Issue 878

Australia

A dozen activists gathered at Carousel shopping centre on May 2 as part of a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) action against cosmetics company Seacret.

Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA) called the action in support of the international BDS campaign called for by Palestinian civil...

Forty refugee rights activists travelled by bus from Perth to Curtin Detention Centre in the remote Kimberley region of WA over the Easter long weekend. Several others joined the convergence at nearby Derby.

This was the latest convergence on a refugee detention centre organised by the...

Long-time Perth activist, Communist Party of Australia leader, World War II veteran and retired waterside worker Vic Williams died on April 19, aged 96.

Born on June 28, 1914, Vic joined the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) in 1939 and was one of its leading members in Western...

Three members of the Sydney-based refugee solidarity group the Cross Borders Collective occupied the rooftop of immigration minister Chris Bowen’s electoral office in Fairfield on April 29.

Their protest was a stand of support for the refugees who have been protesting inside immigration...

A Green Left Weekly Culture of Resistance dinner, taking place in Sydney’s west on May 28, will pay homage to the people's power movements in the Arab world.

Each succulent dish served will be from a country in revolt, and speakers at the frontline from Egypt, Palestine and from...

Aboriginal elders at Muckaty, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, have called for a weekend of protest in Tennant Creek on May 7 and 8 against the federal government’s plan to build a radioactive waste dump in the area.

Traditional owners Dianne Stokes, Mark...

The family of an Aboriginal man, Herbert Mitchell, who died after being taken to Townsville’s police watchhouse on April 18, is calling for answers from the current police investigation and coroner's report.

Aboriginal activist and Townsville resident Gracelyn Smallwood said: “The...

The NATO attack on Libya was debated at a meeting sponsored by the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law in Melbourne on April 20.

Don Rothwell, a law professor at the Australian National University, argued that the intervention is consistent with the doctrine of "responsibility to protect...

As part of a National Day of Action for refugee rights, about 250 protesters turned out to Melbourne’s Maribyrnong Detention centre on April 25 to show solidarity with refugees in detention and to oppose the mandatory detention of asylum seekers.

The human rights activists gathered at...

"Another Australia is Possible" was the main theme of the Socialist Alliance Queensland State Conference, held on Saturday April 16 in the Brisbane Activist Centre.

A feature panel, “Fighting for Another Australia”, included presentations from Murri community leader Sam Watson, Sri...

"No uranium mining," "No nuclear industry," and "No nuclear waste dump," were the themes of the annual Rally for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, held in Brisbane on Palm Sunday, April 17.

The rally and march attracted about 200 people.

Speakers included Dr Sue Wareham, from the...

The chief operating officer for Apex Energy NL, Chris Rogers, contacted Stop CSG Illawarra on April 5.

He accused the group, which is campaigning against coal seam gas (CSG) projects in the region, of publishing two inaccuracies on its website: that drilling had already commenced and...

"This is the battle for the end of the fossil fuel industry. This is the end game," Lock the Gate Alliance campaigner Drew Hutton told a forum, titled, Australia's Gas Rush: The race to save our farmland and the Great Artesian Basin, on April 14 in Brisbane.

The forum, sponsored by ...

"I have recently had the opportunity to witness important developments in the Bolivarian Revolution," Nelson Davila, Venezuelan ambassador to Australia, just returned from a three-week visit to his homeland, told a forum sponsored by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) in Brisbane...

World

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the hunger strikes by republican prisoners in the H-Blocks of the British-run Long Kesh prison in Northern Ireland. These hunger strikes, in which ten men died demanding "political" status, were preceded by hunger strikes in the last part of 1980 that...

On May 5, 1981, Bobby Sands, Honourable Member of the British Parliament for Fermanagh-South Tyrone in Ireland’s north, died. The 27-year-old republican prisoner died after 66 days on hunger strike in the H-blocks of the British-run concentration camp called Long Kesh prison.

Nine other...

On the 30th anniversary of the May 5, 1981 death on hunger strike of Irish republican prisoner Bobby Sands MP, Green Left Weekly spoke to Sands close friend, former prisoner in the Long Kesh H-Blocks along with Sands and leading Belfast Sinn Fein activist Séanna Walsh about the man who...

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the hunger strikes by Irish republican prisoners n the British-run Long Kesh concentration camp — an event that shook the world.

The British government of Margaret Thatcher let ten men starve themselves to death rather than negotiate with them over...

