Issue 817

News

Police harassment of Melbourne’s Indigenous community will likely increase as a result of a new law banning public drinking in the City of Yarra. The City of Yarra includes the suburbs of Fitzroy, Richmond and Collingwood.
"It not illegal to seek asylum", NSW Greens MP Sylvia Hale told a rally of about 100 people outside the Department of Immigration offices on November 2.
Rallies for marriage equality will be take place across Australia on November 28. The protests will launch a National Year of Action for same-sex marriage.
A relay team of 25 people began a 6000 kilometre run across Australia on November 2 to urge a rapid transition to a carbon-neutral future.
Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) president Sharan Burrow emailed thousands of people with a plea to back the federal Labor government’s flawed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).
Vivienne Porzsolt, a spokesperson for Jews Against the Occupation Sydney (JAO), is one of 10 activists from NSW who will spend their summer break challenging Israel’s defiance of international law. She will take part in the international Gaza Freedom March over December-January.
The price tag for the desalination plant planned for Wonthaggi has increased from $3.5 billion to $4.8 billion.
NSW Technical and Further Education (TAFE) teachers have continued their industrial campaign against an unfair award imposed by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), which would have TAFE teachers work an additional five hours a week, and teach an additional 36 hours a year, with no right to refuse.

Analysis

Australia’s racist refugee policy continues to create greater horror stories. Over recent weeks, in a replay of the years of former prime minister John Howard, the prospect of masses of refugee boats landing on Australian shores have sent politicians and the corporate media into a frenzy of right-wing rhetoric.
Newcastle-based climate activist and Socialist Alliance member Laura Ealing is an organiser of the Just Transition Tour, a bus trip through NSW coal communities from November 20 to 26. She spoke to Green Left Weekly about the aims of the tour.
The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) released by the federal Treasury on November 2 is upbeat. Revising the May budget’s projections for the Australian economy, it predicted unemployment will peak lower, growth will be higher and inflation will be under control.
NSW Premier Nathan Rees launched a government “education program” about climate change in May. The “what you can do in your world” program urged householders to cut carbon pollution by using less energy and switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and electrical appliances.
A recent national speaking tour generated growing support for the Ampilatwatja community walk-off — an ongoing protest camp against the Northern Territory intervention.
Three hundred and fifty kilometres north-east of Alice Springs a group of elders from the Alyawarr language group are sitting down in a rough, makeshift camp. Three kilometres away is their community of Ampilatwatja.
The following statement by Socialist Alliance Indigenous rights activists was released on November 4.
Shiko Zaher is a member of the Tulo Association in Wollongong, which runs assistance and service to Afghan people in the community. She delivered the speech below at the October 30 Reclaim the Night rally in Wollongong.
I was surprised by the letter from Dr Stuart Rosewarne and others (“Population is not to blame for climate change” GLW #814), accusing the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) of pandering to racism and urging us to demand government action to reduce carbon [dioxide] emissions.

