Issue 772

Australia

The following statement was issued by the Intervention Rollback Action Group, Alice Springs, on October 11.

On the night of October 9, a large number of police raided the Kunoth Town Camp in Alice Springs. The raid has terrified the local community. Police jumped over fences, displayed...

Train drivers working in Rio Tinto's Pilbara iron ore division escalated their campaign for a union collective agreement by holding two consecutive 12-hour stoppages starting at midday on October 22.

The stoppages followed a strike on October 11, the first industrial action Rio Tinto has...

Activists in Cairns have stepped up their blockade actions in the last two weeks to stop the partial demolition of the Cairns Yacht Club building and its removal from its site beside Trinity Inlet.

Several activists have been arrested after scaling ladders to sit on the building's roof or...

Around 60 Cuba solidarity activists gathered outside the United States consulate in the CBD on October 25.

The rally, initiated by the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS), called on the Australian government to provide financial and material aid to hurricane-devastated Cuba and...

In the October 18 ACT Legislative Assembly elections the ALP suffered a massive 9.4% swing against it. The Greens picked up more than 6% of that swing and have increased their seats in the 17-member assembly from one to at least three.

During 2006, the ALP majority government implemented...

More than 100 people gathered at the Woodville Town Hall on October 14 to hear speakers opposed to the proposed Cheltenham Park Racecourse redevelopment.

The local and state government plan is to use 65% of the site, which is the last remaining open space in Adelaide's western suburbs,...

Aboriginal activist Sam Watson has called for major rallies in cities across Australia in response to Palm Island Aboriginal man Lex Wotton being found guilty on October 24 of "rioting with destruction".

Watson told the media: "[The verdict was] business as usual in the sovereign state of...

Save Our Gulf Coalition (SOGC), Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group, Eco-socialist Convergence, the 3D Environment Show, the Young Greens, the Socialist Alliance, the Wilderness Society and the Conservation Council were just some of the groups represented at the inaugural meeting of the Climate...

Friends of Felton (FoF) organised two very successful film and information evenings in Pittsworth and Toowoomba on October 1 and 2. One hundred and ninety people attended, including several councillors.

The event was called "Coalmining in our backyard — How will it affect us? What can we...

TAFE teachers have been rallying outside ALP state politicians offices in their campaign for a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).

They want the EBA to address job insecurity, workload and salaries. Rallies have taken place around Melbourne as well as across regional Victoria....

Federal indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin announced on October 23 that the Labor government will not implement the key proposals of the independent review into the Northern Territory intervention. Aboriginal critics have described the decision as the government turning its back on...

Three hundred and fifty staff at Victoria University held a mass meeting on October 21 to consider industrial action in response to the announcement of a plan to sack more than 250 staff in VU's Higher Education and TAFE divisions.

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) says this is...

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) — the secretive body formed by the Howard government in 2005 to police the construction industry — has ratcheted up the use of its compliance powers in the last six months, workplaceexpress.com.au reported on October 20.

Quoting...

New legislation granting parenting rights to same-sex couples was passed in the Senate in October 16. The legislation grants legal recognition to children of same-sex parents born through IVF or surrogacy.

Parents who are same-sex couples will have the same legal rights as parents who are...

World

If you've read what the mainstream media has had to say about Bhutan in the last year then you would probably have a strong impression of Bhutan and its government: a monarchy that has "given up its power" and embraced democracy.

You would probably know of a government that has chosen to...

More than 380 delegates participated at the sixth congress of the General Union of Saguia El Hamra and Rio de Oro (-Western Sahara) Workers (UGTSARIO) in the Western Saharan refugee camp of El Aaiun in south-west Algeria from October 19-21.

The congress represented workers from Western...

Faced with the complete collapse of its financial system, the Icelandic government has accepted a US$6 billion "bailout package", which would include more than $1 billion input from the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF is infamous for its global "shock therapy" approach to economic...

After three months of intense class struggle, there can be no doubt that the US-backed right-wing opposition to the government of President Evo Morales has suffered three important defeats.

The right's offensive to topple Morales, which climaxed with the September 11-12 "civic coup"...

They're not happy, these bankers who've been forced to resign, are they?

For example, Fred Goodwin, who's lost his £4.1 million salary at Royal Bank of Scotland and must now manage on a £580,000 pension, seemed furious, as if he was a sacked docker from the 1980s, and you expected him to...

Thousands of indigenous Colombians are marching along the Pan American Highway — which connects the south-west of the country to the centre — to protest militarisation of their lands by government and paramilitary forces, as well as the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

The protesters are...

