Issue 1074

Australia

The National Union of Workers released this statement on October 23.

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Recently the Victorian Trades Hall Council passed a resolution that included this statement: "That VTHC celebrates the contribution to our community from Victorians of many cultures and many faiths. There is...

The Refugee Action Collective Victoria has filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court over the Australian government's treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

The complaint requests the ICC to investigate and prosecute ministers and former ministers of the Australian...

Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), a national organisation of Palestine solidarity groups, religious organisations, trade unions, peace groups and individuals has decided to sign on to the international boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Previously, APAN had...

Hundreds gathered outside the Immigration Department office in Melbourne on October 19, chanting, “Bring back Abyan” and “Close Nauru, close Manus”. Rallies were also held that day outside Immigration Department offices in Sydney and Darwin.

In Brisbane, protesters targeted immigration...

Melbourne

Come to a screening of No Free Steps to Heaven. An Israeli journalist who visited Kurdish freedom fighters in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan filmed this documentary. Presented by the Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly. Entry $10/$5. Friday...

The Zero Carbon Australia: Renewable Energy Superpower report published by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) is now available.

Author Gerard Drew and a brigade of contributors provide much detailed technical evidence that demonstrates the potential for Australia in a global transition...

George Bender, a 68-year-old cotton farmer from Chinchilla, Queensland, took his own life on October 14. His family lays the blame squarely with the coal seam gas (CSG) industry he had fought against for a decade.

Described by his family as “a straight talker” who “told the truth, not the...

Former police prosecutor Peter Murrihy is the new councillor for the Kildare ward after winning the recent by-election in the Greater Geelong Council. Murrihy defeated 10 other candidates to win the safe Liberal ward with 27.41% of the primary vote.

Although Murrihy said he was...

Workers have told Green Left Weekly that Hutchison Ports is seemingly in the process of calling for voluntary redundancies at its Port Botany and Brisbane terminals. This is the latest development in a long-running dispute that erupted following the sudden sacking of 97 workers at...

Khodayar Amini, an Afghan Hazara asylum seeker who feared immigration authorities were planning to put him back in detention, has died after set himself alight on October 18. Amini had been released from Yongah Hill detention centre in Western Australia on a bridging visa after more than two...

Climate Guardian Angels took over the rooftop of environment minister Greg Hunt's office in Hastings, Victoria, on October 16 to protest his approval of Adani's Carmichael coalmine.

Climate Guardian co-convener Dr Liz Conor said, “To be actively expanding Australia's coal export industry...

By indulging in an ignorant and absurd sledge of the wind industry, NSW Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward is doing yet more damage to the future of this vital energy source, said Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

His remarks came in response to comments by Goward reported in the October 20...

Hundreds joined snap protests across the country, and more than 50,000 signed a petition, within days of Somali refugee Abyan being sent back to Nauru.

Abyan became pregnant as a result of being raped while in detention on Nauru. Despite being flown to Australia on October 12 to discuss...

Rather than reducing traffic congestion in Sydney, a report commissioned by the Leichhardt Council has found that the giant WestConnex tollway project will increase traffic problems in the city's inner west.

The report, which analysed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the M4...

The Anti-Poverty Network South Australia hosted a conference, “Speak Out! Stand Up! Ideas, Stories, and Action Against Poverty” on October 16 and 17.

The event, part of the nation-wide anti-poverty week of activities from October 11 to 17, was a unique gathering of activists, community...

Radical Ideas is a 3-day conference of discussion, debate and ideas for radical change, from December 4-6 in Sydney.

We are lucky to have a number of guest speakers confirmed so far, including well-known campaigners involved in various movements and Socialist Alliance and Resistance:...

A student occupation demanding that the University of Tasmania (UTAS) divest its $300 million portfolio from the fossil fuel industry has entered its second week.

The sit-in outside the university vice-chancellor's office began on October 14, and is part of a nationwide campaign calling...

Staff at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane have followed in the footsteps of colleagues at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital and called for the immediate release of children being held in immigration detention centres.

The hospital's clinical ethics fellow Dr Melanie...

The federal government has withdrawn an offer to provide $4 million to any Australian university willing to host climate sceptic Bjorn Lomborg and his “Consensus Centre”.

Staff at Flinders University in Adelaide, where management had been considering the proposal, welcomed the news....

Green Left Weekly is launching a major subscription drive from this issue until the end of the year.

We want to get Australia's best socialist weekly newspaper out into the hands of more readers over the next eight weeks.

Why? Because in a period of heightened right-wing...

Staff of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's department have overwhelmingly rejected an enterprise bargaining agreement offer in a ballot which finished on October 18.

Public servants at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) voted no to a management offer which attacked...

Around eight anti-racist protesters drowned out the media conference of Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders outside WA parliament house on October 21. We chanted: "Say it loud, say it clear, racism's not welcome here!"

WA police sided with the Wilders brigade at every key point in...

Around 100 members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) rallied at the Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay on October 9 to oppose harsh exploitation of crews aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships, and demand the right of employees and linesmen on the dock to be union members...

World

About 300 Tamil political prisoners in 11 prisons began a hunger strike on October 12.

Many of the prisoners have been detained without trial under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Some have been in jail for up to 20 years.

