Issue 934

Australia

An August 16 protest in Melbourne against TAFE cuts carried out by the Ted Baillieu Victorian state government.

The Fullerton Cove Residents Action Group released the statement below on August 20.

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Residents of Fullerton Cove, on the outskirts of Newcastle, have set up a blockade this morning to prevent Dart Energy from drilling two coal seam gas pilot production wells, which are...

Socialist Alliance has announced its preferences for the Wali (North) ward of Marrickville Council in the local government elections on September 8.

Community activists Pip Hinman, Josie Evans and Jill Hickson will contest the election with the platform of “Power to the people!” and “...




An emergency protest took place on August 17 outside the British Consulate in Sydney to support WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The rally was called with a day's notice after the UK government threatened to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London to arrest Assange, whose...

Department cuts cost baby's life

A baby who was bashed to death near Wollongong had been reported to the Department of Family and Community Services twice in the weeks leading up to his death.

Community services staff walked off the job on August 9, in protest at...

Three open cut coalmines have been proposed over the Leard State Forest and adjoining farmland near Boggabri in NSW. Two mines currently operate in the forest, but their proposed expansion and a brand new mine would clear 50% of the forest.

The National Parks Association of NSW says the...

Two new mines are being assessed within the Tarkine rainforest in north-west Tasmania. The Tarkine is well known for the public battles to save it from logging, and was given emergency National Heritage listing in 2009.

But that status lapsed in December 2010, and with the global price...

The Broome Community No Gas coalition released the statement below on August 17.

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The Broome Community has vowed to stop Woodside's works as they are illegal, and will damage the Broome town water supply, after a convoy of Woodside vehicles entered the compound near James...


On August 16, around 4000 people rallied in Melbourne to Save TAFE in Victoria. Staff, students and supporters mobilised from around Melbourne as well as from regional centres such as Ballarat and Geelong.

Since the Baillieu government cut $300 million from the TAFE...

On August 16, around 4000 people rallied in Melbourne to Save TAFE in Victoria. Staff, students and supporters mobilised from around Melbourne as well as from regional centres such as Ballarat and Geelong.

Since the Baillieu government cut $300 million from the TAFE sector, hundreds of...

Two Israeli peace activists, Sahar Vardi and Micha Kurz, described their political awakening at a public forum at the Uniting Church, Balmain, on August 15. Vardi and Kurz explained their gradual realisation of the truth about Israel's oppression of the Palestinians and their determination to...

Up to 200 Bagot community residents and supporters rallied outside Country-Liberal Party MLA Dave Tollner’s office on August 16, angry over his plans to “normalise” their home.

Bagot was a reserve established in 1938 and included a residential facility for Stolen Generations children....

The Sydney Peace Foundation released the statement below on August 17.

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The Sydney Peace Foundation thanks the government of Ecuador for giving asylum to Julian Assange.

Professor Stuart Rees, chair of the Foundation says: “Ecuador understands the nature of justice,...

The Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition released the statement below on August 16.

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Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, Ricordo Patino, has confirmed that UK police have threatened to invade the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and arrest Julian Assange. This would be an...

Several forest conservation groups released the joint statement below on August 16.

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Conservation groups active in the markets and on the ground in Tasmania are concerned that forest peace talks have so far failed to agree on the size and location of new reserves to protect...

“The Palestinian people will never surrender. We will win in the end,” Shamikh Badra, youth and students coordinator for the Palestinian People's Party in the Gaza Strip, told a public forum in the Resistance Centre on August 14. The forum was sponsored by Socialist Alliance and Resistance....

Anglesea Air Action, a group of residents opposed to the Victorian government’s plan to extend the lease for Alcoa’s Anglesea coalmine for 50 years, released the statement below on August 15.

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Anglesea Air Action criticise the state government’s renewal and extension of the...




Activists from Refugee Action Collective rallied in Melbourne on August 15 against the Gillard government using
recommendations from its "expert panel" to introduce new legislation to parliament this week to immediately reopen
offshore processing centres on the...




A snap action in Sydney against new bi-partisan plan to return to 'offshore processing' of refugees to Australia in detention camps in Nauru and PNG. This action outside the immigration department offices in Lee St, Sydney was one of several held around Australia on very short...

Up to 200 people crowded into the Mori Gallery on August 8 to attend the official opening of the Beautiful Art for Innocent Children exhibition.

The exhibition was sponsored by Agent Orange Justice to aid “the innocent children being born now in Vietnam with horrific birth defects as a...

Carolus Wimmer, a longstanding member of the Latin American Parliament and International Relations Secretary of the Communist Party of Venezuela, spoke at a Sydney forum on Latin America in revolt on August 11, sponsored by the Communist Party of Australia.

During his Australian tour, he...

World

Author and filmmaker John Pilger sent the speech below to be read out at an August 19 protest outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London to defend Julian Assange.

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I have known Julian since he came to London and gave the world vital information about Afghanistan and Iraq,...

