Issue 926

Australia

The Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition released the statement below on June 20.

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As Julian Assange seeks political asylum in Ecuador, concerned Australian citizens will protest their government’s treatment of the WikiLeaks founder in Sydney on Thursday, June 21.

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Members of Amnesty International Australia’s Tasmania City Group dressed as bananas and collected signatures on a global petition to help launch Amnesty’s Arms Trade Treaty campaign on June 16 at the Salamanca markets in Hobart.

There is no international standard to regulate the global...

Over 2000 people marched in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide to protest twenty years of mandatory detention and to mark World Refugee Day on the weekend of June 16-17.

View the Green Left TV report above. Read Green Left Weekly's report with pictures about the World...

The Queensland Council of Unions released the statement below on June 19.

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The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) has strongly condemned today’s announcement that Premier Campbell Newman may cut up to 20,000 jobs from the public service.

QCU President John Battams...

Protesters tore through a giant run-through banner that read "free the refugees" as part of World Refugee Day rally in Melbourne. Below the slogan, symbolic bars were broken representing the breaking of the fences imprisoning refugees.

More than 2000 protesters took to the streets in...

The controversial introduction of income management to Playford in northern Adelaide was the subject of a thought-provoking and at times emotional community meeting hosted by Socialist Alliance on June 13.

A sizeable turnout of locals, including individuals from Anglicare, Uniting Care...

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said on June 12 that the government would abolish state-sanctioned civil ceremonies for same-sex couples, but still allow them to formally register their partnership.

Same-sex civil unions were introduced in February by the former Labor government....

Forest conservation campaigners in the Yarra Valley, east of Melbourne, released the statement below on June 15.

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The blockade to halt logging in the mountain ash forests of Mount St Leonard continues with protesters planning to lock themselves to log harvesting machinery to...

Twenty-seven -year-old Kwementyaye Briscoe died on January 5 while in police custody in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Last week, the coronial inquest into his death began.

A man who was taken into custody with Briscoe told the inquest he watched police drag him through the watch-...

Several hundred workers from the Queensland Department of Communities rallied in Queens Park on June 13 to oppose job cuts in the sector. The unionists condemned the state Liberal-National government's plan to sack about 1300 temporary contract workers employed in the communities area.

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O’Farrell plans to axe 10,000 jobs

The June 12 Coalition NSW government budget outlined plans to cut 10,000 public sector jobs, on top of 5000 sackings already announced, and slash more than $1 billion from government programs. But the government refused to say where to...

The Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition released the statement below on June 15.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his final British appeal against extradition and will be sent by force to Sweden within a matter of days. Australians are taking to the streets to...

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) released the statement below on June 15.

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The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has condemned today’s announcement by the ANU Vice-Chancellor Ian Young to savagely cut the School of Music.

ACT Division Secretary,...

Aboriginal resistance leaders Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheener where executed in Melbourne in 1842. They where sentenced to death for their resistance against the colonial settlers’ drive to take over their land. However, today they are not remembered as heroes. Rather, they are hardly...

The Gurindji people of Daguragu and Kalkarinji in the Northern Territory released the statement below on June 11.

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The Gurindji people at Daguragu and Kalkaringi are today calling on the government to get rid of the “Stronger Futures” laws.

This intervention must be...

About 7000 union and community activists braved heavy rain in Sydney to protest against the NSW government's plans to undermine workers' compensation and entitlements on June 13. They chanted “shame, Barry, shame” and “injured workers in his sights, taking away our compo rights”.

In...

Abbott concerned for BHP Billiton’s profits

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard to promise to never apply its new mining tax to gold, copper and uranium. The June 13 International Business Times said Abbott sought the assurance “...

Thousands of workers braved torrential rain to tell Barry O'Farrell and the NSW Government exactly what they think of the proposed attacks on workers compensation. "Dog", "liar", "rotten", "grub", "supporter of the rich", "shameful", "cowardly" were some of the messages to Barry and his...

The Coalition against Israeli Apartheid and Jews Against the Occupation hosted the Melbourne launch of Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists on June 9.

Two Jewish activists and a Palestinian spoke out against Zionism at the launch. All speakers...

Heavy rain did not deter workers across NSW from turning out in their thousands today to protest against the Barry O’Farrell Liberal-National government’s attack on hard-won workers' compensation rights and entitlements. There were firefighters, nurses, construction workers, factory and office...

The June 11 Sydney Morning Herald reported that people with disabilities in Australia are paying up to five times more for essential equipment than their overseas counterparts.

The article said wheelchairs, walking aids and other vital products are available overseas often for...

A vigorous exchange of views took place at the Socialist Alliance and Resistance-sponsored forum, “Women’s Rights today” at the Perth Activist Centre on May 30.

