Issue 910

Australia

Climate action group No Planet B released the statement below on February 15.

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Two people and a banner are suspended from the side of Black Mountain Tower in Canberra as part of a global day of action for Tasmania’s native forests threatened by logging giant Ta Ann.

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The statement below was released by the Refugee Action Collective Victoria on February 14.

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As tensions once again rise at MITA (Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation) in Broadmeadows, an Iranian man, aged 28, stitched his lips up this morning (Monday) as a sign of...

Hundreds marched in Redfern on February 14 to commemorate the killing of T J Hickey during a police pursuit eight years ago and to protest all Aboriginal deaths in custody. There have been more than 400 Aboriginal deaths in custody since 1980 . That's one death in custody a month, or more than...

The Support Assange and WikiLeaks coalition released the statement below on February 14.

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Linda Pearson, spokesperson for the Support Assange & WikiLeaks Coalition, announced today that Jennifer Robinson, Julian Assange’s principal lawyer, will attend a...

Queensland coalminers will strike for a week from February 15 to step up the longstanding dispute with BHP Billiton over safety, wages and conditions.

The company's seven coal mines in Queensland will be closed down after 15 months of negotiations broke down between the Construction...

Mike Crook, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sandgate in the March 24 Queensland state elections, released the statement below on February 10.

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The Socialist Alliance pledges its full support to the Queensland mining unionists engaged in industrial battle with...

More than 500 people attended a dinner of the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) on February 4.

The ATC, formed in 2009, campaigns for the rights of Tamil people in Sri Lanka, who have been subject to discrimination, oppression and massacres at the hands of successive racist Sri Lankan...

The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on January 27.

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The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) yesterday referred the names of 27 Vietnamese unaccompanied minors who are being detained at the Darwin Airport...

A study of national hospital audit figures found Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who suffer a stroke had threefold odds of dying or becoming dependent as a result of lower post-stroke care.

The study, conducted for the National Stroke Foundation, said: “Australian Indigenous...

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition called a snap action outside Penny Wong's office in Adelaide on February 6. The action was supported by the Climate Emergency Action Network, the Socialist Alliance and Resistance.

It took place in the lead up to the Labor Senate Caucus discussion...

About 40 people crowded into the Brisbane Activist Centre on February 7 for a Green Left Weekly public forum titled “The truth about the Aboriginal Tent Embassy”, presented by prominent Murri leader and Socialist Alliance Aboriginal affairs spokesperson Sam Watson. Watson was an...

“We can’t eat money, we need to save our future food,” seventh generation farmer Tim Duddy told a packed forum on February 6.

Organised by the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance, the forum examined the impacts of coal and coal seam gas (CSG) activity on farming regions that make up Australia’...

Inequalities are not only unjust: they literally make us sick. This was the conclusion reached by the sizeable turnout at Left Unity’s January 31 forum: “Inequality, Health, And Wellbeing: Why Inequality Is Bad For Us.”

Much of Adelaide’s progressive community came together — Resistance...

The government has admitted that it is using both the Australian Federal Police and a private intelligence consultancy to monitor coal seam gas (CSG) protesters, say the Greens.

Speaking in federal parliament on Tuesday 7 February ALP Senator Joe Ludwig, representing the Attorney-General...

The WA state government finally rejected Vasse Coal’s proposal for a coal mine in Margaret River on February 7. The mine would have been built 15 kilometres from the town centre, directly beneath the river.

Margaret River residents came out in force to oppose the proposal, as it posed a...

Melbourne-based activist collective Quit Coal released the statement below on its website on February 6.

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One Quit Coal activist has been released pending summons for “interfering with a motor vehicle” today after stopping drilling in Bacchus Marsh. Paul Connor locked...

World

Hamza Kashgari, a Saudi Arabian newspaper columnist, was recently extradited from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia, where he had been arrested while trying to flee to New Zealand.

An arrest warrant was issued in Saudi Arabia after Kashgari posted three twitter comments deemed to be insulting to...

Germany’s domestic spy agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), has been exposed for spying on left-wing MPs.

German magazine Der Spiegel said on January 23 that the BfV spied on MPs from Germany's biggest left-wing party, the socialist Die Linke...

A Buddhist monk has set himself on fire in what is believed to have been a protest for Tibetan independence, the BBC said on February 9.

The immolation follows a series of pro-independence protests in Sichuan, an ethnically Tibetan region of southwest China, which is outside of the...

The Occupy movement in the US may have disappeared from media headlines. But it has not disappeared from the streets of many US cities. However, dropping attendances and ongoing police repression have caused problems for the movement.

Inspired by protests in the Arab world and Europe,...

The article below has been translated by Federico Fuentes. It first appeared in the Latin America-wide magazine America XXI

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“We support the right of self-determination of the habitants of the Falkland Islands [Malvinas]; what the Argentines having been saying...

Australian journalist Austin Mackell, United States student Derek Ludovici, translator Aliya Alwi and veteran union activist Kamal al-Fayyumi were detained by the police in Mahalla El-Kubra, Egypt on February 11 while trying to interview workers in the city.

Sign a petition calling for...

Greek unions launched a two-day general strike on February 10 against new extreme austerity measures the “troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union is seeking to impose on the southern European nation. The deal will give Greece a new “bail-out” worth...

Member countries of Latin America’s alternative integration bloc, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), met for its 11th summit in Caracas on February 4 and 5 to discuss advancing the organisation.

