Issue 913

Australia

The campaign launch for Mike Crook, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sandgate in the March 24 Queensland state election, took place in Einbunpin Park, Sandgate, on March 4. About 25 people, including several Greens supporters, attended the launch, which was held next to the...

Video by Kenjiwardenclyffe

The Australian mainstream media has been awfully quiet about the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), of which round 11 is now underway in Australia at the Melbourne Convention Center over March 1 to 9.

These talks are being held in secret....

Perth-based women's health doctor Kamala Emanuel has hit out at the "dangerous implications" of a "foetal homicide" law proposed by the Western Australian state government.

The law if passed would, for the first time, recognise an "unborn baby" as a human life.

The stated intent...

Writer and Occupy Melbourne activist Wil Wallace took part in a March 1 protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a new free trade agreement currently under negotiation between nine nations, including Australia and the United States. Wallace’s account of the...

The House of Representatives narrowly passed changes on February 16 to the undemocratic building industry laws that target building workers.

The Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill, which will replace the Building Industry Improvement...

Melbourne activists gathered at Federation Square in the city centre on February 28 to voice their support for the All India General Strike. As many as 100 million workers had walked off the job in India to protest against low wages and poor working conditions in what is most likely the largest...

The Mark McGowan-led Western Australian ALP opposition has promised it will support the Colin Barnett government’s controversial anti-association laws. The laws were debated in parliament on February 28.

Barnett has said the law will “crack down on outlaw bikie gangs”. However, the words...

The control measures in the anti-association legislation will limit our rights to freely associate with people by allowing the government to make a declaration on an organisation. This will allow the government to obtain “control orders” over individuals who are members, former members or people...

The Australian Nurses Federation (ANF) Victorian branch released the statement below on March 1.

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Private conciliation resolved disputes in 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2007 and can resolve 2012.

The Baillieu government has spent more taxpayer money on lawyers — this time to...

Chanting “no cuts, no way, this is what the staff say”, 200 staff and student supporters defied rain to march through the University of Sydney on February 29 to protest against the university management’s move to axe 340 university staff.

The rally, organised by the National Tertiary...

The premiere of the new Venezuela solidarity film “Chasing Chavez” hit the big screen at the Schonell Cinema, University of Queensland, on February 29. About 70 people attended the launch of the hour-long documentary and applauded director Katrina Channells and co-producer and cinematographer...

On February 25, prominent Murri community leader Sam Watson launched the campaign for Liam Flenady, the Socialist Alliance candidate for South Brisbane in the March 24 Queensland elections.

A crowd of more than 40 people attended a street meeting in Boundary Street, West End in the heart...

World

The Kony 2012 film, produced by the Invisible Children NGO, has gone viral over the internet. Viewed more than 14 million times, and widely hailed in the mainstream media, the film targets Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony for his crimes -- but backs forces in the Ugandan military guilty...

At last, the police have become efficient. They may have stumbled slightly with their investigation of News International, but they haven't made the same mistake with the people sitting around by St Paul's.

Last year, presumably, if they'd been asked to evict Occupy London protests who...

Bolivia’s vice-president Alvaro Garcia Linera brought a message of hope and anti-imperialist commitment to Mexico in early February.

Speaking to an overflowing assembly of students and university personnel at Mexico City’s UNAM (National Autonomous University),...

The release of secret emails from private intelligence company Stratfor by WikiLeaks has opened the door on the world of spying-for-profit.

More than 5 million emails between Stratfor employees were stolen by hacker group Anonymous in December last year. The emails were passed on to...

Last year it was the indignado movement that filled Spain’s city squares with hundreds of thousands of protesters. On February 19, it was the union-led movement against the Popular Party (PP) government’s new labour law.

On February 29, another mass protest flooded the squares:...

When the early morning fog rises and drifting skeins from wood fires carry the sweet smell of India, the joggers arrive in Lodi Gardens.

Past the tomb of Mohammed Shah, the 15th century Mughal ruler, across a landscape manicured in the 1930s by Lady Willingdon, wife of the governor-...

The Western media reported on March 3 that the rebel city of Homs had fallen to forces of the Assad regime after a bloody 26-day siege. There were reports of a humanitarian disaster in the city and widespread killings.

As battles raged in Syria, the US and its allies held a “Friends of...

Millions of workers joined a one-day strike in India on February 28 in defence of public ownership and for stronger labour rights.

Eleven major trade unions called the action to protest against the United Progressive Alliance government's policy of selling stakes in state-owned companies...

There has been a surge in protests and attacks against the US-led occupation forces in Afghanistan since February 20. The catalyst was the discovery by Afghan workers of burnt copies of the Koran at the waste disposal facility of the US military-run Bagram prison.

More than 30 unarmed...

It is a truism to say that democracy began with the Greeks ― less so to say that it originated in popular rebellion against debt and debt-bondage.

Yet, with the Greek people ensnared once more in the vice-like grip of rich debt-holders, it may be useful to recall that fact. For the only...

The International Network in Solidarity with the Political Prisoners (INSPP) received the wonderful news on February 29 that Colombian labour activist, human rights defender and political prisoner Liliany Obando was to be released on bond the next day.

Obando had been in jail for three...

When the paramilitaries of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) arrived in San Onofre in northern Colombia in the late 1990s, they came after dark, dragging people from their homes and disappearing into the night.

