Issue 1216

Australia

Solidarity activists rallied across Australia to mark Palestinian Land Day, March 30.

After a 16-day strike, workers at Chemist Warehouse distribution centres declared victory on March 28. Among their biggest gains were an 18.75% wage rise over four years and the conversion of labour hire workers to permanent positions after six months of work.

LGBTI activists and supporters rallied on Transgender Visibility Day in Newtown, Sydney, on March 31.

Solidarity activists who recently returned from a fact-finding tour of Venezuela are calling for concrete actions by the Australian community to assist the Venezuelan people currently facing economic hardship, primarily as a result of harsh US sanctions.

Crew members on the Manly Fast Ferries service between Circular Quay and Manly Harbour went on strike on April 3 for the second time as part of their ongoing campaign for improved wages and conditions.

Train operator and Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) delegate Robert Car was sacked by the privately-owned Metro Train Sydney (MTS) company on March 27.

World

Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) has lifted self-declared “interim president” Juan Guaido’s parliamentary immunity, opening the door for criminal charges to be brought against him.

The unanimous April 2 decision came following a request from the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and included an “authorisation” to continue investigations into the parliamentary deputy and president of the National Assembly.

Two very different demonstrations within less than a week of each other neatly illustrated just how polarised British politics is.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn met with Kurdish solidarity activists on March 30, according to the campaign website freedomforocalan.org.

The most important finding of the long Mueller investigation into United States President Donald Trump — that there was no collusion with the Russians to fix the 2016 US election so that Trump would win — came as a shock to most liberals, progressives and even many socialists.

Cuba still stands as a symbolic pole, reminding us that human society can be organised on the basis of solidarity, cooperation, and respect. This is a profound vision that stands clearly at odds with the individualist, profit-driven mantras of far-right leaders like Trump and Bolsonaro.

“They tried to bury us. They did not know we were seeds”. The old Mexican proverb never sounded more true than in the early hours of the morning of March 25 across Ecuador.

The local and regional elections that took place the previous day were meant to put a definitive end to the political phenomenon of the Citizens Revolution and bury, once and for all, the legacy of former left-wing president Rafael Correa.

Analysis

How did Australia go from a place where its migrant hostels fostered some of the world’s most famous bands to one where the detentions centres it presides over are described as “hell on Earth”? Zebedee Parkes takes a look at the history of mandatory detention and the struggle against it.

The Coalition’s budget has ensured that its neoliberal agenda remains in intact. It has deepened cuts to social spending while given tax breaks to high income earners and greedy corporations.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg only mentioned the word “climate” twice in his election budget speech, and almost as an afterthought.

Following  its successful state election campaign last year, Victorian Socialists is standing three candidates in the federal election: Sue Bolton in the seat of Wills, Kath Larkin in the seat of Cooper, and Jerome Small for the seat of Calwell. Green Left Weekly’s Alex Bainbridge spoke to Sue Bolton about the block the major parties pose to progressive politics and why it is important to support socialist candidates.

Steve Dixon, a Queensland Senate candidate for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, may have put it clumsily, but he was right — in politics, money wins the day in Australia, writes Pip Hinman.

We see and judge women based on the perspective of super rich white men who also tend to own the beauty competitions and the cosmetic companies, writes Tamara Pearson.

Alan Broughton takes a look at why the majority of farmers are still holding on to chemical methods and what can be done to increase the ecological uptake.

Culture

Animal Farm
Play adaption by Nelson Bond, based on the novel by George Orwell
Directed & produced by Sarah Christiner.
Life on Hold Productions.
Victoria Park Hotel, Perth
Until April 12
http://www.whatson.com.au/animalfarm