Issue 943

Australia

The following “Appeal of asylum seekers” was released by refugees on Nauru on October 31. It was addressed to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Australian MPs, the Nauru government, human rights commissions and the “rest of the world”.

The men said on November 1 that they would begin a group...

The statement below was released by the Sydney Refugee Action Coalition on October 31.

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At 6.00pm Nauruan time, an Iranian asylum seeker attempted to hang himself from a light pole inside the detention centre. The man jumped from the pole with a sheet around his neck but was...

*URGENT UPDATE*
Refugee solidarity activists in Melbourne have called for supporters of asylum seekers to join them outside the Maribyrnong Detention Centre. They've been protesting since 7am this morning. Police have arrived to break the community blockade of the...

About 500 people protested at the Fremantle Reclaim the Night rally, which took place on October 26. The rally demands were: end violence against women, stop victim blaming and consent education in schools.

For details see: Freo holds biggest women's rally for a decade

The University of Sydney ended last year with a $117 million surplus, but is moving close it's Koori Centre. The Koori Centre has supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the university since 1989. It also coordinates the teaching of Indigenous Studies and provides a library,...

Members of Melbourne’s Kurdish community protested outside the Victorian Parliament on October 30 in solidarity with Kurdish political prisoners on hunger strike in Turkish jails. The protest was part of an International Day of Action to mark 50 days since 65 Kurdish prisoners, led by...

The statement below was issued by asylum seekers on Nauru following their protest on the afternoon of October 29. Republished from the Refugee Action Coalition Sydney.

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ASYLUM SEEKERS IN NAURU

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

We heard several times from different...

In what one longstanding Perth feminist activist described as the biggest Reclaim the Night march in Perth in 20 years, over 300 people — women, children and men — rallied and marched in Fremantle on October 26, for an end to violence against women.

Gathering at Pioneer Park,...

Brazilian Roberto Curti was fleeing from 11 police officers down Sydney's Pitt Street when he was tasered, handcuffed, capsicum sprayed and set upon on March 18.

Minutes later, after being tasered up to 14 times, having three cans of capsicum spray used on him, and with the weight of...

Australia’s big electricity generators are feeling the squeeze of electricity demand falling in recent years and growing competition from renewable energy.

This year, some environmentalists criticised the federal government for scrapping the “contracts for closure” negotiations, which...

The threat facing Western Australia’s Kimberley region received national attention on October 5 when 10,000 people attended a concert for the Kimberley in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

The John Butler Trio and Claire Bowditch performed and Missy Higgins and former Greens leader Bob...

Stop Pilliga Coal Seam Gas released the statement below on October 24 about a new report prepared for the Northern Inland Council for the Environment and the Coonabarabran and Upper Castlereagh Catchment and Landcare Group.

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A new ecological study of the Pilliga Forest in...

Rollback the Intervention released the statement below on October 24.

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Another death of an Aboriginal man potentially involving police in the Northern Territory has sparked calls for an inquiry and urgent action to stop police harassment and brutality.

Mr E Lewis, a...

“Violence against women is everybody’s business, and it has to stop!” proclaimed Margarita Windisch, one of the speakers at the Reclaim the Night march in Melbourne on October 20. One determined heckler from the crowd could not stop her as she passionately defended the rights of women and...

Menaha Kandasamy, the president of the Ceylon Plantation Workers Red Flag Union, recently visited Australia at the invitation of Australia-Asia Worker Links.

Kandasamy told Green Left Weekly the union mainly represents workers on tea and rubber plantations, though recently it...

More than 60 people met in Footscray on October 17 to plan the next steps in the Save TAFE campaign. Community group “Friends of Victoria University” hosted a public forum to discuss the Victorian state government’s $300 million cuts to the TAFE system and its impacts on communities in Melbourne...


Photos by Chris Peterson

About 600 people rallied in Melbourne on October 19 to raise awareness of the link between the growing number of people in insecure work and the growing number of working people living in poverty.

The rally was called by the National Union...

The NSW Liberal government is planning to put vital community services on the chopping block.

An October 12 article titled “Child sex assault services on hit-list” by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Josephine Tovey said a “leaked departmental briefing note” showed “funding for child...

World

A popular movement against tar sands oil production and pipeline transport is on the rise and gathering steam in Canada.

Its biggest expression so far came on October 22 when 4000- 5000 people rallied in front of the British Columbia legislature to send a forceful message to the tar...

The International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) released a report on October 8 documenting a forced eviction that took place in Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, on May 12. Residents of Paga Hill had their homes demolished en masse by the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary....

Under the stewardship of several British Columbia indigenous First Nations, close to 5000 people from all over the Canadian province came together on October 22 to demand the planned Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines be stopped.

