Issue 1241

News

More than 200 people attended a protest at Sydney Town Hall on October 12, organised by Rojava Solidarity Sydney and the Democratic Kurdish Community Centre (NSW). The protest was part of a global day of action against Turkey's genocidal invasion of North and East Syria.

Bryce Gaudry, one of those rare politicians who put the public before personal interests, passed away on October 5.

A protest by NT Traditional Owners outside Origin Energy's AGM

Northern Territory Traditional Owners delivered a message to Origin Energy that they do not give permission to frack for shale gas, outside the company's AGM in Sydney on October 16.

An Extinction Rebellion protest in Melbourne on October 7.

About 5000 people participated in a week of disruptive actions organised by Extinction Rebellion (XR) groups in Melbourne. The protests, which kicked off on October 7, were part of XR’s international Week of Rebellion. 

A protest against Turkey's invasion of Rojava, in Sydney on October 12.

Several trade unions, the Senate and the local Australian-Kurdish community have called on the federal Coalition government to condemn Turkey’s invasion of north-eastern Syria, a region commonly known as Rojava.

Check out this great short video of Perth's September 20 Climate Strike.

Former Australian Education Union federal president and Education International project director Angelo Gavrielatos has narrowly defeated teacher and activist John Morris in the NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) presidential elections. 

I was one of the hundreds of people who took part in the action by Extinction Rebellion calling for genuine climate action. Approximately 50 of us were arrested.

Analysis

Australian mining companies are making a killing in Africa — literally.

Between 2004-15, Australian-listed mining companies were linked to more than 380 mine-related deaths in several African countries, according to the Centre for Public Integrity and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

“It seems that towns in western New South Wales are being shut down and nobody is listening,” local resident Mark Merritt told Green Left Weekly on the banks of a non-existent river.

An Anti-Poverty Week rally in Perth in 2008.

All of us know someone who is worse off than ourselves. Chances are that person is someone barely surviving on the Newstart Allowance.

Banks Alan Moir

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's announcement of yet another inquiry into the banking sector is just the latest attempt by the Coalition government to pretend it is doing something about the crimes of the Big Four banks.

Kalgoolie Super Pit

On the eve of Australia’s largest mining conference, the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), which will be held in Melbourne over October 28-31, Green Left Weekly’s Zane Alcorn looks at the myriad problems that arise from a system in which mining corporations, not communities, decide what needs to be mined and where.

Climate scientist James Hansen has put forward a succinct guide to current climate science in Climate Change in a Nutshell: The Gathering Storm.

In late June, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland announced a joint review into the National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy, known as NAPLAN. Many educators would be happy to see the end of standardised testing. But this review is no guarantee this will happen, even if NAPLAN is scrapped.

World

After the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced nine political and social Catalan leaders on October 12 to a total of 99.5 years jail for organising the October 1, 2017 independence referendum, the struggle for the country’s right to self-determination entered a new phase.

Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance (RGA) held its 30th congress in Copenhagen on October 5-6, in a political context that contrasted strongly with that of its previous congress.

Eighteen months ago the party’s 300-plus congress delegates were preparing for a general election they hoped would lift the RGA into the role of main challenger to the Social Democrats for hegemony over what is called the “red bloc” in Denmark.

Former metalworker Søren Søndergaard, who represents the outer Copenhagen electorate of Gladsaxe in the Danish parliament, has a long history in radical left politics.

In the 1980s, he was part of the leadership of the Socialist Workers Party, one of the three founding organisations of the Red-Green Alliance (RGA), known in Denmark as the Unity List — the Red-Greens.

There are celebrations in Ecuador. They began on October 13, when the government and the Indigenous movement, centrally grouped in the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), announced they had reached an agreement on Decree 883, which removed fuel subsidies.

The response was twofold.

Bolivia will head to the polls on October 20 to elect its next president. Recent polls indicate the incumbent leftist president Evo Morales has a substantial lead over his closest opponent, right wing Carlos Mesa and his Citizen Community (Comunidad Ciudadana) party.

As Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists in London ramped up their latest mobilisation with a 10th consecutive day of action on October 16, author Naomi Klein pushed back against criticism of the climate protesters and said the climate crisis itself is what is truly disruptive.

Turkish forces have invaded Rojava — the Kurdish-majority multi-ethnic territory of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AA). In a telephone call to Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, United States president Donald Trump gave the invasion a green light.

Politics in Britain is in turmoil. An early election will most likely happen as soon as December, or at the latest within a few months — the second early election since 2017.

This election will pit the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party against various parties representing the interests of the 1%, including the governing Conservative party (Tories), the Liberal Democrats and the recently-formed, far right, Brexit Party.

In a victory for the social movement that brought Ecuador’s capital, Quito, to a halt for 11 days, Decree 883 — which had scrapped fuel subsidies — was finally repealed on October 15, writes Jelena Rudd from Quito.

The gap between the 75%–80% of Catalans who uphold their country’s right to self-determination, and the Spanish elites and parts of Spanish society that do not want to know anything about it, was already very wide before October 14.

But on that day, when the Spanish Supreme Court condemned nine Catalan political and social movement leaders to a total of 99.5 years jail, it most likely became unbridgeable, writes Dick Nichols from Barcelona.

The people of Ecuador took part in a massive national strike on October 9, called by a number of organisations against the neoliberal reforms of President Lenin Moreno.

Culture

Filmmakers Amanda King and Fabio Cavadini have collaborated on a number of projects about significant, but lesser known, subjects in Australian history. Together, they have now brought one of the great hidden events of labour history in this country to the big screen.

The Great Strike 1917 retells the largely forgotten story of one of Australia's biggest industrial struggles and its impact on society.

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at five new titles delving into crucial issues for ecosocialists.

***

On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal
By Naomi Klein
Simon & Schuster (in Canada: Knopf) 2019

After centuries under the yoke of English rule, Irish nationalists staged failed uprisings against British rule in 1798, 1803 and 1848. By 1858, Irish freedom fighters formed the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Known as the Fenians, they recruited among Irish soldiers in the British army to overthrow the British authorities.

However by 1867, the Fenian rising was crushed and dozens of their members sentenced to up 15 years in the British penal colony of Western Australia. Once there, they sent to Fremantle Gaol. Known as the "Convict Establishment" or the "Living Tomb", and built by convict labour in the 1850s, the men were subjected to a brutal regime of forced labour and floggings.