Issue 804

Australia

New anti-terrorism laws have been signalled in the immediate aftermath of the July 17 terrorist bombings in Jakarta.

The details of the new laws have not been revealed, but the government has indicated it wants to make it an offence to incite violence against an individual on the basis of...

British filmmaker Ken Loach's decision to withdraw his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has led to a storm of debate.

Loach, along with Looking for Eric writer Paul Laverty and producer Rebecca O'Brien, wrote to the organisers...

A damning report from the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) has revealed widespread misconduct by Queensland police in recent years

The report, titled Dangerous Liaisons, was made public by CMC chairperson Robert Needham on July 22. It implicated 25 police, ranging...

A small group of activists from the Climate Emergency Action Network South Australia (CLEAN SA) were threatened with ejection from the Art Gallery of SA grounds, during the recent Adelaide Festival of Ideas, for handing out flyers.

The flyers advertised a CLEAN forum, "100% Renewables by...

Fifty people rallied outside the Fremantle Esplanade Hotel on July 22. The hotel was the venue of the Australian Uranium conference. The protest was organised by the Fremantle Anti-Nuclear Group.

The protest was addressed by mayor of Fremantle, Peter Tagliaferri, who denounced the Western...

Residents on income management will be unable to use their Basics cards at the Darwin Show, a Crikey.com article said on July 23.

Income management, also known as "welfare quarantining", converts 50% of welfare payments for people living on remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities...

The Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) is assessing a new pay offer put forward on July 24 in the Industrial Relations Commission by the Anna Bligh state Labor government.

The government had originally proposed a 12.5% pay rise over three years, but has now made a revised offer. The teachers...

A man from the remote indigenous community of Warburton caught fire after WA Police used a Taser on him on July 20. He was airlifted to a Perth hospital with burns to 20% of his body. The July 21 Age said he was in a critical condition in the hospital burns unit.

WA Police claim...

The Alice Springs council will fine beggars $130 following new bylaws passed on July 20. The new bylaws also banned camping, lighting fireworks and holding protests without a permit.

The council's Director of Corporate and Community Services, Craig Catchlove told ABC Online on July 21: "...

The picket against construction company Thiess in Rhodes, Western Sydney, has continued for more than a month. On July 23, protesters gathered at the picket in support of the four recently sacked workers.

Supporters came from the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU), the...

Fifty people attended a rally at Redfern station on July 18. The protesters said Railcorp's proposed staffing cuts were unjustified and put commuters at risk.

Redfern station is part of Railcorp's central business district zone, which includes Central, Museum, St James, Town Hall, Wynyard...

World

An East Jerusalem community has called on US President Barack Obama to pressure Israel to stop its illegal "Jewish-only" settlement program that will evict them from their homes.

Twenty-seven families in Sheikh Jarrah are facing home evictions to further the growth of Israeli settlements...

On July 19 in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, Giorgio Trucchi interviewed Honduran President Manual Zelaya for the Regional Latin American Secretariat if the International Union of Food, Agriculture and Hotel Workers World Wide (Sirel)....

The article below is abridged from a July 23 statement by the West Papua Advocacy Team.

Amid an ongoing shooting spree at the Freeport McMoRan mining concession in Timika, West Papua, four people have died, including an Australian Freeport employee.

Six separate ambushes have...

The US State Department and the coup regime in Honduras have publicly stated what many of us already knew: the June 28 military coup was not just directed against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, but also Venezuela and the unfolding Latin American revolution.

On July 20, US state...

Afghan prisoners of war at the US military-run prison at Bagram, outside Kabul, have refused to wash or leave their cells in protest at their indefinite imprisonment since at least July 1, the Sydney Morning Herald said on July 17.

The protests inside "a jail that is even more...

On July 22, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez again declared his complete support for the proposal by industrial workers for a new model of production based on workers' control.

This push from Chavez, part of the socialist revolution, aims at transforming Venezuela's basic industry....

The first All-Stakeholders' Conference aimed at drafting a new constitution in Zimbabwe was held in Harare on July 13-14. The constitutional reform process is the result of the agreement reached between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and the Movement for Democratic Change, when they...

Workers at Britain's only wind turbine factory, on the Isle of Wight, launched an indefinite occupation on July 20 to protest its pending closure and the loss of more than 600 green jobs.

Danish company Vestas Windsystems owns the factory. The company announced the factory closure despite...

Three weeks after the June 28 military coup that expelled Honduran President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya, the Central American country remains shaken by a profound and dynamic popular upsurge demanding Zelaya's return and the restoration of democracy.

The collapse on July 18 of the much-touted "...

Around 60 people protested outside parliament house on July 25 in solidarity with recent democracy protests in Iran. They demanded the release of political prisoners, an end to censorship and the rejection of the recent presidential elections as a fraud.

Melbourne protest organiser Sammi...

July 26 also marks the anniversary of the attack on the Moncada military barracks by revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro in 1953, viewed by Cubans as the start of the revolution.

