Issue 905

Australia

Councillors! We are Occupy Melbourne! We come here in peace … We’ll only take a few minutes of your time. We’ve come to speak to Robert Doyle but he refuses to speak to us.

We understand that some of the council support us. We urge you to speak out publically.

To Robert Doyle,...

The letter below will be distributed at the upcoming ALP national conference, December 3-4, 2011. To add your name to the open letter please visit the Stop the War Coalition Sydney website.

We, the undersigned, call on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to rethink the government’s...

Sydney — On November 29, inner west peace advocates gathered to give away fair trade chocolate crackles and sing freedom carols outside the Max Brenner chocolate outlet in Broadway, which is owned by the Israeli multinational, Strauss Group.

Their aim is to peacefully...

A rally to support the Egyptian revolution took place in Melbourne on November 27.


Photos by Ali Bakhtiavandi

After 13 days of an around-the-clock picket line, the workers at poultry company Baiada in Laverton North have won a tremendous victory. Baiada was well known as having the worst pay and conditions of all poultry processing companies.

At a victory celebration, National Union of Workers (...

A rally to defend WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange took place outside the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on November 25. More than 50 people attended to demand the Australian government take firm diplomatic action to protect Assange. If extradited to Sweden from Britain, Assange...

In a week that saw a huge mass meeting and a rally of 12,000 people, Fair Work Australia (FWA) has ordered Victorian nurses— for the third time — by to lift their industrial action.

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) said on November 25 it would order its members to comply with the...

After ammonia gas leaked from Orica’s Kooragang Island chemical plant on November 9 and made two people four kilometers away very ill, the Environment Protection Authority ordered the plant to shut down.

But because Orica is its major supplier, the Hunter’s coal industry has as little as...

The Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony, held annually on 20 November, was started in 1999 in response to the brutal murder of North American, Rita Hester.

It is a day marked by solemn ceremonies in cities around the world that record the sex and gender diverse who have fallen, and...

“People are joining up to the Lock the Gate Alliance all over the country,”, Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton told a rally of about 100 outside Brisbane’s Sofitel Hotel on November 24.

The rally was called to protest at the annual general meeting of coal seam gas (CSG) company LNG Ltd...

Adelaide Socialist Alliance branch hosted a Solidarity Dinner and Fiesta on November 19 to celebrate 20 years of Green Left Weekly and raise funds for the paper’s fighting fund.

The event was a great success, with about 50 people attending. Those present ranged from long time...

Wollongong City Council, elected on September 3, has so far made several decisions that reflect community will in the area. This is a refreshing change from the years of corruption scandals that rocked the last elected council and the four-year unelected administration that followed it.

...

The Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) has begun a series of rolling stoppages for better wages and conditions at mental health services across Victoria. HACSU covers mental health and allied health workers.

Stoppages and rallies have been held in Bendigo and Shepparton, and at...

Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on November 23.

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This week the Planning Assessment Commission granted approval to a 16th coal seam gas (CSG) borehole in the Illawarra.

Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore responded: “It is now abundantly clear...

Activists involved in organising October’s peaceful protests during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth had warned that special security laws passed for the event could be used to restrict the right to protest in Western Australia.

Now, a month after CHOGM...

Two hundred people rallied outside NSW parliament on November 23 and handed over 20,000 petitions that call for a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) mining, a royal commission into the industry's impacts on communities and the environment and a ban on fracking.

Coalition Premier Barry O'...

Trade unionists from the Transport Workers Union, the National Tertiary Education Union and the Maritime Union of Australia joined Occupy Sydney activists in a protest on November 22 outside Angel Place Recital Hall, where the union-bashing CEO of Qantas Alan Joyce was addressing a forum.

...

World

On November 23, Sudan lost an invaluable activist, writer and leader.

Al Tijani Al Tayeb was one of the founders of the Sudanese Communist Party and the editor of the SCP’s newspaper Al Midan. He dedicated his entire life to the movements against colonialism, dictatorship and...

The Occupy movement spread to Durban for the start of COP17 (the 17th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), protesting at the perceived lack of access to the conference centre for members of the public.

The Occupy COP17 General Assembly,...

The Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), held April 17-21, coincided with the 50th anniversary of Cuba’s historic defeat of the US-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs and Fidel Castro’s proclamation of the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution.

When Fidel, 85, made a...

Representatives from the Latin American and Caribbean governments that make up the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) met in Bolivia on November 17-18 to coordinate their battle plan ahead of the international climate change summit in Durban later this month.

ALBA...

Seven years after being launched by the Venezuelan and Cuban governments, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) has become an important voice on the global stage willing to stand up and denounce capitalism.

ALBA has grown to include eight Latin American and...

A November 8 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear regulatory authority, has been used by the United States and other Western powers as a pretext for a new round of economic sanctions against Iran and the ramping up of belligerent rhetoric.

...

On November 25, a group of around 50 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists protested against Israel's apartheid separation wall near the village of Bil'in in the West Bank. Weekly protests in the village have been taking place for six years. Residents also protested the arrest of...

A new uprising has exploded in Egypt since police attacked protesters in Tahrir Square on November 19. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Cairo and other cities to demand the end of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) that has governed Egypt since dictator...

It’s another statistic showing up the criminal absurdity of Plan Colombia and Washington’s “war on drugs.”

