Issue 871

Australia

MELBOURNE — About 200 people marched against the NT intervention and for equal pay and jobs with justice for Aboriginal workers on March 4.

The rally was organised by the Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective. It demanded an end to the exploitation of Aboriginal workers in the Northern...

One hundred people, including many from the Latin American community, ex-ALP members, members of the Greens, plus members of Newcastle, Wollongong, and several Sydney branches of Socialist Alliance, helped launch the SA’s campaign in the NSW state election on February 26 at St Lukes Hall in...

National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at Macquarie University in Sydney took rolling industrial action across four faculties during the first teaching week of semester.

The industrial action was part of a campaign for a new collective agreement for academic staff.

...

The Greens candidate for Heathcote in the NSW elections, Phil Smith, has renewed his party’s call for a moratorium on coal seam gas mining in the state.

He said gas extraction poses real risks for communities throughout the Heathcote electorate, a seat that spans from southern Sydney to...

A rally was held on February 28 to protest against the recent decision of a London court to extradite WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange to Sweden to face questioning on allegations of sexual assault.

Assange’s legal team announced it would appeal the decision.

The rally...

HOBART — About 20 people attended an Aboriginal rights forum organised on February 24 by the Socialist Alliance.

The forum heard from a panel of representatives from the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and explored a range of issues they are campaigning around, including the Brighton...

ASIO has delayed the release of 900 refugees from immigration detention because it had not carried out security checks, a Senate estimate hearing on February 24 revealed.
 
Refugees can be held indefinitely after their visa approval until checks on their background, family networks...

About 100 maritime workers and community members rallied at Fremantle's Victoria Quay on March 4 to demand the federal and state government act in support of the human rights of the crew of the Bader III, a live sheep carrier.

The workers on the Bader III and its...

More than 80 people attended an at-times heated meeting on March 3 organised by Illawarra Residents for Responsible Mining (IRRM) in Russellvale, north of Wollongong.

The meeting was held across the road from the entrance of Gujarat NRE’s number 1 colliery.

This meeting doubled...

The conflict in Western Sahara, little known in Australia, is at last starting to get some prominence.

Unionists held a protest outside the Moroccan embassy in Canberra on February 9. This coincided with a visit to the Western Saharan capital, El Aaiun, by eight European trade unions to...

Insurance companies are collecting about $300,000 in interest every day they hold off paying the victims of Queensland’s flood disaster, said the February 28 Courier Mail.

The floods swept through the state in January. Six weeks later, just 10% of claims had been paid.

...

A meeting of more than 40 activists on March 3 agreed to form the "CHOGM Action Network''.

The meeting was called to plan protest actions during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will take place in Perth in October.

Meeting participants decided to begin...

On February 26, more than 100 WikiLeaks supporters rallied in Murray Street Mall, in Perth’s CBD. After hearing from speakers, the rally marched to join another protest in solidarity with the people's uprising in Libya.

The secretaries of eight NSW unions have signed a letter to the NSW Greens urging them to “commit to an upper house preference swap with Labor” at the upcoming NSW state election.

The unions represented include the Communications Electrical Plumbing (Telecommunications and Services...

Hundreds of University of Melbourne students have been told they are no longer eligible for public transport concession fares. This is a result of the new "Melbourne Model" at the university, which now defines several courses (such as medicine and law) as postgraduate study.

The March 2...

World

The protests that began on February 14 in Madison, Wisconsin against an anti-union bill have continued to grow. On February 26, an estimated 100,000 people defied sub-zero temperatures to rally against the bill.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s bill would outlaw collective bargaining...

The US Army announced on March 2 that it has charged 22-year-old Private First Class Bradley Manning with a further 22 charges. Manning is being held on suspicion of having leaked classified information to WikiLeaks.

One of the new charges is “aiding the enemy”. This means Manning could...

In a joint statement on February 25, indigenous communities that make up the Native Federation of Madre de Dios River and Tributaries in south-eastern Peru rejected a military crackdown on illegal mining on their lands.

The statement said it was a “false solution to a problem that has...

In the face of renewed protests in Tunisia's capital, Tunis, Tunisian prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi resigned on February 27.

This was one of the key demands of the popular movement, which has continued to push for democracy in the aftermath of the January 14 toppling of dictator Zine...

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Yemen in anti-government protests. Demonstrators have demanded an end to the long-running regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemen’s coalition of political opposition parties, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), finally joined...

The article below is abridged from SocialistWorker.org. Protest messages to the Zimbabwe embassy in Australia can be sent to zimbabwe1@iimetro.com.au .

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The resistance sweeping the Arab world and the repression against it has reached southern Africa, where more than 50...

Ireland’s governing Fianna Fáil (FF) party and its Green Party coalition partner were massacred in a general election revolt on February 26.

The most successful establishment party in Western Europe for the past 80 years, FF was demolished – reduced from 77 to only 20 seats on the back...

Pro-democracy protests have escalated in Bahrain after the US threw its support behind the monarchy and tanks from Saudi Arabia were seen entering the country.

Up to 200,000 people marched in the capital, Manama, on February 25, The New York Times said that day — a staggering...

When the Kyoto Protocol was being negotiated in 1997, the European Union opposed the United States’ proposal to introduce carbon trading and “offsetting” as a form of compliance with mandated greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Instead, the EU favoured coordinated policies and measures...

The US government says it wants “stability” in the Arab world. That sounds reasonable, right?

However, as US author and political analyst Noam Chomsky explained to Press TV on February 24, for the US government, “stability” means something other than what most people would think.

...

