Issue 1075

Australia

Christian Schmidt, Germany's Agricultural Minister, announced on October 20 that “chick shredding” will be banned from 2017, making Germany the first country in the world to stop the practice.

Every year, millions of tiny male chicks are ground up alive shortly after hatching because as...


Members of an Australia Palestine Advocacy Network study tour in front of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank in January last year. Photo from APAN.org.au.

Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) — the national peak body of Palestine support organisations — resolved on October...

The long-running dispute between the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and Hutchison Ports is edging closer to settlement.

An MUA member at the Port Botany community assembly told Green Left Weekly on October 30 that letters offering voluntary redundancies were being issued by...

Members of the Teachers and Education Support Staff Alliance (TESA) have been re-elected to the state-wide council of the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) in elections that took place in October.

TESA also contested the four senior officer positions: branch...

The Western Sydney University (WSU) Resistance club has been successful in electing one of its members onto the editorial board of the university's student magazine, Cruwsible.

WSU students had the chance to vote from October 12 to 23 for six editor positions for 2016 as part of the...

Around two thousand people rallied in Sydney on October 11 in support of refugees. The protest was called by the Refugee Action Coalition and came in the wake of claims of mistreatment and sexual abuse against refugee women on Nauru and Manus Island.

The rally's demands included that the...

BlueScope's October 26 announcement that the Port Kembla steelworks would be saved from closure came as an obvious relief for the workforce, who had agreed to 500 job losses to save 4500 jobs, together with a three-year pay freeze and foregone bonuses for the next 12 months.

These union...

Under pressure from an industrial campaign by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), the Turnbull government has announced it will lift its cap on wage rises for federal public sector workers from 1.5% to 2%.

The government is maintaining its hard line on stripping existing...

Thirteen years after launching their land claim, the Mithaka people of south-west Queensland were granted native title over more than 33,800 square kilometres of their land and waters on October 27.

This is one of the largest successful native title determinations in Queensland history:...

Paediatricians and health workers and researchers in Darwin gathered at the Royal Darwin Hospital campus on October 29 to make a public statement that "Detention Harms Children".

The protest followed the weekly Paediatric Grand Round meeting that focused on the impact of trauma on...


Wollongong activists before their large Reclaim the Night rally on October 29.

Two hundred people rallied in Melbourne on October 24 as part of the annual Reclaim the Night march to stop violence against women.

Rally speakers spoke in support of the Somali refugee woman...

The National Tertiary Education Union, which covers university staff across Australia, is backing the November 27-29 People's Climate March.

In a letter to members, NTEU NSW secretary Genevieve Kelly wrote: “NTEU is proud to be part of a broad and diverse coalition organising the People'...

Protesters occupied environment minister Greg Hunt's office in Melbourne on October 30, in protest at his re-approval of Australia's largest new mega coalmine — the Adani-Carmichael mine in Queensland.

Protesters hung a banner from the roof with “Greg Hunt: Minister for Coal” emblazoned...

Norrie has spent a lot of time in the offices of the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM). When Norrie went on October 28, it was for love and equality.

Norrie is sex non-specific — neither man nor woman. Five years ago, Norrie went to the office to get them to change zie's...

Reza, an asylum seeker who had been living in the community on a bridging visa, took his life at the Brisbane airport on October 29.

According to friends, he feared being deported back to Iran. “He was scared to stay here”, a friend of the 26-year-old Iranian told the Guardian...

Brisbane

See a film at Red Cinema: Disruption. This film looks at the 2014 People's Climate March in New York. Entry $15/$10 conc. Meal and drinks available. Friday November 6 at 6pm. Brisbane Activist Centre, 74B Wickham St, Fortitude Valley. Phone Angus 0431...

Moreland councilors voted on October 26 to elect Sam Ratnam as the first Green mayor. Left Labor councilor Lita Gillies was voted in as her deputy. I voted for the Green mayor to break the stranglehold of the two big-business parties, Liberal and Labor. The Labor Party has controlled the...

