Issue 1226

News

Two thousand people took over a major roadway in Brisbane on a Friday night, standing and sitting in. The action is likely to be the prelude to future disruption in the city if approval for the Adani coal mine is not withdrawn.

The rally first heard from a range of speakers, including Wangan and Jagalingou spokesperson Adrian Burragubba; MUA Qld state secretary Bob Carnegie; and organisers with University Students for Climate Action, Front-Line Action on Coal and others.

About 100 people protested against Australian Federal Police (AFP) raids on News Corp and ABC journalists, outside the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices on June 15.

The rally, called by NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge, heard from former ABC and SBS journalist and multiple Walkley Award winner Mark Davis, Stop the War Coalition founding member Pip Hinman, National Union of Students Ethno-Cultural Officer Hersha Kadkol, investigative journalist Michael West and independent journalist Paul Gregoire.

School Strike 4 Climate is encouraging unionists to move the following motion at meetings of their trade unions.

The Mascot Towers debacle in inner-southern Sydney is a clear sign of the deep and many-sided housing crisis facing the city.

Residents in the 10-year-old, 122-apartment block were left without homes on June 14 after being evacuated due to widening cracks in the building's foundations. It has been alleged that the cracks could be related to impacts from the construction of a nearby apartment building.

The NSW Coalition government’s 2019 budget, handed down by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on June 18, proposes to slash almost 3000 public service jobs over the next four years to fund its modest election promises.

The government has also vowed to continue its effective wage freeze by maintaining its 2.5% cap on public service wage rises.

Despite all the Coalition rhetoric about “balancing the budget”, the budget predicts government debt will rise to almost $39 billion over the next four years.

The Australian Electoral Commission’s final tally for the NSW Senate vote in the May 18 federal election shows the Socialist Alliance (SA) winning 6058 first preference vote. This is 12.5% higher than its 2016 tally (5385) and more than double its 2013 vote (2728).

Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) campaign coordinator Pas Forgione outlined why a campaign to “Raise the rate” of the Newstart unemployment benefit is desperately needed, at a June 15 community forum in Sydney’s west.

About 60 members of the Sudanese community and their supporters rallied on June 15 in solidarity with the democratic uprising in Sudan. The action was called by the Until We Return Cultural Group Australia.

Analysis

Rachel Evans and Jonathan Lockhart spoke to Extinction Rebellion Sydney spokesperson Caz Chattin to find out more about this growing international movement.

Long-time climate campaigner David Spratt and former fossil fuel company executive Ian Dunlop have issued a bold call for unlikely partners to work together to avoid climate catastrophe. While we need an emergency response, its (admittedly) vague proposal for an alliance with the national security sector is odd, writes Pip Hinman

Following the Queensland government’s approval of Adani’s conservation plan for the endangered black-throated finch and its groundwater management plan, the company again announced it would start work on its Carmichael coalmine project “within weeks”. But it faces several more obstaces, not least of which is the huge social movement gearing up for the next stage of its campaign.

The recent intimidatory police raids on the ABC and a journalist’s home for publicising matters of community concern are a wake-up call that press freedoms can no longer be taken for granted, writes Bevan Ramsden.

This fight for women’s rights and against gendered violence is union business, says the Socialist Alliance.

Last November, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia will take its engagement with the region “to a new level” through a “new package of security, economic, diplomatic and people-to-people initiatives” in the region.

A month later, the Morrison government established a new Office of the Pacific within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to support “deepening engagement” with the region.

World

The international left has lost one of its most lucid intellectual, pedagogical educators and determined activists with the passing of Marta Harnecker on June 14, writes Federico Fuentes.

Make Rojava Green Again is an ecological campaign comprising activists from around the world, inspired by the ecological, feminist, multi-ethnic and democratic revolution taking place in Rojava in Northern Syria.

Thousands took to the streets in towns and cities around Haiti on June 9 to demand President Jovenel Moïse’s resignation and the prosecution of those responsible for looting about US$2 billion from the government’s Petrocaribe Fund, writes Haiti Liberté's Kim Ives.

In order to hold onto the Mayoral position in Barcelona's beacon of progressive municipalism, has Ada Colau made a deal with the devil? Dick Nichols unpicks the recent council election.

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s decision to oppose impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump is motivated by fear of the rise of a leftist pole within or from outside the Democratic Party, writes Steve Ellner.

In an ongoing and under-publicised tragedy, indigenous peoples around the world routinely have their rights violated in the name of the global war on drugs.

Neither the United States nor Iran really wants war, we are told, because the reality of such a conflict is too horrific to contemplate. But the Gulf tanker crisis and the US response shows that we are alarmingly close to open hostilities.

It is true that there are voices in the US defence establishment calling for restraint. It appears to be the case, too, that the Iranian government is operating on the assumption that the US does not want a war. But there are several reasons why such assumptions are not a sound basis for judgement.

US presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders gave the following speech at George Washington University on June 12.

Thanks to a five-year-long campaign by unions, including Mandate union, workers in Ireland won an important victory this year when legislation was adopted that bans zero-hour contracts and guarantees minimum wage payments for trainees.

Culture

The Torrents is a long-neglected highlight of Australian theatre, which jointly won a 1955 competition for best Australian play with Summer of the Seventeenth Doll

Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, recently passed a resolution equating BDS, which calls for economic and cultural sanctions against Israel over its apartheid-like policies towards Palestinians, with anti-Semitism.

Martin Empson takes a look at a compelling first-hand study that shows that fishing is a deadly occupation because capitalism forces workers to take terrible risks to survive. 

Dedicated to all the whistleblowers for the sacrifices they make for our freedom.