Issue 938

Australia

The National Welfare Rights Network released the statement below on October 9.

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The Social Security Legislation Amendment (Fair Incentives to Work) Bill 2012 passed the Senate today saving the government $728 million over four years and cutting between $65 and $115 per week...

About 40 activists from the Refugee Action Collective Victoria and other refugee rights groups protested outside the Melbourne offices of Thai Airways on September 14. Thai Airways were used in the July 25 deportation of a Tamil refugee back to Sri Lanka. He underwent a 16-hour interrogation on...

More than 1000 members of the United Firefighters Union (UFU), along with supporters from other unions, marched to the Victorian parliament house on September 13 to protest against funding cuts to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and the Country Fire Authority.

UFU members marched in their...

Its website says UniLife is the University of South Australia's (UniSA) “democratic organisation run by students”. But new changes to UniLife’s rules mean student members are no longer entitled to know what their representatives do.

This is the result of sweeping amendments to the...

Billionaire mining giants slash jobs

Despite making profits of $20 billion combined in the past year, mining giants BHP Billiton and Xstrata announced on September 10 they would axe 900 jobs.

BHP Billiton, which announced an annual $14.8 billion profit last month...

Refugee advocates rallied in Sydney and Melbourne in a snap response to the first group of 40 refugees flown to Nauru to be held indefinitely on September 14.

Protesters in Sydney rallied outside the department of immigration offices and heard Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Sydney...

Stop CSG Illawarra is preparing for another mass, community action on October 21. They plan to form a human sign at Bulli Showground that says “Protect H2O, Stop CSG”. The sign is part of Lock The Gate's national week of action.

In May last year, Stop CSG Illawarra organised a 3000...

The Communist Party of Australia's (CPA) Tony Oldfield was elected to Auburn Council in the NSW local government elections on September 8. He became the fourth socialist to be elected as a local councillor around the country. The others are Sam Wainwright (Socialist Alliance, Fremantle Council)...

A day after the Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP)’s slash-and-burn budget was handed down, huge union rallies — the biggest since the campaign against the Howard government’s Work Choices laws — took place on September 12.

Ten thousand workers marched on parliament house in...

The Indigenous Social Justice Association released the statement below on September 14.

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Several sovereign Aboriginal nations are considering giving Julian Assange refuge and sanctuary in their nations.

It was argued that as Julian is an Australian citizen he should be...

Adelaide's first Australia Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE) Israeli Film Festival (IFF) has been picketed by boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) campaign activists.

Over September 5-9, more than a dozen activists took part in the pickets, organised by the Australian Friends of...

More than 600 unionists and supporters rallied in Cairns’ City Place as part of the statewide day of action against the Campbell Newman government’s budget cuts on September 12.

Larger groups of teachers, United Voice members, Ergon electricians, state public servants in purple Together...

Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on September 12.

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Along with yesterday’s release of the NSW Strategic Regional Land Use Policy, came the offer to renew 22 coal seam gas (CSG) exploration licences in NSW, including four in the Illawarra. These licences cover...

About 20 refugee supporters gathered outside the immigration department's office in Darwin on September 12 to protest against the federal Labor government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Nauru. The protest, organised by the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN), had an...

The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on September 11.

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The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) has condemned Minister Chris Bowen’s announcement that asylum seekers will be moved to Nauru from the...

The Lock the Gate Alliance released the statement below on September 12.

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The Barry O'Farrell government yesterday opened the floodgates to coal seam gas mining in NSW with Minister for Resources Chris Hartcher moving to renew 22 coal seam gas exploration licences including...

The newly formed Rainbow Youth Collective was officially launched in Adelaide at a social gathering at the activist centre on September 7. The event also marked Wear It Purple Day — a national youth day against homophobia.

About 50 young people from a variety of backgrounds attended...

The Lock the Gate Alliance released the statement below on September 11.

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The Lock the Gate Alliance reacted to today’s announcement of the NSW government’s Strategic Regional Land Use Policy by saying that gates across the state would remain locked to coal and coal seam gas...

Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on September 11.