Iranian refugee Majid Rabet could not hold back his tears as he recounted the details of the suicide of his best friend, an Iraqi refugee, in Villawood Detention Centre.

“I was the first person who went in the bathroom and saw he hanged himself. I lifted him upwards to keep him alive,...

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...

In an October 26 editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia Caroline M de Costa and Heather Douglas argue that laws relating to abortion are out of date, and variations in laws between states have led to serious barriers for women access terminations.

The editorial calls for uniform...

Radical solutions to poverty were put forward at a public conversation titled “Pushed to the Margins” held at the Newcastle City Hall on October 21.

The ABC's Lateline co-presenter Emma Alberici hosted the forum and seemed to be taken aback by economist Professor Bill Mitchell's...

Anti-Poverty Network SA hosted the “Stand Up! Speak Out!” conference in Adelaide on October 16 and 17. The grassroots gathering of welfare recipients, community workers and activists from South Australian and Victorian groups was part of Anti-Poverty Week.

One of the...

Moreland council has become one of the first organisations to vote against participating in the federal Work for the Dole scheme. The federal government scheme was expanded in July to incorporate jobseekers aged under 50 who have been receiving welfare payments for more than six months.

...

“If it were ever completed, WestConnex would be the biggest underground motorway system anywhere in the world and certainly, per kilometre, the most expensive,” states the October edition of EcoTansit News.

“Yet it won't solve Sydney's traffic problems and instead, will take...

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) announced on October 27 that it will join the movement to screen out fossil fuel interests from its investment portfolio. It will also look for ethical investment opportunities in renewable energy.

It is the first Australian union to commit to...

World

Once again, the United States and Israel voted against a motion to end economic sanctions at the United Nations General Assembly on October 27. Similar motions have been adopted by overwhelming majorities at the UN for the past 23 years.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented a...

A Cuban girl is being deprived of urgently needed cancer treatment due to the United States' blockade, doctors said on October 28, TeleSUR English reported that day.

Seven-year-old Noemi Bernardez underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour in September and is now undergoing further...

More than 10 million people have learned to read and write through a Cuban program aimed at mature age students, the Cuban government announced on October 26, TeleSUR English reported that day.

The program, Yo Si Puedo (Yes I Can), aims to provide free education to adults who lacked...

İlham Ehmed is a member of the Executive Committee of the Movement For A Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), the leading political movement in the self-governing cantons in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan). She was interviewed by Günay Aksoy and Zana Kaya for Özgür Gündem on October 26. The following is...

The Australia Western Sahara Association has launched an appeal for funds, in conjunction with APHEDA — Union Aid Abroad, to assist relief work in the Western Sahara refugee camps where week-long torrential rains have devastated homes, hospitals and schools and destroyed food stores.

The...


Bedouins living in Israel's southern Negev region protest against government plans to confiscate their land.

A Bedouin Palestinian village was demolished by the Israeli authorities on October 28 for the 90th time since 2010, TeleSUR English said that day. The demolition was part of...

Hundreds of university professors in Britain have declared a boycott of Israeli schools in an effort to draw attention to the Israeli government's many human rights offenses against Palestinians and violations of international law, TeleSUR English said on October 28.

The petition, titled...

October marked 50 years since the start of the campaign of mass killing of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and sympathisers in Indonesia. It is estimated as many as 1 million people were killed or jailed during 1965-1966, carried out as part of Suharto's Western-backed military coup....

The European Parliament voted on October 29 to drop all criminal charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and offer him asylum and protection from rendition from third parties, The Independent said that day.

MEPs voted 285-281 to recognise Snowden's status as a “human rights...


Aftermath of Saudi bombing of MSF hospital.

The Saudi-led coalition bombed a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) clinic in Yemen, the charity's mission head said.

The Morning Star said that Hassan Boucenine said two air raids hit the facility in northern Saada province at about...

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has confirmed that Turkish forces attacked Kurdish militia in northern Syria on October 25, Morning Star said on October 28.

The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) said the next day that its forces in the border town of Tal Abyad had come under...

Portugal's incoming government will most probably prove to be the briefest in modern Portuguese history.

