Issue 1242

News

A vibrant protest of hundreds of people gathered in Brisbane Australia on October 26 to express solidarity with the burgeoning people's movement in Chile. This video shows the demands of that movement.

Raise the Rate Drive at Addison Road Community Centre

The Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville, Sydney, has renamed one of its streets to Raise The Rate Drive to help raise awareness about the campaign to raise the rate of payments for welfare recipients.

A banner at the Protect the Right to Peaceful Protest rally in Brisbane on October 22.

The Australian Library and Information Association has condemned a Brisbane City Council ban on Extinction Rebellion meeting in council facilities while environmental groups have denounced new lock-on laws as deceitful, overreaching and ultimately destined to fail in its intent to stop people protesting.

Murdoch University is facing widespread criticism for its decision to seek potentially millions in compensation by suing one of its employees, associate professor Gerd Schroeder-Turk. Murdoch has also attempted to remove him from his elected position on the university’s senate.

Galpu and Golpa clan elders from Elcho Island

Aboriginal peoples are no strangers to having governments pass laws telling them how to live their lives and with little to no consultation.

A protest calling for a ban on new fossil fuel projects, outside SA parliament on October 18.

Fossil Free SA and supporters called for a ban on new fossil fuel projects in South Australia, at a protest held outside Parliament House on October 18. The action was called in response to a recent decision by the state Liberal government to invite new applications for oil and gas licences.

Blacktown, October 19. Photo: No Cashless Debit Card Sydney/FB

A protest against "cashless welfare" was organised by Sydney Coalition Against the Card outside a Centrelink office in Blacktown on October 19.

A rally in support of Jock Palfreeman in Melbourne on October 19.

Supporters of recently paroled Australian activist Jock Palfreeman gathered in Melbourne on October 13 to demand the government step up pressure on Bulgaria to allow him to return home.

Stop Adani activists protested at GHD offices around the country calling on the engineering firm to cut ties with Adani. The protests were part of a week of action that began on October 21.

Sydney, October 20. Photo: Tony Iltis

Members of the Kurdish community and supporters held rallies across Australia on October 19 and 20 to demand Turkey end its invasion of Rojava, a predominately Kurdish region in north-eastern Syria.

Speakers at the Animal Activist Forum 2019.

More than 200 people from across the country attended the annual Animal Activist Forum, which was held this year at Melbourne Town Hall over October 19-20.

Analysis

Labor’s announcement that it supports declaring a climate emergency is no doubt directly related to the growing movement for climate action. Yet it is also clear that, for now, this remains little more than an empty gesture.

Climate Strike protest in Melbourne on September 20.

The interests of marginalised and vulnerable people —here and abroad — must be place at the forefront of the campaign for climate action.

A Marxist critique of society remains incomplete if it does not consider the fact that, to make profits, capitalists have to not only exploited workers but also nature and animals.

Demonstrators celebrate the anniversary of the Rojava Revolution, in Qamishli in 2017.
Events in Syria, particularly in the Kurdish-majority north-eastern region known as Rojava, have led to several debates on the left. Australians for Kurdistan's John Tully takes up some of these and calls for support to be given to Rojava's unfolding revolution.
A protest against Turkey's invasion of Rojava, in Melbourne on October 12.

If Prime Minister Scott Morrison is as concerned about refugees as he claims to be, then Australia should condemn Turkey's invasion of Syria and secure emergency aid for those being forced to flee the region.

The economy is clearly in the doldrums and the situation only looks like getting worse — at least for the poor.

An Extinction Rebellion protest in Melbourne on October 8

Governments are attempting to prevent citizens from venting warranted opposition to destructive industries and businesses, as well as government itself. Yet, the fact they are continuing to pass laws that criminalise protesters shows this attempt to silent dissent interests isn’t working.

World

In recent elections in two East German states on September 1, the vote for the far right was the highest yet, writes Sibylle Kaczorek.

The final act in a week of protest in Catalonia, against the vindictive jail terms imposed on nine Catalan leaders by the Spanish Supreme Court on October 14, was a general strike and vast demonstration in the capital, Barcelona.

Infuriated by the verdict, frustrated with the strategy of the established independence movement (seen as “getting nowhere”), and most of all, outraged by police violence, young Catalans, who had never been on a barricade in their lives, decided that “direct action” was the only solution, writes Dick Nichols.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Foreign Relations Committee wrote the following letter to the American people and United States President Donald Trump, responding to the comparisons made between the Kurdish movement and ISIS, amid the genocidal campaign of the Turkish state against the Kurdish people.

* * *

“To the American people and President Donald J Trump,

There is little about United States President Donald Trump that one can truly be surprised by at this stage in his presidency. Buffoonery and delusion — not to mention racism and the incitement of violence — have become normalised during his time in office to a frightening degree.

Still, even if we take the most jaw-dropping quotes of his more than two-and-a-half years in office into account, there is something remarkably horrifying about the comments he has made in recent days since he de facto supported Turkey’s offensive into northern Syria, writes Marcel Cartier.

The popular revolt in Chile is rocking neoliberalism's laboratory and exposing the violence of the system, writes Pablo Leighton, in the first of a two-part series.

Culture

Fully Sikh
By Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa
Starring Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa & Pavan Hari
Black Swan Theatre Company & Barking Gecko co-production
Season ends November 3

Sukjit Kaur Khalsa has done the hard yards in fighting racism in Australia. She has given speeches to parliamentarians and caused a sensation on Australia’s Got Talent.

Fully Sikh is her (nearly) one person show that names and shames racism, but also goes beyond that.

It’s been barely noticed, but last month there was an incursion of politics into sports like no other, writes Dave Zirin.

* * * 

With little reason, the Israeli government made the decision to cancel the Palestinian national football (soccer) club championship, otherwise known as the FIFA Palestine Cup.

The young as they cry out

The old as they die out

The middle aged as they shout

And the silence from the so-called leaders

Engulfs our lives

 

'Do something' we scream at them,

The do nothings

Who knit their rugs

Of self-protection

And doing nothing

With words like

'We are meeting our targets'

And 'we are leading the world'

Along with other lies

We no longer accept

 

And so we gather on our streets

While they still do nothing

Losing Santhia: Life & Loss in the Struggle for Tamil Eelam
By Ben Hillier
Interventions, 2019
150 pages

In 2009, the Sri Lankan military launched a genocidal offensive against the island's Tamil population on a stretch of sand in Mullivaikal, in the island's north-east.

Claiming its offensive was to rescue civilians, the Sri Lankan military carried out an indiscriminate bombing offensive against Tamil civilians that killed tens of thousands.