Issue 776

Australia

Areyonga community members have begun a campaign to defend teaching in Pitjantjatjara at their local school.

The campaign is in response to a proposal by NT legislative assembly member Marion Scrymgour to force schools to teach only in English for the first four hours of each day, leaving...

On November 14, 70 people attended the Gleebooks launch of Trade Unionism in Australia — From Flood to Ebb Tide by Queensland academic and Socialist Alternative activist Tom Bramble.

Bramble blamed the fall in union membership, density and activity over the past 30 years on the...

On November 11, around 50 people attended a public meeting at Unions NSW on building unions under a Labor government, organised by new left-wing "think-tank" Catalyst.

King's College law professor Keith Ewing outlined the failure of the union movement to capitalise on the past 10 years of...

Bette Boreham, an activist recently returned from volunteer work in Kiribati, told a Socialist Alliance meeting on November 12 about how the low-lying Pacific Island country is facing annihilation by rising seas. Boreham spoke of the courage of the Kiribati people, and the horror of knowing...

The federal Labor government announced on November 18 that it will extend into Western Australia a key component of the racist intervention into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

Child protection agencies in WA will now be able to set welfare quarantining for families in...

NSW teachers stopped work for two hours on November 19 to consider the next stage in their campaign for the reinstatement of a centralised staffing system and salary justice.

The NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) has been fighting the dismantling of the centralised staffing system, which...

Geelong Trades Hall secretary Tim Gooden thinks it's high time for the construction industry unions to "stop feeding the hand that strangles us". Gooden was referring to the fact that under the legislation that set up the Australian Building and Construction Commission, unions and workers have...

Families For a Nuclear Free Future (FFANFF) is a recently formed community group of families in Alice Springs with a united voice against the exploration and mining of uranium.

FFANFF formed to protest against the granting of an exploration license for the Angela Pamela uranium prospect,...

When the beautiful 100-year-old elm trees in Methven Park, Brunswick began to show signs of stress from lack of water, a group of local residents came together to pressure the local council for a plan to save the trees.

Residents came up against a parks and gardens management prepared to...

The Victorian division of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) rallied 500 supporters of tertiary education on November 20.

The announcements of hundreds of job losses at La Trobe and Victoria universities have provoked a sharp response by the union, and a ballot for an extensive...

On November 16, the Community Solidarity group took part in the annual Fremantle Festival parade, calling for the Rudd government to repeal all of the Work Choices legislation and completely scrap the Australian Building and Construction
Commission's powers.

The float included a...

The Liberal Party government of Western Australia announced on November 18 that it has lifted the state's ban on uranium mining.

Premier Colin Barnett told the media, according to AFP, "It is now open to the mining industry in this state, if they so wish to proceed with plans to develop...

World

President Hugo Chavez's governing party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), got mixed results in the regional and local elections held on November 23, winning strongly in 17 out of 23 states, but losing the country's two most populous states and the Capital District of Caracas....

Anyone would have thought there would be a profound debate on the thorny issue.

On November 15, the press agencies were reporting on the program that would unfold at the G20 meeting in the National Building Museum in Washington.

Every second was covered. It would start at 11.30am...

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for a "revolution within the revolution", at an 8000 strong United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) rally on November 18.

Chavez called upon the PSUV ranks to hold successful PSUV candidates to account if they failed to act in the interests of...

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) is a non-government organisation formed in 1997 that includes "Zimbabwean citizens and civic organisations including, labour movements, student and youth groups, women groups, churches, business groups and human rights organisations", as well as...

On November 17, thousands of indigenous and environmental activists rallied across Ecuador in protest against the introduction of a new mining law by the government of President Rafael Correa.

The protests, organised largely by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (...

On November 16 the Iraqi cabinet agreed to a final draft of a "security agreement" that would replace the current United Nations mandate — which has authorised the occupation since 2003 but that is scheduled to expire on December 31.

Negotiations have been ongoing for more than a year...

Fishing boats have become the latest target in Israel's war on the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

Fifteen local fishermen and three international solidarity activists were arrested on November 18 following an International Solidarity Movement (ISM)-inspired action to expose the Israeli...

On November 16, in his first interview since his election victory, US president-elect Barack Obama told the CBS program 60 Minutes that his administration would close the notorious US concentration camp on the illegally occupied Cuban territory of Guantanamo Bay, and end the use of...

At a mass rally of PSUV activists in the Poliedro Stadium on November 18, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for "Operation Round Up" to gather the maximum number of votes for candidates of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in the November 23 elections for state governors and...

One of US president-elect Barack Obama's leading advisers has done more damage to Africa, its economies and its people than anyone I can think of in world history, including even Cecil John Rhodes.

That charge may surprise readers, but hear me out.

His name is Paul Volcker, and...

Outgoing US President George Bush has often stated that history will be the rightful judge of his legacy. Some academics, such as John Lewis Gaddis and Fareed Zakaria, have already begun early revisions to the Bush years.

But as historians mark the final score, they must not omit a...

One of Burma's most prominent activists has been sentenced to 65 years jail, along with two other pro-democracy leaders, in connection with anti-government protests held last year.

