Issue 869

Australia

Two long-time ALP members, Luis Ernesto Almario and Rosendo Duran, announced their resignation from the ALP on February 17. Both will stand as Socialist Alliance (SA) candidates for the Legislative Council in the March NSW state elections.

Almario and Duran are both political exiles from...

In the lead up to the NSW state elections, several organisations and individuals have joined forces to demand the incoming NSW parliament pass a bill for equal marriage rights.

Activists representing Community Action Against Homophobia, Australian Marriage Equality, the Metropolitan...

Climate action groups from across Australia will assemble in Melbourne over April 9 to 11 for the third Climate Action Summit.

Organised by the Community Climate Network, which involves more than 100 grassroots climate action groups, the summit will provide an opportunity for activists...

Elections in the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) are being held throughout Australia in the National and State branches in February. There are two main tickets contesting the national and NSW elections.

In NSW, the incumbent right-wing Labor leadership team is called Unity. It has failed...

Activists from the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) confronted Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and opposition Immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison at a Harmony Day event in Sydney on February 17.

"You've forgotten to tell us what you did this morning," RAC's Paul Benedek called out to...

Friends of Cuba in Australia are invited to take part in the sixth International Brigade of Volunteer Work and Solidarity with Cuba, which will run from April 25 to May 7, 2011.

The tour, which is organised by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), will coincide with...

Activists fighting to defend Sandon Point won an important victory in the Land and Environment Court in early February, opening the way for ongoing legal challenges to Stockland’s development at the site.

Stockland has been clearing the site to build the McCauley's Beach residential...

The Socialist Alliance has called for changes to the federal Labor government’s proposed flood levy to reduce the burden on workers and make Australia’s wealthiest corporations pay more.

Socialist Alliance national convener Peter Boyle said on February 18: "The government should start...

Father S.J. Emmanuel, president of the Global Tamil Forum, spoke at a Melbourne meeting of about 400 people on February 13. He said that while the civil war waged by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was over, the struggle for the rights of Tamils living in Sri Lanka continues in a new...

World

On November 10, tens of thousands of students marched through London against education cuts and fee hikes. This was an indication of the revival of a militant student movement in Britain.

Clare Solomon, president of the University of London Union, told Green Left Weekly: “That...

Leaked emails have revealed a plot by private internet security firms to bring down WikiLeaks. The plot was allegedly created on behalf of the Bank of America — the largest bank in the US.

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has said Bank of America will be the subject of future...

An Ecuadorian court handed down a landmark verdict in an 18-year case against international oil-giant Chevron on February 14.

The company was fined US$8.6 billion for polluting the Amazonian basin, and $900 million in costs.

The case — perhaps the biggest environmental case in...

The recent rebellion in the Arab world has not just shaken the foundations of authoritarian regimes across the north of Africa to the Arabian Peninsula.

It has also shattered many of the myths and prejudiced stereotypes propagated by the corporate media and right-wing politicians about...

If you intended to remedy the global collapse of fishing stocks, the last thing you would do is book a date with Japanese whalers at an upmarket seafood restaurant.

Similarly, if you were writing a book on human rights, asking Kim Jong Il to write a chapter might undermine its...

Following revelations that The New York Times liaised with the White House before publishing information supplied to it by WikiLeaks, the website’s editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, has revealed the British Guardian edited out “all sorts” of information before publishing US...

See also:
Revolt shows true Arab face
Egypt: Struggle enters new phase
Tunisa: fresh protests, violence
Sudan: Bashir denies fearing protests, tortures protesters
Emergency Libyan solidarity protests held in Sydney

The flames of discontent...

Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) is still holding dozens of protesters arrested during and after the January 30 protests against Omar al Bashir’s government. The protests were inspired by the Egyptian revolution.

The protesters are being held without charge....

Disgraced Tunisian foreign minister Ahmed Ounaies resigned on February 13 from the interim government set up after dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali resigned on January 14 in the face of huge protests.

The government has introduced fresh reforms as protests for democracy and economic...

The Egyptian people’s revolution has entered a new phase after the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak on February 11.

The first reaction to Mubarak’s resignation after 18 days of continuous protests was one of celebration.

Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the centre of the uprising, turned...

Climate change could lead to the disappearance of up to two-thirds of the world’s permafrost by the end of the century, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said on February 16.

Should the Earth’s permafrost (or permanently frozen soil) thaw out to this extent, it would...

