Issue 893

Australia

Communities and local conservation groups from across NSW will celebrate the beauty and diversity of our native plants and wildlife and the environment at the Festival of Nature, a calendar of more than 90 nature-based events across NSW.

During biodiversity month in September, the Nature...

Justice for Palestine Brisbane released the statement below on August 29.

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Brisbane supporters of the boycott, sanctions and divestment campaign (BDS) have pledged to intensify their campaign following a successful protest on August 27. Despite the rain, fifty protesters...

With less than a month until the 2nd Climate Change/Social Change conference, around the theme “World at a Crossroads”, in Melbourne, the list of confirmed speakers and sponsors is growing.

The conference is being organised by Green Left Weekly, Socialist Alliance and Resistance...

A group of protesters chanted "Refugees are welcome here, free the refugees" outside the Hotel Grand Chancellor on August 26 while Prime Minister Julia Gillard addressed the Institute of Public Administration conference inside.

The Socialist Alliance’s Jenny Forward told the rally: “With...

A protest planned for October 28 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit (CHOGM) received wide media attention on August 23. This came after The West Australian ran an article under the inflammatory headline “Protesters vow to break CHOGM security lines”.

A second article...

Unions have sharply criticised Qantas as the airline announced it had doubled its profits a week after it said it needed to lay off 1000 workers.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce reported a $249 million after-tax profit for 2010-11 — about twice what it earned the previous year. Its...

About 100 people gathered on the steps of the Sydney Opera House on August 21 to show their support for the student movement in Chile, which is campaigning for free education.

As protests and strikes for free education rock the country, more than two dozen high school students have...

More than 100 people demonstrated in Sydney on August 26 to mark the 45th anniversary of the Wave Hill walk-off, when Gurindji workers walked off the Wave Hill cattle station and launched an eight-year protest for land rights that helped define the modern Aboriginal land rights movement.

...

“Boycott Apartheid Israel! Boycott Max Brenner!” were the main themes of a rally and march in Brisbane on August 27, which focused on the Max Brenner chocolate shop at South Bank.

Despite steady rain, more than 50 protesters demonstrated to support a boycott of the Max Brenner chain, as...

Australia Post is trying to implement a new form of delivery called separate bundle delivery (SBD). SBD will force posties to sort part of their mail outside while straddling their motor or push bikes, hindering safety.

Currently, mail is sorted into delivery sequence inside the delivery...

Former Guantanamo Bay concentration camp detainee David Hicks says if he wins the Queensland Premier's Literary Award he will donate the proceeds to torture victims. “If I win this award, every cent will go to victims of torture,” Hicks told Network Ten TV on August 24.

“I have never...

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in several government departments are continuing to campaign against the federal government's policy of limiting pay rises to 3% a year, which is less than the rate of inflation.

CPSU members in the defence department walked off the job...

Friends of the Earth (FoE) have called on the Victorian Liberal government to “immediately ban any coal seam gas or new coal developments in the state”.

The environmental group says Victoria “faces a wave of exploration licenses for coal seam gas (CSG), coal, and shale gas” and has urged...

Wollongong’s city centre experienced something special on August 25: an explosion of art, culture and youth talent.

During Community Voice's public launch of its cultural policy, a crowd of more than 200 people swelled around the mall's amphitheatre.

As young musicians performed...

The Refugee Action Collective Sydney released the statement below on August 24.

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“A disgraceful incident at Broome hospital today has highlighted the contemptuous attitude of Serco staff to the welfare of asylum seekers they have a duty to care for,” said Ian Rintoul,...

The Last Stand, a new action-based environmental group that has launched a campaign against Australian retail companies profiting from the logging of native forests, released the statement below on August 24.

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Today, almost 50 activists have taken action at four sites across...

World

There were amazing scenes in Chile on August 21 when 1 million people marched in Santiago chanting: “The people united will never be defeated!”

These were awe-inspiring scenes of mass mobilisation.

The acute trigger is the privatisation of the education system. The underlying...

The ongoing student protests in Chile are an unwavering accomplishment aimed at combating the social injustice infecting the country's education system.

What started out as a series of peaceful protests in May has become a movement that unites students, artists and much of the general...

Nearly half a year after workers revolted over Wisconsin Republican Govenor Scott Walker's February announcement that he intended to bust Wisconsin's public-sector unions, voters went to the polls in nine recall elections.

Unions and their supporters hoped the polls would put the state...

A confidential United States cable released by WikiLeaks on July 29 documents the arrest of controversial Malaysian blogger and Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Kamaruddin had been outspoken in his criticism of the government.

On September 12, 2008, Kamaruddin was...

Another Arab dictator is gone.

But the nature of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi raises questions about the nature of the new regime that will emerge, and to what extent it will truly reflect the interests of Libya's people.

On August 21, forces of the National Transitional Council (...

The new government of Papua New Guinea, led by prime minister Peter O'Neill, has announced plans to revert ownership of minerals and resources to traditional landowners.

Mining minister Byron Chan said in a speech on August 11 the government would seek to give traditional owners legal...

