Issue 924

Australia

Residents of the newly established Mount Cooper Estate in Bundoora in Melbourne’s north are fighting to save local parkland and restore their bus services.

In early April residents discovered that the 563 bus service which linked them to Plenty Road, Northlands and Greensborough was...

The Climate and Health Alliance released the statement below on May 28.

* * *

In the lead up to Rio+20 and the G20 Summit, Australian health groups are calling on Australian and international governments to abandon subsidies for fossil fuels in the interests of protecting human...

A student rally against the Victorian government’s TAFE cuts on May 23 projected a mass mobilisation next semester.

The rally against the TAFE cuts was organised by RMIT TAFE students. Protesters from several TAFE institutions in Melbourne met at the RMIT Carlton TAFE campus where...

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has accused the federal government of unfairly targeting waterfront workers as part of a so-called crackdown on organised crime.

Home Affairs minister Jason Clare said on May 25 that federal police would be given new powers to put waterfront workers...

Refugee lawyer David Manne and a pro bono legal team will take the federal government and ASIO to the High Court to challenge the indefinite detention of refugees found to be “security threats”.

The case will argue that refugees should be told the full reasons for ASIO's decision, so...

The Great Barrier Reef off Queensland's northern coast came within a few metres of disaster on May 19 when a broken-down bulk sugar carrier drifted just over Shark Reef, north-east of Cooktown.

The 26,000-tonne ID Integrity was blown off course after its engines broke down. Crew...

Cairns Politics in the Pub has restarted after a year's break. These semi-monthly discussion forums at the Green Ant Cantina feature guest speakers, panels and discussion on topical issues proposed by various community groups and individual activists.

On May 23, 35 people took part in a...

The trial of 16 activists arrested at a Palestine solidarity protest outside a Max Brenner chocolate store in Melbourne's QV shopping centre in July last year finished on May 25.

Throughout the trial a megaphone has been sitting beside the magistrate as evidence. Freedom of political...

Premier Campbell Newman'a Liberal National Party (LNP) government wasted no time launching an all-out attack on gay rights and on community services in Queensland.

The May 20 Courier Mail said the government was preparing to overturn the civil unions law passed under the...

Qantas cuts 500 more jobs

Qantas said on May 21 it would axe more than 500 engineering jobs from Tullamarine and Avalon in Victoria. Qantas said: “Further changes to Avalon are expected as the business continues to modernise.”

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the...

3CR invites its listeners and the Melbourne community to Invest in Independence at Radiothon 2012. Buy your share of the media and donate to 3CR this Radiothon.

3CR’s progressive alternative coverage of social, economic, cultural and political issues has never been more relevant.

...

About 4000 unionists at six coal mines in Central Queensland have struck for a week from May 24 after enterprise bargaining talks with employers BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi again broke down. The 18-month-long dispute between the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) and mineowners...

Australian supporters of WikiLeaks announced nationwide protests after news that Britain’s supreme court will decide on Julian Assange’s final appeal against extradition to Sweden on May 30. The protest rallies will take place in most capital cities the next day, May 31.

The rallies will...


Photos by Gina Xing

About 100 TAFE students and supporters rallied at Melbourne's RMIT university on May 23 to protest against the Victorian government's $300 million cuts to the TAFE budget.



The Sydney Al-Nakba rally and march - marking 64 years since the brutal dispossession of Palestinians from their homeland - was successful despite police attempts to derail it. Around 500 people protested, after the Supreme Court dismissed the NSW Police Commissioners attempts to derail the...

Tens of thousands of NSW teachers stopped work for two hours on May 18 to protest against the Barry O’Farrell state government’s cuts to public education.

Using the smokescreen of “increasing school autonomy”, the government plans to radically cut funding and resources for public schools...

World

More than 400,000 filled the streets of Montreal this week as a protest over a 75% increase in tuition has grown into a full-blown political crisis. After three months of sustained protests and class boycotts that have come to be known around the world as the "Maple Spring," the dispute...

Red carpet and champagne marked the start of the first Red-Green Alliance (RGA) congress since the party tripled its mandate at a poll in September last year.

The 385 delegates representing the 8000 members packed a basketball stadium in the migrant and working class Copenhagen suburb of...

Up to 30,000 protesters from across Europe took to the streets on May 19 in the financial district of Frankfurt. The rally, which lasted for seven hours, ended outside the European Central Bank (ECB).

The protest, “Blockupy Frankfurt”, was part of a three-day action, organised to oppose...

Independent journalist and author Antony Loewenstein visited Papua New Guinea in January and February as part of his research for an upcoming book and documentary about disaster capitalism and privatisation.

He spoke to Green Left Weekly's ...

Quebec’s student movement, and the swelling ranks of its popular allies, staged a huge rally and march in Montreal on May 22. The march supported the students’ fight for free, quality public education and rejected government repression.

Estimates by some mainstream news outlets and by...

The protesters in Chicago on May 20, marching against NATO, remind us that the US government is not representative of the US people. It's encouraging to see so many willing to take action and stand up against this unjust, disastrous war.

