least three people (staff and...

World

Gaza's Ark, a Palestinian-built protest boat which was preparing to run Israel's naval blockade of the territory, was badly damaged in an explosion on April 29 that organisers blamed on Israel, Alarabiya.net said that day.

Gaza's Ark is a project to politically challenge the blockade of...

The newly formed Left Unity party held its first major policy conference in Manchester on March 29, following its founding conference in November last year. The party has its origins in a call for a new party to the left of Labour made by veteran left-wing filmmaker Ken Loach.

Against...

Imagine trying to win public approval for the following scenario: detonate a hydrogen bomb in a remote region of the Pacific that has little contact with the outside world, in meteorological conditions guaranteed to spread radioactive contamination for hundreds of miles, then refuse to evacuate...

There is little doubt that the Catholic Church is in crisis as a result of deep internal problems.

Alongside revelations that child abuse has been widespread within the Church, and that high ranking Church figures were involved in covering up these crimes, it has also been revealed that...

The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands began a legal battle today to demand the world’s nine nuclear-armed powers meet their disarmament obligations. It accused them of “flagrant violations” of international law.

The island group, which was used for 67 US nuclear tests, filed a...

Since its founding in 1985, the Patriotic Union (UP), a Colombian leftist political party, has been victim of calculated violence from actors across the political spectrum.

Colombia is the only country in the world that includes “political genocide” in its constitution. This is the label...

A meeting of the Cartagena Dialogue for Progressive Action took place in the Marshall Islands on April 1. The body is composed of 30 countries working towards a legally binding United Nations climate change convention before of an international summit next year.

Delegates had a chance to...

“I wish I could leave Greece. I can’t go on living here. I work very long hours and live more frugally than ever, but I still can’t pay the bills, the income tax or the other taxes like the property poll tax.

“My tax debt keeps building up. I’ll end up losing my home. They are stealing...

Members of the Irish community and supporters of Irish freedom gathered at the Irish Martyr's memorial Waverley Cemetery in Sydney on April 20 to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Leaders of the rising proclaimed Irish independence from Britain. The rising was crushed,...

Hard-line opposition protests continued over the Easter weekend in Venezuela. However, a recent poll found most Venezuelans support the peace talks occurring between the government and moderate opposition.

Opposition student groups and several hard-line opposition leaders led a march on...

A large march against austerity took place in Paris on April 12. Organised around the slogan “Enough is enough”, the theme of the demonstration was “against austerity, for equality and sharing the wealth”.

At the head of the march were leaders of the French left: Jean-Luc Melenchon,...

A powerful popular protest is sweeping through the Pakistani-occupied disputed territory of Gilgit Baltistan. Since April 15, an indefinite sit-in strike (dharna) has been waged, uniting for the first time groups from a range of political and religious backgrounds against the removal of...

Analysis

The statement below was released on May 1, international workers' day, by Socialist Alliance co-convenors Peter Boyle and Susan Price.

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ABBOTT'S 'STRONGER', 'HAPPIER' AUSTRALIA EQUALS MORE PAIN FOR WORKERS, PENSIONERS AND THE POOR

A casino was a...

When the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption first sat on April 9 it did little more than give general guidance about the direction of the inquiry.

This was largely provided by counsel assisting, Jeremy Stoljar SC. The learned counsel was eager to ensure all...

The Supreme Court of Victoria decided on March 31 to fine the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) $1.25 million for its protest action on Grocon sites in Melbourne in August 2012.

Grocon is now seeking costs due to the industrial action, which could amount to an extra $1.7...

A new documentary film Radical Wollongong, produced by Green Left TV, will premiere in Wollongong on May 18, followed by screenings in other cities and regional centres.

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

Since Australian women rallied for “free, safe, accessible abortion on demand” 40 years ago, much has been achieved.

Legal reform of some kind has taken place in most states and territories. There is Medicare funding for pregnancy termination, mifepristone is available on the...

“Nothing is free — someone always pays,” federal treasurer Joe Hockey said in his latest softening-up, pre-budget speech on April 24.

Yeah, tell us about it.

His Coalition government is preparing to make pensioners, the sick and the poor pay for the $80 billion that was used to...

If modern industrial capitalism were a person, he or she would be on suicide watch. The system that has brought us quantum physics and reality television, modern medicine and the columns of Andrew Bolt is set on a course which, by all the best reckoning, points directly to its doing itself in...

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Samuel Johnson’s aphorism is well known. But what does patriotism actually mean? Is it simply a matter of liking the sunshine, the gum trees, the beaches and a certain lifestyle? Is it about being overcome with emotion when we see the Australian...

Early last month, former Health Services Union (HSU) national secretary and federal Labor MP Craig Thomson was sentenced to three months in jail for misusing union members’ money. He has appealed the decision.

Later in the month, Michael Williamson, former national president of both the...

"Money speaks” is the message we should be taking from the last few weeks of state politics in NSW.

Inappropriate and undeclared financial dealings and interests are being found at every level of Australian politics. The parliamentary parties are riddled with factions, controlled by...

Forty people travelled over 6000 kilometres as part of an anti-nuclear educational trip from Melbourne to Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory and back from April 12 to 27.

The annual “Rad Tour" weaved its way through Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory to educate...

The election of the Tony Abbott government in September last year signalled an intensification of attacks on workers' rights, the public sector, jobs and what remains of the social wage.

As the global economic situation deteriorates, the ruling class is intent on imposing widespread...

The Tony Abbott government, in line with its ruthless drive to privatise all remaining public sector assets, last month announced a plan to sell off Medibank Private during the 2014-15 financial year. Following the secret recommendations of the government's big-business-controlled Commission of...

Culture

Land & Labour: Marxism, Ecology & Human History
Martin Empson
Bookmarks Publications
London, 2014

With several serious global environmental crises bearing down on us, the question of our age must be “what can we do?”

British...

Oil & Honey: The Education Of An Unlikely Activist
Bill McKibben
Black Inc., 2013
255 pages, $29.95(pb)

When the United States environmental writer Bill McKibben became a climate change activist, he discovered the delights of internet abuse...

One of the greatest novelists and writers of the 20th century has died. Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away on April 17 in Mexico at the age of 87.

Commemorating the author, US-based progressive TV and radio show Democracy Now! said on April 18: “It has been...