Issue 1197

Australia

Dozens of climate activists sprinted across mountains of coal, swarmed a massive coal loader, locked on to critical parts of the machine and shut down the largest coal terminal in the world, in Newcastle on September 15.

Speaking to Green Left Weekly while she was locked on...

About 200 nurses and midwives rallied outside NSW Parliament House on September 18 to demand formal nurse-to-patient ratios in all hospitals.

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) called on the state Coalition government to introduce mandated, shift-by-shift, nurse-to-patient...

The federal Coalition government is so keen to assist Adani with its mega coalmine project, it is breaking its own laws to do it.

On September 18, the government decided Adani did not need to undergo a key assessment to extract billions of litres of water from the Suttor River in central...

A parliamentary vote to remove abortion from Queensland’s Criminal Code and treat it as a health issue could happen on October 16.

A parliamentary committee considering the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 finished its hearings on September 17and is scheduled to hand down its...

The second Working Women Get Organised conference will be held in Geelong on October 13, following a successful inaugural event last year.

The conference is organised by the Geelong Women Unionists Network (GWUN) and will take place at Geelong Trades Hall.

GWUN co-convener Jackie...

Retired unionists and community members gathered in Sydney’s west on September 19 to demand the federal Coalition government stop the creeping privatisation of Centrelink and reverse cuts and job losses in the national social security agency.

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)...

The Socialist Alliance will contest the NSW state election, to be held in March next year.

The Alliance’s ticket for the Legislative Council is made up of 18 activists from across the state. It has also preselected Susan Price to stand in the Legislative Assembly seat of Parramatta.

...

The Victorian Socialists released this statement on September 17.

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The federal Coalition government’s rush to call an inquiry into aged care says everything we need to know about the decades-long war against social institutions in this country.

The inquiry was...

More than 70 people packed Geelong Trades Hall (GTH) on September 13 to launch the Victorian Socialists campaign for the Western Victoria Region Legislative Council electorate.

Former GTH secretary Tim Gooden heads the Victorian Socialists’ ticket for the November state election, with...

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has sought to end a long-running dispute between Health Workers Union (HWU) members and Dorevitch Pathology, by issuing a draft determination in which workers’ wages are set to rise by up to 20% and allowances by up to 30%.

The September 13 determination...

The federal Attorney General’s case against a defendant dubbed “Witness K” began in the ACT Magistrates Court on September 12. Media reports say Witness K is a serving Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) officer. Their lawyer Bernard Collaery is a former ACT Chief Minister.

The...

We don’t need to pray for rain, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested, we need to take serious climate action now, was the blunt message farmers delivered to federal parliament on September 10. 

The farmers said the drought gripping NSW and Queensland had to be a wake-up call for...

An indefinite strike by 1600 Alcoa workers in Western Australia that began on August 8 has entered a new stage with the start of a Fair Work Commission (FWC) hearing in which the company is seeking to terminate the existing enterprise agreement.

If the company's move is successful,...

World

The USA has many friends and many foes, as does the Russian Federation. The perceptions about these nuclear armed powers is mainly determined by their leaders. President Trump, supposedly the leader of the 'free world" and President Putin, the autocratic former KGB operative strong man who rules...

Tory-supporting media have been portraying Britain’s socialist Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as a Soviet fellow-traveller. Meanwhile, Hilary Wainwright notes, Labour’s shadow chancellor and close Corbyn ally sets out a vision that breaks with the old bureaucratic...

Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto accused United Nations officials on September 19 of “spreading lies” with their criticism of Budapest’s anti-migration policies.

The comments came just days after new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and UN rights experts...

Canada’s historic vote in June to legalise cannabis is yet another nail in the coffin of the so-called War on Drugs, conceived in the 1970s by then US-president Richard Nixon, writes Natalie Sharples.

“So called” because it was deliberately conceived to obscure...

As the plight of child asylum seekers separated from their parents fades from the news, hundreds of children remain incarcerated and separated from their families, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

Of these, about 400 are children of parents who have been...

Climate change catastrophe has confronted hundreds of thousands of people of the eastern seaboard of the United States and on the Philippines island of Luzon as Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall simultaneously.

Mangkhut also threatens Hong Kong, South China and...

Mexico’s incoming president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), wants to work with US president Trump to reduce migration and tighten borders. But, Tamara Pearson writes from Puebla, his approach doesn’t address key humanitarian issues.

When it comes to...

Large rallies were held in towns throughout Idlib on September 14 in response to the threat by the Assad regime to invade the province in Syria’s north-west.

Idlib is currently controlled by a mixture of rebel groups. The strongest is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an extremely reactionary...

As the plight of child asylum seekers separated from their parents fades from the news, hundreds of children remain incarcerated and separated from their families. Of these, about 400 are children of parents who have been deported. There is little chance these families can be reunited soon, and...

Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto accused United Nations officials on September 19 of “spreading lies” with their criticism of Budapest’s anti-migration policies.

The comments came just days after new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and UN rights experts...

Activists from the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) delivered a 10-metre-long banner covered with the signatures of 1300 Timorese to the Australian embassy in Dili on September 16.

The signatures were collected in protest at the Australian government's persecution...

Analysis

Over the past 27 years, Green Left Weekly has given voice to activists in the Asia-Pacific region fighting for justice and freedom and built up strong bonds of internationalist solidarity with the movements and parties they are part of.

We believe it is important that GLW...

There’s another blue in the Liberal Party — and this time it is about quotas and the bullying culture towards women.

Federal MP Ann Sudmalis’ decision on September 17 to out NSW Liberal Gareth Ward for his alleged pattern of “narcissistic revenge” towards her has added fuel to the fire...

How much bigger has Australia’s economy become since 1994? The answer, per head of population, seems to be: close to 50%. That’s not in current dollars, but adjusted for inflation.

So can “Australia” (read: the big end of town) afford to raise the rate of Newstart payments — currently at...

The NSW government looks to be on the skids after a 30% swing against the Liberals in the September 8 byelection in the rural seat of Wagga Wagga. Independent Joe McGirr won the seat which had been a Liberal stronghold for 61 years.

The Nationals’ lost its once safe seat of Orange...

In case you didn't have enough, here's 13 reasons for throwing out the NSW Coalition in the state elections next March.

1. The privatisation of public assets. The sale of the NSW power industry has led to higher power prices while renewable energy has been staved of funds.

...

The announcement by the Australian Labor Party’s parliamentary caucus that it will vote up the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) has created a backlash, with the secretary of Hunter Workers (formerly the Newcastle Trades Hall Council) Daniel Wallace resigning from the party.

Wallace...

This weekend our community experienced more heart-breaking loss — a 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman died after collapsing at the Defqon.1 music festival in Penrith on September 15. A further 13 festival patrons were hospitalised.

Defqon billed itself as a “zero tolerance” festival...

Culture

One Punch Wonder
Directed by Amanda Crewes
Performed by the Actors Hub Perth
Playing at the Melbourne Fringe Festival

"One punch. That's all it took!" proclaims one of the young men in the four-actor play, combined with modern dance, performance...

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at four new books of interest for ecosocialists. Inclusion does not imply endorsement or agreement with eveything the book says.

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Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World...

One Last Spin: The Power & Peril of the Pokies
Drew Rooke
Scribe, 2018, 325 pages

Ever wondered if it possible to win against the pokies? Why not ask someone who should know, like a poker machine technician.

“I make these machines in order...

Dozens of DJs and music producers have joined an international call to support the cultural boycott of Israel.

“As long as the Israeli government continues its brutal and sustained oppression of the Palestinian people, we respect their call for a boycott of Israel as a means of peaceful...