Issue 1033

Australia

This statement was released on November 12 by Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale, Sean Brocklehurst, and Socialist Alliance candidate for Geelong, Sarah Hathway, in the November 29 Victorian elections.

* * *

Ford, General Motors Holden and Toyota all plan to close their...

One of the more important promises that Prime Minister Tony Abbott made in September last year was to create jobs at a rate of 200,000 a year. But the scorecard for the first year is just 105,500.

The official Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) October national unemployment figure...

Supporters of women's reproductive rights gathered outside NSW Parliament on November 13.

The push to amend the NSW Crimes Act to grant a foetus personhood rights is likely to collapse after a controversial Private Member’s Bill failed to be debated in the Legislative Council...

Sixty people, including activists from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and ABC radio presenter Julie McCrossin, protested outside the federal government's Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit on November 12.

The conference featured Liberal MPs Julie Bishop and Greg Hunt speaking to government ministers...

The Tony Abbott government has refused to establish a Royal Commission into the Commonwealth Bank, despite the clear recommendation of a landmark Senate inquiry into financial planning scandals at the CBA.

"The inquiry, which spanned 12 months and attracted a record number of submissions...

Kyol Blakeney was elected President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Sydney last month and the makeup of the new council promises a fresh approach to student politics.

Blakeney’s election win marks the first Grassroots and non-Labor candidate to run the...

Nineteen demonstrators have been arrested since October 21 in protests against the recent approval of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Gloucester Valley, New South Wales.

Police figures obtained by Green Left Weekly said charges range from trepassing, to individuals locking on...

In February, an immigration database containing the identities of almost 10,000 asylum seekers was mistakenly published on the department’s website.

An investigation by another government office found the immigration department “breached the Privacy Act by failing to put in place...

The Wilderness Sociey put out this media release on November 13.

* * *

The NSW government’s new policy to offer compensation for those affected by the coal seam gas industry is just a desperate attempt to try to buy support for the toxic industry, the Wilderness Society said...

As refugee rights groups begin to form ties with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex asylum seekers on Manus Island, the LGBTI community in Australia is starting to stand up for their rights.

Activists have organised a refugee rights float for the Perth Pride parade and a...

More than 200 people marched through Gloucester on November 8 to protest against AGL’s bid to drill for coal seam gas (CSG). Bernadette Smith joined a contingent from Sydney and reports from the blockade campsite.

***

Over November 7 to 9, I camped with the...

In the 2010 Victorian elections the Greens scored about 30% of the vote in each of the Labor-held inner-city seats of Brunswick, Richmond and Melbourne.

They are campaigning hard to break into the Legislative Assembly in all three in the November 29 election. A poll reported in the...

Stephen Jolly, the Socialist Party candidate for Richmond, is a high profile activist with electoral runs on the board.

He came to prominence with the campaign to reopen Richmond Secondary College in the early 1990s, and has been on the frontlines of many campaigns in Melbourne’s inner...

Labor and Coalition candidates avoided participating in a climate change election forum held on November 12 in the marginal Labor/Greens seat of Northcote.

Last week local climate group, Darebin Climate Action Now (DCAN) held a mock climate forum outside Northcote Town Hall, with empty...

About 2000 people gathered at Roma St Forum in Brisbane for the Peoples' March against the G20 Summit on November 15.

Aboriginal activists kicked off the speeches. Callum Clay Dixon said 'What is Australia? It is a colonial state based on genocide and dispossession.”

Multiple...

In keeping with its crusade to privatise every public activity it can get away with, the Australian government has outsourced the management of an Ebola treatment hospital in Sierra Leone to private provider Aspen Medical.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on November 5 that the...

Leaders from around the world will descend on Brisbane this week for the G20 economic forum.

In response, people are gathering in Brisbane to hold alternative discussions about transforming society to a more just and sustainable one.

Protests will also be held against the impact...

World

When Thomas Eric Duncan died on October 8, shortly after his arrival from Liberia, west Africa, the Ebola crisis burst onto millions of news screens in the United States, generating deep levels of fear and xenophobia.

To be sure, Ebola is a serious health concern, for it has a 70%...

To mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, a direct action took place in Beit Hanina, a neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

Palestinian activists destroyed part of Israel's Apartheid Wall, which annexes Palestinian land and entrenches Israel occupation. In a 2004 International...

A national strike for November 20 to protest the government’s ineffective investigation in the case of 43 missing Ayotzinapa students was announced on November 12 by the Mexican Inter-university Students Assembly, chaired by the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training School “Isidro Burgos”.

The...

Saleh Muslim Mohamed is co-president of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), representing the independent communities of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) and its armed wings, the People’s Defence Units (YPG) and Women’s Defence Units (YPJ).

In an interview with Dutch site...

The November 4 congressional mid-term elections in the US reflect the further shift to the right in capitalist politics.

The obvious aspect of this is the fact that the Republicans won control of the Senate, increased their majority in the House, and won more state governorships.

