Issue 1064

Australia

'Put the bill, pass the bill' was the message as 700 people marched through the streets of Perth in support of marriage equality on August 9.

The rally began with a new song by Luke John O'Dell and featured speakers including Joey Cookman from Playgroups with Pride, trans...

The Sydney University National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) organised a rally in trying weather conditions on Wednesday 5th August. They were joined by lively contingents from the Student Representative Council, Sydney University Postgrad Student Association, Socialist Alliance, Socialist...

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court has declared an inquiry into the Manus Island detention centre null and void because of perceived bias.

The court unanimously decided that Justice David Cannings, who started the inquiry, could not, according to PNG law, also preside over the...

Students say ‘Resign Pyne’

About 100 people protested outside the Melbourne launch of federal education minister Christopher Pyne’s new book, A Letter to My Children, on July 31.

The day before, Pyne had been chased off La Trobe University by students...

More than 100 unionists rallied in freezing conditions outside the ACT Magistrates Court on August 5 in support of Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) official John Lomax.

Lomax was charged with blackmail last month in relation to evidence given to the Royal Commission...

A meeting of trade ministers in Honolulu, Hawaii, over July 28 to 31, failed to reach final agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal.

The TPP is a free trade deal being negotiated by countries on the Pacific rim: the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile,...

The midnight text message that sacked 100 workers — this is the face of Australian industrial relations today.

Workers at Hutchison Ports in Sydney and Brisbane received their marching orders by text and email overnight on August 7, informing them that their positions had been made...

Brisbane

Come and watch The Liberator, a film about the life of Simon Bolivar “El Libertador”. Hosted by Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network. Sunday August 16 at 3pm. The New Globe Theatre, 220 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. Phone Margaret 0439 411 330...

Students are returning to university campuses for second semester classes and Green Left Weekly is there too. This is part of a special campaign the paper is waging to boost distribution, and in particular to raise the number of campaigners involved.

One example is Griffith...


Photo: Peter Boyle

Waterside workers and supporters rallied outside the Port Botany and Port Brisbane terminals of Hutchison Ports on August 7 in protest at the sudden sacking of 97 employees—57 in Sydney and 40 in Brisbane—the previous night.

“Solidarity...

It was standing room only as more than 250 people packed an auditorium in Sydney, to hear speakers discuss conditions in the Nauru and Manus Island detention centres.

As speaking about conditions in these detention centres has now been criminalised by the federal government's Border...

On July 30, Liverpool Council outdoor staff walked off the job after hearing that management wants to “tender out” cleaners’ jobs.

Management wants to “cut costs” by tendering the jobs to cheaper firms which would pay less and provide a poorer service for residents. The United...

A group of Free West Papua supporters attended a morning tea fundraiser in Darwin on August 2. The special guest was foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop. We wanted to meet her to discuss human rights in West Papua.

Bishop was the key speaker. She took a few questions from the crowd but...

The anniversary of the death in custody of 22-year-old Aboriginal woman, known as Julieka Dhu, was marked around Australia on August 4.

Dhu died while in police custody in Western Australia’s Pilbara region for non-payment of fines that totalled about $1000.

About 120 people...

World


South Kordofan residents at a makeshift UN camp near Kadugli.

Amnesty International released a report on August 3 detailing horrific war crimes committed against the people of South Kordofan by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and its militias.

This region...

The 70th anniversary of the United States' atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a reminder that when the United States' enemies commit crimes, they are crimes. But when the United States commits crimes, they did not happen.

In 1928, Arthur Ponsonby, a British politician, said: “...

Ecuador: Correa says Latin American left faces 'new Cold War'

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said on August 5 that left-wing governments in Latin America are facing “a new Cold War” that seeks to “annihilate them” through strategies of political destabilisation.

The...

The extent of anger at austerity in Britain — and desire for an alternative to the pro-corporate politics of Britain's major parties — is being exposed by the scale of enthusiasm and support for the campaign of veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn for leadership of the Labour Party.

Sparking...

For the first time in its history, the US colony of Puerto Rico has gone into default, Moody's Investors Service said on August 3.

The news comes after years of economic turmoil in the island, produced mainly by the 2007-2010 recession and housing crisis that have affected the US.

...


Bersih 3.0 mass protest for democracy in Kuala Lumpar, April 2012.

The Malaysian democracy movement, Bersih, has called its fourth major mobilisation — named Bersih 4.0 — for August 29-30 amid increasingly desperate and repressive attempts by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government of...


CONALCAM brings Bolivia’s main indigenous and popular organisations together with state representatives to coordinate and debate economic policies.

The small Andean nation of Bolivia has received praise from many quarters due to the economic transformation it has undergone over the...


