Issue 962

Australia

It’s a blight on the landscape. Participants of this year’s 11th annual refugee rights convergence gasped as the bus pulled off the Great Eastern Highway in Western Australia at the sight of the Yongah Hill detention centre.

The detention centre was built in June last year and was...

In an attempt to stop students protesting against the federal Labor government's $2.3 billion cut to higher education, NSW police pushed protesters off the road as they marched from Sydney University to Labor MP Tanya Plibersek's office in Broadway, central Sydney.

Julia Gillard's...

50 people rallied on April 18 to save the gender studies department from being cut at the University of Queensland.

UQ has been teaching gender studies for 41 years and it is the only university in Queensland that still does. The university has announced it will discontinue the gender...

To mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting of four Aboriginal teenagers in Kings Cross, a rally will be held on April 26 to demand an end to police investigating cases of police violence.

The rally will gather outside the Kings Cross police station to voice disapproval of the...

An emergency speak-out: "Hands off Venezuela" was called by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) at Sydney Town Hall on April 19. Almost 100 people attended the rally, plus a small counter-protest of about a dozen Venezuelan supporters of the right-wing opposition.

The rally...

A 10-day hunger strike and protest carried out by a group of refugees in a Melbourne detention centre ended on April 17.

Twenty-seven refugees in the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation centre in Broadmeadows were refusing food and water, and sleeping on the ground outdoors to...

Australia Post workers are now in enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) negotiations with their employer.

Last financial year Australia Post made an after-tax profit of $281 million after it paid the federal government a $213 million dividend. Workers have been falling behind the...

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network released this statement on April 17.

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The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network joins with all those voices for democracy and peace to call for an immediate end to the opposition-initiated violence now occurring in Venezuela.

...

A protest was held outside Labor minister Tanya Plibersek's office in Sydney on April 17 to protest the Julia Gillard government's $2.3 billion cut to tertiary education over the next four years.

The government says they are cutting money from tertiary education in order to increase...

World

On April 2, 1911 women all over Britain were holding all-night parties, staying out at concerts and late-night restaurants, skating at ice rinks until the morning and generally having a very good time.

But this was also a huge act of civil disobedience because the April 2 was Census...

The average worker in Britain's south-west has lost £1522 a year ($2255) in earnings since the coalition came to power, new research from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) showed, Morning Star said on April 19.

The figures, which do not take into account rises in consumption taxes...

An armed squad stormed the main office of Uthayan, a Tamil language daily newspaper published in the city of Jaffna in Sri Lanka's north, At 4.45am on April 13. The attackers set fire to the printing presses and copies of the paper that were ready for distribution.

The Tamilnet...

Chinese leaders are aware that visiting Western leaders will be under some pressure from their domestic constituencies to raise Tibet, human rights and other “sensitive” issues.

So a mechanism has been considerately created to cater for this need. It consists of a meaningless piece of...

Thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails marked Prisoners' Day with protests on April 17, joined by supporters outside the wire.

More than 3000 detainees refused breakfast as part of a one-day hunger strike in solidarity with Samer Essawi, whose on-off fast has lasted more...

The New York-based National Lawyers Guild released a statement on April 16 on the Venezuela elections it helped monitor. An NLG spokesperson said: "The U.S. would do well to incorporate some of the security checks and practices that are routine in Venezuela to improve both the level of...

Hundreds of working-class people waiting outside of a closed grocery store for the possibility of getting the remaining food is not the picture of the “American Dream.” Yet on March 23, outside the Laney Walker Supermarket in Augusta, Ga., that is exactly what happened.

Residents filled...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has the potential to become the largest “free trade” deal in the world. Negotiations began in Melbourne in March 2010, involving Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and the US. The combined GDP of...

The continued rightward shift of capitalist politics in the United States was underscored with the official release of President Barack Obama’s proposed budget.

In it, Obama proposes to cut the already inadequate pension program for the elderly known as Social Security and the medical...

Ever since Malaysia was granted independence in 1957, the party that the British colonial rulers groomed and installed as their neo-colonial puppets, the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), has clung on to power by hook or by crook.

At various points in history, UMNO (the central...

N THE 60 years since the end of the Korean War, U.S. policy toward North Korea has fluctuated between the options of "containment" and "rollback."

Sometimes, the policy has shifted in the course of one presidency. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both started out as advocates of rollback...

The April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon were another gut-wrenching reminder of how precious and fragile human life can be, how suddenly and cruelly it can be taken away.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, we are offered a glimpse of some of the worst aspects of humanity — the actions...

As the Venezuelan opposition is emboldened by chaos on the streets, reactionary propaganda on the private airwaves that still dominate Venezuela's media landscape and firm support from Washington, now is the time for the international left to galvanise support for the Bolivarian revolution....

“The coup has already been defeated” declared Nicolas Maduro, the winner of the April 14 presidential elections, mid-morning on April 16. By that time, seven people had been assassinated by fascist bands who were activated the night before in attacks at headquarters of the governing Unified...

A US jury ordered oil giant Exxon Mobil to pay US$236 million to the state of New Hampshire on April 9 to clean up groundwater contamination from fuel additive MTBE, the Morning Star said.

