Issue 960

Australia

The Refugee Action Collective released this statement on April 11.

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The Refugee Action Collective (RAC) and refugee supporters will begin an ongoing vigil, with tents to stay overnight, outside a detention centre in Broadmeadows from 6.30pm on April 11.

Long-term...

About 80 protesters made their voices heard from outside Sydney's Intercontinental hotel as the former Australian Prime Minister John Howard gave his “no regrets” on Iraq speech, hosted by conservative think-tank the Lowy Institute on April 9.

The protest was organised by Stop the War...

The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released this statement on April 8.

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At 2am on April 8, 28 ASIO-negative refugees — 24 Sri Lankan, two Iranian and two Rohingyas — began a hunger strike at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) detention centre. They have...

Sydney Stop the War Coalition released this statement on April 9.

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Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, John Howard has been invited by the conservative think-tank the Lowy Institute for International Policy to present his views.

It will be yet another “no regrets”...

Refugee rights activists from around Australia will converge on the Yongah Hill detention centre near Northam on April 26-28. Yongah Hill is near Northam, about an hour and a half from Perth.

Protesters will be highlighting the fact that thousands of refugees locked in detention centres...

About 70 people attended a community forum in Adelaide on March 27 to learn more about plans for unconventional gas extraction in South Australia.

The forum was organised in response to the South Australian government’s “Roadmap for Unconventional Gas Projects in SA” which outlines the...

National co-convenor of the Socialist Alliance, Peter Boyle, addresses the opening night session of the Marxism 2013 conference.

Marxism 2013 has been organised by Socialist Alternative and supported by Socialist Alliance, Green Left Weekly & the Revolutionary Socialist Party.

...

Socialist councillor Sam Wainwright has vowed to run a fierce campaign for the seat of Fremantle aimed at winning public support for confiscating the wealth of the mining billionaires and the big banks.

“The mining boom reveals starkly the manifest inequality of capitalism in Australia...

On March 30, Students for Palestine organised a rally against Australian university complicit in Israel's crimes.

BAE Systems is a defence company worth $US38 billion. They make everything from assault rifles, missiles, tanks, drones, nuclear weapons, and even the shackles used in...

Speakers Viv Moore and Trevor Grant addressing protesters inside the National Gallery of Victoria on April 4. The occasion was the 70th anniversary of the right wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. It featured Rupert Murdoch and Andrew Bolt and Gina Rinehart and Tony Abbott were in...

The annual Western Sydney fundraising dinner was held on March 23. In a great start to the year, organisers filled Granville Town Hall and raised more than $1600 for the Green Left Weekly fighting fund.

It was held earlier in the year than usual, but this year’s dinner was...

Bernie Rosen really was a man for the people.

He battled for the rights of the exploited and oppressed, from being a teenager before WWII, right to the very end of his life.

I have a collection of letters from Bernie, each in his increasingly spindly handwriting and each packed...

Income support for single parents has been slashed by up to $140 a fortnight as part of a new “fair incentives to work” bill adopted last year, similar to a 2006 law designed by the former John Howard government.

Insidious in nature, the new rules will move many sole parents onto...

On March 9th, 2013, around 400 people gathered in Melbourne to say no to violence against women.

A fortnight after the NSW Liberal government announced policy changes to coal seam gas (CSG) mining in NSW to ban drilling within two kilometres of some residential areas, about 400 local residents met at Springwood Civic Centre on March 24 for the “Coal seam gas — it still stinks” public forum...

“While ALP politicians are fleeing in terror from factional and media accusations about using ‘class war rhetoric’, the reality is that there is an ongoing class war that is about to be dramatically escalated if Abbott wins the September 14 elections,” says Peter Boyle.

Boyle was...

About 200 people rallied in Melbourne against media baron Rupert Murdoch in Melbourne on April 4.

Murdoch was speaking at the 70th anniversary dinner of the Institute of Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank dedicated to preserving and strengthening a pro-big business, neoliberal...

Photos by Ali Bakhtiarvandi.

A capacity crowd of about 350 people filled the room for the opening night of the Marxism 2013 conference in Melbourne on March 28.

The forum, called "Uniting the left to resist austerity, war and crisis", heard from six speakers, including Australian unionist Bob Carnegie, striking...

Sydney University staff have successfully shut down campus as part of their ongoing enterprise bargaining campaign today (March 26). The two-day strike, by members of the National Tertiary Education Union and Community and Public Sector Union, is continuing tomorrow.

The university...

Lock the Gate have launched a new campaign our Call to Country that calls for national reforms on coal and gas ahead of the 2013 federal election. As part of the launch on March 7, members will be visiting every electorate office in the country.

Our Call to Country

Together, we...

World

In recent weeks, there has been a dramatic wave of violence and repression in Guatemala that has led to the deaths of many human rights activists. Among them are peasant leaders, trade unionists, journalists and indigenous peoples.

In light of this, the Guatemala Peace and Development...

SinnFein.ie reported:

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams commenting on the death today of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said:

“Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British Prime Minister.

