Issue 940

Australia

Members of the Australian solidarity brigade in Venezuela released the statement below on October 8.

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“We, members of the Australian solidarity brigade to Venezuela, congratulate socialist President Hugo Chavez on his re-election on October 7”, said Coral Wynter, an...

About 200 people rallied in Sydney on October 6 at a protest organised by the Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition and the Stop the War Coalition Sydney. Speakers are the rally included Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, independent journalist Antony Loewenstein, Sydney branch secretary of the...

Photos from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) 2012 Presidential Elections Brigade. The brigade's program kicked off with an introductory talk on Venezuelan history and politics by Dr Marcelo Alfonzo, Central University of Venezuela. Then visits to National Institute of Hygiene...

The student left has won a big victory at Curtin University, taking several key positions in the student guild elections held over September 25 to 27. Positions won include president, education vice-president, women's officer and queer officer.

The Left Action ticket ran a very political...

The third Australia-wide gathering of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigners took place in Adelaide from September 21 to 23. The Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) hosted the weekend of events.

A highlight of the three days was the appearance by London-based...

About 40 concerned citizens opposed to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and Australia’s role in the conflict, gathered in Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula, 30 kilometres from Geelong, to blockade the entrance to the Swan Island military base over September 23 to 27.

“We believe...

Leaving a legacy marred by ecological annihilation, government bribery, coercion and corruption, and a penchant for poisoning the environment and communities alike, one of Australia’s most powerful companies — timber-logging firm Gunns — has announced voluntary administration.

The...

Tasmanian community groups Friends of the Tamar Valley and Pulp the Mill released the joint statement below on September 26.

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In expressing their sincere regret about the job losses that must inevitably result from the closure of Tasmanian logging company Gunns Limited,...

About 200 people rallied at Melbourne’s Maribyrnong Detention Centre on September 22, against deporting refugees to danger and mandatory detention. Dayan Anthony, a Tamil refugee, was deported to Sri Lanka in July against his will from Maribyrnong.

Antony's Lawyer Sanmati Verma said: “...

Still Wild Still Threatened released the statement below on September 25 in response to news that two environmental groups, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation, had sent letters to customers of logging company Ta Ann urging them not to cut ties with the company....

Front Line Action on Coal released the statement below on September 25.

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Three men who blockaded the Boggabri open-pit coalmine in Leard Forest, NSW, on September 3 and 4 will appear before Narrabri Local Court this morning, as the Front Line Action on Coal camp marks its...

Queenslanders continue to stand up against state Liberal National Party premier Campbell Newman's vicious austerity budget and job cuts, with several hundred joining a rally and march to parliament on September 22. The rally was organised by the Queensland Uncut coalition.

Activists and...

World

Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez has won the October 7 Venezuelan elections with over 54.44% of the vote against 45% of the vote for right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. The National Electoral Council's Tibisay Lucena announced more than 80% of the 19,119,809 registered...

On the eve of the October 7, Venezuelan presidential election, Green Left TV's Peter Boyle spoke to Tamara Pearson (below), an Australian socialist who has been living in Venezuela since 2007. She writes for Venezuela Analysis and for Green Left Weekly.

Pearson lives in Merida...

The presidential elections, to take place on October 7, are a truly national event in Venezuela.

There are rallies to attend, public statements and press releases by the candidates, mini-newspapers containing plans for the next six years of government ― and everyone has an opinion....

Huge protests in Madrid, brutally repressed, are now matched by another Greek general strike. Three years of the European debt crisis are producing a social and political crisis on an immense scale, with the threat of the break-up of the Spanish state.

Just as those in the global South...

The recent strike and mass mobilisations of teachers and their supporters in Chicago were significant for those who opposed them.

The Democrat Barack Obama and the Republican Mitt Romney aligned themselves against this fight to defend public schools.

In contrast, Green Party...

Egypt is being hit by a strike wave as the government comes under pressure to push austerity measures. However, the protests getting the most international attention are the ones against The Innocence of Muslims film.

Like countries across the world, Egypt Islamaphobic film. But...

“Major U.S. business groups are stepping up pressure on President Barack Obama's administration to suspend longtime trade benefits for Ecuador, citing the Andean country's mistreatment of Chevron Corp as proof of a deteriorating investment climate”, Reuters said September 26.

The alleged...

“Washington has refused to extradite a former Bolivian president to the South American country to stand trial over political violence that forced him from office nine years ago”, Reutuers reports that Bolivian President Evo Morales said on September 7.

Bolivia wants former US-backed...

Independent journalist Juan Cole wrote on his Informed Comment site:

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The Israeli Likud Party’s cover story for why it wants to draw the United States into a war with Iran makes no real sense.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been predicting an Iranian nuclear...

On our third full day of activity on the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) 2012 Presidential Elections Brigade we visited Sala de la Batalla Sociales, LA Communa. This is a grouping of 35 Community Councils in the barrio of Petare. We visited the community medical centre (where free...

Climate change could kill 100 million by 2030: report

More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments...

The Australian government's support for Indonesia's occupation of West Papua reached absurd levels on September 12. Labor and Coalition senators voted down a Senate condolence motion for late refugee advocate and Papuan solidarity activist Vikki Riley on the basis that it contained the words “...

Amnesty International called on the Swedish authorities on September 27 to issue assurances to WikiLeaks' founder-in-chief Julian Assange that if he leaves Ecuador’s London embassy and agrees to go to Sweden to face sexual assault claims, he will not be extradited to the United States in...

In Venezuela's October 7 presidential elections, the candidate leading the polls — President Hugo Chavez — is standing on a platform of pushing a socialist transformation.

Leaked documents show his main opponent, Henri Capriles Radonski, has a neoliberal agenda. But publicly he presents...

