Issue 1174

Australia

In her March 21 address to the National Press Club in Canberra, ACTU secretary Sally McManus successfully skewered the Malcolm Turnbull government for their woeful disregard for workers' rights.

She pointed out that “inequality in Australia has nearly doubled” since 1980. “Even the IMF...

Pacha Guzman, a leading activist with Venezuela’s largest peasant-based organisation, the Ezequiel Zamora National Campesino Front (FNCEZ), told a public meeting in Sydney on March 21 that despite serious challenges, Venezuela’s pro-poor "Bolivarian Revolution will win".

Guzman also...

The result of the Batman by-election on March 17, triggered by the resignation of Labor MP David Feeney over his citizenship status, shows Labor, with the right combination of candidate and policy, can hold off the Greens.

Labor’s Ged Kearney retained the seat, with 43% of the primary...

There were multiple demonstrations on the weekend of March 17–18 while a host of dictatorial leaders from the region were welcomed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to a Special Summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Thai Alliance for Human Rights (Australia...

A packed meeting in Bairnsdale in eastern Victoria on March 21 was horrified as the implications of a planned mineral sands mine in the area were revealed.

The Kalbar Resources mine has been in the planning stage for several years and is due to start next year. The site is at Glenaladale...

 

Residents of Fitzroy’s massive Atherton Gardens public housing estate rallied and then occupied the local office of the Housing Department on March 16.

The rally was organised by the Atherton Gardens Residents Association (AGRA) and was also attended by supporters of public...

The Victorian Socialists released this statement on the Batman byelection on March 18.

* * *

The Labor Party has managed to retain the seat of Batman, by offering a progressive and competent candidate in Ged Kearney, after years of imposing the right-wing powerbroker David Feeney...

Conflict has erupted on Melbourne’s waterfront after Qube Ports applied to terminate an enterprise agreement covering its Bulk & General operation. Members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) retaliated with a snap 48-hour strike over March 17–18 and declared bans on shifts greater than...

Recently released labour force data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics overwhelming shows that those successful in gaining fulltime employment are those who are already employed, rather than young people entering paid employment or those returning to work after an absence.

Over the...

Protesters gathered outside the Sydney studio where Channel Seven broadcasts its breakfast show Sunrise on March 16.

They were there to express their outrage at comments made by two panellists, neither of whom are Indigenous, on the show on March 13. They, and many on social...

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) have undertaken a series of actions against the Victorian Transport Association, which held its annual conference at Lorne’s Mantra Hotel on March 19 and 20.

The actions were taken in protest...

World

With general elections likely to be held in May, the left and democratic forces in Malaysia are discussing how to respond. Some are calling for a boycott around the #UndiRosak hashtag.

This reflects a growing belief that neither the authoritarian ruling National Front (Barisan Nasional)...

The Turkish army and its local Free Syrian Army (FSA) allies reportedly entered the city of Afrin in the early hours of March 18.

At first sight, this might seem an important victory for Turkey and its modern caliph Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But at closer inspection, and from a broader...

In the maiden meeting to form an “alliance of the left” held in late December, the leaders of 10 progressive and left-wing parties agreed to form an eight-member committee as part of seeking to form an alliance.

In a statement issued to the media after the meeting, the leaders presented a...

The Kurdish Red Crescent reported on February 27 that at least 348 civilians had died in the conflict begun by Turkey’s January 20 invasion of northern Syria’s small enclave of Afrin.

Turkey has acknowledged that many were killed as a result of the war, but it has denounced allegations it...

France is once again on the brink of an all-out industrial war — and its outcome could transform the country’s political landscape.

The showdown is over the plans that President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe have for the state-owned National Railway Company (SNCF),...

The government’s pension rise is a mere 2 a month — well below the 3% inflation rate. In response, the National Coordinating Committee for the Defence of Public Pensions called for demonstrations across the Spanish state on February 22 with the demand “No to 0.25%”.

In a...

Hunger strikes by detainees at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire — one of 13 detention centres in Britain — ended after a month on March 22. However, campaigners have vowed to continue protests.

Despite announcing the end of their hunger strike, detainees said the...

March 10, 2016, was a typical late winter day in Derry, the second-largest city in the six counties of Ireland still under British rule. Forty-eight-year-old Tony Taylor, a well-liked and respected community activist, was on a shopping outing with his wife and children to the Crescent Link...

An Israeli military court has approved a plea deal which will see Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi serve an eight-month prison sentence on top of a fine of nearly $1,500.

Ahed, who turned 17 in January, was charged with assaulting soldiers and incitement after a video recorded by her...

A report released by the Security Assistance Monitor, a program of the Center for International Policy that tracks and analyses US security assistance programs worldwide, has documented that more than US$80 billion worth of arms sales notifications were sent to Congress last year.

