Issue 1243

News

Chile solidarity Sydney October 25.

Hundreds of members of the Chilean community and supporters rallied in Sydney with the iconic Opera House in the background on October 27 in solidarity with the mass protests occurring in Chile right now. Similar protests were held in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

A rally against the Wallarah 2 coal mine in Wyong on October 26

Coast Environmental Alliance organiser Emma French told the rally: “We want to raise awareness of this coal mine that is only 5 minutes away from Wyong and 20 minutes from Gosford, and will create 28 years of non-stop destruction of our land, our air, our water and our children’s futures”.

Reclaim the Night in Geelong on October 25. Photo: Sue Bull

RtN rallies are traditionally held on the last Friday of October to demand an end to violence against women.

In the racing industry the horses always lose, no matter it seems, even if they win.

More trade unions have come out in opposition to Turkey’s invasion of the Kurdish majority, northern region of Syria, commonly known as Rojava, while new solidarity groups have sprung up.

Victorian police have exercised extreme violence against activists protesting the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne, spraying large amounts of chemicals on non-violent protesters.

Muruwari and Budjiti man Bruce Shillingsworth appeared on the ABC’s Q&A program on October 28, but not as a panellist. He was allowed to be a part of the audience, but only after what he described as a “struggle”. The show, ostensibly about “drought”, did not include a single First Nations activist.

Victorian Police have used maximum aggression to try and prevent activists taking non-violent direct action outside a major mining conference on October 29.

Analysis

Blocakde IMARC protest in Melbourne on October 30.

Environmentalists are going to have to get a whole lot more radical if Prime Minister Scott Morrison gets his way on proposed new measures targeting anti-mining activism.

A ferry workers strike in Brisbane on December 6, 2018.

Governments — and the corporations they serve — understand that as the economic and climate crises deepen, they will need to resort to more authoritarian measures to maintain their ecologically and socially destructive system.

A placard at a refugee rights rally in Sydney on July 21.

The government's treatment of refugees reads like something out of George Orwell’s seminal work, 1984. Fortunately, 1984 is fiction and we can force them to change.

Protesters blockade the IMARC mining conference in Melbourne on October 29.

Blockade IMARC Alliance was set up to disrupt business-as-usual for the corporate criminals attendance the conference — and when the conference rolls around again next year, we will be back, in even bigger numbers, to ensure we shut them down for good.

Police spray chemical foam at anti-IMARC protesters

A protester recounts how Victoria Police brutally attacked protesters with chemical foam and pepper spray at the peaceful blockade of the International Mining and Resources Conference on October 30.

North Melbourne Community Health centre.

Some of those who have raised concerns about the service are worried about an apparent rise in visibility of public injecting in the area. Emerging evidence on the other objectives, however, show the clear benefits of the service.

The debate on agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gases has been perverted to deflect blame onto farmers and avoid talking about real solutions.

Labor’s policy silence has officially been broken with leader Anthony Albanese’s Orwellian vision statement, “Jobs and the Future of Work”, in which he seeks to spells out how Australia can confront the climate crisis and ramp up coal and gas export.

Treasury says the economy is performing “modestly”, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has dismissed calls for additional stimulus spending & Reserve Bank of Australia chief Philip Lowe predicts growth will return to “trend” over the next year.
So nothing to worry about, right?

World

Following the European Union’s agreement to grant Boris Johnson’s government until next January to exit the EU, the House of Commons voted to hold a snap election on December 12. At the time of writing the election bill has yet to pass the House of Lords, but looks a certainty.

In part 2 of his series on Chile’s popular revolt, Pablo Leighton looks at the dynamics behind the protest movement and why Chileans won’t return to “normal”.

Two weeks of sustained mass protests across Lebanon have forced the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign. At its peak, the movement united to form a 170 kilometre-long human chain from Tripoli to Tyre. While Hariri’s resignation met one of the movement’s demands, demonstrators have vowed to keep struggling for more fundamental change in the country. Nizar Hassan, who participated in the uprising as a member of the LilHaqqi movement, looks at the origins and dynamics behind the protests.

The United States House of Representatives approved a bill to impose sanctions on Turkey over its military operation in Northern and Eastern Syria on October 30.

Renowned British film director Ken Loach has signed the call to Boycott Turkish Government Sponsored Academic and Cultural Institutions.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across Haiti on October 17 to commemorate the national revolutionary and liberator Jean-Jacques Dessalines and to demand the resignation of United States-backed president Jovenel Moïse.

Several huge mobilisations occurred across the country demanding an end to Moïse’s anti-people, corrupt and neoliberal government.

Despite the agreement reached between Russia and Turkey on October 22 in the Russian city of Sochi, which established a 150-hour ceasefire in Northern Syria from October 23–29, air and ground attacks by the Turkish army and its jihadist mercenaries continued uninterrupted.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on October 27 that, as a result of talks with Russia, they would "reposition" their units and accept the deployment of Syrian central government troops on the border.

Bolivian president Evo Morales, whose government has overseen improving living standards and a dramatic reduction in poverty while in power, has been re-elected. This is yet another blow for the ongoing United States campaign to get rid of left-of-centre governments in Latin America and boost their austerity-supporting opponents.

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. Or, to be more precise, the border guards opened the gates and allowed crowds from East Berlin to cross into the west. People celebrated by climbing onto the wall and dancing.

The fall of the wall was widely seen as a victory for freedom. But things are not that simple.

In the three decades since 1989, new walls have gone up, and existing walls and other barriers to the free movement of people have been strengthened, in many parts of the world.

Twenty-five thousand Chicago public school teachers, supported by other school workers, went on strike on October 17. Their demands were broad in scope, reflecting the demographics of the city.

The population of Chicago is almost equally divided between Blacks, Latinx, and whites. However, its public school student population is 47% Latinx, 37% Black, and 10% white. About 76% are economically disadvantaged and concentrated in the city’s south and west sides. The north side is more white and affluent.

Culture

Produced by Bill Carroll, a musician and long-time ecosocialist activist from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Political albums October 2019

In a month when Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists rose up all over the world, there was plenty of new music providing inspiration. Here are the best new albums that relate to this month's political news.

Scene from Romantic Road

In 2011, retired British lawyer Rupert Grey and his wife Jan set off on a driving tour of India — in a 1936 Rolls Royce that he had inherited from his father. Filmmaker Oliver McGarvey tagged along for the six-month journey across mountains, deserts, through civil war zones and bureaucratic snafus.

"Art is a weapon in the People's fight" declared an advert for a 1940 production of the play Women by the left-wing Workers Art Guild (WAG) that was active in Perth from 1935 to 1942.

Blinded by the Light is a coming-of-age film set in 1980s Britain during the era of Margaret Thatcher. It revolves around the trials and tribulations of 16-year-old Pakistani teenager Javed as he struggles to deal with his domineering and traditional Pakistani family, racism and Thatcher's neoliberal assaults.

David Attenborough: It’s amazing, the discoveries made in my lifetime. Have you heard of hox genes?

Andrew Denton: No. (Then didn’t pursue the matter.) [From an interview a few years ago.]

An edition of Arbeiter und Soldat

Martin Monath is one of the great, though barely known heroes of World War II. A German-Jewish Marxist, he fled the Nazis and operated underground, first in Belgium and then in France.