Issue 1227

Australia

Aboriginal rights activists rallied in Sydney on June 29 against the Northern Territory Intervention on the 12th anniversary of its becoming law.

They chanted: “They resist, we resist. Stop the intervention” and “They come by night, they come with stealth, stealing Aboriginal wealth.”

The protest was organised by Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney.

Two thousand people took over a major roadway in Brisbane on June 21, standing and sitting down. Buses and cars were stopped for at least 30 minutes.

The action was a prelude to future “Stop the city to stop Adani” rallies, if approval for the Adani coal mine is not withdrawn.

A couple of thousand people also rallied in Melbourne, and in Perth, Extinction Rebellion held a disruptive “die in” of several hundred in the CBD on June 22.

The Sudanese community and supporters turned out across Australia on June 22 and 30 in support of the revolution in Sudan.

Rallies in Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney have featured energetic dancing, poetry and singing, with protesters chanting “Peace, justice, freedom in Sudan” and “End the killings now”.

The rapidity with which homophobic rugby player Israel Folau raised $2.2 million for his fight against Rugby Australia is just the latest example of how easy it is to monetise hate these days. It is a morbid symptom of a capitalist system plumbing the depths of moral bankruptcy.

An urgent campaign and blockade by the WA Forest Alliance to prevent logging in the Lewin Forest, west of Manjimup in Western Australia’s south-west, has dramatically demonstrated the need for more to be done to save these forests.

Various ongoing threats, such as climate change and the timber industry, continue to plague the unique ecosystems of south-west Western Australia. Various species are coming under pressure and time may be running out for people to experience the serenity and cacophony of these forests in all their splendour.

"We are resisting", is the answer that Venezuelan-Australian activist Eulalia Reyes receives when she speaks to friends and family back home. "Right now, international solidarity is so important for the Venezuelan people, who are fighting against US sanctions and threats of military intervention", she said.

The day after the May 18 federal election, as people were reeling from the unexpected result and taking time to regroup, the initiators of Extinction Rebellion WA hosted a picnic at the Hilton Harvest Community Gardens near Fremantle. One hundred and fifty people attended and, while there was some licking of post-election wounds, what dominated was a sense of hope and determination.

Victoria’s Legislative Council passed the Fire Services Reform Bill on June 20, giving firefighters who develop certain types of cancer the presumptive right to compensation. Under the new law, they will no longer have to prove that the cancer was caused by firefighting.

After reviewing the evidence presented by Adriana Rivas’ barrister, Frank Santisi, and the response of barrister Trent Glover, appearing for the Chilean government, magistrate Margaret Quinn rejected Rivas’ request for bail on June 27, determining that she must remain in custody until her extradition request hearing.

The Australian Workers’ Union claimed an important victory on June 7 after the Fair Work Commission upheld its appeal against a previous ruling allowing US aluminium giant Alcoa to terminate its enterprise bargaining agreement with the union. 

World

One of the sectors hardest hit by Venezuela's economic crisis is the nation’s LGBTI community. Lacking access to life-saving medicines and denied certain rights, activists say there is still much to be done within the revolution, writes Federico Fuentes.

Strikers stopped public transport, blocked roads and held street demonstrations in 380 cities across Brazil on June 14.

Palestinian leaders have criticised US President Donald Trump’s much-hyped and long-awaited vision for Middle East peace, unveiled on June 25 in Bahrain, as more neo-colonialist containment.

In tandem with its economic war on China, the United States has ramped up its military presence in the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions, extending the “Pacific pivot” that began under former president Barack Obama.

A joint statement in solidarity with the protests in Hong Kong initiated by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) has been supported by nearly 60 international organisations and parties.

A number of Middle East and Islamic Studies scholars in the United States have signed an open letter calling on US President Donald Trump to pull back from war with Iran.

A range of US policies have been deliberately designed to provoke an Iranian response, writes Phyllis Bennis.

Afghanistan has been turned in to a battle ground of the big powers, and our poor people are the first and easy victims, writes Malalai Joya.

Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu won the election for mayor of Istanbul on June 23. Imamoglu defeated the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Binali Yildirim.

Analysis

This image captured Labor’s class betrayal on July 3, the first day of the new federal parliament, when it voted with the Coalition government for tax cuts for the rich.

Despite widespread opposition to new coal, state governments gave final approval to two mines last month. As community opposition to new coal mines has grown, the mining lobby is fighting back demanding state governments cut funding to environmental defenders.

On June 24, Lord Mayor Clover Moore called on the City of Sydney council to declare a climate emergency. The motion passed unanimously, and Sydney joined a snowballing list of councils globally that have made similar declarations. But as the dust of the federal election settles and a sleepy giant begins to stir in the Galilee Basin, what will be the significance of Sydney council’s words, asks Reece Gray?

Three years after the New South Wales government forcibly merged 44 metropolitan, regional and country councils into 20 mega councils, the promised savings have failed to materialise.

Local community garden organiser and waste educator Amy Warne explains why she is part of Extinction Rebellion.

Technological advancement is not just about intelligent design, clever cryptography or brilliant coding; it’s also a function of power. To make technology work for people, we need to take this power back and demand that the development of technology involve social, political and ethical considerations.

Culture

If you like boundary-challenging cinema, this is for you.

When the United States football (soccer) team beat France in the Women’s World Cup quarter final, it was two goals by US player Meagan Rapinoe that got them over the line. If the US go all the way to win the cup on July 7, Rapinoe will likely have played a decisive role. But the attacker had already made headlines, refusing to sing the national anthem and telling the media that, should the US win the cup, she will not “go to the fucking White House”. Lindsay Gibbs looks at the furore created by Rapinoe’s stances.