Issue 1015

Australia

Australian environmental and international solidarity campaigner Natalie Lowrey was arrested and detained for six days in Kuantan, Malaysia for standing with Malaysian activists campaigning against Australian company Lynas Corp's toxic rare earth refinery near that city.

At a peaceful...

The NSW Coalition government's proposed private North West rail link, from Chatswood to Rouse Hill, will be "unfit for the purpose" it is intended for, according to Gavin Gatenby, co-convener of EcoTransit Sydney.

Instead of being a more efficient mode of mass commuter transport, the...

More than 2000 people marched in Melbourne on June 28 to protest the proposed East West Link motorway.

The East West Link is to be a partially tunnelled toll road that would give commuters crossing the Yarra River an alternative to the currently overloaded West Gate Bridge.

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More than 80 people attended a community forum and organising meeting at the Ingleburn Community Centre in Sydney’s south west on June 29 in opposition to coal seam gas (CSG) mining.

Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore, Doctors for the Environment’s Helen Redmond and Australia...

About 120 Sydney residents, concerned about the impact of the proposed WestConnex motorway, met at the Annandale Neighbourhood Centre on June 25.

The meeting heard that WestConnex, the biggest and most expensive motorway in the Australia, will not reduce congestion and is just an excuse...

Communities in Maules Creek, New South Wales, are banding together with environmental activists in order to stop coal mining in the Leard State Forest, which threatens to kill wildlife, destroy forestry and worsen climate change due to increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Whitehaven Coal...

Conservative Murdoch mouthpiece Janet Albrechtsen and former deputy Liberal Party leader Neil Brown have been appointed as new members of the panel that oversees appointments to the ABC and SBS boards.

The appointments by the Tony Abbott government come after the announcement of serious...

Sunrays pierced the cold rain to make a sudden halo around the Blackbird as it approached the Collins Landing wharf in Melbourne on June 21, docking across from the Republic of West Papua’s new state of the art Department of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade office.

People...

Kirstyn Jones is from Davoren Park near Playford in Adelaide's northern suburbs, where there has been an income management trial for two years. She is the first Playford resident forced on to income management to speak publicly.

She was put on income management...

Many local residents in Victorian regional city Bendigo were shocked when right-wing groups from outside of Bendigo began mobilising residents against the proposal for the city’s first mosque.

The mosque is planned to be built on underdeveloped industrial land in East Bendigo. It is to...

World

Less than two weeks after concluding its largest military assault on the occupied West Bank in more than a decade, Israel has relentlessly pounded the besieged Gaza Strip since July 7.

The ongoing bombing campaign is the most severe violence inflicted by Israel on Gaza since its eight-...

Venezuela: Social programs expanded in poorest communities

The Venezuelan government has initiated its policy of expanding social programs in the country’s most deprived areas in a bid to eradicate extreme poverty, Venezuelanalysis.com said on June 30.

The...

The stadium in Phokeng outside Rustenburg in South Africa's North West Province exploded in jubilation when the end of the longest strike in South Africa's history was announced on June 23.

Men and women waved their arms victoriously in the air and resounding ululations and cheering...

Players in Algeria's national football team have announced that they plan to put prize money earned in the World Cup to good use, BleacherReport.com said on July 2.

Striker Islam Slimani said the entire squad would donate the earnings to the people of embattled Gaza, saying “They need it...

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 2 to condemn the abduction and murder of teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir in east Jerusalem.

Abbas accused extremist Jewish settlers of “killing and burning a little boy” and demanded Israel “...

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on July 1 the need for “a complete and profound revolution within public administration”.

Maduro appointed planning minister Ricardo Menendez and vice-president Jorge Arreaza to facilitate a “restructuring” of the government system, to take...

The Party of the European Left is a European-wide political grouping that unites 26 parties to the left of social democracy, such as SYRIZA in Greece. It released the statement below on July 2. For more information visit Europe-Left.org.

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We consider the main factors in the...

In the early hours of July 1, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bombed dozens of sites across Gaza, hours after three missing teenage Israeli settlers were found dead.

The Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, predictably seized on the boys' disappearance and death as...

As the autocratic rule of Big Brother Generalissimo Prayut Chan-ocha trundles forward, we are seeing the militarisation of politics, economics and society in Thailand.

