Issue 888

Australia

The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on July 24.

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“The growing crisis in Australia’s detention centre shows the government must reconsider its detention policy and pursue more humane approaches to asylum seekers as a matter of...

Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on July 23. The group campaigns for a Royal Commission into all impacts of coal seam gas mining; a moratorium on coal seam gas mining until the outcome of the Royal Commission; and a ban on fracking.

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On July 21, the O’Farrell...

The Victorian secretary of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), Dean Mighell, told the July 20 Age that his union could not support the Gillard government’s carbon price plan.

Mighell said the scheme gives compensation payouts to the fossil fuel giants, but gives no guarantee for...

Shortly before noon on July 21, officers from the Australian Federal Police raided the Sydney office of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, confiscating material but making no arrests.

The raid was conducted in relation to an “alleged trespass and property damage” on July 14, when Greenpeace...

Asylum seekers in Scherger detention centre in north Queensland launched a hunger strike on the morning of July 21.

By the afternoon of July 22, 67 asylum seekers had joined the hunger strike. Most of the protesters are ethnic Hazaras from Afghanistan.

The asylum seekers released...

After 28 years, the Sydney Resistance Centre has moved to its new location at 22-36 Mountain Street, Ultimo. The new centre was officially opened on July 16. It was a special day for the Socialist Alliance national office, the Socialist Alliance Sydney branch and Green Left Weekly....

The Environment Centre Northern Territory released a new document on July 20 that detailed several disastrous events over the recent wet season at the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu national park.

The document revealed ongoing seepage from the tailings storage facility at the mine. It...

More than 5000 Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) members and delegates packed meetings at Festival Hall in Melbourne and Trades Hall in Geelong to vote on the latest Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for the building industry.

Under the agreement, wages will rise by 20%...

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch described his appearance before the British parliamentary hearing into the News Of The World’s phone hacking scandal as the “most humble day” of his life.

His son, James, added: “It’s a matter of great regret … these actions do not live up to the...

A group of women teamed up at Tram Stop 1 on the corner of Bourke and Spencer streets on July 22 to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of a protest against women’s unequal pay by women’s liberationists Zelda D’Aprano and Bon Hull.

D'Aprano and Hull boarded a tram but refused to pay the...

August will mark one year since Palm Island Aboriginal leader Lex Wotton was released on parole.

Unlike the police officer charged with the 2004 murder of Palm Island resident Mulrunji Doomadgee, Wotton was jailed for taking part in the protests against Doomadgee’s death. No one was...

Federal police raided the rooms of asylum seekers in the Christmas Island detention centre in the early morning on July 22.

Refugee advocates said some refugees "have been beaten" and "dragged out of the compounds".

The brutal crackdown followed three days of protest.

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Julian Assange, John Pilger and Noam Chomsky have added their names to a new online petition in support of former Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks.

They join scores of other signatories, including Greens MP Adam Bandt, human rights lawyer Julian Burnside, Liberty Victoria President...

A group of about 40 protesters chanted “we can't eat coal, can’t drink gas, lock the gates” as they gathered outside Ipswich Civic Centre on July 21 to oppose the coal and coal seam gas industries.

Inside, Prime Minister Julia Gillard addressed a business and community breakfast, co-...

On July 20, 150 Israeli soldiers in three missile ships and seven commando boats attacked a small boat, the Dignite Al Karame, and arrested the 10 activists, three crew and three journalists on board.

This took place in international waters, rendering Israel's interception an...

World

The six Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) members detained under the Malaysian government's emergency ordinance since June 25, have been deprived of all creature comforts.

They are locked up in 2-by-2.5 metre cells, in solitary confinement. The lights are on in the cells day and night...

Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, a federal member of Malaysia's parliament, is one of six activsts from the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) being held without trial since June 25. The arrests, under Malaysia's draconian Internal Security Act, were part of a crackdown ahead of...

It was a Palestinian legislator who made the most telling comment to the Israeli parliament last week as it passed the boycott law, which outlaws calls to boycott Israel or its settlements in the occupied territories.

Ahmed Tibi asked: “What is a peace activist or Palestinian allowed to...

In Scoop, Evelyn Waugh’s brilliant satire on the press, there is the moment when Lord Copper, owner of the Daily Beast, meets his new special war correspondent, William Boot, in truth an authority on wild flowers and birdsong.

A confused Boot is brought to his lordship’...

Hone Harawira, an elected member of New Zealand parliament for the newly formed Mana Party, caused a stir on July 14 when he refused to swear allegiance to the English queen in order to take his seat.

Instead, Harawiri swore allegiance, in Maori, to Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the 1840 treaty...

National Union of Journalists general secretary Michelle Stanistreet has drawn a direct link between compulsory redundancies at the BBC and the malign influence of Rupert Murdoch on the government.

She told pickets in London on July 15: "These cuts and job losses have been brought about...

