Issue 1198

Australia

Three hundred Brazilians and their supporters took part in a solidarity action near Sydney's Opera House on September 30 to protest against Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's far-right frontrunner in the October 7 presidential elections. 

It came a day after huge protests across the South American...

More than 100 people rallied on Dharawal land, in Campbelltown, to mark John Pat Memorial Day on September 29. 

Pat, a 16-year-old Aboriginal boy, was killed on September 28, 1983, after a fight erupted between a drunken off-duty police officer and local Aboriginal people in Roebourne,...

Refugee advocates are campaigning to stop the deportation of Huyen Tran, a Vietnamese woman who fled her home country by boat due to religious persecution in 2011.

While a hearing on Huyen’s fate took place in Melbourne’s Federal Court on October 1, Refugee Action Collective’s Lucy Honan...

Voters in two key Queensland seats will have the chance to vote for grassroots socialist candidates at the next federal election.

Medical practitioner Kamala Emanuel and community activist Mike Crook have been endorsed as the Socialist Alliance candidates for Brisbane and Lilley,...

Workers at Esso’s Longford gas plant in Victoria have been picketing for more than 470 days after the company sacked 230 workers and demanded they reapply for their jobs under a new agreement that would slash pay and conditions.

The dispute is one of the longest industrial stop work...

About 200 general and academic staff rallied at the University of Sydney on October 3 against management plans to cut jobs and services in the professional support staff area.

Management is proposing to radically restructure professional staff teams that provide important services to the...

About 100 people attended an election forum on transport in the Moreland local council area with some candidates on September 27. The Victorian election is on November 24.

Cindy O’Connor, Labor’s candidate for Brunswick, talked up the government’s record, saying the metro rail tunnel,...

Workers from five different Alcoa sites throughout Western Australia voted at a mass meeting in Pinjarra on September 28 to end their seven-week strike. The vote occurred after the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), which covers the 1600 Alcoa workers, secured an agreement guaranteeing job...

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) Western Australia branch has tightened the screws on the Australian Labor Party over its betrayal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) agreement.

The agreement is a free trade deal involving 11 Pacific Rim countries including Australia. It has been...

More than 1700 delegates from 40 unions attended a mass meeting at the Melbourne Convention Centre on September 25, where they voted to hold an all-unions march and rally next month.

Present were unions covering workers in the health, construction, education, public, transport and...

The Victorian road lobby is at it again. Fresh from being defeated on the East-West Link, the rent-seeking tollroad builders have been given a construction gift in the form of a massive new project in Melbourne’s east.

Since both the Labor state government and the Coalition opposition...

More than 200 people attended a rally at Melbourne’s Federation Square on September 19 to protest the Victorian government’s decision to allow Apple to take over a part of the public space for its corporate retail centre.

The crowd chanted “Our City, Our Square!” and heard from a number...

World

What is happening in Syria? More than half a million people have died since the war in Syria began in 2011. Five million Syrians have sought refuge abroad and more than 6 million have been internally displaced.

The Syrian government, with the support of Russia and Iran, has conducted...

Tens of thousands of Brazilian women took to the streets on September 29 to protest against the misogynist politics of Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right candidate in Brazil’s October 7 presidential race.

In a series of marches stretched from Manaus in the Amazon to the megacity of Sao Paulo in...

In 2009, 20 years after the negotiated end to a brutal civil war, the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), former guerrillas turned political party, finally won the presidency of El Salvador. But, writes David Grosser, with the second FMLN...

United States President Donald Trump and the Republican Party are trying to ram through a coup, writes Barry Sheppard. Running roughshod over multiple allegations of sexual assault and insulting the women involved, they seek to solidify a far-right majority of five out...

The struggle to defend a 200-hectare forest has sparked Germany’s biggest environmental protests for at least a decade.

The Hambacher Forest (aka “Hambi”) is the last remaining corner of a much larger area of woodland that has been eaten up by a huge open-cut lignite mine, owned by...

McDonald’s workers in 10 cities across the United States walked off the job on September 18 to demand an end to sexual harassment in the workplace.

In Chicago, workers and their supporters marched to the McDonald’s headquarters, carrying a banner that read “#MeToo McDonald’s” Many wore...

A march of almost 200,000 people in Barcelona on October 1 marked the first anniversary of Catalonia’s independence referendum.

Pro-independence Catalans commemorated the first anniversary of the banned vote, which had to defy heavy repression as the Spanish state sought to stop it taking...

The British Labour Party took a radical, anti-austerity manifesto to last year’s general elections — and despite polls and media commentators expecting an unprecedented disaster, came close to winning, denying the ruling Conservatives a majority.

Despite this success, attempts to attack...

Italy is going through important and agitated days with the government coalition issuing two crucial decrees concerning immigration and economy.

With these provisions, the government formed by the far-right League and the populist Five Stars Movement (M5S) has reaffirmed its nationalist...

Analysis

Queensland parliament will finally start debating whether to make abortion legal on October 16.

It is currently a crime to undergo, perform or supply anything for an abortion. Doctors can only perform abortions if they believe it is necessary to prevent serious danger to the life or...

The interim report of Royal Commissioner Kenneth Hayne on the crimes and greed of the Big Four banks underlines the urgent need to radically overhaul the banking and financial system.

The report, published on September 28, showed the banks’ unmitigated greed. Even treasurer Josh...

The recent crisis at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, with the sacking of managing director Michelle Guthrie and the resignation of board chair Justin Milne, is best understood by realising that neither were friends of the national public broadcaster.

For years, the ABC has been...

United States President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh probably never expected he would become a central target of the #MeToo movement for his misogynist behaviour in his university years.

But the smug sense of impunity enjoyed by generations of rich white men, who...

Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher announced on September 26 that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) had reached the milestone of registering its 200,000th participant. The number of NDIS participants is predicted to grow to about 460,000 by 2020.

That...

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made a disingenuous pitch for “unity” and “honesty” in response to Byron Bay Council’s decision on September 20 not to celebrate Australia Day, in deference to the hurt it engenders to Indigenous peoples.

Byron decided to join the growing number of...

Culture

Sunburnt Country: The History & Future of Climate Change in Australia
By Joelle Gergis
Melbourne University Press, 2018

This is a very readable book written by a climatologist, an expert on the weather in the Southern Hemisphere from the...

From taxing tech firms to pay the license fee to creating a new British Digital Corporation (BDC), the Alternative MacTaggart Lecture by British Labour’s socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn  in August  unveiled an array of potential new Labour  digital policies, writes Nick Webb...

Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia
Three part series presented by Lucy Worsley
Available on SBS On Demand until October 10

This three-part series examines the history of Russia’s most famous royal family, the Romanovs. This is a useful introduction...