Issue 1203

Australia

Proposed amendments to the Criminal Code Act of 1995 will make it impossible for media organisations to accurately report on what governments do behind closed doors, writes Jacob Andrewartha.

Australian Education Union (AEU) Victoria branch officials should view the results of the recent branch elections as a warning signal, say rank-and-file candidates.

Kurdish solidarity activists rallied in Sydney on November 4, World Kobane Day.

Central coast residents rallied against the proposed Wallarah 2 coalmine in New South Wales on October 31. Protesters raised concerns over environmental dangers and risks to local drinking water from the mine.

The suburbs along this line are some of the fastest growing in Melbourne. Yet, the state Labor government has refused to invest in the infrastructure required to meet the community’s growing needs.

Faced with a handful of climate activists marching on his Bulleen electorate office on November 7, state Liberal opposition leader Matthew Guy decided to lock the door and pull the shutters down.

Zombies raised concerns over climate change on Halloween in Newcastle. The demonstrators sought to raise awareness about the coming “climate apocalypse.”

About 50 people held a silent march through the beachside suburb of Manly on November 3 against Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Protesters rallied outside an October 7 NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) public hearing in Mudgee into plans to construct a huge new coalmine in the picturesque Bylong Valley, north-east of the regional town.

About 100 people joined a snap protest outside New South Wales Parliament on November 7 to oppose the state Coalition government’s attempt to allow for a new generation of forced adoptions.

Refugee rights activists blocked the main entrance to the Melbourne Cup on November 6. They called on the government to release all the refugees in detention on Manus Island and Nauru.

Australian Education Union (AEU) members in Queensland will be joining their Victorian colleagues in walking off the job on November 20, Universal Children’s Day, to demand the federal Coalition government gets kids and their families off Nauru.

The Department of Education and Training Victoria today advised school principals to oppose leave for teachers who wish to participate in the Walk Off for Refugees on November 20. Teachers For Refugees (TFR) has called on teachers and education support staff to walk off the job on Universal Children’s Day and demand that the federal government remove all children and adults from offshore camps and resettle them in the community.

Close to 1000 people gathered outside Parliament House in Adelaide on November 3 to protest against federal government plans to build a national radioactive waste dump in South Australia.

World

November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, but not before tens of millions died in the four-year-long unprecedented industrial carnage. Amid all the media coverage, almost entirely missing is the actual story of how such bloodshed and misery was ended: by a mass popular rebellion in Germany that brought down the monarchy and established a republic.

Trans and gender diverse people in the US are preparing to fight for their lives — literally — against a push by the Republican religious right to quash life-saving laws protecting them from discrimination.

The November 6 midterm elections should have been a ringing repudiation of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. And if not for the dismal state of US “democracy” and the two-party system, it would have been.

In recent weeks, senior judges in the loftiest halls of the Spanish legal system — the Supreme Court, the National High Court and the Constitutional Court — have been exposed as subverters of a fair legal process, lackeys of Spain’s almighty banking elite and bumbling incompetents, writes Dick Nichols from Barcelona.

November 6 marked 43 years of Morocco’s occupation of the Western Sahara, which has forced the Saharawis to continue living in precarious conditions in the desert.

As Palestine’s national day on November 15 and the 34th consecutive Friday of the Great March of Return set for the next day approach, Palestinians in Gaza look set to be handed an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal. Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, meanwhile, look set to face the death penalty if they are convicted of “terrorism”.  

A group of youths who identify as LGBTI travel at a distance from the larger group of thousands of Central American migrants who are moving north towards the US border.

The group of at least 40 Honduran LGBTI youths say they face harassment at home and even along the route of the caravan, but remain determined to reach the US where they say they will have a brighter future.

Renowned intellectual and political activist Noam Chomsky said the United States was responsible for the conditions that have led to the mass exodus from Central American countries.

Turkish troops fired across the border on November 1, killing a six-year-old girl in the northern Syrian village of Til Findir.

The murder was part of a pattern of harassment by the Turkish army against the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS). The DFNS is a liberated area administered by democratic local councils, with equal representation of men and women and the inclusion of ethnic and religious minorities.

The cabinet picked by Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is the most progressive in generations, despite some dubious choices, writes Ryan Mallett-Outtrim from Puebla.

Mexico’s first left-wing president in decades is one month away from taking office, though his cabinet picks — half of whom are women — remain a mixed bag for progressives. On one hand, AMLO supporters have welcomed selections like Olga Sanchez Cordero, the incoming interior minister who supports legalising abortion and recreational marijuana.

Demonstrations on successive weekends in London last month shone a spotlight on major political rifts — in the major parties and in the political left.

On October 13, an extreme right-wing Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) march was out-mobilised and disrupted by anti-fascist demonstrators. One week later, about 670,000 people turned out for a “People’s Vote” demonstration.

Analysis

While the transphobes in the federal Coalition government have not given up on pushing their anti-trans agenda, they face some stiff challenges, according Transgender Victoria spokesperson Sally Goldner.

Last year’s marriage equality postal survey caused a lot of pain for the LGBTI community. But Goldner told Green Left Weekly that the overwhelming Yes vote helped push the homophobes and transphobes back.

By calling Armistice Day on November 11 “Remembrance Day” we miss the point. The original Armistice Day in 1918 was a day of joy, celebrating the end of a hugely bloody war. As one newspaper at the time described it: “Whole country goes wild with joy at news of peace”.  

One of the usual threats trotted out by governments proposing what would otherwise be considered radical attacks on civil liberties is national security, writes Pauline Wright.

A year on from the result of Australia’s marriage equality postal survey, Rachel Evans takes a look at the grassroots campaign that made this historic victory possible, and some of the remaining challenges ahead for the LGBTI community.

It seems ridiculous that children have got to the point where they realise that the adults who are supposed to be in charge are not doing enough to protect our futures from dangerous climate change. So, together with kids from Kindergarten to Year 12 we have decided to strike from school to show them that this simply isn’t good enough.

Strong support for climate action is adding to the nationwide pressure on proponents of the controversial Adani coalmine in central Queensland.

The Big Money Club clearly lives by its own perverse rules.

Culture

Kunturu Kulini — Heart Listening
ARTSITE, Sydney
Until November 25

A week of action was launched on November 4 in support of the historic Uluru Statement from the Heart, released last year by delegates to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Referendum Convention held near Uluru in Central Australia.

“At a time of an information onslaught, the critical differences between fact and fiction are blurred,” says radical filmmaker John Pilger of the “Power of the Documentary: Breaking the Silence” festival he is curating in Sydney from November 28 to December 9.