Anti-water charge protests in Letterkenny, County Donegal on November 1.

The Irish government’s unpopular public utility, Irish Water, has been dealt a body blow. It failed two key tests within the space of a fortnight — gifting a huge victory to opposition parties and the huge...

The July 23 deal between the US and Turkey — which gives the US access to Turkey's Incirlik airbase and officially brings Turkey into the US-led “war on ISIS” — makes one thing clear.

For Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the real...

Temperatures across the Middle East this week have soared in an unprecedented heat wave, forcing residents to stay indoors.

In the Iranian city of Basrah, located in the epicentre of the heat wave, temperatures exceeded 48°C for the seventh day in a row on August 1.

On the same...


Cornel West addresses the protest. Photo: Edward Leavy Jr.

Thousands braved heat and no shade to rally and march in Newark, New Jersey, on July 25 and police brutality, racial injustice and economic inequality.

The majority African-American crowd were supporting a...

Had Hugo Chavez not passed away in 2013, the former Venezuelan president and revolutionary socialist would have turned 61 on July 28. However, though Chavez is gone, his indelible imprint on Venezuela’s political landscape endures.

On December 6, Venezuelans will go to the polls...


Turkish police repress protests against Erdogan's renewed war.

The outcome of Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary elections promised so much.

The left-wing Kurdish-based People’s Democratic Party (HDP) resoundingly broke the undemocratic electoral threshold of 10% of the vote to...

Analysis

What do working people in a country like Australia need with trade unions or legal protections when employers in this country are so thoughtful as to email their workers at midnight to tell them they were sacked, as Hutchison Ports kindly did on August 6 to nearly 100 port workers in Sydney and...

Victoria Police announced on August 6 they had arrested and charged a 38-year-old man in connection with death threats made against Socialist Party councillor Steve Jolly, from Yarra Council in Melbourne’s inner north. The threats referred to Jolly’s prominent role in...

The conservative right has launched a last ditch campaign to swing public opinion away from support for marriage equality.

The Marriage Alliance, a new organisation dedicated to opposing what it sees as a threat to “family values”, was launched on August 2. Backed by wealthy...

For a long time, superannuation was available only to permanent public sector workers and managerial employees in the private sector. So-called “blue collar” workers were not so privileged. In the mid-1980s, only about a quarter of these workers had access to superannuation, more often than not...

Public disgust at Bronwyn Bishop's $5000 helicopter ride from Melbourne to Geelong is entirely justified. However, Tony Abbott's “root and branch” review of politicians' “entitlements” is designed to whitewash, not solve, the problem.

After all, it is not as if we haven't had “root and...

When Tony Abbott’s government asked the Productivity Commission to review Australia’s “workplace relations framework” it was for the sole purpose of providing it with cover for more attacks on workers’ pay and conditions.

One of its terms of reference was to examine the ability that...

Activists are hoping that a bill to tighten the rules governing unconventional gas exploration and production in New South Wales will pass the Legislative Council on August 13.

Such is the groundswell of opposition to this part of the fossil fuel industry, a Greens Bill has support from...

Jamie Williams, a 28-year-old Melbourne man, was remanded in custody on July 27 after being charged by the Melbourne Joint Counter Terrorism Team for attempting to leave Australia on December 28 to travel to northern Iraq and fight with Kurdish forces against the Islamic State and Iraq and Syria...

Mining giant Adani’s plan for a mega coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin was dealt a near death blow on August 5 when the Federal Court set aside approval for the Carmichael licence.

The mine, if built, would be Australia’s largest, exporting up to 60 million tonnes of coal from the...

Has a not-for-profit or charity (an NGO) contacted you to suggest switching electricity retailer? Are you convinced this helps them promote their causes while also addressing climate change?

Several NGOs are now promoting an electricity retailer Powershop to their supporters. Australian...

Thank god the age of entitlement is over and the days of the lifters carrying the leaners is finished. Otherwise, just imagine what sort of absurd things politicians like Bronwyn Bishop might claim.

Instead of a $5000 helicopter ride from Melbourne to Geelong for a Liberal Party...

Culture

Labor and the Locavore: The Making of a Comprehensive Food Ethic
By Margaret Gray
University of California Press, 2014

Over the past few decades there has been a rapid growth of interest in buying food that does not come from large-scale industrial farms. Concerns...

“What we do matters.” “We are many, they are few.” “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

These phrases are what people trying to effect change often say quietly to avoid slouching into despair. Today, they are what crews of Bostonians are singing to one another over rowdy, joyous...


Anti-government protests in Bahrain, 2011.

Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia & the Arab Spring That Wasn’t
Toby Matthiesen
Stanford University Press, 2013

In 2011, when a wave of protest and rebellion swept the Arab world, the monarchical states making...