Issue 812

Australia

The Camp Florentine forest blockade in southwest Tasmania, which has just passed its third winter, continues to protect ancient wet Eucalypt and rainforests. Since November 2006, the community group Still Wild Still Threatened has blockaded the area.

Eighty people have been arrested in...

"Within hours of President [Manuel] Zelaya being seized and expelled by the coup plotters [in June this year], the Honduran people went into the streets to support his return. They have been mobilising ever since to demand the restoration of democracy in my country", Santiago Reyes, from the...

Shortly after two dust storms swept the entire east coast of Australia over September 22-26, concerns were raised that radioactive materials from central Australian uranium mines could make the same journey.

Rob Webb from the Bureau of Meteorology told ABC radio's September 25 PM...

South Australia's Climate Camp took place at Warren Gorge, near Port Augusta, over September 24-27. The camp targeted two ageing brown coal-fired power stations — which are among the most polluting in Australia — the Northern and Playford B plants.

On September 26, 50 protesters gathered...

"This is one of the rare books which you can judge by its cover", author Humphrey McQueen quipped to the 50 Builders Labourers Federation unionists attending the launch of Framework of Flesh on September 22.

"For one thing it has the Eureka flag on it — meaning you aren'...

"The country is weary of the war. What I'm trying to do at this point is to make sure that ... we have got a coherent strategy that can work", United States President Barack Obama told David Letterman's Late Show on September 21.

For anti-war activist Christine Keavney, Obama's...

Pro-choice activists are intensifying the campaign against Queensland's anti-abortion laws and demanding charges laid against a young Cairns couple to be dropped.

A young woman faces up to seven years' jail over allegedly procuring an abortion, while her partner faces up to three years'...

Following the bigger-than-expected turn-out across Australia for the August 1 national day of action for marriage equality, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activist groups are gearing up for a big year in 2010.

A new campaign, "Year of Action for Same-Sex...

In Green Left Weekly #811, we said that the renewable energy company Solar Systems had collapsed "due to its major investor, TRUenergy, withdrawing its investment". TRUenergy wrote to us to point out that this statement was wrong.

TRUenergy wrote that, in August, its parent...

"Palestinian Days", Brisbane's inaugural Palestinian film festival, will be held over October 16-18 in the Schonell Theatre at the University of Queensland, St Lucia.

The festival, organised by the Queensland Palestine Association and Justice for Palestine (Brisbane), offers audiences a...

"Fifteen families have dominated Honduras for decades, and they are the ones that carried out the coup. Today we face a very bloody time", Honduran activist Santiago Reyes told a 40-strong forum on independence organised by the Latin American Social Forum on September 19.

"Hondurans do...

"The whole area is full of Aboriginal artefacts and the archaeologists' reports indicate that it is probably one of the most extensive, if not the most extensive find of Aboriginal heritage in the state", Michael Mansell, legal director of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC), told ABC Hobart...

A rally of 150 people, mainly students, marked the anniversary of the massacres at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982 on September 25. The event was organised by the cross-campus Students for Palestine group. The protest spilled into a march and covered a few city blocks.

...

More than 40 people attended a public meeting in Helensburgh, 40 minutes south of Sydney, on September 26 to discuss the issues of climate, water, jobs and political action.

The meeting was organised in the lead-up to the October 9-11 NSW Climate Camp in Helensburgh.

Speakers...

World

What the Taliban failed to achieve in relation to the Afghan presidential elections held on August 20, incumbent President Hamid Karzai managed to accomplish.

"President Barack Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan needs a legitimate and credible outcome from this election in...

On June 28, elected President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown by a military coup backed by the Honduran elite. Since then, a mass resistance movement of the poor majority has brought the Central American country to a standstill and the coup regime very close to defeat. Pedro Fuentes...

For a series of reports and interviews since Honduran President Manuel Zelaya's dramatic return to Honduras on September 21, visit here. To send letter to Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, and add your name to an open letter, demanding Australia join the governments all over the world...

The following article is reprinted from a September 28 post at IUF.org. Send Open Country Cheese a message here

The New Zealand Dairy Workers Union is engaged in a tough battle with a ruthless employer assaulting fundamental workplace rights, and needs your support.

The dispute is...

On September 26, a massive demonstration in solidarity with the Honduran peopleoccurred in capital, San Salvador, of Central American nation El Salvador . On Nune 28, the elected government of Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a military coup. Three months of sustained resistance by the poor has...

