Issue 1234

Australia

Support is continuing to grow for the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy, in south-western Victoria, in the face of police threats. The protest camp was set up by Traditional Owners to defend sacred lands under threat from a highway duplication project that will cost $672 million to save motorists an estimated three minutes of travel time. 

Aboriginal rights activists and supporters marched through Sydney on August 21 demanding justice and for an end to Black deaths in custody.

David McBride, a former Australian military lawyer and whistleblower on alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan spoke to media outside the ACT Courts on August 22. He was there for a preliminary hearing on charges he is facing for theft of commonwealth property, breaching the Defence Act and unauthorised disclosure of information. If convicted, this 55-year-old could spend the rest of his life in jail.

A four-hour standoff turned violent when pro-China students at the University of Queensland (UQ) confronted students supportive of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong on July 24, with some Hong Kong students now fearing for their safety after receiving death threats.

Extinction Rebellion activists continue to hold disruptive actions around Australia.

Speakers at a 100-strong solidarity rally in Brisbane on August 17 opposed the Indian government’s crackdown on Kashmir which began on August 5, including sending in the military and blocking all communications.

Video: The Kurdish community in Sydney held a protest on August 21 outside NSW Parliament, against the recent removal of elected Kurdish mayors in Turkey.

Extinction Rebellion WA (XRWA) brought proceedings at state parliament to a halt on August 15 — dubbed “Declaration Day” — as about 500 people rallied outside while a group of XRWA activists delivered a message to Legislative Assembly members.

A bill to enable trans and gender diverse adults and children to obtain birth certificates that record their self-identified sex — male, female or a descriptor of their choice — looks set to pass the Victorian parliament, despite opposition from conservatives and trans-exclusionary radical feminists.

University students and supporters rallied in Sydney on August 20 against sexual violence on university campuses as part of a national day of action.

Numerous reports have shown there is a sexual violence crisis at university. Women's collectives are calling on universities to stop making promises and instead take real action.

University students and supporters rally in Sydney on August 20 against sexual violence on campus and call on univerist administrations to do more to stop it.

Hundreds attended an early morning pro-choice rally on August 20, 2019 outside the NSW Parliament which was considering a bill to decriminalise abortions. Among the speakers was 17-year-old Bella Zaid who, together with other high school students, organised a huge pro-choice rally and march earlier this year. Video by Peter Boyle for Green Left Weekly.

On Friday August 16, hundreds attended a peaceful rally in Sydney's Martin Place to show their solidarity with the Hong Kong democracy protests. Video and stills by Peter Boyle for Green Left Weekly.

A climate activist has locked on to machinery at Adani’s Carmichael coal mine site in Central Queensland a day after Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk announced penalties for climate protestors participating in civil disobedience.

Those opposing the move to treat abortion as a health matter rather than a crime have made their views known — loudly.  The NSW Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019, a long-overdue reform, was passed by the Legislative Council, 26 to 15. A major pro-choice rally is being organised for September 15, two days days before amendments will be debated.

World

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation on August 20, effectively ending the coalition government of Matteo Salvini’s right-wing Lega (League) and the Five Star Movement (M5S), which has been in power for 14 months, writes Daniele Fulvi.

The attempt to suppress official documentation of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948 is not new, writes Ilan Pappe.

Messages between Brazil’s federal prosecutor, Deltan Dallagnol, who led Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash) and then-judge, Sergio Moro, have revealed that the evidence used to jail Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT) former president Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva, was tenuous at best and that the charges against him may have been groundless.

Nuclear experts and disarmament advocates are warning that the world is witnessing a new arms race after the United States tested a new missile on August 18.

The test would have violated a Cold War-era treaty President Donald Trump’s administration ditched on August 2, writes Jessica Corbett.

On August 17, Indonesian Independence Day, armed Indonesian police, soldiers and radical Islamic militia stormed a student dormitory in the Indonesian city of Surabaya (on the island of Java), which housed West Papuan students, arresting 43. The attack reportedly took place because the students had allegedly refused to raise the Indonesian flag.

"The Amazon rainforest has been burning for three weeks! We are on the verge of losing it completely if the fire isn't put out. The loss of trees, the loss of biodiversity is what is accelerating climate change."

Humanity is currently faced with a number of deep and challenging crises: economic, social, political, over food – and over climate change, which is threatening the very existence of millions of people.

These crises have many of the same root causes, going to the core of our economic system. The economic and climate crises are both embedded parts of the capitalist economy.

Human rights organisations, solidarity groups and the European Union have condemned the Turkish government’s removal of three democratically elected HDP (Peoples Democratic Party) mayors on August 19 and the arrests of more than 450 municipal officers and staff.

Interview with Kavita Krishnan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) about her participation in a fact finding mission to Kashmir in the face of siege and crackdown by the Modi government of India.

Analysis

Young people around the world are taking seriously the warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that genuine action is urgently needed if we are to prevent catastrophic climate change.

That is why they have initiated a global Climate Strike on September 20, just days out from an emergency United Nations climate summit, to pressure governments into action.

The federal Coalition government must reverse its agreement to a United States request to send military forces to the Persian Gulf, say anti-war activists.

One of the surreal aspects surrounding Extinction Rebellion Western Australia’s (XRWA) Day of Declaration protest at state parliament on August 15 was the frantic efforts of The West Australian to poison public perceptions of the rapidly expanding movement.

Every day, Australian women face the real prospect of violence. A recent publicised example was the tragic death of Michaela Dunn and attempted murder of Lin Bo at the hands of a knife-wielding murderer in the streets of Sydney. But most violence against women happens in the home, not in the headlines, writes Hannah Duke.

It has happened again. A white supremacist has committed another atrocity, this time in El Paso, Texas, in the United States. Like the Christchurch murderer, he took to the internet to promote his motives.

Extinction Rebellion activist and Socialist Alliance member Petrina Harley spoke to Green Left Weekly about the media beat-up of their action at the WA Parliament.

 

Community activist Amy Warne was arrested while blockading the construction of the Roe 8 freeway in 2017. Since then she has spoken at community forums organised by Extinction Rebellion WA (XRWA), calling on people to take action.

The Broken Hill water pipeline has been exposed as a vital element in a plan to sacrifice the Lower Darling and Murray rivers to the interests of corporate irrigators and the mining industry, writes Elena Garcia.

“I believe the numbers will change the game,” said First Nations activist and artist Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth in an interview with Green Left Weekly about the global climate emergency and the water crisis in the Murray-Darling river system.

Culture

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus looks at new books for green lefts on how the richest drive climate change; planning from below; the Scottish clearances; slime; and eco-socialism and practical utopias.

This unmissable play, starring Colin Friels, is a eery reminder of the still pervasive power of religion over science and the tensions between the pursuit of knowledge and the power of official ideology.

In Risking Together, Dick Bryan and Mike Rafferty look at how the financialisation of the global economy has swept up the lives of ordinary people who had nothing to do with playing the financial markets. In the process, their lives have come to mirror the risks of stock exchange, derivative and currency market speculation.