Issue 953

Australia

The Save Coburg group has already registered a win.

The group was formed at a public meeting of about 60 residents, facilitated by newly elected Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton.

The main concern at the meeting was the scale of a development proposed by Moreland Council,...

The article below first appeared on TamilNet on February 5.

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Tamil diaspora activists in Europe, Canada and Australia staged protests on February 4 coinciding with Sri Lanka’s official 65th “independence day”, with activists alleging that this so-called “independence” was only a...

About 100 people gathered outside the Queensland state government’s executive building on February 1 to voice concerns over the coal industry’s destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

The rally was organised under Greenpeace's Save the Reef campaign. It was supported by the Australian...

Perth activist Trish McAuliffe had a run-in with Stirling City Council in Perth's northern suburbs over a banner on her property advertising a public meeting about gas fracking.

McAuliffe is a member of grassroots campaign group No Fracking Way and put up a hand-painted banner on her...

Unemployed workers staged a protest at a Werribee construction site where they say workers have been brought from overseas on subclass 457 work visas, without advertising the positions locally.
 
“We've spoken to management on site, they have confirmed there's 457 visa workers here...

The open letter below was released by the Aboriginal Tent Embassies in Canberra and Brisbane of February 8.

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We are disappointed and outraged at the racist message conveyed in the Australian article "Rivers of Grog" on February 6. Those of us gathered at the...

The Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition (SAWC) is inviting people to join their float in this year’s Mardi Gras parade on March 2.

Spokesperson Linda Pearson said: “SAWC is entering a float in this year’s Mardi Gras to raise awareness about Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, and to ...

The Refugee Action Coalition has condemned the deal with New Zealand to take 150 refugees processed in Australia each year.

“This deal does nothing to provide security for a greater number of asylum seekers or refugees. Australia can easily resettle 150 a year itself.

“But, the...

Last August, La Trobe University was engulfed in protests from students demanding a reversal of cuts to the humanities and social sciences faculty.

More than 600 subjects and 41 full-time positions were permanently wiped out by the corporate-minded vice-chancellor, John Dewar.
 ...

A branch of the James Connolly Association was established in Melbourne in November last year. The Association was formed in Australia in 2011 and is named after the Irish patriot who lived and died in defence of Irish socialist republicanism.

The aim of the association is to create...

This statement was released by The Wilderness Society on February 8.

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The Wilderness Society is deeply disappointed that the Tarkine National Heritage listing does not recognise the extraordinary natural values of this iconic region.

“We welcome the long overdue...

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is scheduled to meet the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce in Casula on February 13, but he’s not going to enjoy a quiet lunch. Anti-coal seam gas (CSG) campaigners are planning a protest to show their opposition to CSG mining in the area.

Greens activist Suzie...

World

It started in Colombia in 2000, moved on to Mexico in 2008 and now rages in Central America. Since the beginning of the century, the US-backed “war on drugs” has progressively spread throughout the northern part of Latin America, leaving tens of thousands of lost lives in its wake.

An in...

The doctrine of national security imposed by the United States on Latin America, which fostered the dictatorships of the 1970s and '80s, is making a comeback in Honduras. A new law is combining military defence of the country with police strategies for maintaining domestic order.

The law...

“I saw men, women and children die during that time,” former US drone pilot Brandon Bryant told the December 10 Der Spiegel. “I never thought I would kill that many people. In fact, I thought I couldn’t kill anyone at all.”

Studies of soldiers who have served in the front-line...

There has been much speculation in the international media over the future of Venezuela in light of the poor health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The Venezuelan government reported on February 4 that Chavez's recovery in Cuba, from a cancer-related operation in December, was proceeding...

Protests against the Al-Khalifa regime have escalated in Bahrain ahead of the two-year anniversary of the uprising's start in mid-February and planned national talks between the opposing camps. The protests were spurred on by court rulings against jailed activists and more deaths caused by...

President Barack Obama's nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA underscores the administration's drive to assert absolute executive power in the “war on terrorism” without any outside constraints or possibility of review.

Brennan was a public defender of the use of torture and "...

For a moment he lost himself in the old, familiar dream. He imagined that he was master of the sky, that the world lay spread out beneath him, inviting him to travel where he willed. It was not the world of his own time that he saw, but the lost world of the dawn -- a rich and living...

“France is in Mali for the long haul.” That was the headline of France’s daily newspaper Le Monde on February 4. The newspaper's front page, as well as pages 2 and 3, were devoted to a discussion over “what next” for France in Mali.

The views of Le Monde's editors were...

Statement on the military intervention in Mali by the Africa Network of the Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt (CADTM), January 29.

