Issue 932

Australia

Aboriginalpassportceremony.org released the statement below on August 6.

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A “Welcome to Aboriginal Land Passport Ceremony” will take place on September 15 at the Redfern Community Centre on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people.

More than 200 people, including...

The campaign for marriage equality in Australia has been waged for almost a decade. That federal parliament, despite repeated polls showing support for equal marriage rights regardless of sexuality, has failed to legislate for marriage equality has caused widespread anger.

A sign of the...

Student activists at La Trobe University have begun a campaign against a proposal to slash funding to the Humanities and Social Sciences faculty.

About 150 students and staff protested at the university’s Bundoora campus in Melbourne’s northern suburbs on July 31. Students marched to...

The University of Sydney Student Representative Council (SRC) has condemned university management’s plans to “dismantle” the Koori Centre, which has supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the university since 1989.

The Koori Centre also coordinates the teaching of...

Workers on Bovis Lend Lease building sites across the country have won site allowances and improved pay and conditions. Union and community action forced the company to complete negotiations on a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) with unions on July 31.

Strikes and protest action...

This winter, I experienced the hospitality of Jarrod McKenna, Teresa Lee and their son Tyson. They’re a family of peace activists, who ruggedly live out communal economics and radical permaculture in Peace Tree Community in Perth. They opened their home to me so that I could take a week out to...

Queensland’s Liberal National Party government axed 2000 state transport jobs and more than 300 QBuild jobs on July 31, in another day of mass sackings in the state.

Premier Campbell Newman boasted that 4400 full-time positions have been cut out of the 6000 jobs lost so far. Up to 20,000...

On July 25, Tamil refugee Dayan Anthony (formerly known as "Mr X" in Australia in an attempt to protect his identity from Sri Lankan authorities), was deported from Melbourne. Australian authorities handed him over to the Sri Lankan intelligence forces - who had held Mr Anthony in custody for...

More than 500 people attended a public meeting at the Bulli Masonic Hall in the northern suburbs of Wollongong on July 29 to save the Bulli Hospital Emergency Department (ED). A PA had to be set up outside the packed hall so hundreds of people gathered outside could listen in.

Residents...

More than 100 students, teachers and union activists heard speakers slam private-sector training at a August 2 protest against TAFE cuts at RMIT’s city campus.

Steve Roach from the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union’s Health and Safety Unit said he was concerned that the decline...

Students, teachers and union activists protested against the Victorian governments' cuts to TAFE at Melbourne's RMIT campus on August 2. The rally was jointly organised by the National Tertiary Education Union Victorian Division and the Australian Education Union (AEU). Film by Squirrel Main,...

Quit Coal released the statement below on July 27.

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It can be easy to despair when you are campaigning so hard on an issue for so long. Sometimes you can feel like the government just isn’t listening to you and that all your efforts are a bit pointless … but not today....

This month, the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) will mark 100 weeks of protest against the sale of cosmetics containing minerals extracted from the Dead Sea — in Palestinian territory under Israeli military occupation — by Seacret.

Seacret says on its website: “We...



Ray Jackson, President of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, speaks about on deaths in custody, shackling and tasers. Filmed by Peter Boyle for Green Left TV at a protest in Sydney on July 27 to mark the death in custody of Peter Clarke in the Northern Territory.

The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on July 31.

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The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) has called for an overhaul of the Department of Immigration’s character test procedures for refugees following the...

World

"The situation is pretty grim," Reihana Mohideen told Green Left Weekly on August 8 from the frontline of devastating floods that have submerged half of Manila over the last few days. "It's still raining hard and hard to get around."

"This is another painful reminder of the...

Premakumar Gunaratnam, an ethnic Tamil from Sri Lanka, who is an Australian citizen, returned to his home country in September 2011 to help organise the launch of a new left party, the Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP), a major breakaway from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP, People’s...

When Tamil asylum seeker Dayan Anthony was deported back to Sri Lanka by the Australian government last month, his immediate arrest and interrogation did little to allay fears he would not face harassment from authorities.

His subsequent government-arranged press conference appeared to...

In a speech marking the one month anniversary of the parliamentary coup that overthrow left-leaning Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, the ousted leader said on July 22 that a motivating interest for the coup-plotters was a sought-after deal between Paraguay and Montreal-based mining company,...

Thousands of peasant workers took to the streets of Caracas on July 26 to hand over a list of programmatic suggestions to the government and show their support for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

More than 2000 peasant activists from across 18 of Venezuela’s states took part in the...

Bolivian President Evo Morales applauded on July 10 the agreement struck with indigenous peoples from the mining town of Mallku Khota, in the north of Potosi, to nationalise a Canadian-owned mining company.

Morales said the agreement ensures the state can continue recuperating natural...

Arriving in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, the first thing you notice is the extensive swathes of mountainside covered with poorly built, crowded, ad-hoc homes ― known locally as the barrios.

Caracas’s shanty-town barrios were built in response to the influx of migrants from the...

Hundreds of armour-clad thugs from a private strikebreaking firm raided the site of a peaceful protest against a management-imposed lockout at the SJM car parts factory in Ansan, South Korea, on July 27.

Thirty four workers were injured and many were taken to hospital for treatment of...

US Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney generated a backlash with his claims in Jerusalem that the vast (20:1) disparity in income between Israelis and Palestinians can be explained by a superior Jewish Israeli culture and “the hand of providence” ― rather than by the systematic...

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne's desperate efforts to put an Olympic shine on Britain's economy are failing to get off the starting blocks.

As they postured on the sidelines, the world saw the reality of an economy teetering on the brink of an...