"Working class...

The corporate media will eulogise Margaret Thatcher, and criticise those who dare use her death to point out her many terrible crimes. But among her many crimes that will go unmentioned was the support her government gave in the 1980s to the genocidal Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge. Below is an article...

United States President Barack Obama’s trip to Israel and stopover in the West Bank was designed to emphasise Washington’s approval of the status quo, and to reassure Israelis of his firm support for their policies.

His vague statements in favour of a Palestinian state were cynical in...

The leader of Greece's Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Alexis Tsipras spoke in London on March 15 at a meeting organised by SYRIZA's London branch. SYRIZA came close to winning elections last year in Greece on a platform of rejecting austerity and making the rich, rather than working...

At the third national congress of the Left Party (Parti de Gauche) held in Bordeaux from March 22 to 24, France’s newest and fastest-growing socialist group seemed to come of age.

Only four years old, the Left Party was born after its leading figure, Jean-Luc Melenchon, long-time leader...

The results of Venezuela's presidential elections in a few weeks may well predictable, with polls showing socialist candidate Nicolas Maduro well ahead of his right-wing opponent. But we are going through a fragile, vulnerable period, with a future that is less predictable.

These...

As tensions rise and threat of war seems to be grow on the Korean Peninsula, most media portrayals can make it seem be entirely the fault of an out-of-control militarist North Korean regime. Missing from the story are the actions of the United States in militarising the region and repeatedly...

Former chair of the US National Intelligence Council, Thomas Fingar, received the 2013 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence in January for his role overseeing the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.

The NIE report found that all 16 US intelligence agencies...

US International Socialist Organisation member Brian Jones speaking at the opening night of Marxism 2013. This snippet from his speech deals with the hypocrisy and current contradictions in US capitalism including the fights by teachers for justice in education.

Analysis

WikiLeaks has announced it will form a party to contest the Australian federal elections in September this year. Julian Assange has confirmed he will stand for election in the Victorian senate, with other WikiLeaks candidates in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia to be announced...

For many years the Manningham council in Melbourne’s northeast, which consists of 10 suburbs, the largest being Doncaster and Templestowe, has been advocating for some form of mass rail transport.

Manningham is the only Melbourne metropolitan municipality without train or tram services....

When the Murdoch-owned Australian starts attacking students who took to the streets on March 27 as part of the National Union of Students’ (NUS) protest for free education, it is evidence that student activism makes conservatives very nervous.

A March 28 article by Kylar...

“The future is uncertain for more than 400 Shell employees,” ABC.net.au said on April 4, “after the company announced it is selling its refinery in Geelong in Victoria.”

Shell's Clyde refinery in NSW and Caltex's Lytton refinery in Queensland are both closing, at a cost of 1080 jobs....

Twelve years ago, with the support of the United Nations, world leaders agreed to work together to achieve universal education, promote gender equality and halve extreme poverty by 2015.

Known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the initiative has been described as the “most...

The Northern Territory women’s policy minister, Alison Anderson, told a gathering at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne that “domestic violence has reached a crisis point”, the ABC reported on April 4.

It is unclear when Anderson thinks this crisis started. Certainly it is not new. The...

It seems that everyone in Australia can now agree that a class war has erupted. Former Labor Party leader Simon Crean, recently sacked by Prime Minister Julia Gillard said: “The Labor Party has always operated most effectively when it has been inclusive, when it’s sought consensus, not when it...

For anyone who knows the science, it’s settled — fossil fuels need to be banished fast from our energy mix. But how do we achieve it? Can we rely on renewable sources such as wind and solar? Or must humanity turn to nuclear power?

That’s a controversy that has bubbled away for years...

A picture of a 1938 Daily Mail article titled "German Jews pouring into this country”, circulated social media networks last week and drew comparison with Australia's “stop the boats” obsession.

“The number of Jewish aliens entering this country through the 'back door'” was “an...

The overwhelming majority of the 1140 people who attended some part of the Marxism 2013 conference would have agreed with Socialist Alternative national executive member Vashti Kenway at the opening session: “I am feeling extremely hopeful of developments here in the left in Australia.”

...

The ongoing strike at Sydney University attracted national media attention on March 26 when strike-supporting students were dragged from a lecture theatre by riot police.

The students were engaged in a “roaming picket” that was disrupting one of the few remaining classes held that day...

Culture

A selection of the past week's celebrity news...

Because space for Cultural Dissent articles in the print version of Green Left is limited, this round-up is intended to point to things happening culturally in which Green Left readers might also be...

Silence The World
Adept
March 22, 2013
Panic & Action Records
www.adeptofficial.com

Swedish post-hardcore band Adept put plenty of politics into their punk, but never forget how to party, wherever they are in the world. Green Left...

The strike of musicians at the San Francisco Symphony has already had an immediate impact on the institution.

Only a few days after walking out, management called off a large East Coast tour. For the Symphony, which has posted a deficit for each of the past four seasons, this will hurt...