Issue 809

Australia

Imprisonment is still mandatory for refugees arriving by boat — despite the ALP government's promise to mitigate the harsh anti-refugee policies of its predecessor. In the latest incident, the navy intercepted a boat carrying 52 refugees and three crew on August 29 and took them to the Christmas...

On August 21, a new group, "Forcewatch", was launched to monitor the Queensland Police Service's contentious "move-on power" laws.

The 80-strong meeting took place in Brisbane's West End, a gathering area for homeless and Indigenous people. It is seen as the main area for unfair treatment...

Emergency services officers (ESOs) have returned to work at the Hazelwood power station with a clear win after an epic five months in dispute with their employer, contracting firm Diamond Protection.

Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) mining and energy division organiser...

In state parliament on September 2, Victoria's shadow energy minister Robert Clark attacked climate activists planning a protest outside the Hazelwood power station. Clark called on the state government to "act urgently" to protect the Latrobe Valley's coal-fired power generators from the...

On August 17, the Network Working Group, formed out of the January Climate Action Summit, circulated its national network proposal to 300 climate action groups and networks that make up the grassroots climate movement. The groups have until September 18 to vote on the proposal.

To be...

The "people's power speaking tour" of two Venezuelan revolutionaries began with a forum in the Geelong Trades Hall on August 31.

Daniel Sanchez, a leader of the Rebirth of the South Commune in the city of Valencia, and Yoly Fernandez, a community organiser in Venezuela's subsidised food...

World

I was angry that Timorese president and peace laureate Jose Ramos Horta used the 10-year anniversary of the United Nations-supervised ballot in East Timor on August 30 to declare: "There will be no international tribunal."

On this same day in 1999, the people of East Timor voted for...

Before the recent elections in the German states of Thuringia, Saarland and Saxony it seemed likely that Christian Democrat (CDU) German Chancellor Angela Merkel would return to power comfortably this year, probably in coalition with the free-market fundamentalists of the Free Democratic Party (...

Leonard Peltier, an activist for the rights of Native Americans and one of the US's longest-serving political prisoners, was denied parole by the US Parole Commission on August 21.

Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents killed in a...

A humanitarian catastrophe has been escalating over the last three months in the internment camps in which 285,000 Tamil civilians have been imprisoned in the north of Sri Lanka.

Even some liberal Western media outlets have begun referring to these camps — heavily guarded by the Sri...

The critical lack of quality and affordable health care is devastating for African Americans. Twice as likely as whites to go without health insurance, African Americans suffer chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes at an escalating rate.

The root of the problem is not...

This abridged interview with Gerard Jodar, president of the pro-independence trade union federation Union of Kanak and Exploited Workers (USTKE), was first published in Liberation on August 17. He was interviewed by Matthieu Ecoiffier...

The Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nong Duc Manh will visit Australia from September 6 to 9 at the invitation of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to discuss upgrading bilateral relations to that of a "comprehensive partnership".

Over the past five years, trade between the...

In Sao Paolo, Brazil, over August 17-19, Green Left Weekly journalists Kiraz Janicke and Federico Fuentes, together with journalists from Marea Socialista (Venezuela) and Alternativa Socialista (Argentina) spoke to Gilberto...

An extraordinary summit of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) was held in Argentina on August 28, to discuss the proposed US military bases in Colombia.

The meeting was called in response to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's intervention at an August 10 ceremony in Quito that...

As Bolivia heads towards its December 6 national elections, the right-wing opposition has again turned to violence and disinformation to try to halt the process of change led by the country's first indigenous president, Evo Morales.

On August 11, letter bombs sent to social movements were...

Caracas will play host to one of the most important international gatherings of left parties in years, when delegates from across the world meet for the First International Meeting of Left Parties over October 7-9.

The meeting has been called by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (...

US author, dissident intellectual, and Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Noam Chomsky met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for the first time on August 31. Together they analysed hemispheric politics during a nationally televised forum.

Chomsky is...

Analysis

"This is a very dangerous time for Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution and all of Latin America, and your solidarity now is extremely important", Venezuelan ambassador to Australia, Nelson Davila, told the closing session of the Latin America Solidarity Conference in Melbourne.

The August...

The August 1 national day of action for equal marriage rights was the biggest demonstration for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights in Australian history.

