Issue 1235

Australia

A rally against the proposed religious exemptions bill was held in Perth on August 24.

A rally in Sydney on August 21 protested the Turkish government’s sacking of three elected mayors.

Hundreds of people marched through Brisbane on August 28 in opposition to the Queensland Labor government’s proposed anti-protest laws.

An attempt to deport Priya, Nades and their two Australian-born daughters, Tharunicaa and Kopika, was halted mid-air by a court injunction preventing the family leaving Australia on August 29.

Climate justice activists are organising a mass blockade of a major mining conference in Melbourne that is being likened to the S11 blockade of the World Economic Forum, held in the same city 19 years ago, and which helped bring international attention to the fight against corporate globalisation.

LGBTI activists have slammed the federal Coalition government’s draft religious discrimination bill and vowed to step up protests.

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) has issued a scathing report on the state of the apartment construction industry suggesting it has reached crisis point.

The Parramatta Women’s Shelter, which will meet a critical need in Sydney’s west, has secured a lease and supporters say it will be ready to welcome women and their children within months.

Feminist, anti-racist, LGBTI and environmental campaigns feature in this week’s Activist Report.

The Brazilian community and environmental activists rallied in Melborune and Sydney on August 25 in response to fires destroying the Amazon rainforest.

Activists are demadning an end to the deforestation policies of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and are calling on world leaders to commit resources to stopping the fires and to reforestation.

The student-initiated Climate Strike, which will take place across Australia on September 20, continues to gain support from teachers’ unions and a church that has endorsed students and staff from its schools joining the protests.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has criticised Prime Minister Scott Morrison's speech to the Institute of Public Administration Australia on August 19 in which he outlined his "vision" for the future of the Australian Public Service (APS). 

World

Three activists from climate change direct action group Extinction Rebellion (XR) have been convicted after being arrested at protests earlier this year.

They are the first activists to stand trial as a group from charges related to April’s ten-day International Rebellion occupation.

Patrick Thelwell, Peter Scott and Samuel Elmore were charged with offences including obstructing a highway and obstructing police.

The people of Rojava in Northern Syria are continuing human shield actions along the Syria-Turkey border, to prevent an invasion of the region by the Turkish state.

A human shield action in the border village of Qeremox, located to the east of Kobane has been continuing for more than 40 days.

The human shields come from Kobane Canton. Representatives of political parties and civil society organisations in the region are paying solidarity visits to the actions.

In the border region of Serekaniye, a human shield action has been continuing for more than 18 days.

"For many of us, defining ourselves as ecosocialists is a way of distinguishing our socialism from such environmental blindness. We are not saying that Marx and Engels were infallible or that they offer all the answers we need today — we are saying that they offered insights and analysis that must be relearned by the left in the 21st century.

"Ecosocialists recognise the global environmental crisis as the most important problem that humanity faces in the 21st century. If socialists don’t recognise its centrality, our politics will be irrelevant," says Ian Angus, ecosocialist activist and editor of Climate and Capitalism.

Rio de Janeiro’s population watched in shock on August 20 as the state’s governor, Wilson Witzel celebrated the shooting by a sniper of a 20-year-old Black man who held 37 people hostage on a bus. The perpetrator had mental health problems, had never been in trouble with the police and had a plastic gun.

While Witzel’s tactics have been applauded, the politician’s merriment as he jumped from the safety of his helicopter to compliment the sniper, revealed the current security regime being enforced in the state.

With only a few hours’ notice, thousands of people filled London’s Parliament Square on August 28 to protest against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to shut down parliament for several weeks ahead of the Brexit deadline on October 31.

The shutdown is aimed at undermining attempts by MPs to prevent a No-Deal Brexit, or attempts to move a motion of no confidence in Johnson’s leadership.

Chanting “You shut down the parliament, we shut down the streets”, more than 10,000 protesters blocked main thoroughfares around parliament for several hours.

Following months of mass mobilisations, which successfully toppled former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir only to have the military attempt a take-over, the Forces for Freedom and Change and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) agreed on August 17 to a transitional government.

While there is relief that, for now, the violence has ended, many Sudanese remain wary. No one has been held responsible for the deaths of more than 100 peaceful protesters killed on June 3, when the army opened fire on the mass sit-in outside the military headquarters.

The infrastructure and cruel policies to “deter” immigrants that Trump is using and expanding through edicts, were put in place by both Democrats and Republican in Congress and under both Democratic and Republican presidents, writes Barry Sheppard.

SkyCity Casino workers in Auckland have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action on August 31, to force the company to compensate employees for working unsociable hours — which allows the casino to rake in profits at night and on weekends.

La Via Campesina is a global social movement that unites 148 groups representing small farmers, peasants, rural workers and indigenous communities around the world.

It fights for food sovereignty and ecologically sustainable agriculture.

It released the following statement on the Amazon fires on August 24.

Analysis

The Queensland Labor government’s decision to enact new anti-protest laws to protect new coal and gas projects is a reminder of who the government believes it is in power to serve, writes Margaret Gleeson.

UN Secretary General António Guterres wants only those countries that can show “concrete, realistic plans” for reducing their carbon emissions to come the the UN climate summit in September. But you can be sure the recalcitrants, such as Australia, will be there.

The number of strip searches carried out by NSW police has risen almost 20-fold in less than 12 years, with young people being the main targets, a new report has found.

Australia’s political class is addicted to fossil fuels. We will need to build a people-powered movement capable of proposing and winning clear demands to break that addiction. Zane Alcorn looks at 21 proposals that could pave the way for the kind of just transition away from coal that the current climate emergency demands.

A minor mechanical fault on a train at Town Hall station caused an entire day of delays across Sydney’s rail network on August 23. Rather than being an exception, the incident was just the latest chaos to hit Sydney commuters.

No government would consider the idea of bulldozing a road through the middle of a historical cultural building. The French government would never dream of toppling the Eiffel Tower, nor would the Australian government contemplate knocking down the Opera House.

Culture

The world is literally burning up in August 2019 and there's little to get excited about, but musicians are fighting back with some strong protest music that will make you feel good. Here are the best new albums that related to this month's political news. What albums would you suggest? Comment on TwitterFacebook, or email

Green Left's Pip Hinman interviews Ross Caputi and Donna Mulhearn, two of the authors of The Sacking of Fallujah: A People's History.

Fallujah was destroyed by US forces, not once, but three times. The city of mosques had a tradition of resisting foreign occupiers, and for this it has paid heavily.

Caputi, a former US Marine who fought in the second attack on Fallujah, and Mulhearn, an anti-war activist and human shield discuss the book and what can be done today to show solidarity and support the people of Fallujah.

Dr Richard Sorge, a German communist who penetrated the innermost political and military circles of the Japanese and German governments for a decade from the mid-1930s, only ever had one good thing to say about the Nazis.

The English word “loot” is derived from the Hindi word lut, which means to steal, especially by plunder in time of war.

For more than 30 years, African American woman Marion Stokes recorded everything on multiple TVs around her apartment in the United States. That is, every single minute of every US channel, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.