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The dramatic situation denounced in the appeal sent out by the women of Mali must open our eyes to a terrible reality that...

The shale gas industry-commissioned white paper, The Global Anti-Fracking Movement: What it Wants, How it Operates and What’s Next, makes for some very interesting reading.

It was produced late last year by Control Risks, an “independent, global risk consultancy specialising in...

Furious protests have exploded onto Tunisia's streets and a general strike has been called after the assassination of left-wing politician and lawyer Chokri Belaid on February 6.

Belaid was head of the far-left Party of Democratic Patriots (PPD). His killing is Tunisia's first reported...

Analysis

Billionaire Rupert Murdoch's propaganda machine has a penchant for using Green Left Weekly as a metaphor for left-wing opinion.

This was on the sports page of the February 4 issue of its giveaway tabloid mX: “Shane Warne played Statesman last week with his ambitious...

The arrest on February 6 of an Indigenous elder and another Githabul traditional owner on a coal seam gas (CSG) blockade should act as a siren call to all those concerned about our future.

They were arrested along with farmers and other Lock the Gate campaigners for mounting a blockade...

Ten years ago, the February 14-16, 2003 global protests against the looming US-led invasion of Iraq involved more than 12 million people in 700 cities around the world. A million people marched around Australia — 500,000 of them in a huge protest in Sydney that was so big that most participants...

The Labor federal government and the Greens said on January 23 that an 8.6% fall in emissions from the energy sector proved the new carbon price scheme was working. But evidence from Europe suggests Australia’s emissions trading scheme is likely to hinder, not help, emissions cuts.

...

Thousands of government and private school teachers plus education support (ES) staff will stop work for 24 hours on February 14. They will attend two separate stop work meetings, then join to march together on the Victorian parliament to show their determination to win better working conditions...

A report has found that focusing on the treatment and rehabilitation, rather than imprisonment, of Aboriginal people facing drug and alcohol-related charges would save state and territory governments up to $110,000 a year for every person.

The Deloitte Access Economics report, released...

A highly publicised report by the United Nations' refugee agency labeled conditions in the Manus Island refugee camp “unlawful”, but stopped short of pushing the government to close it completely.

The report was released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on February 4...

National protests have been held around the country to oppose changes to welfare payments for sole parents. The federal Labor government is forcing parents to switch to the Newstart allowance once their youngest child turns eight, leaving parents up to $140 a fortnight worse off.

A new...

Sam Wainwright has been a Socialist Alliance councillor on the City of Fremantle council since 2009, when he was elected in the Hilton ward with 33% of the vote. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mel Barnesabout what he has been able to achieve while on council.

The first part of this...

It was great to see all big health unions in Victoria hold a joint community rally on February 3 to protest against the state and federal governments’ slashing of health funding in Victoria. But any casual observer couldn’t help feeling that a re-elect Labor strategy was lurking.

It was...

Naturally, once Julia Gillard called the federal election for September 14, it was all hands on deck in Labor to spruik the party and its many great achievements to ensure Tony Abbott is denied keys to The Lodge.

And so Labor's federal vice-president Tony Sheldon was straight onto it...

Soon after Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the September 14 federal election, opposition immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison confirmed the Coalition's startling plans to turn back every refugee from Sri Lanka without exception.

This would include a new plan to enlist the...

Resistance!

Important rallies were held across the country in defence of the single parent payment on February 5. After having the welfare safety net in Australia for some time, it seems insane there is a need to protest to protect such rights.

But protests like these made welfare a reality in the...

Culture

A selection of this week's celebrity news...

Vivienne Jolie-Pitt's Salary Revealed: Angelina Jolie's Daughter Earns $3,000 a Week for Maleficent http://eonli.ne/V48fvL

Zero Dark Thirty: Osama bin Laden Shooter Says Jessica Chastain's Performance Was "Awesome"...

Greenwash: Big Brands & Carbon Scams
Guy Pearse
Black Inc., 2012
264 pages, $29.99 (pb)

The response of big business to global warming, their propaganda would have us believe, is to ride to the rescue by reducing their carbon emissions. As...

It appears that the movement for a cultural boycott of Israel can claim another victory. On January 5 guitarist Stanley Jordan announced he will not be performing at the winter installment of Israel’s Red Sea Jazz Festival.

In a brief statement on his Facebook page, Jordan stated: “My...

Fasayi'il, in the Jordan Valley, 8pm on a Friday evening; a desert community bathed in the glow of the moon, with barely an artificial light visible for miles.

In the centre of the village a single tent shines, accompanied by a soundtrack of music, singing and laughter. Inside, four...