Issue 1054

Australia

A 23 year-old Iranian asylum seeker has been savagely attacked on Nauru.

The young woman had been on day-release from the detention centre on May 16, visiting refugees in the community. She was expected back at 5pm so at 4.30pm she left the house she was visiting to catch the bus back to...

Tasmanian Greens leader Kim Booth quits parliament

Kim Booth has announced he is stepping down as Tasmanian Greens leader and resigning from State Parliament, effective immediately. His seat will be filled on countback by another Greens candidate.

He cited family...

Protesters hold a banner opposing BP oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight, in St Kilda beach on May 16. Photo: Chris Peterson

About 100 people rallied at Glenelg in Adelaide to protest against plans by oil company British Petroleum to explore for oil in the...

Perth rally for Rohingyan refugees. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Rallies were held around the country on May 22 to demand that Australian government end its inhumane policy of turning back refugees and rescue the thousands of Rohingyan refugees abandoned at sea before...

NETHERLANDS’ SOLAR BIKE PATHS

A Dutch project to turn the nation's bike paths into energy-generating solar roadways has just cleared its first major test.

SolaRoad's 70-metre test track near the town of Krommenie outside Amsterdam has generated more than 3000...

Melbourne Fair Go For Pensioners protest, May 20, 2015. Photo: Annaki Rowlands

Pensioners rallied in Melbourne on May 20 to protest against the federal government's budget. The rally was organised by the Fair Go for Pensioners Coalition.

Rally...

This is how Tony Abbott explained the new work-for-the-dole measures in the latest federal budget to the Queensland Chamber of Commerce: “That person can do up to four weeks of work experience with your business, with a private sector business, without losing unemployment benefits so it gives...

Members of Latin American solidarity organisations from various Australian cities met in Canberra on May 9 for a Gathering in Solidarity with Latin American Struggles and in Defence of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution. Around 40 representatives attended from Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and...

More than 250 farmers and their city cousins rallied at Queensland Parliament House on May 21 calling for an end to unconventional gas production and coal mining.

The rally was organised by Lock the Gate (Queensland). Farmers from the Bentley Blockade and Northern Rivers in NSW travelled...

Community and Public Service Union (CPSU) members at the Bureau of Meteorology and Agriculture Department, including Quarantine and Meat Inspectors, are the latest in a growing number of public servants taking industrial action to highlight the federal government’s attacks on workers’ rights,...

I guess there were some people who thought that the leopard Tony Abbott may have changed his spots after his look-we've-changed 2015 federal budget. The polls certainly suggest this.

As William Bowie wrote in his Poll Bludger column in Crikey.com: “A flurry of post-budget opinion polls...

A Friday night march through Sydney city streets marked the 67th anniversary of Al Nakba, “the catastrophe”, the beginning of the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people.

To create the state of Israel, Zionist forces attacked major Palestinian cities and destroyed more...


A student action against education cuts was held at the University of Sydney on May 20. It was organised by the National Union of Students. Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon talked about the fantastic campaign in Chile for free education and how students here should take inspiration from the...

BRISBANE

Watch a film: Roque Dalton — Let’s Shoot the Night on Saturday May 30 at 12.30pm. Hosted by Latin American Community Association. Marooka Community Centre, 40 Gainsborough St, Brisbane.

GEELONG
Come to a film: Ivory...

More than 8000 Rohingyan asylum seekers are stranded in the Malacca Straits. About 200 people have already died and more are at risk from dehydration and starvation.

The stateless Rohingyans are victims of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Australia must immediately lift its ban on accepting...

Refugee Council of Australia president Phil Glendenning spoke at a public forum in Melbourne on May 13 about the fate of refugees deported from Australia.

Glendenning is also the director of the Edmund Rice Centre, which has investigated the fate of asylum seekers deported to their...

World


"Resign Now" is the rallying cry of the popular movement bringing together diverse social sectors calling for President Perez Molina's resignation. Photo: Prensa Comunitaria.

Despite growing social movement pressure and emerging corruption scandals, Guatemalan...

