Issue 810

Australia

On September 9, more than 60 unionists picketed the University of New England (UNE) during the one-day strike called by the UNE branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU).

The picket, together with the spirited rally of more than 100 members in town later that day, sent a...

Aboriginal activists have attacked Aboriginal affairs minister Jenny Macklin's claim that a proposed government takeover of the Alice Springs town camps would involve consultation with residents. They say it is false and misleading.

Crikey.com said on August 27 that Mt Nancy town camp...

Ark Tribe is a South Australian building worker and member of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU). He has been charged for refusing to answer questions by the Australian Building Construction Commission (ABCC) over a 2008 workplace safety dispute

The ABCC is a...

News reports in early September said doctors had admitted to many instances of patients being seriously injured or killed due to doctors' exhaustion. The data was from a study by Salaried Doctors Queensland earlier this year.

Instances of 100-hour weeks are common and it is not unusual...

More than 300 people demonstrated at the Hazelwood power station from September 12 to 13 to demand emergency action on climate change.

The direct action protest was designed to build community pressure on governments to "switch off coal and switch on renewables".

Protesters...

The world faces some of its greatest social and economic challenges ever. A failure to correct our path will mean catastrophic consequences.

If you are not up in arms about climate change predictions, then you are quite probably misreading the debate. We are facing an ecological collapse...

"We have not been quiet, and we will not be quiet", about abuses of human rights in Guatemala, Walter Felix Lopez, member of National Congress for the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Group (URNG), told a public forum of 30 people on September 5.

His tour of Australia is being organised...

Aboriginal rights supporters and environmental activists protested at the opening of the Brisbane Writers' Festival on September 9, where the keynote speaker was conservative Aboriginal figure Noel Pearson.

Local Murri leader and Socialist Alliance member Sam Watson organised the protest...

More than 50 people attended a Greenpeace meeting with paroled Japanese anti-whaling activist Toru Suzuki on September 9.

Suzuki and Junichi Sato, known as the Tokyo 2, have been charged with theft and trepass by Japanese authorities after they exposed the extensive bribing that keeps the...

The "people's power" speaking tour of Venezuelan community activists Daniel Sanchez and Yoly Fernandez continued with public forums in Canberra, Sydney and Newcastle

Sanchez is a leader of the Rebirth of the South Commune in the regional city of Valencia, and Fernandez is a community...

World

Shaun Joseph of the US International Socialist Organisation and Providence City councillor Miguel Luna report back on the resistance to the coup in Honduras. Honduras video and photos by Shaun Joseph. Filmed by Paul Hubbard at the Open Table of Christ Church in Providence, Rhode Island, on 19...

September 6 Real News program, "Mr Zelaya goes to Washington". Documents the trip by Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, overthrown ina June 28 military coup, the United States, as well as the ongoing resistance in Honduras.

Zelaya addresses a public forum and explains his position of...

The anniversary of the first year of President Fernando Lugo's government coincided with a five-day national protest over August 10-15 organised by the United Popular Space (EUP). The EUP is a coalition of many social organisations and left parties, with the support of figures from diverse...

Filmed by Peter Boyle. A December 6 street celebration of ten years in office of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the first of a series. Filmed during a solidarity brigade of Australians to witnes the Venezuelan revolution, organised by the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network. Visit the AVSN...

Bolivian President Evo Morales has been declared "World Hero of Mother Earth" by the United Nationals general assembly, EFE said on August 29.

The left-wing leader is the first ever president of Bolivia to come from the impoverished indigenous majority and has repeatedly spoken out...

The communications chief for United Nations children's charity UNICEF, James Elder, has been given until September 21 to leave Sri Lanka for making statements critical of the government.

Elder, an Australian citizen, has been charged over claims he issued statements supporting the views...

French courts have sentenced six workers to suspended sentences of between three and six months as a consequence of union protests in April against Continental's decision to close its tyre plant in Clairox.

More than 1100 workers had been employed at the plant and the closure announcement...

Here's a fairly simple choice: the global North would pay the hard-hit global South to deal with the climate crisis, either through the complicated and corrupt "Clean Development Mechanism" (CDM), whose projects have plenty of damaging side-effects to communities, or instead pay through other...

Although the international community has warned it will not recognise the results of the November elections in Honduras, the de facto government in power since the June 28 military coup that overthrew elected President Manuel Zelaya said the vote would go ahead.

Costa Rican President...

The article below is a September 3 statement from the Washington-based Center for Economic Policy and Research. it is reprinted from Chavezcode.com.

The US State Department issued a release today announcing "the termination of a broad range of assistance to the government of Honduras as a...

In the midst of an international campaign launched against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, carried out by the extreme right from Colombia and supported by Washington, the US State Department has organised and financed the trip of eight young Venezuelan politicians to the US.

The trip's...

The increasingly harsh political climate in Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government has prompted the leadership of the country's 1.3 million "Israeli Arab" citizens (as Palestinians living inside Israel are termed) citizens to call the first general strike in...

When the US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, several pretexts were given.

One of these was fighting the "war on drugs". In the eight years of occupation that have followed, production of narcotics has increased by 4500%. Afghanistan is now responsible for over 90% of...

In the wake of the bombing of two oil tankers by the occupying NATO forces, and farcical elections controlled by warlords, international public opinion is turning against the US-led war in Afghanistan.

