Issue 1202

Australia

Within 24 hours of Brazil’s election result being announced, protesters gathered outside the Brazilian consulate in Sydney to express their opposition to president-elect Jair Bolsonaro and his fascist agenda.

Far-right candidate Bolsonaro was elected president in a second round run-off against Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad on October 28.

Just days after the latest — and largest — round of #KidsOffNauru protests, the federal government has said all children will be removed from Nauru by the end of the year.

Reclaim the Night marches were held around Australia to demand an end to violence against women.

The Victorian Socialists campaign for state office goes from strength to strength. The bid for seats in the Legislative Council has expanded from Steve Jolly’s campaign in the Northern Metropolitan Region to now include Tim Gooden in the Western Victoria Region.

Chanting “Michael Spence, you will fail, USyd is not for sale!”, students opposing the vice chancellor’s support for the Ramsay Centre made their point outside the University of Sydney administration building on October 31.

Speakers condemned the discussions between university management and the board of the right-wing Ramsay Centre think tank, which aims to set up a degree in “Western Civilisation”.

Hundreds of public servants rallied outside Queensland's parliament on October 30 as part of a week-long industrial campaign. The rally was organised by Together Union (a branch of the Australian Services Union), also known as the "Purple Army".

The workers are facing enterprise bargaining negotiations in which the state government is refusing to offer any pay rise. The government argues that since workers have had a wage rise due to a rise in the award, they do not need to offer any rise in the enterprise agreement. The agreement will last for the next three years.

Green Left Weekly hosted a free speech forum in Melbourne on October 25, featuring Jeff Sparrow, journalist and author of a new book Trigger Warnings: Political Correctness and the Rise of the Right, and Sally Goldner, media liaison for Transgender Victoria.

The Penrith Valley Community Unions (PVCU) held a protest against the WestConnex M4 toll on October 26. About 50 people gathered in Triangle Park and then marched to the nearby electoral office of Penrith Liberal MP and NSW Minister for WestConnex Stuart Ayres.

World

Tech giant Google was hit by an unprecedented global walkout on November 1 as female staff led colleagues off the job in protest against sexual harassment.

Workers left their desks at 11.10am local time in offices from Tokyo to San Francisco, including in Singapore, Zurich, London and Dublin.

The Walkout for Real Change was originally organised by female software engineers in the United States. It rattled company CEO Sundar Pichai, who was prompted to express support for it.

The Indonesian government hosted the fifth Our Ocean Conference in Bali on October 29 and 30. It was the latest in a string of oceans-focused summits — with more on the way, such as the The Economist’s World Ocean Summits and the Sustainable Oceans Summits organised by the industry-coalition the World Ocean Council.

After the recent successful defence of the Hambacher Forest against the threat of destruction by coal giant RWE, more than 5000 people joined a mass civil disobedience action on October 27 and 28 in the coalfields of the German state of North-Rhein Westphalia (NRW).

The action was called by Ende Gelaende, an anti-capitalist environmental group committed to non-violent direct action tactics. It aims to win an immediate end to coal production at Europe’s biggest open-cast mine, the Hambach lignite (brown coal) mine.

A white man in Jefferson, Kentucky, shot and killed two African Americans at a grocery store on October 24. Gregory Bush was seen trying unsuccessfully to break down the doors to a predominantly Black church before he turned his attention to the store and opened fire.

As I walked through the tight alleyways of Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza earlier this year, I was followed by dozens of curious barefoot children, fascinated that a foreigner had made them a visit. The siege on Gaza has made it nearly impossible for outsiders to enter.

With the children a few steps behind me, smiling and giggling, I made my way through the dusty camp, being greeted and welcomed by Palestinians who came to their doorways as we passed.

United States President Donald Trump has resorted to racist comments and extreme measures in response to a procession of refugees and migrants heading towards the US.

In mid-October, thousands of Hondurans left for a journey of many weeks through Guatemala and Mexico to the US. At its peak, the procession of refugees and migrants has included more than 7000 people fleeing unemployment, poverty and gang violence.

Shockwaves were sent around the world when fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro won 55% in the second round in Brazil’s presidential elections on October 28, defeating Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT).

Brian Mier, editor of Brasil Wire and Voices of the Brazilian Left: Dispatches From a Coup in Progress, spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes about the victory of fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential elections, and what it means for the coming period.

Following the election of ultra-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro as president on October 28, left MPs and party leaders in Brazil have warned about the dangers that a reformed military government could bring to the country.

Analysis

In the wake of the Wentworth byelection and the debate about its meaning a lot of commentary has focused on the desire for a return to the “sensible centre”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement that all refugee children will be removed from Nauru by the end of the year demonstrates that the refugee rights movement is winning, writes Susan Price.

Back in the 1990s, we were told the privatisation of electricity and other basic services would mean consumers get a better deal. Today, we know that was a lie.

Australia has not had a socialist parliamentarian, at the state or federal level, since the 1940s. But this may change at the November 24 Victorian state election, writes Felix Dance.

“If climate change is the great moral issue of our time, as one former prime minister famously said, then governments have failed miserably”, Victorian Socialists candidate Tim Gooden told Green Left Weekly.

We have all heard or seen the claim, especially when wading through the cesspit of the internet, “Islam is not a race, so how can I be racist?”. This meme is usually deployed by those trying to answer, and deflect, accusations of racism.

It is worth examining this claim in further detail, because it provides us with a window into the state of cultural and political debate in our own society.

Marie was a warm and inclusive person, with the ability to lift anyone’s spirits. She instilled in all who knew her a sense of worth, wisdom, happiness and the ability to go out and enjoy life to the fullest.

Culture

If the assassination-plotters and coup-conspirators in the German military had succeeded in their many attempts from 1938 to 1944 to remove Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime, then entirely different options to years of mass military deaths, civilian slaughter and horrendous concentration camps would have come into play.

The best documentary films are ones that tell a story. Backtrack Boys allows Aboriginal kids from around the Armidale region in NSW to express themselves and show how hard life is for them.

The Eviction: (FKA On the Rocks)
Directed by Blue Lucine

“Millers Point is now an AirBNB ghost town,” director Blue Lucine told the audience of several hundred at the Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, at the world premiere of her powerful documentary, The Eviction (FKA On the Rocks), on October 13.

The Eviction is the story of the NSW Coalition government’s assault on the public housing community in the inner-Sydney suburb of Millers Point.

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at five new books for ecosocialists.

Here are the best new albums that related to this month's politics. (There are actually far more than 10 - count them). What albums would you suggest? Comment on TwitterFacebook, or email.