Issue 883

Australia

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) organised a “save solar” rally in Newcastle on June 6. The rally was at the office of Liberal MLA Tim Owen and was the latest in a string of protests calling for planned retrospective cuts to NSW’s solar bonus scheme to be abandoned.

The...

The Victorian government has proposed a new law that will allow police to give on-the-spot fines for “indecent, offensive or disorderly language”.

In response, a protest has been organised at 2pm, June 25 at Melbourne’s Flinders St Station. By June 11, more than 10,000 people had said on...

More than 500 community services workers rallied in Nundah Memorial Park near the electorate office of federal Treasurer Wayne Swan on June 8. It was part of a national day of action calling for full government funding for fair wages for community Services workers.

Marg Gleeson, who...

"Since May 15, tens of thousands of young Spaniards calling themselves los indignados (the indignant) have been camping out in at least 80 city centres and towns, and are protesting daily," Socialist Alliance activist Liam Flenady told a June 7 Green Left Weekly forum.

...

As part of a nationwide day of action, more than 1000 people marched on the Victorian parliament on June 8 to fight for state and federal governments to back their claim for increased wages.

The Melbourne rally was one of 17 across the country, organised by the Australian Services Union...

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) in West Melbourne celebrated its 10th birthday on June 8. The celebration included the announcement of the centre’s Patron and Ambassador Program — which has been developed to raise the profile of the ASRC by demonstrating high-profile supporters.

...

About 5000 people walked across Canberra’s Commonwealth Bridge and rallied in front of Parliament House on June 5, calling for real action on climate change now. Up to 45,000 people rallied nationwide.

Speakers at the Canberra rally included former Liberals Leader John Hewson, Richard...

The Perth Magistrates Court has grouped a 16-year-old boy to stand trial on charges of people smuggling with two men he has never met and who were not even on the same boat.

The boy told WA-based human rights activist Gerry Georgatos he was born in 1995. From a poor family, he was hired...

Melbourne’s City of Yarra awarded the volunteer-run climate research group Beyond Zero Emissions its 2011 sustainability award for community action on June 2.

BZE’s Melbourne group office is based in the Yarra council area.

The council said: “Beyond Zero Emissions Inc. (BZE) is...

World

ZCommunications received the following open letter from indpendent filmmaker and journalist John Pilger reporting very disturbing events in progress. Visit www.johnpilger.com for more of Pilger's work.

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Dear Noam...

I am writing to you and a...

US warplanes and drones have been bombing anti-government forces in Yemen amid the uprising against long-time US ally President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, two US officials said on June 9 that US forces launched an air strike on June 3 against Islamist...

Pity the stressful life of police ministers in Spain and its autonomous communities (states). 

For weeks, the central plazas of big cities and towns across Spain have been the site of the camps of the “outraged” (los indiganados) of the M-15 movement — so-called after the large...

The revolutionary struggle for democratic and economic freedoms continues to grow in Tunisia and Egypt in the aftermath of the ousting of dictators Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak.

Western powers are working to block these struggles — just as they supported the fallen dictators...

Hundreds of Palestinian and Syrian refugees marched on June 5 from Syrian-controlled territory to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Refugees in Palestine and elsewhere marked the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Egyptian Sinai and Syrian Golan Heights.

On...

Delegates from Community, a trade union representing workers in iron and steel, clothing, textiles, footwear and betting industries, delivered a crushing blow on June 7. They opposed the union executive's attempt to force through a resolution aimed at undermining the Trade Union Congress's...

The United States embassy in Haiti worked closely with factory owners contracted by Levi's, Hanes, and Fruit of the Loom to aggressively block a paltry minimum wage rise for Haitian assembly zone workers.

The moves to block a wage rise for the lowest paid in the western hemisphere were...

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has claimed successes for the war in Afghanistan, while acknowledging growing opposition.

The June 8 Age reported that Gillard said: “I understand there would be many Australians who over the past two weeks have asked themselves what are we doing...

After nearly two years of living in exile following the June 28, 2009 coup that overthrew his government, former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya returned to his nation on May 28.

The agreement that allowed for Zelaya’s return, negotiated by the governments of Venezuela, Colombia and...

The Venezuelan News Agency published the article below on June 5. The decision to freeze relations with the US government came after the US imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company, PDVSA, over economic ties with Iran.

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Relations between Venezuela and the US...

The path for Maori liberation, debates on left perspectives and the 30th anniversary since the 1981 Springbok tour were some of the discussions at “Workers Power”, the national conference of the Workers Party held in Hamilton over June 3 to 5.

The recent formation of the Mana Party was a...

In April, the Washington, DC-based National Security Archive posted a 5500-page document tranche detailing the extent of Cincinnati-based food giant Chiquita’s dealings with Colombian death squad United Self Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC).

The documents shed further light on the...

“The troubled sky reveals/The grief it feels.”

Those two lines were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem “Snow-Flakes”, published in a volume in 1863 alongside his epic and better-known “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”.