All government ministries are controlled by military personnel. Civil servants who were in their posts before the May 23...

Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Sri Lanka, gave a talk on “The challenge of moving from post-war to post-conflict in Sri Lanka” at a June 21 meeting held in the Darebin Intercultural Centre in Melbourne. The...

If anyone can get the different forces of the Catalan left to unite in support of a common cause, it is Ada Colau. The spokesperson of the anti-eviction Mortgage Victims Platform (PAH) until early May, Colau is almost certainly the most popular and respected social activist in the Spanish state...

When I was in Brazil for those first days of the World Cup, I was ― with many other journalists ― tear gassed by military police. I saw sleek, urban-outfitted tanks in the streets and I felt concussion grenades send subsonic shrapnel crashing into my eardrums.

I didn’t see the drones...

Kavita Krishnan is a socialist activist and a well-known international spokesperson for the movement against sexual violence in India.

A Communist Party of India―Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML) Liberation leader, Krishnan was a featured guest at the Socialist Alliance...

Analysis

Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer held an unlikely joint press conference on June 25 with former US vice president and climate campaigner Al Gore.

It was one of those mindboggling moments in Australian politics that seem to be a more frequent occurrence in recent times. Palmer used...

Moreland City Councillor and Socialist Alliance member Sue Bolton delivered the following speech at the Trains Not Tolls rally in Melbourne on June 28. The rally was organised to protest against the new East West Link motorway.

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It’s great seeing people here from all over...

Welfare groups have expressed anger at changes to welfare for people with disabilities, which the federal government released in a draft report on June 29.

The McClure report proposes far-reaching changes to the welfare system and cuts the number of welfare payments to just four; a...

“The Australian government has reached a frightening new low as a human rights’ denier and perpetrator,” the Tamil Refugee Council said on July 3.

The council was responding to “credible media reports” about immigration minister Scott Morrison's “abhorrent act of secretly sending back a...

The Tony Abbott government has recently been at pains to emphasise that it is “protecting” the community from Australian-born “jihadists” returning from participation in conflicts in the Middle East.

Having learned the tools of the terrorist trade in zones of sectarian strife, they argue...

Sri Lanka has confirmed plans for asylum seekers from its persecuted Tamil ethnic minority to be directly handed over by Australia at sea. Although the Australian government has refused to confirm or deny such plans, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on July 3 that Sri Lanka was “a society at...

For controversial sporting bans for violating “common decency”, forget Luis Suarez and his four-month ban from all football-related activities after the Uruguayan striker decided to taste a little Italian. If you want a really outrageous penalty for a sporting star, it is hard to overlook the...

Clive Palmer is proving to be a more adept and unpredictable populist than many of us gave him credit for. The latest surprise was his decision to back the abolition of the carbon tax while opposing the scrapping of the Renewable Energy Target, Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Climate...

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a recent address to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, “all fit young people should be ... expected to persevere for six months to find a job or to choose a further training programme before accessing welfare payments”.

The government’...

Culture

“Budget Reply (Hey Joe)” is Australia’s first musical response to Joe Hockey’s deeply unpopular 2014 budget. Written by Les Thomas, the song is a protest against cuts targeting the young, unemployed, elderly, Indigenous programs, Medicare, education, science and the environment.

Thomas...

Diary of a Foreign Minister
Bob Carr
Newsouth, 2014
502 pages

Too often, Bob Carr’s diary sounds like an episode of Grumpy Old Ministers.

An 18-month stint as foreign minister in the doomed Rudd-Gillard-Rudd federal Labor government,...

Perth's May 18 March in May demonstration was led by a very interesting character. Baloney Abbott is quite a sex symbol in his bright red “budget smugglers”, fake rubber chest and oversised “Proudly Australian” badge.

Waving a bloodied meat cleaver, he really brought the point home that...

Reclaim Your Voice
Various artists
Released June 2014
Blue Mountain Sound
www.bluemountainsound.com.au

Andy Busuttil of Blue Mountain Sound released the following statement on June 28.

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Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

On 'broad left parties'

Murray Smith, a member of the European Left Party's executive bureau, looks at the emergence of new parties in Europe over the past 25 years. He responds to criticisms of his perspective by Mick Armstrong from Australia's Socialist Alternative....