Issue 1082

Australia

Residents attending a public inquiry on February 2 at Wests Ashfield into the New South Wales government's plan to amalgamate Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils were of one mind: they opposed it.

About 50 people spoke in the afternoon session, and only 5, including Ashfield...

A former member of Bahrain's parliament, Jassim Hussain, who resigned in protest at the repression of the 2011 reform movement, spoke about the current situation in Bahrain and the broader Gulf region on January 24.

Hussain said the falling price of oil has caused economic problems for...

In a move designed to restrict examination and comment, the NSW government released the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the New M5 in late November. The EIS was on public exhibition until January 29 — virtually the whole summer holiday period.

The New M5 is the second major...

China Shenhua Energy reported an 18% decline in coal sales in 2015. Shenhua's internal coal production was down 8.4% — with a further 10% drop in sales from third-party providers.

Its coal imports fell to almost nothing, reflecting an overall trend in which China's total coal imports...

Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) Sydney and supporters protested outside the offices of the NSW Department of Families and Community Services in Strawberry Hills on January 29 to demand the immediate return of Aboriginal children forcibly removed from a Queensland family and placed in out-of...

Former Greens leader Bob Brown has been arrested while protesting against logging in Tasmania's Lapoinya Forest. He is the third person to be charged under the Tasmanian government's pro-forestry legislation, the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014.

Brown was...

Perceptions of corruption in the Australian government and public sector increased in 2015 for the fourth year running.

Transparency International's annual index ranks Australia 13 globally for perceived openness, the country's equal lowest ranking in the 20-year history of the index...

Yale's environmental performance index has placed Australia so low in its rankings that only Saudi Arabia has a worse ranking among wealthy nations.

The index ranks countries' performance in protecting human health and ecosystems, and looks at nine areas including air quality, climate...

About 300 unionists rallied on January 27 outside the Melbourne Liberal Party headquarters to demand an investigation into Alcoa's actions after the American-based company forcibly replaced Australian seafarers with foreign workers. A simultaneous rally in Sydney attracted about 100 workers....

A union picket line has been established against Dulux in Rocklea. The workers are fighting for two key elements: the payment of sick leave and for redundancy payouts to be uncapped.

Currently redundancy payments are capped at 20 years, reducing the payout for workers who have worked for...

Thousands protested at Invasion Day rallies held across the country to remember the First Fleet's arrival at Port Jackson in 1788 and the ensuing genocide of Aboriginal people, racial discrimination and dispossession of their land.

Large crowds gathered at rallies in cities including...

More than 64% of those surveyed have backed changing the national flag, with a design dubbed the Southern Horizon gaining the most support.

A survey of more than 8000 people that put forward six alternative designs has found that this design, in which the Federation Star and the Southern...

Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus says he hopes a Senate inquiry into unconventional gas mining will restart a push for farmer land rights, which has waned in the months since the death of activist George Bender.

Lazarus has dubbed it the “Bender inquiry”, in honour of the farmer whose...

CANBERRA

Come to a rally: Stop continuing Stolen Generations. More Aboriginal kids are being taken from their families than ever before. Called by Grandmothers Against Removals. Thursday February 11 at 12pm. Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Parliament House.

...

Photos from Invasion day rallies across the country where thousands of people marched for Aboriginal rights.

Always Was! Always Will Be! Aboriginal Land!

Sydney

Photos by Zebedee Parkes

Photos by Andry Andry

...

World

Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters after the Iowa caucus.

In a speech to supporters on the night of February 1, after the narrowest of losses to Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses,, self-described democratic socialist candidate in the Democratic primaries Bernie Sanders hailed his...

“This year has not started easy, and I am not optimistic,” the EU Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos told a press conference on January 25.

He was warning Europe that its worries about security had to be balanced with the Schengen agreement (which allows free movement) and...

Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called for a “political revolution” while Hillary Clinton emphasised pragmatism and experience in the final town hall meeting before the February 1 Iowa caucuses, TeleSUR English said on January 26.

The Iowa vote is the...


Slogan on T-shirts reads, "We will not obey".

Sixty-eight grassroots groups in Haiti have issued an urgent call for solidarity with their struggle for free and fair elections, dignity and justice. The statement was written right before the postponement of the planned presidential “...

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has announced the establishment of a committee to oversee the creation of a revolutionary assembly on January 23.

The assembly will bring together the country's progressive social movements and socialist politicians to reinvigorate the Bolivarian...

“We must reach out the hand of humanity to the victims of war and brutal repression,” Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said during a visit to the Gande Synthe refugee camp near Dunkirk in northern France.

