Issue 1088

Australia

Sydney University is attempting to downgrade the status of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS).

A university spokesperson said they were “currently considering the possible transition of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies from a centre into a department”. The...

Thousands of people are turning out around Australia for Palm Sunday marches to welcome refugees.

Here are photos and reports from the rallies around the country including Wollongong, Melbourne, Darwin, Adelaide, Sydney and Armidale.

Perth

Photos by Marziya Mohammedali...

The Victorian Environment Protection Authority is expected to file 12 air pollution charges against the Hazelwood power station operator, GDF Suez, over the Morwell coalmine fire.

The fire burned for 45 days in 2014, covering Morwell in smoke and ash. Residents were advised to leave by...

Linc Energy will stand trial on five charges that it breached Queensland's environmental laws at its underground coal gasification site.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) has accused the company of wilfully causing serious harm at its trial site near Chinchilla...

Smiling NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird is showing himself to be yet another ruthless political gangster for the billionaire class and a wide range of people are uniting in resistance to his assaults on democracy.

On March 13, contingents from all around NSW joined in protest against the...

More than a hundred people attended a public meeting in Coburg on March 10 to oppose the construction of residential towers, including a 19-storey tower, on the Pentridge prison site. Save Coburg organised the meeting.

A number of resolutions were passed at the meeting, including one to...

Swastikas and white power slogans were sprayed onto a number of Indian-owned and other stores and restaurants in West Footscray, Melbourne, in the early hours of March 5.

However, within hours a team of volunteers appeared to scrub out Nazi symbols and slogans such as "white power" and "...

Amnesty International Western Sydney University students hosted a forum at the Parramatta campus on March 15. Speakers included James Arvanitakis, Debra Keenahan, Luce De Buitleir Andrews and Sev Ozdowski.

Keenahan spoke about how refugees had become “dehumanised” since former PM John...

LGBTIQ activist Sally Goldner was inducted into the Victorian Women's Honour Roll on March 7. The Honour Roll acknowledges and celebrates the outstanding achievements of Victorian women.

Goldner is the first trans woman to be inducted into the Honour Roll. She said: “It's really...

An important conference for activists will be held in Sydney on May 13 to 15. “Socialism for the 21st Century” will focus on deepening the discussion about the theory and practice of the socialist movement today.

Conference organiser Susan Price told Green Left Weekly that the...

The release of the Defence White Paper in February reveals the Malcolm Turnbull government sees engaging in a regional “arms race” and securing its borders as far higher priorities than guaranteeing our healthcare system, quality public education, housing and welfare entitlements.

While...

Hundreds rallied and marched in Sydney and Melbourne on March 12 to protest the federal government's "review" of the Safe Schools program.

They were there to show support for the program, which aims to promote acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and addresses...

It was standing room only at the Men Speak Out For Treaty forum held in the Redfern Community Centre on March 14 organised by the Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney. The meeting was facilitated by journalist and filmmaker Jeff McMullen.

Wiri Man Tony McAvoy argued that a treaty...

Australia's large energy companies appear to prefer to accept fines for not building renewable energy rather than build it and weaken their investments in coal and gas generation.

When the Tony Abbott government passed legislation to reduce the Renewable Energy Target (RET) by about 20%...

The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released this statement on March 13.

* * *

An Iranian Arab refugee was held naked and handcuffed for a night and a day at the Nauru police station after he was arrested on March 10.

The refugee, who also works for...

Members of the National Tertiary Education Union and the Education Action Group at the University of Sydney rallied on March 16 against the university's proposed cuts to faculties and degrees.

The protest was called in response to Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson announcing, shortly before...

Yingiya Mark Guyula, a spokesperson for the Yolngu Nations Assembly, will stand as an independent candidate for the seat of Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory elections in August.

He kicked off a national Treaty awareness and fundraising speaking tour with a meeting in...

World

Ahead of United States President Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba on March 20 — making him the first sitting US head of state to visit the island in 88 years — Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez called for an end to the 55-year-long US blockade.

Despite important breakthroughs...

In the face of the brutal and immoral reaction of the European Union to the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing into Europe from wars and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa, Barcelona council has taken the initiative to set up a network of Mediterranean city councils prepared to...

Unicef representative in Yemen Meritxell Relano said on March 17 that the death toll from a Saudi air raid two days earlier had reached 119.

The Morning Star said on March 18 that the Saudi strike on Mastaba in the north-western Hajja province also wounded 47 people. The dead include 22...

Although many readers are watching voting results in the United States with baited breath, it is worth taking a look at Germany's partial state elections on March 13. They are far from pleasant, but important all the same — and not just for Germany.

Only three of Germany's 16 states...


Tegucigalpa, Honduras, March 16.

A group of 730 leading Latin American experts and scholars have called for United States Secretary of State John Kerry to halt aid and support to Honduras until the Central American country improves its atrocious human rights record.

