Issue 1114

Australian News

Protesters from Fossil Free Melbourne University staged a mock oil spill outside the university’s administration building on October 10.

They were protesting against the university's investment in 21 of Australia’s most polluting fossil fuel companies.

Dressed in HazMat suits, they...

The Department of Education said more than 150 private schools across Australia received funding above their Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), which measures a school’s entitlement to public funding, while needy public schools remain significantly underfunded.

Federal and state...

The campaign to save Sydney University’s Sydney College of the Arts is celebrating another victory in its long battle with management.

Seven weeks after students occupied SCA administration offices in protest at the university’s determination to close the school, deputy vice-chancellor...

It was standing room only on October 8 for the launch of the Walyalup (Fremantle) activist centre.

The centre, which serves as the local Socialist Alliance branch office and bookshop, will also be available as a meeting and outreach space for local grassroots community groups.

...

The Senate voted on October 10 to pass legislation aimed at blocking the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) enterprise agreement.

Those voting for the law were the Coalition, Pauline Hanson's One Nation, the Nick Xenophon Team and right-wing independents David Leyonhjelm and Derryn...

It has been 125 days since the Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) plant in Abbotsford sacked 55 electricians and fitters, who have a combined history of 906 years of service at CUB, and a protest was begun at the brewery gates.

Since then, the ownership and labour contractor of CUB have...

Stephen Jolly has been a socialist councillor on Yarra City Council since 2004. In the October 22 election he is standing as part of a team of seven socialist activists across all three wards in Yarra.

Yarra is one of the few places in Australia where community activism still thrives....

More than 100 people rallied at Todd Mall, Alice Springs, against youth incarceration and torture on October 11. The national day of protest included actions in Darwin, Newcastle, Adelaide and Sydney and coincided with the first day of the Royal Commission into youth detention in the Northern...

Every day, people’s human rights are violated. In detention centres like those on Nauru and Manus Island, such violations are not just allowed but enforced by the Australian government. However, last month people stood together for nine hours to tell the Australian government that they would not...

Pauline Pantsdown was the highlight act of the Green Left Weekly Sydney Comedy Night at the Leichhardt Town Hall on October 8.

More than 300 people packed into the hall to see her perform her famous songs Backdoor Man and I Don’t Like it to huge applause.

...

A Kurdish journalist charged with being a member of a proscribed terrorist group — the Kurdistan Workers’ Party — was granted bail in the NSW Supreme Court on October 14. He was released on strict conditions, including a surety of $1.5 million.

Sydney-based Renas Lelikan was charged after...

Hundreds of Australian Services Union members marched through the streets of Melbourne on October 12 as part of a long running campaign against an unfair enterprise agreement at the City of Melbourne.

An earlier version of a proposed enterprise agreement was previously voted down by...

The Geelong refinery dispute may not hold the record for the longest campaign for workers’ rights, but the dispute over safety nevertheless won due to a concerted campaign.

On October 5, almost 300 workers voted to walk out of the refinery, owned by Viva Energy Australia, over safety...

BP announced on October 11 that it has abandoned plans for a $1.4 billion program to explore for oil in the Great Australian Bight, off South Australia.

The British petroleum giant said the decision, which delighted environmental groups, was made because the project was not economically...

International News

Sixty million people are on the run worldwide, most from countries in the global South. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says one third of the refugees originate from Africa.

Wars, human rights violations, political instability, discrimination,...

During a debate in Miami earlier this year between the candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders came out against the Monroe Doctrine.

This doctrine dictates that the United States government could intervene throughout the hemisphere and overthrow whatever...

A flotilla bound for Gaza carrying food, medicine and other humanitarian aid was intercepted and seized by the Israeli Navy on October 5. The Women’s Boat to Gaza had set sail from the Spanish port city of Barcelona in mid-September in an effort to break the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza,...

US naval forces fired cruise missiles at targets in Yemen on October 12. This was the first direct Western involvement in the war in Yemen. However, Western powers — in particular the US and Britain — have been arming and bankrolling Saudi Arabia throughout the war.

Since March 2015,...

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced his proposal for the country’s federal budget for 2017 on October 14 — indicating that a staggering 73.6% would be dedicated toward social investment. It comes in a context of an economic crisis, including shortages of some goods.

In the days...

A little-known but controversial World Bank tribunal has bucked tradition and ruled against corporate power on October 14.

The tribunal rejected Canadian-Australian gold mining giant OceanaGold’s claim that El Salvador interfered with its profits when the government pulled the plug on a...

Thousands marched in Venezuela’s capital of Caracas on October 12 to commemorate the Day of Indigenous Resistance — previously known as “Colombus Day”. The march also sought to counter opposition mobilisations in favour of the recall referendum against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

...

