Issue 866

Australia

Officially Leonora is not a detention centre for refugees but an “alternative place of detention”. Between January 21-23, the Refugee Rights Action Network’s second “Caravan of Compassion” made the 1660km round trip from Perth to Leonora. Caravan participant and Resistance member Zebedee...

List of protests in support of Egyptian democracy movement, against Western support for regime

Melbourne:
Friday February 4, 5.30pm
State Library to march to the Parliament House
Facebook page

Brisbane:
Friday February 4, 5pm
Brisbane...

In a move that took most people by surprise, Tasmanian Labor Premier David Bartlett resigned on January 23. Deputy premier Lara Giddings was sworn in the next day as the first female premier of the state.

Giddings will also keep her position as Treasurer.

Bartlett announced his...

About 40 people attended a ‘Hands off WikiLeaks’ rally held in Franklin Square, Hobart on January 29.

Speakers from the Greens, the Socialist Alliance, the Secular Party, Young Libertarians and unaligned individuals addressed the rally. They called on the Australian government to support...

About 250 protesters gathered outside Redfern Community Centre on January 26 to listen to Aboriginal leaders speak out against the Northern Territory intervention and ongoing attacks on Aboriginal self-determination.

The event was organised by the Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney...

Forest campaigners have engaged in a series of actions on the New South Wales south coast, protesting against alleged illegal logging of old-growth forests in the area.

Lisa Stone, spokesperson for South East Forest Rescue, told AAP on January 21: "Recent audits have exposed illegal...

In 2005, the people of Bolivia, the poorest country in Latin America, elected the poor nation’s first Indigenous president: Evo Morales from the Movement for Socialism (MAS).

Since then, the people’s struggles to end multinational corporations’ plunder of Bolivia’s natural resources, and...

The Australian Museum hosted a debate on January 23 on the topic: “Is the 26th of January the most appropriate date to celebrate our national identity?”

Sixty people attended the debate, which pitted historian and educator Nigel Parbury against Brisbane indigenous leader and Socialist...

About 120 people marched in Melbourne on January 20 to commemorate the lives of two Aboriginal freedom fighters.

On January 20, 1842, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner were led to the scaffold and killed before 5000 people in the first public judicial execution in Melbourne. Their...

SYDNEY — "As we speak, Egypt is on fire," Arab community activist Omar Mostafa told about 50 people who attended a snap protest rally in support of the recent democracy protests in Egypt at Town Hall Square on January 29.

"People are burning police stations and offices of the ruling...

Greens MP David Shoebridge joined members of climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle at a press conference on January 28 to condemn Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) “victim’s compensation” claim of $525,0000 against seven protesters.

PWCS is pursuing the claim in response to a...

Reports that the WA state government is planning to give police "stop and search" powers during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) later this year should concern all Western Australians.

Even more worrying — albeit unsurprising — is that the ALP has dropped its lukewarm...

A group of 30 Perth-based activists from the Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN) travelled to Leonora detention centre on January 21 in solidarity with the hunger strike at Curtin detention centre and to call for an end to mandatory detention.

The group, which included teachers,...

World

All those scenes from Cairo of mass demonstrations look like the perfect expression of the big society.

So we can only assume British PM David Cameron wants us to try something similar here. It would certainly encourage more people to take an interest in politics.

Instead of...

After as many as 2 million people took over Tahrir Square and the streets of Cairo, with millions more across Egypt, on February 1 to demand on end to the US-backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, the regime responded with a violent assault on protesters continuing to occupy the square.

...

International Socialist Review editor Ahmed Shawki reports from Cairo on the latest mass protests against Hosni Mubarak--and what the future holds for Egypt's uprising. This was first posted on February 2 at www.socialistworker.org .

More coverage:
Links International Journal of...

AlJazeera.net reported on January 29 that new protests had erupted in the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen, which sits at the bottom of the Arab peninnsular, demanding an end to the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The site reported on January 28 that thousands had also taken to the...

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Istanbul on January 19 to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the killing of journalist and human rights activist Hrant Dink.

Dink’s murder symbolises the rising wave of nationalism and chauvinism in Turkey in recent years.