There was another win for “people’s power” in Egypt when interim prime minister Ahmed Shafiq resigned on March 3.

Shafiq was sworn in by the overthrown dictator Hosni Mubarak and is closely associated with the old regime.

He was replaced by former transport minister Essam Sharaf...

The Youth for Change organisation has called for protests throughout Sudan on March 21.

The February 28 Sudan Tribune reported that spokesperson Magdi Okasha said their aim is to overthrow the regime.

The call follows a series of anti-government protests by youth and...

The self-immolation of Tunisian Mohamed Buazizi in December triggered off protests that brought down a 24-year-old dictatorship in that country and inspired similar protests in neighbouring countries.

Buazizi, a 26-year-old computer science graduate and unemployed street vendor, carried...

The regime of Muammar Gaddafi has escalated its violence against rebel forces seeking to bring it down.

On March 6, opponents of the regime were reported to be in control of several cities, especially in Libya’s east.

AlJazeera.net said on March 4 that anti-government protests in...

The Wisconsin-based National Football League (NFL) team Green Bay Packers — the only fan-owned, non-profit franchise in major US sports — won the Super Bowl on February 6, bringing the Lombardi trophy back to Wisconsin.

But now, past and present members of the “People’s Team” are girding...

A NATO airstrike killed nine children collecting firewood in eastern Afghanistan on March 2, Afghan officials have said.

A March 2 WashingtonPost.com article said the deaths in Konar province “became the latest irritant in the tense relationship between President Hamid Karzai and the...

Analysis

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on February 26.

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The Socialist Alliance extends its full solidarity to the people of Libya now being brutally repressed for demanding an end to the corrupt and unjust regime of dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

...

The federal government’s expansion of income management in the Northern Territory has created new barriers for Aboriginal people who want to get off its welfare control scheme.
 
The rollout has also affected hundreds — possibly thousands — of others, including residents of Darwin...

Mining company BHP Billiton’s whopping $10.5 billion profit for the second half of 2010 highlights the shameless greed of those making a fortune out of Australia’s valuable resources.

Remember the tantrum thrown by BHP, Rio Tinto and Xstrata less than a year ago after then-PM Kevin Rudd...

On March 8, women’s rights campaigners around the world will celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day (IWD).

There could be no more fitting testament to the meaning of IWD than the words of one of the thousands of Egyptian women who joined the democracy protests in Tahrir Square in...

The underlying issue of racism in Australia has been a pervasive feature of national political life ever since the invasion of the First Fleet in 1788.

It was used as an ideological justification for the dispossession of indigenous Australians.

In 1975, the Racial Discrimination...

Many millions of tonnes of coal have been exported since activists dubbed the Rising Tide Seven temporarily shut down coal loaders in Newcastle in September last year.

They were convicted on January 31 of “remaining on enclosed lands”. Each was fined $300, plus $79 in court costs.

...

David Hicks was one of the first “war on terror” detainees to be sent to the US military prison at Guantanamo the day it opened in January 2002.

In a February 16 article, Truth-out.org’s Jason Leopold introduced Hicks as “the Australian drifter who...

“I am a black South African, and if I were to change the names, the description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank would be a description of what is happening in South Africa” - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, New York 1989.

When Desmond Tutu made this comment,...

With the betting agencies putting the Greens candidate ahead of Labor in Sydney's inner west seat of Marrickville, Labor is running scared.

But rather than debate the issues, the ALP machine is doing its best to smear the Greens.

At a 120-strong candidates' meeting hosted by the...

The casual observer might easily conclude that there are just two clear sides in the parliamentary debate over the Labor/Greens carbon price deal.

But there is a lot more to the debate than this.

Clearly the Greens are in favour, and appear to have won over PM Julia Gillard’s...

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu announced on March 1 that the government would push ahead with the unpopular plan to build Australia’s largest desalination plant in Wonthaggi.

This is despite pre-election promises that he would re-examine the contract with Aquasure, the private consortium...

Climate research group Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) has released a briefing paper for the NSW elections. It outlines the proposals for NSW in the Zero Carbon Australia 2020 Stationary Energy Plan (ZCA2020) — a plan to transition Australia to 100% renewable energy within 10 years, using...

The statement below was released by the Socialist Alliance on March 6.

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The carbon price framework recently agreed to by the ALP and the Greens is a step in the wrong direction.

This is not because, as the Coalition says, the economy — read the profits of big...

Resistance!

To win socialism — a society democratically owned and run by and for the majority of people — we have to get rid of the capitalist system that stands in our way.

But who is going to do this? The capitalists aren’t going to give up their privileges.

It's those who are exploited...

Picture this: you drive past armed guards at the gate; then park your car next to a four-metre-high fence topped with electric wire.

As you enter the building you’re searched, your phone is confiscated, your details are noted, then you pass through metal detectors and are tagged with...

Culture

The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the 21st Century
Edited by Michael Chossudovsky & Andrew Gavin Marshall
Global Research, 2010

The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), based in Montreal, runs a website that publishes in-...

Folk music legend Pete Seeger has come out in support of the growing Palestinian movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and in support of justice for Palestinians and a route to peace in the Middle East.

Seeger, 92, took part in last November’s online virtual...

Fighting Fund

Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire just got bigger after the British government approved his takeover of the British satellite pay TV group BSkyB on March 4.

Not even evidence raised in the British parliament of his minions from the notorious rag News of the World hacking into...

We kid you not

US-backed dictators have ‘moral scruples’

“[P]ro-American dictatorships have more moral scruples. The comparison is akin to what happened in the 1980s when U.S. allies led by authoritarians fell peacefully in the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan, even as Communist...