Last year, according to recent United States Drug Enforcement Administration sources, Peru produced about 325 metric tonnes of pure cocaine, surpassing Colombia’s output of 275...

United States Undersecretary of State James Steinberg, speaking in Bogota on October 26, claimed the future relationship between Washington and its most favoured client in Latin America, Colombia, would be based on “reciprocity and mutual respect”.

The stated purpose of Steinberg’s visit...

The shocking image of a campus cop at the University of California (UC) Davis coldly circling in front of a line of seated protesters, taking aim and pepper-spraying them at point-blank range has now been seen around the world.

The November 18 assault has become a new symbol of the...

The statement below was released by Friends of the Earth International on November 16 and is reprinted from www.foe.org.

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Friends of the Earth International is inspired and energised by the unfolding of world-historic, transformative events. From the popular uprisings in...

The November 20 Spanish election went as the polls had forecast: the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government was massacred, with its lowest vote in 34 years. The right-wing Popular Party got a 186-seat absolute majority in the 350-seat parliament and left and left-nationalist forces...

The South Korean government is building a naval base on Jeju Island, officially named the “Island of World Peace”. The base will be one of the largest in the world. The island is located just under 300 miles from the Chinese mainland.

It will be home to both United States and South...

Since 2008, Seksualiti Merdeka (Independent Sexuality) festival, the LGBTiQ's main vehicle for awareness raising and education made its contribution to Malaysian society in a beautiful, intellectually artistic manner, devoid of vulgarity.

It made “straight” heterosexual society realise...

Analysis

Just a few days before his appeal hearing over his extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations, which many believe may be a prelude to Assange’s extradition to the US on espionage charges, WikiLeaks won a stunning victory for citizen journalism and a free press when it took out the...

After months of relentless propaganda by mining companies and the corporate media, the idea of taxing the super profits of the big mining companies remains a popular measure. Recent Essential Research polling said 51% support such a tax (up from 50% since July 2010). Opposition to it rose from...

The ban on marriage between persons of the same sex is an assault on the basic human dignity of same-sex attracted people. It subjects them to a damaging social stigma, a new report by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has now recognised.

The document surveys 10 recent...

Tahrir (“Liberation”) Square in Cairo was the birthplace of hope for millions if not billions of people this year.

It was here that the Egyptian people launched a mighty democratic revolution. And it is where, in its second stage the Egyptian revolution once again has the attention of...

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on November 25.

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The federal government, through its “Stronger Futures” bill and associated legislation, seeks to lock in “intervention mark II” — for 10 years.

Far from being the end of the Northern Territory...

“Gillard and Abbott fly in and out of Afghanistan under heavy protection from harm. Both curry political advantage from the khaki vote. The rest of us see young Ozzie lives ripped apart without any obvious gain to ordinary Afghans. Let the pollies go and fight their own useless war …”

“...

A “controlled burn” by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) got way out of control in south-west Western Australia on November 23, turning into a raging bushfire that destroyed thirty homes and was still not under control days later. Suburbs affected include Gnarabup and Prevelly...

The increased US military presence in Australia, announced by PM Julia Gillard and US President Barack Obama during Obama’s November 16-17 visit, is a setback for peace. Australia should be closing existing US military bases in Australia and put an end to existing joint military exercises with...

A voluntary system of certifying whether goods are free from forced labour is about as far as things go in Australia when it comes to abolishing the slave trade throughout the world.

Though it is illegal to import slave made goods, there has never been a single prosecution for the crime...

Socialist Alliance released the statement below on November 24.

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"The Australian government should come out and support the Egyptian people in their demand that the Egyptian Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) return the government to the people who successfully ousted...

The Mercury, Nov 22 -- There they fell during 2011, one after the other in past-their-prime domino descent.

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from Tunis, Hosni Mubarak from Cairo, Dominique Strauss-Kahn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Muammar Gaddafi from Tripoli, Georgios...

Letters

Greens turn backs on Obama protests

Bearing witness to Obama’s war agenda outside the parliament on November 17 when he was inside talking up war in the Pacific also revealed a terrible truth about the parliamentary Greens.

They were invited to come join us, to...

Culture

The Beginning of the American Fall
Stephanie McMillan
Cartoonmovement.com

The Adventures of Unemployed Man
Erich Origen and Gan Golan
Little, Brown, October 2010. 80 pp.

Action Comics...

"Lou Reed and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello are among the first signatories of Occupy Musicians”, a November 22 British Guardian article said.

supports Occupy Wall Street and the global movement against inequality. The Guardian said the website aims to co-...

Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life
By Michael Moore
Allen Lane, 2011
427 pages, $29.95 (pb)

In 1968, the 14-year-old Michael Moore was expelled from the seminary where he was training to become a Catholic priest. His offense had been to...

Punks Against Apartheid officially launched its website on November 23 in support of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign targetting Israel.

The group says it is “is an emerging global network of musicians, artists, and activists inspired by the history and ethics...

More than 100 people filled Leichhardt’s Palace Cinema on November 24 for the Sydney premiere screening of Growing Change: A Journey Inside Venezuela’s Food Revolution.

The documentary, made by filmmaker and solidarity activist Simon Cunich, examines the global food crisis that...