Issue 1181

Australia

Seventy refugee supporters held a birthday party for a young girl outside the State Library on May 12. They ate birthday cake and sang "happy birthday".

But three-year-old Kopika was unable to attend. She was kept behind razor wire in the Broadmeadows detention centre, along with her...

The dishonorable Minister for Home Affairs, Immigration and Border Protection was invited to speak to the right wing “think tank” Gerard Henderson’s Sydney Institute on May 16. A group of determined refugee activists turned up to greet Dutton when he arrived.

Activists spoke and chanted...

Information provided by the NSW Water Office indicates that if the Bylong coalmine in the Upper Hunter region proceeds, there is a real danger of the Bylong River and local creeks drying up.

The Bylong coalmine, a project of South Korean government-owned company Kepco which supplies coal...

The owner of a Queensland tour company that underpaid its workers has been jailed by the Federal Court in a contempt of court case brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO). It was the first time a boss had been jailed as a result of action by the FWO.

Trek North Tours owner Leigh...

Two–and–a–half years after the suicide of Chinchilla farmer and Lock the Gate activist George Bender, who had led a decade long campaign against fracking, on May 11 Linc Energy was fined a record $4.5 million for causing serious environmental harm at its underground coal gasification plant on...

Divisions in the Northern Territory Labor Party were on show on May 12 as the party’s annual conference voted to ban fracking across the territory, weeks after Chief Minister Michael Gunner lifted a moratorium on the practice. The vote was a vindication for the more than 200 protesters who...

Blackmail charges brought against Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) leaders John Setka and Shaun Reardon were dropped by Victorian prosecutors on May 16 in a major embarrassment for the federal government’s trade union royal commission, police and prosecutors....

The formation of Victorian Socialists is continuing to generate excitement among progressives in Victoria, with about 600 people attending the election campaign launch in Collingwood on May 12.

Organisers anticipated about 300 people would attend, but the venue was soon filled to capacity...

World

In just over 24 hours on May 14 and 15, the single greatest number of deaths and injuries of Gazans at the hands of the Israeli military since the start of the Great March of Return protests on March 30 occurred. Israel’s latest crimes must be a catalyst to strengthen the struggle for...

The world saw two starkly opposed moral cultures on May 14.

On one side on May 14 were unarmed Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip calling for the right of Palestinians to return to the homes and lands they were driven out of by the creation of Israel 70 years ago. Palestinians call...

Large swathes of Pakistan are in the stranglehold of a caricatured feudalism.

Feudal relations in Pakistan are increasingly penetrated by finance capital as it imposes itself on social relations, politics and the economy. This has made the lives of millions miserable, deepening and...

Voices from across South America have denounced Israel’s massacre of more than 50 Palestinians on May 14 and its ongoing repression of protesters participating in the Great March of Return that began in Gaza on March 30.

They have also condemned the United States’ decision to move its...

For those who have been following Brazil closely in recent years, the case against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is clear-cut. And no, it’s not about tackling corruption, it’s about subverting Brazilian democracy for the second time in two years.

A travesty of justice...

The recent uplifting news that 11 of the 21 political prisoners in Honduras would be released on bail and allowed to contest their charges in freedom has brought joy to their comrades but also brought into sharp focus the situation of those who remain locked up on false charges.

Among the...

Thousands of Argentine’s were on the streets on May 15 protesting President Mauricio Macri’s latest macroeconomic policy — a major loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Demonstrators marched through the capital, Buenos Aires, yelling “No to the...

An international group of intellectuals and activists are demanding media corporations report on the May 20 Venezuelan elections in a more balanced and honest way, instead of reproducing the single narrative that is being spread by most media outlets.

“We oppose the media narrative that...

The Catalan parliament finally voted in a new president on May 14, 199 days after the pro-independence bloc held on to its majority at the December 21 elections imposed by the Spanish government.

Quim Torra, MP for Together For Catalonia (JxCat), headed by exiled outgoing president Carles...

As cases of grave sexual violence against women continue to make headlines in India, another grim story has surfaced. A recently published study found that sex discrimination in the South Asian country kills more than 200,000 girls under the year of five-years-old annually.

The study by...

Malaysia’s May 9 general elections caused a shock upset, with the Barisan Nasional (BN) losing control of the government for the first time since independence in 1957. This was a historic win for the opposition against the corrupt, authoritarian ruling party.

However, the win came with...

Analysis

The Australian Council of Trade Unions' new Change the Rules campaign is well underway.

In conjunction with a professional advertising and social media strategy, the campaign was launched on April 7, building up to the 12 Days of Action in early May around the May Day rallies. Thousands...

Captain Cook has loomed large in the federal government’s 2018 budget. The government has allocated $48.7 million over four years to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Cook’s voyage to the South Pacific in 1770. The funding has been widely debated on social media as another fray in Australia’s...

In delivering his third federal budget speech on May 8, federal Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed his government would guarantee the essential services Australians rely on. Presumably this included the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

However, Morrison only mentioned the NDIS...

The likelihood of Australia meeting its obligations under the 2015 Paris Climate agreement to cut emissions by 26–28% by 2030 (compared with 2005 levels) is becoming a vain hope if budget provisions are any indication.

In the past three years, carbon emissions have risen, but spending on...

While federal Treasurer Scott Morrison was spruiking low and middle income families as the “winners” in the federal budget, with tax cuts that meant they could buy "a new washing machine" or "a new set of tyres", unnoticed among the biggest “losers” was the Australian Securities and Investment...

The Victorian Labor government’s final budget before the November state election is strong on spending — for health, education and public transport, but unfortunately also for toll roads and law and order.

One of the highlights of the budget’s investment in education was the announcement...

More than 600 people rallied in Sydney on May 14 to protest against Black deaths in custody after footage showing a Western Australian senior sergeant deliberately driving over 18-year-old Aboriginal man William Farmer was released. The police officer who assaulted Farmer has been stood down,...

It is bad enough that Australia is not on track to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26–28% on 2005 levels by 2030, as it is notionally committed to doing, but according to the government's own figures, it is only set to reduce them by 5%. What makes it worse is that even the 26–28% target is...

Multinational gas corporations are expected to sell $50 billion worth of Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) overseas every year, but it will be at least 10 years before the national treasury receives any rise in tax revenue. Even then, many projects will never pay any tax to the government...

Labor Opposition leader Bill Shorten delivered his budget reply speech on May 10, promising to deliver a “bigger, better and fairer tax cut for 10 million working Australians”.

Shorten also confirmed that Labor will oppose the Coalition government’s proposed corporate tax cuts, which is a...

Culture

The People's Constitutional Proposals for Malaya: 70th Anniversary Edition
Featuring essay by Syed Hussein Ali, Affrin Omar, Jeyakumar Devarj & Fahmi Reza
Strategic Information & Research Development Centre

The former British colony of Malaya...

The season of zonked flies
Trapped behind windowpanes
They fall into coffee cups
Loll in left over gravy on dinner plates
A last indulgence on dessert platters
Rolling over, legs up
Not dead yet but on the way
Gone brutally bonkers
No wriggling out...

The recently re-published classic history of radical politics in Queensland, The Red North: The Popular Front in North Queensland, was launched at a series of forums in Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns over the past month.

First published in 1981, The Red North by...

At the same time as the Israeli Defense Force massacred more than 50 Gazans protesting against the US shifting its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, Matte Gallo writes that Italians are joining protests against the decision of the major cycling race Giro d’Italia to start the...