...

It is arguably the most important political development of South Africa’s post-1994 era. In the early hours of November 8, South Africa’s largest union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), was expelled from South Africa’s largest union federation, the Congress of South...

The Israeli parliament has voted overwhelmingly to suspend Haneen Zoabi, a legislator representing the state’s large Palestinian minority, for six months as a campaign to silence political dissent intensified.

The Israeli parliament, or Knesset, voted by 68 to 16 to endorse a decision in...

How does capitalism survive? This was the question that greeted the 11th annual Historical Materialism conference in London. Held from November 6 to 9 at the Vernon Square Campus, it was a four-day long broad marriage of global leftist activists and academics run by the Marxist journal of the...

This week, by law, I have to deride Russell Brand as a self-obsessed, annoying idiot.

No article or comment on Twitter can legally be written now unless it does this, so by the weekend the Sunday magazine recipes will go, “Goose and marmalade paella, serves six ― unless one of...

Images of rioting protesters and burning cars in Brussels were published in mainstream media across the globe on November 7.

The previous day’s protest in Brussels did end in violent clashes, with 50 injured and 30 arrested, but it was the spirited but peaceful demonstration of 120,000...

On November 9, 2.305 million residents of Catalonia defied a November 4 Spanish Constitutional Court ruling and voted on what future political status they wanted for their country, now one of the 17 “autonomous communities” (regions) within the Spanish state.

Because of their rebellion...

Bolivian President Evo Morales asked the Mexican government on November 10 to clarify the case of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa teachers college. The students were forcibly disappeared in September after an attack by local police, in which six people were also killed.

“I wish to...

Nearly twenty-five years to the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, socialist party Die Linke (“The Left”) looks set to form government in the eastern German state of Thuringia for the first time.

After two months of uncertainty following September 14 state elections, the way was...

Analysis

The Victorian Coalition government looks set to go down in an ignominious defeat at the November 29 state election.

Several recent polls have given Labor a healthy lead of about 56% to 44% in two-party preferred terms.

The Coalition was narrowly elected — to everyone’s surprise (...

This speech was given by Tony Iltis of Socialist Alliance to a rally in Melbourne on November 8, calling on the Saudi government to free dissident Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr. Al-Nimr is a popular Shia sheikh who has been critical of Saudi authorities, suggesting...

Fifty protesters, and a larger-than life Nemo, protested outside Westpac's Sydney office on November 9.

Organised by Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), the protesters handed more than 15,000 postcards to the bank calling on it not to fund the massive coalmining expansion at...

You know those annoying “We Agree” television ads by the fossil fuel corporate giant Chevron? The ones where an actor playing a student or a concerned member of a community “agrees” with supposedly noble objectives of this multinational?

Those ads make me feel like puking.

The...

The Australian public has to foot a $500 million bill for hosting the G20 summit in Brisbane last weekend. Just before that, the public funded a delegation — including our Rambo Prime Minister, Tony Abbott — to the APEC summit in Beijing. We don't know what that excursion cost the public, but...

I still recall the sickening nausea I felt in the aftermath of media reports that X Factor judge and alleged musician Redfoo had been glassed in a Double Bay hotel in August. It wasn't caused by accounts of the pub violence, but washed over me when, never having heard of the guy, I foolishly...

Next year will see the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the charter of rights that the barons of old England forced King John to sign when they cornered him at Runnymede-on-Thames in 1215.

While we may doubt that the barons intended that the rights they sought should apply to...

The Great Artesian Basin is one of the world’s largest underground water reservoirs. It is the only source of water for towns and farms across almost a quarter of Australia, from far north Queensland to northern South Australia.

On November 7, the NSW Great Artesian Basin Advisory Group...

Culture

Stasi Hell or Workers’ Paradise? Socialism in the German Democratic Republic ― What Can We Learn From It?
John Green & Bruni de la Motte
Artery Publications, 2009
50 pp., $7.25
Red Love: The Story of an East German Family...

The Greatest Traitor: The Secret Lives of Agent George Blake
Roger Hermiston
Aurum, 2013
362 pages, $39.99 (hb)

George Blake was smart, resourceful and committed.

A teenage courier with the Dutch anti-Nazi resistance during the war and a British Secret...

Going round in circles
Like the fans overhead
His mind can’t get the words out
And the spirit weighs like lead

Join the team,
Recurring dream,
Kill Team,
Kill Team

The heat it has no ending
And the isolation stings
Is this what they...

Pride
Directed by Matthew Warchus
Written by Stephen Beresford
Starring Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West & Ben Schnetzer
In Australian cinemas now

If you haven't seen the recently released Pride yet, you need to get to a cinema. It'll moisten...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Gerry Adams on 'Good Old IRA' hypocrisy

“It is right that we remember those from previous generations who fought and died or were imprisoned or exiled for their efforts to liberate Ireland of British rule,” Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams writes over attempts to contrast...