Soon, they did not need the cover of darkness. People were...

Addameer is a Palestinian human rights organisation that works to support political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian jails. It offers free legal aid and works to end torture and other abuses of prisoners' rights.

The group’s 10 lawyers visit more than 500 prisoners inside...

Police and bailiffs removed peaceful Occupy London protesters from their camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral on February 28. The Coalition of Resistance, which unites a range of groups and individuals to campaign against the British government's savage austerity measures, released the statement...

Chicago workers occupy plant, score win

Workers facing layoffs at a Chicago window factory have declared victory after occupying their plant for 11 hours, OccupyWallSt.org said on February 24.

The Occupy Wall Street website said: “Through direct community action...

Lynas, an Australian mining company, is building a rare earth refinery close to the heavily populated area city of Kuantan in Malaysia. The ore is to be shipped from a mine in Western Australia but the highly toxic and radioactive waste which the refinery will produce will not be accepted back...

Analysis

Self described “advocate for women and girls” Melinda Tankard Reist recently launched a defamation claim against blogger Jennifer Wilson for saying Reist is a Baptist. Wilson’s article, on her blog No Place for Sheep, criticised Reist’s anti-abortion stance.

Wilson says that the crux of...

The South Australian government has produced an “anti-binge drinking” ad that targets young women. It features a young woman slumped in a dodgy club toilet while someone else points her finger accusingly.

The tagline reads: “Drink too much, you’re asking for trouble.”

Journalist...

How would you feel if you woke up to the breakfast radio news announcing that Green Left Weekly had just published its last issue?

The left in Spain had that experience on February 24, when we learned that this would be the last day the progressive daily Publico...

There is a growing disconnect between the official rosy picture of the Australian economy and mounting public anxiety about job insecurity.

The latest official unemployment rate (January 2012) was steady at 5.2% and Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson insists there is no reason to worry....

With international condemnation of Australia’s approach to asylum seekers and the intervention in the Northern Territory, Prime Minister Julia Gillard may not be well known for her support for human rights. Still she agreed to the Greens’ request for recognition of Indigenous peoples in the...

Dave Kerin from the new community group Enough has helped run a daily picket outside Telstra’s Collins St office in Melbourne for the past three weeks. The picket is a protest against Telstra’s decision to send hundreds of jobs offshore. Kerin is also an activist with the Socialist Alliance....

The NSW department of planning released a set of new guidelines for wind farm developments in December last year. The department is seeking submissions from the public commenting on the new guidelines until March 14.

The new guidelines include the most stringent noise regulation in the...

Twice daily outside almost every Victorian public hospital there are nurses protesting and waving banners in a spirited display of defiance.

They are not being incited by their union. They are walking off the job for four hours at a time, demanding a pay rise and defending the very...

The Socialist Alliance Queensland released the statement below on March 2.

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The three Socialist Alliance candidates in the March 24 Queensland state election, two of who are former Labor Party members disgusted at Labor's betrayals of public interests, have called for a new...

What with the whole Rudd debacle, sparked by the whole Gillard debacle, Labor has been staggering from one crisis to the next. Time for some fresh and bold thinking!

First, give "faceless man extraordinaire", exposed US embassy source and NSW Right factional hatchetman Senator Mark Arbib...

The Socialist Alliance NSW released the statement below on February 29.

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The Socialist Alliance NSW condemns the latest step in the attacks on NSW public sector workers and their unions, announced by Premier Barry O’Farrell on February 23.

O’Farrell used question...

Infectious Diseases Physician Trent Yarwood released the open letter below to Coalition immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison on February 28.

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Dear Mr Morrison,

I am writing to you regarding your press release dated February 27, 2012, entitled “Typhoid cases on...

WikiLeaks released the statement below on February 28.

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Confidential emails obtained from the US private intelligence firm Stratfor show that the United States government has had a secret indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for more than 12 months.

...

Center for Constitutional Rights, Feb 28: Leaks published today from Stratfor, a private intelligence corporation, indicate the United States Department of Justice has issued a secret, sealed indictment against Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. In response, the Center for Constitutional...

The Yes Men released the statement below on February 27.

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WikiLeaks begins to publish today over five million emails obtained by Anonymous from “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails, which reveal everything from sinister spy tactics to an insider trading scheme...

Letters

Co-operative housing

I agree with nearly everything written by Douglas Jordan in the article Public housing is an issue for the whole community. Housing needs to be affordable, secure and accessible. Public housing is good and should be extended.

The...

Culture

This is an abridged version of an article that first appeared on February 24 in the Occupied Chicago Tribune, the newspaper backing Occupy Chicago.

Despite brutal forced evictions of Occupy camps across the United States late last year, the movement for the interests of the 99% against...

Green Washed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way to a Green Planet
Kendra Pierre-Louis
IG Publishing, 216 pages

Radical German poet Hans Magnus Enzenberger once compared mainstream environmentalism to a Sunday sermon that terrifies parishioners with dire...

Sydney's inner-west community is set to take over Newtown’s nooks and crannies for the fourth time with the roving laneway festival Reclaim the Lanes.

On Saturday, March 17, the forgotten and underutilised urban spaces of the inner-west will be transformed by the one-day festival....