Issue 776


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.
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.
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 their country would soon be gone. She also recounted the important role that Cuban doctors are playing in the country, providing essential medical care.
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.
Areyonga community members have begun a campaign to defend teaching in Pitjantjatjara at their local school.
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.
The Victorian division of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) rallied 500 supporters of tertiary education on November 20.
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 Liberal Party government of Western Australia announced on November 18 that it has lifted the state’s ban on uranium mining.
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.
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 been hit with $1.39 million in fines ($654,000 of which has been suspended).
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.


Postal balloting for national elections in the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) began on November 19 and will continue until December 10.
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.
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 effort of an individual under the age of 30. He spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Simon Butler.
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.
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 coal technology”.
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.
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 ways that decisions are made when mining takes place in Adnyamathanha country. Marsh spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Peter Robson about the expansion of the nuclear industry in South Australia and the Northern Territory.


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.
Fishing boats have become the latest target in Israel’s war on the Palestinian territory of Gaza.
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 torture.
Anyone would have thought there would be a profound debate on the thorny issue.
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.
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 political parties, according to <
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.
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.
A race to remember: The Peter Norman story
By Damian Johnstone and Matt Norman
JoJo Publishing, 2008
320 pages, $34.95 (pb)
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?
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 municipal mayors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.


Lemon Tree
Director Eran Riklis
Screenplay by Suha Arraf & Eran Riklis
With Hiam Abbass, Doron Tavory, Ali Suliman & Rona Lipaz-Michael
In cinemas
The Howard Years
Series producer Deborah Masters
Interviewer/Narrator Fran Kelly
ABC, Monday 8.30pm
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 Aboriginal


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


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


Isn’t it great to be young? Isn’t it great to be a university student?
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 Transport Coalition. The rally was in response to a recent Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recommendation to increase train fares and cut services.