Issue 767

Australia

Ross Garnaut's long-anticipated "Targets and Trajectories" report into Australia's carbon emissions future signals a wholesale surrender to the corporations desperate to change as little as possible and preserve their profits at any cost. It is a refusal to take the steps necessary to avert the...

More than 100 people marched through the streets on September 13 to demand their right to participate in local council elections. The action, organised by Wollongong Against Corruption, was addressed by Vicki Curran, Paul Matters and Graham Larcombe from WAC, Peter Moran from the Greens, Jess...

Information released under freedom of information (FOI) laws shows that NSW Police is keeping detailed documentation about numerous groups and individuals on the political left. Police intelligence assessments have targeted a variety groups, including Mutiny and Greenpeace.

The documents...

While "Blue Glue" may sound like a new party drug, it's in fact much more sinister and less fun. According to the company of the same name, Blue Glue is a marvel of innovation, "helping clients create secure environments, manage information and deploy global solutions", says the Defence Materiel...

People in Australia are being urged to pressure the federal parliament to pass a resolution calling on the Japanese government to apologise and provide compensation to the "comfort women" of World War Two.

"Comfort women" were used by Japan's military forces for sexual slavery in...

"We knew we had to have the support of migrant women, of the union, and of the community or we couldn't win", Robynne Murphy, from the Jobs for Women campaign (JFWC), told a September 11 forum organised by Green Left Weekly and the Socialist Alliance.

JFWC broke through the men-...

The Stop the Eastern Terminal Substation (SETS) Action Group, in the Perth Hills area, is an outstanding example of what can be achieved by community-based action groups.

Fighting a destructive proposal by Western Power (Western Australia's main electricity provider) to build a substation...

A sign-on statement calling on the federal Labor government to abolition the anti-union Australian Building and Construction Commission, and extending solidarity to any worker victimised by the ABCC, was initiated last week by Tim Gooden, the secretary of Geelong and Regional Trades and Labour...

The United States administration has stepped up pressure to ban Hezbollah TV station Al-Manar (The Beacon) in Australia and Indonesia.

The armed wing of Hezbollah is listed in Australia as a "terrorist" organisation. Hezbollah is, however, a legitimate party that holds 11 of the 30 seats...

The Greens and independents appear to be the main beneficiaries of a large swing away from Labor in the September 13 NSW council elections.

The Greens are hoping that they could increase their number of councillors across the state from 58 to 80.

Independent Clover Moore will...

After a boring, month-long state election campaign, Western Australian politics suddenly burst into life immediately after the September 6 poll, in which Labor won more seats than the Liberals but neither major party won a clear majority.

While counting continued, both Labor and the...

On September 4, the federal Labor government introduced a bill in parliament to partially end discrimination against same-sex couples.

The bill aims to remove discrimination in the areas of social security, taxation, Medicare, veterans' affairs, workers' compensation and educational...

Thirty people gathered at the Governor of Hindmarsh Hotel for the second Politics in the Pub hosted by the Socialist Alliance on September 11. The topic — "Can we solve the water crisis?" — was addressed by Peter Laffan, chair of the Save our Gulf Coalition, and Bernie of the Socialist Alliance...

The dumping or resignation of half a dozen ministers from the NSW Labor government over the last fortnight — brought on by internal warfare over the cabinet's refusal to scrap its electricity privatisation plan — has still not convinced the new premier and ALP power-brokers to drop the plan...

Women seeking a termination of their pregnancy during the second trimester, and beyond, may be denied access to Medicare funding if Tasmanian Senator Guy Barnett is successful in his bid to axe funding for abortions after the 14th week of pregnancy. Currently, women seeking an abortion are...

Eight hundred unionists and supporters protested outside the Geelong Magistrates' Court on September 12, as Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) official Noel Washington appeared, charged with refusing to cooperate with the Australian Building Construction Commission (ABCC)....

"There needs to be action in this country. People like yourselves can make it happen", Palm Island Aboriginal leader Lex Wotton, who is facing a jail sentence of 10 years, told a public meeting at the Queensland University of Technology on September 10.

Wotton will face trial on October 6...

World

While the violent intensity and geographical spread of the recent attacks on immigrants across South Africa certainly surprised most of us, we should not have been surprised that such attacks happened — or at the state's response.

We shouldn't be surprised given the political and socio-...

Below is an abridged September 5 statement by the Australia Western Sahara Association, visit http://www.awsa.org.au.

As the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice starts a tour of North Africa and Incitec Pivot holds an extraordinary General Meeting in Melbourne, the Australia Western...

Abridged from a September 8 report on http://www.irinnews.org.

Some of the largest demonstrations in Swaziland's history, this time against growing poverty, took the shine off twin "40-40" celebrations to mark King Mswati's 40th birthday and 40 years of the kingdom's independence.

...

