Issue 1039

Australia

Update: An earlier version of this article reported that asylum seeker Puvaneethan reboarded the plane after protesting passengers had been removed. Reports have now confirmed he is now back in Maribyrnong detention centre in Melbourne.

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Three passengers were removed from a...

As predicted by opinion polls, Liberal National Party (LNP) Premier Campbell Newman was an early casualty on election night, January 31. He was defeated in his electorate of Ashgrove by Kate Jones, the Environment Minister in the previous Labor government. He is the first incumbent premier to...

The National Freedom Movement is planning a second sit-in protest at Parliament House in Canberra when federal parliament resumes on February 9.

Protesters will raise issues, including the large numbers of Aboriginal children being taken from their families and the destruction of...

The Cross Border Collective released this statement on January 28.

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Thousands of men, women and children held in Australia’s detention camps are growing increasingly desperate in their second year of incarceration in camps described as “hellholes”.

On Manus Island, more...

In a dramatic turn of events, the NSW government has suspended AGL’s licence to operate its Waukivory Pilot Project to mine coal seam gas (CSG) in Gloucester, pending the result of an investigation launched on January 28.

The suspension came just a day after AGL said it was "voluntarily...

A man seeking asylum in Australia, who was due to be deported by immigration officials in December, is being held in Villawood detention centre after a protest on December 19 on the plane blocked the deportation. One plane passenger, Steph O’Donnell, said the asylum seeker, Wei Lin, made himself...

Workers at International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF) began occupying the Dandenong factory on January 27 after negotiations for a new workplace agreement stalled. Negotiations have been ongoing since June, after contention arose over management’s proposal for a $0.55 an hour wage rise if...

The High Court has ruled that Australia's month-long detention of 157 Tamil asylum seekers at sea last year was legal and the asylum seekers were not entitled to claim damages for false imprisonment.

The asylum seekers’ boat was intercepted by customs ship Ocean Protector off...

"Today was the best Invasion Day protest that I have ever been to," Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton told Green Left Weekly on January 26. "There was a real feeling of Aboriginal pride and resistance. The crowd was bigger today too."

In Melbourne, the...

Chanting "Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land," more than 500 members of Aboriginal communities from across the country and their supporters marched from Civic in the centre of Canberra to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in front of Old Parliament House on January 26, also known as Invasion...

Several hundred Aboriginal community members and their supporters gathered on Hobart parliament house lawns to mark Invasion Day on January 26. There was a one minute silence observed whilst a wreath was slowly walked down two rows of those who gathered and placed on the steps to parliament...

A week before the Queensland election more than 500 people rallied against premier Campbell Newman and the Liberal National Party on January 24.

Speakers included Indigenous activist Sam Watson, Secretary of the Electrical Trades Union Peter Simpson, Debbie Kilroy from Sisters Inside,...

Protest camp – the Bat Attack
Join a 6-day mass convergence on Gomeroi country to say NO to further bulldozing of the Leard State Forest. Skillshares, music, art, workshops an dcommunity-led civil disobedience. Saturday February 14 to Wednesday February 18 at Maules...

Grandmothers Against Removals released this statement on January 28.

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Activists from the national movement Grandmothers Against Removals joined the Aboriginal protest convergence in Canberra over the Invasion Day long weekend, including the march on Parliament House.

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A 13-day hunger strike by asylum seekers imprisoned by Australia on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, was suspended on January 26 after Wilson’s Security flew in reinforcement to storm compounds where detainees were on hunger strike.

The hunger strike was in response to plans to move those...

The 15th solidarity brigade from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) joined a long tradition of international brigades to visit Venezuela since 1998, and enjoyed a packed itinerary during its visit from December 2 to 13.

During the 12 days, the delegates visited the...

Vigils were held in Melbourne and Sydney for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on January 29. The two are facing the death penalty after having been convicted of drug smuggling in Indonesia.

Chris Peterson gave this speech to the Melbourne vigil.

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Planetary boundaries are those considered crucial to maintaining an environment in which humanity can safely exist.

Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen, US climatologist James Hansen and Johan Rockstrom from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, developed an analysis of nine...

More than 500 people held political parties contesting the Queensland elections to account over the protection of the Great Barrier Reef at a public forum at Brisbane City Hall on January 22.

The forum was was organised by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), Queensland...

World

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told a meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Costa Rica on January 28 that Latin America is living in a “new historic era” marked by unity and great opportunity.

CELAC was first launched in 2011 in Venezuela,...

The fishing community of Baga, by Lake Chad in Borno state, Nigeria, was under siege by armed Islamic fundamentalist group Boko Haram for a week at the start of January. Amnesty International described the bloodbath as Boko Haram’s “deadliest massacre”.

Amnesty estimated about 2000...

“I want to see Cuba before everything changes,” is how many reacted to Barack Obama’s surprise December 17 announcement that he would restore diplomatic relations with Cuba — severed by the US in 1961 — and urge Congress to lift the US blockade.

Seeing Cuba for oneself can only be...

At least a dozen anti-government protesters were shot dead by Egyptian security forces on the fourth anniversary of the uprising that ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak.

More than 15 people were killed in Egypt on January 25 in anti-government protests marking the fourth anniversary of the...