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The NSW government today released its Strategic Regional Land Use Policy; plans the public was told would protect land and water. Stop CSG Illawarra has described the plans released today as a disaster and a...

The Broome Community No Gas Hub Campaign released the statement below on September 10.

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Two community members, Evan Dowlings and Frances Myles, have scaled two Woodside drill rigs at the site of the proposed gas hub at James Price Point, stopping work. The protest occurred...

World

Celebrated Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe who wrote "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" that documented the 1948 removal of 700,000 Palestinians from their lands, has now written about "The Forgotten Palestinians".

In the book, and at this September 16 community meeting at Sydney...

“My plan is to demolish the ultra-right so that a true opposition arises, because I am ready to work with them,” Venezuelan socialist President Hugo Chavez told a mass rally of supporters of his re-election campaign in the Caracas neighbourhood of Charallave on September 9.

“Not before...

Exit polls have shown the Dutch Socialist Party will get 15 seats after the September 12 elections, the same number it had before.

When two weeks ago, with polls showing the SP stood to win about 35 seats, even The Economist felt the need to raise the alarm over SP-leader Emile...

The statement below was released by the Dutch Socialist Party on September 12.

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A combative Emile Roemer addressed hundreds of Socialist Party members in the Paard van Troje (Trojan Horse) venue in The Hague. The SP held on to its 15 seats, despite a fiercely fought two-...

Angered by the non-stop, one-sided propaganda on CNN and BBC World, usually a prelude to NATO bombing campaigns (including the six-month onslaught on Libya, the casualties of which are still hidden from the public) or direct occupations, I was asked to explain my views on RTV.

I did so,...

Pressure is mounting for police officers involved in the Hillsborough disaster to face prosecution.

In 1989, 96 football fans were killed in a human crush in a game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.

The calls for prosecution follow the...

Protests by Muslims have spread around the world against the anti-Islamic propaganda film Innocence of Muslims.

In response to violent attacks on US embassies in Libya and Yemen, that killed for Americans including the ambassador, US President Barack Obama informed US Congress...

“Why do they hate us?” That was the question asked by many baffled Americans after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

Eleven years later, Americans are asking the question again after the US ambassador, another US diplomat, two US marines and 10 Libyan guards...

US: One in five kids live in poverty

"New figures have been released by the US census bureau revealing a yearly decline in median household income for Americans, growing inequality and more than one in five children under 18 years old living in poverty.
 
"In...

The governments of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have gone to great lengths to control information about the ongoing uprisings in their countries. This is part of their efforts to crush the democracy movements that have sought to overthrow the ruling monarchies.

The protests are part of the...

After melting past the previous record minimum in late August, Arctic sea ice cap has continued its rapid decline.

By September 5, the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) said the ice cap had fallen below 4 million square kilometres ― “a 45% reduction in the area of the Arctic...

For the Financial Post, the recent actions of the Bolivian government in nationalising a Canadian mine confirmed the country’s status as an “outlaw nation”, according to an August 3 article.

But for less biased observers, the reality was a little different. Responding to...

“One of the things you learn as an anthropologist, you don’t come in and change the culture,” Dartmouth College president Jim Yong Kim told wealthy alumni when contemplating the institution’s notorious hazing practices, prior to US President Barack Obama’s request in February that he move to the...

On the Catalan National Day, September 11, Spanish politics suffered a huge shock: up to 2 million people ― more than a quarter of the population of Catalonia ― marched through the streets of Barcelona shouting one word, “independencia”.

It was a moment when countless Catalans (those...

Analysis

You don't have to be a clairvoyant to see what is to come in the aftermath of the so-called “Sydney riots” that occurred on September 15.

Media will show images of “Violent religious fundamentalist thugs” taking over streets. “Shocking images” of protesters holding up placards with...

Controversy is swirling around David Marr's Quarterly Essay article, which details Tony Abbott's time as a right-wing student activist on Sydney University. It describes Abbott as having been a violent, misogynist, homophobic thug who once punched a wall to intimidate a female opponent...

