Issue 1196

Australia

An estimated 7000 childcare workers took industrial action by walking off the job around Australia on September 5 to demand equal pay.

This is the fourth such walk-out in the past 18 months and it was by far the largest with more than 350 centres closing.

United Voice, the union...

On September 13, Micah Weekes, once a coal miner and now an anti-coal activist stopped a coal train heading into the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle.

A former scaffolder from the Central Coast, Weekes worked in the coal industry for nearly 10 years. He said he was taking action...

“Kick coal out of politics” was the key message protesters sent to the new Prime Minister from Cronulla Park on September 8.

The action in the PM's electorate involved some 500 people and was part of the global #Rise for Climate. It was one of 40 protest actions organised in all capital...

Fifty refugee supporters held a vigil on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, to commemorate the suicides of three refugees in the space of two weeks.

The three refugees were: Vasantha, a Tamil whose claim for protection had been rejected; Saruuan, an Iraqi refugee held in Yongah...

A snap protest was organised by the Committee in Solidarity with Peoples Struggles in Iran on September 12 in response to the execution of three Kurdish political prisoners in Iran: Ramin Hussein Panahi, Loghman Moradi and Zanier Morandi.

The action also condemned the subsequent Iranian...

Protesters took to the streets of Sydney on September 12 against Australia’s prosecution of Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery for allegedly whistleblowing on Australia’s bugging of Timor-Leste government offices.

The two are being prosecuted by the federal government for allegedly...

“Crystalline silica is the new asbestos, but Australians are simply not aware of the dangers involved in working with such a common substance as compressed stone,” Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) secretary Luke Hilikari said at the release of the new silica dust standard in late August....

Banned from entering Australia by the federal government, former United States intelligence analyst turned whistleblower Chelsea Manning instead delivered her message of hope to audiences in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane via video link.

The Australian immigration department denied...

Environment consultancy and advocacy group Coast and Country has released damning evidence that suggests Adani acted illegally by undertaking pre-emptive work at its proposed mine site in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. 

The allegations come less than a week after the Queensland government...

World

In recent days, Malaysia attained international notoriety for caning two women after their being convicted in a religious court of attempting to have sex in a car.

In striking contrast, on September 6, the Indian Supreme Court held that section 377 of their penal code, which criminalised...

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), several other trade unions and the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) have slammed as “humiliating” and “beggarly” the new Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) federal government’s announcement that it would increase the country's minimum wage by just RM50 (...

More than 1 million people marched in Barcelona on September 11 in support of Catalonia’s struggle for independence from the Spanish state. The day is marked each year as Catalonia’s national day, commemorating Barcelona's capture by Bourbon forces in 1714 during the War of Spanish Succession....

Four months after the new Italian government was installed, the reactionary nature of the coalition between the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right Lega (League) emerges more clearly each day, writes Daniele Fulvi.

Despite the fact that the League...

Venezuela’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza has reiterated his condemnation of the United States for seeking an intervention and supporting military conspiracies.

His September 9 comments followed a report that members of the US government have been meeting with Venezuelan military...

There is a growing body of pro-establishment statements in the United States opposing the possibility of US military intervention in Venezuela, writes Steve Ellner.

The latest expression of this position is a New York Times editorial titled “Stay Out of...

The US Central Intelligence Agency’s drone program in Africa is expanding, the New York Times said on September 10.

Just south of the Libyan border, a covert military base in Dirkou, Niger has been deploying fleets of drones on surveillance missions for several months, a Defense...

Bolivian President Evo Morales said “the US is the real threat to humankind” on September 7 in response to US Senator Marco Rubio's talk of using the US Armed Forces against the Venezuelan government. Rubio had said Venezuela “has become a threat for the region and even for the United States”....

As Yemeni journalists reported that at least 15 civilians were killed in Saudi airstrikes in the port city of Hodeidah on September 12, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially certified that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), whose three-year assault on the country has been...

Hundreds of thousands of people joined protests around the world on September 8 calling on governments to take serious action on climate change. 

People are already feeling the effects of climate change, from the Pacific Islands that are rapidly sinking to the devastating floods in the...

The Assad regime and its allies have been building up their forces around the rebel-held Idlib province, in Syria’s north-west, in preparation for a major offensive. Some bombing raids have already been carried out in the south and west of the province.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic...

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), several other trade unions and the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) have slammed as “humiliating” and “beggarly” the new Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) federal government's announcement that it would increase the country's minimum wage by just RM50 (...

Activists from the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) are mobilising public support in Timor-Leste for former Australian spy "Witness K" and his lawyer Bernard Collaery, whose trial began in Canberra on September 12.

The two are being prosecuted by the federal...

Analysis

Talk has once again resurfaced about extending police powers and militarising police forces after a violent brawl outside a pub in Collingwood, Victoria, earlier this month. But many are asking just how far governments are willing to go in sacrificing freedoms for an ill-conceived notion of...

The federal Coalition government has dropped further in the polls following the knifing of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Nevertheless, both new Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the hard right Peter Dutton/Tony Abbott faction in the Liberal Party seem determined to take politics...

While conservative governments are constantly making calls to criminalise trade union activities, governments should instead be focusing on the real crime wave occurring in our community right now.

Across industries, employers are regularly stealing from their employees — and the rate of...

Sometimes the most powerful protests are those made in silence by brave individuals deciding to take a stand.

Nine-year-old Year 4 student Harper Nielsen has become a household name after reactionary politicians and commentators became hysterical on discovering she had decided not to...

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi made an impassioned plea for the big powers in the region to stop bullying small Pacific Island nations just days before the 49th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) was held in Nauru over September 3-6.

Tuilaepa used an address to the Lowy...

South Australia’s Liberal government gave final approval for Leigh Creek Energy to begin a three-month trial of an underground coal gasification (UCG) process on September 3. The government had previously granted a crucial environmental permit for a new UCG installation on the otherwise...

Culture

With a bold call for protests against Israel’s crimes of apartheid, US-based pop band Of Montreal has dropped out of Israel’s Meteor Festival on September 4, just days before it was set to begin.

This follows the cancellation by headliner Lana Del Rey, who nixed her performance on August...

Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth
By Charles Massy
University of Queensland Press, 2017
592, paperback

In Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth, Monaro farmer Charles Massy has written an...

2028
By Ken Saunders
Allen & Unwin, 2018
$29.99

This satirical novel is set in Australia’s near future and revolves around an accident-prone Liberal Prime Minister running a hopeless election campaign.  

The setting is near enough to...

The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
Daniel Ellsberg
Bloomsbury, 2017
420 pages

After the controversy of US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning being refused a visa on “character” grounds, Phil Shannon ...

Australian artists are joining the more than 140 international artists in the call for a boycott of Eurovision 2019 if it goes ahead in Israel next May, says BDS Australia.

Inspired by the conscientious artists who refused to perform in apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, Palestinian...

In a world of Donald Trump, climate change and the threat of World War III, we need a laugh and quick — before it is too late.

So Green Left Weekly has put together what should be an electrifyingly funny evening in Sydney on September 22. It even features a couple of well-known,...

BlacKkKlansman
Directed by Spike Lee
Starring John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier & Topher Grace.
2018, in cinemas now

BlacKkKlansman is now one of my all time favourite movies. As a film it works masterfully. There is...

For the final chapter in his book, Real Talk: Aboriginal Rappers Talk About Their Music And Country, Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward drives two hours south of Sydney to talk to Dobby. To find out why it's the final chapter, read on...