A number of audio and video updates on the situation in Honduras from September 29 and 30 can be found at Links, international journal of socialist renewal.

Democracy Now!interviews Andres Conteris, a journalist inside the Brazilian embassy with legitimate President Manuel Zelaya...

Two articles below are by the Die Linke (The Left Party) in Germany on its significant gains in the elections, and from A href="http://www.internationalviewpoint.org">International Viewpoint on the Portuguese elections, which resulted in significant losses for the ruling party and big gains...

The military dictatorship in Honduras, which overthrew elected President Manuel Zelaya on June 28, is preparing a bloody crackdown on the mass resistance of the Honduran poor demanding Zelaya's return. Zelaya, who secretly re-entered Honduras on September 21, is inside the Brazilian embassy. The...

This appeal has been released by the Part of the Masses (PLM) in the Philippenes.

Dear Friends,

Typhoon Ondoy swept through the Philippines on Saturday, September 26, displacing some 250,000 people and according to the most recent reports, has left some 86 people dead. Urban...

During his address to the 64th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on the world to join Latin American countries in constructing a new type of socialism. He also said U.S. President Barack Obama has brought the "smell of hope" to the U...

The three-part video below was produced by Inter-Press Service. It features interviews and footage of the protests against the Group of 20 Summit in Pittsburgh in the United States over September 24-25. The protests were organised by a coalition of union, environmentalist, Church, socialist and...

In the article below, Federico Fuentes, from the Green Left Weekly Caracas bureau, provides an overview of the brutal repression of the coup regime and heroic resistance against it occurring right now in the Central American nation of Honduras. Fuentes has...

The article below is abridged from the September 24 column by former Cuban president Fidel Castro.

Last July 16, I said the coup d'etat in Honduras "was conceived and organised by unscrupulous characters on the far-right who were officials in the confidence of...

Supporters of deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya gathered outside the Brazilian consulate in Toronto on September 23 to demand his return to power, Rabble.ca said on September 25.

Protesters condemned the violent repression, which has left an unknown number of unarmed protesters...

Despite recent the US State Department media show of cutting aid to the coup regime in Honduras, millions of taxpayer dollars continue to flow into the Central American country

The US government's policy toward the de facto government that now rules Honduras can best be described as two-...

The article below is by Physicians for a National Health Program, a research and educational organisation of 17,000 doctors who support single-payer national health insurance in the United States. The study referred to can be found at MRZine.

A new study estimated that nearly 45,000...

On September 19, the third anniversary of the military coup that wrecked Thai democracy, two demonstrations took place.

They sum up the two faces of Thailand.

One demonstration, by tens of thousands of "Red Shirts" in Bangkok, was organised in order to continue the demand for full...

There is an increasing push for US president Barack Obama to send more soldiers to Afghanistan. The push comes from the top commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal.

The push comes as eight years of misery inflicted on a war-weary people has caused...

What is commemorated as Timor Leste's (East Timor) "liberation" is the United Nations-facilitated referendum on August 30, 1999.

East Timor was already an independent country, as a result of the pro-independence political party Fretilin declaring East Timor, which had been a Portugese...

It is a decade since the people of East Timor defied the genocidal occupiers of their country to take part in a United Nations referendum, voting for their freedom and independence.

A "scorched earth" campaign by the Indonesian dictatorship followed, adding to a toll of carnage that had...

Faced with the growing impact of the global economic crisis, Washington's intentions to establish seven military bases in Colombia and growing challenges in solving structural problems, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reaffirmed the need to build a new state.

Chavez explained: "We have...

In April, Amazonian indigenous peoples in Peru began an uprising to demand the repeal of more than a dozen neoliberal decrees by President Alan Garcia. The decrees opened up vast swathes of indigenous peoples' lands to exploitation by transnational oil, mining and logging companies.

On...

Analysis

Sick of having your welfare entitlements compulsorily controlled by the Rudd government?

Tired of being treated like a third-class citizen with no human rights?

Frustrated that you no longer enjoy the protection of the Racial Discrimination Act?

Well, why not do what...

With seven boatloads of asylum seekers intercepted in September, Australia's Christmas Island detention centre is fast filling up. It now holds 677 detainees.

