Issue 1026

Australia

A solidarity conference called, "Venezuela: The Revolution Continues" will be held in Sydney on October 6. It is sponsored by the Venezuelan Embassy in Australia and supported by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, the Bolivarian Circle and other organisations, including the Socialist...

More than 40 renewable energy suppliers have written an open letter to the federal government urging it to save jobs by not scrapping the renewable energy target (RET).

They say the renewable energy industry employs tens of thousands of Australian workers, both directly and indirectly....

Yet again, the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate (a federal government body set up to attack unions in the building industry) has launched legal action in the Federal Court against the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU).

The inspectorate said on September 12 that...

A meeting of about 200 union delegates and activists, organised by Unions NSW on September 17, unanimously supported a call for statewide action against the federal budget to defend jobs, workers’ rights and services.

Unionists concerned that Unions NSW was failing to lead a campaign...

The Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance club on University of Western Sydney (UWS) Bankstown campus organised a free barbecue for students and staff on September 10.

The BBQ raised $100 in donations for Gaza recovery charities. A week later, on September 16, it held a campus film...

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NMWA) has commissioned a billboard on Sydney's northside to send a message to Premier Mike Baird to stop the privatisation of the new hospital planned for the city's Northern Beaches.

The billboard, featuring nurses from the area, displays the...

The Save Millers Point spring picnic, held at Argyle Place in the heart of the historic inner suburb on September 14, drew thousands of people to support the campaign to stop the sale of public housing by the NSW Coalition government. Live music, market stalls, a free BBQ and information about...

Following a mass campaign that mobilised thousands of people across the country and beyond, it appears the Western Australian government's shark cull has been dropped.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has advised against continuing the cull this summer. Premier Colin Barnett...

The People’s Bill, an initiative of the Lock the Gate Alliance to oppose the growing coal seam gas and coal industries, was launched in Brisbane on September 4.

The People’s Common Rights and Provisions Bill 2014 would amend the Mineral Resources Act to give land holders, local...

A Jewish academic will walk from Sydney to Canberra in September to promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel for its continuing subjugation of the Palestinians.

Marcelo Svirsky is a lecturer in politics at the University of Wollongong and an Australian-...

Activists demonstrated outside global big brand fashion outlets in the centre of Sydney's central shopping district on September 17 to demand that these companies pay the workers who make their products (in countries like Cambodia) living wages and respect their right to organise.

Other...

According to Tailored Wages Report — Are the Big Brands Paying the People Who Make Our Clothes Enough to Live On? published by the Clean Clothes Campaign and the Asia Floor Wage Alliance on March 2014, only four of 50 big brand multinational clothing and footwear companies contacted...

World

A fortnight out from Brazil’s October 5 national elections, the big news is the significant surge in support for Marina Silva, with some polls predicting the former Workers’ Party (PT) government minister and environmental activist could end up winning the presidential race.

Incumbent...

Since September 15, the city of Kobane in the Kurdish-majority liberated area of Rojava in northern Syria has been under intense attack by the murderous forces of the self-styled "Islamic State (IS)".

In July, Kobane (Arabic name: Ayn al-Arab) was besieged by 5000 IS thugs armed with US...

After two years of campaigning, Scotland’s independence referendum has ended. It saw victory for the No side, the opponents of independence with 55% backing compared to 45% who backed a Yes to independence.

The referendum saw an unprecedented level of engagement and debate throughout...

United States President Barack Obama pledged on June 30 that in the face of Republican intransigence on immigration, he would take executive action to ease the plight of undocumented immigrants facing deportation.

On September 6, the White House announced that it would delay any action...

This year’s September 11 Catalan national day (Diada) demonstration, in support of the Catalan parliament’s planned November 9 popular consultation on Catalan statehood, was the biggest since the present cycle of mobilisations for Catalonia’s right to self-determination began four years...

Cables sent from the US Embassy in Quito during Rafael Correa’s first three years as president document rising tensions between Ecuador and the US.

Correa’s government, first elected in 2006, increasingly rejected US hegemony and asserted control over Ecuador’s economic and political...

Laila Harre, the leader of the newly formed Internet Party, told a September 16 stop-work meeting in west Auckland organised by the FIRST and Unite unions, that state spying was not due to concerns about terrorism, but to target people who “organise for change”.

Harre is second on the...

John Minto is a veteran New Zealand activist who became known as a leader of a powerful anti-apartheid campaign in the 1970s. More recently, he was part of organising some of the largest pro-Palestine demonstrations ever in New Zealand.

A member of the Mana...

Immediately after the September 15 “Moment of Truth” public meeting — in which NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed John Key’s National Party government complicity in the wholesale, and illegal, surveillance of New Zealanders — Internet MANA candidate in the September 20 elections, Joe...

It is a story that will be familiar to many residents of the Sydney suburb Millers Point: a suburb with long-standing public housing that provides affordable accommodation to low-income residents is at the centre government attempts, at the behest of property developers, to remove public housing...

Auckland Town Hall was packed to overflowing on September 15, with almost 2000 people. They heard US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden present new evidence that the New Zealand government has been collaborating with US authorities to carry out wholesale surveillance and...

About 200 activists from France’s Left Front gathered in Paris on Saturday 6 to discuss the group’s future. The Left Front has been in limbo for the past few months after disagreements about strategy led to a weak performance in the European and local council elections in May.

The...

“There is a taboo,” said the visionary Edward Said, “on telling the truth about Palestine and the great destructive force behind Israel. Only when this truth is out can any of us be free.”

For many people, the truth is out now. At last, they know. Those once intimidated into silence can'...

Analysis

The High Court ruled on September 11 that an asylum seeker given a temporary visa should be allowed to apply for permanent protection. It said that immigration minister Scott Morrison's issuing of a form of temporary protection visa to a Rohingya man was "invalid".

The court said an...

The Disability Services Commission (DSC) in Western Australia announced last October that it planned to privatise 60% of its accommodation and early childhood intervention services, relinquish its status as a registered training organisation and dismantle its learning and development arm.

...

It appears that the much-talked up budget crisis has disappeared because Tony Abbott’s government is spending big on war.

The Coalition government has quickly allocated half a billion dollars a year to join the new war on Iraq by another US-led “coalition of the willing”, or — if we call...

More than 800 police carried out simultaneous raids on houses in Sydney and Brisbane on September 18. Fifteen people were detained as a result, but only two were charged.

The high profile police raid – coordinated with the media – has been described as the “nation’s biggest counter...

Refugee Council of Australia President Phil Glendenning told a forum on September 15 that refugees sent from Australia back to Afghanistan by the John Howard government have been killed.

The Refugee Action Coalition organised the forum called “Stop Deportations — Why Afghanistan is not...

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has committed Australia to join the US’s latest military intervention in the Middle East. About 600 Australian military personnel and aircraft operating from a base in the United Arab Emirates will join US forces in bombing Islamic State forces in Iraq and assisting...

In the past five years the global bee population has been devastated. This matters because they are critical to the food chain, pollinating 70% of our food either directly or indirectly. Besides pollinating vegetables, fruits and nuts, they also pollinate the lucerne that feeds our cattle and...

Culture

Christianity, Islam and Atheism: reflections on Religion, Society and Politics
By Micheal Cooke
Resistance Books 2014
124 pages, paperback, $15

For a time I stopped referring to myself as an atheist in public. I was intensely embarrassed by...