Issue 1175

Australia

Attending my first commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, held at Waverley Cemetery on April 1, I was struck by the solemnity of the occasion.

The hushed tones of those in attendance denoted a reverence for the event that time and distance has not dimmed. Even the children...

Two weeks after the Australian cricket team demonstrated the true level of integrity in Australian sport, the Commonwealth Games — dubbed the Stolenwealth Games — opened on the Gold Coast on April 4.

About 100 protesters highlighted Australia’s colonial history and the ongoing genocide of...

The Coalition opposition has blocked legislation introduced by the Victorian Labor government to restructure Victoria's fire services.

The legislation aims at changing the current situation where cities such as Geelong and Ballarat, and many Melbourne suburbs are covered by the Country...

Thousands of early childhood educators around Australia walked off the job for the third time in 12 months on March 27, as part of the ongoing Big Steps campaign for equal and professional pay.

The walk-off came about because of the federal government’s failure to meet the February 1...

“What is happening in Venezuela is a revolution, not a dictatorship,” Pacha Catalina Guzman, an activist with Venezuela’s largest peasant-based organisation, the Ezequiel Zamora National Campesino Front (FNCEZ) and the Bolivar and Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ), told a public meeting of...

Below is the text of the speech by Tamil refugee and member of the Tamil Refugee Council Lavanya Thavaraja to the Melbourne Palm Sunday refugee rally on March 25.

* * *

I am really happy to see so many people here in support of refugees. This rally is very...

Members of the Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance (WACA) blockaded the Home Affairs Department building and the Wilson Security Car Park in Canberra on March 28.

They were protesting the treatment of refugees held in indefinite detention and at risk of being deported to...

Seven protesters who superglued their hands to a balustrade in the public gallery of Parliament House were found not guilty on March 29 of intentionally damaging Commonwealth property.

The seven were part of a Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance (WACA) campaign that on...

 

More than 6000 early childhood educators walked off the job on March 27 for the third time in 12 months to demand equal pay. In addition, more than 30,000 parents made other arrangements for their children, or kept them at home, to stand in solidarity with childcare workers.

The...

“If we want to look after people and the land as we repower New South Wales [with renewable energy] we have to fight for it”, George Woods from Lock the Gate told a large rally of First Nations people, farmers and city-dwellers who took over Martin Place near NSW Parliament on March 24.

...

Thousands of people rallied across Australia for refugee rights at the annual Palm Sunday rallies on March 25. Melbourne had its largest rally in years as people called on the government to close down the detention centres, bring them here and let them stay. Walid Zazai, one of the men on Manus...

United Voice members working at the XXXX brewery in Brisbane stopped work for one hour, supported by other unionists and community members, on March 26.

The union action is the beginning of an ongoing campaign against job losses in recent years amounting to almost one-third of the...

World

For the past 26 years, Ethiopia has been ruled by an authoritarian government. The party in government is the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) — a very criminal group.

The TPLF represents the interests of just one of the tribes in Ethiopia, the Tigrayan people. The control the...

I live next door to the world’s largest gun manufacturer. Here in Mexico, the murder rates are close to civil war levels.

They broke records last year, with 41,217 homicides and 25,339 first degree murders over the course of the year. And those are the official figures — which, if...

Campaigning for a woman right’s to choose in Ireland has stepped up since the announcement of the date and wording of a referendum on changing the constitution to allow abortion.

The referendum, to be held on May 25, will ask voters whether to repeal the section of the Irish constitution...

An estimated 500,000 people, largely youth, demonstrated in Washington, DC on March 24 against the continued mass shootings at schools across the country.  Hundreds of thousands more mobilised in about 800 cities and towns.

The spark that lit the pent-up tinder of anger against school...

Bhaskar Sunkara is editor of the US-based socialist magazine Jacobin and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, which has experienced rapid growth over the past year.

Sunkara visited Australia as a featured speaker at the annual Marxism...

Mireille Knoll was brutally murdered in her Paris apartment on March 23. She was 85 years old with a disability and a Holocaust survivor. Police suspect anti-Semitism may have motivated the attack upon her; all prompting an emotional outpouring.