Federal home affairs minister Brendan O'Connor said "people smuggling" was one of the key threats facing the country, the...

A coalition of Newcastle business groups has launched a new campaign called "fix our city".

The campaign — involving full-page advertisements in the Newcastle Herald, a glitzy launch at a Newcastle Knights rugby league match and the distribution of thousands of petition postcards...

As the Australian economy begins its "recovery", economic and social indicators show the recession has disproportionately affected working people and the poor. The rich are just getting richer.

"Economic crises contain a paradox of recovery. As growth returns, the economic conditions...

Antonio Gramsci, an Italian Marxist, was an important contributor to Marxist theory with his idea of "hegemony".

From socialism to the civil rights movement, gender politics and contemporary ecological struggles, the idea of hegemony is a useful framework for understanding dominant...

Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related disease in the world. Asbestos kills and goes on killing for generations. The Australian Council of Trade Unions estimates that by 2020, 30,000 to 40,000 people in Australia will have contracted an asbestos-related cancer.

Bill...

Not in so many words, mind you — frankness has rarely been the strong suit of News Corporation journalists and editors. The editorial in question, published in Rupert Murdoch's Australian on September 10, argued in support of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS): in other words, "...

More and more people accept that we need emergency action to achieve a safe climate. The Copenhagen Summit in December will be a dramatic opportunity for governments to show whether or not they are prepared to be part of the solution.

There are several possible outcomes from the...

The following Socialist Alliance statement was distributed at the "Switch off Hazelwood" power station protest in Victoria on September 12 and 13.
* * *

The transition from a fossil fuel dependent society to renewable energy is perhaps the most urgent question facing humanity. The...

Every three years the Australian Education Union (AEU), which covers teachers and other eduction workers in government schools, holds elections for all union representatives in the four sectors (early childhood, primary, secondary and TAFE). The elections include all senior officer positions and...

Letters

German elections and the strength of the left

Duroyan Fertl's analysis of German elections (GLW #809) missed two issues. Firstly, election results for the Green Party (Thuringia: 6.2%, Saarland: 5.9%, Saxony: 6.4%). The Greens have established themselves around the 6%-mark...

General

Below is an open letter initiated by the Socialist Alliance to Australia's foreign affairs minister, Stephen Smith, calling on the Australian government to act for the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of President Manuel Zelaya — and to pressure the US government to finally cut all aid...

Reading through the messages of support coming in for Green Left Weekly's "Spring Offensive" fundraising appeal, I was reminded of the old saying: "You don't know what you have until you lose it."

Over in North America, there is a country with the biggest of everything. Biggest...

Our next issue will be dated October 14.

Resistance!

It's official: young people in Australia have rejected the Rudd government's weak policies on climate change. These are the findings from YOUth Decide, an event organised by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) at the end of September.

The AYCC found that 97.5% of young people,...

Sydney hip hop act the Herd, famous for politically conscious songs like “77%” and “Burn Down the Parliament”, has gone on strike, refusing to play at a festival sponsored by the coal industry.Sydney hip hop act the Herd, famous for politically conscious songs like "77%" and "Burn Down the...

Culture

When people think of "revolutionary art", the usual image is of socialist realism or the propaganda art of the Soviet Union or China. Others may think of the Mexican muralists like Diego Rivera.

Whatever that term inspires, it certainly may seem a thing of a bygone era. Though all good...

Hitler's PriestsBy Kevin SpicerNorthern Illinois University Press, 2008369 pages, $62.08Kasztner's Train: the True Story of an Unknown Hero of the HolocaustBy Anna PorterScribe, 2008548 pages, $32.95Who Will Write Our History?...

Waste: uncovering the global food scandalBy Tristram StuartPenguin, 2009496 pages, $25 (pb)

When I arrived in Australia as a new immigrant in August 2008, I had no job and little money. I'd read about freegans — people who live on thrown-away food — so decided...

Waste: uncovering the global food scandalBy Tristram StuartPenguin, 2009496 pages, $25 (pb)

When I arrived in Australia as a new immigrant in August 2008, I had no job and little money. I'd read about freegans — people who live on thrown-away food — so decided to...

When people think of "revolutionary art", the usual image is of socialist realism or the propaganda art of the Soviet Union or China. Others may think of the Mexican muralists like Diego Rivera.

Whatever that term inspires, it certainly may seem a thing of a bygone era. Though all good...