Issue 923

Australia

The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on May 23.

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The private corporation that runs immigration detention centres, Serco, has recently insisted that Serco security guards watch over visitors and asylum seekers when members of the...

The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released the statement below on May 23.

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Following a report on ASIO negative Tamil refugees, aired on the ABC’s current affairs program, 7:30, on May 21, Serco guards raided and searched the accommodation rooms of ASIO-negative...

The findings of the Climate Commission report The Critical Decade will be a focus of discussion at the upcoming Climate Change Social Change conference.

The report has generated much heated debate by suggesting that rising temperatures in western Sydney will affect everything from our...


Photos by Ali Bakhtiavandi

About 200 people marched in Melbourne on May 18 in support of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign for Palestinian human rights. The campaign has come under attack from the state government, with 19 protesters arrested during a BDS...


Photos by Ali Bakhtiavandi

About 200 Tamils and supporters gathered outside the State Library on May 18 for a candlelight vigil to commemorate those who died in the war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

An estimated 40,000...

More than 100 people rallied in King George Square on May 18 to commemorate the Palestinian Al-Nakba (The Catastrophe), when Israel was established with the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their villages and homes. Protesters held placards with the names of villages that were destroyed by...

Activists expected that a new “anti-association” law would be passed by the Western Australian parliament on May 1. Instead, the law has been debated inside and outside parliament since then.

The new law would give power to a judge to declare an organisation to be a “criminal association...

A newly formed group, Defend Free Speech in Perth, has put some early runs on the board by forcing the Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi to respond to an open letter to the council.

The group formed to pressure the City of Perth to stop harassing activist events and to remove local laws that are...

Federal resources minister Martin Ferguson released a report on May 14 into Australia’s gas reserves. The report signalled a huge expansion of gas mining in the NT and bad news for the environment.

Two new areas have been opened for gas exploration: shale gas exploration in the central...

The Australian Council of Trade Unions unanimously passed a motion supporting self-determination for the people of Western Sahara at its national congress over May 15-17.

The motion also called for the Australian government to push local companies to “end the importation of phosphate”,...

Thirty people attended a May 15 rally on the steps of South Australia’s Parliament House to protest the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Registration of Still-Births) Amendment Bill, also known as Jayden’s Law, introduced by Family First MP Robert Brokenshire, which was to be voted...

About 70 people gathered for a vigil in Melbourne on May 15, in support of the community campaign against a gas hub in the Kimberley region, WA.

Earlier, more than 100 police arrived at the site of a peaceful blockade near James Price Point to crush the ongoing protest.

The...

More than 200 police staged a dawn raid on the peaceful Aboriginal Sovereignty Embassy in Musgrave Park, South Brisbane on May 16. They evicted the 80 people defending the site and arrested about 30.

More than 100 protesters outside the wire fence surrounding the park rallied in support...

More refugees confronted with a lifetime in immigration detention because of an “adverse” security check by ASIO are being driven to suicide attempts and self-harm.

In Broadmeadows detention centre in Melbourne, two Tamil refugees tried to commit suicide within a month of each other, one...

The Socialist Alliance Western Sydney released the statement below on May 16.

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Parramatta RSL management took the extraordinary step on May 15 of banning John Coleman, a Socialist Alliance candidate for the upcoming Parramatta local council elections, from attending the...

Protesters erected a giant “radioactive barrel” outside Queensland parliament on May 15, the first session under the new Liberal National Party (LNP) state government. The protest, sponsored by Friends of the Earth Brisbane’s Peace Anti-Nuclear and Clean Energy Collective (PACE), was held to...

Beyond Nuclear Initiative released the statement below on May 17.

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Muckaty traditional owners have welcomed news that Australia’s peak trade union body, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), has today committed to actively support the campaign against a proposed...

More than 200 Queensland police evicted the Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy from Brisbane’s Musgrave Park early on May 16 on the orders of Brisbane City Council. Police arrested about 30 activists.

A crowd of more than 200 people, including Aboriginal protesters from the embassy together...


Photos by Kiraz Janicke and Pip Hinman.

The Sydney Al-Nakba rally and march — marking 64 years since the ruthless dispossession of Palestinians from their historic homeland — went off successfully on May 15 despite attempts by NSW police to have it moved or cancelled....

A film of a large, peaceful student and staff rally on May 7 against Sydney Uni job cuts, being met by a brutal police and riot squad response. The police presence was organised by the architect of the cuts, vice chancellor Michael Spence.

The growing campaign has forced a reduction in...

World

Democracy Now! broadcasts from Chicago, site of the largest NATO summit in the organization's six-decade history. On Sunday, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as members of Afghans For Peace, led a peace march of thousands of people. Iraq Veterans Against the War held a ceremony...

In the week before the first anniversary of the indignado (“the outraged”) protests and camps that broke out across Spain on May 15 last year, the Spanish media was full of opinionated wishful thinking about the state of what became known as the 15-M movement.

This wasn’t just...

The rulers of the world are panicking over the results of Greek democracy.

As stock markets plummet globally, the crisis in Greece has become the main item for discussion for the world’s most powerful politicians at the May 19-20 G8 meeting at the US presidential retreat, Camp David....

There is no end in sight to violence and repression in Honduras. There is also no end in sight to the United States and Canadian governments and business maintaining political, economic and military relations with the country's military-backed regime.

Even after US Drug Enforcement...

