Issue 1223

Australia

Federal minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan wants the Adani mine to be the pathfinder to open up the whole Galilee Basin, but some mining companies are pulling out.

Ted was a committed trade unionist, with a hunger for knowledge and a desire to both understand and change the world.

On May 8, Bridgid O’Brien was elected a councillor of the City of Yarra following the resignation of another councillor. She will join Stephen Jolly as a second socialist on the council.

Traditional owners are fighting to save ancient trees on Djab Wurrung country from being bulldozed for an extension of the Western Highway in Victoria.

The City of Newcastle Council passed a resolution “Recognising there is Global Climate Emergency and the urgent need for real action on climate change” on May 28.

A Queensland magistrate has declared that climate change is not an extraordinary emergency, in finding an anti-Adani protester guilty of three charges related to his blockading of coal trains.

Three hundred people rallied on May 24 to show solidarity with refugees, who face increasing attacks following the re-election of the Coalition government.

The Federal Court reserved its decision on May 28 and adjourned so parties can consider a complex administrative issue that could mean that an appeal by Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council (W&J) against Adani could be thrown out.

The Council for Peace with Justice University of Sydney is urging support for journalist and publisher Julian Assange.

Green Left Weekly sponsored a public forum on May 28 on the future of the campaign for climate action following the win by the Coalition government in the May 18 federal election.

Marie Flood, from Stop Coal Seam Gas (CSG) Sydney and the Knitting Nannas, denounced the "big push" by the Murdoch press and the fossil fuel lobby for a rapid increase in coal mining and CSG production after the election. 

Days after coal loving coalition Prime Minister Scott Morrison was elected and Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk pushed for Adani’s approval process to be rushed ahead climate activists rallied around Australia. The rally was organised by Extinction Rebellion as part of the global climate strike on May 24.

World

At 9.30am on May 16, police officers illegally entered the Venezuelan embassy in the Georgetown neighbourhood of Washington DC and arrested four activists lawfully living in the building since April 10, as guests of the legitimate Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro.

“The Department of Justice just declared war —” not on Wikileaks, but on journalism itself. This is no longer about Julian Assange: This case will decide the future of media,” tweeted former National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden on May 23.

Peoples Democratic Party MP, Leyla Güven ended her 200-day hunger strike on May 26, after the Turkish government finally allowed imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan to meet with his lawyers.

Hundreds of thousands of students and environmentalists took to the streets around the world as part of the Global Strike for Future climate actions on May 24. Elections for the European Parliament took place two days later, on May 26 and resulted in Greens (along with the far right) gaining votes.

In Copenhagen, Denmark, 40,000 people took part in the People’s Climate March on May 25. Swedish student and environmentalist Greta Thunberg addressed the rally. An abridged transcript of Thunberg’s speech follows.

Italy's far right Lega, led by deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, made gains in the May 26 European elections. Salvini has now legitimised and adopted fascist slogans, including “God, Country, Family” — indulging and reviving alarming neo-fascist sentiments that are spreading across Europe, writes Daniele Fulvi.

In the May 26 European elections, Spanish social democratic party PSOE made gains, largely at the expense of the left wing Podemos. The PSOE delegation is now the largest S&D presence in the European parliament and will be the backbone of ongoing attempts to break the back of the Catalan sovereignty movement, writes Dick Nichols.

Disaster capitalism, not repair and restoration is the agenda of the Filipino oligarchy in the war-torn city of Marawi, writes Tony Iltis.

Sonny Melencio, chairperson of the socialist Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, PLM) spoke to Green Left Weekly on May 21 about the left’s response to the recent Philippines elections, which were rife with alleged fraud, vote rigging and vote-buying.

Analysis

The Andrews’ Labor government allocated $1.8 billion in the state budget on May 27, to build 1600 new prison cells in Victoria and less than one sixth of that amount — $209 million — for 1000 social housing units.

But the capital expenditure is just the tip of the iceberg. The annual recurrent cost of imprisoning a person in a Victoria is about $125,000, while housing a family in a public housing dwelling costs about $6400.

The campaign against the Ramsay Centre’s proposed Western Civilisation degree continues.

The furious commentary accusing the federal Labor Party of losing the election because it was “too left” and “tone deaf” to the importance of coal is disputed by those who are closer to the ground, writes Pip Hinman.

Socialist Alliance supports the student-led climate movement and Extinction Rebellion and all those who want to work together to boost the numbers for the next global strike called for September, writes Jacob Andrewartha.

Mainstream talk of Queenslanders embracing the Coalition at the federal elections is louder than ever but the facts are otherwise, writes Jonathan Strauss.

While the Queensland government moves to fast-track approvals for the delayed Adani coal mine in the Galilee Basin, thermal coal export forecasts continue to show a terminal decline globally in the long term, consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

One of the actions requested by the local Indigenous community in the City of Fremantle’s new Reconciliation Action Plan is the greater use of Noongar place names for new streets and parks and also for significant landmarks such as Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River), Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) and Walyalup (the greater Fremantle region).

Culture

The international release of British director Mike Leigh’s new film Peterloo marks 200 years since the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, England.

This is a battle over truth and freedom of the press. But the debate has been shifted to focus solely on one man, because it is much easier to vilify a man than freedom and democracy. Freedom will be plucked from our hands if we debate it on the merits of one man.

Karl Marx’s Ecosocialism: Capital, Nature, and the Unfinished Critique of Political Economy 
By Kohei Saito
Monthly Review Press, 2017

RED-GREEN REVOLUTION: The Politics and Technology of Ecosocialism 
By Victor Wallis 
Political Animal Press, 2018

Here are the best new albums that related to this month's politics. (Plus, there's a bonus if you read to the end). What albums would you suggest? Comment on TwitterFacebook, or email