I was attending a small but engaging rally against internet spying on September 15, organised by the Pirate Party and others at Hyde Park North, when seven police cars and four-wheel-drives drove into the park and about 20 police officers got out.

Protesting members of the Muslim...

Sinn Fein TD (member of the Irish parliament) Pearse Doherty speaking to about 100 people in Perth on September 8 about the brutal austerity, to fund huge bank bailouts, in Ireland. This is destroying the lives of working people and driving 76,000 people to emigrate every year.

Doherty...

Indoor and outdoor sex work is currently decriminalised in New South Wales. This may soon change with the proposed introduction of a brothel licensing scheme. The licensing scheme will take brothel regulation out of the hands of local councils and will give police powers to regulate brothels....

Forty Tamil asylum seekers were flown to Nauru overnight on September 13, marking the beginning of Labor’s “Pacific solution” and a return to offshore processing. The group on Christmas Island were reported to have been under guard of federal police and did not resist.

An earlier High...

The results September 8 NSW local government elections have not been finalised yet, but results showed a 7% swing to the Liberals across the state. Many more Liberal councillors will take office than were elected in 2008.

The ALP suffered a statewide 6% swing against it and the Greens...

“RIP to the 2976 American people that lost their lives on 9/11 and RIP to the 48,644 Afghan and 1,690,903 Iraqi people that paid the ultimate price for a crime they did not commit. And the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who experience this everyday. Your 9/11 is their 24/7.”

The...

Pointing to swings of 10-20% in parts of western Sydney to Liberal candidates standing in the September 8 local council elections, media commentators are claiming traditional working class areas have deserted Labor and rejected the Greens, instead choosing to shift rightwards.

The ...

Compulsory income management must be opposed: this was the consensus from a lively August 29 community meeting hosted by the Socialist Alliance in Playford, northern Adelaide, where income management is being “trialled” for some welfare recipients.

This meeting included activists, locals...

The Coalition New South Wales government released its Strategic Regional Land Use Policy on September 11. The public was told the policy would protect land and water from the impacts of mining and coal seam gas (CSG) development.

Instead it is a policy to develop CSG and mineral mining...

The article below first appeared at The Conversation on September 11. Claire Parfitt is a research student at the University of Sydney. She is affiliated with the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance and is a coordinator of the People's Food Plan project.

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The Federal...

The Australian government has bowed to public pressure and banned the supertrawler from operating in Australian waters for two years. During this time more scientific research will be completed into the effects the supertrawler would have on local fish stocks.

The supertrawler, known as...

Australian lawyer and human rights activist Kellie Tranter spoke at a September 12 forum at NSW parliament house titled "Assange, WikiLeaks & the Law in a Post 9/11 World". The forum was hosted by Greens MLC David Shoebridge with the Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition and the Sydney...

Australian lawyer and human rights activist Kellie Tranter gave the speech below at a September 12 forum at NSW parliament house titled "Assange, WikiLeaks & the Law in a Post 9/11 World". The forum was hosted by Greens MLC David Shoebridge with the Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition...

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on September 10.

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The Socialist Alliance condemns the Australian government’s ongoing support for Indonesian security forces, particularly the Detachment 88 “counter-terrorism” unit implicated in human rights abuses in the...

Everywhere you look these days, things are turning green. In Chiapas, Mexico, indigenous farmers are being paid to protect the last vast stretch of rainforest in Mesoamerica. In the Brazilian Amazon, peasant families are given a monthly “green basket” of basic food staples to allow them to get...

Culture

"Professor" Andy Smokescreen answers every question you wanted to ask about Muslim protests.

Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka
By Ron Ridenour
New Century Book House
Chennai, India
Available in Australia via www.resistancebooks.com

Ron Ridenour's Tamil nation in Sri Lanka is a history of the struggle of Tamils on the island of...

SNSD/Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, 4Minute, Shinee, BigBang — just a few South Korean band names with global hip cachet to burn.

Their cult-like following has led some forecasters to predict that the centres of cultural power may well be shifting eastward, challenging the traditional...