Some years ago, travelling on the presidential plane of Venezulea's left-wing President Hugo Chavez of with a French friend from Le Monde Diplomatique, we were asked what we thought was happening in Europe. Was there any chance of a move to the left?

We replied in the depressed...

Up until now the argument has been that there's no alternative. We have to slash public spending and wages because there's so much debt that otherwise there'll be chaos, absolute chaos.

The joy of this method is it saves having to make a case for your actions, so it ought to be used more...

Economic collapse drives workers into hunger and destitution. Foreign powers extort huge payments, forcing the national economy toward bankruptcy. The government forces workers to pay the costs of capitalist crisis.

This description of Greece in 2012 applies equally to Germany in 1921...

The strike of post-secondary students in Quebec has taken a dramatic turn with the May 18 approval by the provincial government of a special law to cancel the school year at strike-bound institutions and outlaw protest activity deemed disruptive of institutions not participating in the strike...

Voters in Germany’s largest state of 18 million people, North Rhine Westphalia, went to the polls on May 13 to reject Chancellor Angela Merkel’s politics.

This came a week after the loss for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the election of Schleswig Holstein. These results...

The rhetoric from Tunisia's interim government, led by the Islamist party Ennahda (the Renaissance), as well as the financial establishment, is that the old regime is gone.

What is needed now, they say, is stability and the restoration of economic growth to complete the transition to...

The controversial Ramu nickel mine near Madang in Papua New Guinea has come under fire for new claims of environmental damage.

The mine has been the subject of a long-running battle with locals over plans to pump 100 million tonnes of mine waste into Basamuk Bay over 20 years. The...

The announcement by giant US bank JPMorgan Chase that it had lost US$2 billion in a shady deal shows the kinds of financial speculation that led to the 2007-2009 financial collapse continue to steam ahead.

It also underscores that both Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and...

Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons have called off a hunger strike after winning several key concessions from Israel.

Solidarity protests have been staged in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, occupied Jerusalem, and Israel, and tens of thousands joined a...

The sensational outcome of the Greek elections on May 6 in which SYRIZA, a coalition of left-reformist and radical left groups, came second to right-wing New Democracy (ND) with nearly 17% of the vote, came on the back of the catastrophe being imposed on the Greek working class.

It is...

Analysis

About 100 unionists packed the Unions NSW Atrium on May 14 to discuss the right to strike campaign, at a fringe event of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Congress that began the same day.

Titled “Advance Australia Fair? Australian jobs and the right to strike”, the forum was...

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is being set up under the Clean Energy Future legislation (the carbon price package). It will provide $10 billion to support renewable and low-emissions energy.

That’s the message that most climate-concerned people have been hearing from the...

The Green Left Weekly fighting fund has received a huge boost over the last couple of weeks, thanks to the efforts of hard working supporters and volunteers around the country. So far this month, $24,600 has been sent in to the fighting fund, largely from successful fundraising events...

The rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin are dying. While average inflows decline due to climate change, extractions for irrigation remain at environmentally damaging levels.

But the plan for management of the basin’s water resources drawn up by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA),...

Exploration licences for coal seam gas mining (CSG) cover 75% of the land in New South Wales where people live. Residents are worried about the effect CSG mining could have on their land and water, and angry about the lack of consultation by the gas companies.

From the Northern Rivers...

Attorney-general Nicola Roxon is planning a raft of new powers for ASIO to intercept and store any individual’s information. The move follows the adoption of new laws that allow Australia’s spy agencies to target individuals and organisations that oppose the government's interests — nicknamed...

The news that former Geelong Grammar School student Rose Ashton-Weir is suing the elite private school for failing to secure her a spot at Sydney University's law school has been the source of much mocking on the internet as a classic case of a spoilt brat's temper tantrum.

But it has to...

Mardi Reardon-Smith gathered at Brisbane’s Musgrave Park with other supporters early on May 16 to support the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, which was later evicted from the park by more than 200 police officers. Her account of the day is below.

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On...

Socialist Alliance Brisbane released the statement below on May 18

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The Socialist Alliance expresses its full support and solidarity with the Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy in Musgrave Park, South Brisbane, and strongly condemns the actions of police and Brisbane City Council...

Truck safety is down, down at Coles

Truck drivers and their families rallied outside Coles stores on May 10 to protest against the supermarket giant’s treatment of drivers, which they say is causing road deaths.

The market power that Coles and other big retailers...

In the week Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, he ordered bombing attacks on Yemen, killing a reported 63 people, 28 of them children. When Obama recently announced he supported same-sex marriage, American planes had not long blown 14 Afghan civilians to bits.

In both...

Letters

Freedom to protest

Congratulations to the Sydney Al-Nakba Planning Committee for successfully defying police and winning its case in the Supreme Court to be allowed to protest on Al-Nakba Day. The Supreme Court decision on May 14 sets an important precedent for future...

Culture

Nuclear Kop
The Super Raelene Brothers
www.superraelenebrothers.com.au

Anti-nuclear activist band The Super Raelene Brothers first made it into the pages of Green Left Weekly in 1995. But the duo, who have just dropped their latest atomic-bomb-...

The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, Volume II: Interregnum, Decline and Collapse, 1973-1988, A Political Memoir
By Barry Sheppard
Resistance Books (London), 2011
345 pages.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States Socialist Workers Party (SWP) was...

The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, volume I: The Sixties, A Political Memoir
By Barry Sheppard,
Chippendale, Australia: Resistance Books, 2005, 354 pages including index, with a rich collection of photographs.

The Party,...