"[Today] a civil-prefectural coup against the unity of the country and democracy has been initiated", Bolivian minister of government Alfredo Rada declared on September 9, as a growing wave of violence by small gangs of fascist youth engulfed the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

The...

Try to laugh, please. The news is now officially parody and a game for all the family to play.

First question: Why are "we" in Afghanistan?

Answer: "To try to help in the country's rebuilding program." Who says so? Huw Edwards, the BBC's principal newsreader.

What wags the...

Below is an abridged transcript of an interview with progressive US radio program Democracy Now!, an independent program broadcast on over 700 radio stations. Visit http://www.democracynow.org for more information and the full transcript.

Democracy Now! host ...

Progressives and supporters of the Cuban and Latin American revolutions all over the world were shocked to hear of the death in a car accident of Celia Hart Santamaria and her brother, Abel Hart Santamaria, in Havana on September 7. It is believed that conditions resulting from Hurricane Gustav...

Below is an abridged report from http://cubanfive.org. The Cuban Five are five Cuban men in jail in the United States for their role in infiltrating far-right terrorist groups based in Miami, in order to attempt to prevent attacks against Cuban territory and people. For these anti-terrorist...

Below is an abridged August 19 statement by Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem.

Per capita water consumption in Palestine is far below the minimum recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The chronic water shortage in the occupied Palestinian territory of the...

Barely two weeks after being sworn in on August 15, a coup plot to oust newly elected Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo was exposed on September 2.

Reflecting a growing shift to the left across Latin America, the April 20 election of Lugo put an end to the right-wing Colorado Party's six...

The below statement is from the Mineral Policy Institute, http://www.mpi.org.au.

All over Papua New Guinea, mining companies — many with Australian connections — are destroying sites of cultural, economic and spiritual significance to local people.

Traditional burial sites,...

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered the US ambassador in Caracas, Patrick Duddy, to leave the country within 72 hours on September 11.

Chavez announced the measure in solidarity with Bolivia, after Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled US ambassador Phillip Goldberg earlier that...

The Wall Street "socialists" are at it again — with another big-government takeover of privately owned firms, aimed at protecting the rich by extorting money from working people.

This time, it's a rescue of the would-be rescuers of the mortgage crisis — Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. Like...

The below article is abridged from http://www.tamileelamnews.com.

Concentrated aerial attacks conducted by the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) have targeted the densely populated town of Killinochchi in the island's predominantly Tamil Northern Province where UN agencies and other NGOs have...

Speaking at the inaugural Ted Wheelwright Memorial Lecture for the Sydney University Department of Political Economy on September 1, Filipino anti-globalisation activist and academic Walden Bello, founding director of Focus on the Global South, contrasted the recent Beijing Olympics with the US...

Analysis

Less than a week after declaring that "the soap opera is over" in New South Wales politics, new Premier Nathan Rees had to sack his police minister of three days, Matt Brown, for allegedly drunkenly "mounting the chest" of Wollongong MP Noreen Hay in a "dirty dancing" party in Parliament House...

The following is abridged from an open letter distributed by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) Committees in Australia on August 25.

The elections in 2009 constitute a crucial point in the history of the Salvadoran nation. The Salvadoran oligarchy has historically...

The Fairfax Media workers' strike on August 28-31 signalled growing troubles in the Australian media industry.

The strike followed the Nine Network's dumping of key television news programming, including Sunday and Nightline, and the scrapping in January of the...

On September 5, the government's climate change adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, released his recommendations for medium-term cuts to Australian greenhouse gas emissions.

To the outrage of environmentalists, Garnaut's report, Targets and trajectories, calls for reductions by 2020...

Letters

Workplace 'restructures'

In my workplace we have been suffering restructuring for the whole time I have been there, which is three years now. We have had the closing down of sites, redundancies, increased workloads, unfair rosters and restrictions on taking our holiday leave. The number...

General

Bruno, a supporter of Green Left Weekly, said to me last week that the political situation today reminded him of a famous quote from a story about a Sicilian prince at the time Italy's feudal principalities were being challenged by Giuseppe Garibaldi's "Redshirts":

"If we want...

Culture

Tibet: A precious Human Life

By Damon Annison

Distributed by Brumby Books,
$35 (pb)

Damon Annison has produced an uplifting book of portraits of Tibet and the Tibetan people. As he says, "The Tibetans I have met are proud and show a...

Hollywood's Censor: Joseph I. Breen & The Production Code Administration

By Thomas Doherty


Columbia University Press, 2007

427 pages, $49.95 (hb)

"All this dialogue with regard to milking is highly dangerous", wrote...

Building The Revolutionary Party: Jim Percy Selected Writings 1980-1987

Resistance Books, 2008

212 pages, $20

Available from http://www.resistancebooks.com

Building The Revolutionary Party: Jim Percy Selected Writings 1980-...