Issue 764

Australia

On August 18, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib was fined $400 in the Ryde Local Court for offensive language and behaviour towards police. The ruling will be appealed in the Parramatta District Court on September 11.

During the incident in question in May 2007, Habib alleges...

On August 20, activists from the Student Housing Action Collective (SHAC) at Melbourne University occupied four terrace houses in Faraday St, Carlton. The houses are owned by Melbourne University and were used as student counselling offices until 2005.

As a result of shrinking student...

Wollongong residents, concerned and angry about the systemic corruption of the local council, its subsequent sacking and the prospect of another fours years without democratic representation in the region, met on August 16 at the Fraternity Club for a major anti-corruption conference.

...

The people of El Salvador will go to the polls on January 18 for the legislative elections, then again on March 15 for the presidential ballot.

Since colonisation, the governments of El Salvador have been dominated by a small elite and the military. However, the left-wing Farabundo Marti...

The Socialist Alliance has condemned NSW Premier Morris Iemma's latest bid to rush through enabling legislation to sell off the state's energy retailers and generators.

The premier is recalling parliament early, on August 28, from its long winter recess to push through a vote on the sell-...

Around 150 women and men gathered on the lawns of the Mt Isa Civic Centre on August 19 to condemn Mayor John Moloney's recent statement degrading women and to demand his resignation.

Moloney had called for "beauty-disadvantaged" women to move to Mt Isa to redress a supposed gender...

In a move eerily reminiscent of the lousy pay offers this year to NSW and Victorian public sector workers, the Queensland Labor government has offered staff at the Department of Main Roads a 3.25% per year increase for the three years of their current enterprise agreement. The offer is...

Two thousand striking Technical and Further Education (TAFE) teachers gathered at Melbourne's Atheneum Theatre on August 20 to demand better pay and conditions. The last time Victorian TAFE teachers went on strike was under Jeff Kennett's Coalition state government 13 years ago.

Hundreds...

Documents leaked from Telstra's human resources department and released by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to the Sydney Morning Herald on August 14, show that the company wants to bypass unions and impose a non-union collective agreement on its 32,000 employees, thereby...

World

Gilda Chacon is the Asia, Oceania, Africa and Middle East representative of the Cuban Confederation of Trade Unions (CTC) and an elected delegate of the People's Power Municipal Assembly.

Green Left Weekly's Annolies Truman...

Approximately 10,000 people rallied at Launceston City Park on August 23 in opposition to Gunns' proposed pulp mill.

The rally and march was organized by Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill (TAP). The crowd heard from Fiona Newson from the Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, who said that the...

Attn:

The Public Prosecutors Office No.5 of the city of Valencia,
Control Tribunal 7 of the city of Valencia, State of Carabobo,
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

We the undersigned union, social and political leaders from different countries, demand an immediate end to...

Violent attacks on police officers, roadblocks, civic stoppages enforced by armed fascist youth groups and threats to cut off meat supplies and take over gas fields have all been part of what left-wing Bolivian President Evo Morales has denounced as an attempted "civil coup" by "desperate people...

"We are the creditors!" insist a new layer of African social activists, victimised by the ongoing Third World debt crisis but now gathered to fight back.

And they are right, particularly when we consider how much the global north has looted from the south in ecological terms.

Last...

The Sri Lankan government's war against the Tamil people is intensifying.

Civilians are worst affected by the ongoing bloody war in the north of Sri Lanka, where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) runs its own affairs in a de facto state where close to 400,000 people live.

...

Since the European Union-brokered ceasefire brought the shooting war between Georgia and Russia to an end on August 12, there has been a war of words between Russia and the West.

One point of contention is the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia-proper (that is, Georgia excluding...

Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency action

By David Spratt & Philip Sutton


Scribe Publications, 2008

320 pages, $27.95

Climate Code Red began as a set of submissions to the Garnaut Climate Change...

The owner of Fundimeca, an air conditioning factory in Valencia, Carabobo, is waging an intense campaign of terror and intimidation against the factory's work force.

Fundimeca's work force has been fighting to ensure that the company complies with Venezuela's constitution and labour laws...

Over August 9-11, almost all of the candidates of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) registered for the upcoming November 23 state and regional elections in the National Electoral Council (CNE) office, many accompanied by large marches of their supporters.

Although the...

Taking advantage of the political capital it gained with the Colombian military rescue of high-profile Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) prisoner Ingrid Betancourt on July 2, the government of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has launched a major crackdown on political opponents and...

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has promised new Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo "all the oil he needs" during a public event in Uruguay after Lugo was inaugurated on August 15.

