Issue 918

Australia

About 80 activists and artists gathered outside the Queensland Government Executive Building on April 13 to voice their discontent over the axing of the Premier's Literary Awards.

The picket was called by Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of South Brisbane in the April 28 by-...

Coalmine workers employed by the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) in central Queensland's Bowen Basin are standing firm in the face of escalating attacks by their employer. In the latest round, BHP has announced the closure of its Norwich Park coalmine, south-east of Dysart. The move is...

In the largest protest so far in a campaign that has grown steadily since the start of semester, 1500 University of Sydney students and staff rallied on April 4 to protest against the university management's move to sack 360 academic and general staff.

The protest marched through the...

More than 150 people gathered at a public meeting in Hobart on April 3 to discuss the problems and solutions related to Forestry Tasmania, the government-owned company established to manage the state’s forest assets. The audience heard from Associate Professor Graeme Wells, Dr Frank Nicklason,...

These photos are from the rally was organised by the Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition on April 9. The rally spoke out against the ALP government's "Stronger Futures" package - which would extend the racist NT intervention for an extra 10 years!

The national convergence for...

Liam Flenady has been endorsed as the Socialist Alliance’s candidate in the April by-election for the South Brisbane seat of former ALP Queensland premier Anna Bligh. Flenady released the statement below on April 11.

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Within two weeks of taking office,...


Photos by Ali Bakhtiavandi

On April 9, around 300 people marched on Broadmeadows detention centre to demand an end to mandatory detention of asylum seekers. The rally coincided with the 20-year anniversary of the introduction of mandatory detention.

Former detainee Ali...

A farmer-led coalition that involves stop coal and coal seam gas (CSG) groups, online protest group GetUp!, a peak wine industry body, a thoroughbred horse association, and even the Country Women's Association, will coordinate a mass protest at NSW parliament on May 1.

The protest...

A high-energy, loud and prominent rally marched through Adelaide’s central shopping mall on March 31 to show support for victims of extreme climate-change related weather events and demand real climate action. The event was Adelaide’s second annual “March for Survival”.

The march ended...

Larrakia woman June Mills gives "welcome to country" to the Darwin rally for refugee rights on April 6, 2012 - the first day of the national convergence for refugee rights.

Read the report about the rally.

[Read more of Green Left's refugee rights coverage.]

Seven people from multiple Australian cities were arrested today while climbing a hill to make contact with refugees inside the Wickham Point detention centre outside Darwin.

About 35 refugee activists from Darwin, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne were at the centre as part of...

World

Venezuela’s national minimum wage is to rise 32.25% this year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on April 7.

In a televised address from Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Chavez said the wage rise would take place in two phases, ― first on May 1 and then a further rise on...

Literature Nobel laureate and Germany's most famous living author Gunter Grass labelled Israel a threat to "already fragile world peace" in his poem “Was gesagt werden muss” (“What must be said”).

The work, published by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung on April 4, accuses "the...

The new, interim president of Mali is holding out the possibility of “all out war” against the rebellion of the oppressed, Touareg nationality that has swept the north of the western African country.

Dioncounda Traore took over the presidency on April 12 in a deal with the military...

Power loom workers in Faisalabad, a big industrial centre in central Pakistan, launched a series of strikes and demonstrations in mid-2010. Six leaders of the organisation of power loom workers, the Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM), were arrested by the police.

The six were charged under anti...

There’s no election quite like a French presidential contest. It is a six-month-long race in which nearly every political stable usually has a runner and where the handicapping system is less rigged against “outsiders” than in many other countries.

It puts a premium on personality: a...

Tintaya is an open-cut copper and gold mine 4000 metres high in the district of Yauri, Espinar province, southern Peru. It is a spectacle of modern industrial devastation that contrasts jarringly with the timeless beauty of the surrounding altiplano landscape.

Finally, after years of...

About 215,000 public service workers struck on March 27 as a warning to their employers a day before talks between the public sector union and the bosses.

Two weeks earlier, 130,000 took part in the first round of strikes. The award being negotiated by the United Services Union (known as...

“The Tsolakoglou Occupation government has literally crushed my prospects for survival, so far based on a decent pension, which I alone (without supplementation from the State) financed over 35 years.”

That was how the suicide note left by 77-year-old retired pharmacist Dimitris...

Czech writer Milan Kundera's truism, "the struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting", described East Timor.

The day before I set out to film clandestinely there in 1993, I went to Stanfords map shop in London's Covent Garden. "Timor?" said a hesitant...

Citizens of the Union of Myanmar, formerly and more commonly known as Burma, went to the polls on April 1 for crucial by-elections that have generated much attention.

The by-elections, to fill a few dozen seats in the 664-member parliament, elected leading democracy figure Aung San Suu...

As a visitor, you quickly realise that New York City is unsentimental. New Yorkers are always looking forward.

It’s in the nature of Wall Street. No wonder the Occupy movement started here in downtown Manhattan, the financial district.

As in all other US cities, there is a...

Indonesia has been rocked by an explosion of popular protest against fuel price rises right around the country.

Indonesian Police Watch says between March 23 and 26 alone, there were 1063 demonstrations, 16 police stations were damaged and 750 protesters were arrested.

