Issue 828


The following article is based on information from Friends of the Earth Melbourne.
The Australian government continues to ignore the almost 250 Tamil refugees holding out on a boat in the port of Merak, West Java. But the conditions onboard grow more severe each day.
Mamdouh Habib is joyous. The Australian citizen whose life was taken away from him by torture, harassment and abuse both here and overseas since being captured by US forces in 2001, has received acknowledgment his case can proceed.
An asylum seeker accused of rioting in the Christmas Island detention centre on November 21 recently contacted a refugee advocate about living conditions inside. The refugee advocate asked Green Left Weekly to withhold both their name.
British-Chilean journalist and documentary director Pablo Navarrete presented his new film Inside the Revolution: A Journey into the Heart of Venezuela at the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts on February 25.
“Rebuilding Haiti is important”, El Salvadoran solidarity activist Rafael Pacheco told a public forum on February 23. “But liberating the country is most important in the long run.
Between 10,000 and 20,000 people rallied in Melbourne’s CBD to the tune of AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll)” in an effort to save the city’s live music scene on February 23. The march followed the route of the song's videoclip, set in Melbourne’s CBD 34 years ago.
Forty people attended a launch of the latest publication from Resistance Books, The Aboriginal Struggle and the Left on February 20.
Australian author and climate change commentator Clive Hamilton has revealed that prominent climate scientists have been targeted by a cyber-bullying campaign by climate change deniers.
Israeli murders of Palestinian resistance leaders are not normally condemned by Australian government ministers. Not even the 2002 murder of Salah Shehade in Gaza, in which the murder weapon was a one-tonne bomb from an F-16 jet, and 14 other people, nine of them children, were killed.
Staff at the National Archives of Australia (NAA) offices in Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart believe that the February 23 announcement not to close down these offices was a victory for people power.
Green Left Weekly is currently involved in a free-speech fight in the inner-city suburb of Brunswick.
Federal resources minister Martin Ferguson announced on February 23 that he intends to pursue plans for a national radioactive waste repository at Muckaty, 120km north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.


This year, International Women’s Day (IWD) coincides with the Labour Day weekend in Victoria and Tasmania. It gives an opportunity to highlight how much women have contributed to fighting for workers’ rights and civil liberties, and how little they have been acknowledged for it.
The rapid melting of the Arctic sea-ice is one of the most alarming examples of the looming climate change catastrophe. But where most see disaster, some of the world's richest corporations see a business opportunity.
Responding to pressure from media, the community and the federal ALP, NSW Labor Premier Kristina Keneally dropped the state’s unpopular “Metro to nowhere” (planned to run from Barangaroo to Rozelle) on February 21.
Steve Gumerungi Hodder, an Aboriginal broadcaster in Central Australia, has taken legal action against Google to compel them to remove links to a site promoting extreme racism in the guise of humour. On January 27, Green Left Weekly ran an article by Edmund Parker arguing against using legal action in the fight against racist ideas. Hodder responds below.
It has come to the attention of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) that more than 40% of large businesses — those with a turnover of $250 million — paid no tax from 2005 to 2008.
Under the Northern Territory intervention, in the “prescribed areas” the government has taken control of communities, acquired compulsory leases of Aboriginal land and introduced “welfare quarantining” — in which half the income of social security recipients is replaced with a “Basics Card”, which can only be spent at specified shops on specified items.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd released a new counter-terrorism white paper on February 23 that dramatically increases the powers of Australia's spy agency ASIO, attacks civil liberties and does nothing to improve the safety of Australian citizens.


