Issue 1169

Australia

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon became the first federal parliamentarian in Australia to publicly condemn Turkey's three-week war on Afrin, one of three democratic autonomous cantons in northern Syria, when she addressed a rally in Sydney on February 10.

Two days later, the Labor MP for Wills...

About 200 relatives and supporters of the late Patrick Fisher gathered on February 11 to commemorate his life and hold a march calling for justice.

Fisher died on February 7 while fleeing from police who had kicked down the door of his girlfriend's home. He was wanted on outstanding...

The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) traditional owners of the land on which Adani has approval to build its Carmichael coalmine are concerned that the Queensland government will act to extinguish their native title rights prior to a Federal Court hearing scheduled for March 12–15.

This...

In February 2016, I wrote an article for Green Left Weekly about that year’s Closing the Gap speech, with the headline “PM’s Closing the Gap speech — more Turnbullshit”. Aptly named I thought. But two years later nothing has changed.

On February 12 Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull...

A group of activists from Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) and the Socialist Alliance gathered in front of NSW Parliament on February 9 to protest on the 10th anniversary of the national apology from former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Aboriginal members of the Stolen Generations from...

The longest running industrial dispute in Western Australia’s coalmining history ended on February 14 when, after 180 days of protected industrial action, maintenance workers at Griffin Coal returned to work. Workers voted on February 9 to accept a new enterprise agreement that gave them back...

The United Firefighters Union (UFU) is planning to rally outside Victoria’s state parliament house as part of a campaign against deceptive behaviour by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) board.

UFU state secretary Peter Marshall said on December 15 the MFB board had agreed with the union...

Hawkesbury Council in Sydney's far north-west voted at its January 30 meeting to reject an offer by NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to leave a "viewing platform" made from a section of the historic Windsor Bridge when the proposed Windsor Bridge Replacement Project has been completed....

Fourteen long years after young TJ Hickey was chased to his death in Waterloo, his family and the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) organised a moving rally in Waterloo, along the fence line where the young Kamilaroi man was killed.

No one has been charged with his murder. The...

Eighty people rallied in Dandenong, an outer Melbourne suburb, on February 11 against the planned deportation of Santharuban, a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who sought asylum in Australia after the defeat of the LTTE in 2009.

The LTTE fought for an...

Members of the Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) gathered in Acland on February 14 for the Queensland environment department’s decision on the environmental authority for New Hope Coal’s proposed Acland Stage 3 project. 

Expecting the worst — that the department would reject the...

The announcement on February 9 that Aurizon will withdraw its application to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to construct a rail link between the Abbot Point coal terminal and the Galilee Basin was welcomed by opponents of the Adani Carmichael coal project.

...

The federal government’s building industry watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), has issued new Building Code rules that specifically ban the Eureka Flag from being displayed on building sites. If an employer breaches the code, they become ineligible to compete...

World

Seventeen people were killed and at least 15 other people were wounded on February 14 at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, in one of the deadliest school shootings in US history.

More evidence has emerged showing that the gunman, a 19-year-old former student...

Venezuelan workers’ organisations have denounced illegal arrests, firings and persecution in the Lacteos Los Andes state-run dairy company and private Venevision TV station. Meanwhile, campesino (peasant) leaders in Barinas state were freed and authorised to return to their land after...

The British government sold spying equipment worth more than £300,000 to the right-wing Honduran regime implicated in mass human rights abuses, including the assassination of high-profile environmental activist Berta Caceres.

The sale of the spyware came in the year preceding Honduras’s...

Women from the Tirbesipiye-Cizire Canton in northern Syria (known as “Rojava” in Kurdish) held a women-only demonstration through the city centre on February 9.

The marchers expressed their support for the resistance by women and others in the Afrin canton in Rojava against the fascist...

The most effective way to counter US President Donald Trump’s reactionary policies is through mass action.

The Democratic Party, however, hopes to steer movements and individuals opposed to Trump into support of its candidates. While this trap of “lesser evil” politics has proved to be a...

Leila Khaled, a leader of the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine, took part in the Third Congress of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) that was held in Ankara, Turkey, on February 11.

“I have brought you greetings from the Palestinian people,” Khaled told the congress. “The...

Turkey's second largest opposition party — the left-wing, Kurdish-led Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) — elected new leaders at its Third Congress on February 11, TheRegion.org said.

Authorities had tried to stop the congress by arresting hundreds of would-be attendees. Two days before the...

With the National Electoral Council setting April 22 as the date for the country’s presidential election and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) confirming current president Nicolas Maduro as their candidate, leftist organisations in Venezuela have been debating what position to take...

