Issue 1211

News

Protests were held in various Australian cities on February 23 as part of a global day of action against US-led aggression towards the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Refugee rights activists rallied outside Sydney's Downing Court Centre on Feb 26. They were supporting activist Stephen Langford who fronted charges of painting a refugee rights slogan.

LGBTI and feminist activists rallied against bigot Jordan Peterson at the Melbourne Convention Centre on February 27.

Disability rights activists rallied in Sydney on February 24. Advocates protested the NSW government’s refusal to properly fund disability services.

Protesters gathered outside the Sydney office of the Australian arms manufacturer EOS (Electro Optic Systems) on February 21 to oppose the sale of high-tech military equipment to Saudi Arabia, which is waging a genocidal war against the people of Yemen.

“Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her Coalition state government are getting desperate as the election campaign heats up,” according to Socialist Alliance candidate Rachel Evans. “As more and more of its crimes and misdemeanours are exposed, the government is coming under increasing fire from so many directions.”

Evans, who is heading up the party’s NSW Legislative Council ticket for the March 23 election, said: “The government’s neoliberal agenda has been an absolute disaster for the people of New South Wales.

Hospo Voice members and supporters who have been organising to combat wage theft were happy to hear on February 28 that the Fair Work Ombudsman had decided to investigate Le Bon Ton to ensure it is complying with Fair Work regulations.

Analysis

The push by state and federal governments to dry up the Menindee Lakes has already had a huge impact on communities, graziers and local Indigenous people. But not everyone is losing out on the government’s plans for the Murray Darling basin.

Nowhere in the world do women have the same rights and opportunities as men. Internationally, women are becoming poorer and ever more oppressed, writes Kathy Fairfax.

Kosciuszko National Park — a tiny, cold, wet island in an otherwise vast, hot, dry continent — is currently being destroyed. Its unique natural values are being ruined by feral horses, with the support of the New South Wales National Party.

According to Australian Academy of Science secretary for science policy Professor David Day, "feral horses are impacting Kosciuszko’s endangered alpine animals, its wetlands and streams and the headwater catchments of the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Snowy rivers”.

And so it begins. Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been hitting the airwaves telling us all how successful she has been at raiding the public pantry and flogging off the spoils.

On the other side of the political divide Labor MP Jo Haylen is busy telling her Summer Hill electorate just how much WestConnex is on the nose — but conveniently neglecting to mention that her party is right behind WestConnex.

According to Muffin Break general manager Natalie Brennan, “entitled Millennials” are not prepared to work without pay to gain experience.

Her comments rightly sparked a backlash from trade unions and on social media, where the company was subject to ridicule.

Unfortunately, this is barely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to employers trying to rip off young workers.

As the housing affordability crisis in Australia grinds on, it is worth remembering that this debacle is no accident: it is the inevitable and intended outcome of decades of Coalition and Labor government policy, at both the state and federal level.

World

The Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) is contesting the Semenyih by-election in the state seat of Selangor on March 2.

BDS is a legitimate means to help Palestinians in their fight for justice.

"The path to reducing and finally eliminating terrorist attacks such as in Pulwama does not lie in belligerent posturing or ‘surgical strikes’ across the border, let alone in escalating military tensions and actions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours."

“As young people, we want liberation now, because the injustice to Swazis has long overstayed its time.”

After US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2018, Israel has ramped up its theft of the Palestinian land, writes Lisa Gleeson.

A war has been declared on Venezuela, of which the truth is "too difficult" to report, writes John Pilger.

Mexico’s new left-wing government has tripled the list of crimes that carry automatic pre-trial detention, in what President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) says is a crackdown on corruption. Human rights groups, however, have warned the move may end up funnelling more innocent people into Mexico’s already strained penal system, writes Ryan Mallett-Outtrim.

It has now become clearer than ever: the Italian government coalition operates at the behest of Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini and his party’s racist and reactionary policies, writes Daniele Fulvi.

At the moment there is only one real mass movement in Britain — the one which got 700,000 people onto the streets of London in October last year calling for a new referendum. Labour should be leading it rather than be perceived as equivocating about it, writes Liam McQuade.

Culture

Bolivian President Evo Morales addressed the United Nations General Assembly on February 1 for the opening ceremony of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, where he warned about the accelerated destruction such languages are suffering.

Climate and Capitalism’s editor Ian Angus looks at six new books that expose environmentalism’s false friends, analyse the idea of “environment”, explain renewable energy, trace the history of oceans, expose Monsanto’s Round-Up, and examine British science denial. Inclusion in this list does not indicate agreement with a book’s contents by the author.

American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes & Trial of Patty Hearst
Jeffrey Toobin
Profile Books, 2017, 371 pages

“Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people.” With this hyperbolic declaration by “General Field Marshall” Cinque M’tume (the nom-de-plume of a Black prison escapee), the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) introduced itself to the American people in the early 1970s.

Within 100 years, many of our cities will become uninhabitable, submerged under oceans or deadly hot. Food will be more difficult to grow. Storms will become more violent. The gentle planet we’ve known will be no more.

That’s hard to wrap one’s brain around. Some turn to faith, others despair.