Green...

Analysis

Malalai Joya, a brave activist from Afghanistan who opposes Western occupation and local Afghan warlords, gives an impassioned message to the Australian government and the Australian people.

Among the questions she answers are: Who is Australia supporting? What is the role of Australian...

So far this year we've raised $36,811 for the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund. This is a good effort, but well short of our running target. To reach our 2012 target of $250,000 we need to have raised about $80,000 by the end of this month.

The good news is that our supporters...

Activist Marlene Carrasco says some organisations visit refugees in Sydney’s Villawood detention centre in the same way they might make a trip to the zoo.

“You know, [some of the big NGOs], they just come in, say hello, then the zoo visit’s over and they leave,” Carrasco told Green...

Whatever BHP Billiton wants to expand operations at its huge Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mine, Australian authorities are almost frantic to give it. Clear violations of environment laws are not even being allowed to stand in the way.

But where governments have shirked their...

So it has been reported that Clive “Stop Taxing Me” Palmer's main private company, Mineralogy, hasn't paid tax for three years. He really is pulling out all stops to be the best cardboard cutout evil capitalist he can.

You have to wonder what he'll do next. My guess is call a press...

There is a lot to celebrate in the legacy of retiring Greens leader Senator Bob Brown. Above all, he has been central to holding together the most successful new electoral party project in Australia that sits significantly to the left of the traditional parties of government, Labor and Liberal-...

The decision by the organisers of the three-day Marxism 2012 to invite a broader range of international speakers and allow other socialist groups to set up stalls at its three-day Marxism 2012 conference in Melbourne over the Easter long weekend was a welcome and positive step.

The...

Two officers identifying themselves as being from “security intelligence” visited my house on April 11 for a chat. If recent headlines are anything to go by (“ASIO eyes green groups” The Age 12/4/12) such surprise visits will become ever more frequent for anti-coal activists like me....

The nuclear industry has been responsible for some of the crudest racism in Australia's history. This racism dates from the British nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s but it can still be seen today.

The British government conducted 12 nuclear bomb tests in Australia in the 1950s, most of...

“You have to put more pressure on your government to allow Afghans to decide their own future,” Afghan democracy activist and former MP Malalai Joya told a 150-strong public forum on April 11.

“No nation can liberate another nation,” Joya said. “Ten years of war should have made this...

Warren Mundine, a member and former National President of the ALP, and co-convener of the Australian Uranium Association’s Indigenous Dialogue Group, has been promoting the nuclear industry recently. Unfortunately he turns a blind eye to the industry's crude racism, a problem that ought to be...

Sam Castro from the WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance recently sat down with Christine Assange to talk about her son Julian, WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief, his fight against extradition to Sweden and why fighting for Julian’s freedom is actually part of a much bigger fight to...

In article after article, book after book, scientists and environmentalists have exposed the devastating effects of constant economic expansion on the global environment. The drive to produce ever more “stuff” is filling our rivers with poison and our air with climate-changing gases. The oceans...

There is a country blessed with enormous natural resources whose head of state is a monarch who resides thousands of miles away from its shores.

Every time Her Majesty comes to her dominion she lays flowers in the Cenotaph, visits schools where children wave flags that carry in one of...

Picture this scene — late April 1986, a group of a dozen builders labourers on a cold Melbourne morning. The time is about 7.30am. They were picketing a building site where they’d been sacked for refusing to resign from their union, the Builders Labourers Federation (BLF), which had recently...

Ismail Mirza Jan is a 27-year-old Hazara Afghan locked up in Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre. After the Taliban killed his father in 1998, Jan fled to Britain and then Ireland in 2001.

Eventually refused asylum, Jan came to Sydney by plane in February 2010 in the...

Far from taking the closure of the Heinz tomato factory sitting down, workers and community members from the 150-strong rural Victorian town of Girgarre are getting organised.

After the announcement by Heinz last year that it would shut down its operations in Girgarre, 200 kilometres...

Behind the hype of Australia’s mining boom and “economic stability” lies the very real crisis affecting rural Australia.

The impacts of droughts and floods (aggravated by capitalist-induced climate change) are part of the explanation. The real culprits behind the devastation being...

Culture

Musician and activist Phil Monsour is releasing his latest 12-song CD, Ghosts of Deir Yassin after the mobilisations for Palestinian Land Day on March 30. The CD is available online at Cdbaby and other outlets.

The songs on Ghosts of Deir Yassin were written during a...

In a recent interview with Hip-Hop DX, a hoodie-clad Nas exhibited an understandable amount of despair at the case of African American youth Trayvon Martin, the shot dead by George Zimmerman while walking home from the shops in Florida in February.

The US hip hop artist said: “...

In a new development for progressive media, Green Left Weekly has launched GreenLeftTV, an online video resource to complement GLW's newspaper and website. It aims to provide another avenue for radical pro-people and pro-planet news and analysis.

GreenLeftTV seeks to...

The Lorax
Starring Danny Devito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift & Ed Helms, directed by Chris Melandandri and Kyle Balda
Now showing in cinemas.

Adapted from the 1971 Dr Seuss book of the same name, The Lorax is a great analogy for the...