A billionaire, mass murdering criminal is dead, but the symbiotic processes of empire and terrorism that breed inequality, war, occupation, torture and dispossession are alive and well.

See also:
How the CIA created Osama bin Laden
Labour Party of Pakistan spokesperson: Killing...

I firmly believe the left and progressive forces have made a serious error in viewing and equating Libya with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Libya is not the same situation; there has been a popular people's uprising.

Other Libya articles
Libya: '...

Despite appearing calm on the surface, tensions are escalating within Bahrain, which has been the scene of anti-government protests that began on February 14.

There still remains a strong police presence within the country. Armoured tanks and vehicles man the streets and highways....

The US-led military operation in Libya has morphed from the initial imposition of a “no-fly zone” — ostensibly to prevent Muammar Gaddafi’s regime from carrying out a massacre — into an ongoing bombing campaign with no end in sight.

And now there’s increasing talk of the use of ground...

A request by the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, to visit alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower, United States soldier Bradley Manning, was denied in April.

At the time, Manning was being held in solitary confinement at Marine Corps Brig, Quantico in Virginia.

...

In another important step towards winning Bolivia’s national sovereignty, the country’s Plurinational Assembly has announced the expulsion from Bolivia of USAID’s Environment and Economic Development (EED) program.

USAID is funded by the US government and on its website says one of its...

The release of secret US Department of Defense files on prisoners held by the US as part of the “war on terror” confirms, in the US government’s own words, the shoddy and unreliable nature of the “evidence” used to condemn prisoners at its Guantanamo Bay torture camp.

The files released...

Europe’s biggest polluters have made billions out of the European Emissions Trading System (ETS). But a new briefing by Carbon Trade Watch (CTW) says the scheme will ensure industry will not have to cut its emissions until at least 2017.

The ETS sets a cap, or upper limit, on total...

A number of left groups in Venezuela and solidarity groups internationally have expressed concern over the April 23 decision by Venezuelan authorities to arrest well-known Colombian journalist and supporter of the Venezuelan revolution, Joaquin Perez Becerra.

Perez Becerra was arrested...

The sixth congress of the Communist Party of Cuba ended on April 19. Not by accident, the date chosen for the meeting coincided with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the victory of Playa Giron [Bay of Pigs — at which the Cuban people defeated a US-sponsored invasion in 1961].

...

Since January, tens of thousands of United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) militants, together with activists from other left parties and social movements, have been debating the future of Venezuela’s revolution.

Their sights are set on the crucial 2012 presidential elections.

...

Several weeks of conflict between the government of President Evo Morales and Bolivian trade unions has again thrown into sharp relief some of the serious challenges confront Bolivia’s process of change.

For two weeks in April, the Bolivian Workers Central (COB) called mobilisations...

Sixty-two protesters had been killed by Syrian security forces on April 29, Al Jazeera reported that day. This was the second Friday in a row that Syrian authorities had used lethal forces against protesters — 100 protesters were killed in Deraa on April 22.

The United States responded...

Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, made the speech below at an April 20 session of the UN general assembly.

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Victor Hugo, the author of Les Miserables, once wrote: “How sad to think that nature speaks and mankind doesn’t listen...

Analysis

Below is a letter from a 17 year old Afghani man, who has been held in a Darwin detention centre for more than a year.

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The refugee has a question. Best regards to Australia, the country in which people, all human beings, are equal; and all people from different ethnics,...

To every complex problem there is a simplistic response, which is usually wrong. For instance, to the challenge of generating all of Australia’s electricity from renewable energy, the deniers repeatedly utter the simplistic myth that renewable energy is intermittent and therefore cannot generate...

The following statement was released by Lim Chee Wee, president of the Malaysian Bar Council, on May 9 in response to the "refugee swap" announced by the Australian and Malaysian governments.

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The Malaysian Bar is opposed to the recently-announced arrangement agreed to...

In the lead up to the March 26 New South Wales state election, a concerted anti-Greens campaign was unleashed by the major parties and the corporate media. Despite this, Greens candidate and mayor of Leichhardt Jamie Parker won the seat of Balmain.

Green...

Two years ago, a war without witness was executed by the state against the Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka.

In September 2008, after ordering all United Nations personnel, non-government organisations and media out of the Vanni region, the Sri Lankan government embarked on a...

The ALP took government on the back of the “Your Rights At Work” campaign. But Labor has failed to “rip up” the Howard government’s Work Choices laws.

