Issue 1230

Australia

On April 19, Alice Wicks locked on to a half-ton barrel, blocking all coal trains heading to the Port of Brisbane for 5 hours.

“I took this action because I have exhausted all other avenues for demanding action on the climate crisis. The permafrost has melted 70 years ahead of scientist's predictions. We need to act now”, Wicks said on July 26.

Victorian Socialists (VS) held its second members’ conference on July 21, where attendees discussed the next steps for this emergent electoral force, formed a little over a year ago.

We're encouraging everyone who values the role that this “people-powered media” project plays to contribute to maintaining and expanding it — in whatever way you can — by becoming a Green Left Supporter.

The coronial inquest into the death of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day, due to start on August 26, will be the first of its kind to consider the role systemic racism plays in an Aboriginal person’s death in custody.

The Victorian Ambulance Union (VAU) registered as an incorporated association after breaking away from United Voice on July 4. Green Left Weekly’s Sarah Hathway spoke to VAU general secretary Danny Hill about why paramedics and ambulance workers decided on this course.

An abortion rights march was organised by high school students in Newcastle on July 21 wanting the health procedure to be removed from the Crimes Act in NSW.

Stop Adani activists blockaded Adani’s Abbot Point Road on July 22.

Thousands of refugee rights activists, in more than 20 protests around the country, filled streets chanting “Six years too long, bring them here” on July 20.

World

Following Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson’s appointment as British Prime Minister, commentators are predicting a general election, possibly as early as October.

While a victory for Labour is far from certain, as it drops in the polls, Jonathan Cook writes that powerful forces are at work to ensure that Jeremy Corbyn — still the most popular Labour politician — never gets the chance to govern.

The people of Puerto Rico have risen up and forced Governor Ricardo Rosselló to resign, writes Barry Sheppard.

The Bashir al Assad regime has made little progress in its attempt to recapture rebel-held territory in northwestern Syria. Rebels continue to control most of Idlib and parts of adjacent provinces, writes Chris Slee.

Workers at Filipino beverage giant Zagu went on strike on June 6, in response to management’s attempts to bust their union and President Rodrigo Duterte’s failure to end contract labour.

Nearly 100 Malaysian environmental and civil society groups have demanded that Australia stop exerting "bullying" diplomatic pressure on Malaysia to accept half a million tonnes of toxic radioactive waste piled up at Australian corporate polluter Lynas’s rare-earth refinery in Gebeng, near the Malaysian city of Kuantan.

Food Houses, Casas de Alimentación, are one of the trenches combating the impact of the US economic war on Venezuela, writes Marco Teruggi.

The military industrial complex is a major contributor to climate change. This calls for a merger of anti-war, climate and refugee solidarity movements, writes Eleanor Goldfield.

The far-left Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA) won big across regional, federal and European elections in May and has firmly established itself as the left alternative to both the socialist and green parties across the country.

Speaking to Denis Rogatyuk for Novara Media, newly elected MEP Marc Botenga explained some of the key factors behind the success of the Workers’ party campaign and its vision for working within the EU.

Hours after Governor Ricardo Rosselló resisted calls to step down over leaked messages — mocking victims of Hurricane Maria and attacking fellow politicians with misogynistic slurs — an estimated 400,000 Puerto Ricans took to the streets on July 22 and demanded Rosselló's resignation.

Analysis

It is fast becoming a recognised fact — almost a truism — that the Newstart Allowance is too low. For unemployed people trying to get by on about $300 a week ($277 without rent assistance, $227 for those under 21), this is not news.

The following open letter to the Australian government, signed by a number of academics, unionists and solidarity activists and groups, was released on July 27.

Let’s stop putting our hopes in billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to save humanity. The billionaire class has benefited from the inequities of the capitalist system, and so is incapable and unwilling to change it, writes Rupen Savoulian.

During a recent visit to the far-western NSW city of Broken Hill, Jim McIlroy and Coral Wynter travelled to Menindee and spoke to people involved in the struggle to save the Darling (Baaka) River and Menindee Lakes, now mostly an empty, barren depression in the surrounding plain, dotted with the skeletons of dead trees.

The case of the release from prison of repeat sex offender Edward William Latimer shines a light on WA's archaic laws which place sex workers in harm’s way, writes Emma Softly.

The disaster at the Earle Haven Retirement Village is a particularly shocking example of how already vulnerable people are treated in a system geared to making money, writes Michael McDonald.

It is hard to conceive that in 2019 a reactionary minority within government are legislating for religious protection laws that strengthen the rights of religious institutions to discriminate against members of the community based on sexuality.

Culture

A new activist group, Unnamed, has been formed in Perth and is aiming to get people active around climate change, writes Alex Salmon.

If you’re looking for an accessible summary of revolutionary theory and practice related to the climate crisis and how to overcome it, System Change Not Climate Change is a must-read, writes Valerie Lannon.

The inside story of a successful, but difficult, 14-year campaign to force BHP to hire women is nearing completion after 3 years. But the Women of Steel film needs your help to get to the finishing line.

Stieg Larsson is best known for his phenomenally successful series of novels, The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. The books have sold some 80 million copies world-wide. However, Larsson’s main pre-occupation was fighting the rise of fascism in Sweden.