"Why is it that an Australian, facing prosecution from a European country, decides to appeal for asylum to a South American republic?" Tariq Ali posed and eloquently answered this important question when he spoke outside the Embassy of Ecuador in London on August 19, 2012, before Wikileaks...

Julian Assange's speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London on August 19. Also features the speeches by a range of WikiLeaks supporters, including renowned writer and veteran activist Tariq Ali who chaired the rally outside the embassy before Assange spoke.

In Ali's...

The aricle below is an August 18 editorial in progressive South African magazine Amandla.

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No event since the end of Apartheid sums up the shallowness of the transformation in this country like the Marikana massacre.

What occurred will be debated for years....

In Marikana, South Africa, at least 35 striking miners were shot dead by police and another 78 wounded on August 16. The incident, which was caught on tape, took place as police were trying to clear striking miners from a hilltop outside of the Lonmin mine.

In response to authorities...

The Greek right-wing New Democracy(ND) party won the June 17 elections by a narrow margin, getting 29.7% of the vote. Left-wing Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) came second with 26.9% on a clear platform of opposing the savage austerity measures imposed on Greece.

ND’s dubious...

Papua New Guinea's new cabinet was named on August 10 by re-elected Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. It marked the end of the election period that ended the country's long-running political crisis.

The election period began in June and was extended in some areas due to violence, delays,...

The article below was abridged from Correo Del Orinoco International.

See also
Venezuela: Chavez set for win as campaign pushes socialist transformation

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Internationally-acclaimed author, activist, and intellectual Tariq Ali highlighted...

After an armed attack killed 16 Egyptian guards on the border with Israel in the Sinai Peninsula, President Mohammed Morsi sacked defence minister and head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) Mohammed Tantawi, and his second in command, Sami Anan.

The move is part of an ongoing...

“In this time of crisis, when they are expropriating the people, we want to expropriate the expropriators, namely, the landowners, banks and big retailers.”

With these words Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, leader of the Andalusian Union of Workers (SAT), United Left (IU) member of...

The highland agricultural community of Santa Rosa de Cajacuy, in Peru’s central Ancash department, has been severely affected by a toxic spill from the BHP Billiton and Xstrata-operated Antamina mine.

Antamina is one of the world’s largest sources of copper and zinc. It relies on a 300...

A Russian judge sentenced three members of Pussy Riot to two years each in prison on hooliganism charges on August 17.

The judge said the three band members, who have already been detained for five months, committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred and offending religious believers...

“It would be easier for 100 camels to pass through the eye of a needle than for [the capitalist class] to win the election”, said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaking at the Caracas Municipal Theatre on August 15.

It is just six weeks until Venezuela’s October 7 presidential...

Venezuela and the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) have backed Ecuador against “threats” from Britain, after Ecuador granted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange diplomatic asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on August 16.

ALBA is an anti-imperialist bloc of eight nations...

The text below is translated from the official Spanish transcript of the press statement issued by Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on August 16, explaining Ecuador’s decision to grant asylum to Julian Assange.

Supporters of WikiLeaks are planning...

The Front Line Socialist Party of Sri Lanka held a protest to defend equality in education with an August 15 demonstration in front of the Fort Railway station in Colombo in support of a mass campaign student and teacher organisations, Premakumar Gunaratnam told Green Left Weekly....

WikiLeaks released the statement below on August 16.

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In a communication this morning to the government of Ecuador, the UK threatened to forcefully enter the Ecuadorian embassy in London and arrest Julian Assange.

The UK claims the power to do so under the Diplomatic...

As the Philippine government dithered and made excuses for its grossly inadequate response to the catastrophic floods — which inundated 80% of the country's capital, Manila — Sonny Melencio was leading a grassroots relief effort that brought the first food supplies in days to some of the poorest...

Analysis

In a "stunning victory for civil liberties", the Barnett government has announced that they will introduce legislation to enable police officers to enter private houses without a search warrant and without the permission of the property owner.

The Evening News investigates the...

Australian historian Humphrey McQueen gave the speech below at an August 17 pro-WikiLeaks protest outside the British High Commission, Canberra.

Green Left notes that, while most of McQueen's speech is an entirely justifiable defence of Assange and WikiLeaks,...

The Union of South American States (UNASUR) threw its support behind Ecuador in its diplomatic dispute with Britain over Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, after a meeting of UNASUR foreign ministers yesterday in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

UNASUR unites 12 South American nations (Argentina,...

Fifteen years of Labor in NSW set in motion changes that severely and negatively affected the well-being of our community. Unfortunately these regressive policies are being pursued even more aggressively by the Barry O’Farrell Coalition government.

Labor gave the Coalition the framework...

Greens candidate for Heffron in the August 25 NSW by-election Mehreen Faruqi gave the speech below at a refugee rights rally in Sydney on August 15.

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Seeking asylum is a legal and a human right. But our current government and the Coalition are bent upon...