Australian Industry Group boss Heather Ridout told the 2011 HR Nichols Society conference: “There were many positive elements of the...

Last year, Marrickville council in Sydney passed a resolution in support of the non-violent struggle of the Palestinian people for their human rights.

Since then The Australian and other media outlets have gone into a hysterical frenzy, accusing the councillors of being...

After months of pressure from apologists for apartheid Israel, eight Marrickville councillors, including two Greens councillors, voted on April 19 to rescind the Council’s near unanimous December 2010 decision to support the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel...

Below is an address to Marrickville Council meeting on BDS by Dr. Peter Slezak, associate professor in history and philosophy at the University of New South Wales, arguing against a motion on April 19 to rescind the council’s support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (...

After running a Google news search on Marrickville+BDS on April 18, I spent a half hour looking at just under 30 articles published over the past seven days on Marrickville council’s position of support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

I looked at...

The Greens Mayor of Marrickville Council Fiona Byrne gave the speech below at the Unions NSW May Day toast at the Cypress Community Club in Stanmore on April 28.

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I acknowledge we meet tonight on the traditional land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation...

Who were the actual criminals that sparked the refugees’ revolt in Villawood detention centre in late April?

There is no crime in climbing on top of a building and holding a banner saying “We need help”, nor asking for a meeting with immigration officials after 15 months in detention, as...

Australian author and commentator Clive Hamilton gave the speech below to Australia’s Climate Action Summit, held in Melbourne on April 9.

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The difficulty and importance of the global warming campaign is many times greater than every other...

When climate change deniers took to the streets in March against the federal government’s proposed carbon price, some of this country’s most notorious shock jocks were leading the way.

Chris Smith, talkback host on Sydney commercial radio show 2GB, was a major promoter of the March 23...

It’s wonderful that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are getting good publicity and support for their great efforts exposing the lies and deceptions of the US, Israel and others. But I also would like to draw some attention to the fate of two Israeli whistleblowers and political prisoners held in...

I began writing this as a reply to a worker infected by the ideological disease that could be called today’s version of “the socialism of fools”.

That was the name given by German socialists at the end of the 19th century to the irrational, bigoted and eventually genocidal idea that Jews...

For many people, gambling merely fulfils a short-term desire to be entertained. Yet for an estimated 2.3% of Australian adults, it has become a compulsion; an uncontrollable addiction which largely affects their personal, social and financial life.

Over the past decade, the gambling...

“What changed in Palestine between December and April that made you change your mind?” yelled someone in the crowd, as the April 19 Marrickville Council meeting voted to overturn its previously stated support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against apartheid Israel....

WikiLeaks released a new slew of secret US military documents on April 24 relating to the US off-shore detention facility Guantanamo Bay. The Guantanamo Files were released by WikiLeaks and its media partners as 779 documents that dealt specifically with detainees.

The documents included...

Letters

Middle East Rebellions and Royal Weddings

While I think the world certainly needs good news stories, I am astounded at the focus of media attention on the wedding of one couple in England when there are truly amazing and historic scenes happening in our world that are...

Resistance!

The "Take the power back" conference of the socialist youth organisation Resistance was held at the Redfern Community Centre in Sydney on May 7-9. Below are videos of sections of talks given by some of the speakers.



Matthew Cassel, former editor of Electronic...

Culture

Februrary 14 was "The Day of Rage" against Bahrain's monarchy and dictatorship. As the government shut down radio broadcasters and stopped journalists from reporting on the situation, underground hip-hop artist Elreda wrote a song in dedication to the victims and the continuing protest that was...

In April 1915, in the midst of a stalled military campaign on the Western Front, Britain and its allies attacked Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula in an attempt to gain control of the Dardanelles Straits and take German-allied Turkey out of World War I.

This impressively researched volume,...

In the World of Light
Tiki Taane
Touring Qld, NSW & Vic: May 19-28
www.tikidub.com

Interview by Mat Ward

Chart-topping New Zealand musician Tiki Taane became an unlikely poster boy for free speech on April 9 when he was escorted from...

East West 101
Created & produced by Steve Knapman & Kris Wyld
Directed by Peter Andrikidis
Starring Don Hany, Susie Porter & Matt Nable
Wednesdays, 8.30pm, SBSONE
www.sbs.com.au/shows/eastwest101

The makers of critically...