This year’s celebrations of civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King, a national holiday on January 19, were quite different from the staid affairs in recent decades.

Tens of thousands of protesters across the country held more than 50 actions, marches and civil disobedience, reclaiming...

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia has died at the age of 90. Abdullah was one of the world’s most powerful men and a key US ally in the region, controlling a fifth of the known global petroleum reserves.

In a statement, President Barack Obama praised Abdullah for his “steadfast...

Venezuela's left-wing government has congratulated Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's radical left SYRIZA party, who won a huge victory in Greece's parliamentary elections on January 25, TeleSUR English reported.

A Venezuelan government statement said: “Venezuela warmly congratulates the...

The sound system was playing the famous Italian resistance song “Bella Ciao”. Flags of parties from across the left and the continent wiggled as their bearers danced and sang along to celebrate SYRIZA's win in the January 25 Greek elections.

Ouzo flowed and fireworks flared. We could...

There were scenes of joy on the streets of Athens on the night of January 25 as results of the day's national elections gave a clear victory to SYRIZA -- the Coalition of the Radical Left.

Addressing ecstatic supporters, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, since sworn in as prime minister,...

After a fierce struggle lasting 134 days, mainly Kurdish fighters belonging to the Peoples Defence Units (YPG) and Womens Defence Units (YPJ) finally freed the town of Kobane on January 26 from attackers belonging to the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS). Kobane remains...

Thousands took to the streets of the Venezuelan capital of Caracas on January 23 to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the toppling of the Perez Jimenez dictatorship. Marchers also voiced their support for the government of President Nicolas Maduro in the face of economic war and political...

Analysis

Harold John (Hal) Alexander passed away on December 19 in Sydney. He was born on April 9, 1924 and was for many years an electrician, mostly in heavy industry. He joined the then-illegal Communist Party in 1941, at the age of 17, and was a member until its dissolution in 1991. He was an...

One of the pre-election promises of Tony Abbott’s government was to initiate an inquiry into workplace relations by the Productivity Commission.

But the spectre of former prime minister John Howard’s WorkChoices, which lost the Coalition the 2007 election and the PM his seat, meant there...

People with a disability, especially young people, are facing another wave of attacks and victimisations by the federal government in a new crackdown on those receiving the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

In mid-December, the then-minister for social services, Kevin Andrews, announced...

On a blistering hot Sunday in January, a group of Aboriginal activists and allies delivered their impassioned accounts to a captivated crowd at The Block, Redfern. The banners behind them displayed powerful messages: “Justice Now! Reopen the TJ Hickey inquest”, “Black Law on Black Land”, and “...

I have decided there’s no longer any point trying to write these columns while we have a government as truly mad as this one. What’s the point of trying to think up witty ways to mock this bunch of heartless, cruel, out-of-touch, poor-hating, Tory scum if their leader just wanders about doing...

“Greece is turning the page,” SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras told an ecstatic crowd on January 25. The radical left party had just come first in historic elections in Greece with 36.3% of the vote.

“Greece leaves behind the austerity that caused its destruction. It leaves behind fear and...

Noted journalist John Pilger directed and is the lead investigator in an extraordinary documentary, Utopia: An Epic Story of Struggle and Resistance.

Pilger incisively and tenaciously reveals the brutal conquest and continued racist treatment of the Aboriginal...

These are certainly interesting times — where growing inequality, ongoing injustice and the threat of climate disaster make a potent brew of deep uncertainty.

Just ask our rulers. A January 23 article in The Guardian titled “As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are...

This is Part two of an interview with Greens candidate for the seat of South Brisbane, Jonathan Sri. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Evan Verner about the state of politics in Queensland, his position on various policies and what it is like to run a political campaign.

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Culture

The Barking Dog
Edited by Caroline Lund
Order via lundshep@att.net
US$20 in US or $25 elsewhere

I asked Barry Sheppard, the longtime partner, friend and comrade of late US socialist, auto-worker and union activist Caroline Lund (pictured) to collect and publish The...

A recent decision by the organisers of one of Australia's largest pop culture conventions has sparked controversy in the fan community.

A petition has been created to have the organisers of Supanova pop-culture expo revoke their invitation to Firefly actor Adam Baldwin. The US actor is...

American Sniper
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Starring Bradley Cooper & Sienna Millar
In cinemas now

Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper has two clashing narratives. The first is about a soldier in the US army (i.e. the content of the film). The second is much...

Noam Chomsky had some choice words about the popularity of the Clint Eastwood Movie American Sniper, its glowing New York Times review, and what the worship of a movie about a cold-blooded killer says about the American people.

It's not good.

During a Cambridge, Massachusetts...

We kid you not

KENYAN POLICE FIRE TEAR GAS AT CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUND

The ABC reported that Kenyan police fired tear gas into a crowd of schoolchildren in Nairobi as the children protested against what they call an illegal confiscation of a playground.

Around 40 armed police,...

Good news (for a change)

NSW SHUTS CSG OPERATIONS IN GLOUCESTER

The New South Wales government has shut down AGL’s coal seam gas operations in Gloucester in northern NSW.

AGL voluntarily suspended operations after it detected benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, also known as BTEX...