Issue 1007

Australia

A new book exposing the reality of the Nauru detention centre was launched in Melbourne of April 28.

The Undesirables, written by former Salvation Army worker Mark Isaacs, details what he witnessed while stationed at the camp.

Isaacs said: “When we first went to the camp...

A national gathering of Aboriginal people is planned to coincide with the G20 in Brisbane later this year. The overall purpose of this gathering will be to reignite the push for self-determination and decolonisation.

Leaders of the world’s most powerful nations, from [US president]...

More than 100 people attended a forum on the federal government’s proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act. The meeting, called by the Darebin Ethnic Communities Council, was held in Northcote Town Hall on April 24.

Attorney-general George Brandis was invited to...

Long-time Socialist Alliance member Zoltan Torrey — a gentle, thoughtful, uplifting and inspiring man — died suddenly at home on January 16.

He wrote two extraordinary books. Out of Darkness is his memoir. He describes his youth in Hungary when it was occupied by Nazi Germany,...

Doctors for the Environment Australia released the statement below on May 2.

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Doctors and medical students are calling climate change a “public health emergency” and will join hundreds of Australians for the National Day of Divestment, organised by 350.org and Market Forces,...

About 2000 people rallied in Tasmania’s Upper Florentine Valley on April 27 to defend World Heritage listed forests.

The rally was organised by the Bob Brown Foundation to oppose the proposed removal of the Upper Florentine from the World Heritage Area by the federal government.

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The Wilderness Society released this statement on April 19.

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BP, the company responsible for the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, plan to start deep sea drilling for oil and gas in waters in the Great Australian Bight off South Australia as early as 2015.

...

The defection by three Aboriginal members of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to the Palmer United Party (PUP) has the potential to topple the Country Liberal Party government.

The three rebel MLAs — Larisa Lee, Alison Anderson and Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu — left the...

World

A four-day sit-in by brick kiln workers in Lahore in late April ended after successful negotiations held with the labour minister over their demand of implementation of a minimum rate of 740 rupee (about $8.1) per thousand bricks. Workers from all over the Punjab took part in this sit-in.

...

Campaigners for Scottish independence have received another boost as a branch of the public sector trade union Unison sided “positively with the Yes side” in a debate on Scotland's September 18 referendum on whether to remain part of Britain.

Nationwide branch Skills Development...

Before Hugo Chavez became president of Venezuela in 1999, the barrios of Caracas, built provisionally on the hills surrounding the capital, did not even appear on the city map.

Officially they did not exist, so neither the city nor the state maintained their infrastructure. The poor...

During the six years of economic crisis in Europe, its elites have not just attacked the living standards of workers, unemployed and poor. They’ve also been engaged in a three-and-a-half year scrap among themselves.

Their fight is over a financial transactions tax (FTT), first mooted by...

The project is called “The Different Europe with Alexis Tsipras”. It name is written on a red background. Predictions indicate it could surpass, maybe easily, the 4% electoral threshold needed to win seats in the coming European elections.

In 2009, this threshold prevented both left...

Three years ago the Portuguese government, unable to raise funds on the capital markets, went for help to the infamous troika ― the combination of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union. In return for their bail-out, the troika imposed punitive conditions that...

In his May Day speech at a large rally in Caracas, President Nicolas Maduro announced the extension of social programs and benefits to workers and the population in general. The opposition held its own march to criticise the state of the economy.

Some of Maduo's announcements to...

For a man who spent nearly four decades of his 76 years under the restrictive eye of the United States correctional system, few have ever touched as many lives as Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

The world-class boxer-turned-wrongfully accused prisoner-turned-advocate for the rights of the...

The United States Supreme Court ruled on April 22 that states can ban affirmative action in admissions to their public universities.

At issue was a constitutional amendment passed in Michigan that banned consideration of race in admissions to the state’s education institutions.

...

Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle spoke to Kevin Lin, who is doing research for his PhD at the University of Technology Sydney on the labour movement in China, about the background to a new wave of strikes in the country.