With no less than 10 inquiries occurring simultaneously, a few things have become clear about the criminal behaviour of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

One is that News of the World journalists bugging phones, including those of missing children and the families of murder victims...

About 1000 people took part in the Enough Campaign's protest against European Union/International Monetary Fund austerity program in Dublin on July 16.

The campaign is supported by People Before Profit Alliance parliamentarians  Richard Boyd Barrett  and  Joan Collins, the Unite Trade...

Speaking in response to new figures released by the Department of Finance, Sinn Fein Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the total European Union/International Monetary Fund (EU/IMF) profit on loans to Ireland will exceed €13 billion.

The figures were released in response to a...

More than 100 loyalists (supporters of British rule) were involved in a serious mob assault at a “peaceline” in the mid-Ulster town of Portadown in Northern Ireland on July 15, throwing bricks, bottles, paint-bombs, fireworks and at least one blast bomb.

The mid-Ulster Ulster Volunteer...

Ireland’s seven-month-old United Left Alliance (ULA) is the “new kid on the block” of European anti-capitalist parties.

Launched in November last year, it won five TDs (members of the Irish parliament, the Dail) in February elections, despite its name not appearing on the ballot paper...

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the millionaire former president of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and leader of France’s center-left Socialist Party, is charged with raping a west African immigrant housekeeper in a five-star Manhattan hotel.

But Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr...

After the initial furore of the release of thousands of secret United States embassy cables by WikiLeaks, much of the mainstream media coverage has largely ignored or hidend the most important aspect of the saga ― the damning contents of the secret documents that incriminate the powerful and...

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives threw down the gauntlet to President Barack Obama on July 19 by voting to cut federal spending by US$6 trillion and demand a constitutional balanced budget amendment in exchange for agreeing to raise the federal debt ceiling.

The US must...

Analysis

Footprints for Peace, an international grassroots group that organises walks, bike rides and runs around the world, invites families and people of all ages, background and cultures to come and support traditional owners in their opposition to uranium mining in Western Australia by taking part in...

Sara Hudson, a research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, recently wrote a comment piece on ABC’s Drum Opinion that supported the Northern Territory intervention. It also attacked public land title in remote Aboriginal communities.

The article was what you might expect from a...

When you’re the world’s biggest resource corporation, and aim to gouge high profits for the next century from the world’s largest mine, you probably won’t care to let environmental considerations block your path.

Add in a state government frantic to get investment dollars flowing, and...

On July 15, former NSW Greens MP Sylvia Hale and I used the freedom from deportation awarded us by an Israeli court to good effect. We joined the largest rally for some years in support of a Palestinian state ahead of the expected United Nations vote in September.

We carried a green and...

Over the July 9-10 weekend, the New South Wales Labor conference failed to produce a motion in support of equal marriage rights. The conference instead voted to send the decision to the ALP national conference that is to be held in December.

This motion passed despite the fact that all...

Despite growing international outrage over the Sri Lankan military’s mass killings of over 40,000 Tamil civilians in 2009, the Sri Lankan government is defiantly refusing to heed international demands for an independent investigation into the atrocities. Instead it is escalating a range of...

Socialist Alliance Hobart branch notes the recent expressions of disillusionment with all political parties in parliament in Tasmania.

The state government continues to disappoint with its lack of transparency when it comes to funding dodgy deals such as the proposed Aprin loan (now...

Critics of the Gillard government’s proposed carbon price get daily coverage in Australia’s mainstream media. But some types of critic — those who want Australia to stay a polluter’s paradise — are heard the loudest.

Other views, which say the carbon price plan is a dangerous diversion...

The headline on the final issue of Rupert Murdoch’s News Of The World, “Thank You & Goodbye”, provoked speculation of suitable rejoinders like “Piss Off & Good Riddance!” and more colourful expressions of the same sentiment.

There’s a global celebration at the political...

Resistance!

There is no denying it, depression is on the rise across the world. The World Health Organisation says depression will be the second largest contributor to the global burden of disease by 2020. For young people this is already the case. Depression leads to about 850,000 deaths every year.

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Culture

The Cage
By Gordon Weiss
Picador, 2011

The Cage tells the horrifying story of the final months of the war in Sri Lanka, which ended with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009.

Gordon Weiss, the former...

The Women's World Cup proved to be a sparkling oasis amid the most arid section of the sports calendar.

The football tournament provided a series of non-stop thrills, culminating with Japan's heart-palpitating final victory against the US, winning 3-1 on penalty kicks after extra time...

Stieg Larsson’s hard-hitting novel, titled  Man som hatar kvinnor  ("Men who hate women") in Swedish, was titled  The  Girl  With  the  Dragon  Tattoo  in English translation — possibly  a subtle indication of the publisher’s discomfort  with  the strong women’s liberation message...

The Grammy awards have long been the kind of thing that one simply has to deal with if you're going to approach music under capitalism.

It comes wrapped in all the elitism, commerce and segregation that necessarily has to accompany the music industry, but it's still something of a great...