Issue 1049

Australia

VIC TRADES HALL CONDEMNS SDA ON PENALTY RATES

The Victorian Trades Hall Council has condemned the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association’s agreement with the South Australian Chamber of Commerce to remove penalty rates for retail workers. The VTHC said it...

SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES TO REMAIN OPEN

Remote Aboriginal communities in South Australia will remain open despite federal funding cuts.

Last year, the federal government announced it would leave it up to the states to fund remote communities....

BRISBANE
Join us on International Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday April 28 at 10am to remember all those who have been injured or killed at work and renew the call for safe workplaces. Emma Miller Place, Roma St, Brisbane.

CAIRNS
Come to a...

Australian Nuclear Free Alliance released this statement on April 14.

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A delegation of Australian nuclear free campaigners travelled to Canada to present at the World Uranium Symposium being held in Quebec City on April 14 to 16.

The group included representatives from...

Federal education minister Christopher Pyne has given $4 million to Danish climate sceptic Bjørn Lomborg to set up the Australian Consensus Centre at the University of Western Australia.

Lomborg is a well-known climate policy sceptic and the director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center,...

Community Solidarity Action was launched in Darwin to respond to funding cuts under the federal government's Indigenous Advancement Strategy and to protest against the closure of communities in Western Australia.

The group was launched by community organisations, unions and...

In December last year, minister for employment Eric Abetz and Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the terms of reference for an inquiry into Australia’s workplace relations framework by the Productivity Commission that was established by John Howard’s Coalition government in 1998.

In a paper...

Environment Victoria released this statement on April 14.

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Environment Victoria has labelled new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) identifying 2300 job losses in the renewable energy sector in just two years as proof that the Tony Abbott government’s anti-...

The Palestine Action Group released the following statement on April 9.

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Today, April 9, we remember 67 years since the Deir Yassin massacre. Over 100 Palestinians were murdered, with many children left orphaned. Palestinians soon began to leave their homes...

Clashes erupted on April 15 at the Wickham Point detention centre in Darwin when refugees resisted attempts to send them back to the Australian-run concentration camp in Nauru where they have suffered serious human rights abuses.

An April 15 media release from the Refugee Action...

Police have cautioned the Knitting Nannas Against Gas that their actions could be illegal and warned them to stop protesting.

For three years the group has met weekly outside the offices of MPs in NSW to protest against coal seam gas development in the state. The nannas say their...

Thousands of people took to the streets of Melbourne and Sydney on April 10 to protest against the forced closure of remote Aboriginal communities.

In Melbourne, between 5000 and 10,000 people responded to the call by Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) to oppose...


Zakia Baig from the Australian Hazara Women’s Friendship Network speaking at the rally.

One hundred and fifty people rallied in Melbourne on April 11 against the kidnapping of 31 Hazara people in Afghanistan. This action was part of Australia-wide rallies.

On...

More than 100 people joined a rally at Sydney Town Hall on April 11 to demand "US hands off Venezuela!"

The rally demands were: "No more coups; End foreign intervention; Respect Venezuela's revolution; and Peace in Latin America!"

The rally was organised by the Embassy of...

World

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks published a slew of documents on April 16 casting light on secretive efforts by entertainment and electronics giant Sony to lobby the US government on hot button issues such as cracking down on online piracy.

One collection of emails indicates staff from...

Workers in more than US 200 cities across the US went on strike and joined marches on April 15 “during what organisers claimed was the largest protest by low-wage workers in US history”, the Guardian said the next day.

The Guardianreported: “Some 60,000 workers took part in the “Fight...

Meral Cicek (pictured) is the chair of Kurt Kadin Iliskiler Merkezi, the Kurdish Centre for Women's Affairs in Erbil, in the autonomous Kurdish Region in northern Iraq).

Cicek spoke to the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Florian Wilde during the World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunis last month....


Photo: Unite.org.nz.

Striking McDonald’s workers took part in marches and pickets in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin on April 15, with many speaking to the crowds and media about the hardship of living with insecure work and income.

...

Up to 90% of the electorate voted in Bolivia’s “local” elections on March 29 for governors, mayors and departmental assembly and municipal council members throughout the country.

The governing Movement for Socialism (MAS) of left-wing President Evo Morales once again emerged as the only...

“A high-ranking official close to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the Greek government is not planning to give in to its creditors’ pressures and go against the program they had promised to the Greek people who brought them to power,” GreekReporter.com said on April 16.

The...

The revolutionary “The Law for Labour Justice and Recognition of Work from Home,” was passed by Ecuador's National Assembly on April 14, TeleSUR English reported on April 15.

The law, which was first proposed by President Rafael Correa on November 15 to about 100,000 workers, passed by 91...

Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) persisted with April 13-15 national elections, despite widespread condemnation of the process from inside and outside the country.

Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, who came to power in a 1989 coup, contested the presidency among 15 mostly...