Chris Slee looks at how the revolution was made and defended by Cuba's oppressed working people.

...

On July 15, the US State Department once again refused a visa for Adriana Perez to visit her husband Gerardo Hernandez who is imprisoned in the US.

Hernandez is one of the Cuban Five, unjustly condemned to two perpetual life terms plus 15 years.

The Cuban Five have been in US...

The election of two European parliamentarians from the far-right, racist British National Party in June has removed the cover on a political sewer that should have been sealed for all time.

BNP leader Nick Griffin, a man with a history of anti-Semitism and holocaust denial, now calls for...

The article below is an abridged open letter to Peruvian President Alan Garcia from the Peruvian Association for Human Rights (Aprodeh). Peru has been shaken in recent months by the struggle between indigenous communities in the Amazon and the Garcia government, which passed decrees opening the...

Analysis

International students are big business in Australia. Enrolments peaked at a record 543,898 and generated $15.5 billion in export income in 2008.

Nationally, education is now the third largest export-earner, just behind coal and iron. The Victorian government claims almost 160,000...

On July 21, Access Economics released its forecasts for the Australian economy. It predicted Australia was through the worst of the recession.

While saying unemployment would continue to rise, Access argued that it will peak at 7.5% in Australia — significantly below the 10% or higher...

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) hosted a forum on the jobs crisis in Sydney on July 20. The Jobs Summit: Pathways to Recovery brought academics, economists and trade unions together to discuss the effects of the global financial downturn on working people, and solutions to the...

Anger at Premier Anna Bligh's planned privatisation of $15 billion of public assets is growing, after the July 22 appointment of Rothschild, Merrill Lynch and the Royal Bank of Scotland to advise on the asset sale.

The consortium — which involves companies recently bailed out by their...

A national campaign calling for same-sex marriage called Equal Love has been running for five years and has attracted growing support. Its focus is to shift public attitudes to gay and lesbian relationships through a campaign involving education and direct action protests.

Its key demand...

More than three months after a fatal explosion on an asylum seeker boat, only one new detail has come to light: Northern Territory police still have not formally identified the five people killed from the blast, ABC Online said on July 18.

The Australian Federal Police have charged two...

For Pacific Islanders, climate change is not a threat looming somewhere in the future. Rising sea levels and unpredictable weather are having devastating effects right now. Climate change has already forced some communities to leave their traditional homes.

Green Left Weekly's...

On July 15, elders left the remote Aboriginal community of Ampilatwatja for more remote ancestral lands. They were protesting a dire lack of basic services in their community, despite repeated government promises to "close the gap" and end Aboriginal disadvantage.

The elders left the 150-...

On August 11, Ark Tribe, a member of the South Australian Branch of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), will appear in court charged with refusing to answer questions from the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

If he is found guilty he faces a...

Letters

Why L'Oreal? Boycott Israeli goods!

I refer to the report "Boycott L'Oreal — because Palestine is worth it" (GLW #802). I find it puzzling that a French firm is being boycotted while Israeli-manufactured goods are not. The following are some Israeli brands being...

General

The heroic act of resisting an order to serve in a war that is wrong has shaped the political views of many people. I remember the powerful impression draft resisters made on me as a young student during the tail-end of Australia's military involvement in the war on Vietnam.

It was me to...

Resistance!

The following open letter was sent to the Australian Youth Climate Coalition from Resistance. It is in response to the Power Shift 2009 conference in Sydney on July 11-13.

***

We face a climate emergency. Climate tipping points are rapidly being approached, which, if passed, could...

On July 20, workers at the Vestas wind turbine plant on England's Isle of Wight occupied the factory to protest its closure and the loss of 625 green jobs.

The Danish company Vestas Wind Systems announced the plant would close at the end of July. Vestas is the main producer of wind...

Culture

Oodgeroo: Bloodline to CountryWritten by Sam WatsonDirected by Sean MeeWith Jonathan Brand, Darren Brady, Simon Hapea, Roxanne McDonald, Rhonda Purcell and Emma PurseyLa Boite Theatre Company

Black people "are getting stronger all across the world," declares Kath...

Brisbane International Film Festival30 July — 09 AugustVisit www.stgeorgebiff.com.au, phone (07) 3007 3003

While Hollywood fluff continues to rain down upon us like US-missiles in Afghanistan, some much needed relief is thankfully at hand at the Brisbane...

Phil Monsour is a singer/songwriter based in Brisbane. His songs reflect a passionate commitment to the struggles of ordinary people. But Monsour does more than just sing about the world. As part of a broader political engagement, he deploys his music as an organising tool.

His recent...

The government tells those aged between 17 and 25

they've got to be either learning or earning

or their social security will be withheld.

Young unemployed don't need to be compelled;

they need to be provided with opportunities to learn

and helped to build...

Continuing a long tradition, the RTBU Award for Poets and Songwriters is running again in 2009.

From convict days when human power was used to propel railway carriages at Port Arthur, to early steam rail openings, through two depressions, a general strike, two world wars and changing...