Issue 775

Australia

From November 8-10 at least 135 detainees in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre refused to take any food or water. The hunger strike was suspended when the Immigration Department gave in to the strikers' demand for consultation.

Immigration minister Chris Evans earlier this year...

The Goulburn Nine were arrested in November 2005 in Sydney, as were the Barwon 13 in Melbourne. A big deal was made about them being the first local terrorist groups in Australia to face trial under the draconian new "anti-terror" laws.

Under the laws people face the prospect of lengthy...

Hundreds of community workers and members of the social and community services (SACS) division of the Queensland Services Union (QSU) rallied on November 10 outside the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC).

The rally, attended by workers from Brisbane and the Sunshine and...

St Mary's church in South Brisbane has been threatened with excommunication if it maintains progressive practices that have the overwhelming support of the parish and community.

Brisbane Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby has given the church until December 1 to fall into line.

...

On November 15, thousands of people took to the streets across Australia to demand that governments take much more urgent and serious action to stop the global warming that is threatening life on Earth.

On November 15, thousands of people took to the streets across Australia to demand...

Sean Pickard, an Indigenous rights activist, has been threatened with jail for non-payment of fines imposed as a result of convictions on five counts of "failing to produce a ticket" on Melbourne's privatised public transport system.

During the trials that resulted in the fines, Pickard...

The family of Palm Island Aboriginal man Lex Wotton say they are relieved he did not get a life sentence and they will not be mounting an appeal against his six-year jail sentence. However, there has been widespread questioning of the discrepancy in the "justice" received by Wotton and white...

On Armistice Day, November 11, anti-war protesters marked the end of the war that was supposed to end all wars with "troops out" banners and placards outside the US consulate. Sydney Stop the War Coalition (STWC) is campaigning for all Australian troops to leave Iraq and Afghanistan.

At a...

The NSW mini-budget on November 11 is a full-on assault on public services and the public ownership of major assets in NSW.

Public assets to be sold off include NSW Lotteries, the waste services operator WSN Environment Solutions, superannuation fund service group Pillar, the RTA non-...

More than 200 people, including local residents, packed a community hall in Footscray on November 6 to protest vice-chancellor (VC) Liz Harman's announcement that 270 Victoria University (VU) staff will face the chop, most before Christmas.

These sackings, if they happen, will be the...

SYDNEY — On November 10, a Sydney City Council ban on bill postering came into effect — and was immediately defied.

On that day, the 'We love free speech — Stop the poster ban' campaign protested by putting up posters on the street outside Sydney Town Hall.

The day before, NSW...

The challenges, opportunities and responsibilities that socialists face today are huge.

Start with the opportunities. The financial and economic crisis that was never supposed to happen is leading thousands of people to wonder whether socialism's "19th century doctrine" (in the words of...

Beats are a toilet or park where men gather to have consensual, casual sex.

Beats used to be a place where men could meet before gay pride movements won the right to meet in pubs and clubs. Now, beat users are often men exploring their sexuality and those in the process of coming out....

Green Left Weekly's Chris Williams interviewed Tim Dobson from the Wollongong Public Transport Coalition (WPTC).

@question = When did WPTC start up and why?

It started up a few weeks ago, specifically in response to the...

World

At some point in the not-too-distant future, we might just look back at 2008 as the year in which things really started to fall apart for the African National Congress (ANC).

Africa's oldest liberation movement, which has enjoyed overwhelming political hegemony and electoral success since...

"Socialism 2008 — Malaysia", a conference hosted by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) in Kajang, Selangor, over November 7-9, brought together more than 500 activists from around Malaysia, as well as from Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong,...

What makes the current situation in Venezuelan an era of social revolution is not the fiery rhetoric of its leaders, particularly of its central leader, President Hugo Chavez.

Popular participation helps clarify this issue, as it is part of the revolutionary process underway. But it is...

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has warned that the right-wing opposition in his country is planning destabilisation actions during the November 23 elections for state governors and mayors, according to the November 12 Ultimas Noticias.

Chavez said that the opposition is...

Green Left Weekly correspondent and award-winning poet Bill Nevins was sacked from his job as an English instructor at the Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) in September. He had been working there since 1997.

Nevins, a strong anti-war advocate, was summarily dismissed...

On October 23, an estimated 30,000 university students took over Rome's streets. Marching to the chant of "Berlusconi is a piece of shit", students passed the train station, receiving cheers from young Kurdish immigrants.

The students then joined up with young people from the Horus social...

While the world was distracted by the US elections, Israel broke its four-month-old ceasefire with the Hamas-run Gaza government on November 4, entering the territory and killing six people and capturing six others.

Israeli authorities claimed that the attacks were in response to specific...

