Issue 1047

Australia


Adelaide. Photo: Welcome to Australia via Facebook.

About 2000 people joined a rally against racism in Federation Square on April 4.

The Melbourne rally was the largest counter-mobilisation against the racist, “Reclaim Australia” protests organised across Australia...

Up to 15,000 people joined the Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees in Melbourne on March 29, more than double the numbers from last year refugee advocates said.

Large rallies and marches were also held in 12 other Australian cities, and 19 cities overseas, demanding refugees be released from...

BRISBANE
Join the protest against Wicked Campers’ abusive tourist slogans. Saturday April 11 at 12pm. Reddacliff Place, Brisbane.

MELBOURNE
Come to a rally to stop the forced closures of Aboriginal communities. Voice your outrage at Colin...

Rallies calling for the closure of refugee detention centres were held across the country on March 29. The Refugee Action Committee Canberra released this statement on March 25 in the lead-up to the rally.

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Activists from Canberra’s Refugee Action Committee (RAC) took...

Activists dropped a banner on cliffs off Sydney’s North Head on March 22 calling for halt to coal and gas mining. Photos: Kate Ausburn.

Representatives of the Wangan and Jagalingou people made this announcement on March 27.

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The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people announced today that they have rejected an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Indian giant Adani to build the huge Carmichael...

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT REPEALS ANTI-WIND FARM LAWS

The Victorian Labor government has repealed the worst aspects of the Coalition's anti-wind farm laws.

After a strong community campaign led by Friends of the Earth, the Andrews government announced it will remove...

No McDonald’s in Tecoma campaigner Richard Pearson was cleared of the charge of “defacing a public footpath” by a Melbourne Magistrates Court.

After chalking the word “no” with a stylised McDonald’s “M” with a cross through it near the new Tecoma franchise, Pearson was confronted...

Rally and march in Melbourne in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle.

Australians for Kurdistan (AFK) committee has launched a campaign for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be removed from the Australian government’s list of terrorist organisations.

...

World

The Venezuelan government-initiated campaign calling for US President Barack Obama to repeal his executive order that arbitrarily declares Venezuela an "extraordinary threat" to US "national security" had more than 6 million signatures as March 31.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro...

Since US President Barack Obama's administration decided to impose new sanctions on Venezuela on March 9, many people, including journalists, have asked what motivated them to do this.

Some are curious over the apparent inconsistency between this move and the White House decision in...

The following statement was released by Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, Punjab president of the Awami Workers Party, in response to the Pakistani government stating it intended to join the US-backed Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

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The Awami Workers Party rejects outright...

Spain: Education sector strikes against privatisation

Professors and students in more than 40 Spanish cities went on strike on March 24 against the government’s education reform aimed at privatising the public sector.

According to the unions who organised the strike, there was an...

In the more than four years since mass uprisings ousted dictatorial regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, it can seem that the initial hopes represented by these mass movements lie in tatters.

Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq remain mired in bloody armed conflicts that have led to the deaths of...

An unprecedented climate change-fueled drought contributed to the political unrest in Syria, says a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Huffington Post reported on February 3.

The article said the Syrian drought, which began in late 2006,...

The small, majority-Black town of Ferguson, Missouri has once again become the flash point of a new movement against the oppression of African Americans and the racist response.

US Attorney-General Eric Holder recently released a Department of Justice (DOJ) report detailing the...

The London School of Economics (LSE) was occupied by students on March 17. The occupation, still going as of March 28, has since spread to King's College London, University of Arts London and Goldsmiths University of London.

More than 100 students took over the school, which has been...

Thousands of demonstrators from across Spain gathered in Madrid’s main Colon Square on March 21 to protest against continuing harsh government austerity measures. Nine columns of demonstrators, who had been on the march for several days, converged on the plaza.

Labelled Marches for...

The Argentine government urged the British government to return to the negotiating table over the Malvinas Islands on March 25, TeleSUR English said.

It comes in response to a planned “beef up” of British military presence on the disputed islands off the coast of South America that...