More than 300 migration experts and academics have condemned the European Union's plan of military intervention against the surge of smuggling boats heading to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea.

The academics’ strong condemnation of the plan comes after Italian Prime Minister Matteo...


Photo: Kurdpress.com.

The June 7 elections to Turkey’s Grand National Assembly are shaping up to be the most important in a long time. The bold decision of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) to run as a party and strive to exceed the grossly undemocratic 10%...

The fossil fuel industry receives US$5.3 trillion a year in government subsidies, despite its disastrous toll on the environment, human health, and other global inequality issues, a new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has found.

That means that governments worldwide are...

Burundi's embattled President Pierre Nkurunziza agreed on May 20 to postpone parliamentary elections, but refused to change the date of the presidential vote.

Parliamentary and local elections were moved back from May 26 to June 6. However, the contentious presidential vote...

Palestinian Authority‭ (‬PA‭) ‬foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki has described Venezuela as‭ ‬“Palestine's most important ally‭”‬,‭ ‬Venezuelanalysis.com said on May‭ ‬19.‭ ‬Al-Maliki made the comments while in Caracas for bilateral talks with‭ ‬Venezuela's socialist government.

‭“‬It's a...

On May 18, Baba Jan was declared the official candidate of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) by the returning officer of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly constituency Hunza 6. Baba Jan is in jail serving a life sentence.

This is the first time in the history of the Hunza Valley that a...

A new popular uprising has started in Peru at the port of Callao,‭ ‬crucial for international trade and the handling of the majority of the country‭’‬s seaborne cargo.‭

After‭ ‬10‭ ‬months of unresolved negotiations with transnational company,‭ ‬APM Terminals Peruvian longshore workers...

The new British Conservative government has launched an ultra-conservative political agenda that could unravel the peace process in six counties in Ireland's north still claimed by Britain.

Tory plans include scrapping the 1998 Human Rights Act, which underpins a key aspect of the 1998...

Traces of chemicals commonly used for fracking were found in‭ ‬the‭ ‬drinking‭ ‬water‭ ‬supply of three homes in Bradford County in the US state of Pennsylvania,‭ ‬a study revealed on May‭ ‬18.‭

The investigation,‭ ‬which appeared in scientific‭ ‬journal‭ ‬‬Proceedings of the National...


Greek pensioners joined the march for a better healthcare in Athens.

Public hospitals were shut down in Greece as workers began a 24-hour strike on May 20 to demand delayed pay and more hospital personnel. Medics and nurses demonstrated in front of the health ministry in...

More than‭ ‬200‭ ‬environmental activists‭ ‬blocked a terminal in Seattle‭’‬s port to protest against Royal Dutch Shell‭’‬s imminent plans to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic.‭

A huge vessel,‭ ‬named Polar Pioneer,‭ ‬is temporarily stationed at the port before heading out to the...

“Almost a third (33%) of the UK population - 19.3 million people - fell below the official poverty line at some point between 2010 and 2013, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics,” the Press Association reported on May 20.

The article said “The ONS records...

Britain's May 7 general elections, in which the Conservative Party won an outright majority, produced a couple of silver linings on a very large black cloud.

One was the success of the Green Party of England and Wales. While the party did not sweep into Westminster, it made...

As Nepal struggles to revive from the catastrophe caused by the April 25 earthquake that registered 7.8 on the Moment Magnitude Scale and its aftershocks, Latin America's socialist governments are busy soothing the wounds of the Nepalese people.

The orange-coloured team of Venezuelan aid...

Popular left-wing activist activist Ada Colau has won Barcelona's May 24 mayoral elections. Running on the ticket of Barcelona Together, which united several left groups and grassroots activists, Colau came first with 25% of the vote.

The May 24 regional elections across the Spanish...

Condolences and tributes to legendary revolutionary and champion of women’s rights Nora Castaneda have been pouring in from across Venezuela after news of the activist’s death on May 16.

An economist, university lecturer and much-loved revolutionary, Castaneda is renowned for having...

