Issue 945

Australia

Green Left Weekly’s Alex Bainbridge spoke to an asylum seeker imprisoned on Nauru on November 12 as a hunger strike involving hundreds of detainees reached its twelfth day. His responses are below.

On November 13, most refugees chose to end the hunger strike...

More than 300 people packed out the Leichhardt Town Hall on November 10 for the Green Left Weekly annual dinner in Sydney with guest speaker Christine Assange.

“I've come here tonight not just to support Julian but also to support Green Left Weekly," said Assange. “We...

The NSW Coaltion government has given James Packer's monster casino approval to take prime inner city space in Sydney, but children from an inner city public school are set to be kicked out for several years as the space is sold off to property developers.

In plans that have outraged...



This rally and march on October 31 to protest moves by the Sydney University administration to weaken the Koori Centre has already won some ground. According to Rachel Evans, after the protest Professor Shane Houston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services),...



"Are we there yet... in the race to rock bottom on refugee rights?" asked Dianne Hiles from Children Out of Detention (ChilOut) at a November 8 protest in Sydney against the detention of asylum seekers by the Australian on Nauru Island. As the mass hunger strike by asylum seekers...

A protest in solidarity with hunger striking refugees on Nauru took place in Perth on November 8. It was organised by the Refugee Rights Action Network.

The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released the statement below on November 8.

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An ASIO negative Tamil refugee attempted to hang himself at the Villawood detention centre overnight. The man has been in detention for over three years.

He was taken to the emergency...

At an October 31 demonstration at University of Sydney, Aboriginal students and their supporters rallied to demand the university’s Koori Centre remain open and won important concessions from the university management.

Despite officially acknowledging the Cadigal people of the Eora...

More than 100 people gathered in Wollongong Town Hall on November 8 for a public debate on the NSW government's plan to lease Port Kembla for 99 years. The government hopes to make $500 million on the lease, about $5 million a year, despite the state-owned Port already making between $25 million...



Inside Sydney Town Hall on October 31, guarded by suited security, the bankers and biggest property owners were meeting in the elite Property Congress. Outside some 200 cleaners were the voices from below. Their families struggle to survive on wage rates of just $17 an hour while...

A delegation from the Socialist Alliance had an initial meeting to discuss left unity prospects with a delegation from Socialist Alternative on November 4.

The meeting was cordial and constructive. A short joint statement was issued that night, which noted that “the basis exists to begin...

The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released the statement below on November 5.

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The hunger strike by asylum seekers on Nauru is now in its fifth day, still with around 300 asylum seekers refusing food. The asylum seekers report that they have the signatures of 300 people...

World

The statement below was released by the newly formed Awami Workers Party on November 2.

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Three leftist parties, Awami Party Pakistan, Labour Party Pakistan and Workers Party Pakistan, will formally merge into a new party called the Awami Workers Party (AWP) on November 11....

I am working with the International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS) based in the village of Deir Istiya in the Salfit area in central West Bank.

A lot of this area has been taken over by the Israeli settler colony of Ariel. IWPS work in solidarity with the local people and has received a...

Germany is usually presented in the mainstream media as having successfully weathered Europe’s vast economic crisis. German Chancellor Angel Merkel from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has gained enormous influence on the European political and financial scene.

By contrast, in...

If the mainstream Western media is to be believed, the world witnessed a shining example of true democracy in action in the United States on November 6.

In the Washington Post, Dan Balz described the US presidential race as a “contest of competing visions”.

Apparently,...

About 300 students from the Paraguayan National University and the private Catholic University marched to the national police headquarters in Asuncion on October 25 to protest the new Law of Higher Education (LES).

The law passed through the lower house of the Paraguayan Congress three...

While European governments continue to impose policies aimed at making working people pay for a crisis they did not cause, the Ecuadorian government of Rafael Correa has taken a different course.

“Those who are earning too much will be giving more to the poorest of this country,” a...

Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa counts on a high level of support at home. But internationally, he has been criticed for policies on development, the environment and indigenous peoples.

Tackling these issues in an interview in the September-October issue of New Left Review,...

“As if the mud, misery, loss of life and homelessness in Hurricane Sandy’s wake weren’t bad enough, the worst may yet be to come for disaster-ravaged Haiti,” Caribbean360.org said on October 31.

The article said: “Massive crop damage throughout the southern third of the country, as well...

An Australian activist, Vivienne Porzsolt was gassed with tear gas on November 7 while protesting a house demolition in the village of Hares in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. She was there with other members of the International Women’s Peace Service supporting Palestinians trying to protect...