Their demonstrations have shaken Quebec in recent months, and on September 20, students and environmentalists won big victories.

At her first news conference as premier, Pauline Marois announced that her Parti Quebecois (PQ) government had cancelled the university tuition fees rise...

The statement below was released by the Awami Party Pakistan, the Labour Party Pakistan and the Workers Party Pakistan on talks to merge their groups.

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Over the past few months, three left political parties have been holding meetings to discuss the possibility of a merger...

Analysis

Independent journalist Austin Mackell sent the statement below to be read out at an October 6 rally in Sydney to support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

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For those of you who have not heard the story, I’m a freelance journalist who has also faced the wrath of...

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network released the statement below on October 8.

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Three days after more than 3 million people took over the streets of Caracas in a huge show of support for Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and his socialist platform, Chavez has won the...

Dr. Oliver Villar is a Lecturer in Politics at Charles Sturt University. His new book is "Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror: US Imperialism and Class Struggle in Colombia", published by Monthly Review Press.

Villar gave the speech below at the Fidel in the 21st Century...

Arthur Murray died the other day. I turned to Google Australia for tributes, and there was a 1991 obituary of an American ballroom instructor of the same name. There was nothing in the Australian media.

The Australian newspaper published a large, rictal image of its proprietor, Rupert...

Arthur Murray died the other day. I turned to Google Australia for tributes, and there was a 1991 obituary of an American ballroom instructor of the same name. There was nothing in the Australian media. The Australian newspaper published a large, rictal image of its proprietor, Rupert...

This public statement was released on October 3 and was initiated by the signatories below. To add your name to the statement visit here.

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Media distortions of a recent protest by members of the Muslim community in Sydney, Australia, have ignited a new wave of racist abuse...

The Sri Lankan civil war ended in 2009 and in the war’s aftermath there has been a plethora of serious human rights abuses perpetrated by the Sri Lankan government. Some of these abuses include abductions, torture and the murder of journalists and civilians, including women and children.

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One day after the huge stop work and rally of Australian Education Union (AEU) members on September 5, Mary Bluett, the Victorian AEU’s branch president, announced she was retiring. Her husband AEU branch secretary Brian Henderson, also announced his retirement. Bluett has been an education...

An election in the NSW Public Service Association (PSA) will be held in October to determine who leads the 42,000-strong union for the next four years.

Membership of the PSA consists of public servants employed by the NSW government. The current ALP-aligned leadership team is being...

The news of Jill Meagher's death has rightly distressed many Australians. However, much mainstream media and internet commentary have taken this as an opportunity to blame the victim for what happened to her in an effort to warn other women. This approach is both despicable and wrong.

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Once it became public that Brunswick woman Jill Meagher was missing, several women began posting on Facebook about scary experiences they’d had in Brunswick.

One of these women was writer and social commentator Catherine Deveny, who mentioned an incident that took place in Brunswick...

Responding to a new book by former Labor finance minister Lindsay Tanner, which said the Labor Party had lost any sense of purpose, foreign minister Bob Carr said: “I think it is getting a little too easy to bag the Labor Party.”

Carr said: “If I were in retirement … it would have been a...

In the first episode of The Chaser’s new series The Hamster Wheel on ABC TV, the comedy group poked fun at Green Left Weekly for being the only media to challenge the distorted mainstream media’s reports of the supposed “violent Muslim protest” in Sydney on September 15.

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Australianmap.net is a new online educational resource which brings together information, photos and videos about more than 50 of Australia’s nuclear sites including uranium mines and processing plants, the Lucas Heights research reactor, proposed reactor and dump sites and British nuclear...

A new report by Greenpeace says plans to double Australia’s coal exports will damage worldwide attempts to reduce carbon emissions and limit climate change.

Released on September 18, Greenpeace’s report, Cooking the climate: Wrecking the reef, focused on the Galilee Basin, a...

Sixteen Aboriginal adults in the remote New South Wales town of Wilcannia are the first graduates of a groundbreaking trial literacy program that would not have been possible without the help of a tiny Caribbean nation — Cuba.

At the beginning of this year, Cuban educator Jose Chala...

Police arrested and handcuffed two Brisbane-based activists, Rebecca Barrigos and Sid Zaoichi, after they set up a stall and petition against the state government’s budget cuts at a Brisbane university campus on September 21. Green Left Weekly’s Liam Flenady spoke to...

A document called “Sydney's Rail Future – Modernising Sydney's Trains” was released by the Barry O'Farrell NSW government in June. It plans to modernise the Sydney rail network by converting it to a "three tier" system: rapid transit, suburban and intercity.

Unfortunately, the plan is...

We are facing a climate emergency. The impacts of increasing extreme weather events are already being felt around the world and the unprecedented record Arctic sea ice melt highlights the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels.

Shamefully, it is in this context that new coal...

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange gave the speech below to permanent representatives of the United Nations General Assembly on September 27. Assange gave the speech via video link up from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which accepted his request for political asylum. Republished from...

The very peaceful welcome to Aboriginal land passport ceremony was held on September 15 at the Settlement, Darlington. A great time was had by the 300 people who attended.

We were contacted by the Redfern police, as is their practice when an Indigenous Social Justice Association event...

Culture

Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation & the Corruption of Britain
Tom Watson & Martin Hickman
Penguin Books 2012,
360 pages, £20.00

This book provides much needed background information to the Levenson inquiry, which investigated the...

By Light Alone
By Adam Roberts
2011
www.adamroberts.com

Progress under capitalism, Karl Marx wrote, resembles “that hideous, pagan idol, who would not drink the nectar but from the skulls of the slain”. Changes that ought to make life better...