For the past few months, people all over BC had been...

The presidential election victory of Hugo Chavez is a vital component in the continuation of the Bolivarian revolution, which has now been under way for 13 years.

A defeat would have resulted in a massive attack on the working class of Venezuela. There is no doubt that, had Henrique...

About 200,000 people marched in London, Glasgow and Belfast on October 20 against the austerity programs of British Prime Minister David Cameron's government.

The trade unions that called the actions put the numbers of participants at: London 150,000, Glasgow 10,000 and Belfast 10,000....

Women and girls are among the hardest hit by the anti-working-class policies of Britain’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.

A report published in The Guardian earlier this year showed that rising taxes and cuts to social spending have hit women three times as...

Bolivia is one of the few countries that has consistently opposed treating biodiversity as a commodity at the United Nations Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity held in Hyderabad, India, over October 1-19. It has raised its voice against pro-market approaches in implementing...

As of October 27, Hurricane Sandy, a storm so freakish it has been termed “frankenstorm”, had killed at least 38 people in Caribbean nations and was bearing down on the north-east of the United States. In the article below, first published at Think Progress on october 26, Stephen...

The economic, social and territorial crisis facing the Spanish state is morphing into a crisis of the two-party system that has provided either Popular Party (PP) or Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) governments for 30 years.

Those who have been gaining electorally are Basque,...

In a cabinet meeting with his top ministers on October 20, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez strongly criticised his political team for failing to show commitment to the participatory democratic model proposed by his government. Chavez urged them to undertake serious “self-criticism”.

It...

Indonesian security forces attacked West Papuan independence rallies in several cities on October 23.

West Papua Media (WPM) said the worst violence took place in Manokwari where four people were shot by army soldiers and many others were beaten.

There were fears a massacre would...

The ongoing siege of Gaza by the Israeli government looked set for a worrying escalation following a visit to Gaza by the emir of Qatar. Just three days earlier, Israel's navy had boarded a Gaza aid ship and used tasers on activists.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani entered Gaza via...

In a lengthy editorial on October 13, the United States’ most important ruling-class voice concluded that the war in Afghanistan has failed, and that the US should get out as soon as possible.

New York Times editors said in an editorial titled "Time To Pack Up and Leave...

Analysis

Socialist Alliance activist and feminist Liah Lazarou gave the speech below to Adelaide’s Reclaim the Night rally on October 26.

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I’d like to say a big thank you to the Reclaim the Night Collective for organising this important event and everybody who is...

The billionaires and their corporate courtiers had a sneer and snigger fest when BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Rio Tinto informed the Tax Office they would pay zero mining tax for the first quarter of this financial year.

The federal Labor government's mid-year budget update...

Globally, millions of women experience violence — whether in the form of intimate partner violence, rape and sexual coercion, stalking, trafficking, forced prostitution, exploitation of labour, or other violations of women's bodies and psyches.

The high prevalence of violence against...

We've been told opportunity, prosperity and more freedoms came to Australia under the banner of capitalism and the “free-market” in the 1980s and 90s after the economic slump of two recessions.

But when neoliberal ideals and rhetoric are set aside, a grim picture of the great, and ever...

The Australian parliament building reeks of floor polish. The wooden floors shine so virtuously they reflect the cartoon-like portraits of prime ministers, bewigged judges and viceroys. Along the gleaming white, hushed corridors, the walls are hung with Aboriginal art: one painting after another...

In a startling but not unexpected backflip, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman gave the green light to uranium mining on October 22, lifting a decades-long ban on the destructive industry.

This comes after Newman sent a letter to the Australian Conservation Foundation just two weeks ago...

Feminist and Socialist Alliance activist Margarita Windisch gave the speech below at Melbourne’s Reclaim the Night rally on October 20.

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A big thank you to the Reclaim the Night 2012 collective for organising today and giving us the opportunity to get our...

Culture

Operation 8: Deep in the Forest
Directed by Errol Wright & Abi King-Jones
CutCutCut Films
www.cutcutcut.com

Operation 8 is an emotive, shocking, disturbing, informative and captivating documentary on the 2007 “anti-terror” raids...

The Sacrifice
By Bruce Mutard
Allen & Unwin, 2012
Paperback, 252 pages

I don't know about you, but Australia's World War II years are obscured in my mind by a melange of family reminiscences and ad hoc snippets of history.

My...

Fallout From Fukushima
By Richard Broinowski
Scribe, 2012
273 pages , $27.95 (pb)

The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year was no accident, says Richard Broinowski in Fallout from Fukushima.

Sitting a nuclear reactor...