Issue 1225

News

The biggest and youngest and loudest abortion rights march for years was organised in Sydney on June 9.

Protesters outside the Downing Centre court in Sydney on May 31 denounced the prosecution of Stephen Langford for his “close the camps” graffiti. Langford, representing himself, was found guilty by Magistrate Julie Huber, who rejected the “duress” defence and ordered him to pay $2421.

More than 60 people gathered outside the electoral office of Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher in the northern Sydney suburb of Lindfield on June 11 to demand the federal Coalition government protect press freedom.

Up to 1000 people marched through the streets of Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains, on June 9 to oppose the NSW Coalition government's plan to raise the wall of the Warragamba Dam by 14 metres.

Analysis

The Afghanistan war may be largely forgotten, were it not for the Australian Federal Police raid on the ABC’s Sydney offices on June 5 to collect evidence for the trial of army lawyer and whistleblower David McBride.

Afghanistan is the longest war Australia has ever been involved in. Yet it has largely been conducted in secret, with few media reports and even fewer politicians wanting to talk about it.

While Australia was in the throes of a federal election campaign, the United Nations released a report warning that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history.

The Environment Defenders Office Queensland (EDO QLD) announced on June 12 that in a huge win for its client the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), the federal government has conceded the case brought against it over Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme — the plan to pump up to 12.5 billion litres of water a year from the Suttor River to Adani’s Carmichael mine site.

Chris Scott went to the embassy outside of Ararat to find out more about the Djab Warrung people's struggle to protect their scared heritage. This is his account.

The Australian Socialist Alliance released the following statement on June 9, in response to the brutal crackdown on Sudanese pro-democracy protests.

The latest report from Melbourne-based independent think-tank Breakthrough — National Centre for Climate Restoration, Existential climate-related security risk: A scenario approach, provides graphic descriptions of what lies ahead if we do not immediately take action.

"Australia may be the world's most secretive democracy," the New York Times reported on June 5.

The US newspaper was commenting on the raids by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on a NewsCorp journalist and then the head office of the ABC. They were looking for evidence of information provided by whistleblowers that was used in articles exposing possible crimes by the Australian military and other authorities.

From July 1, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will receive a 2% pay rise on top of his already inflated parliamentary salary. Morrison currently earns $538,460 a year and in a few weeks time will earn an additional $10,000 a year. The current base salary for federal MPs and Senators is $207,100.

World

Turkish jets began bombing the Xakurke region of northern Iraq on May 26. The following day Turkish helicopters transported troops into the area. This was the latest step in Turkey’s growing military intervention in the predominantly Kurdish north of Iraq, writes Chris Slee.

Sibylle Kaczorek, a member of Germany’s main left party Die Linke and an activist with Aufstehengegen Rassismus! (Stand Up Against Racism!) was interviewed in May by Dick Nichols, Green Left Weekly’s European correspondent.

The border between Venezuela and Colombia has been partially reopened after nearly four months.

The principal crossing posts of the Simon Bolivar and Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridges — which connect Venezuela’s Tachira State with Colombia’s Northern Santander Department — were reopened on June 8 for pedestrian crossing. They still remain closed for vehicles.

A German boat captain faces a long and costly trial in Italy for charges targeting her humanitarian efforts on behalf of refugees. 

Captain Pia Klemp told Basler Zeitung on June 7 that her upcoming trial in Italy for years of efforts with the civilian lifeboat Iuventa that saved at least 1000 lives, will take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Klemp faces up to 20 years in prison, but whether or not she ends up in jail, she would challenge any conviction in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, if necessary. 

A spokesperson for the Bougainville Hardliners Group has called on the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) to explain why the Australian Federal Police (AFP) were at the controversial Panguna mine site in central Bougainville on June 5.

AFP officers were seen taking GPS readings at the abandoned copper mine site. James Onartoo, a former leader of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, said the community has a right to know why they were there and what they were doing.

Green Left Weekly’s Susan Price spoke to Rena Lau, a Hong-Kong based activist, about the protest movement that has erupted there against the proposed extradition bill.

Culture

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus looks at six new books for ecosocialists. Inclusion doesn’t not imply endorsement.

The highly topical musical Hadestown won eight awards at this year's annual Tony Awards ceremony in New York on June 9. The Tonys recognise excellence in live Broadway theatre.

The AFP raids have inspired this poem by John Monfries.

This book exposes the extraordinary scale of the double lives to be found among the most powerful section of the Catholic hierarchy.

Red Joan
Starring Judi Dench, Sophie Cookson, Tom Hughes & Tereza Srbova
Directed by Trevor Nunn
In cinemas

Red Joan is loosely based on the spying activities of British civil servant Melita Norwood, who was nearly 90 years old when she was exposed as a Soviet agent.