Issue 939

Australia

With little fanfare or media attention, the small island nation of Cuba has been running an Aboriginal literacy program in the town of Wilcanni, in central new South Wales. Already, 16 local Aboriginal residents aged between 25 and 53 have learned to read and write through the program.

...

The Socialist Alliance Victoria released the statement below on September 19.

* * *

Socialist Alliance is standing Sue Bolton as its candidate for the October local elections in the north-east ward of the City of Moreland on a platform of “community need, not developer greed”....

Water workers to strike

Workers at Sydney Water, angered by the axing of more than 300 jobs as well as the undermining of conditions, have voted for rolling strikes into next year.

More than 1000 workers took part in a four hour walkout on September 20, rallying...

On September 16, 100 people began a 300-kilometre journey, walking from Port Augusta to Adelaide to highlight the importance of building a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta and to call for state and federal government support for the project.

At the start of the walk, the Repower Port...

Repower Port Augusta, the historic campaign to have the South Australian town host Australia’s first solar-thermal power station, is gathering momentum, with formal endorsements from several health and union organisations.

The campaign has generated widespread public interest. In Port...

A crowded forum of 200 people organised by the Stockton Community Action Group learned about the serious risks posed by a proposed ammonium nitrate storage facility at nearby Kooragang Island on September 19.

The new facility is proposed by Incitic Pivot and would add 21,500 tonnes of...

Allegations raised by former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks that he was drugged as a form of torture by US staff have been substantiated by documents uncovered in recent legal action in the US.

Detainees were allegedly drugged by US military personnel before interrogation sessions...

“TAFE cuts are Baillieu's form of class war,” Colin Long told an angry crowd on September 20. “Baillieu started the war, but we will finish it.” The Victorian National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) secretary was speaking to 2000 Victorian TAFE teachers, students and supporters at a rally in...

The Palestine Action Group Sydney released the statement below on September 20.

* * *

One hundred and fifty supporters of Palestine staged a rally in Parramatta in support of the global campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid today. The...

A colourful group of environmental activists gathered on the steps of Australian mining giant Lynas Corporation’s head office on September 20 to protest the company’s move to build a rare earth mineral refinery in Malaysia.

Thousands of Malaysians have joined protests against the...

More than 2000 people rallied in Melbourne on September 20 to protect the public TAFE system, which is facing budget cuts of over $200 million by the state government.


Photos by Melanie Spilling, Emma Clement & Chris Peterson

On September 17, NT Coroner Greg Cavanagh handed down his damning findings regarding the death in custody of Kwementyaye Briscoe in the Alice Springs watch house in January.

Briscoe, a young Aboriginal man, had committed no crime, but was taken into so-called protective custody for being...

Community Action Against Homophobia released the statement below on September 19.

* * *

Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) express disgust at today's rejection of equal marriage rights by Australian parliament. Only 42 MPs supported the private members bill put forward by...

Stop CSG Sydney Water Catchment released the statement below on September 18.

* * *

The residents of Nattai, a township that overlooks Lake Burragorang — the source of fresh drinking water for residents of the city of Sydney and the lower Blue Mountains — have overwhelmingly...

The Geelong Socialist Alliance released the statement below on September 18.

* * *

The Socialist Alliance has announced today that they will endorse 55-year-old health and safety teacher, Sue Bull, as its candidate for Mayor in the Greater Geelong City Council elections, which...



At the Aboriginal Passport ceremony in The Settlement in Redfern on September 15, Aboriginal activist and socialist Ray Jackson issued an Aboriginal Passport to Julian Assange. It was accepted by Julian's father John Shipton. The ceremony was initiated by Palestinian rights...

World

As Venezuela's October 7 presidential elections approach, polls are showing a clear, large victory for President Hugo Chavez, with a 13%-28% lead.

The socialist incumbent — who has survived a US coup and other attempts to overthrow his government — is campaigning on a detailed platform...

As the final weeks of the Venezuelan presidential election campaign unfold, an intense battle of ideas is under way. The poll on October 7 is looming as one of the most important elections in the country´s history.

On one hand, the right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles...

Twenty-three years too late, the real truth is finally being told about the Hillsborough disaster of April 15, 1989, which killed 96 football fans and injured hundreds more.

A new 354-page report, released by the Hillsborough Independent Panel after accessing more than 400,000 pages of...

After five years of besieging Gaza, Israel announced on September 20 the first significant easing of its near-total export ban. The ban was imposed on the Palestinian territory in 2007 after Hamas won elections.

This turnaround amounts to an admission that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is...

With the launch of the Apple iPhone 5 drawing closer, hordes of people around the world scrabbled to their computers to place pre-orders. Hundreds lined up on the streets to be the first to get their hands on the most in-demand gadgetry.

With the pre-order tally reaching more than 2...

These photos were taken in New York on September 17 by Edward Leavy, who maintains a photo blog here.

The Occupy movement held rallies across the United States on September 17 to mark the first anniversary of the protests that attacked the corrupt and abusive rule by the...