Much of the news chatter this week has been...

Peruvian stocks lost a record 12% of their value as local and global investors jettisoned mining shares after left-leaning nationalist Ollanta Humala won the second round of Peru's presidential elections on June 5.

The multi-billion dollar plunge reflects the fear and hostility that “...

The June 5 national elections in Portugal produced a sharp lurch to the right.

The two main conservative parties, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Democratic and Social Centre-People's Party (CDS-PP) won 50.4% of votes and 57.1% of seats in the single-chamber parliament. (The...

Isn't this excellent news? The International Monetary Fund (IMF) say the British government's strategy for sorting us out is going to work.

Every time they've been asked to comment on a country's economy they've insisted it must cut wages, restrict the unions and privatise everything. So...

Analysis

Evidently we are making progress as a nation in addressing the Indigenous development problem.

On February 9, the prime minister delivered the Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report 2011. Progress is apparently happening: not according to any statistics, but to the powerful...

There are alternatives to the federal government’s NT intervention into Aboriginal communities, and some of the key ones have been brought together in a new statement that has won the support of Aboriginal community leaders and other groups and individuals.

The statement, “Rebuilding...

Since March 2009, it has been unclear whether promising footballer Rex Bellotti Junior will need to have his leg amputated after he was run over by a police four wheel drive in Albany, Western Australia.

The Indigenous boy, then 15, was leaving a wake when the police vehicle, driving on...

Under the guidance of the NSW Coal and Coal Seam Gas Strategy, the CSG industry is set to grow. Economic growth and the move towards a low-carbon economy are suggested as a just cause for its expansion.

In spite of this, a swell of media reports, documentaries and scientific studies have...

Melbourne's largest feminist conference in more than a decade, the Feminist Futures Conference, took place over May 28-29.

The conference was organised by the newly-formed Melbourne Feminist Collective (MFC), a group of mainly young activists who were inspired by a similar conference...

A bill attacking the rights of NSW public sector workers pushed by the O’Farrell Coalition government are set to pass through the upper house on June 14, with the support of Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats and the Shooters Party.

It can then be put through the Liberal dominated lower...

It was a good thing when 14 Labor members of the Western Australian parliament and the federal member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke, publicly voiced their disgust that unaccompanied children would be sent to Malaysia as part of the Labor federal government’s refugee swap.

The claptrap...

The recent figures on CO2 emissions are sobering. Despite the fact that the world has suffered a terrible recession, emissions are still rising.

In essence, all the efforts to tackle climate change have simply slowed the rise a little rather than reverse it.

The problem is that...

Australian climate scientists and researchers are subject to a rising level of hate mail, abuse and death threats from climate change deniers.

More than 30 researchers told the June 4 Canberra Times “they are receiving a stream of abusive emails threatening violence, sexual...

New and contradictory details of the Australia-Malaysia refugee exchange have been brought to light, as the federal Labor government grows closer to sealing the fate of up to 800 asylum seekers.

The Daily Telegraph said on June 9 that asylum seekers moved from Australia’s...

Marrickville Mayor Fiona Byrne has received a letter of support from South African anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The letter appears below.

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Dear Mayor Fiona Byrne,

We in South Africa, who both suffered Apartheid and defeated it, have the moral...

Blind Carbon Copy, June 4 — World Environment Day on June 5 was the Say Yes Australia rally called by an alliance of unions and NGOs like GetUp.

A large number of environmentalists, including the Greens party, rightly rejected the last attempt of the government to set a carbon price, the...

Letters

Opposed to carbon tax

I am a committed greenie, but I was not one of the thousands who rallied on the weekend.

I am opposed to the carbon tax because it hurts the poor and lines the pockets of the rich, without doing anything real for the climate.

Just 10...

Resistance!

I was as worried as anyone when I wandered down to my local pub to find a poster over the door announcing the government was trying to shut it down.

In their national campaign against proposed changes to poker machine use, Clubs Australia and the Australian Hotel Association (AHA) say “...

Culture

The Refugee Art Project (RAP) was established in 2010 by Safdar Ahmed and Dr Omid Tofighian. They run free art classes at the Villawood (NSW) and Broadmeadows (Victoria) detention centres.

Some of the artworks, created by the asylum seekers, were on display at...

Koestler: The Indispensable Intellectual
By Michael Scammell
Faber & Faber, 2011,
720 pages, $32.99 (pb)

Arthur Koestler had a taste for political drama.

As a communist, he spied against Franco's fascists in the Spanish civil war;...

Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who performs solo under the name The Nightwatchman, was inspired by the huge struggle in Wisconsin against a savage anti-union law to release a benefit EP of songs dedicated to workers' struggles. The Nightwatchman's ...

Fighting Fund

Ten years of Western military occupation and war in Afghanistan has killed hundreds of thousands of people (mostly Afghan civilians), created millions of refugees and paid billions of dollars of “aid” into the hands of brutal warlords who serve as a puppet regime for the occupiers.

In...