Issue 1195

Australia

Comedian and radio personality Wendy Harmer tweeted recently about a dinner experience she had: “Had my Liberal-voting friends over last night who are adamant the Govt. should nationalise the banks — same position as espoused by Green Left Weekly. Weren't best pleased when I pointed this out....

The WestConnex privatisation “involves arguably the biggest misuse of public funds for corporate gain in Australian history”, Sydney University transport analyst Chris Standen wrote on September 3.

Standen was commenting on the August 31 announcement by the New South Wales Coalition...

An indefinite strike by 1600 workers at Alcoa in Western Australia has entered its second month after a company offer was voted down by 80% of the workforce.

Alcoa’s proposed enterprise agreement would have weakened job security and, in some cases cut wages by up to 50%.

The strike...

New Prime Minister Scott Morrison unsurprisingly revealed on September 4 that he is considering deregistering the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU).

The reason he gave was not that the union had committed any industrial “crime”. Instead it was a Father’s Day...

Sources have informed Green Left Weekly that the new CEO of Barwon Health in Victoria is on the warpath and the target appears to be patient services.

Barwon Health incorporates University Hospital Geelong, Geelong’s only public hospital and the only tertiary-level hospital...

The toxic chemical blaze which started in a West Footscray factory, in Melbourne's west, on August 30, and took firefighters 17 hours to bring under control, has provoked such widespread anger that the state government has been forced to intervene.

The thick black clouds of smoke which...

Newcastle youth Ceder locked on to the side of a coal train in Newcastle, halting all supply heading into the world's largest coal port on September 7. Ceder was later cut loose and taken into police custody.

This was the third protest action this week against Australia’s coal industry...

Up to 5000 unionists marched through Sydney’s CBD on September 6 to demand the right to strike and the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

The rally was organised by the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU), with members of...

Stop Adani activists are celebrating the Queensland Labor government’s decision to prosecute the Adani-owned Abbot Point Bulkcoal for pollution violations at the time of Cyclone Debbie last year.

Announced on September 5, the move came just two days before the deadline for prosecution...

A study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on labour relations in 26 developed economies, including Australia, has confirmed that workers’ real wages have fallen because labour market deregulation has “gone too far”.

The IMF researchers noted the “statistically significant,...

Former US intelligence analyst turned whistle-blower and activist Chelsea Manning will speak via satellite from Auckland to audiences in Melbourne and Brisbane, following the Australian government's refusal to issue her with a visa on character grounds.

Manning, a US soldier stationed in...

Sue Bolton, a socialist councillor in Melbourne, has accused Victorian authorities of deliberately minimising the threat of far-right figures.

The ABC revealed on September 3 that Phillip Galea, a former member of the far-right United Patriots Front and the True Blue Crew, is facing a...

Newcastle Police arrested a young man and woman for filming a peaceful protest on September 3, along with Sarah Barron, a Newcastle local, who had blocked all coal trains heading across Sandgate bridge for three hours. All three were taken into custody by around a dozen police, with the two who...

Twelve people have died in Australian offshore detention centres in the past five years as a result of murder, suicide and medical neglect, according to Angelica Panopoulos from the Refugee Action Collective (Victoria).

There have also been numerous cases of beatings, rapes and self-harm...

World

About 4000 Tamils rallied in Mullaitheevu on the northeast coast of the island of Sri Lanka on August 28, Tamilnet reported.

They demanded the return of land previously confiscated from its Tamil owners and given to settlers from Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese ethnic majority, as well as the...

Representatives of 74 communes — institutions of popular power elected from grassroots communal councils — from across Venezuela gathered in Lara state late last month to participate in the inaugural National Assembly of Communes, writes Paul Dobson.

The meeting...

Caracas authorities denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis of Venezuelan migration in the region on August 29, blasting the reaction from neighbouring Latin American governments as “hypocritical” and “xenophobic”.

Acknowledging the heavy rise of Venezuelan immigrants,...

Back in 1999, Tian Chua was one of the leaders of the Reformasi movement in Malaysia who was arrested and beaten up after mass protests against then National Front government of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

But today he is vice-president of the Peoples Justice Party (PKR), the largest party in...

People are “justifiably angry” that Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) decided to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, Jewish Socialists’ Group’s Julia Bard said after the NEC voted to do so on September 4.

Jewish Socialists’...

After decades of successfully avoiding responsibility for the consequences of its glyphosate herbicide, Monsanto has been ordered to pay US$39 million to cancer sufferer Dewayne Johnson by a San Francisco court, writes Alan Broughton.

Monsanto was also fined $250...

The British Labour Party’s national executive council (NEC) voted on September 4 to adopt the controversial the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. Supporters of Palestinian liberation, including Jewish groups, have criticised the definition.

...

Prisoners in many states in the US began a coordinated national strike on August 21, the anniversary of the 1971 killing of Black Panther member and prison activist George Jackson by guards in an escape attempt at San Quentin prison in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the context a mass...

On July 6, Haiti exploded. By the tens of thousands, Haitians poured into the streets of Port-au-Prince to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. Robert Roth looks at the roots of the rising that ousted the prime minister and forced a government back down....

Analysis

The five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which presented its findings last year, opened up a greater understanding of the problems in religious and community institutions’ dealings with children.

However, the institution of the family was not...

Events over the last few weeks have revealed just how politicised Australia’s immigration policy has become. 

In two separate incidents, Border Force detained two au pairs on the grounds they intended to violate the terms of their tourist visas and work illegally in Australia. 

Far...

A 2014 military agreement means Australia is host to the United States military, from where it can launch hostilities against our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific-South East Asia region.

The Force Posture Agreement allows up to 2500 US Marines to be stationed in Darwin for six months each...

“Any leader of any country who believes that there is no climate change, I think he ought to be taken to mental confinement. He is utterly stupid”, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said on August 31.

These were off-the-cuff remarks as Tuilaepa's speech to the Lowy...

The right is increasingly using the issue of free speech to attack those who oppose racism and bigotry.

The ongoing debate over section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and the hate speech directed at the LGBTI community during the marriage equality postal survey have fuelled...

Culture

Secularia
Eliza Gilkyson
Red House Records
2018

In these whirling times of burning forests, unspeakable human rights violations and stupid White House tweets, it can seem like our minds are being sucked down a numbing vortex,...

Social Reproduction Theory
Edited by Tithi Bhattacharya
Pluto Press $45

The rise of #MeToo, the anti-rape culture movement in India, the global women’s strike and the pro-choice movements that have rocked Ireland and Argentina reveal a new generation...