The Morning Star said on January 25 that Corbyn described conditions at the camp,...

The fact sheet below was produced by the ecosocialist Red-Green Alliance in response to the Danish parliament passing a savagely anti-refugee law.

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On January 26, a broad majority in the Danish parliament passed a bill that introduces a long series of restrictive measures...

It won't come as a surprise to many readers that Chevron is not the most honest or law-abiding company in the world. In Australia, the International Transport Workers Federation has exposed over $35 billion in unpaid tax revenue for its offshore gas operations, while the Maritime Union of...


Greek pensioners rally in Athens on January 21.

Thousands of Greek white-collar professionals, including doctors, lawyers and engineers, took to the streets on January 21, protesting against major tax and pension reforms required by the country's creditors.

About 6000...

Ireland: Protests hit 30 cities against water charge

Tens of people took in 30 different protests across the Ireland against water charges on January 23, An Phoblacht said that day. The protests coincided with the Ard Fheis (congress) of Fine Gael, which heads the Irish government, that...

Since Spain's December 20 elections produced no clear majority, debate has raged over what sort of government should be formed.

The governing conservative People's Party (PP) won 123 seats in the 250-seat Congress and the right-populist Citizens won 40. On the left, the main opposition...

The article below is by Pablo Iglesias, secretary-general of the radical Spanish political force Podemos. It abridged from the January 24 El Pais and was translated from Spanish by Dick Nichols.

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The result of the December 20 election put an end to Spain's political shift-...

Turkey is rapidly descending into civil war as the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan deepens its offensive against the Kurdish population, left-wing opposition parties, journalists and academics.

The Turkish government says it is fighting the armed forces of the left-wing...

The article below is January 27 editorial published by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association (IUF). The IUF is a global federation of trade unions, with 412 organisations in 126 countries, representing more than 12...


Photos (above and below) by Julius Choo Chon Kai.

About 15,000 people took to the streets of Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, to oppose the 12-nation TransPacific Partnership trade agreement, which will give even more power to the giant corporations already running the world as a...

One of the most worst cases of environmental pollution in US history is taking place in Flint, Michigan — a suburb of Detroit that is majority African American.

The citizens of this small city of 100,000 have been deliberately poisoned through their drinking water for more than a year....

Analysis

As the demand for Australian farm products skyrockets in Asia, corporate Australia is buying up drought-crippled but viable rural properties at bargain prices.

Conservative federal MP Bob Katter proposed legislation late last year that would force banks to allow farmers two years to...

On December 15, the Queensland Land Court recommended the giant Adani-Carmichael open-cut coalmine be given the go-ahead in central Queensland subject to several conditions including the protection of the endangered Black Throated Finch.

The hearing was prompted by a number of...

The New South Wales Baird government has announced an historic decision to privatise public housing.

In a $22 billion bonanza for the government's property developer mates, public housing estates will be torn down and rebuilt into places where private tenants and homeowners outnumber...

North-western Tasmania is home to one of the world's last remnants of primeval temperate rainforest, part of an ecosystem that once spread across the supercontinent of Gondwana.

Thousand-year-old trees tower above ancient ferns, their roots growing in peat accumulated over millennia. This...

From January 15 to 26, five Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance members participated in an exposure tour of Malaysia, hosted by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM).

Day 1: Arriving in Kuala Lumpur and Bersih rallies

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur late on Friday...

Boys at Xavier College, an expensive Catholic boys school, abused students from government schools on a Facebook VCE forum late last year, according to the Herald Sun.

The Xavier students' put downs included “retards” and “povo fucks”. Girls were told to “let the men handle...

Clive Palmer, mining magnate, politician, “citizen of Queensland” — who accused the Greens and Greenpeace of being CIA-funded traitors — has left 237 employees of his Queensland Nickel refinery out of work and robbed of their entitlements.

Palmer asserts that he bears no personal...

Culture

Spotlight
Directed by Thomas McCarthy
Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery & Stanley Tucci
In cinemas now

In 2002, the Boston Globe newspaper's Spotlight investigative journalism team dropped a bombshell when...


PKMM rally, 1946.

Radicals: Resistance & Protest in Colonial Malaya
By Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied
Northern Illinois University Press (NUI), 2015
228 pages

On a night in 2010, a crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the demolition of a 300 metre wall...

Never Enough: Donald Trump & the Pursuit of Success
Michael D'Antonio
St Martin's Press, 2015
389 pages

What will the United States and the world be getting from “President Donald Trump” if such a frightful prospect comes to pass?

Michael D'Antonio's...