The election of Lugo, a retired Catholic priest, on April 20 broke 61 years of domination by the right-wing...

Unemployment in Venezuela dropped from 8.8% in July 2007 to 7.2% in July 2008, the National Statistics Institute (INE) announced on August 14.

The percentage of workers who are in the formal sector rose to 57.5% over the past year, representing an increase of 287,220 formal sector workers...

Durban's University of KwaZulu-Natal vice-chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba is expected to deliver an edict that the UKZN's Centre for Civil Society (CCS) will close on December 31.

The reason given by dean Donal McCracken to a sceptical School of Development Studies (where the centre is...

The admission by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) that it knows the location of loyalist paramilitary weapons dumps, is no surprise considering the involvement of police in the six counties that make up Northern Ireland with loyalist killer gangs over the years, according to Sinn...

Thousands across Pakistan celebrated the humiliating departure of dictator Pervez Musharraf on August 18.

As he announced his resignation — in an unscheduled nationally televised speech — private television channels showed an instant response of jubilation in all four provinces.

...

On November 22 this year, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting will convene in Lima, Peru.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and a suit team will be there, pushing for greater trade "liberalisation" on behalf of Australian industrial guilds like the Minerals Council of...

For four months following the historic elections for a constituent assembly — which formally ended the monarchy and established a republic — the small Himalayan nation was in a state of limbo as right-wing forces disrupted attempts to establish a national consensus government.

On August...

The Dalai Lama has accused Chinese authorities in Tibet of opening fire on unarmed protesters, and alleged that at least 400 people had been killed since March, according to an August 22 AFP report.

"The Chinese army again fired on a crowd on Monday August 18, in the Kham region in...

Analysis

The act of a doctor performing an abortion in Victoria has been listed as a crime in the Crimes Act since 1958.

On August 19, Victorian women's affairs minister Maxine Morand tabled the Abortion Law Reform Bill 2008 on behalf of the state Labor government.

The legislation fully...

The social impact of increasing petrol prices and mortgage costs, and persistent inflation, continues to deepen. The financial pressure on lower-income households across Australia has massively increased, according to Jago Dodson and Neil Sipe in their study Unsettling Suburbia: The New...

When you see the line-up of candidates running for Newcastle council in the September 13 elections, you notice the average demographic is seriously out of whack with that of the region.

In Newcastle, 40% of the population is less than 30 years old, with 10% between the ages of 20 and 24....

When a teacher at Fort Street High School recommended that students read the economist John Maynard Keynes, the school boy Isadore Wyner suggested Karl Marx. Young Issy was reprimanded. This did not stop him from engaging with the world for another eight decades.

While Marx lost most of...

November 11 is Remembrance Day, marked each year to commemorate those who have died in war.

The Asia Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition (APDSE) will be held on November 11-13, with weapons manufacturers and retailers from a number of countries participating.

Yet South...

Low-income tenants in community housing will face greater hardship following a recent NSW government policy decision that means tenants will lose their rent assistance.

Despite a rental crisis, and food and petrol price-hikes, some households now face losing up to $70 per week, single...

This month the federal Labor government announced a pilot seasonal worker scheme in the horticulture industry. Under the trial, up to 2500 visas will be available over three years for workers from Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea to work in Australia for up to seven out of any 12...

On July 28, the Sydney Morning Herald revealed internal state government documents stating that even if prices for petrol, parking and road tolls increased massively, Sydney's car use would still climb beyond NSW government targets by 2016.

Premier Morris Iemma's government...

Letters

Fraternite, egalite and liberte?

While I deeply share Luke Vanni's concerns (Write On #763) about the exploitation of women, I find the French State Council's decision to deny Faiza Silmi's application for citizenship on the basis of wearing a burqua completely abhorrent.

Faiza...

General

There is good news and bad news. Let's have the bad news first.

The head of the climate change unit at the Australian National University and science adviser to the federal government, Professor Will Steffen, told the Coast to Coast '08 conference in Darwin last week that the scientific...

Culture

Tasmania's Wilderness Battles: A History

By Greg Buckman

Jacuna, 2008

272 pages, $29.95

Greg Buckman, an environmental campaigner, details the history of environmental battles in Tasmania from colonisation to today in Tasmania...

Succumb

Music by David Bridie

Liberation Music

11 tracks, $26.99

Succumb is the latest of more than 35 albums featuring David Bridie's music through the last 25 years, during which he has been involved with the bands Not...

Love War & Peace

Featuring the Sydney Soloists

September 1, 7pm, Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Tickets $25

Bookings http://www.cityrecitalhall.com or (02) 8256 2223

The Sydney Peace Foundation is...