There is a very sinister, hellish thing behind the tepid concern that rears its head when a country like Haiti suffers a tragedy.

As 800 people died and 90% of parts of southern Haiti were destroyed by Hurricane Matthew earlier this month, leaving whole towns flattened, and people...

The images and accounts of Haiti’s devastation following Hurricane Matthew’s passage on October 4 are gut-wrenching. The death toll is in the hundreds and continues to rise. Entire villages in the country's southwest were obliterated. The response of a Haitian government, left besieged and...

Apparently, the universe does have a sense of humour.

After blaming his poor showing in the first presidential debate on problems with his microphone, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s candidacy is swirling around the toilet bowl due to comments that a different microphone...

Ten climate activists were arrested on October 11 for trying to shut down all tar sands oil coming into the United States from Canada by manually turning off pipelines in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Washington state Democracy Now! said.

The group, which calls itself...

My heart breaks over Category 4 Hurricane Matthew’s slamming of Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba.

When Hurricane Sandy struck New York City where I live, our entire neighbourhood was destroyed — every single house was uninhabitable.

To fully comprehend the tragedy of such hurricanes is...

Comment and Analysis

Low-income people, activists, community workers and others will gather in Adelaide on October 21 and 22 for “Power to the Poor — Silent No More”, a two-day Anti-Poverty Week conference.

The event — organised by Anti-Poverty Network SA, a grassroots group composed of welfare recipients...

It is amazing how radical believing in the simple notion of welcoming refugees in Australia has become. ABC’s Q&A program on alternatives to detention on October 10 gave some insight into how convoluted the debate on refugees has become.

A number of “compromise solutions” are...

It is now less than one week until the Moreland City Council election.

Campaigning for Sue Bolton at the early polling centre in the suburb of Fawkner, you can sense the level of community recognition for the socialist councillor. When a group of school kids and their teacher were looking...

Jafri Alexandra X has been conducting a one-person crusade against racism in Melbourne for almost two years. He is well known as the person who holds a “stop” sign with “Stop Racism Now” on it every Friday afternoon outside Flinders Street Station.

This interview...

“Last week's parliamentary bank hearings were a roaring success — from a public relations standpoint,” ABC business reporter Michael Janda wrote on October 11.

Fairfax commentator Elizabeth Knight described the Turnbull government's bank inquiry on October 7 as “like a bad exercise in...

The NSW government has announced plans to privatise hospitals in Maitland, Wyong, Goulburn, Shellharbour and Bowral. It is a symptom of a disease: our public services are threatened by politicians who want to privatise them so companies can run them for profit.

General secretary of NSW...

Labor and the Greens voted on October 11 to block the federal Coalition’s plebiscite on marriage equality. 

The plebiscite was not popular within the LGBTI community, and it is not difficult to see why. It was clear that the right wing saw the plebiscite as an opportunity to hit the...

In 2001, 19-year-old Aboriginal man Marlon Noble was charged with sexually assaulting two children. Early court hearings deemed Noble unfit to stand trial due to cognitive impairment as a result of childhood meningitis. The court decided to hold Noble in custody.

Ten years later Noble...

We drove through the night by bus from Melbourne, stopping only for petrol and food, for 32 hours to reach the Disarm Camp at Pine Gap on September 26. We were going to the protest marking 50 years since the spy base was established in 1966 for a “peppercorn rent” by Prime Minister Robert...

The Queensland government once again demonstrated its commitment to progressing Adani’s mega coal mine project in the Galilee basin on October 9.

State development minister Anthony Lynham announced that the government had invoked special powers to ensure the controversial Carmichael coal...

Just as in the 21 countries where marriage equality has been won, we will have to win this democratic right on the streets here too.

This is the resounding conclusion supporters of equality must draw if we are to push back an emerging tide of conservatism unleashed by this latest round of...

[Ross Garnaut is a Professor of Economics at the Australian National University. In 2007 he was appointed to examine the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy and recommend medium to long-term policies and policy frameworks to improve the prospects for sustainable prosperity. The...

Resistance!

Tertiary students are doing it tough. Yet the Coalition would have you believe we have it easy. High — and getting higher — course fees, job insecurity and accommodation costs are all adding to students’ anxieties.

A National Union of Students’ (NUS) submission to the 2015-16 federal...

Cultural Dissent

Play On! The Hidden History of Women’s Australian Rules Football
Brunette Lenkić and Rob Hess
Echo Publishing 2016,
324 pages

In a landmark development, the first national women’s Australian Football competition — AFL Women’s — will be launched...

We Shall Fight, We Shall Win
Produced by All India Forum for the Right to Education
2016

The All India Forum for the Right to Education (AIFRTE) has just released a documentary about its struggle against the privatisation of education in India. The...