Issue 806

Australia

John Pilger, renowned journalist, author and filmmaker, has been awarded the 2009 Sydney Peace Prize.

Announcing the prize, Sydney Peace Foundation director Professor Stuart Rees said: "The jury was impressed by John's courage as well as by his skills and creativity. His commitment to...

In the midst of enterprise bargaining, members of the National Tertiary Education Union at the University of Melbourne were shocked by a management proposal to cut at least 220 full-time positions by the end of 2009. The university claimed the sackings were due to the economic crisis.

On...

A pledge to create 50,000 new green jobs was a showpiece announcement in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's speech to the ALP national conference on July 30.

Twenty-four hours later, his pledge was revealed as totally bogus.

The government had to admit there were no plans to create 50,...

On July 28, Castlemaine members of the Support Association for the Women of Afghanistan (SAWA) organised a birthing kit assembly day at the local hospital.

Rotary and the Birthing Kit Foundation of Australia — an affiliate of Zonta International, an organisation committed to advancing the...

The new song "Stand Tall" has become the official anthem of the Ark's Tribe campaign. The song will be played loudly at the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on August 11 when Tribe's court case resumes.

The song can be downloaded from www.arkstribe.blogspot.com.

Tribe, an Adelaide...

Two young Australian Tamils will walk 300 km from Sydney to Canberra to build awareness of the plight of 300,000 Tamil civilians forcibly held in military controlled internment camps in Sri Lanka.

Seran Sribalan and Vishna Sivaraj both have family members held in the camps. They will...

Seven of the lowest-lying pacific nations have called for global emissions cuts of 45% by 2020 to save their homelands from rising sea levels caused by global warming.

The call was made on August 5 in the lead-up to the Pacific Island Forum, held in Cairns. The nations urged Australia to...

One hundred Tamil and non-Tamil women attended the inaugural Women for Justiceevent at Balmain Town Hall on July 30. The meeting aimed to create awareness about, and campaign to stop, sexual abuse and human rights violations to which Tamil women have been subjected to for the past 60...

Premier Anna Bligh was put on the spot on ABC television's Q & A on July 30 when asked about a young Cairns couple facing charges for procuring an abortion.

Bligh sidestepped the key issue of why abortion is still in the state's Crimes Act, restating her personal view that...

"Housing is controlled by the market system, and markets don't understand people, only money", Father Terry Fitzpatrick told an August 4 Socialist Alliance forum on confronting the human cost of the economic crisis.

Fitzpatrick is a key figure in St Marys in Exile, the popular parish that...

NSW TAFE teachers in NSW will stop work on August 11 after the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) proposed an increase of 71 teaching hours a week, an end to the allocation of professional development and a lifting of the ceiling on hours taught in any one week.

The offer was...

World

The people of Honduras have now suffered more than 40 days of military rule. The generals' June 28 coup ousted the country's elected government and unleashed severe, targeted, and relentless repression.

The grassroots protests demanding the restoration of President Manuel Zelaya have...

A rash of workplace occupations is spreading across the globe as workers defy the brutal consequences of the recession.

Instead of surrendering to mass redundancies and outright closures, workers are occupying their workplaces as a central method of struggling for justice.

Every...

The article below is based on a statement by Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) general-secretary S. Arutchelvan on August 1, on the mass protests that day against the repressive Internal Security Act. The ISA allows security forces to detain people and hold them without...

Those "free speech" crusaders at the Inter American Press Association are at it again, leading the charge in an international campaign against what IAPA president Enrique Santos Calderon decried on August 2 as "the gravest attempt to silence the press that has occurred in the last few years in...

The following article is abridged from a July 29 statement by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall group

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has wrapped up a 10-day tour through South America, the first of its kind for more than two decades. His trip was aimed at...

Being Irish, one of the thousands who left the country during the 1980s economic crisis, I follow Irish politics closely.

I joined the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) in 2002. In 2006, as part of a group of Irish Greens members in London, visited Dublin to make contact with the...

Thirty Thomas Cook workers involved in a four-day occupation of the travel companies Graffon Street premises in Dublin were forcibly evicted by police., the August 4 Irish Times said.

The workers are in dispute with Thomas Cook over redundancy packages resulting from the office'...

The article below is by Don Franks, an organiser with the Unite union. Unite is seeking to organise a citizens' initiated referendum, a non-binding vote allowed for by New Zealand law, to raise workers' wages.

Unite needs to gather the signatures of at least 10% of the...

The head of Venezuela's telecommunications agency (CONATEL), Diosdado Cabello, announced the immediate closure of 32 privately owned radio stations and two regional television stations on August 1.

All the stations had either violated regulations or had expired broadcast licenses. Cabello...

