Issue 1095

Australia

The organisers of a rally against racism are adamant that the community rally — months in the planning — will go ahead peacefully on May 28 outside the library in Moreland.

Councillor Sue Bolton told Green Left Weekly that the organisers are committed to a peaceful and safe...

A rally on Saturday May 28 in Moreland in the inner north of Melbourne has been attracting support from organisations keen to show their opposition to racism.

About 55 groups, including unions, community and faith-based groups, community radio and political parties have signed on to the...

Cottesloe Council in WA has prohibited the use of air or helium filled balloons at events approved or run by the council.

Once released into the air, balloons can drift for hundreds of kilometres, or rise into the stratosphere where they burst and return to earth in a spaghetti-like...

The Divest from Detention network disrupted the Australian Council of Super Investors (ACSI) annual conference in Melbourne on May 10.

Activists gained access to the main stage where they played audio recordings of protesters on Nauru and held banners reading “Close the camps” and “...

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles announced a new policy on Facebookfor the Territory election in August on May 14. The policy, called “Knowledge Territory”, promises $500 education vouchers if the Territory receives royalty payments from onshore gas fracking.

The ALP has...

The Illawarra Knitting Nannas Against Gas (IKNAG) held a knit-in outside the office of the federal deputy leader of the ALP, Tanya Plibersek, in Sydney on May 16.

IKNAG's Annie Malow contacted Plibersek with two questions asking for "yes" or "no" answers.

The first was: Do you...

Up to 500 people packed into the Balmain Town Hall on May 19 to protest the state government's $17 billion WestConnex tollway project, which will destroy a large swathe of the city's inner western suburbs, and spew massive traffic flows and pollution into suburban streets.

The...

The odious Peter Dutton, minister for torturing refugees, has plumbed new depths in responding to a Greens proposal to increase Australia's refugee intake from 13,750 to 50,000.

"They won't be numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English," Dutton said. "These people...

A multi-generational delegation from the Borroloola Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory's Gulf Country were front and centre at a protest outside global mining giant Glencore's Sydney headquarters on May 19.

The protesters demanded that Glencore close its McArthur...

Hundreds of nurses from the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association protested outside health minister Jillian Skinner's electorate office on May 17.

The protest was against her decision to remove the legal requirement for a registered nurse to be on site at all times in nursing homes...

About 3000 people, young and old, women, men and children, kayaked from Horseshoe Beach and blocked Newcastle Harbour to stop the coal ships on May 8. Organised by 350.org and other climate change campaigners, the Break Free event was a great success and also fun.

There was a...

Sydney University campus came alive with political discussion, talks and workshops for three days during the Socialism for the 21st Century Conference, held over May 13–15.

The conference had more than 30 sessions and 50 speakers, including international special guests Marta Harnecker,...

The Australia First Party will not be able to use the Eureka flag as its logo on ballot papers in the federal election on July 2.

Their application was ineligible because it had not been advertised for 30 days as required by law. However, the application will be considered again in 100...

A group of about 40 homeless people have set up camp in Melbourne's city square to put homelessness in the spotlight, as housing agencies and people sleeping rough grow increasingly frustrated with government inaction.

The camp was set up on May 12, after stories in the Herald Sun...

Heavily armed “anti-terrorist” police raided homes in Melbourne and arrested a teenager in Sydney on May 17. This foiled two unrelated terror plots, according to saturation media coverage based on information from police and security agencies that is too secret to be heard in court.

In...

The committee campaigning against the proposal to establish a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek met on May 12 at Blacktown Council Chambers to discuss their plans to oppose the new airport.

It decided to begin an extensive education campaign, involving leafleting western Sydney,...

World


Protest against cuts to the Library of Birmingham last year.

The main thing to realise about the crisis in Britain's steel industry, which is rapidly shedding jobs, is that the government has been clear and decisive.

They have stated firmly: “We're not ruling out anything...

Candidate for the socialist Awami Workers Party (AWP) Baba Jan will contest a May 28 by-election for the assembly of the Pakistani-administered Himalayan territory of Gilgit-Baltistan from his jail cell.

Baba Jan has been described as a climate justice prisoner. In 2010, his home area in...

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa summit in Kigali, Rwanda, on May 11 to 13 reinforced extractive industry and high-tech myths.

The gathering unveiled the elite's exuberant imagination and its lack of exposure to the continent's harsh economic realities. As an antidote, grassroots...

The May 9 election of controversial populist Rodrigo Duterte as president of the Philippines is a sign that capitalism is in crisis in the Philippines, chairperson of the left-wing Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) Sonny Melencio told a conference in Sydney on May 14.

Melencio told the...


Democratic Convention, Nevada, May 14.

The 16 hour-long Democratic Convention in Nevada crumbled into chaos on May 14, TeleSUR English said that day, as supporters of socialist presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders raised allegations of voter suppression.

US Uncut reported on...

US Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told a crowd of supporters in North Dakota on May 13 that it would be wrong to view him as a saviour who could solve the country's problems alone, TeleSUR English said.

The self-styled democratic socialist said the US needed a...

Truck drivers blocked major roads across France on May 17 while angry workers and students marched through city streets. Demonstrators were protesting against the longer working hours and reduced overtime payments ordered by President Francois Hollande's government.

The president...

Bernie Sanders is more likely to defeat Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump in the November general elections than Democratic rival Hillary Clinton according to recent polls, Al Jazeera said on May 17.

Nonpartisan polling organisation Real Clear Politics showed that Sanders —...