Lin...

Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece party SYRIZA and the Party of the European Left's candidate for president of the European Commission, released a statement on May 2 in opposition to the arrest of Gerry Adams, president of the Irish republican party Sinn Fein, on April 30.

Adams, whose...

On my wall in London is my favourite photograph from South Africa. Always thrilling to behold, it is Paul Weinberg's image of a lone woman standing between two armoured vehicles, the infamous “hippos”, as they rolled into Soweto. Her arms are raised, fists clenched, her thin body both beckoning...

Millions of workers across the globe hit the streets on May 1 for mass rallies marking International Workers' Day.

The day was chosen in 1889 as a global day to mark the struggle of the working class by representatives of socialist parties in the Second International. It was held to...

In a move denounced by Irish republicans as hypocritical and politically motived, Sinn Fein president and member of the Irish Dail (parliament) Gerry Adams was taken into custody by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on April 30.

He was questioned over the Irish Republican...

Analysis

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 miners...

As we brace for the Coalition government's first budget — with its foreshadowed cuts to Medicare, education, welfare and public service jobs — the salt in these wounds was Prime Minister Tony Abbott's announcement that his government plans to buy 58 F35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter war...

It is difficult to accept that NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell lost his position over the alleged gift of a $3000 bottle of Grange connected with the push to award lucrative contracts to Australian Water Holdings (AWH).

Conceivably, he could have stonewalled that accusation and ridden out...

Last year we had the hottest week, hottest day, month and year on record broken in Australia.

Worryingly, the fossil fuel companies already have 2795 gigatonnes of fossil fuels in reserves they planning on burning.

That is five times more than the planet can handle if we want to...

One of the custodial deaths that launched the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody will be remembered this year with a national day of action, rallies and marches.

Eddie Murray died while in police custody in 1981 and his family and supporters are demanding a new inquiry...

I am one of the organisers for the March in March and March in May and a social justice advocate.

The leaflet for the Sydney Institute dinner [held on April 28] declares that the honourable Tony Abbott has had a “long and distinguished political career”. I disagree with this statement,...

Call it reckless, short-sighted or just “plane stupid”, but the federal government’s decision to press ahead with a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek defies logic.

Along with the noise pollution it will inflict on western Sydney, the airport will spawn a huge amount of extra carbon...

Youth unemployment has risen to double the national unemployment rate, a new report by the Brotherhood of St Laurence has found.

The overall unemployment rate is 6%. But for 15 to 24 year olds it is 12.5% and in some areas as high as 20%. The rates of youth unemployment have risen for...

The Commission of Audit report is a declaration of open class war by the corporate ruling class against Australia's working people and the poor.

Released symbolically on May 1, the international workers' day, it is a clear challenge to the labour movement and social organisations.

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A casino was a fitting venue to host Prime Minister Tony Abbott's keynote address to the 25th anniversary dinner of conservative think tank the Sydney Institute on April 28.

Abbott's speech, coming two weeks before the federal budget, was full of promises of “happiness”, “security” and “...

The budget is approaching and it seems we are a bit short on cash. This isn't surprising really, seeing as we’re stumping up about $12 billion for a bunch of new fighter jets with such serious flaws they are expected to cost a further $12 billion in repairs and maintenance.

Plus we...

Culture

Boots Riley is lead singer of US-based hip-hop group The Coup and a radical activist, heavily involved in Occupy Oakland and other struggles.

He was a featured speaker at the Marxism 2014 conference in Melbourne over April 17-20. Green Left Weekly...

The Snowden Files
Luke Harding
Random House
February 2014
352 pages, $30

Luke Harding's The Snowden Files is a well-constructed overview of the biggest intelligence leak in history - but it is not without its flaws.

The...

The world of mother nature has been overthrown
From her, her garments torn
Ripped away her ozone
The rapist that threatens has sworn
Take away her rain forests
the dreaded terror ravaged her breast
kissed upon the pure air smog and stench
a passion of...