Jurors sat through nearly three months of testimony in the longest trial in New Hampshire...

Socialist Worker contributors Khury Petersen-Smith and Sofia Arias attended the Boston Marathon as spectators. They had left the finish line area only an hour before two explosions ripped through the crowd. So far, the death toll stands at...

The statement below was released by the Party of the Labouring Masses, a socialist party from the Philippines, on April 5.

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The situation on the Korean peninsula has taken a belligerent new turn drawing the entire region into a threatening climate of war preparations.

...

In the aftermath of Venezuela's April 14 presidential elections that was won by the candidate of the Boliviaran revolution, Nicolas Maduro, the right-wing opposition has refused to respect the result and is carrying out a campaign of often-violent street protests.

There are reports of...

Analysis

The truth about Anzac Day is that it is as much about denial as it is about remembrance. It is a denial that functions for both sides of the original conflict.

The two countries that have invested much energy into sustaining the Gallipoli industry — Australia and Turkey — also have a...

The federal government’s plan to cut $2.3 billion from university funding is wrong. The government should end public funding to private schools and make mining companies and banks pay instead.

It makes no sense for Julia Gillard’s government to fund primary and secondary education by...

New research has found workers suffer many problems associated with working 12-hour shifts and rotating shifts. These problems include a disturbed body-clock, shortened and distorted sleep, and disturbed family and social life.

This resulted in acute effects on fatigue, mood and...

Two years ago, refugee advocates learned five men detained in Darwin's Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) had sewn their mouths together and were protesting against delays to their cases. Advocates alerted the media of the self-harm in July, 2011.

But immigration spokespeople...

The NSW Coalition government’s decision to privatise two large ports was announced in July last year. It expected to receive $3 billion from the sale.

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird said on April 12 that the consortium NSW Ports would buy 99-year leases for two of the state’s international...

“We want our country to be alive. We don't want it to be dead because that’s our country, that’s our spirit country, we come from that country,” said Aboriginal traditional owner Teresa Roe to a crowd outside Woodside's office on April 12.

The gathering was a celebration after the...

Some things should never be forgotten, and some things should never be forgiven. Both apply to the mass slaughter of ordinary people in World War I, including Gallipoli.

April 25 is ANZAC Day -- the day, we are told, when we remember the sacrifices of those who fought and died for the...

Business Council of Australia (BCA) chief Tony Shepherd was on his bipartisan and diplomatic best when he addressed the National Press Council on April 17 to outline the peak corporate body's “economic vision and action plan for Australia”.

But if you sweep aside the verbal camouflage,...

The first coalmine in the Illawarra began operating at Mount Keira in August 1849. As the industry developed, the Illawarra Mercury of 1857 confidently asserted: “Our Black Diamonds will promote commerce and add to our social industry.”

Mining coal by hand was dangerous work...

As Venezuelan people fight to have the elected government of Nicolas Maduro recognised, the nation’s democracy and election processes have been questioned by Australian media.

Australians, as well as being told how lucky they are to live in such a prosperous country, are also told how...

Socialist Alliance member and TAFE student Sarah Hathway spoke at a rally at Geelong TAFE on April 16. Her speech is abridged below.

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I’m currently studying a Diploma of Community Services at the Gordon [TAFE]. Like many of us here, I also studied at...

This is a speech given to a speakout in Sydney on April 10 against the Gillard government’s racism towards overseas workers employed on 457 visas.

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What this debate is about isn’t a particular category of visa. What it’s about is racism, and the zero tolerance that Australian...

The federal Labor government has announced it intends to dramatically increase funding to primary and high school education as part of the Gonski reforms. But before you think that maybe, just maybe, the government might be making some policy that could be defended by progressives, there's a...

The Victorian state council of the Australian Education Union (AEU) held a special meeting on April 17 to consider an offer from the Coalition state government to commit to a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).

The AEU and the state government have been in dispute over the EBA for...

Culture

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

Talib Kweli: Rapper says of Boston bombing, 'violence begets violence'. http://bit.ly/11fowMJ

Lauryn Hill To Record New Music To Pay Tax Bill? http://bit.ly/15Ip82z

Yoko Ono To Unveil Not-For-Profit John Lennon...

Greening The Media
Richard Maxwell & Toby Miller
Oxford University Press, 2012
246 pages, $44.80 (pb)

There is a reason why the typical electronic product warranty lasts only 12 months, say Richard Maxwell and Toby Miller in Greening...

Last year, multi-award-winning playwright Angela Betzien undertook a three week residency in the Queensland town of Mt Morgan where she researched and developed a play exploring the impact of mining. Tall Man, a 50-minute two-hander, received standing ovations...

The dead. The injured. The anguish. All the result of bombs that were set to explode at the finish line just over four hours after the start of the Boston Marathon.

There will be time to mourn. We will mourn the dead and injured. I also mourn the Boston Marathon, and how it's now been...

Latin America's Turbulent Transitions: The Future of 21st Century Socialism
By Roger Burbach, Michael Fox & Federico Fuentes
Zed Books, 2013
www.futuresocialism.org

In a quirk of history, Margaret Thatcher died a little more than one month...