The...

March 19 marks 15 years since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the US people have no idea of the enormity of the calamity the invasion unleashed.

The US military has refused to keep a tally of Iraqi deaths. General Tommy Franks, the man in charge of the initial invasion, bluntly...

The man believed to have been behind a string of bombings that killed two people and injured five in Austin, Texas, died on March 21 after blowing himself up in his vehicle as law enforcement closed in.

The suspect has been identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, a 24-year-old white male....

In Brazil and around the world, many were shocked by the egregious act of cold-blooded murder that took place on March 14 — and that put on display the open wounds of the country’s 2017 institutional coup.

City councillor Marielle Franco was in a car on her way home from a political event...

Across the world, people have responded with outrage, sadness and grief to the assassination of Brazilian pro-poor activist Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Pedro Gomes in Rio de Janeiro on March 14.

Franco was a Rio city councillor from the Party of Socialism and Freedom (PSOL)...

The cowardly murder of socialist councillor Marielle Franco on March 14 has all the hallmarks of a political assassination.

The protests that swept across Brazil on the night of March 15 were mobilised at short notice in outrage at what protesters viewed a political act. They were not...

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has come out strongly against United States President Donald Trump’s latest sanctions on the South American country. These prohibit “all transactions” with “any digital currency” issued by the Venezuelan government — alluding to the cryptocurrency promoted by...

Last October, the hashtag #MeToo went viral around the world as women shared their experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

When South Korean prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun made a historic televised revelation in January of sexual harassment she had suffered in 2010 by a senior prosecutor,...

Fifty years ago, on March 16, 1968, US soldiers attacked the Vietnamese village of My Lai. Even though the soldiers met no resistance, they slaughtered more than 500 Vietnamese women, children and old men over the next four hours, in what became known as the My Lai massacre.

After the...

Prominent Brazilian human rights activist and counciller for the left-wing Party of Socialist and Liberation (PSOL) Marielle Franco was assassinated in Rio de Janeiro on March 14. The openly gay councilor was outspoken in defence of the poor and against racism.

TeleSUR English...

Analysis

I was one of the “pro-Palestinian hecklers” that faced off against Alan Dershowitz at the Darling Harbour Convention Centre on February 25.

I heckled because there was no freedom of speech in that United Israel Appeal (UIA) propaganda event. The issues of the stealing of Palestinian land...

Explaining his call to fast track visas for white South African farmers, the renowned humanitarian Peter Dutton, whose famed concern for those in need of asylum is matched only by his complete lack of potato-like features, explained: “They need help from a civilised nation like ours.”

I’m...

Sydney is in the grip of "tollway madness" and urgently needs a planning overhaul if it is to become a healthier city, the recent FitNSW forum for planning and health experts was told.

The NSW Coalition government's "incomprehensible" spending on building roads came under fire from City...

South Australians headed to the polls on March 17 to decide whether they would return the incumbent Labor Party to power after 16 years or hand government to Steve Marshall’s Liberals, with Nick Xenophon’s SA Best as a significant political force.

The results saw the Liberals win,...

The consequences of South Australia’s election result on March 17 will be felt far beyond the state’s borders.

It was barely minutes after the SA Liberals, led by Steven Marshall, were declared winners that the federal Coalition began crowing that this was good news for Prime Minister...

 

Anna Hush is a former Women’s Officer at Sydney University. She has worked with End Rape on Campus Australia, and with journalist and advocate Nina Funnell she co-authored The Red Zone Report, which was released last month. This is an abridged version...

The following is a slightly abridged speech given by Jessika Faithfull to a pro-choice protest on March 18 called by the University of Sydney Women’s Collective.

The protest outside St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney was called to counter the annual anti-abortion “Walk for Little Feet” rally....

I am almost four years old. I am on horseback with my mother as our family is being smuggled from northern Iraq across the border on a clear spring dawn. It is 1988 and the Iran-Iraq War is at its final, gruelling, violent end.

A cool breeze blows against us.

I stare up at the sky...

Culture

Black Panther
Written & directed by Ryan Coogler
starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan & Lupita Nyong'o
Based on the comic by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
In cinemas

Marvel's best movie is here, and it’s Black and proud.

It’s not worried...

A lot of praise and distinctions were heaped on Black Panther even before the movie was released: cultural phenomenon, broken box-office records, unlike any superhero film that came before.

That’s a lot of hype for any movie — but it’s hype that we need to pay attention to,...

Peter Dutton’s talking to the gun lobby,
Cos that’s the kind of thing he does.
After all, it’s just a harmless hobby,
Giving macho men a lovely buzz.

And now he’s desirous of importing
Some macho men from far away,
He has great experience in sorting
Who...