Issue 903

Australia

The Australian government is moving to deport a 27 year-old Afghan asylum seeker, Ismail Mirza Jan, from Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in western Sydney to Kabul, Afghanistan.

Mirza Jan is an ethnic Hazara who fled Afghanistan after his father was killed by the Taliban for his...

On November 16, police attacked and dismantled the Occupy Melbourne site in Treasury Gardens. Three activists were arrested. At a general assembly in City Square this evening, activists will plan their response.

“Any major decisions will be made in a democratic process tonight. Anyone is...

The Monash Refugee Action Collective released the statement below on November 14.

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Three student activists at Monash University are facing a disciplinary hearing for speaking out against mandatory detention.

On July 27, Laura Riccardi, Rebecca Amore and Severin...

The Northern Inland Council for the Environment and The Wilderness Society Newcastle released the statement below on November 14.

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Environment groups have responded to news that the NSW government plans to stop a single coal seam gas pilot production well on the Liverpool...

Australian Marriage Equality released the statement below on November 15.

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Marriage equality advocates are disappointed Prime Minister Julia Gillard has today affirmed her opposition to same-sex marriage and has tried to pre-empt the outcome of Labor’s National Conference by...

About 4500 people marched and rallied in Hobart on November 12 against the state government cuts to essential services.

Angry health care, education, children's services and other public sector workers, including police, joined with the broader community to chant "no more cuts", drowning...

There was a sea of red when public sector nurses filled Melbourne’s Festival Hall on November 11 to decide on further industrial action. About 50 buses brought nurses from across the state.

A swing version of “Danny Boy” played in the background to set a sombre but defiant tone. Messages...

The Occupy movement has sprung up in Cairns, where street activities kicked off on October 15 in City Place. About 200 people took part.

Since then, up to 40 people have met each Sunday. This will continue with alternating weeks of discussions about plans for Occupy, along with music,...

Socialist Alliance (SA) stallholders at today’s Newtown Festival were told today by a festival organiser that NSW Police had urged them to ban SA and Occupy Sydney from the festival.

The SA has paid for and run a stall every year at the festival. But this year police threatened...

Hundreds took to the streets of Hobart for the Inaugural Pride Parade on November 5 as part of the TasPride Festival. This was the first parade held since Tasmania was the final state to decriminalise homosexuality in 1997.

Tasmanian Aboriginal lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and...

Despite Fair Work Australia putting in place an injunction banning National Union of Workers (NUW) officials from taking part in the Baiada poultry workers’ picket line, workers and community supporters were able to hold off an attempt by riot police to break the picket late on November 11....

Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore made clear at a Sydney City Council meeting on November 6 that she supported the “principles” of the Occupy movement but did not support Occupy Sydney.

Greens councillor Irene Doutney put a motion to investigate the dawn police raid on the group in Martin...

People concerned about coal seam gas (CSG) will deliver a petition signed by more than 15,000 NSW residents to Premier Barry O'Farrell on November 22.

The NSW-wide petition, initiated by Stop CSG Illawarra, calls for an immediate moratorium on all CSG projects, a Royal commission into...

On November 4, Israeli warships in international waters attacked and boarded the two vessels Tahrir and Saoirse that were trying to deliver medical aid the besieged territory of Gaza.

All 27 activists on board were kidnapped and taken to an Israeli jail. Sydney-based...

Climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle has released a website that spoofs the NSW Minerals Council’s new advertising campaign, which claims the state’s mining companies are “world class”.

Rising Tide’s parody uses a similar layout and design to the NSW Minerals Council website, but...

The Hepburn Community Wind Farm, at Leonards Hill in Hepburn Shire, was declared officially open yesterday when 10-year-old Neve Bosher of St Augustine’s School in Creswick cut a massive ribbon wrapping the girth of a 68m high wind tower, in front of more than 760 people.

Bosher beat a...

World

Socialist Worker -- New York City police destroyed the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park in an early-morning surprise attack on November 15. Hundreds of people who were sleeping at the park found themselves surrounded by police with no warning, and then subject to arrest or the...

The role of notorious Malaysian-owned logging company Rimbunan Hijau (RH) is in the spotlight after Greenpeace activists blockaded one of its ships in Papua New Guinea on October 24.

Greenpeace was supporting about 200 local landowners from West Pomio, in New Britain, who were protesting...

Green Left Weekly’s Ted Walker spoke to two young members of the Egyptian Socialist Party, Basem Osman and Amr Bahaa, in Cairo in September. They discussed their experiences during the uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak and...

After two weeks of hard work to obtain signatures and the constitutive documents, on October 27 the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) presented before the Supreme Electoral Tribunal more than 81,000 signatures and other documents supporting the request for the inscription of the...

Just four days after about 10,000 people circled the White House to protest a proposed 2700-kilometre tar sands oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, the Obama government announced it will postpone a decision on whether it will go ahead until 2013.

Radical author and activist Naomi Klein...

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth glancing at”, wrote Oscar Wilde, “for it leaves out the one country at which humanity is always landing. And when humanity lands there, it looks out, and seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.”...

Over October 19-20 there was a general strike in Greece. The overwhelming majority of Greek workers took part in the strike with dynamic demonstrations and other forms of action. In that way, Greek people expressed their anger and despair over the devastating measures carried out in Greece in...

News International chief executive James Murdoch and his billionaire father Rupert were accused of running a mafia-style empire on November 10.

Labour MP Tom Watson made the allegation during James Murdoch’s second appearance before the Commons culture, media and sport committee over the...