...

Ongoing mass demonstrations, strikes and riots have rocked Egypt since January 25.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in national protests on January 25 to demand an end to the United States-backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.

The regime has responded with...

On January 3, 170 cleaners and security guards at Hongik University in Seoul were sacked for forming a union and demanding better conditions.

The workers formed a union on December 1 and demanded decent working conditions. Since their sacking, the workers have held a sit-in protest at...

The trials of the creator of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and of international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles began with less than a 24-hour difference on January 10 and 11.

One took place in London and the other in El Paso, Texas.

While the champion of freedom of information,...

Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez has passed a series of laws to help people affected by floods, including big investment in new housing.

Venezuelanalysis.com said on January 20: “Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez issued a law-decree on Tuesday to address ‘rights and justice’ of the...

In his January 25 State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama called for a freeze on government spending and for lowering the corporate tax rate.

In response, Reuters reported on January 26, the US stock index figures rose.

Meanwhile, the situation for US workers and...

A fair portion of the more than 1600 United States State Department documents WikiLeaks had published by mid-December referred to the ongoing US efforts to isolate and counter the left-wing, anti-imperialist Venezuelan government.

After Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1998,...

See also:
US, Israel oppose Arab democracy
Egypt: Uprising hits hated regime
Yemen, Jordan hit by new protests
Socialist Alliance, Asian left statements of solidarity with the Arab revolt
Sydney: Snap protests support Egyptian democracy struggle

...

They are calling it Obama’s PATCO. US President Barack Obama is proposing a two-year wage freeze for 2 million federal workers.

When then-president Ronald Reagan fired 13,000 striking Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) members in August 1981, he sent a signal to...

The January 9-15 referendum on self-determination in south Sudan looks certain to result in the division of Sudan into two countries.

About 96% of the 3.9 million registered voters took part, well exceeding the required 60% turnout.

The final result will be announced in February...

Support the Egyptian people solidarity protests:
Brisbane: Friday February 4, 5pm. Brisbane Square (top of Queen St mall, outside Casino)
Sydney:Saturday 5 February, 12-3pm at Town Hall. Called by Egyptian community.
See...

Who says the corporate media do not care about the opinions of ordinary people? There have been lots of articles lately about what workers think, written by the people who study them the most — bosses.

As a vice president of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and a Wall Street Journal...

See also: US, Israel oppose Arab democracy

Papers leaked to Al-Jazeera, as well as secret US cables published by WikiLeaks, have exposed how Israel and the United States have used the Middle East “peace process” to push total capitulation on the Palestinian side.

...

Of all the commentaries and interviews coinciding with the anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake, none are likely to exceed in significance the interview granted by OAS Representative to Haiti, Ricardo Seitenfus, to the Swiss daily Le Temps on December 20.

The critique he delivered to the...

See also:
Tunisia: Mass protests to deepen revolution
Egypt: Uprising hits hated regime
Yemen, Jordan hit by new protests
Socialist Alliance, Asian left statements of solidarity with the Arab revolt
Sydney: Snap protests support Egyptian democracy...

“Haiti’s infamous dictator ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier, returned to his country this week, while the country's first elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is kept out”, Mark Weisbrot wrote in the January 20 Huffington Post.

“These two facts really say everything about Washington’s...

In the lead-up to the one-year anniversary of Haiti’s January 12, 2010 earthquake, a brutally frank account of the plight of its people was delivered by a highly placed diplomat.

Ricardo Seitenfus, the representative to Haiti of the Organization of American States, delivered a hard-...

Sadaullah Wazir, a 17-year-old Pakistani man, is suing the CIA over an alleged US drone strike on his village of Machi Khe in September 2009, in which he lost his legs. Three of his relatives were killed in the attack, CBSNews.com said on December 23.

The article reported that Wazir said...

Anger has erupted in West Papua at the light sentences handed to three Indonesian soldiers responsible for torturing two West Papuans.

The soldiers received between eight and 10 months' jail for “insubordination” rather than the more serious charge of torture, The Australian...