Phew ... The US election is exactly the same as a night I had watching Crystal Palace play football. Palace were dreadful, but the opposition were even worse, a goal slid slowly between their goalkeeper’s legs into the net, and the man sitting behind me said to his mate, “This is marvellous. I’...

Chicago's teachers have successfully fought off an assault on their union, school children and public education launched by Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and even pushed him back in some respects.

The strike and mass mobilisations of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) ended on...

The murder of 34 miners by the South African police, most of them shot in the back, puts paid to the illusion of post-apartheid democracy and illuminates the new worldwide apartheid of which South Africa is both a historic and contemporary model.

In 1894, long before the infamous...

“Koran discovered with coffee cup stain on the front cover, US marines deployed to all Starbucks franchises.”

The quip, retweeted by celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins, exemplifies the belligerent incomprehension with which so many, including self-proclaimed liberals, have responded to...

It looks as if the Portuguese people have had enough of austerity. People came out in their droves on September 15 across the country under the slogan “Screw the troika, we want our lives!”.

Close to a million people protested against the government and the troika of the International...

The Occupy movement held rallies across the United States on September 17 to mark the first anniversary of the protests that attacked the corrupt and abusive rule by the richest 1%.

With the protest camps having been broken up by police months ago, the movement has sought to find new...

Analysis

As soon as news filtered through that a “Muslim riot” was taking place in Sydney on September 15, it was clear a racist backlash was going to occur. It was also clear on what grounds the backlash would take place.

Shock jocks would immediately declare that “they all should be sent back...

In Port Augusta, two ageing coal-fired power stations are scheduled to retire. We have a choice: either replace them with gas-fired power stations or take the opportunity to switch to renewable energy. Research by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) shows that six solar thermal power towers and 90 wind...

In response to wide-ranging criticisms of, and growing opposition to, proposed data retention and increased surveillance powers for Australian spy agencies, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has gone on the offensive.

One of the proposals released in a government discussion paper would force...

As we walk into a cafe in the Sydney suburb of Newington, a young Afghan barista greets Communist Party of Australia (CPA) activist Tony Oldfield by name and asks how the recent local Auburn council elections went. After talking for a few minutes about which councillors were re-elected and which...

Compulsory income management has been sharply criticised as unhelpful and demeaning for welfare recipients. But should we oppose all forms of compulsory income management? Or should we make an exception for what is known as child protection income management?

For much of the...

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi resigned from his position as Tony Abbott's shadow parliamentary secretary after widespread outrage about his reactionary and bizarre speech on the equal marriage bill which was debated (and defeated 42 votes to 98) in parliament on September 18.

Bernardi...

“In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. Support Israel, defeat Jihad.”

This is the wording on a billboard, paid for by the American Freedom Defense Institute of infamous Islamophobe Robert Spencer, scheduled to appear on New York subways. It is...

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on September 21.

* * *

Politicians and the mainstream media have whipped up the ongoing racist hysteria against Muslims and refugees after clashes provoked by police heavy-handedness towards a small Muslim protest in Sydney on...

The Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs tabled its much-anticipated inquiry into language learning on Aboriginal communities on September 17, titled Our Land Our Languages.

The report unashamedly puts language front and centre, not just to...

If there is one thing melting away faster than the Arctic ice cap it’s the credibility of the global carbon trading system set up under the Kyoto treaty to address climate change. A United Nations sponsored panel said in a September 10 report that “global carbon markets ... are collapsing with...

An Islamophobic YouTube video called “Innocence of Muslims” has been blamed for sparking protests across the world, although the real causes are surely deeper. On September 15, a protest by Muslims in Sydney’s CBD was met with police repression. Since then, there has been widespread mainstream...

Independent newspaper Green Left Weekly today slammed attempts by Liberal Senator Brett Mason in the Senate to inflame anti-Islam sentiment and intimidate a media outlet that opposes this.

Liberal Senator Brett Mason moved a motion in the Australian Senate on September 18 to...

Celebrated Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe whose landmark publication, "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" documented the planned removal of 700,000 Palestinians from their lands in 1948, has written a new book "The Forgotten Palestinians".

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

Letters

Nakbah acknowledged

An important judgement was delivered on May 15 by Justice Christine Adamson. The judge stated that the anniversary of the Nakbah (the catastrophe) could not be postponed for another day and compared it with other days that must be...

Culture

Phil Monsour sings a pro-Palestine version of "Which side are you on" at the Adelaide Seacret protest prior to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions national workshop weekend on September 21.

Toward the United Front, Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922
Edited & translated by John Riddell,
Brill, 2012, 1310 pp.

Many leftists have spent dreary evenings meeting in draughty community halls where the...

The Statue Of Liberty: A Transatlantic Story
By Edward Berenson
Yale University Press, 2012,
229 pages , $35.95 (hb)

“We are the keepers of the flame of liberty,” said then-US president Ronald Reagan, opening the centennial celebration in 1986...