Issue 1094

Australia

Socialist Alliance WA launched its election campaign launch on May 7 at a well-attended function at the Navy Club in Fremantle.

Socialist Alliance candidate for Fremantle, Chris Jenkins, told the crowd that "we believe a very different society is possible".

He outlined some of...

Thousands of people took part in the Newcastle #BreakFree2016 protest that stopped coal exports in Newcastle for the day.

Photos:

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The Jackson family and Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) Sydney held a gathering on the first anniversary of the passing of Ray Jackson to Remember Ray FKJ (For Koori Justice).

Friends, comrades and supporters came together on April 23 at The Settlement, Darlington, to share...

The Climate Council released this statement on May 2.

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Climate records have tumbled during autumn with records shattered all over Australia. New records for the highest average monthly maximum temperature were set in April in Brisbane, Darwin and Hobart.

Almost all...

The continued forced removal of children from their families is one of the biggest crises facing Aboriginal communities today. More children are being removed now than at any time in Australia's history, with almost 16,000 Aboriginal children in “out of home care” on any given night.

...

The 12 asylum seekers who fled Sri Lanka and reached the Cocos Islands on May 2 were all arrested on arrival at Colombo airport after being deported by Australian authorities on May 5.

The group, which is believed to include children and an infant as young as one, were handed over to Sri...

Pro Choice QLD released this statement on May 5.

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Pro Choice QLD is today launching the“It's not 1899/Abortion should not be a crime” campaign against laws from 1899 criminalising abortion in this state.

The campaign, supported by a coalition of organisations and...

A Sydney construction company Romanous Contractors was fined $425,000 in the second largest work health and safety fine in NSW history following the death of a bricklayer on a Hurstville construction site in 2014.

Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy said: “Romanous were...

Refugee Rights Action Network organised a May 6 vigil to say: No More dying for freedom.

"You don't save lives at sea by killing people on land" was the message of one of the banners painted specifically for the event.

Speakers included: Rosemary Hudson-...

The Victorian budget, presented by Treasurer Tim Pallas on April 27, is in surplus, due largely to a big increase in stamp duty revenue, to a record $6 billion a year.

This revenue is a result of Melbourne's real estate boom. House prices have been rising rapidly. But the number of...

The ACT Labor government has boosted its commitment to renewable energy still further, announcing Canberra will be fully powered by renewables by 2020.

The switch to renewable energy began with the decision in 2013 to fund three solar farms. Since then, it has held two wind auctions and...

"The plan for James Packer's Crown Casino at Barangaroo to take over even more public space shows that Packer and his fellow billionaires control the NSW Coalition government and are taking over all our precious state-owned land and assets at a rate of knots," Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance...

The Victorian law making it illegal for protesters to harass people within 150-metres of abortion providers, which were due to start in July, came into effect on May 2.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said: "For too long, women accessing abortion services have been unfairly abused and...

A vigil was held in Sydney on May 4 in solidarity with Hodan Yasin, a 19-year-old Somali asylum seeker.

She is in a critical condition after setting herself on fire in Australia's notorious offshore refugee detention centre on the Pacific island state of Nauru.

Just a few days...

The Wilderness Society has denounced the NSW government's draft nature laws as a farce that will allow koalas' homes to be bulldozed while adding to our greenhouse gas emissions.

NSW Premier Mike Baird promised that any law changes would enhance “the state's biodiversity for the benefit...

Spanish conglomerate Ferrovial, which recently succeeded in a takeover bid for Broadspectrum, formerly known as Transfield, the company that runs the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, has implied that it will not seek a further contract to run the centres.

In a statement...

About 100 protesters, adorned in yellow and black berets, skirts, scarves, blouses, dresses and umbrellas gathered outside the Santos HQ near Circular Quay on May 4 to tell Santos to frack off from the Pilliga, near Narrabri. With them, sitting in a nearby tree, was a huge koala — symbolising...

According to a new report Australia will have to increase the pace of large-scale renewable energy development sevenfold to reach its Renewable Energy Target (RET) this year.

