Issue 775

News

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 senior sergeant Chris Hurley.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Green Left Weekly’s Chris Williams interviewed Tim Dobson from the Wollongong Public Transport Coalition (WPTC).
The NSW mini-budget on November 11 is a full-on assault on public services and the public ownership of major assets in NSW.
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.
SYDNEY — On November 10, a Sydney City Council ban on bill postering came into effect — and was immediately defied.
The challenges, opportunities and responsibilities that socialists face today are huge.
Beats are a toilet or park where men gather to have consensual, casual sex.

Analysis

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.
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. Not in NSW.
Last week, Green Left Weekly published an article arguing that population reduction schemes provide no answers to the threat of climate change.
Gone are the days when the local council dropped you a note in the mailbox, advising of its twice-yearly, free hard-rubbish collection.
We are all working harder through recycling to try to reduce the amount of garbage going wastefully to landfill.

World

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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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).
“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, Australia, Britain, Sweden and Taiwan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 21st century”.
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 article below is an abridged November 7 editorial from Socialist Worker.
In the world of Washington insider politics, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
All Brandon Marshall wanted was the opportunity to be part of the moment.

Culture

Che: A Graphic Biography
by Spain Rodriguez
Verso Books, 2008
120 pages, $29.95 (pb)
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 Scott Millwood
Allen & Unwin, 2008
256 pages, $26.95 (pb)
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

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.

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

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