A mass silent procession known as a “White...

On March 30, Israeli troops killed 18 Palestinians and wounded more than 1400 others — 758 of whom were injured due to live fire. Others were wounded from rubber bullets and tear gas. This behaviour was condemned by Amnesty International and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. ...

Israel’s massacre of peaceful protesters in Gaza on March 30, in which 18 people died and almost 1500 were injured, has spread outrage across the world.

Anger has been further fuelled by Israeli statements after the attack, in which footage showed unarmed protesters being shot in the back...

The Democratic Autonomous Administration of Afrin Canton in Syria’s north, which is resisting Turkey’s occupation, has warned all Syrians that Turkey’s murderous attack aims at ethnic cleansing.

It released a statement on April 4, abridged below, in regards to the Turkish state’s goals in...

The US-based Committees in Solidarity with the Peoples of El Salvador (CISPES) sent international observers to El Salvador’s March 4 legislative and municipal elections. Drawing on their experiences and meetings with social movement organisations, the CISPES delegation published the following...

A Guatemalan military officer, Efrain Rios Montt headed a military dictatorship from 1982-83 that was one of the most violent and brutal Latin America had ever seen.

His “hard-line” approach to the guerrilla movements and “communist activity” in Guatemala involved the disappearance,...

On the 50th anniversary of the huge May-June 1968 strive wave that brought France to the brink of revolution, workers are still fighting for their rights. This was seen clearly with the rail strikes that crippled France on April 3.

Tens of thousands of public sector workers and students,...

[Updated on April 6.]

“General strike! General strike! General strike!” In protests across Catalonia after the March 23 jailing of five MPs and the March 25 detention in Germany of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, these words rang out loud and appeared on placards and banners...

Analysis

The federal and Victorian governments announced on March 27 a two-year extension of the controversial Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) for East Gippsland, the North East and the Central Highlands. They will be reassessed at the end of the two-year period.

RFAs are 20-year deals between...

You could be forgiven for thinking that the Victorian state government’s March 29 announcement to arm its police with semi-automatic, military-grade weapons was an early April Fool’s joke.

After all, the announcement came in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting in the United States...

The New South Wales government plans to ban people with a history of drug offences from living in social housing in parts of inner-city Sydney.

The desire to provide an environment that helps people who are trying to minimise their drug use and stay away from drug markets is...

The recent decision by China to stop accepting low value and contaminated materials for recycling has caused the world price for them to crash. It threatens a crisis for local governments across Australia, which may be forced to send to landfill the stuff that people have sorted and put in their...

Politics in Australia, so dominated by the major parties’ conservatism, it is turning people off participating in the political process a survey by the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University has found. However, it also shows more people are moving...

For nine months I have volunteered at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney.

For the past few months, an African woman has also been visiting the centre. She is Somalian and was once in detention in Villawood. Before that she was on Christmas Island, and before that on...

Culture

Poisoning Our Children: The Parent’s Guide to the Myths of Safe Pesticides
By Andre Leu
Acres USA, 2018
205pp

Andre Leu is an organic tropical fruit grower at Daintree in North Queensland. He is the former president of the International Federation of Organic...

The tropical Andes of Ecuador are at the top of the world list of biodiversity hotspots in terms of vertebrate species, endemic vertebrates and endemic plants. Ecuador contains more diversity than the entire United States.

In the past year, Ecuador’s government has quietly granted mining...

Good news (for a change)

Research commissioned by Environment Victoria shows that 12 months after the highly polluting Hazelwood power station closed, Victoria has a reliable electricity system and less climate pollution.

Environment Victoria spokesperson Nicholas Aberle said: “This analysis shows our electricity...

About 30 National Union of Workers’ members at Yakult’s Dandenong South probiotic drink factory won a wage rise of 3% and reinstatement of RDOs on March 28 after being on strike for 10 days.

The workers walked off the job on March 19 and maintained a 24-hour picket line at the site while...