The class war in South Korea reached a new stage with the struggle of the Ssangyong autoworkers. The workers strike against layoffs began in May, and they occupied their plant in Pyongtaek, 50 kilometres south of Seoul.

There was a fullscale war on strikers. On August 6, the 77th day...

The so-called beer summit between President Barack Obama, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge police officer sergeant James Crowley took place without incident on July 30 at the White House.

The meeting came after a 10-day media frenzy following Gates' arrest at his home for...

On August 1, United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) members across the country participated in 1556 local assemblies to discuss the reorganisation of the party's base into local patrols.

This push to strengthen revolutionary organising comes at a time when attacks on Venezuela's...

Analysis

In the state that claims to have the greenest energy on the Australian mainland, South Australia's climate camp will confront two of the country's dirtiest power stations. The Northern and Playford B plants, fuelled by cheap but low-grade brown coal, are just outside Port Augusta, a four-hour...

On August 4, theatrical pre-dawn raids in Melbourne by more than 400 Victorian, NSW and federal police and ASIO agents — including paramilitary units armed with sub-machineguns — launched Australia's latest terrorism scare.

"The threat of terrorism is alive and well and this requires...

The largest demonstrations for same-sex marriage in Australia's history took place on August 1. A 3000-strong rally marched on the national ALP conference in Sydney. Four thousand took to the streets in Melbourne. Record crowds mobilised in other cities.

The movement is increasing...

On August 4, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released figures that showed housing prices across Australia's capital cities rose by 4.2% over the three months ending in June. The rapid increase has worried the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) enough for it to warn of a threat of a...

The Australian and US government's have proposed carbon trading schemes as a response to the threat of climate change. How to respond has been hotly debated in the climate action movements of both countries. Green Left Weekly has campaigned strongly for the Rudd government's carbon...

Aboriginal elders and families from Ampilatwatja have set up a permanent protest camp outside their government-controlled community in protest against policies that have neglected their needs and desires.

Ampilatwatja is a remote community 350 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs. As...

In the year to May, manufacturing employers shed more than 68,000 jobs due to reduced demand emerging from the economic crisis, said the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In response to declining employment in the sector, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and the Australian...

Scientists are telling us we have to phase out coal quickly or risk an uninhabitable planet. Coal burning now accounts for about 36% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. Mining and handling of coal adds even more.

Phasing out thermal coal — used for power generation — should begin...

We face a climate crisis and something needs to change. The world's resources are finite, as is the amount of destruction humans can do to this planet if we are to survive. As such, there is a debate in the environment movement about whether or not curbing population is an essential part of the...

Editorial

If we are going to meet the crisis posed by global warming, governments must take strong and urgent measures to cut emissions now. We need to build a sustainable economy and we need to do it fast. Delay will result in dangerous and unstoppable climate change.

That's the biggest reason why...

Letters

On the verge of another racist push?

Suddenly, the Rudd government has discovered the need to pump up the "terrorist threat". First, the Attorney-General discovered the so-called "anti-terrorist laws" were not strong enough.

Now, the biggest terrorist plot ever...

General

A chill wind was blowing early last Thursday outside my local train station. Commuters had their collars turned up and their arms folded as they hurried into the station. Dave, the suburb's iconic Big Issue seller in his red wheelchair, and I with the latest Green Left Weekly,...

Resistance!

On August 4, more than 400 police, including the Australian Federal Police and ASIO, staged a pre-dawn raid on 19 homes across Melbourne. The raid was carried out under the federal government's "anti-terrorism laws" — extreme and repressive legislation created by the previous Howard government...

2DayFM's Kyle and Jackie O radio show hooked up a 14-year-old girl to a lie detector, as part of a competition to win tickets to a concert, on July 29. When the girl was asked whether she'd ever had sex, she revealed that she had been raped when she was 12.

Listeners heard the...

Culture

The Ecological Revolution: Making Peace with the PlanetBy John Bellamy FosterMonthly Review Press, 2009328 pages, $37.95

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels famously urged the world's workers to unite because they had a world to win, and nothing to lose but their...

BaliboDirected by Robert ConnollyBased on the book by Jill JolliffeIn cinemas from August 13

Robert Connolly's Balibo is an account of the murder of five journalists who went to East Timor to cover Indonesia's illegal cross-border incursions into the...

Arthur MillerChristopher BigsbyWeidenfeld & Nicolson, 2008739 pages, $79.99 (hb

The FBI reviewers had no qualms about judging Arthur Miller's plays solely on their political merits in the 1940s. They damned them for their "collectivist philosophy", their "...

Message Stick: Something to Celebrate – A celebration of the Indigenous news and culture program's 10th birthday, including highlights from the last decade and a birthday party featuring well-known performers filmed in front of a live studio audience. ABC1, Friday, August 14,...