I have read countless articles and watched numerous videos about Gilad Shalit being reunited with his family five years after his abduction. One typical report noted he was “just 19 years old in 2006 when he was cruelly and illegally abducted by Hamas”. I have been hearing of him for the past...

Italy faces a wave of devastating International Monetary Fund (IMF) imposed austerity as European leaders struggle to contain the spreading debt crisis by disenfranchising their own citizens.

On November 4, at the end of the G20 meeting in Cannes, the President of the EU Commission Jose...

Socialist Worker (US): It was an Arab Spring and a hot summer of struggle in Europe. But autumn has belonged to Wall Street — to Occupy Wall Street, that is.

The Occupy movement is less than two months old, but it has transformed US politics and given vibrant form to the working-class...

No one should underestimate the epoch-making election result in Nicaragua for the Sandinista-led Alianza Nicaragua Triunfa and its candidate Daniel Ortega.

The result marks a return to levels of support for the Sandinista Popular Revolution last seen in Nicaragua's first ever democratic...

Power loom workers in Faisalabad went on a series of major strikes and demonstrations in mid-2010. Six leaders the Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM, the organisation of Faisalabad power loom workers) were arrested by the police.

Once detained, they were charged under anti-terror laws. The six...

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) released the statement below on November 9.

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The rights of Fijian workers have deteriorated further following the start of a draconian decree that effectively bans collective bargaining.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said...

Analysis

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge gave the speech below in NSW Parliament on November 11. It is republished from his blog.

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The Occupy movement began with a single protest in New York on September 17, 2011, called “Occupy Wall Street”. This protest targets corporate greed and...

On the eve of US President Barack Obama’s visit to mark 60 years of the ANZUS military alliance, PM Julia Gillard is not convincing people that Australia must “stay the course” in Afghanistan.

A November 4 Roy Morgan poll, taken six days after an Afghan army trainee killed three...

The global Occupy movement has focused the spotlight on the 1% versus the 99%. Who are the 1%? In the United States, the 400 richest individuals have as much wealth as the bottom 150 million. A similar picture applies in all the large capitalist countries.

Economy owned by the 1...

WikiLeaks has awakened many people to the cynical and violent workings of the political, military and corporate entities that run the world. For Christine Assange this awakening has been heightened because her son is WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — now the target of the powerful 1% who have...

Not many things would get the Returned and Services League and died-in-the-wool greenies climbing into bed together; have a mother-and-daughter being frisked by police on the same day, nor cause the arrest of an 83-year-old retired high school English teacher.

But the 14 ...

In the lead up to the ALP National Conference next month, marriage equality is shaping up to be the biggest test yet to Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s leadership.

Gillard has moved from her position that she would override a pro-equality decision at the conference, to hinting she will...

Before the first Australian occupations following the example of Occupy Wall Street began on October 15, even some of the activists involved wondered if it would work. After all, this was the “lucky country” that escaped the global financial crisis.

But thousands of mostly young people...

Veteran Brisbane activist Gary McLennan spoke at an Occupy Brisbane rally on November 5. An abridged version of his speech is below.

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Friends, I want to thank you sincerely for the invitation to speak to you today. It remains for me a badge of honour, a...

The government has undermined the right to a fair trial of up to 350 mostly Indonesian people now facing charges of “people smuggling” in Australian courts. It has done so by introducing hastily drafted, retrospective amendments to the Migration Act.

The People Smuggling Deterrence Bill...

The strengthening links between unions and the US Occupy movement will be expressed in mobilisations across the US on November 17.

N17 has been called as a national day of action for Occupy and the labour movement, and a range of protest actions and stay-aways will take place across the...

Port Augusta Mayor Joy Baluch gave the speech below at an October 29 community forum sponsored by the Climate Emergency Action Network SA, Beyond Zero Emissions and the Port Augusta City Council.

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Australian history shows that visionaries are few and far between when it...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Oct 30: Let me start by introducing you to the Palestinian people and give you a brief background to the conflict.

Palestinians are the indigenous inhabitants of the land that was once known as Palestine — and is now called Israel and the...

Seven Aboriginal community leaders from the Northern Territory released the statement below on November 4.

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United First People’s Law men and women who are born leaders representing people of Prescribed Areas in the Northern Territory make this statement. Once again, they...

Editorial

Debate about the Labor-Greens carbon price has dominated Australian politics for the past year. So it is little surprise that the passing of the carbon price laws through parliament on November 8 received widespread media attention.

But the media’s coverage overshadowed two shocking new...

Resistance!

I originally heard about a proposed occupation in Brisbane when I was following the other global Occupy movements. I was immediately excited and very interested in being involved, as I have never really experienced anything like it before. From my (young) perspective, this was a significant and...

Culture

Arlene TextaQueen
textaqueen.com

When my wife and I were in the supermarket the other day, we got chatting to a kindly white stranger. After a few seconds, the woman asked my wife, "And how long have you been here?"

Shoba has spent 29 of her 36 years in...

In the Crossfire: Adventures of a Vietnamese Revolutionary
By Ngo Van
AK Press, 2011
264 pages, $43.99

Australians know of the Vietnam War from the arrival of Australian troops in 1965 through to their withdrawal in 1973. People in the United...

The Man on Devil's Island: Alfred Dreyfus & the Affair that Divided France
By Ruth Harris
Allen Lane, 2011
542 pages, $26.95 (pb)

The Dreyfus Affair in France a century ago shows how little has changed. “National security” was on the lips...

Fighting Fund

Nurses in Victoria are being threatened with an Alan Joyce-style lockout because they have campaigned for a modest 3.5% pay rise (just to keep up with the rising cost of living), superannuation and overtime improvements, and keeping patient-to-nurse ratios.

Australia’s four big banks,...