The report, Renewable Energy Target 2015 Administrative Report released by the Clean Energy Regulator on...

Trade unionists and activists from the Save Medicare Campaign held a snap lunchtime rally in Sydney on May 5, which featured a "Race To Save Medicare".

Three patients were in the race while a dark-suited Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tried to disrupt the race and steal their Medicare...

May Day is a historically significant day for our class: without unions we would not have any rights on the job. These are under attack today and on May Day we were there to defend our penalty rates, our unions' right to organise against Turnbull's new construction police (ABCC), against racism...

As a First Nations activist I'll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.

Newcastle's beautiful harbour is a fitting place to take a stand against coal exports and environmental destruction.

People hunger for a different world based on cooperation and treating the land with...

The Bob Brown Foundation launched a new website, SaveBrunyIsland.org, on May 3 with a peaceful demonstration outside Hobart's Parliament House. Conservationists held placards of the swift parrot, with an image drawn by cartoonist First Dog on the Moon.

The new campaign is designed to...

Senator Glenn Lazarus's 117-page interim Senate report on unconventional gas mining in Australia was released on May 4. It makes a case for much tighter federal control of the industry and the public resources it has access to, but does not recommend its closure.

If anything the report...

The 2016-2017 budget aims to get the federal Coalition over the line on July 2, the expected double disillusion election date. Treasurer Scott Morrison's budget speech was a far cry from the last two “gloom and doom” budgets from Joe Hockey. But it contained significant cuts to essential...

A second refugee has self-immolated in the detention centre on Nauru, just days after 23-year-old Iranian refugee Omid Masoumali died in similar circumstances.

Hodan, a 19-year-old Somali woman, has been taken to Brisbane by air ambulance, but she suffered burns to more than 70% of her...

World


Bernie Sanders addresses a huge crowd in Sacramento, California. Photo via US Uncut.

More than 15,000 supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gathered in Sacramento's Bonney Field stadium in California as part of an event organized by the senator's...

Italy's militant trade union centre, the General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), drew tens of thousands onto the streets of Rome on May 7 to denounce the secretive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between the EU and the US.

Demonstrators gathered in San Giovanni...

Nearly 2000 people were arrested in the Indonesian-occupied nation of West Papua on May 2. The crackdown came amid a mass unarmed civilian uprisings across West Papua. Jason MacLeod, the author of the recently published Merdeka & the Morning Star: Civil Resistance in West Papua, told...

In the wake of Obama's historic visit, the Cuban Communist Party held its 7th Congress on April 16-19 in the Havana Convention Centre. Beneath a backdrop featuring a huge likeness of Fidel Castro, PCC secretary Raul Castro delivered the main report on behalf of the Central Committee.

...

Fort McMurray, the city that serves as the hub of one of the world's largest climate-wrecking projects, Canada's Alberta tar sands, is burning to the ground due to wildfires sparked by unseasonably dry and hot weather.

The wildfires began at the end of April in forests west of the city....

John Bellamy Foster is the editor of US-based Marxist journal Monthly Review. His most recent book, written with Paul Burkett, is Marx and the Earth: An Anti-Critique (Brill, 2016). The French magazine La Revue du Projet asked him to reply to three questions on ecology and Marxism. A...

This picture looks like any ordinary scenery from the Kobanê countryside. The idyllic villages and golden wheat fields with the sleepy little houses tucked away across the distance. But, it is more than that.

This is Ain Issa, an area of Tell Abyad and the frontline between the...

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn publicly criticised human rights abuses in Indonesian-occupied West Papua and backed Papuan demands for self-determination, in a May 3 meeting at Britain's House of Commons.

The meeting was a “historic step on the road to freedom for West Papua...

With an organisation as important as the Labour Party accused of something as serious as antisemitism, it's a relief that everyone has managed to stay calm and measured, and not exaggerate things in any way.

Rivals gently suggest Labour is “rife with antisemitism” and “riddled with...

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party defied expectations and Labour's Sadiq Khan has ended Conservative Party rule in London in May 5 local elections across Britain.