It is headed by conservative Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Pedro Passos Coelho, whom Portuguese President Cavaco Silva appointed on October 22 to continue as prime minister....

Hurricane Patricia — the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere — was downgraded to a tropical depression on October 24. It offered a reminder of the consequences of a warming planet.

No fatalities from the historic storm, which forced the evacuation of...

Reversing earlier promises to end US military involvement in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama has announced that US troops will remain indefinitely. He said they will not be ground combat forces, but trainers and advisers to the forces of the US-imposed warlord-dominated regime.

US...


Wits students protest in Johannesburg against a proposed tuition fee hike tuition fees on October 15.

A historic victory over neoliberalism in South Africa was won on October 23, after the most intense three-week burst of mobilisation in the country since liberation from apartheid...

Khalid Ismath, a member of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), was arrested on October 7 and later charged under Malaysia's sedition and communication acts for posting allegedly offensive comments on social media.

He was initially denied bail over posts relating to the arrest of...


Jeremy Corbyn's success is one sign, and perhaps the most dramatic, of a wider movement challenging the British establishment.

Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour Party leader has already had a dramatic effect on British politics.

All of us on the left in Britain need to ask...

The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated in 2011 that carbon dioxide emissions had to be limited to 1000 gigatons to have a two-thirds chance of keeping global warming below 2°C.

By mid-October, there were more than 100,000 fires raging in the Indonesian...

Analysis

Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance (RYSA) released the following statement on October 27 in support of the Fossil Free UTas occupation.

The following day Fossil Free UTas announced that they were ending the occupation and restarting negotiations after two days of...

Several polls show that the new PM — and by extension, the Coalition — is very popular. Explaining Malcolm Turnbull's high approval rating is relatively easy: it is not too hard to be more popular than the hated Tony Abbott and Labor has long since given up on being an opposition.

...

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid held a speak-out for Palestine in Melbourne on October 23. Among the demands were: end Israeli occupation now; dismantle Israeli apartheid; tear down the apartheid wall; lift the siege on Gaza; and end extrajudicial killings.

Speakers called on the...

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

* * *

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...

The recent knifing of Tony Abbott by Malcolm Turnbull held a brief glimpse of hope for marriage equality in Australia. Unfortunately, the change of PM did not bring any change of policy, and the Liberal Party's homophobic agenda has remained the same.

Turnbull professes to personally...

It is rare that a critical article on Australia's military spending appears in one of the corporate newspapers but on October 25, the Melbourne Age published such an article by senior correspondent Daniel Flitton entitled “Does Australia's military need such tentacles of defence?”.

...

Carol Hucker worked in Manus Island Detention Centre as a counsellor for International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) and as a case worker for the Salvation Army from June 2013 to July last year.

She has allowed Green Left Weekly to publish her account so...

Feminist author and career academic Germaine Greer has sparked outrage once again following a controversial interview she gave to the BBC on October 24 where she reaffirmed her position that transgender women are not “real” women.

Greer's devolution from an ideological pillar of the 1960...

Culture

Tracks
By Channa Wickremesekera
Samayawardhana Printers
156 pages, paperback

Class, family, lust, the need to fit in and hero worship are the recurrent tropes in Sri Lankan-born Melbourne-based author Channa Wickremesekera's latest novel Tracks.

He explores the...

Melbourne-based author and community radio presenter Iain McIntyre has been documenting and celebrating Australian radical history since the 1990s. A series of zines he created entitled How To Make Trouble And Influence People were compiled into an expanded edition by Breakdown Press in 2009...

The author of the Harry Potter series of novels, JK Rowling, has disappointed many of her fans by signing a letter opposing a boycott of Israel.

The letter, which was also signed by other British cultural figures, such as TV presenter Melvyn Bragg, popular historian Tom Holland and...

Faction Man: Bill Shorten's Path to Power
David Marr
Quarterly Essay No. 59
Black Inc., 2015

Even the usually perceptive journalist David Marr, in his latest political profile for Quarterly Essay, is defeated by the indistinct and bland Shorten who, in public opinion...