Issue 1212

Australia

Lead Socialist Alliance candidate for the Legislative Council in the NSW election Rachel Evans gave this speech to a Justice Action election forum on February 25.

Each year, Australian corporations must report their greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and production under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme.  Below are 10 of the top polluters.

“NSW not for sale!” was one of the chants at a Fix NSW rally on March 3, 20 days out from the state election. It expressed a common element in NSW government projects that have sparked resistance from numerous communities and trade unions.

About 1600 members of the Australian Worker’s Union (AWU) employed at various ALCOA Aluminium refineries and bauxite mines throughout Western Australia again sent a strong message to the American multinational to negotiate a fairer Enterprise Bargaining Agreement after the company’s EBA was voted down on March 2.

The Geelong Women Unionists Network (GWUN) kicked off the week of International Women’s day (IWD) celebrations at Geelong Trades Hall on March 1, with a breakfast and speak out.

Many battles have been fought over the Upfield Line. Here, Socialist councillor Sue Bolton talks about the fight to duplicate the line.

Susan Price is the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Parramatta in the March 23 NSW state election. She has been an active unionist and socialist for more than 20 years. Green Left Weekly’s Jim McIlroy asked Price about the Socialist Alliance election campaign, its aims and policies.

Transport Worker's Union members employed by bus company Transdev WA are continuing their strike actions for parity in wages and conditions with drivers in private companies.

Attempts by the TWU leadership to get the Western Australian state government, responsible for contracting the French Multinational company that employs 1100 bus drivers to force Transdev WA to negotiate have failed.

The South Brisbane Greens held a forum on "Communal Luxury: how to create a future for all of us" on February 28.

Speakers included Greens' Griffith candidate Max Chandler-Mather, Natalie Osborne from Griffith University and Gabba ward Councillor Jonathan Sri.

World

Green Left Weekly’s Susan Price spoke to Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) activist Isaac Silver following the announcement by United States Senator, Bernie Sanders that he will contest the 2020 US Presidential race.

Nearly ten thousand public servants have been fired in Ecuador following President Lenin Moreno's agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

Bolivian President Evo Morales launched a free universal healthcare system to new health system which will benefit about five million Bolivians between the ages of 5 and 59 who previously lacked free coverage.

Capitalist party politics in the United States remains in turmoil. Republicans and Democrats are at each other’s throats. Factionalism exists in both parties. Despite this situation, Democrats and Republicans have common cause in support of the Washington-organised attempt to overthrow the government led by Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, writes Barry Sheppard.

The Hanoi summit ended in a tragic-comic fiasco, writes Youngsu Won.

Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno has been implicated in an offshore tax haven corruption scandal, casting his future into doubt.

Local government elections in Turkey will be on March 31. The Kurdish-led People's Democratic Party (HDP) is campaigning to win back municipalities whose HDP mayors were removed by the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as part of a crackdown on the party.

Following the victory in the campaign to repeal Ireland’s anti abortion laws, Ireland has entered a new historic moment ripe with possibilities for profound change, writes Amy Ward.

The persecution of Julian Assange is the conquest of us all: of our independence, our self respect, our intellect, our compassion, our politics, our culture, writes John Pilger.

Riot police tried but failed to stop an International Women's Day march in Phnom Penh on March 8.

Analysis

Climate change is the result of an economic system — capitalism — in which private companies' profit-making is privileged over the real needs of communities and their environments. Here is the Socialist Alliance's 11-point climate action plan.

Climate change is already impacting our lives.

As it gets worse, we will be affected by more floods and storms, bushfires and droughts. Globally there will be less clean water and farmland available. This disproportionately affects those who have the least — women, Indigenous people and those living in exploited nations.

After the milestone School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) rallies on November 30 last year, the movement faces a critical point writes high school activist Leo Crnogorcevic.

The mining and energy division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining, Maritime and Energy Union (CFMMEU) does not seem to have a strategy for life after coal, if the leaked minutes from its Queensland division’s December meeting can be believed.

It intends to cling tightly to the coalmining multinationals and hope for the best as global climate and renewable energy policies kick in.

In 2013, then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott launched a “war on red tape and green tape”, which he claimed was “suffocating” Australian businesses. The Coalition government even announced a special cutting of red tape day.

No doubt Abbott was able to point to some idiotic and bureaucratic regulations to win public support for cutting so-called red tape that was actually protecting the public or the environment, to allow the corporate rich to pillage and plunder.

Culture

The Israeli city of Tel Aviv is preparing to host the Eurovision Song Contest in May, following Israeli artist Netta Barzilai’s win in Eurovision 2018.

In response, BDS Australia, which support the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, says: “As a serial human rights abuser, it is unacceptable for Israel to be the host country for a competition that, in SBS’s own words, is supposed to ‘bring people and cultures together’.

Four months after her release from an Israeli prison, Palestinian poet and photographer Dareen Tatour received the Oxfam Novib PEN Award for Freedom of Expression in The Hague in January.