A few months ago, when political commentators looked ahead to the coming year, there was a widespread prediction that Labour would suffer substantial losses in the May 5 local council elections. Would it be 200 seats lost? Perhaps a little less, perhaps even more?

After all, these...

Right-wing protests hit the streets of Caracas and other cities across Venezuela — and in some cases turned violent, attacking police and other targets.

The protests were part of a May 18 national day of action to demand that electoral authorities speed up the process of scheduling a...

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has hit out at “mounting aggressions” against his government after it was confirmed that a US plane had twice violated Venezuelan airspace.

The US Boeing 707 E-3 Sentry is reported to have illegally entered Venezuela's national airspace on May 11 and...

Brazil's Federal Senate voted on May 12 to proceed with the impeachment process against Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in a move that many see as an attempt by the right-wing opposition to carry out an “institutional coup”.

In response, the Popular Brazil Front, a broad coalition...

As protests continue in Brazil over the Legislature's vote to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and put her on trial, Noam Chomsky told Democracy Now!: "We have the one leading politician who hasn't stolen to enrich herself, who's being impeached by a gang of thieves, who have done so. That does...

A group of over 800 international academics and intellectuals from around the world, calling themselves "Humanity Against the Coup in Brazil" released a statement on May 16 condemning the ouster of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff by right-wing elements. The statement says that Rousseff's...

Venezuela's socialist president Nicolas Maduro told a crowd of supporters on May 15 that to increase productivity and help alleviate scarcity of basic products facing the South American nation, all businesses and factories closed down by their owners would be seized and handed over to their...

Last year, Puerto Rico's governor announced it simply did not have the money to repay its US$72 billion debt — on bonds owed mainly to US financiers.

On May 2, the US's Caribbean colony defaulted on $400 million that was due on that day. A further $2 billion is due on June 1....


United Left leader Alberto Garzon and Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias celebrating the formation of an alliance between the two parties.

Spain's anti-austerity party Podemos and older left-wing party United Left announced on May 9 that they had reached a preliminary agreement to run...

Analysis

Sometimes there are things that appear in the media that just make you shake your head in disbelief. Take for example the tale of Duncan Storrar, the man on ABC's Q&A who dared to ask why the budget was looking after higher income earners while ignoring those on the lower end of...

Support for Australia's Safe Schools program has been gathering pace since plans to gut the anti-bullying initiative and cut its funding were announced by the federal government in March.

Several councils have given it their backing, including City of Sydney, Leichhardt and...

On May 16, students gathered outside the at Wesley College gate with their mouths taped shut, demanding the names of the editors of the 2014 Wesley Journal which included a page called the “Rackweb”.

The “Rackweb” featured in the journal as a spider diagram of...

While everyone's eyes were focused on the federal budget, the NSW government released a very controversial piece of draft legislation that will remove restrictions on land clearance and, despite their claims, threaten biodiversity.

The new reforms implement the recommendations made in...

Climate change was a glaring omission from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's address announcing the federal election. It has also been below the radar on the Labor's campaign trail.

In contrast the Greens launched their election campaign at a protest on May 8 organised by climate group...

One good thing about being out of the country for a while is not having to listen to the lies of the Coalition and Labor. We know that on every occasion they lie to get into power.

They take no responsibility for the carnage they cause in their quest to see who can be the biggest slaves...

Zebedee Parkes, an activist in Sydney's Refugee Action Coalition and member of Socialist Alliance prepared this for Green Left Weekly.

1. Asylum seeker protests in Nauru detention centre for more than 60 days

Protests in the Nauru...

Duncan Storrar, the man who dared to ask a question about tax thresholds on ABC TV's Q & A program on May 9, has thanked Australians for their support and criticised the Murdoch press after he was villified in News Corp newspapers the following week.

A GoFundMe crowdfunding...

With polls showing growing support for the Greens and independents, the powers-that-be and their media hacks are becoming increasingly hysterical.

For the 1% and their supporters, the prospect of the July 2 double dissolution election delivering a hung parliament is the worst of all...

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon was one of the invited speakers at the annual Nakba rally, in Sydney on May 15, organised by the Palestine Action Group.

The next day the Daily Telegraph ran an almost full-page story, under the headline “Taxpayers funding Greens'...

The federal Coalition government is planning to hold a referendum in 2017 on Constitutional Recognition of Australia's original inhabitants. So far the campaign consists of establishing the Recognise campaign, in a bid to educate Australians about the importance of the recognition referendum....

On May 10, the MP for Cairns Rob Pyne did what many politicians in Queensland have claimed for the past 30 years could not be done: he presented a private member's bill to decriminalise abortion.

While some members of parliament over the years have claimed to have had a private members...

Culture

The Meddler
Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria
Starring Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, JK Simmons

One place where the personal is very political is the sometimes fraught relationships between mothers and daughters.

Some time ago Hollywood screenwriter Lorene...

The Hidden Wealth Of Nations: The Scourge Of Tax Havens
Gabriel Zucman
University of Chicago Press
2015, 129 pages

Criminal heists do not come any bigger than the global theft every year by the ultra-rich of about US$200 billion courtesy of the off-shore tax haven...

The Coalition government's arts funding cuts have deepened in a confused, inconsistent fashion that has only added to the sector's turmoil.

The Australia Council for the Arts has told 62 small-to-medium-sized arts companies and organisations that their applications for grants for the...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Lines of debate: the subaltern and the proletariat of the world

Marcel van der Linden is Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, widely recognized for his work on global labor history. In this interview, Ideas de Izquierda's Paula Varela speaks...