Issue 1218

Australia

Students, unionists and community members protested outside the immigration department on April 11 against the threatened deportation of Kinley Wangchuck, an 18-year-old hearing-impaired student who lives in Queanbeyan, NSW. 

Kurdish refugee Farhad Bandesh, who is detained on Manus Island, addressed the Palm Sunday rally in Newcastle by phone. Here is an edited transcript of his speech.

Sivaguru Navanitharasa, a Tamil refugee who fled Sri Lanka in 2008 and who has been detained for nearly 10 years, now faces a new challenge: overcoming cancer.

The Stop Adani Convoy, organised by the Bob Brown Foundation, has been holding protest rallies along Australia’s eastern coast as it makes its way to the site of Adani’s proposed coalmine in the Galilee Basin, Queensland.

Key sites of radical struggle in Sydney’s history were included in a “Radical Sydney Walking Tour” conducted by historians Rowan Cahill and Terry Irving, and sponsored by Green Left Weekly, on April 13.

“It’s almost an annual event — year in year out — that people in Broadmeadows have to cop a factory fire [and] have to cop toxic shit dumped on them”, local resident Marcus Harrington told a rally of angry northern suburbs residents after another chemical blaze erupted on April 5.

World

The recognition by some states of the self-proclaimed government of Juan Guaidó in Venezuela has generated an unprecedented political and legal controversy.

Since it began operating its controversial rare earth refinery in Malaysia in 2013, Australian company Lynas Corp has produced about 450,000 tonnes of radioactive waste. Peter Boyle interviewed Malaysian environmental and residents’ rights activist Jade Lee from the Stop Lynas Campaign about the latest developments.  

The Bab El-Oued district, one of the popular areas of Algiers, took April 19 off to prepare for another special day — the ninth consecutive Friday of protests against the political system in Algeria.

As the British government is set to celebrate 50 years of Trident, Scottish-based anti-nuclear activist Linda Pearson argues they should instead apologise for the impact of British nuclear weapons testing on Aboriginal communities and halt plans to transfer nuclear waste from the Dounreay nuclear power plant to Australia.

Embattled President Jovenel Moïse used United States' help in a poorly executed, but serious, effort to consolidate power writes Matthew Cole (The Intercept) and Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte).

Washington wants Assange extradited to the US to be tried on the charge of helping Chelsea Manning hack a government computer in 2010.

Analysis

Amid the smoke and mirrors of the Coalition’s federal budget, the Senate voted to formally censure far-right Senator Fraser Anning on April 3. Since then, the tone in this election campaign has been noticeably less tinged with race fear than looked likely just a few months ago.

Most workers cannot wait to get rid of this dreadful federal Coalition government. But fewer believe that a Bill Shorten-led Labor government will actually change the rules, writes Sue Bull.

School students are right in carrying out mass civil disobedience to put the urgency of stopping dangerous climate change on the political agenda, writes Pip Hinman.

Culture

Director Benedikt Erlingsson’s latest film, Woman at War is delightful, offbeat and uplifting. The main character is Halla, a choir director in her early 50s, who lives a secret double-life as a lone saboteur of heavy industry threatening her Icelandic environment.

Bullshit Business is about the meaningless language conjured up in schools, in banks, in consultancy firms, in politics, and in the media.

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus looks at five new books of particular interest to ecosocialists. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or agreement with all (or any) of its contents.