Former diplomat Tony Kevin gives a very different view to the political and media commentary about 'evil people smugglers'. He says the main danger to the lives of refugees is not those who assist desperate people fleeing war and persecution, but government border protection policies that...

Venezuelan revolutionary Carolus Wimmer speaking in Perth on August 16 as part of a national tour organised by the Communist Party of Australia.


Photos by Alex Bainbridge

The government of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa gave Julia Gillard's Australian government a lesson in dignity on August 16 when, facing British threats to raid its London embassy, it granted asylum to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

Ironically, Ecuador's decision to...

The August 25 Northern Territory elections have degenerated in to a “law and order” slugfest between the Labor Party and the Country Liberals, but there are still some progressive candidates running who may do well.

Violence has become a central part of the political debate, with 6% of...

In the lead up to the September 8 council elections across NSW, candidates in the City of Sydney have been finalised and several candidates forums have already been held.

The most significant so far was held on August 15 in Alexandria Town Hall. The forum came about due to the combined...

Within a week of the government-appointed Houston panel’s recommendation that Australia return to the “Pacific solution” for asylum seekers, the toxic atmosphere of John Howard's “children overboard” era resurged powerfully in Australian politics.

On the same day the Houston report...

In the lead up to its first budget next month, Queensland’s Liberal National Party (LNP) government has intensified its slash-and-burn approach to public and community services. In its first 100 days in office, it axed 7000 public service jobs. Premier Campbell Newman says a further 13,000 job...

Congratulations to Tony Abbott on becoming prime minister. We all know how just badly he wanted this job, and he didn't even have to sell his arse. Or worse, support nominal action on climate change.

His rise to the nation's top office was marked on August 15, when his government passed...

Coal seam gas (CSG) advocates are running a fear campaign against a backdrop of soaring electricity prices in New South Wales. They claim that unless CSG development in NSW goes ahead, household gas bills will triple.

This is a frightening idea, given the stress already caused by...

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on August 17.

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The Howard-era racist “Fortress Australia” is being rebuilt with the passing of laws to persecute asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat.

The adoption of offshore processing means that Labor and...

Walking into the Summer Hill Childcare Centre, it's clear that the children and workers alike are busy and happy. I went to meet the centre's director, Roberta de Souza, to find out more about child care in the inner west of Sydney.

Sitting among the children, who range from three to...

The Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition released the statement below on August 16.

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Extraordinary scenes are unfolding in London as British authorities are reported to have entered the Knightsbridge building, which houses the Ecuadorian Embassy, in defiance of more than...

Max Bound grew up during the Great Depression, and his view of the world was shaped in part by such experiences as seeing classmates being sent home from school because they were too hungry to stay conscious. He left school at the age of thirteen and as a teenager he started reading socialist...

The ALP’s capitulation to populist refugee-bashing is wrong on so many levels that it's hard to know where to begin.

The underlying rationale is patently false. The Age reported: “In a major backdown from her earlier insistence on the Malaysia ‘people swap’, Prime Minister Julia...

Advocacy group Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees (RISE) released the statement below on August 15.

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There is nothing to be surprised about. Once again, the government has used puppets to say yes to “offshore processing”. None of the three individuals on the Houston Panel...

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre released the statement below on August 14.

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The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) is shocked and disappointed with the release of the expert panel’s recommendations as they focus on deterrence, punishment and breach the very reason the...

The Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on August 13.

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The Refugee Action Coalition has strongly condemned the Houston panel’s recommendations for offshore processing as made public at their press conference this afternoon.

“Mr Houston and his...

The report delivered by the Angus Houston-led “expert panel” on asylum seekers is not a plan for “stopping the boats” or stopping people from risking their lives at sea. It is a plan to demonise refugees and use them as a scapegoat for the rising government-led attacks on Australian people....

The Coal Terminal Action Group this week launched a community-led dust and health study, following the application by Port Waratah Coal Services to construct yet another coal terminal in Newcastle (T4).

For many years, communities living around the port, along the coal train lines and...

Culture

Insidious war
civil war
worldwide
to the accompaniment
of patriotic
grandiose
really unrelenting
drumming
honourable members of society
in paranoid march
socialisation savagely civilising
national hypnosis
general narcosis...

In Australia, Treasurer Wayne Swan made headlines by saying he was a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen ― despite implementing neoliberal economic policies of the sort Springsteen rails against. Mining billionaire and wannabe Liberal politician Clive Palmer jumped up to respond that his favourite...

The spectacle of the 2012 London Olympics should be subtitled “The Bashing of the Chinese Athlete”.

On August 8, Andrew Jacobs of the New York Times published a much-discussed piece called “Heavy burden on athletes takes joy away from China's Olympic success”.

All kinds...

Fighting Fund

The “moral bankruptcy of the ruling classes” is a thought readers would have shared as the Labor, Liberal and National parties came together in an unholy alliance to return to the cruel and shameful practice of locking up asylum seekers indefinitely in detention camps on Nauru and Manus Island,...