Issue 1222

Australia

More than 100 Stop Adani activists from around Australia participated in a webinar on May 22 to share initial reflections on the way forward for the campaign post election.

The Queensland Coordinator General has recommended Pembroke Resources' new Olive Downs coal project be allowed to leave three un-rehabilitated pit voids on the Isaac River flood plain after the mine closes.

More than 60 scientists and experts have signed an open letter to the next Parliament of Australia, calling for the government to make urgent action on climate change a top priority for the 46th Parliament of Australia.

A WaterNSW submission to the ongoing Independent Expert Panel into Mining in Sydney’s Catchment has highlighted the destructive impact coal mining is having on the Sydney Water Catchment Area.

It called for curbs on two big coal mines in Sydney's catchment, saying millions of litres of water are being lost daily and environmental impacts are likely breaching approval conditions.

World

The May 26 European Parliament elections are just around the corner, and conservative, liberal and social democratic camps in the European Union are all sounding the alarm, writes Dick Nichols.

The brutal face of hard right and fascist reaction has been on vivid display on the issues of women’s rights and the climate crisis in the past few weeks, writes Phil Hearse.

The Yellow Vests represent the first time in history that a spontaneous, self-organised social movement has ever held out for half a year in spite of repression, while retaining its autonomy, resisting cooption, bureaucratisation and sectarian splits.

Barry Sheppard takes a look at US-Iran relations since World War 2.

Legislative attacks on abortion rights in the US have escalated this year, as social conservatives have shifted tactics with an unprecedented wave of state abortion bans adopted.

The most restrictive legislation was signed into law by Alabama's governor on May 15. It bans abortion altogether, except for cases of medical emergency. Pregnancy resulting from sexual assault is no exception and doctors performing abortions are criminalised with penalties of up to 99 years in jail.

Italian dock workers halted the loading of a deadly cargo of weapons bound for Saudi Arabia in Genoa on March 20 as they demanded Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini “open the ports to people and close them to arms”.

A nationwide education strike on May 15 became the platform for the biggest anti-government protests since President Jair Bolsonaro took power.

Analysis

Amid the disastrous election result across the country on election night, one small but important spark of hope was the impressive first showing at a federal election by the Victorian Socialists, writes Corey Oakley.

Bob Hawke was instrumental in taming the Labor Party and the labour movement primarily through the introduction of the Prices and Incomes Accord, writes Jim McIlroy.

This year, the First Nations suicide crisis has not only continued its dramatic escalation, but the lack of adequate response only worsens as the rates rise and it remains relatively unacknowledged, writes Paul Gregoire.

A new campaign aimed at stopping unnecessary strip searches, providing fairness and dignity for young people and ensuring safe music and cultural festivals for young people has been launched.

The results of the federal election have shown the limitations of the Australian Council of Trade Union-led Change the Rules campaign, writes Sarah Hathway.

Fremantle City Councillor and Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Fremantle, Sam Wainwright, addresses the reasons for Labor's loss of the 2019 federal election. Was Labor too ambitious? Was the electorate to blame? What about Clive Palmer's scare campaign? It follows on from Wainwright's recent Socialist Alliance Our Common Cause column Labor was not radical enough.

They say class politics is dead in egalitarian Australia — but what about election 2019?

If one billionaire can literally buy seats in Queensland and another guy can use his media empire to tear the opposition to shreds, class politics is well and truly alive in this country.

Barely had we digested the news of the unexpected Coalition victory when the corporate media commentators and a number of senior party leaders were blaming Labor’s election loss for it being too left-wing — “too ambitious”, “a large target” and “bit off more than it could chew”.

Culture

Damon Gameau is an environmentalist who wants to go beyond the dire facts of the impending climate catastrophe, writes Barry Healy. 

Clinton Fernandes, professor of international and political studies at the University of New South Wales, writes that “national security” encompasses the protection of the commercial interests of the few large private concerns that dominate Australia’s economy.

Our good Earth is red and black and brown

And fresh grass will always be green

White chalk washes off in the rain

And the sun shines down on us all

While there is air for us to breathe

I sing back to life an indivisible soul

And find in our good Earth’s fertile ground

The seed of our common goal

Walking together in dark times

To the brink of an unknowable fate

Sharing our path, our purpose, our pain

On the edge of madness still lies the dawn

For the grass will forever be green

This election win for the Establishment is the expected result that comes from “manufacturing consent” through the use of propaganda in some covert media campaigns.

We must take control back over our narrative or forever be silenced. We must not allow ourselves to be directed by corporate media monopolies. Because their fundamental nature is to be self-serving, which is completely at odds with democracy.

In this month’s round up of new books, Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus looks at books providing two views of food and farming; the origin of climate science denial; the high cost of living well; and a socialist who mostly disagrees with ecosocialism.