Up to 10,000 people rallied nationwide. It set a world record for the biggest illegal queer wedding. It...

"What do we want? Safe sites!" chanted 7000 workers marching to state parliament on September 1. The rally demanded best practice national occupational health and safety (OHS) laws.

Workers called on Victoria's ALP government to pressure its federal counterparts to make the strongest OHS...

From desert-fringe villages and drowning atolls, global warming is predicted to set climate refugees on the move. But arguably, the first climate refugees to reach Australia's major cities are arriving already. And the places from which they have come are not exotic — rural towns like Mildura,...

In April 2008, workplace relations minister Julia Gillard set up the National Review into Model Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Laws to develop a new national OHS standard. The process is called "OHS Harmonisation".

The new laws will replace the varied state and territory laws, and a...

Conservative Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson will present the opening address to the Brisbane Writers' Festival on September 9. Brisbane-based Indigenous leader Sam Watson, who will also speak at the festival, has challenged Pearson to a public debate.

The article below is...

In the last week of winter, something strange happened: bushfires raged across New South Wales, with major fires in the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla in the south of the state.

The week before, the north-east of NSW and southern Queensland — even parts of southern Sydney — had total fire...

The recent resignation by NSW minister John Della Bosca over his affair with a woman revealed just how the big political parties and the corporate media trivialise Australian politics.

On August 31, Della Bosca decided to resign from the state cabinet before Murdoch paper The Daily...

Last week, Queensland's Bligh Labor government demonstrated it could remove the conscience vote on laws regarding abortion. It also instructed ALP parliamentarians to vote in favour of a law to allow medical terminations on the same limited grounds as now apply to surgical terminations.

...

August was a terrible month of climate vandalism in Western Australia.

On August 10, the WA environment minister gave approval for the huge Gorgon gas plant on Barrow Island. Federal environment minister Peter Garrett gave the nod on behalf of the federal Labor government on August 26....

"Forget 'alternative' energy — it can't work!" That — and in almost those exact words — was among the messages of an article published in the Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekend Australian on August 8 by journalist Terry McCrann.

Wind power in particular, McCrann assured us, was "...

Business economists and their paid media scribblers are frantically keen to announce the end of the financial crisis. Their aim is to return confidence in the market and to encourage working people to take on more debt.

The message is clear. If you're still in trouble — unable to find...

National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) voted on August 31 to take strike action on September 16 in support of their enterprise bargaining claims

The university administration has refused to accept that there is a need for a new...

General

Green Left Weekly is launching a "spring offensive" to help us reach our 2009 fighting fund target of $250,000. By the end of August, we had raised $147,550 — about 60%. We need a push to get to 100% or more.

GLW struggles for a new social system based on human...

Resistance!

At Camps for Climate Action, climate change activists organise discussions on the politics of the climate movement and take direct action against major polluting industries.

The camps began in August 2006, when British activists camped near Britain's largest carbon dioxide emitter, the...

Racism is alive and well in Australia today.

This is most evident in the shocking statistics of racist oppression against Aboriginal people. A 2001 NSW study found Aboriginal people were 5.5 times more likely to suffer domestic violence, 3.4 times more likely to suffer assault, 2.8 times...

Culture

The Age of Stupid
Directed by Franny Armstrong
With Pete Postlethwaite
In cinemas

The science of the climate change crisis has been well documented, not least through Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Now Franny Armstrong, famous for...

Sol Nationself-titled EP by Sol Nation
Released September through MGM
Email solnation@gmail.com

Sol Nation is a seven-piece band from Melbourne that is about to hit the Australian tour circuit promoting its debut self titled EP.

Lead singer...

District 9
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
With Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Mandla Gaduka, William Allen Young, Vanessa Haywood, Kenneth Nkosi and Devlin Brown
In cinemas

Like many...

Message Stick – The Deadly Yarns two-part series showcases the work of Western Australian Indigenous writers, directors and producers. ABC1, Friday, September 11, 6pm.

The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer – J. Robert Oppenheimer was one...

Remembering Pine Gap: Women's Peace Camp, November 1983
An exhibition from the archives of Jesse Street National Women's Library
NSW Parliament House, Sydney
Until September 24

The Pine Gap peace camp in 1983 was an important initiative by Women...