Protesters confronted Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during his visit to Britain on October 31. They were angry at Indonesia's ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua.

Australian-born activist Peter Tatchell was arrested for holding a West Papuan independence flag near...

A Brooklyn teacher on an email list said on November 2: “As I begin writing this, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is speaking in Staten Island. She is rattling off statistics on how much water the federal government is delivering and reminding residents of the island borough of FEMA...

In 1999, I travelled to Iraq with Denis Halliday, who had resigned as assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations rather than enforce a punitive United Nations embargo on Iraq.

Devised and policed by the United States and Britain, the extreme suffering caused by these “sanctions”...

After Barack Obama was re-elected United States president for a second four-year term, US Socialist Worker published the editorial that is abridged below.

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Barack Obama has won re-election, thanks to a strong turnout by the Democratic Party's core supporters in every...

Analysis

Messages of support for Julian Assange from some of the 300 people at Green Left Weekly's 'defend WikiLeaks' dinner in November 10. Special guest was passionate advocate Christine Assange, the mother of the WikiLeaks founder, who gives a warm message to her son.

Green Left TV will also...

An Iranian man known as Omid, who is held in the Nauru detention camp, has been on hunger strike for 33 days. Refugees said medical staff had told Omid his kidneys and brain were going to fail and he would be moved to hospital “in the coming days”.

The rest of the group decided to end...

This month is the start of the wet season on the tiny island of Nauru, where more than 370 refugees are being detained in Australian army tents that leak and do nothing to keep mosquitoes out.
 
In these appalling conditions, more than 300 men are refusing food and some are refusing...

In last month’s Victorian local council elections, the Socialist Alliance’s Sue Bolton was elected to Moreland City Council in Melbourne’s north. Green Left Weekly’s Susan Price asked Bolton about the significance of the result for the Socialist...

The Infrastructure NSW chair, former Liberal premier Nick Greiner, delivered a vision for the state for the next 20 years on October 3. For the 4.5 million people living in Sydney, the State Infrastructure Strategy, titled First Things First, will mean more roads, more congestion and...

A group of progressive union activists organised in the Progressive PSA group won control of the NSW Public Service Association (PSA) in union elections that closed on October 30. They won all positions on the 45-member central council and the top position of general secretary.

...

Did you think there is a housing bubble in Australia? Not so, according to the chairperson of Aussie Home Loans, John Symond, who said last month: “I am confident, notwithstanding a lot of hype from offshore analysts about a housing bubble, of Australia’s fundamentals.”

Symond wants us...

I have been reminded lately of that line from that famous song: “How many polls must an anti-capitalist win, before we call him a democrat?”

It is one of those philosophical questions whose answer is forever blowing in the wind isn't it? Because Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won his...

Refugees held on Nauru say more than 300 men are taking part in the indefinite hunger strike, which has now entered its second week. They say they will continue until Australia’s department of immigration guarantees them passage to Australia and an immediate starts on their asylum claims.

...

The Australian Secretariat of the 2012 International Year of cooperatives co-hosted a National Co-operatives Conference in Port Macquarie over October 24 and 25. More than 250 delegates attended, representing cooperatives of all shapes and sizes and across many different sectors, including...

The Progressive PSA (PPSA) team has won important victories in elections for the 43,000-member NSW Public Service Association (PSA). PPSA member Anne Gardiner won the top position of General Secretary, and PPSA candidates took all positions on the 45-member Central Council. A recount will be...

Culture

Verbal Diary
Sneake1
www.facebook.com/Sneake1Music

When George Sambo was about seven years old, he used a wad of crooked cash to shout all his mates sausage rolls. The Queensland schoolboy couldn't have known then that those fatty rolls would set him...

Pages From a Black Radical’s Notebook: A James Boggs Reader
Edited by Stephen M. Ward, Wayne
State University Press, 2011
401 pp, $US27.95

The Italian Marxist leader Antonio Gramsci coined the term “organic intellectual” to describe workers who...

The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World’s Favorite Soft Drink
By Michael Blanding
Avery/Penguin, 2012
375 pages, $19.95 (pb)

The Truth About Ikea: The Secret Behind the World’s Fifth Richest Man and the Success of the...

Fighting Fund

One of the sneering jokes passed around business circles after mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto announced they would not pay a cent this quarter under the Gillard government’s pathetic mining tax was that the government would have collected a fat cheque had it levied a super profits tax...