The case of yet another death at the hands of US police of an unarmed Black man — in this case teenager Ariston Waiters in Georgia — will be re-opened after new evidence emerged on May 17. The new evidence revealed Waiters was shot twice in the back when already on the ground.

Dalton...

A new video has surfaced of the arrest of 25-year-old Black man Freddie Gray by Baltimore police that contradicts previous police accounts and features an extra stop made by police on the way to the station, the Baltimore Sun reported on May 20.

Gray died on April 19 from injuries...

United States: Thousands of low-paid McDonald's workers protest

Thousands of McDonald's workers seeking a minimum wage of US$15 per hour have protested outside the fast-food giant's headquarters for two days of protests on May 21 and 22.

Reuters said: “Protests by low-wage fast-...

Will Greece's SYRIZA-led government reach a last-minute deal with its creditors, the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) - the “Troika” - to release the last €7.2 billion owed to the country under Greece's second bail-out agreement?

If...

The white US police officer who shot dead Black teenager VonDerrit Myers while off-duty will not be prosecuted, officials said on May 18. The 18-year-old teen was shot 17 times in St Louis in October, six minutes after buying a sandwich at convenience store.

His death exacerbated...

With what appears a landslide win amid a high turnout, all indications are Ireland has voted "yes" to marriage equality in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriages. This is the first time marriage equality has been put to a popular vote anywhere in the world, and makes Ireland the...

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced on May 16 that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will provide assistance to the thousands of Asian immigrants stranded off the coast of Thailand.

“This world is crazy, it shows a total disregard for human life to...

Analysis

In its latest federal budget, the Tony Abbott Liberal-National government announced the setting up of a $5 billion “concessional loan facility” called the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. The proposal has been condemned by environmental and Aboriginal rights groups.

According...

In January this year, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott drew attention to the “unfolding tragedy” of violence against women and vowed to put the issue of what he misleadingly calls “domestic violence” on the national agenda.

The qualifier “domestic” has long been used to downplay, excuse...

The May 2015 budget was framed by the Abbott government with one issue in mind — winning the next federal election. Although there are some members of the Coalition keen on an early election, it seems unlikely to be called until sometime next year.

Community opposition has forced the...

The toll of Australia's bipartisan anti-refugee policies in death and suffering is rising. In the past fortnight more than 3000 Rohingya refugees from Arakan state in Burma (Myanmar) have turned up on the shores of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, having either swum ashore or been rescued by...

If you want to meet the best Australians, meet Indigenous men and women who understand this extraordinary country and have fought for the rights of the world's oldest culture. Theirs is a struggle more selfless, heroic and enduring than any historical adventure non-Indigenous Australians are...

It took a long time for politicians to accept that human actions were warming the planet. Climate scientists began warning that human actions in burning fossil fuels were changing the climate in the late 1980s.

The difficulty was how to put the scientific data into a simple form that the...

You would not have thought it possible, but Tony Abbott appears to be degenerating — in literacy skills as well as morality. Having campaigned on a simplistic three word slogan, in office, he's decided that's two too many, and has cut “Stop the boats” to “Nope, nope, nope.”

Or perhaps...

Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton spoke to Dave Holmes about her work as a local councillor in Moreland, a municipality in Melbourne. This is the third of a series of interviews with Sue Bolton. You can find the whole interview at Links: Online Journal of Socialist Renewal.
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Culture

The open letter that is abridged below was first published at literary magazine Overland, where the full letter and its hundreds of signatories can be read. Artists and arts organisations can add their names to this list of signatories by emailing: overland@vu.edu.au.

If you would to...

3CR Community Radio Melbourne is almost 40 years old. On July 3, 1976, broadcasting from its base in Armadale, 3CR began sending its message out to a radius of just 16km. The station now broadcasts on digital radio and online platforms but the core value remains the same: providing a voice for...


Who the hell cares how old Rebel Wilson is?

In recent days, online media began running strange stories — the exact relevance of which was unclear to anything but these site's Google analytics — claiming that Australian comic and actor Rebel Wilson was really in her mid-30s...