As Venezuelans get ready for April’s presidential election, US Senator Marco Rubio claimed via Twitter the world would support Venezuela’s military if it decided to orchestrate a coup against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who is up for re-election.

The Republican lawmaker from...

Faten Ahmed was a 26-year-old with a rare form of cancer. She died in August while awaiting an Israeli permit to travel for chemotherapy and radiotherapy not available in the Gaza Strip, which has been subjected to a crippling Israeli siege since 2007.

She had previously missed eight...

Norwegian parliamentarian Bjornar Moxnes has officially nominated the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights for a Nobel Peace Prize. The leader of the left-wing Red Party explained that the BDS “should be supported without reservation...

Cape Town — in which some of Africa’s most affluent live — is rapidly running out of water. Population growth and a record drought, exacerbated by climate change, are creating one of the world’s most dramatic urban water crises.

The government has warned that by mid-April, the city could...

Ireland’s Dail Eireann (its lower house of parliament) voted by a large majority on February 8 in favour of a bill to ban the government issuing new contracts for oil and gas exploration, EcoWatch said the next day.

The 78-48 vote came despite strong opposition to the bill from the...

The following statement by a group of international socialist feminists in solidarity with Iranian women’s struggles was initiated by the Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists on February 10.

The Socialist Alliance in Australia is among the signatories.

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As socialist...

Australian group the Socialist Alliance released the statement below on February 1.

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Since January 6, large numbers of people have taken to the streets across Sudan in opposition to widespread government corruption and the recent decision, at the behest of the International...

A brand new World Bank report, The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018, offers evidence of how much poorer Africa is becoming thanks to rampant minerals, oil and gas extraction.

Yet World Bank policies and practices remain oriented to enforcing foreign loan repayments and...

Analysis

A man waves over a roughly boarded fence, as a guard walks intimidatingly in front of it. A group of refugee protesters, sweltering in the hot sun in Leonora — a two day drive from Perth into the desert — wave back and yell “azadi”, the Farsi word for freedom.

I am one of the protesters...

Last year was the year of women’s truth-telling about sexual and domestic violence. It was also the year that 49 Australian women met violent deaths.

In the second month of this year, there has been no respite from the unceasing onslaught of violence against women and the resulting...

Greens MP Adam Bandt was forced to apologise twice to new Liberal Senator and renowned fan of British neo-Nazi’s social media work Jim Molan, after Bandt called the former Australian general a war criminal.

Facing defamation, Bandt retracted and so let me state clearly I am not accusing...

The Next Generation (TNG) wants to build the biggest waste-to-energy incinerator in the world at Eastern Creek in Sydney’s west. Local residents are defiantly opposed and have organised for more than a year to bring Labor and the Coalition onside.

At a rally outside NSW Parliament on...

An “Act of God”, or lightning, was a key reason for the recent meltdown of Sydney’s rail network, according to transport minister Andrew Constance. He also claimed that the “dark arts of unionism” — presumably some sort of devilry — inspired rail unionists to vote to strike over pay and rosters...

New Greens MP Michael Berkman is looking forward to the opportunity to put Greens policies and values forward as the new member for Maiwar.

He told Green Left Weekly that it was a “hugely significant result” for the Greens to win their first seat in Queensland and a significant...

Are you sick to death of the endless debate about whether odious Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce has a right to privacy? 

Of course some of that debate has now veered into thoughtful comparisons of how a misogynistic press “pawed” over the private lives of female politicians, such as Julia...

Barnaby Joyce thought he was untouchable. But for the Malcolm Turnbull government in crisis mode, it seems he could be dispensable.

The week before last, it appeared that Joyce’s media and parliamentary advisors may have just managed to save his skin. After the tabloids splashed news of...

Culture

Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook
By Mark Bray
Random House Publishing & Melbourne University Press
2017
259 pages

In Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11-12 last year, an infamous mobilisation of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and...

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
By Michael Wolff
Published by Henry Holt & Co.

The furore surrounding Michael Wolff’s book is unsurprising because he lifts the lid on the foetid cesspit that is US President Donald Trump’s White House....

Golden Years
Directed by Andre Techine
Starring Pierre Deladonchamps, Celine Sallette, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet & Michel Fau
Showing as part of the nation-wide Alliance Francaise Film Festival

This is a gender-bending true story of how a...

The AFL Women’s second season is now in full swing. Launched on February 2, the Carlton-Collingwood game repeated the large crowds that greeted the start of last year’s inaugural season. After two rounds, Carlton, the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne remain unbeaten in the eight-team...