The Greek government said on April 17 that it was releasing detainees in its neglected immigration centers.

“The people that were there, were living an indescribable barbarity,” said Greek immigration minister Tasia Christodoulopoulou. According to Christodoulopoulou, many of the...

United States politics is witnessing a new sorry spectacle — and one with real consequences for Australia, as well as other nations on the Pacific rim.

US President Barack Obama is trying to drum up support from his party to implement the agenda of the huge corporations that sought to...

Ecuador has lifted 1.3 million people out of poverty in the past eight years, a new survey revealed on April 13, TeleSUR English said that day.

The results of the first “Survey of Living Conditions in Ecuador” showed that poverty has fallen by one third. It also revealed that 900,000...

A recently published report has revealed that the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq was responsible for the deaths of about 1 million Iraqis, or 5% of the population. The report also tallies hundreds of thousands of casualties in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the US-led war....


President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela began his visit to Panama City for the Summit of the Americas with a visit to the impoverished neighbourhood of El Chorrillo to lay a wreath at the monument to those killed by the US bombing of the community during the 1989 US invasion of Panama....

Spain's left-wing Podemos party would win a general election if it were held today, a Metroscopa poll released on April 12 found. General elections are scheduled for December.

Podemos, which was founded in January last year, came first with the support of 22.1% of those questioned. The...

A video released by Minority Rights Group on April 8 shows the aftermath of the “Paniai massacre” in West Papua in December last year, bringing to light Indonesia's human rights abuses.

On December 8,Indonesian security forces shot dead four protesters — Simon Degei, 18; Otianus Gobai,...

Protesters demanding widespread reform of the police took the streets on April 14, as killings of unarmed black men have become all-too frequent in US headlines.

Activists from various civil rights groups rallied in different cities throughout the country. Signs carried by the protesters...

A new police murder of an unarmed Black man in the United States has received global attention. It comes as the #BlackLivesMatter movement has swept the country since the police murder of an unarmed Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri last August.

On April 4, officer Michael Slager in...

Analysis

Recently I went to an asylum seeker forum at Gosford Anglican Parish. Hosted by the awesome Father Rod Bower and chaired by Labor’s Senator Deborah O’Neill, it featured special guest speaker, Labor’s Shadow immigration minister Richard Marles.

I was nervous when I arrived. When I left, I...

Tony Abbott’s government is gearing up for another budget, and much has been made about how to raise revenue and what to cut.

The government has toned down its previous rhetoric about a budget emergency, which appears to have disappeared despite the government failing to pass most of...

Last week the Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison announced that from January 1 next year parents who do not vaccinate their children for reasons of “conscientious objection” will be denied access to child care payments (Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate) and the Family Tax...

The head of the Business Council of Australia (BCA), Catherine Livingstone, has called for a national “conversation” about what the federal government and the business community euphemistically call “economic reform”.

Ever in thrall to trickle-down economics, they manage to talk in “...

The 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing is nearly upon us and the government decided to kick off commemorating the sacrifice of nearly 9000 Australian soldiers in the failed invasion of Turkey by sending 300 more soldiers to take part in the seemingly endless failed war on Iraq.

...

As the Galilee Basin project faces legal challenges by Aboriginal and other community groups and international banks refuse to finance it, the environment movement is focusing its campaign on ensuring that the Australian Big 4 banks also withhold finance.

Indian mining company Adani...


Four Jobs for Women leaders in front of the steelworks in the early 1980s. Photo: Jobs for Women Facebook

In Wollongong in the early 1980s, jobs for women were scarce. They either had to wake at dawn to travel to Sydney on the diesel train or they sewed in backyard...

Lines of grey muttering faces, masked with fear,
They leave their trenches, going over the top,
While time ticks blank and busy on their wrists,
And hope, with furtive eyes and grasping fists,
Flounders in mud. O Jesus, make it stop!...

Danny Nahlliah, Australia First Candidate, Pastor for Catch the Fire Ministries and keynote speaker at the Melbourne Reclaim Australia rally on April 4, rang Tom Elliott on 3AW on April 7 and accused Socialist Alliance of planting neo-Nazis in the Reclaim Australia crowd to make the rallies and...

Culture

The People’s Referendum: Why Scotland Will Never Be the Same Again
by Paul Geoghegan
Luath Press 2015
177 pages

The British-wide general election for the Westminster parliament scheduled for May 7 looks set to be very close, perhaps even closer than the 2010 election...

Günter Grass, who was one of Germany’s most important post-war novelists, died on April 13 at the age of 87 in the town of Lübeck, in northern Germany.

Grass was perhaps most famous for his 1959 book The Tin Drum, a novel that embodied fantastical elements in its critique of Weimar and...

Internationally awarded Uruguayan author and journalist Eduardo Galeano died on April 13 of lung cancer at age 75 in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.

Born September 3, 1940, Galeano was author of about 35 books, including 1971’s Open Veins of Latin America, which details how Western...