Issue 875

Australia

“Peace is not just the absence of violence; but the presence of justice,” Samah Sabawi, Palestinian-Australian writer, and co-author of Journey to Peace In Palestine, told an audience of about 80 people at the University of Queensland on March 31.

She was commenting after a...

About 30 people attended a rally in King George Square on April 1 to call on Western powers to stop the bombing of Libya. Adrian Skerritt, from the Stop the War Collective, told the rally: “The main reason for intervention by the US and its allies in Libya is that the West cannot handle being...

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) issued a statement on March 29 calling for the immediate release of five West Papuan nurses who have been arrested and jailed by the Indonesian government for taking part in industrial action.

Eight nurses and midwives were detained on March 20 by...

About 2000 people rallied in Melbourne on March 26 to support equal marriage rights.

Speakers included Sally Goeldner from Trans Victoria, comedian Joel Creasey and James Campbell from the Melbourne-based gay and lesbian underage group and Minus-18.

Protesters marched to the...

About 8000 people demonstrated for urgent action on climate change in Sydney's Belmore Park on April 2 in a powerful counter-mobilisation to a 2000-strong climate deniers rally led by right-wing radio shock jocks Alan Jones and Chris Smith from Radio 2GB held in Hyde Park.

The climate...

Residents of Queensland’s Western Downs and their supporters have witnessed arrests, police harassment and some exciting victories over the past week in their fight to prevent coal seam gas expansion on the Tara estate, near Chinchilla.

During a protest organised by Lock the Gate...

On March 29, pro-choice protestors gave Melbourne City Council (MCC) a clear message: don’t mess with our free speech rights!

Councillor Cathy Oke tabled a bulky tome — nearly 600 statements signed by individuals and organisations, telling the council to uphold the right to protest and...

The Australian government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the government of Afghanistan and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

It permitted the forcible deportation of Afghan refugees — including children separated from their families —...

More than 100 people rallied outside the South Australian Parliament on March 25 in solidarity with the people of the Middle East.

The focus of the rally was the attacks on protesters by snipers in Yemen, the invasion of Bahrain by Saudi troops and the ongoing civil war and bombing in...

More than 200 people took to Adelaide’s streets on March 26 in the first March for Survival.

Organised by the Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN) the protest called on people to support victims of the recent floods, cyclones and bushfires and to demand serious emission cuts (60% of...

Former ABC journalist Jeff McMullen attacked the federal government’s intervention into Northern Territory Aboriginal communities as racist and harmful in a March 21 letter to indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin.

McMullen said Macklin had “not responded to the calls by an...

World

The bad news for Ohio’s 350,000 public workers is that a new law bans them from striking — the good news is at least they will no longer risk jail for doing so.

A March 30 Reuters article said: “Ohio’s legislature on Wednesday passed a Republican measure to curb the collective bargaining...

Secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks on March 15 show that former US ambassador to Nepal, James Moriarty, actively sought to destabilise Nepal’s peace process in order to prevent a Maoist rise to power.

The Maoist-led People’s Liberation Army waged a decade-long “people’s...

A popular rebellion is shaking the regime of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad — and highlighting the hypocrisy of US policy in the region.

The protests of recent weeks spread further following Friday prayers on March 25. The Syrian regime responded with vicious repression that left at least...

US coal giant Drummond paid right-wing paramilitaries accused of murder and human rights abuses for protection of its Colombian operations, Colombiareports.com said on March 16.

The article said the information was revealed in secret diplomatic cables sent between 2006-2010 released by...

Leonard Weinglass, a leading left-wing lawyer in the United States with an international perspective, died in the early evening on March 23, 2011.

Len, who died on his 78th birthday, fell ill in late January while in Cuba. In the first days of February, exploratory surgery at Montefiore...

The largest anti-nuclear protests in German history were held on March 26. About 250,000 people marched in Germany’s four largest cities.

Under the slogan “Fukushima Warns: Pull the Plug on all Nuclear Power Plants”, more than 120,000 took to the streets of Berlin, 50,000 in Hamburg, 40,...

About 500,000 people marched in London on March 26 against the British government’s program of huge spending cuts.

Called by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the march drew people from every part of Britain — a splendid cross section of the country with numbers dominated by the working...

The hypocrisy, double standards and selectivity displayed in the Western military action in Libya defy enumeration.

In Yemen and Bahrain, Western-backed regimes are violently repressing the democracy movement the West claims to back in Libya.

In Iraq, a US-sponsored regime...

Economists warned on March 31 that the British government’s public-sector cuts will leave a shortfall of more than half a million jobs.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) also warned that nowhere in the budget or “plan for growth“ was there “any evidence that the business tax cuts,...

The US-NATO intervention in Libya, with United Nations Security Council cover, is part of an orchestrated response to show support for the movement against one dictator in particular.

In doing so, it aims to bring the Arab rebellions to an end by asserting Western control, confiscating...

Ireland’s new Fine Gael (FG)-Labour Party (LP) coalition government has set out an agenda of continuing the savage austerity and spending cuts of the Fianna Fail (FF)-Greens coalition ii has replaced.

The cuts are enforced by the International Monetary Fund-European Union bailout of the...

The pro-democracy movement in Bahrain has been severely weakened by the brutal wave of repression that began on March 15.

Attempts to reignite pro-democracy protests have been broken up by government security forces and strikes have been called off.