"Its not only South America that is changing, but also Central America", Margarita Lopez, a deputy in the El Salvadorian National Assembly and political commission member of the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), told Green Left Weekly.

"With Nicaragua...

Some parties in Malaysia's ruling National Front (BN) government are trying to intimidate opposition parties and social activists, Socialist Party Malaysia (PSM) secretary general S.Arutchelvan told Green Left Weekly, a few days after the PSM's sole federal MP, Dr D. Jeyakumar, had his...

"For the social movements and the Bolivian people, the approval of the new constitution is key to reversing the centuries of discrimination", Julio Salazar, executive secretary of the Six Federations of Coca Growers from the Tropics of Cochabamba, told Green Left Weekly.

Sitting...

Talk of assassination plots and rising concerns about a high abstention rate have marked the beginning of the November 23 regional elections race.

Formally at stake are 23 governorships, more than 300 mayorships and hundreds of representatives on the state legislative councils. However,...

The ancient Palestinian coastal city of Acre was the scene of four days of rioting following an incident that took place on the night of October 8, when a mob of Jewish fundamentalists attempted to lynch three Palestinians for the "crime" of driving a car on the Yom Kippur religious holiday....

The deepening financial calamity exposes how the "fundamentals" of the economy impact on working people in the US, particularly African Americans. The so-called unfettered free market system has been a failure.

The issue of the economy has given the presidential campaign of Democratic...

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has let the dogs loose. Apparently, he's decided that if winning the White House means whipping up the right wing into a racist frenzy, he'll lead the charge.

The good news is that a majority of US voters are walking away from the John McCain-...

Voices from Venezuela — Behind the Bolivarian revolution

By Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy

Resistance Books, 2008

316pages, $25

Available from Resistance Books

Why should Australian working people take any notice of far...

Analysis

With recession now a reality in the United States, and highly likely in Japan and much of Europe, global business is coming out fighting against government policies that might restrict its ability to keep making profits. Measures aimed at limiting carbon emissions have come under fire.

...

Two hundred teachers rallied outside New South Wales parliament on October 23 to demand that education minister Verity Firth renegotiate the teacher transfer system.

Nichole Benton, social sciences head teacher at Chester Hill High School in Sydney's south west, told Green Left Weekly...

While the war in Afghanistan has dropped off the front pages, seven years on, 56% of Australians say the 1000 Australian troops there should be brought home. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's talk about reconstructing the country haven't fooled many.

Most of the rebuilding projects have been...

The following article is based on a speech delivered by Renfrey Clarke to the Climate Emergency: No More Business as Usual conference held in Adelaide on October 10-11. Clarke spoke as a representative of the Socialist Alliance.

A few months back, 14 large...

The $8000 solar panel rebate has proven so popular that it could be halted or wound back, according to an October 22 Sydney Morning Herald article.

The rebate was introduced by the ALP federal government in 2007, but 30 times more applications for the subsidy than expected have...

NSW Labor was dealt a heavy blow in three by-elections held on October 18. Labor suffered a swing against it of more than 23% in Ryde, 22% in Cabramatta and 13% in Lakemba.

Labor lost the seat of Ryde to the Liberal Party. Cabramatta has also been reduced from one of the safest Labor...

The statement published below is an initial response from individuals, social movements and non-governmental organisations in support of a transitional program for radical economic transformation.

The preamble explains that "Taking advantage of the opportunity of so many people from...

General

You must have noticed that the Christmas decorations are rapidly spreading all over the shopping malls, not so subtly signalling another season of extreme shopping and extreme credit card abuse.

This year, of course, you won't be shopping till you drop just for the greater profit of the...

Resistance!

Living in Australia, it's not easy to imagine that young people have the potential to make major social change.

We are constantly belittled in the media as interested in nothing more than "sex, drugs, and rock and roll", and young people are excluded from any formal positions of power....

Long-term Resistance activist Leigh Hughes has been recognised by the Australian Capital Territory Conservation Council for his leading role in the Canberra environment movement.

The "Leading Light Award" was one of three "Local Hero" awards announced at the Conservation Council's annual...

Culture

The Purple Economy — supernatural charities, tax & the state

By Max Wallace

The Australian National Secular Association

Available from secularansa@gmail.com

$40 + postage

Most Australians who think about the subject...

Progressive academic, award-winning slam poet and Green Left cultural reviewer Bill Nevins was unceremoniously sacked from his job as an English academic at the Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque in September – just as classes were about to begin for the new semester.

...

Mister President — Examines the film and television phenomenon that has made "stars" of the men and women who work in the Oval Office. SBS, Friday, October 31, 7.30pm.

Dateline — Reports on some of the key battleground US states, and...