The September 4 oil tanker bombings in Kunduz province, in which the September 5...

The article below is a September 11 update released by the US-based Committees in Solidarity with the Peoples of El Salvador. It is reprinted from Cispes.org. President Mauricio Funes, a candidate for the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), was elected in March, ending...

The article below is an open letter issued by "Concerned Teachers, Students, Writers, Artists, and Activists Around the World". It is abridged from Mrzine.

On September 2, the members of a nationwide alliance in Banladesh — the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources,...

The hysteria over the release of the so-called Lockerbie bomber, Libyan Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, reveals much about the political and media class on both sides of the Atlantic, especially Britain.

From British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's "repulsion" to US President Barack Obama's "...

The article below is by the Irish republican party Sinn Fein president and member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for West Belfast Gerry Adams. Adams discusses the hypocrisy of British government demands for compensation over armed actions carried out by the Irish...

East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta's comments on August 30 rejecting an international tribunal to bring those responsible for war crimes in East Timor to justice, and the release on the same day of militia leader Maternus Bere, continue to resonate in East Timor.

Bere was detained...

Analysis

On September 8, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) notified the families of the five journalists killed in 1975 at Balibo in East Timor that it had begun an investigation into the killings.

A NSW coronial inquest into the death of Channel Nine reporter Brian Peters, held in 2007,...

Aboriginal Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma released the Our Future in Our Hands report to the National Press Club on August 27. It outlined a proposed structure for a new national body to represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

However, the federal...

The following call for support was released on August 24 by Richard Downs, spokesperson of the Alyawarr people of the Northern Territory, who have walked off their community of Ampilatwatja in protest against the federal government's NT intervention. Visit www.interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com...

The October 17 Fremantle local government elections will take place in the wake of the May by-election that resulted in the historic victory of Greens candidate Adele Carles.

Carles is the only Green, and only left-of-Labor MP, in the state lower house.

Many Labor supporters voted...

In June, a raft of new legislation was presented to parliament to in effect, outlaw homebirth midwifery in Australia. Indemnity insurance would be a legal requirement for medical practitioners, under a new national registration and accreditation scheme.

Private insurers don't cover...

In early September, as federal parliamentarians debated whether to end the repulsive government policy of charging refugees for the costs of their own imprisonment in detention centres, damning revelations emerged that Australian navy personnel prevented badly burnt refugees from climbing onto...

Since April this year, a young Cairns couple has faced a nightmare.

As if facing criminal charges and possible imprisonment wasn't harassment enough, the couple's house has been hit with a Molotov cocktail, their car vandalised and they have faced groups of chanting "moral crusaders"...

Federal resources minister Martin Ferguson responded to the disastrous August 21 oil spill off the north-west coast of Australia by proposing to set up a new investigative body. The September 7 announcement claimed the new body would have the power to investigate such oil spillages and to "stop...

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), often touted as "clean coal", has been promoted by the coal industry and governments such as Australia and the US as a way to cut emissions from coal-fired energy generation, in order to avoid dangerous climate change.

Billions of dollars are being poured...

Our neighbours recently moved out. They could no longer afford the rent on their small two-bedroom inner-city terrace, so moved away from the city centre to reduce their rent by $100.

Both had jobs and no dependents, but one of them worked on a short-term contract basis as a light and...

Thousands of staff from 16 universities across the country will strike on September 16 for new union collective agreements. The actions follow strikes at the University of New England and Charles Sturt University on September 9 and at Victorian and Tasmanian campuses on May 21.

The...

Letters

EM>District 9 'horrific'?

I read Mike Ely's review of District 9 with some surprise, having enjoyed the film a few days earlier. Is its portrayal of Nigerian gangsters "horrific"? Definitely over the top, as is the scene where white scientists hold down...

General

"We are lucky in Australia to have a national newspaper, Green Left Weekly, not beholden or shackled to big business or multinational corporations, whether they be church or state. Over many years it has remained a newspaper free to critique the capitalist system, which continues to...

Resistance!

It's still unclear exactly what happened, but 13 hours after a schoolyard brawl during recess, year 9 student Jai Morcom was pronounced dead on August 30.

A few days later, more than 1000 people, including his classmates from Mullumbimby High School in Northern NSW, marched for peace and...

Culture

The Last Whale
By Chris Pash
Fremantle Press, 2008, 218 pp, $29.95 (pb)

Willie the Whale expired in a good cause in 1977.

The 40-foot inflatable whale made his last stand against the whaling industry by being inflated on the eighth floor of the Lakeside Hotel...

This month, Green Left Weekly is hosting free preview screenings of Rethink Afghanistan, a new film about the US-led war in Afghanistan. Mat Ward spoke to its director, Robert Greenwald, who has made more than 50 films, including Iraq For Sale, Wal-Mart...

Permaculture Diary 2010
Compiled by Michele Margolis
Graphic design by Richard Telford
$30 (including postage), pb
Available from www.permacultureprinciples.com

"The current state of our planet demands that we call an end to business as...

Framework of Flesh: Builders' Labourers battle for health & Safety
By Humphrey McQueen
Ginninderra Press, 2009
337 pages, $30 (pb)
Available from www.resistancebooks.com

Humphrey McQueen's Framework of Flesh takes up a 1920s...