ALBA is made up of the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia,...

Ryan Mallett-Outtrim & Laura Gilbie

The self-immolation of five activists in January briefly brought international attention to growing unrest in Morocco, evidenced by the mass demonstrations that began a year ago.

It is in the capital, however, where political rallies have...

In a fit of petulant anger, the US government lashed out on January 25 against the outcome of Nicaragua’s recent presidential election. The leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front's (FSLN) Daniel Ortega was easily re-elected president and the FSLN won a majority in the National Assembly....

Seven months after South Sudan declared independence from its northern neighbour, Khartoum continues to undermine the struggling new nation.

On January 20, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) government of South Sudan took the drastic measure of shutting down its entire oil...

China’s transition to state-led capitalism over the past three decades has generated numerous social struggles against the state and capital.

With China’s ascent in the capitalist world economy, the social struggles inside China not only have a significant domestic impact, but...

Palestine prisoner's rights group Addameer released the statement below on February 9 on the condition of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan. At the time of the statement, Adnan was 54 days into a hunger strike and in a critical condition. Adnan is being held in “administrative detention” ―...

A coup led by rebel soldiers and police officers overthrew Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed on February 7. Nasheed, a democracy activist and former political prisoner, was the Indian Ocean island nation's first democratically elected president.

Maldives, made up of 26 atolls, is facing...

“What the government does, the streets can undo” may seem like just a slogan, but weeks of anti-austerity protests have forced the resignation of Romania's prime minister Emil Boc.

The protests began when a solidarity demonstration with deputy health minister Raed Arafat took a violent...

“Overall, it is important for the Left to support the ongoing struggles in the revolutions [in the Arab world] as the contradictions of the new regimes continue to sharpen,” Adam Hanieh told Farooq Sulehria.

Hanieh is a lecturer in...

Analysis

Supporters of a proposed deal between Nyoongar people and the WA state government say that it has the potential to “close the gap” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Yet opponents say the deal is no good.

The state government has proposed a deal that would put $60 million a...

Industry groups, building industry spokespeople and opposition politicians have made full use of the Senate inquiry into proposed laws to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

They’ve claimed that the Gillard government’s proposed changes will turn the laws...

The Australian government is pushing to deport the first Afghan asylum seeker since it signed a deal with the Afghanistan government in January last year to allow Afghan asylum seekers to be returned against their will. But a February 7 report by Fairfax journalist Rory Callinan revealed that a...

She’s proposed nuclear explosions for open-cut mining, funded tours by climate deniers and called for bringing in cheap migrant labour to work her mines.

Now Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, has bought the largest individual stake in Fairfax Media, which runs the Sydney...

Now that both Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry's marriages are over, and things seem quiet on the Brangelina front, the corporate media have been reduced to feverish speculation over another B-Grade celebrity circus: who will lead the seemingly doomed Labor government?

Will the skittish...

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on February 9.

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Socialist Alliance supports, and expresses its full solidarity with, the Syrian people’s democratic uprising against the tyrant Bashar al-Assad.

We also condemn the interference by Western...

When I recently spoke to Christine Assange, I realised how passionate she is about truth, justice and a fair go for all. Her son is the Robin Hood of our times, taking information from the rich and giving it to the poor (from the 1% to the 99%).

Award-winning journalist and WikiLeaks...

News Limited’s flagship newspaper, The Australian, said in a September 2010 editorial that it wanted the Greens to be “destroyed”. The paper’s latest attacks on Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, which include allegations she held secret meetings with a high-level KGB spy 40 years ago,...

Renewing Sydney’s train fleet is far too important a matter to be left to the “free” market. On February 6 the NSW government announced it was going to pay $175 million in 2018 to bail out the failed Reliance Rail syndicate that has been contracted to build and maintain the new Waratah commuter...

Resistance!

Liam Flenady is a Resistance member and Socialist Alliance candidate for the March 24 state election. He spoke with Green Left Weekly’s Patrick Harrison about his campaign priorities and issues facing young people today.

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Why...

Culture

Why Marx Was Right
By Terry Eagleton
Yale University Press, 2011
272 pp., $32.95

In August, the Wall Street Journal website ran a video of an interview with Nouriel Roubini as its top story under the headline, "Roubini: Marx was Right...

Dirty Money: The True Cost of Australia’s Mineral Boom
By Matthew Benns
William Heinemann, 2011,
296 pages, $34.95 (pb)

Australian mining companies hand over $10 million a year in political donations to state and federal political parties. They...

Pride Of The Underdog
Deeder Zaman
Modulor, 2011
www.deederzaman.com

When Deeder Zaman was at the height of his fame as the vocalist for British dance rock group Asian Dub Foundation (ADF), he hung up his mike to become a full-time activist....

United States' singer/songwriter Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) was encouraged by boycott activists to cancel her gig in Tel Aviv, scheduled for February 12. It looks like the pressure worked.

On February 9, Cat Power announced her show had been cancelled, and tweeted: “Music is healing...

Fighting Fund

By now we all know that the rich get richer under capitalism. But many are astounded at the incredible pace this takes place.

Last week it was reported that Australian billionaire James Packer celebrated a 560% increase in his casino investment in Macau. Great reward for making totally...

We kid you not

Murdoch likes compliant politics

“Only met PMs when asked ... and NEVER asked for anything”.
Rupert Murdoch on Twitter, reassuring us that Australia’s political leaders are so compliant, he hasn’t had to resort to hacking.
― February 5

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