Issue 794

Australia

On May 5, Nelson Davila, charge d'affairs for the Venezuelan embassy in Australia, travelled to Newcastle for a day of discussion about the history and progress of the Bolivarian revolution.

At a lunch time lecture at the University of Newcastle, Davila gave an overview of the views of...

Cityrail management began a staff review process on April 29 for staff working on the Illawarra line. The breakneck speed of the process so far has raised concerns among Cityrail workers that this is just another exercise in cost-cutting that will run down the already stretched rail network....

Scuffles broke out in Parramatta mall on May 5 as police and Lord Mayor Tony Issa forcibly shut down a Tamil hunger strike protesting the Sri Lankan government's genocide of the Tamil people.

A Tamil protester, 27-year-old Sudha Suthaharam, had been on hunger strike for three days. He was...

The following motion was passed by Students for Palestine (University of Western Sydney) on May 6.

* * *

Students for Palestine (UWS) condemns the genocidal policies of the Sri Lankan government, which are a continuation of more than six decades of systematic discrimination...

News that millionaire developer and Fremantle Labor candidate Peter Tagliaferri has been a member of the "500 club" — a Liberal party fundraising group — has mired the Labor campaign in controversy in the final weeks of campaigning for the May 16 Fremantle by-election.

Anger is...

On April 29, the steps of Victorian Parliament were filled with the stomping feet of angry protesters. They had marched through the city demanding public transport concession fares for international and postgraduate students.

The event was organised by the University of Melbourne Graduate...

World

More than 2,000 civilians were slaughtered by Sri Lankan Army shelling on the night of May 9, Tamilnet.com reported.

Medical sources in Vanni told Tamilnet.com: "Dead bodies are scattered everywhere, 814 wounded managed to reach the makeshift hospital [in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal] up to 9.25am...

On May 6 and 7, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zadari was in Washington to exchange platitudes with US President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Back home, a humanitarian catastrophe was unfolding in the Malakand Division of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), as the...

The article below is abridged from a May 7 Inter-Press Service report.

A detailed 184-page report critical of Israeli attacks on United Nations personnel and buildings during the Gaza conflict last December-January has been meticulously stripped down to a 27-page document — mostly due to...

When it comes to reporting on the situation for the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, with no reporters on the ground to witness the Sri Lankan Army's carnage, newspapers like the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald suddenly discover "reliable information" on what the Liberation...

"We ask the Afghan government to force the American forces to leave Afghanistan. They kill more civilians than Taliban", an angry Haji Nangyalai told AFP on May 7 at a demonstration outside government offices in the western town of Farah.

The protest came after it was revealed that US air...

The article below is abridged from a May 6 Tamilnet.com report.

Stressing the recognition of the self-determination of Tamils as the basis for any solution to the crisis in the island of Sri Lanka, Canadian Academics for Tamil Rights (CATR) told the media on May 6 that Canada banning the...

A huge mobilisation of up to a million workers took place in Caracas on May 1 — the international workers' day.

The streets of Caracas filled with workers from a wide variety of unions, the government's pro-poor social missions and other community organisations — all in red T-shirts...

The article below is reprinted from a May 5 Tamilnet.com report.

A 79-year-old woman detainee in the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) detention centre in Mirusuvil Roman Catholic Church and a 75-year-old woman in Kathadi Saiva Children Home SLA detention centre have been reported dead due to...

Frances's eight major union federations held demonstrations across the country on May 1 — the international workers' day. It was the third jointly organised day of mass workers demonstrations this year.

The May Day demonstrations were part of a united campaign to force President Nicolas...

"This is not just a Maoist movement", Green Left Weekly's correspondent in Kathmandu, Ben Peterson, said on the struggle that has erupted in Nepal. "This is threatening to become a new people's movement, like the one that swept away the monarchy."

Peterson was commenting on the...

"The country is not going to sink. Despite the world economic crisis, we will keep advancing in social and human development", Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said, inaugurating a new pharmaceutical plant at Las Adjuntas, Caracas, on May 3. He was speaking on his weekly TV program Alo...

Bolivian President Evo Morales called a special press conference in New York on April 22. The UN general assembly had passed a motion put by Bolivia's radical, pro-poor government to make that day "International Mother Earth Day".

Morales said the 21st century must be dedicated to...

The statement below was released by the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran. For more information, contact info@workers-iran.org or alliance@workers-iran.org. Visit the site of Solidarity Committee with Iranian Workers-Australia, at www.unionkar.com.

The May Day rally and...

An uprising by the Amazonian indigenous people of Peru continues to grow and get more radical in the face of government inaction.

Beginning on April 9, indigenous people blocked roads and river ways and took over airports and company installations across Peru's Amazonian region to...

Motorola, Caterpillar, Veolia, the Tesco supermarket chain, and other companies across the world that do business with Israel are suffering losses due to a global boycott in support of Palestinian rights.

On May 4, protesters greeted Motorola shareholders, already disgruntled by the...