Troops from Saudi Arabia and...

Hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied across Yemen on April 1 in the largest mobilisation so far calling for the removal of President Ali Abdulla Saleh, Associated Press said that day.
Protests took place in at least 14 provinces.

Saleh’s unwillingness to stand down has...

Israeli forces have sealed the occupied West Bank village of Beit Ommar since March 24 for an indefinite time.

Soldiers continue to arrest young Palestinian residents and hold them in Israeli detention centres.

In a move akin to the four-year-long economic blockade against the...

Analysis

The online journal Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is hosting a series of commentaries from left-wing groups and commentators from around the world on the crucial question of whether or not to support the US-NATO military intervention in Libya.

A number of...

At the Bali Process summit held on March 30, immigration minister Chris Bowen and foreign affairs minister Kevin Rudd signed a “regional framework to prevent people smuggling” with 41 nations.

But they failed to bully East Timor into agreeing to an Australian detention centre on its soil...

Two days before a March 23 rally against the government’s proposed carbon price took place in Canberra, Liberal MP Dennis Jensen told reporters gathered outside parliament house why he opposed the policy.

He held up a piece of charcoal and dropped it to the ground. “Does anyone know what...

Rob Stary, an Australian lawyer representing WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, spoke to the WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance on February 4.

In the interview below, Stary discusses the persecution of WikiLeaks and the failure of the Australian government to...

If the last federal election promised the beginnings of a break from the two-parties-for-capitalism electoral system that has plagued Australian politics for the last century, the March 26 NSW election seems to be a lurch in the other direction.

The Liberal-National Coalition won...

A vicious smear campaign against the Greens candidate for Marrickville Fiona Byrne in the NSW state election reveals just how worried the powers-that-be are about the prospect of the NSW Greens winning a lower house seat.

This smear campaign focused almost exclusively on the Greens pro-...

Things haven’t been going well for the Israeli occupation over the past few years. Numerous Israeli atrocities, such as the invasion and blockade of Gaza and the killings of civilians on the aid flotilla, have made many people aware of the truly oppressive situation facing the occupied...

Manufacturer BlueScope Steel has been at the forefront of the campaign against the carbon price proposed by Labor and the Greens.

Chief Executive Paul O'Malley has argued it could spell “the end of steel manufacturing in Australia”; something the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott agreed with...

Five revolutions in postwar Latin America have seen illiteracy as a neocolonial battleground.

Salvador Allende’s Chile — birthplace of How to Read Donald Duck, an iconic attack on cultural imperialism — reduced illiteracy from 15.2% to 6.3% in under two years (1971-73), triple...

Environment Tasmania (ET), the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and The Wilderness Society (TWS) launched television and radio advertisements on March 30 that call for an end to logging in native forests.

The ads feature University of Tasmania biologist Peter McQuillan, who says...

If there were an Olympics for climate amorality, Australia’s capitalists would be hauling in the medals.

Just consider this quote from Queensland coal baron Clive Palmer in the December 15 Australian: “The Galilee Basin overall has got 100 billion tonnes of thermal coal, so it’s...

Writing in the aftermath of the several high profile WikiLeaks publications including the Collateral Murder video and the Afghanistan and Iraq War Logs, News Corporation journalist Brad Norington set out on a crusade against online media, and more specifically, against WikiLeaks and its founder...

Editorial

Climate change is often called the greatest environment threat facing humanity.

The threat is very real. Unless we cut carbon pollution fast, runaway climate change will worsen existing environmental and social problems, and create new ones of its own.

But it’s no longer enough...

Letters

Modern ALP is a joke

I’m writing to comment on the interview with Andrew Ferguson in GLW #872. Was this a joke or fair dinkum?

Ferguson (and the dynasty he comes from) seems to me to represent everything that is wrong with the ALP.

Another union...

Resistance!

For many years, competitions granting prizes have been a successful tool used by marketers to try to promote their cause or business.

However, there should be great concern when the prize up for grabs represents sexist ideas and targets women who feel inadequate about their appearance...

Every election time, a fraction of the population turn up to a polling place, muttering under their breath, and give withering looks to the volunteers offering them “How to Vote” cards.

They wait in line to get their name marked off. With their obligations completed for another few years...

Culture

US progressive journalist and author Joe Bageant died on March 26. Bageant is best known for his 2007 book Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War, in which he writes about his home town of Winchester, Virginia.

In the book, Bageant investigated how the...

See the activist calendar for details of screenings in your city.

John Pilger’s latest film, The War You Don’t See, looks at the power wielded by journalists reporting conflict. It examines the responsibility of the media in justifying and supporting the wars our governments...

AC4 are a hardcore punk band from Sweden who are touring Australia in April with US punk group Star Fucking Hipsters. Green Left Weekly’s Chris Peterson spoke to AC4 lead singer , also of The (International) Noise Conspiracy, who...

Good politicians are few and far between, but British health secretary Andrew Lansley is among the worst.

In 2008, he was forced to apologise after saying recessions brought "good things" such as people being able to spend more time with their families.

In Britain’s parliamentary...

Fighting Fund

I was having a conversation about the likely outcome of the NSW elections on Radio SkidRow, a Sydney community radio station, just days before the March 26 election.

“We know what is going to happen after [the Liberals'] Barry O’Farrell wins the election, don’t we?” I said. “He’ll wait a...