In what some labeled the most racist British election campaign in years, Khan won the London mayoralty to become the city's first...

Since a “cessation in hostilities” in Syria's multi-sided civil war was declared on February 27, about 6000 people have been killed in the conflict.

This “cessation in hostilities” was brokered by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), made up of the United Nations, the European...


Fighters in the Rojava-based Women's Protection Units (YPJ) militia.

Since a “cessation in hostilities” in Syria's multi-sided civil war was declared on February 27, about 6000 people have been killed in the conflict.

This “cessation in hostilities” was brokered by the...


Protest against TTIP. Hanover, Germany, April 23.

Could things get any worse for the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between the United States and the European Union?

On May 2, a hugely damaging leak of TTIP texts confirmed exactly what...


Supporters of British Labour Party's socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Despite his insurgent campaign scoring a string of impressive against-all-expectations wins, Bernie Sanders' campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination was declared all but dead-and-buried after Hillary...


A National Day of Action to Defend Democracy was held on March 31, to oppose the coup plot against Dilma and mark the anniversary of the 1964 military coup.

Right-wing forces in Brazil are seeking to impeach Workers' Party (PT) President Dilma Rousseff in what has been widely...

Proving that US voters are still energenised to go to the polls to voice their support for "political revolution", self-described socialist Senator Bernie Sanders won the Democrats Indiana primary on May 3 -- besting rival Hillary Clinton and notching a much-needed victory as the...

Analysis

Oppressed people around the world have long used self-immolation to protest grossly unjust regimes.

Thich Quang Duc protested the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government in June 1963 by burning himself to death at a busy Saigon intersection.

The Arab...

It is amazing the conversations one overhears sometimes.

I was attending a vigil for Omid Masoumali, the young asylum seeker who died a few days after he set himself on fire in Australia's notorious refugee detention camp in Nauru. The atmosphere at the vigil was sad and tense. Among...

Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull have delivered a budget for the billionaires. They claim that opposition to their tax cuts for the rich is “class warfare”. But the truth is that they are the ones waging naked war against the ordinary people of Australia.

People earning less...

A conspicuous absence from the weekend No Coal protests in Newcastle will be Greens MP John Kaye.

He would have certainly been there but for his sudden death on May 2 aged 60 of bone cancer. His death has robbed us all of an incomparable champion of the environment and the public...

Volunteer conservationists forced a last minute stay of execution for a section of forest near Toolangi that they had shown was home to the critically endangered Leadbeater's possum, which VicForests contractors were due to clearfell within days.

Despite finding evidence of the possum in...

Retirement was only a few years away when Genevieve became so disillusioned and angry with her current circumstances that she joined a union; a most unexpected union.

The Australian Unemployed Workers' Union (AUWU) is one of a growing few in the Western world, with a membership base of...

Treasurer Scott Morrison presented his budget for 2016-17 on May 3. What does it mean for young people today? Does it address higher education and growing youth unemployment? No.

From April 1 next year, jobseekers under 25 who are receiving welfare payments such as Newstart and have been...

Melbourne's Age newspaper has run a series of articles highlighting what it calls middle class “white flight” from inner north state schools closest to the Housing Commission towers, leading to unofficial segregation along race and class lines.

Experts say this phenomenon is...

Treasurer Scott Morrison presented his proposed budget for 2016-2017 on May 3, but what does the budget mean for young people today? How does it address higher education and growing youth unemployment?

From April 1 next year, job seekers under 25 who are receiving welfare payments such...

Culture

Leon Trotsky
By Paul Le Blanc
Reaktion Books, 2015
224 pp, $39.99
Trotsky & the Problem of Soviet Bureaucracy
By Thomas M. Twiss
Brill, 2014
502 pp., $205.00

Leon Trotsky was one of the central leaders of the Russian Revolution. As the...

A guitarist manipulates tension. She picks up six strings stretched to almost their breaking points and proceeds to squeeze them, snap them and caress them to produce as many sounds and emotions as her skill and soul can conjure.

As news of the death of Prince ricocheted across...