The video posted below is from a public meeting featureing Australian activists and Socialist Alliance members based in Caracas, Kiraz Janicke and Federico Toronto, Canada on Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution.
The US authorities continue to harbour Branko Marinkovic, a leader of the Bolivian right-wing opposition accused of financing a terrorist cell to assassinate Bolivian President Evo Morales.
It is more than a month since the January 12 earthquake that laid waste to Port-au-Prince, killing more than 200,000 people and thrusting millions of people into desperate conditions.
Apparently, the corporate media doesn’t consider this to be newsworthy: the confession to a Colombian prosecutor of 30,000 murders by paramilitaries linked to the regime of President Alvaro Uribe.
In a February 17 article “Venezuela’s Renegade Aid” in the US Huffington Post, freelance journalist Patrick Adams implied there is something counter-productive about Venezuela’s aid effort in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
B.V. Dlamini, deputy secretary general of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions, spoke to Ingrida Kerusauskaite about the way forward for the sourthern African nation of Swaziland, which is ruled by an absolute monarchy.The article is reprinted from London Student, Europe's largest independent student newspaper.
On a pleasant autumn day in 1890, the Cuauhtemoc brewery was founded in Monterrey, Mexico. This brewery went on to become Mexican Economic Development Inc. (FEMSA), brewing such beers as Dos Equis, Tecate and Sol.
In revolutionary Venezuela, people know what the “three Rs” stand for: revise, rectify and re-impulse.
The Dutch government collasped on February 20 as a result of growing popular opposition to Dutch participation in the US-led war in Afghanistan.
The article below is abridged from the British Morning Star.
The Greek economic crisis has an aspect of ancient tragedy (for the Greek people) mixed with a bad theatrical farce (staged on behalf of the European and the Greek capitalist elites).
Greece has been brought to a standstill by a general strike, with key union groups leading up to two million workers in a 24-hour stoppage against the government’s austerity program.
In January, Bolivia’s left-wing President Evo Morales began his second term by appointing a new cabinet in which women are equally represented for the first time.
The article below is the call issued by Bolivian President Evo Morales for the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights to be held in Cochabama, Bolivia, over April 19-22. A number of Australians are already planning to travel to Bolivia to attend. If you are interested in taking part in the Australian contingent, email For more information on the conference, at which the Bolivian government expects as many as 10,000 people to attend, visit or email
Leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean approved on February 23 a regional organisation that will unite their countries, but that will not involve either the United States or Canada.
The farce of the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen in December affirmed a world war waged by the rich against most of humanity.


Ted Kennedy, Priest of Redfern By Edmund Campion, David Lovell Publishing, 2009 201 pages, $24.95
Behind the Exclusive BrethrenBy Michael BachelardScribe, 2008298 pp, $27.95
Stripping Bare the Body: Politics Violence WarBy Mark DannerBlack Inc., 2009626 pp, $39.95 (pb)
No … politeness, happiness, humanity Have … pain, sorrow, suffering Nobody is here … to love us Nobody is here … to be honesty We are suffering without love We were expecting politeness We were looking for humanity. But We couldn't


A sub-editing error in Green Left Weekly #827, in the article “Teacher activists elected to union council”, meant that the article gave the impression that the issue of performance pay leading up to the NSW Teachers’ Federation’s 2009 annual conference was debated at the February 2010 Council.
Afghanistan: A new, democratic police force "The Afghan police force is the most corrupt institution in Afghanistan. Bribery is common and if you have money, by bribing police from top to bottom you can do almost anything. "In many parts of


Tony Abbott (and maybe Paul Sheehan) have a hidden talent There was television footage of Tony Abbott at a shopping centre earlier this week. An angry woman complains about Muslims in Australia. His response is that he understands exactly where


Our society is far from perfect. All over the world, injustice, corruption, pollution and inequality cry out for change.
Resistance and Socialist Alliance members in Newcastle, New South Wales, have initiated a poll on the social networking website Facebook to decide the best 100 songs by women musicians of all time. The poll is timed to coincide with International Women's Day (IWD) on March 8. In 2009, Australian radio station Triple J ran a poll to find the "Hottest 100" songs of all time. Only two of the songs in the final list were sung by female vocalists, and only three bands had women in them.