World

The global community is supposed to be negotiating an agreement to contain greenhouse gas emissions to manageable levels. But with less than two months to the Copenhagen climate change conference, the big players are stuck in an elaborate game of chicken.
On November 2, Hamid Karzai began another term as president of Western-occupied Afghanistan after being officially declared the winner in an election so blatantly fraudulent that his main opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, refused to take part in it any longer.
The Danish government is preparing new “anti-riot” laws in time for the United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen.
Iranian activist Parveen Ardalan recently accepted the Olof Palme prize in Sweden for championing women’s rights. She was awarded the prize two years ago, but travel restrictions prevented her from accepting it. Swedish-based socialistFarooq Sulehria spoke with Ardalan about the situation in Iran.
The article published below is abridged from a statement released on October 26 by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Association (IUF). To send a protest message to the Iranian government, visit www.iuf.org.
The possibility of an imperialist war in the Americas came a step closer on October 30, when Colombia and the United States finalised a 10-year accord. The agreement allows the US to hugely expand its military presence in the Latin American nation.
Activists from the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) are preparing for the party’s second congress, scheduled to start on November 21.
November 4, 2009 --The government of Peru has launched a massive attack on Indigenous peoples through a request to dissolve the Amazon Interethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP), Peru's largest and most representative Indigenous organisation. AIDESEP groups numerous regional organisations, representing 65 ethnic groups and has led the struggle against the Garcia governments neoliberal decrees (which are part of the US Free Trade Agreement) aimed at opening up huge swathes of the Amazon to exploitation by transnational logging, mining and oil companies.
Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad on October 25, targeting the justice ministry and the Baghdad Provincial Council building. This was the deadliest attack in Iraq in two years, with 155 people killed. Among the victims were 24 school children.
The article below is slightly abridged from a joint statement released on November 5 by the Socialist Alliance (Australia); the Socialist Party (Australia); the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM); the Network of the Oppressed People (JERIT — Malaysia); CWI Malaysia; the Confederation Congress of Indonesian Union Alliance (KASBI); the Working Peoples Association (PRP — Indonesia); the National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS — Indonesia); the Indonesian National Front for Labor Struggle (FNPBI); Socialist Alternative (Australia); Socialist Worker New Zealand; Partido Lakas ng Masa, Philippines; Transform Asia; Labour Party Pakistan; Resistance (Australia); and Militan-Indonesia. To add your organisation’s name, email .
I met Jose Hernandez, a leader of the Mexican Union of Electricity workers (SME), at his house in a working-class suburb of Mexico City. “I’m very tired, I’m exhausted”, he said, smiling, as he made me tea. “I haven’t stopped for days.”
The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M) has initiated a nationwide “people’s movement” to topple the government and anti-people forces.
The accord signed on October 30 to resolve the crisis that has brought Honduras to a standstill since the June 28 military coup has collapsed. The coup leader Roberto Micheletti has continued to refuse to accept the accord’s insistence that elected President Manuel Zelaya be reinstated.The accord signed on October 30 to resolve the crisis that has brought Honduras to a standstill since the June 28 military coup has collapsed. The coup leader Roberto Micheletti has continued to refuse to accept the accord's insistence that elected President Manuel Zelaya be reinstated.
The system for delivering US aid to help starving African countries, especially Ethiopia, helps contribute to hunger, said an October 22 Oxfam report. US policies ensure the amount spent delivering food aid is double the amount spent on food.
African nations walked out of climate talks in Barcelona on November 3, blaming rich nations for undermining the negotiations. The Barcelona meeting was the final international meeting before the UN-sponsored climate conference in Copenhagen in December.
The aircraft flew low, following the Mekong River west from Vietnam. Once over Cambodia, what we saw silenced all of us on board.
The statement published below was released on November 2 by the international press team of students occupying the University of Vienna. Email the occupying students at internationalpress.unsereuni@gmail.com or visit www.unsereuni.at.

Culture

Facing the Musharraf Dictatorship: An Activist Narrative By Farooq TariqGood Books, 2009 310pages, $25(hb) Available from www.resistancebooks.com
Hoodwinked in the Hothouse: False Solutions to Climate Change By Rising Tide North America Available for download at www.risingtidenorthamerica.org
Pecan Summer – Takes us back in time to the events of the 1939 Cummeragunja walk-off in which hundreds of Yorta Yorta chose to leave their homes to protest against harsh conditions and treatment by the mission's manager. ABC1, Sunday, November 15, 1.30pm. The Navigators – Ken Loach's award-winning film about five Yorkshiremen who try to survive after the British Rail is bought out by a private company in 1995. SBS1, Sunday, November 15, 10.35pm.

General

Our Spring Offensive, which ended on October 31, took the total raised for the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund this year to more than $200,000, and $8003 came in the last week.

Letters

Violence against women Jess Moore's article (GLW #815) on poverty and domestic violence misses the point. Increased financial uncertainty is associated with increased levels of domestic violence. Understanding this fact does nothing to help

Resistance!

The University of Wollongong Environment Collective (EC) has gone from strength to strength this year. Its meetings are now averaging more than 20 people each week and the list of its campaign achievements is growing.
The mainstream media have been quick to praise the “resilience” of the Australian economy and the Rudd government has lauded itself for avoiding a “technical recession”, but the human impact of the economic downturn has been downplayed.