The audience heard from a panel of Bec Copestake, who spoke about the Western Australian government’s prostitution bill, Kamala...

Up to 30,000 Victorian school teachers took strike action on June 7 in what the Australian Education Union (AEU) said was the largest teachers’ strike in the state’s history. More than 11,000 — many wearing the AEU signature red colours — marched through the streets of Melbourne to rally at...

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance released the statement below on June 12.

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The Media Alliance condemns today’s decision by Fairfax Regional Media to proceed with the offshoring of production jobs at its regional community newspapers including the Newcastle...

World

When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sought asylum on June 19, the question many supporters asked was: “Why the Ecuadorian embassy?”

The simple answer is because the Ecuadorian government has been one of the strongest supporters of WikiLeaks, which reflects its strong stance in defence...

Austin Mackell, an Australian journalist based in Cairo who has reported on the Egyptian revolution, speaks about his arrest by the regime, and Egyptian politics around the elections. He spoke just prior to the run-off election, in which the Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory but the military...

From Democracy Now!

"His choices were terrible," Michael Ratner, a member of Julian Assange's legal team, told Democracy Now! on June 20. "The extradition to Sweden [was] really not about the allegations in Sweden [of sexual assault]. I think if the United States tomorrow said...

Global Friends of WikiLeaks is an independent collective of WikiLeaks supporters. It is not affiliated with WikiLeaks. The letter below was originally posted here on June 20. You can sign an online petition to the government of Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa in support of Julian Assange's...

Afrodity Giannakis, Green Left correspondent in Greece and an activist in SYRIZA, gives her first impressions of the result of the June 17 election where the conservative New Democracy beat the left coalition SYRIZA to the highers vote by just 3% of votes. Younger voters voted...

“If the Greeks had done the right thing, they wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in today.” The argument that the Greek people brought austerity packages down on their own necks keeps getting louder.

Green daily I Kathimerini tied this to rising support for the anti-austerity...

“Nearly three years into their country's worst crisis in modern times, life goes on as normal for Greece's super-rich,” The Guardian said on June 13.

The article said that, “since the outbreak of Greece's runaway debt crisis, its moneyed class has been notable more by its...

In the June 17 elections, anti-austerity Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) came a close second with 26.9% of the vote. The right-wing New Democracy came first with more than 29%, amid huge blackmail and threats from major governments and financial institutions, and will now attempt to form...

Egypt's second-round presidential elections between ex-regime figure Ahmed Shafiq and Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi will go ahead after the High Constitutional Court (HCC) ruled on June 14 that Shafiq's candidacy was constitutional.

The ruling declared that the Political...

The opening salvo in a promised, summer of protest by Quebec’s student movement was delivered at the annual, Montreal Grand Prix auto race and surrounding festivities from June 7 to 10. Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of students and their allies used the high-profile event to press demands for a...

Mariano Rajoy, the Popular Party Spanish prime minister of Spain, appeared at a special press conference on June 9 to give the nation the good news—Spain had won the lottery! A €100 billion prize in the European Bank Rescue Lotto!

Make no mistake, señoras y señores, this was not a “...

On the eve of the June 17, 2012 elections in Greece, Green Left correspondent Afrodity Giannakis reports from Thessalonika, on the hopes and fears of a people being forced to bear the burden for a global capitalist economic crisis built on the greed, speculation and corruption...

Criticism of Latin America’s radical governments has become common currency among much of the international left. While none have been exempt, Ecuador’s government of President Rafael Correa has been a key target.

But a problem with much of the criticism directed against Correa is that...

West Papua has been rocked by a wave of shootings and repression in recent weeks that has left many parts of the occupied nation in a state of fear.

Indonesian security forces went on a rampage in the highlands town of Wamena, killing one person, injuring many others and destroying...

Striking coal miners blocked roads in northern Spain with burning tires and fired missiles at riot police on June 12 after officers tried to disperse their protest with tear gas and baton charges.

They were among the 8000 miners who kicked off a four-day strike on May 23 against the...

The Irish government successfully bullied a majority of those who turned out for the May 31 referendum into voting “yes” to changing the constitution to allow the government to ratify the European Union's pro-austerity Fiscal Treaty.

But it would be a mistake to read it as a ringing...

In a much-watched election on June 5, Republican Scott Walker handily defeated Democrat Tom Barrett in a recall election for governor of Wisconsin.

Walker is on the right wing of the Republican Party and Barrett on the right wing of the Democrats. Walker was first elected in late 2010...

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, UEFA President Michel Platini, renowned British film director Ken Loach and US intellectual Noam Chomsky are among international figures who have joined calls for Israel to release Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak.