The July 20 movie theatre massacre in Aurora, Colorado ― in which 12 people were killed and 58 wounded ― is reckoned by some sources to be the 36th mass shooting to have occurred in the US in the past three decades.

On top of these crazed rampages, the annual attrition of gun-related...

Security forces killed 12 anti-government protesters — mostly teenagers — and injured more than 80 on July 31 in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur.

The protests, which began the previous day, were launched by hundreds of primary and secondary school students in opposition to price rises...

On July evenings, most people in Toronto are just trying to find ways to escape the heat and humidity. On July 30, more 150 people filled the room for a meeting on Contested Futures: Tar Sands and Environmental Justice.

Many had to sit on tables or stand to hear from two indigenous...

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Montreal on August 1. The protests came the day after the call for an election in the Quebec province by the Liberal Party government of Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

Quebec has been rocked this year by a large student strike against a...

Police shot and killed a 25-year-old Latino man, Manuel Diaz, in Anaheim, California, in his front yard on July 21 Diaz was not armed.

Within hours of the murder, hundreds of angry residents took to the streets in protest. The cops attacked the demonstrators with clubs, pepper spray and...

Olympic organisers and their corporate sponsor Visa were still keeping mum on August 1 after yet another ironic twist to their “cashless Olympics”.

Hungry spectators at Wembley to see Team GB women's victory over Brazil took to social networks on the night of July 31 to complain of a...

British Olympics chiefs are reported by the media to be “furious” after Welsh and Scottish players with the “Team Great Britain” soccer squads did not sing “God Save the Queen” in official ceremonies before kick-off.

Welsh players Craig Bellamy, Joe Allen, Neil Taylor and team captain...

In a victory for free speech, the Counter Olympics Network held a demonstration of 500 people on July 28 against the corporate takeover and militarisation of the Olympic Games.

Under pressure from local campaigners, Tower Hamlets Council was forced to lift its ban on the arranged...

Analysis

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal supporters sent Olympic boxer Damien Hooper a message of support and solidarity for his action in wearing an Aboriginal flag T-shirt at the Olympics.

While Hooper was sanctioned by the International Olympics Committee, there was a huge outpouring of support...

The Olympics are a sporting and social phenomenon without parallel. The Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics was watched by close to 1 billion people.

Viewers for individual events can be remarkable. The website Sporting Intelligence said 184 million people watched a live women’s...

In the space of a decade, Australia’s mining sector has come to dominate the country’s economic life. In June, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens said mining investment is tipped to “be about as large as business investment in the rest of the private economy combined” by mid 2014.

The...

Deported Tamil Dayan Anthony's recanted claims of torture at a Sri Lankan press conference, the day after his July 25 deportation, did not assuage the fears of Australian refugee advocates that Tamils face severe danger if returned.

As Tamils continue to flee state repression in Sri...

Despite some complications, oil giant Shell is confident it will get to work drilling for oil in the Arctic this year.

This just goes to show how things usually have a way of working out. Here we were worrying peak oil was just about upon us. But thanks to global warming caused by...

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) could have been a flagship policy that restored dignity to people with disabilities. Instead, ALP timidity and Coalition intransigence have left Australia with a woefully inadequate policy.

At the July 26 Commonwealth heads of government...

University of California professor Richard Muller publicly reversed his climate scepticism when he released the results of a climate study on July 29.

The report showed that climate change was occurring and caused by burning fossil fuels. His organisation, Berkeley Earth Surface...

A whopping 22 million passengers went through Sydney Domestic Airport last year – close to the total population of Australia.

Almost 8 million of those were heading to Victoria, and close to 4.5 million to Brisbane. Just over 2 million were off to the Gold Coast, and just under that...

Ray Jackson, president of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, spoke to Green Left TV’s Peter Boyle at a protest against deaths in custody in Sydney on July 27. He spoke about Tasers, shackling and the death of Aboriginal man Mr Clarke in Alice Springs....

As semester two begins at the University of Sydney, it’s worth reflecting on what student activists have learned so far in our campaigns this year.

We've learned that our university is being managed in line with the profits-first agenda of the 1% that run the government and the economy....

If the official government line is to be believed, Australia is only a minor player when it comes to our greenhouse gas emissions.

In this view, Australia is powerless to bring about international action to cut emissions. Indeed, any such efforts are only likely to amount to economic...

Culture

Cocaine, Death Squads & the War on Terror: US Imperialism & Class Struggle in Colombia
By Oliver Villar & Drew Cottle
Monthly Review Press,
New York, 2011

Dedicated to “the workers and peasants of Colombia”, Cocaine, Death...

The left lost United States' writer Alexander Cockburn, one of its most powerful essayists and diarists, on July 21. He was an ironist who, unlike Christopher Hitchens, did not tend to confuse irony with supercilious chauvinism and leaden sarcasm (see The Long Short War for examples of...

Why Are We The Good Guys?
David Cromwell
Zero Books
Out September 28, 2012
www.zero-books.net

As a child, David Cromwell got an invaluable insight into the way the corporate media skews the news.

Scattered around his family's Scottish home...

When you are in a hole, you stop digging. Even if this were not a cliche by now, it would still be common sense.

Does this mean, then, that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church lack basic reasoning skills? The decision to extend the stay in...

We kid you not

United States: Cops taser 12-year-old

“A police officer tased a 12-year-old girl inside a Victoria's Secret [on] Wednesday afternoon at South County Center [in St Louis County, Missouri].

“Police say the officer came into the Victoria's Secret looking for the...