Much has been made in the international media of right-wing multimillionaire Ricardo Martinelli's victory in Panama's May 3 presidential elections. Martinelli's triumph has been trumpeted as a break in the recent trend of left-wing electoral victories in the Americas.

Martinelli stood as...

Police detained dozens of opposition activists, lawyers and legislators on May 6 and 7, as protests erupted around the ruling National Front (BN) removal of the opposition People's Alliance (PR) state government of Perak.

Perak is one of five states won by the opposition in the March 2008...

On April 30, the US state department released its 2008 Country Reports on Terrorism.

The document claimed the governments of Cuba and Venezuela — anti-imperialist opponents of US foreign policy — support terrorism. Cuba and Venezuela both rejected the report and accused the US of...

Supporters of El Savador's left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) stormed parliament on May 1 in protest against attempts to impose a right-wing deputy as Congress president.

The protest occurred just weeks before the June 1 swearing in of El Salvador's first left-wing...

Analysis

Domestic violence support centres in Alice Springs are in desperate need of funds to meet demand.

Money has been set aside to upgrade services in the next financial year, but hundreds seeking support have been turned away.

"Since the beginning of the year until the middle of April...

"Integral fast reactors" and other "fourth generation" nuclear power concepts have been gaining attention, in part because of comments by US climate scientist James Hansen.

"We need hard-headed evaluation of how to get rid of long-lived nuclear waste and minimise dangers of proliferation...

New South Wales Teachers Federation (NSWTF)president Bob Lipscombe has announced an new position on performance pay on the federation's website.

Lipscombe doesn't use the term "performance pay", but instead talks about rewarding "accomplished teaching practice" with higher salaries. But...

The federal Labor government's pre-election promise to abolish anti-worker Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) has once again been exposed as a lie.

AWAs are alive and well at the Austral Bricks plants in Melbourne's outer suburbs of Craigieburn and Summer Hill.

AWAs are...

More than 40 Australian academics have signed a statement calling for a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions.

The statement said: "There can be no academic freedom in Israel/Palestine unless all academics are free and all students are free to pursue their academic desires...

Since the global economic crisis began, there has been a sharp fall in global demand for steel, resulting in more competition between steel makers.

This competition will place considerable pressure on Australian steel makers BlueScope and OneSteel. Australian steel producers are also...

Melbourne-based climate activist Pablo Brait sent the letter below to the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) on May 5.

***

Dear ACF,

I have been a proud member for 10 years, and although you often took different positions from my own on...

Within 24 hours of the Rudd government's announcement of new changes to the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, 66 climate action groups signed a statement condemning the decision.

In an open letter to the prime minister, the groups said they were "completely shocked by [the]...

PM Kevin Rudd's announced changes to the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) has again split the climate movement, and this time it's very serious, with three large, rusted-on-to-Labor groups running cover for an appalling policy that won't guarantee a reduction in Australian...

Ask an average Australian what they might hope the federal government would spend $300 billion on and the answer would hopefully be vast investment in new jobs and services, given we're heading into recession, and reducing Australia's climate change impact.

The answer probably wouldn't be...

This is an abridged version of the speech given to the Wollongong May Day march on May 2 by Fred Moore.

Moore has been active in the union movement for nearly 80 years, since attending his first May Day march in 1932 as a 10-year-old.

He is a blood-...

The federal budget will be presented to parliament by Treasurer Wayne Swan on May 12. While Swan has been officially tight-lipped about its contents, he has already released significant details about the cuts to programs and
government jobs the budget will hand down.

The government...

Letters

Another Rudd betrayal

The Rudd Labor Government's latest anti-science, pro-coal, pro-pollution Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) proposal betrays Labor voters, Australians and humanity — and comprehensively demonstrates its unfitness to rule.

The world is threatened...

General

Famous Cuban singer/songwriter Silvio Rodriguez has been banned by the US State Department from attending folk singer Pete Seeger's 90th birthday celebrations in New York.

"I think that the State Department's attitude is very much in contradiction with President Obama's express desire for...

Resistance!

PM Kevin Rudd has announced plans for a scheme that will deny youth allowance to unemployed people under 20 years old, unless they are at school or engaged in full-time vocational training.

Not only that, but the parents of young people who don't sign up will not receive the family tax...

Culture

Gay Hollywood — In the 1920s, Hollywood was the most homosexual friendly place to be, as most of the behind-the-camera staff were gay. But for those in front of the camera there was no tolerance from the movie-going public. SBS, Friday, May 15, 10pm.

...

Charlie Chaplin did much of his best work as an actor, director and even composer in films such as The Kid, The Gold Rush, The Circus and City Lights.

Playing the "Little Tramp" — dressed in an ill-fitting suit with a toothbrush mustache, cane and...

Corporate and White-Collar Crime

edited by John & Leonard Minkes

Sage

210 pages, $71.92(pb)

Despite the famous anarchist phrase "don't rob a bank, open one — it is legalised robbery", the capitalist world pretends there is a...