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of the Ministry of Ecosocialism and Water, which will be tasked with protecting the environment in the context of Venezuela's bid to build “21st century socialism”.

The new body will supervise the National Water Plan, designed to...

Greece demands Germany pay war reparations

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has proposed creating a joint commission of Greek and German experts to address the issue of World War II reparations, TeleSUR English said on March 23.

“Athens wants to come to an agreement regarding...

Nearly 90,000 people took to the streets of Dublin on March 21, in an unprecedented fifth mass protest in six months against the introduction of water charges by the Irish government.

The sea of flags, banners and placards was addressed by a range of politicians, community activists and...

More than 4000 local and global groups from 120 countries took part in the 14th World Social Forum in Tunisia from March 24 to 28. The WSF was created as a popular alternative to the corporate-dominated, elite World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

The first WSF was held in Brazil in 2001...

Western Sahara is the last territory in Africa recognised by the United Nations as non-self-governing.

Spanish colonial occupation was ended in 1975 by the struggle of the Polisario Front. However, independence was denied by a secret agreement between Spain and Morocco for a Moroccan...

Israelis voted for the status quo in elections on March 17. The ruling Likud party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were re-elected, as voters endorsed ongoing apartheid and military rule for the Palestinian population.

Israeli Jewish society is itself wracked by economic and social...

An international campaign for the release of jailed Basque pro-independence leader Arnaldo Otegi was launched at a conference in the European Parliament in Brussels on March 24.

A statement calling for Otegi’s release was announced at the conference, which has been endorsed by...

Julian Assange will stay in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London as long as the United States government continues its case against him for his work on whistleblowing website Wikileaks, his lawyers said on March 19.

The recent development of the Swedish prosecutors agreeing to question...

This statement was released by Benny Wenda, Spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, on March 21.

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It brings me much sadness and grief to report that 2 days ago on March 19, 4 more of my people were shot by the Indonesian police. One was killed and at...

As Palestinians continue to face economic hardships and services and housing shortages after the Israeli bombardments last year, dozens of Gazans joined a rally on March 21 in solidarity with Venezuela.

TeleSUR’s correspondent in Gaza, Noor Harazeen, reported from the rally that...

The March 22 regional elections in Andalusia, Spain’s most populous and second-poorest region, opened this year's critical election calendar.

This election cycle includes local government and 13 regional elections on May 24 and a September 27 poll in Catalonia that will double as an...

Update: All the Malaysian anti-GST protesters who were detained on Monday have now been released on RM3,000 bail. They are to appear in court again on May 14. Thanks for all the protest letters!

Police used excessive force in the recent crackdown on protesters against the Goods and...

Analysis

“The swing against the Coalition and vote for three, perhaps four Greens MPs, in the NSW elections represents an important political gain for the left in NSW. This is welcome news for those fighting for community need not corporate greed”, Susan Price told Green Left Weekly.

...

It was always a big ask for the NSW Labor Party to follow their counterparts in Victoria and Queensland and win the election on March 29.

The corruption scandals involving former Labor ministers was a big handicap for the ALP at the previous election in 2011. As a result, Labor lost 32...

International Women’s Day (IWD) — originally called International Working Women’s Day — was first proposed in 1910 as an initiative of the socialist women’s movement. The following year, on March 19, 1911, IWD was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany...

Pat Eatock truly deserved the title “elder”. An elder passes on the lessons of the past to the next generation. This was her biggest activist contribution in the last years of her life.

So I'll call her Auntie Pat in this tribute out of respect, though in life she spurned any...

The Abbott government's metadata retention bill passed the Senate on March 26 with Labor support — deepening the mass surveillance of the public and further undermining the ability of investigative journalists to do their jobs.

And just to really rub this attack on civil liberties in,...

The motto of the University of Wollongong (UOW) promises “Personalised Experiences: World Class Results”. It would do well to tell the public which persons in the institution availed themselves of the experience of authorising political donations of $26,175 in the last four years, and what world...

