Issue 1170

Australia

Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton reported that on February 14 Moreland City Council in Victoria passed her motion calling for an increase in the Newstart allowance. This follows similar decisions by 10 South Australian local councils prompted by campaigners from the Anti-Poverty Network...

Pacha Guzman, a leading activist with the Venezuelan-based Ezequiel Zamora National Campesino Front (FNCEZ), is touring Australia in March. Guzman will be visiting various cities where she will address public forums and meet with trade unions, politicians and solidarity organisations.

The...

Less than three weeks out from the Batman byelection, Labor has yet to announce a definitive policy on Adani’s Carmichael coalmine.

Climate activists have focused their campaign on calling for Labor to announce that in government it would reverse existing approvals for new coalmines in...

About 20 people attended the launch on February 15 of a campaign aimed at countering the "law and order race to the bottom" in the lead-up to Victoria's state election in November.

The "Stop failing our kids" campaign, initiated by the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA), aims to...

Seventy people rallied outside the Broadmeadows detention centre on February 18 to protest against the threatened deportation of Santharuban, a Tamil refugee.

Alex Bhathal, the Greens candidate for the upcoming Batman byelection, told the rally that Santharuban's life is in great danger...

Several thousand people from about 30 community groups and trade unions joined forces in the first mass Fix NSW Transport march and rally through Sydney on February 17.

United in anger at the state Coalition government's private tollway frenzy, privatisation of public transport and...

Seven protesters who staged a sit-in on November 3 at the Lonsdale Street headquarters of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection have avoided a conviction for trespassing on Commonwealth property. They were part of group protesting the closure of the Manus Island detention centre...

An Iranian refugee held on Nauru, who has been diagnosed as being at “imminent risk of … heart attack or sudden death”, is refusing to leave Nauru to go to a hospital that can treat her because the Australian Border Force (ABF) has refused her young son permission to go with her.

Doctors...

The High Court ruled on February 14 that a CFMEU official can be ordered to pay a penalty personally, overturning a Federal Court decision that allowed the union to pay the fine on their behalf.

In 2013, CFMEU organiser Joe Myles and about 20 other people blockaded the main entrance to...

About 60 workers at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal (PKCT) were locked out again on February 15 as the company tries to force workers to accept cuts to their wages and conditions. PKCT is locking out workers every time a ship arrives and replacing them with a temporary workforce to operate the...

World

Five months after Hurricane Maria hit the United States’ Caribbean colony of Puerto Rico, swaths of the island still have no electricity, while food and water supplies have been slow to arrive, Democracy Now! reported on February 19.

Common Dreams reported: “As nearly...

When a democratic uprising broke out against the Syrian dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad in 2011, the regime responded with brutal repression. Aided by defections from the Syrian Army, this helped turn the mass protest movement into the armed conflict that wracks Syria today.

The Free...

The People’s Democratic Party (HDP), a broad-based left-wing group largely initiated by Kurdish forces in Turkey, has faced the full brunt of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian crackdown.

More than 10,000 HDP members have been arrested, along with its leaders and dozens of...

The defeat of ISIS in Syria last year raised hopes that the long-running war that has displaced more than two-thirds of the population might be coming to an end. However, the attempted Turkish invasion of the Afrin region of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), which began on January 20, has underlined...

The Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions (ATTAC) is an international movement for social, environmental and democratic alternatives that organises against free trade policies that grant huge powers to corporations at the expense of people and the planet.

ATTAC released...

A final version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, which will reduce tariffs and other trade barriers between 11 countries in Asia and Latin America that amount to 13% of global GDP, was released on February 21.

The deal, the details of which remained secret until now...

“The steps of the Florida State Capitol building were crowded with thousands of students, teachers, parents, and advocates on Wednesday as survivors of last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School led a rally to demand gun control reforms including a ban on military-style...

The rise of Cyril Ramaphosa, from the ruling African National Congress (ANC), to South African president following a February 15 vote by the National Assembly was largely greeted with sighs of relief and expressions of joy.

Many believe Jacob Zuma’s replacement as president by Ramaphosa...

The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre, which  formed a new coalition government after winning elections late last year, now plan to unify the two parties.

The plan to create a new, united Communist Party of Nepal will bring...

The situation was bleak for Venezuela’s pro-poor Bolivarian Revolution in the first half of last year.

With a dire economic situation and a growing wave of violent opposition protests, President Nicolas Maduro turned the tables by convening a National Constituent Assembly (ANC) in July....

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador could become Mexico’s first progressive president in generations, but what would such a presidency actually look like? It is not an easy question to answer, though his time as leader of Mexico’s largest city could offer some insights.

Between 2000 and 2005,...

Analysis

On February 17, several thousand people from more than 30 community groups and unions marched through Sydney to demand the NSW state government fix the public transport system.

Andew Chuter, one of the organisers, told Green Left Weekly it was a “big achievement” to unite so many...

The Anti Poverty Network (APN) Perth’s Graham Hansen spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Chris Jenkins about poverty in Western Australia and the key campaign areas APN will focus on this year.

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Can you briefly...

Anyone who is a public figure can expect a bit of hate mail. Recently I received about half a dozen colourful phone messages after WA One Nation parliamentarian Charles Smith published a Facebook meme attacking the City of Fremantle for having "the most Un-Australian [sic] council in the Nation...

As I marched through Sydney streets on February 17, along with activists from 30 community groups and trade unions opposed to the blatant privatisation scams that pass for NSW transport infrastructure, I am sure I was not the only one in the crowd reflecting on the ridiculous contradiction...

Late last year, amid the ongoing citizenship crisis engulfing several federal MPs and Senators, Labor MP David Feeney revealed that he was unable to produce documentation confirming he had renounced his citizenship of either Britain or Ireland. On February 1, Feeney announced his resignation and...

Scientists and conservationists have called on the federal government to strengthen Australia’s national environment laws, chiefly the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBCA).

They also want an independent watchdog to oversee environmental policy...

I have been a “participant” in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) since July 2017.

In November 2016 I contracted pneumonia. After 24 hours of sickness and high temperatures my partner took me to hospital, where I was diagnosed as being in septic shock. Unfortunately, the...

Yet again, the federal Coalition government has launched a broadside in favour of its plan to cut company tax for big corporations from 30% to 25%, while slashing spending on social welfare and the public sector.

The catalyst for the latest controversy on the issue was a February 14...

If the federal government is convinced its proposed corporate tax cuts will bring happiness all around, why is it so worried about those challenging the idea?

On February 14, the ABC published two stories by Emma Alberici on tax: one analysis piece on why Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s...

Culture

Red Rebels: The Glazers & the FC Revolution
John-Paul O’Neill
Yellow Jersey Press/Vintage, 2017
270 pages

Sir Alex Ferguson was deeply affronted by the Manchester United Football Club supporters who got stroppy about the proposed takeover of...

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Written & directed by Rian Johnson
In cinemas

Before touching down on the planet of Canto Bight, Rose looks down forebodingly to tell us that it’s full of the “worst people in the galaxy”. Cut to champagne glasses clinking...