Analysis

See also:
Editorial: Floods and climate link cannot be denied
Flood recovery: Make the polluters pay
Floods show need for public insurance scheme
Venezuela: New laws, funds to cope with floods, homelessness

When you fly over the earth’s oldest land...

The recent Queensland and Victorian floods make it clear — Australia needs a comprehensive, national, public insurance scheme, to cover floods, bushfires and other major natural disasters.

The federal and state governments should combine to establish a national insurance scheme to...

Margaret River, a town on the southwest coast of Australia, is an important agricultural area, supporting olive farms, dairies and livestock. It attracts tourists from all over the country eager to check out its famous beaches, forests, artists and wineries.

But residents were shocked...

The councillors of Marrickville, in Sydney’s inner west, voted by a 10-2 majority on December 15 to support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

A month later, they have belatedly become the subjects of vilification in the Rupert Murdoch-owned...

See also:
Editorial: Floods and climate link cannot be denied
John Pilger: Floods Australia's ‘Katrina’
Floods show need for public insurance scheme
Venezuela: New laws, funds to cope with floods, homelessness

Over the course of one month, Australia...

Up to 300 asylum seekers held in Western Australia’s remote Curtin detention centre ended a four-day hunger strike on January 21.

The protesting asylum seekers demanded the immigration department end the long delays in the processing of asylum claims. They agreed to end the hunger strike...

Plans by the NSW Liberal/National coalition to cut $3.8 billion in state spending is yet more evidence that the Coalition is no alternative to the Labor Party in New South Wales.

If anything, opposition leader Barry O’Farrell’s plan to cut public sector jobs and services will make things...

The NT government has failed to change its policy of "First Four Hours" of English in remote Aboriginal schools, despite the trial period expiring in January.

The policy was introduced in January 2009, supposedly as a way to improve English literacy for Aboriginal students. The policy...

On January 3, when Donna Macklan went to visit a friend, two people viciously assaulted her, knocking her out of her wheelchair and hitting her with a shovel.

While they were doing this they screamed “you hermaphrodite” — she was beaten and abused in our community because of her gender...

The world’s largest workforce is on call 24-hours-a-day and receives no wages.

Domestic workers and carers for children, ageing or ill members of society or those with disabilities are usually women living within family units. They are most often the partners, mothers or daughters of the...

Newcastle and the Hunter region have a proud history of energy-related manufacturing. However, since the 1990s the sector has experienced a steady decline, born of decades of neoliberal, free trade policies that encouraged companies to move offshore.

Presently, only 10% of the Hunter...

Editorial

Climate change was a big factor in the devastating floods that swept through Queensland and other states in January. For decades, scientists have warned that carbon pollution will lead to more frequent weather disasters.

The floods are yet more evidence that we must quickly phase out...

Resistance!

Resistance is proud to announce that its 2011 national conference will be held over May 6 to 8 at Redfern Community Centre, Sydney.

All socialists and left activists are welcome to attend.

The initial conference agenda will soon be posted at Resistance.org.au. It will include...

The national secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Union (SDA), Joe De Bruyn, recently recommitted the SDA to a homophobic policy of opposition to equal marriage rights.

A member of the ALP national executive, De Bruyn said in November that were he in Prime Minister...

Culture

Based on Psalm 137

By the waterholes of Mother Country we slung down our yidakis, and cut our bodies and drugged our minds in grief, as we remembered the dreamtime.

And the settlers demanded from us a corroboree performance and a jail sentence, mutual obligation...

Hopes & Prospects
By Noam Chomsky
Haymarket Books, 2010
US$16
www.hopesandprospects.org

Noam Chomsky requires little by way of introduction.

Eminent professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of...

Clients at the Casuarina Centrelink in Darwin were treated to a singing protest on January 27 against the Basics Card. As part of the federal government’s Northern Territory intervention, Indigenous people in the NT have half of their welfare payments restricted to a card that can be used to buy...

Edgar Rice Burroughs & Tarzan: A Biography
By Robert W. Fenton
McFarland & Co., 2010,
212 pages, $49.95 (pb)

Edgar Rice Burroughs was in illustrious company when his Tarzan books joined the works of Einstein, Freud, Marx, Zola, Upton...

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