The...


The rebels held out against British forces for a week.

This Easter marks 100 years since Ireland's Easter Rising, when republicans launched an armed insurrection against British rule. Seizing Dublin's General Post Office, the rebels proclaimed an Irish republic based on the...

Freedom of speech in Turkey is deteriorating at a rate of knots. This week, a British academic was deported from the country with no trial and three academics were arrested, all accused of disseminating terrorist material. Earlier this month, Zaman — a widely-read newspaper critical of the...

On March 17, after a two-day meeting held in the town of Girkê Legê (Al-Muabbada) in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), a Constituent Assembly established a “Rojava-Northern Syria Democratic Federal System”.

The Constituent Assembly was attended by 31 parties and 200 delegates...


Chris Stephenson in the Istanbul court house shortly before his arrest on March 15.

Update: Supporters in Istanbul reported that Chris Stephenson was deported on March 16. There are unconfirmed reports that he will be charged in absentia to prevent his return.

British...

The media has trumpeted Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's apparently certain nomination after the March 15 caucuses, but the race is far from over. Tom Cahill writes, in a piece abridged from US Uncut, on why.

* * *

Despite Bernie Sanders losing all five states in...


Banners unfurled by activists in front of the offices of USAID in Washington to protest the agency's support for a controversial dam project on March 14. Photo: Twitter /@the_intercept

Activists in the United States have called on the US Agency for International Development (USAID...


Demonstrators celebrate after Donald Trump cancelled his rally at the University of Illinois in Chicago on March 11.

Bernie Sanders has come out swinging after Donald Trump accused the self-proclaimed socialist contender in the Democrat primaries of paying his supporters to disrupt...

Analysis

My name is Ken Canning. My traditional name is Burraga Gutya. My people are the Kunja clan of the Bidjara Nation of what is now called south-western Queensland.

I was raised mainly on the coast of Queensland and in Brisbane and, although I have lived in Sydney since the late 1970s, I am...

Earlier this month, a 10-year-old Aboriginal girl took her own life in a small Kimberly community near the town of Derby in Western Australia.

It is believed that her life leading to her suicide was marred by “trauma and tragedy” and she had previously witnessed the suicide of a close...

"This is a law to protect the rich. We will need to break these laws to protect our democratic rights," Aboriginal activist and lead NSW Senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance team in the federal elections Ken Canning, said on March 15.

Canning was addressing protesters who...

A broad coalition of forces continues to challenge anti-protest legislation tabled in the Western Australian state parliament.

If passed, the broad powers of the Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill will make it a criminal offence to be in possession of an unnamed...

Experts have laughed at a prediction by the environment minister Greg Hunt that Australia's greenhouse gas emissions peaked 10 years ago.

Hunt told the ABC's AM program: “I believe that we have reached what is sometimes known as peak emissions. In my best judgment … we reached...

Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, a descendant of the Guringai, Gadigal, Wiradjuri and Dharug peoples of NSW and National Councillor in the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), has been preselected for the Socialist Alliance's NSW Senate ticket for the next federal election. The ticket is headed...

Under the cover of thick clouds and blinding sun, a drone assignation takes place in the Middle East. Interception of internet messages leads US authorities to a 16-year-old Anonymous group member.

An engine plume signifies the position of refugees on the high seas from Asia. A National...

During the early days of his campaign to be US president, Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders wondered if the crowds that he saw on the street were headed to a baseball game, only to be told: “Actually they are on the way to hear you”.

This story illustrates how the Sanders message of free...

NASA dropped a bombshell of a climate report on March 11. February 2016 has soared past all rivals as the warmest seasonally adjusted month in more than a century of global recordkeeping. NASA's analysis showed that February ran 1.35°C above the 1951-1980 global average for the month, as can be...

The federal government continues to drag its feet on marriage equality. It is now clear that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will not initiate a marriage equality plebiscite before the end of the year, as promised.

LGBTI community organisations are increasingly losing patience with...

On the evening of March 12, during Melbourne's Moomba festival, there was a disturbance involving crowds of young people around Federation Square.

One passer-by was hospitalised, and discharged later the same evening. Four youths were arrested: two for drunkenness, one for carrying a...

Culture


Palestinian performance poet Rafeef Ziadah on stage with Phil Monsour, with whom she is touring Australia's in late March and April.

We Teach Life
CD & Australian tour
Rafeef Ziadah & Phil Monsour
http://www.rafeefziadah.net

Rafeef Ziadah is a...

Slick Water: Fracking – and One Insider's Stand Against the World's Most Powerful Industry
Andrew Nikiforuk
Greystone Books/David Suzuki Institute
2015, 350 pages

The fracturing of rocks to mine more fossil fuels was born with the oil business, writes the Canadian...

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement
By Angela Davis
Haymarket Books, 2016
180 pages, $15.95.

In the summer of 2014, images spread across the world of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, facing off against police in riot...