The November 7 Sydney Morning Herald reported that an advisor to US president-elect Barack Obama, Jeffrey Bader, had stated that the "first priority" of the Obama administration would be to seek a greater contribution from Australia to "winning the war in Afghanistan".

The...

Protests against Proposition 8, the California referendum that robs same-sex partners of marriage rights granted in a state Supreme Court decision earlier this year, began the day after the November 4 vote and continued through the rest of the week.

The largest was a march of up to 30,000...

As the US, Japan and Europe slide into recession, the leaders of many smaller countries are desperately hoping that continued strong growth in the Chinese economy, which has contributed about 15% of world economic growth in recent years, might save them from this meltdown.

There's hope...

According to a November 11 article in the British Guardian, the Maldives government is investigating the possibility of purchasing land in order to move its citizens to escape the disappearance of the Indian Ocean archipelago due to climate change.

The Guardian reported...

Pedro Alvarez is the candidate for mayor of Campo Elias, in the state of Merida, for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) — a party established by President Hugo Chavez with the aim of uniting Venezuela's mass revolutionary movement to construct "socialism of...

The ominous clouds that seemed to indicate the worst of storms, and which tend to hypnotise analysts inside and outside of Bolivia, dissipated following a political agreement that has set January 25 as the date for a referendum on the draft for a new constitution.

The partners were not...

The article below is an abridged November 7 editorial from Socialist Worker.

The sweeping victory of Barack Obama in the presidential elections is a transformative event in US politics, as an African American takes the highest office in a country built on slavery.

Obama's...

In the world of Washington insider politics, it's not what you know, it's who you know.

Rahm Emanuel is a prime example.

When president-elect Barack Obama announced that Emanuel was his pick for chief of staff, he selected a seasoned power-broker with decades of experience...

All Brandon Marshall wanted was the opportunity to be part of the moment.

The Denver Broncos wide receiver wanted to feel connected to the thousands who have flooded into the streets and the millions in a state of shock and awe around the world, celebrating the election of Barack Obama...

Analysis

We are all working harder through recycling to try to reduce the amount of garbage going wastefully to landfill.

But garbage is still growing and circling corporate vultures — supported by government — are hoping to make a killing out of the filth both here and in poorer countries.

...

The future of childcare services in Australia has been brought into question by the financial collapse of ABC Learning, the largest childcare provider in the country.

Its collapse, and government responses to it, reveal much about how public services and private profit interact in...

The global financial crisis is, again, showing up the savagery of the unfettered rule of the market. Governments are responding by increasing financial regulation, nationalising parts of the economy, and spending big on public infrastructure programs to pump-prime a stagnating capitalist economy...

Last week, Green Left Weekly published an article arguing that population reduction schemes provide no answers to the threat of climate change.

Population-based arguments wrongly treat population levels as the cause, rather than an effect, of an unsustainable economic system....

Gone are the days when the local council dropped you a note in the mailbox, advising of its twice-yearly, free hard-rubbish collection.

Gone are the days when people put the belongings they didn't want anymore onto the nature strip so other residents could take stuff before the council...

Editorial

After midnight on November 9, Imam Samudra, Amrozi Nurhasyim and Mukhlas Nurhasyim were executed by firing squad on the Indonesian prison island of Nusakambangan.

The three were sentenced to death by an Indonesian court for their role in the bombing of nightspots in Bali on October 12,...

Letters

Racism

The recent sentencing of a man for inciting a riot on Palm Island to seven years imprisonment is in stark contrast to the acquitting of the arresting officer in the original case — in which the arrested man died — and the awarding of medals for bravery to other police involved....

General

Due to a sub-editing error, the article "'No VSU-lite', say students" (GLW #774) contained an error. The article implied that the new levy introduced by the Rudd Labor government is non-compulsory. In fact, the changes allow the universities to charge up to $250 per student, and, if...

There are some new faces joining the banks on the corporate bailout queue: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

The "Big Three" US car corporations are demanding US$50 billion in bailout loans from the US government - on top of $25 billion already approved. Across the Atlantic, the European...

Culture

Che: A Graphic Biography

by Spain Rodriguez

Verso Books, 2008

120 pages, $29.95 (pb)

"Che Guevara was impulsive, stubborn and ahead of his time, but always focussed on the suffering of those who produce in order to maintain others...

Whatever happened to Brenda Hean?

Directed by Scott Millwood

Written by Scott Millwood & Mira Robertson

Distributed by Gill Scrine & Little Films

Whatever happened to Brenda Hean?

By...

Summer of Love - Looks at the hippy district of San Francisco's Haight Ashbury during the summer of 1967, which had utopian beginnings born of idealistic youths who'd grown up with post-WWII affluence but were now dealing with Vietnam, racism, and the threat of nuclear...