On August 23, military chief Henry Rangel Silva revealed that over 40,000 hectares of land had been recovered and 15,000 people freed from conditions of “slavery” as part of Plan Caura, the Venezuelan government’s anti-illegal mining project.

Silva, chief of Venezuela’s Operational...

A further 52 people were arrested at the White House on August 22 for taking part in an ongoing sit-in. They are trying to push President Barack Obama to stand up to Big Oil and deny the permit for a huge new oil pipeline.

Obama will decide this year on TransCanada’s permit for the...

With some exceptions, the powerful international media has ignored a recent Cuban parliamentary bill that would deepen democracy on the island.

The reason is obvious: the news is not convenient.

The initiative is made within socialist institutions, not in terms of the “transition...

Israel has been rocked by weeks of ongoing protests against high house prices and the cost of living. To avoid being painted as “extremists”, the organisers have avoided the obvious ― the cost of the occupation of Palestinian territory and protecting the illegal Jewish settlers has directly...

Independent and community media makers in Canada have passed a groundbreaking national motion to join the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. 

In June, the National Campus and Community Radio Association of Canada (NCRA) ― an umbrella...

Furious emerging farmers in the Kareeberg municipality in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province have decided to stop paying rent for the municipal-owned land they are farming.

These farmers have been robbed, prevented access to and ownership of land by colonial conquest, segregation and...

Analysis

“A White House investigation … uncovered a culture of complacency, cost-cutting and systemic failures and companies unprepared to deal with accidents and consequences.”

That was how ABC News on January 18 summed up the findings of the US inquiry into last year’s disaster at BP’s ...

Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist and author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution. Green Left Weekly’s Simon Butler asked Loewenstein about recent attempts to intimidate supporters of the boycott, sanctions...

Ian Angus is a veteran of the socialist and environmental movements in Canada and internationally. He is a featured guest speaker at the Climate Change Social Change activist conference, which will take place in Melbourne, from September 30 to October 3.

Angus is the...

The issue of marriage equality is steadily gaining traction among the Australia population. Seventy-five percent of Australians expect same-sex marriage to be made legal a 2011 Galaxy Poll found.

The same research said 62% of Australians support marriage equality; the number is as high...

A convoy of 30 trucks and cars loaded with drilling equipment and workers from energy company Woodside set out from Broome in northern Western Australia at 2.30am on August 26.

It was heading for James Price Point.

Two protesters locked onto two vehicles when the convoy arrived...

During the historic High Court challenge to the federal government’s so-called Malaysia solution, barrister Debbie Mortimer, representing refugees that face expulsion from Australia, said “fundamental rights were at stake” in the case.

“Liberty … freedom of movement and bodily integrity...

The Strategic Review of Indigenous Expenditure was submitted to the government in February 2010 but only made public on August 7 after a long-running freedom of information case brought by Channel 7. Queensland Murri activist and Socialist Alliance spokesperson Sam Watson...

Private Matthew Lambert became the 29th Australian solider to die in the war in Afghanistan on August 22. Most Australians disagree with the war, but the two big parties remain unswerving in their support of the US-NATO led occupation.

Malalai Joya, a former Afghan MP and outspoken anti-...

Renowned Marxist economist and ecologist John Bellamy Foster is a feature guest speaker at the World at a Crossroads: Climate Change Social Change conference, which will take place in Melbourne over September 30 to October 3.

He spoke to Green Left Weekly’s...

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on August 23.

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BlueScope Steel Ltd. announced on August 22 that it would shut two production facilities and shed 1000 jobs as part of a restructure aimed at turning around a $1.05 billion annual loss.

This will mean...

We are a group of Tamil Refugees awaiting for our status and security to be confirmed in Villawood Detention Centre.

Although we happen to be Tamil, we wish our comments to encompass all the differing ethnic groups that languish in Villawood.

The object of this letter is to thank...

Resistance!

There’s been much hoo-haa about cannabis possession lately in Western Australia, because now, if you are found with 10 or more grams of it,  you’re a criminal.

As of August 1, just 10 grams — rather than the 30-gram amount under the previous Labor government — can land you a maximum $...

Culture

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
Manning Marable
Penguin, 2011
596 pp. (hb), $49.95

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the oppressed and loving the people doing the oppressing,” African American revolutionary Malcolm X...

Dick Smith’s Population Crisis: The Dangers of Unsustainable Growth for Australia
Allen & Unwin, Sydney
2011, 228 pages
 
Those who say today’s big social and ecological problems stem from there being too many people on the planet face a...

Fighting Fund

Putrajaya, the seat of Malaysia’s federal government, was built for more than US$8 billion as a fantasy project of the country’s former PM and strongman Mohamed Mahathir.

It was carved out of rubber plantation-covered hills in the 1990s and turned into a planned city for public servants...

We kid you not

Britain: Living standards deteriorating

“Almost 40% of households saw their finances deteriorate between July and August, according to a survey by the financial information company, Markit.

“The study, of 1,500 adults, showed finances worsened at their fastest...