They are accused of being members of the Liberation...

The following statement was issued in Jakarta, Indonesia, on October 24, 2015):

Indonesia's freedom of expression and critical thinking are under attack. Series of repressive and violent acts by the authorities against attempts to critically revisit and review the 1965...

One year ago, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) began its brutal assault on the city of Kobane in the largely Kurdish region of Rojava in the north of Syria. The violent fanatics were seeking to destroy the profoundly democratic, multi-ethnic and feminist revolution under way in the...

Fadang Randal is a representative of the United People's Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti — PCJSS), who visited Australia in September. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Tony Iltis

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The PCJSS is working for the social and political...

Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly asserted that Adolf Hitler had no intention of exterminating Europe's Jews until a Palestinian persuaded him to do it.

The Israeli prime minister's attempt to whitewash Hitler and lay the blame for the Holocaust at the door of Palestinians signals a major...


Tom Iljas visits his mother's grave in West Sumatra. He was stopped from visiting the grave of his father who was killed during the 1965 massacre of leftists. Photo: Yulia Evina Bhara.

Seventy-seven-year-old Tom Iljas and a small group of friends and relatives, most elderly, went...


Podemos activists

The December 20 elections in the Spanish state will attract the usual large field of runners. Challengers will represent every imaginable position along the Spanish state's two main political dimensions — the left-to-right social axis and the axis of national...

An international campaign has been launched to call for the release of Khalid Mohd Ismath, a Malaysian student activist and a member of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), who has been detained since October 7.

Khalid has been active in highlighting human rights violations and misuse...


Students sit in protest during a mass demonstration on the steps of Jameson Hall at the University of Cape Town, October 22

In a victory for protesting students, South African President Jacob Zuma backtracked on October 23 and cancelled a planned university fee rise next year....


Press conference on October 15 announcing the formation of the Democratic Forces of Syria. Photo via Kurdish Question.

The Democratic Forces of Syria held a founding meeting on October 12 and released a final declaration three days later, Kurdish Question reported on October 17....

On October 12, Amnesty International released a report alleging “civilians living in areas of northern Syria under the de facto control of the Autonomous Administration led by the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party, PYD) are being subjected to serious abuses that include...

With elections due on November 8, a loud call for change in Myanmar (formerly Burma) can be heard in the streets.

All commentators predict victory for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) over the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). Several factors,...

Canadians elected a new national government on October 19, with new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party winning 184 seats out of 338.

The hated Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper came in second place with 99 seats. The historically left-wing New Democratic...

Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva said he will not allow a coalition of left parties to form a government, despite the fact that they won an outright majority in October 4 parliamentary elections - on grounds it would "violate" existing commitments to the European Union.

The...

Analysis

New revelations shed light on the cruelty being inflicted on refugees in Australia's offshore detention centres. They come just days after the Department of Immigration and Border Protection sent a pregnant Somali refugee woman back to Nauru where she had been raped.

Abyan, as she is...

Domestic violence — or intimate partner violence — represents an increasingly visible crisis in Australia today. Yet policy makers and opinion shapers continue to deny that the system, which profits from sexism and misogyny, is responsible for perpetrating it. Instead, they blame individuals....

Most people think that democracy and elections are pretty much the same thing. The truth is that any meaningful push for genuine democracy would require a lot more than just electoral reform.

The change of prime minister from Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull shows that a change of leader...

The new federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg has affirmed that the Turnbull-led government will not budge from policies that afford maximum profits to the outdated and dangerous fossil fuel corporations.

Frydenberg used his appearance on the ABC's Insiders program on October...

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled for December in Paris, federal resources minister Josh Frydenberg has sought to invoke “a strong moral case” to justify his government's green lighting of the Carmichael mega-coalmine in the Galilee Basin.

However, his...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the odd eyebrow when he insisted in an October 20 speech that Adolf Hitler had no plans to exterminate Jews until convinced to do so by a Palestinian — the then-Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini.

The German government immediately...

Foreign journalists are not welcome in Nauru. This is because of the erosion of rule of law and national sovereignty that has occurred as a result of the tiny and impoverished nation's government hiring out the island as a location for one of Australia's concentration camps for refugees.

...

The latest World Bank Global Monitoring Report boasted that only 9.6% of the world's population — 702 million people — are forecast to be living in extreme poverty in 2015, 200 million fewer than in 2012. And this even with the WB now raising its official poverty line from the 2008 US$1.25 a day...

The onset of the Global Financial Crisis can be dated to July 2007, when two Bear Stearns hedge funds holding almost US$10 billion in mortgage-backed securities collapsed. That same month, bankers at Lehman Brothers paid themselves $US5.7 billion in bonuses.

Little more than a year later...

Culture

Sydney-based performing arts company Kinetic Energy Theatre Company turned 40 this year.

It is a miraculous achievement to survive in a dog-eat-dog world. Our consumer society is ruled by commercialisation and profit-making. The powers that be would rather feed cultural atrophy and...

Inside/Outside — Six Plays from Palestine & the Diaspora
Edited by Naomi Wallace & Ismail Khalidi
TGC Books, 2015
Sykes-Picot: The Legacy
Edited by Kenneth Pickering
Arts Canteen, 2015

There is a long tradition of drama in Palestinian culture, but it...