When neoliberal economics was being established as a hegemonic position in Australia in the late 1980s, 1.2 million workers were employed in the manufacturing industry — 15% of the workforce.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) latest employment analysis shows that 25,000 jobs...

When then-immigration minister Scott Morrison made a video in September last year callously informing refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru that they would never be allowed to settle in Australia, he hoped at least some would ask to be returned to their home country.

But the video failed...

Mesothelioma is a particularly virulent form of lung cancer. From the date of diagnosis the average life expectancy of a person with the disease is just 155 days.

There is only one way a person can contact mesothelioma: by exposure to the fine particles of asbestos dust that cannot be...

The Victoria Marine Animal Defenders (VMAD) collective organised a rally at Eastern Beach in Geelong on March 22 to protest the imminent arrival of a super trawler in Australian waters.

While the numbers at the rally were relatively few — about 60 to 70 people — it was a diverse crowd...

Thirty environmental, scientific and recreation groups have called on the new Victorian government to create the Great Forest National Park.

The proposed park would add 355,000 hectares of protected forests to the existing 170,000 hectares of parks and protected areas in the...

More than 100 people gathered in a park in Katherine on March 24 to launch the Frack-Free NT Roadshow, a group of pastoralists, traditional owners and environmentalists doing community education and outreach in the Roper and gulf country.

Days before the event, the Northern...

Australian NGO Australia for Dolphins (AFD) has launched legal action in Switzerland against the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), based in Geneva.

WAZA represents a worldwide community of 1300 zoos and aquariums, with 700 million visitors annually. Some of...

The Australian Conservation Foundation has released a report titled Australia’s top 10 climate polluters. It reveals that these 10 polluters — and it’s no surprise that most are electricity suppliers - are responsible for generating nearly one-third of greenhouse gases through their...

Workers in the South Australian retail sector — particularly young, casual workers — could lose their penalty rates thanks to a deal between retail employers and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA).

The deal was reached after nine months of negotiations between...

The Tony Abbott government’s moves to introduce the Healthy Welfare Card – income management on steroids – indicate that it remains committed to a welfare system based on deterrence and punishment. Once again, the government refuses to acknowledge years of negative data about the policy...

Resistance!

On March 25 university students and supporters of accessible education participated in National Day of Action rallies against the ongoing attacks on education. There were rallies in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Tasmania and Wollongong.

Across the...

Culture

Hell-Bent: Australia’s Leap Into The Great War
Douglas Newton
Scribe, 2014
344 pages, $32.99 (pb)

Behind all the froth, then and now, about the noble cause of World War I — defence of freedom against German aggression — lay a far less exalted reality, writes retired...

Melbourne punk band The Duvtons have come out of a five-year hiatus to record a catchy new anti-Abbott song to hasten the fall of “our very own idiot”.

The song says that while PM Tony Abbott makes Australians look like “fuckwits”, at least we are now on overseas news with Crocodile...

“Down The Abbott Hole”
By Zelda Grimshaw
Download free

A group of musicians in Cairns, Queensland, have released a song controversially calling for the head of Tony Abbott.

“Down the Abbott Hole” refers to Abbott’s Australia as a bleak and sterile environment, in which...

Gallipoli, Lest We Forget … The Facts
By John Rainford & Peter Ewer
Available at NoGlory.org

In their short documentary released just ahead of the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC's ill-fated Gallipoli campaign, John Rainford and Peter Ewer have captured the strategic and...

Here's this month's radical record round-up, with an emphasis on International Women's Day. What album, or albums, would you suggest? Comment below, on Twitter or Facebook.

1. VARIOUS ARTISTS - THE F SPOT FEMMES FATALES

"Did you know that...

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous
Gabriella Coleman
464 pages
Published November 2014
Verso
www.versobooks.com

In the early days of hacker collective Anonymous, political activism seemed to be the last...

Fighting Fund

It seems you can’t turn around these days without having at least one of your senses assaulted by some form of advertising.

It seems that is not about to change any time soon. In fact, judging by the amount of money that will be spent on advertising this year, things are about to get a...