Recently, US President Barack Obama travelled to...

US President Barack Obama announced on May 21 after the Chicago NATO leaders’ summit that the US, NATO and their allies had agreed to end their war of occupation in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

However, the announced “withdrawal” will leave US military bases in the country and some...

Three leaders of the People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat — PKR), a major parliamentary opposition party in Malaysia, were arrested on May 22 under provisions of a controversial new Peaceful Assembly Act.

The three were PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, PKR deputy president...

Twenty years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, the environmental crisis continues to worsen.

The unsustainable development model that dominates the world has led to a grave loss of biodiversity, melting of polar...

Greece's Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) sent a message of solidarity to the thousands of people who protested against the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20. SYRIZA came second in Greece's May 6 poll on an anti-austerity platform. It is polling first, with a vote as high as 30%, for the...

In Occupy-style, they are pop-up and pop-out protesters on Montreal's streets.

A jester threw juggling clubs high in the air, a masked face beamed — the sweat of the warm day glistening over her make-up — and the nose of a clown tilting up to figures on stilts, occasionally twisting...

Anti-war soldiers headed a protest against the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20. Thousands poured through the streets in the largest anti-war demonstration seen in the United States for some time.

The turnout was inspired by the Occupy movement that broke out last year, which helped...

Analysis

The Socialist Alliance Queensland state conference was held at the Brisbane Activist Centre on May 19, attended by more than 40 members and supporters. Themed "Towards a Socialist Australia", the conference discussed rebuilding the socialist movement in Australia and in Queensland, in the...

Anyone who knows me will tell you straight up: I wholeheartedly believe in the United States' mission to spread democracy throughout the world.

So when the Arab Spring broke out last year, how the hearts of the rulers of the land of the free must have soared at the sight of long...

A large public forum was held in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley on May 16 to officially launch a community cooperative that local people hope will become an example for the rest of the country.

The launch came almost a year since Heinz announced it would shut down its tomato processing plant...

Planning has started for the Resistance National Conference, to be held this year in Adelaide, South Australia, over July 20-22 at the University of Adelaide.

With the Arab Spring in the Middle East, anti-austerity protests across Europe and the Occupy movement in the US, last year was a...

Union activist Chris White has worked for several unions and for 17 years was assistant secretary, and then secretary, of the United Trades and Labor Council of South Australia. The article below is based on a speech he gave at a fringe event during the recent Australian Council...

A May 3 briefing to South Australia’s parliament by Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) has drawn attention to important research on the alarming health effects of coal burning on the Port Augusta community, reaffirming the case for a speedy transition to solar thermal power for the...

Across NSW, dozens of local groups have organised to campaign against coal seam gas (CSG) mining. After years of using official channels of protest, they have been frustrated by the lack of response from the government and feel that they have no choice but to change tactics.

In the...

Election pundit Peter "Mumble" Brent has accurately summed up Paul Howes as “not so much a person as an ever-evolving script”. He became chief of the right-wing run Australian Workers Union five years ago but clearly has much higher political ambitions.

Howes displays a knack (and...

The Stop the War Coalition Sydney released the statement below on May 24.

* * *

The NATO announcement on May 21 that it will “withdraw” troops from Afghanistan in 2013 is an admission of defeat.

But there are no victors in this war. The country is no closer to peace and...

Gina Rinehart — mining tycoon and Australia’s richest person — is now also the world’s richest woman. Last year, her wealth grew by $18.87 billion to $29.17 billion. Her wealth grew $52 million a day or $1 million every 30 minutes.

It means that for every second that passed in 2011,...

The open letter below was developed in consultation with feminist activists and is supported by the Coalition for a Feminist Agenda and Women Everywhere Advocating Violence Elimination. To add your name or organisation to the statement visit http://weaveinc.org.au/

* * *

To our...

More than 1000 Sydneysiders hit the streets on May 12 demanding equal marriage rights, but prominent left-wing journalist John Pilger criticised the march in his recent article “Bradley Manning, not gay marriage, is the issue”.

He said: “A protest parade in support of gay marriage filled...

Aboriginal leader Sam Watson discusses the brutal dawn eviction by 300 police of the peaceful embassy in Brisbane; the importance of the Tent Embassy movement; the need for unity to fight the LNP government which he compares to the infamous government of Joh Bjelke Petersen; and where to for the...

Culture

Rich Land, Wasteland
Sharyn Munro
Exisle Publishing & Pan Macmillan
453 pages, pb, $29.99

When a coalmine starts up near a township, a village or a farm it is to be expected that lives will change.

Indeed change is often promised...

Megrahi: You are My Jury ― The Lockerbie Evidence
John Ashton
Birlinn 2012
£14.99, 497 pages

Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town Lockerbie in December 1988 and is usually described...

Legendary masters of hip-hop Public Enemy made their seventh visit to Australia to play to 800 fans at St Kilda’s Esplanade Hotel on May 17, after consecutive shows in Brisbane and Sydney.

Original members Chuck D and Flavor Flav belted out their most popular hits including “Don’t...