A rebellion is developing across Britain in the face of huge spending cuts by the Conservative Party-Liberal Democrat coalition government.

The scale of the cuts is huge. The government is seeking to privatise huge swathes of the economy and hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs...

Analysis

The Business Council of Australia (BCA), which represents Australia's 100 biggest companies, said on February 14 that the federal government should consider cutting the disability pension as an alternative to the Queensland flood levy.

How low can these grubs go? Only days later, BCA’s...

Below is Jess Moore's speech to the “Stop the sell-off” rally in Wollongong on February 6. Moore is a Socialist Alliance candidate for the Legislative Council in the NSW elections. She addressed the rally on behalf of the Wollongong Climate Action Network (WCAN).

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We all know...

In December last year, Kojonup organic grain farmer Steve Marsh found genetically modified (GM) canola plants from a neighbouring farm had contaminated 293 hectares — 63% — of his property.

The farm in Western Australia’s Great Southern region is Australia’s first known case of GM canola...

When the first issue of Green Left Weekly came out on February 18, 1991, it was a dark time for the left.

The collapse of Stalinist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe had capitalism’s mouthpieces loudly proclaiming the “end of history”.

But GLW saw...

Three years ago then-prime minister Kevin Rudd promised to release children from immigration detention. Instead, his legacy left more children in detention centres than under the conservative Howard government — 1003 at last count.

In October 2010, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said...

The statement below was released by Tangentyere Council on February 11 in response to Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Closing the Gap 2011 address.

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The intervention in the Northern Territory has created a number of alarming issues. To a large extent the Aboriginal population...

Below is a eulogy to Mark Fordham, an Aboriginal activist and Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union member from the Northern Territory, released by: Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney; Brisbane Aboriginal Rights Coalition; UQ Students for Indigenous Rights; and Sydney University Anti-...

Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered the federal government’s third “closing the gap” report on February 9. The report is an annual review of national efforts to address the mortality gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

In an outrageous denial of the government’s...

Peter Boyle, the Socialist Alliance upper house lead candidate in the March NSW elections, spoke at an election forum on climate change hosted by Climate Action Central Coast on February 9.

The chief speaker was Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) executive director...

On February 14, I went to the seventh "Remember TJ Hickey" rally at Redfern. TJ Hickey was a 17-year-old Aboriginal boy who was killed in a dangerous police pursuit in 2004.

The state government and the NSW police moved to cover up their role in TJ's death. A coronial inquest exonerated...

Australian illusions about Labor are likely to have more serious consequences in the very near future. Unable to charter any real alternatives to the neoliberal formula of war, privatisation and social exclusion, Labor’s pseudo-social democracy will fail, delivering us to neo-fascist regimes and...

During the Christmas/New Year holiday period, prior to the tragedy of floods and fires, Prime Minister Julia Gillard chose to feed out some media announcements about local school autonomy.

Her proposal was to give schools the right to “hire and fire” teachers. The model would give school...

Letters

West props up dictators

The US only gave up supporting the oppressive Hosni Mubarak regime in Egypt when it became absolutely apparent he and his ruling elite couldn’t continue to hold power.

Mubarak’s brutal regime was able to maintain control through mass...

Resistance!

A lot of my mates tell me that they're just not that into politics. However, I think what they really mean is that they're not into politicians. And too right, almost all of our politicians are decidedly uninspiring.

But these uninspiring politicians also are condemning, imprisoning and...

Culture

For the past eight years, Kinetic Energy Theatre Company has been conducting a radical theatre-in-eduction program with a focus on social justice.

It is called Village Space, which is an umbrella name for a series of theatre projects zooming in on themes ranging from poverty and...

Stalin Ate My Homework
By Alexei Sayle
Sceptre, 2010,
304 pages, $35 (pb)

Even at primary school in Liverpool in the 1950s, Alexei Sayle, was a “mouthy little bastard”.

So the British comedian, whose stand-up career began at the London Comedy...

Your Skirt’s Too Short — Sex, Power, Choice
By Emily Maguire
2010, The Text Publishing Company

“Does your boyfriend or brother spend a lot of money on skin and hair care products?”

“Do the majority of fathers you know spend most of their time at home...

Fighting Fund

The cat is well and truly out of the bag. The February 17 Sydney Morning Herald reported that Liberal immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison had “urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about ‘Muslim immigration’, ‘Muslims in Australia’ and the ‘...