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In the June 17 elections, anti-austerity Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) came a close second with 26.9% of the vote. The right-wing New Democracy came first with more than 29%, amid huge blackmail and threats from major governments and financial institutions, and will now attempt to form...

Anti-war and progressive groups in the Philippines have asked for Australian support against a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between Australia and the Philippines currently before the Philippines Senate for ratification.

On June 6, there were two anti-war protests against the...

This article and petition was prepared by a group of young Cambodian women activists.

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Evictions and forcible confiscations of land ranks as one of Cambodia's most pervasive human rights problems, and in fact is growing worse. Such actions, coupled with total impunity and a...

Analysis

The NSW Teachers Federation released the statement below on June 18.

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Teachers and principals are stepping up pressure for action on the recommendations of the Gonski Review with a new national campaign kicking off today.

The I give a Gonski campaign will start with...

Next week, Green Left Weekly will launch its newest project: an internet-based current affairs program inspired by shows like Democracy Now and Julian Assange’s The World Tomorrow.

The first Green Left Report will feature interviews with WikiLeaks...

Coal and gas developments proposed in Queensland are putting Australia's Great Barrier Reef at risk, says a report by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The report, released on June 1, said there were “a number of developments that, were they to...

Green Left Weekly’s Ben Peterson spoke to Wellington-based student activist Joel Cosgrove about socialist organising in New Zealand. Cosgrove is a member of the Workers Party and the Mana Party. He will speak about radical politics in New Zealand at...

Tony Abbott is right: we can't allow a “Green veto” to hold back a huge expansion in the Queensland coal export industry.

For Christ’s sake, let's just destroy the Great Barrier Reef already. The name gives it away. The reef is a great big goddamn barrier to the 10,000 coal and gas...

Journalists and editorial staff at Fairfax media walked off the job for 36 hours on May 30 in response to an outsourcing scheme announced by management. Workers from the Sydney Morning Herald, the Melbourne Age, Newcastle Herald, Illawarra Mercury, Sun Herald...

Once again we have seen the spectacle of the Jewish leadership banning dissenting Jews from their annual festival of ideas, Limmud Oz.

Organisers of this year’s conference held last weekend in Melbourne told the co-ordinators of a workshop on a new book, Beyond Tribal Loyalties...

Hundreds of people rallied outside the Western Australia parliament on June 13 to protest the planned redevelopment of Perth’s foreshore. The protest was organised by the City Gatekeepers. A speech given at the rally by campaigner Ken Eastwood appears below.

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In late May, Kangan TAFE Institute announced that due to budget cuts the Diploma of Auslan was no longer viable and would close in December 2012.

The Diploma of Auslan (Australian Sign Language ) is a two-year, full time course and the only one available in Victoria. On completion of...

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on June 13.

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Since the uprising against the government of Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011 the death toll in Syria is now estimated to have exceeded 10,000. As the violence escalates, Western government leaders are...

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on June 12.

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The Socialist Alliance stands in solidarity with the Yolngu Nations Assembly in its unequivocal rejection of federal Labor’s Stronger Futures bill.

This proposed law continues the trauma of invasion,...

Tracker, June 6: You’ll forgive Aboriginal people for not jumping over the moon today at the Transit of Venus. One of the last times the "Evening Star" got between the Earth and Sun, it was used as the pretext for invasion.

Ever a suspicious lot, the British had long wanted to...

Carlo Sands comes out strongly in favour of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, lauding everyone from Tom Jones to Julia Gillard, even putting up his own hand to make a similar sacrifice.

Film by Green Left TV, subscribe to http://www.youtube.com/user/GreenLeftTV from more progressive...

On June 7, Australian Education Union (AEU) members — primary and secondary teachers in Victorian government schools — held their first stop-work meeting since 2008. About 25,000 teachers took part in Melbourne and marched to the steps of Victoria’s parliament house.

In 2008, teachers...

Culture

On June 16, 2012, an all-female line-up of artists put on a Sydney gig to raise funds for women prisoners after funding for the charity Sisters Inside was cut by the Liberal state government in Queensland. Green Left TV spoke to event organiser Shannon Hall and Aboriginal rappers Naomi Wenitong...

BORDERS

Rivers don’t interrupt their flow
at national borders.
Mountain ranges don’t answer to their names
in different languages.
The air is not confined within the limits
of national air space.
The waves don’t stay still
to...

News that a popular front-man is about to become a front-woman might not stir such intense buzz if we lived in a world that was truly sexually liberated.

Hell, it might not even be “news,” just another instance of an individual becoming more like the person they envision themselves to be...

Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left
Edited by Antony Loewenstein & Jeff Sparrow
Melbourne University Press, 2012
RRP $32.99

In the past few years, the world economy has fallen into its deepest crisis for eight decades with no end in...