According to the November 17 Bangkok Post, 14 leading activists from the 88 Generation Students...

The much-hyped US$700 billion bailout for the banks has become a grab-bag of policies and giveaways to corporations of all sorts as the Bush administration reels under the pressure of collapsing stock prices, frozen credit markets and skyrocketing unemployment.

Treasury Secretary Henry...

Basque nationalist Inaki de Juana Chaos voluntarily appeared in court in Belfast on November 17 following the issueing of a European arrest warrant by the Spanish authorities to the Police Service of Northern Ireland on November 13.

The Spanish warrant states that on August 2, de Juana...

A race to remember: The Peter Norman story

By Damian Johnstone and Matt Norman

JoJo Publishing, 2008

320 pages, $34.95 (pb)

Peter Norman could run 200 metres in 20 seconds — only a rare individual can do that, but Norman was much...

With mounting evidence of environmental damage and grave social consequences, making fuel from plants no longer seems such a good idea. But is the widespread criticism of agrofuels forcing policy changes?

The agrofuels industry has taken a severe kicking lately. Its green image has been...

Analysis

Postal balloting for national elections in the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) began on November 19 and will continue until December 10.

The incumbent officials are running as the "Stephen Jones Team" (a reference to incumbent CPSU national secretary Stephen Jones). Their...

Noel Washington is a senior vice-president of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) in Victoria. He has been a union organiser for 27 years. On December 2, simply for doing his job well, he faces a possible jail sentence under laws supported by the federal Labor government...

The Greens are fielding almost 100 candidates across Victoria in local council elections on November 29. There will be Greens candidates in almost every ward.

It is expected that in many places, Greens councillors will be elected for the first time and in other places Greens councillors...

Leigh Hughes, an activist in the socialist youth organisation Resistance and the Socialist Alliance, as well a member of the Australian Student Environment Network, recently won the ACT Conservation Council's "Leading Light" award for the most outstanding environmental...

SKA TV has been around for 20 years as an alternative voice to mainstream television. We started off running guerrilla transmissions before there was such a thing as community television and along the way we created, along with four other guerrilla TV transmitter groups, Channel 31.

It...

The Australian Coal Association (ACA) has launched a new website () and advertising campaign aimed at convincing us that coal producers are not filthy carbon merchants profiting from the most emissions-intensive fossil fuel available, but can be modernised and cleaned up using "low-emissions...

Evidence is mounting of a coordinated global oil industry effort to seize upon the international economic crisis as an opportunity to "rebel" against ecological controls and bludgeon concessions out of governments.

The assault on environmental and other regulation is being conducted under...

Jillian Marsh is a member of the Adnyamathanha community in the Flinders Ranges and active in the Australian Nuclear-Free Alliance. She recently traveled to Germany to receive the 2008 Nuclear-Free Future award, and is writing a thesis entitled A look at the approval of Beverley Mine and the...

Editorial

The first 12 months of Kevin Rudd's federal Labor government have proved to be a continuation of the conservative, pro-war and anti-environmental politics of the Howard years.

The major difference between the two governments has been a difference in style rather than substance.

...

Letters

National liberation movements

In an otherwise excellent and very informative article on the fragmentation of the African National Congress in South Africa, Dale T. McKinley (GLW #775) writes: "As has been the case with all national liberation movements that have become post-...

General

The article "Trial of the Goulburn Nine" (GLW #775)contained an error, claiming the Melbourne "terror trial" in September resulted in "six people [being] convicted of conspiring to commit a terrorist act". In fact, they were convicted of belonging to a terrorist organisation.

...

Every week hundreds of dedicated activists hit the streets all over Australia to distribute Green Left Weekly.

Whether it's braving chilly mornings outside a train station, windy afternoons on a busy street corner or dodging security guards in a mall, they labour away convincing...

Resistance!

Isn't it great to be young? Isn't it great to be a university student?

Most newspapers would tell us that students just sleep in and smoke hooch. They live in trendy inner-city share houses and sip lattes. The future, the next generation, lives in luxury while it learns the ways of the...

The following article is based on a talk given by Felix Donovan, a Year 10 Bulli High School student and Resistance member in Wollongong. Donovan was speaking at a November 15 rally outside transport minister David Campbell's office, organised by Wollongong Public...

Culture

Lemon Tree

Director Eran Riklis

Screenplay by Suha Arraf & Eran Riklis

With Hiam Abbass, Doron Tavory, Ali Suliman & Rona Lipaz-Michael

In cinemas

Lemon Tree is a sure-fire serious drama about the poor...

The Howard Years

Series producer Deborah Masters

Interviewer/Narrator Fran Kelly

ABC, Monday 8.30pm

There has to be some merit to a TV show that annoys right-wing columnist Gerard Henderson.

And according to his November...

Fidel Castro — Looks at Castro's early life as the son of a wealthy landowner, a Jesuit student, and as a young rebel lawyer who led the Cuban people to revolution. SBS, Friday. November 28, 1.30pm.

Lionel Rose — In 1968, a young...