Issue 964

Australia

The biggest Labour Day march in Australia took place in Brisbane on May 5, as thousands of unionists marched through the city in celebration.

More than 30,000 took to the streets across the state over the past weekend, expressing their anger towards the Campbell Newman government.

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The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on April 30, in response to apparent plans to move children and women to high-security detention centres in Australia’s north and north-west.

Wickham Point detention centre, near Darwin, was built by the...

New South Wales’ peak advocate for housing justice, Shelter, held a conference in Sydney on April 18 to look at the challenges in housing assistance facing policymakers and decide what key steps need to be taken to improve housing outcomes for disadvantaged people.

NSW Minister for...

Ten thousand building workers walked off the job and rallied in Melbourne's CBD on April 30 to protest against the poor safety record of construction companies such as Grocon.

Unionists led by the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) marched from Trades Hall to Grocon's...

About 40 protesters rallied outside the University of New South Wales main library on April 30 to oppose the planned opening of a Max Brenner chocolate store on campus, and call for UNSW to adopt the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid.

As the call...

About 50 people attended a community safety forum organised by Moreland City Council on April 24.

The forum was organised as part of the debate about how to make the streets safer following the murder of Jill Meagher last year.

The state government’s proposal to fund installation...

Social justice and anti-deaths in custody organisations around Australia formed a new national coalition on February 10.

The new group will allow for national actions to be organised when a death in custody occurs that requires a national response and coordinated action.

The...

About 200 people rallied outside NSW government offices on May 3 to protest the decision of the NSW Liberal government to defund the Welfare Rights Centre (WRC), an advice and advocacy service for pensioners, the unemployed and other welfare recipients.

The $400,000 cut is 40% of the WRC...

Palestine Action Group Sydney released this statement on May 2.

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Supporters of Palestine have responded to a May 2 report in the Australian that asserted that Max Brenner Israel has no direct shares in Max Brenner Australia as irrelevant to the solidarity campaign for...

World

The Ecosocialist Conference, a broad and enthusiastic all-day meeting in New York April 20, took a big step toward creating an anti-capitalist wing of the environmental movement.

The conference was arranged in just six weeks by organizers of the Ecosocialist Contingent in the mass...

Luigi Preiti, a 49-year old unemployed man from the Calabria region of southern Italy, walked towards Palazzo Chigi on April 28, the seat of the Italian government in Rome, holding a gun. As the military police patrolling the palace tried to stop him, Preiti went on a shooting spree.

He...

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, veteran Irish civil rights leader, said in response to the case of Irish republican Marian Price, who was returned to jail in 2011: “It is a clear signal to everyone who is not 'on board' and who is not of the same mind as the government that no dissent will be...

More than 800 people rallied in Thellippazhai on April 29, a town in the north of the island of Sri Lanka. They marched towards the entrance of a nearby military zone.

The Tamilnet website said the rally organisers had been warned by police that a march would not be permitted, but rally...

Jailed WikiLeaks whistleblower and US soldier, Bradley Manning, was named on April 25 as the grand marshal in this year’s LGBTI Pride Parade in San Francisco. But, amid controversy and pressure, San Francisco Pride president Lisa Williams issued a statement the next day rescinding the honour....

Australian politicians often describe India as “the world’s biggest democracy”. The reality is somewhat different.

I found this out when I attended the ninth congress of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) from April 2-7. Two CPI-ML members were killed in the lead-up...

May Day this year in Spain was not built as a special mobilisation against austerity, poverty and unemployment, and did not coincide with a general strike. Despite that, this was not a ritualistic May Day.

Crowds were well up on previous May Days, especially in Barcelona where 170,000...

When East Timor won its independence from Indonesia in 1999, the country's medical infrastructure in rural areas was almost non-existent.

When then-Cuban President Fidel Castro heard about the problem at a regional summit, he offered to send Cuban doctors free of charge — as many as were...

There’s a new president in Latin America, and his name isn’t Nicolas Maduro. The election that brought him to power was called by an illegitimate regime following a coup d’etat, and his name isn’t Porfirio Lobo.

He’s a wealthy, conservative businessman, and his name isn’t Sebastian...

It would be hard to find somewhere that celebrates May Day more enthusiastically than Venezuela. But this year celebrations were marred by claims made in a document that could easily be mistaken for a lift-out from a UFO enthusiasts' magazine.

Since losing the presidential election on...

Facing a huge hunger strike by desperate prisoners at the US military base in Guantanamo, Cuba, President Obama has acknowledged that the prison should be shut down. He said the same thing more than four years ago when he was running for his first term, but did nothing after he was elected....

On this May 1, a day of international working class solidarity, we in the Philippine labor and progressive movement, stand with the Venezuelan working class and the people of Venezuela in their struggle to elect the government of their choice to pursue their demands and goals for Socialism of...

There were large marches in Caracas by supporters and opponents of venezuela's revolutionary government on May 1, as well as smaller ones around the country, to mark International Workers Day. Government supporters celebrated a minimum wage rise and a new labour law that extends workers' rights...

Bolivian President Evo Morales told a May Day demonstration in La Paz that his government would expel the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the BBC said that day.

The US government-funded agency provides funds and training to groups around the world that support US...

Thousands of workers paraded through central Dhaka on May Day to demand safety at work after the collapse of garment factory on April 24 -- the country's worst industrial disaster. The collapse killed 402 people and injured 2500.

A huge procession of workers on foot, lorry and motorcycle...

Tens of thousands of workers in Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Turkey and scores of other countries across the world marched en masse for May Day.

More than 50,000 low-paid workers rallied in the streets of Jakarta today to demand better pay and improved working conditions.

...

Analysis

I received a knock on the door on April 16 from two members of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, better known as ASIO.

The two told me they would like to have a conversation. When I asked what they wanted to speak about, they told me they were doing their job —...

Eleven miles by ferry from Perth is Western Australia's "premier tourist destination". This is Rottnest Island, whose scabrous wild beauty and isolation evoked for me Robben Island in South Africa.

Empires are never short of devil's islands; what makes Rottnest different, indeed what...

In a different world — in a better world — Jock Palfreeman would not be in a jail serving a 20-year sentence. Instead he'd be awarded a medal for great courage, principle and instinctive support for victims of racist violence.

He would not be locked away in a jail in Bulgaria. He’d be...

James Hansen resigned from his position as director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in April to devote more time to campaigning to cut global carbon emissions.

In addition to his scientific research on climate change, Hansen has been arrested several times in recent years at...

Economic forecasting agency BIS Shrapnel has reported that engineering work, spurred on by the mining boom, would be about $128 billion in Australia this financial year.

It may be easy to suggest that, despite the rumours, the mining boom is set to continue long into the future.

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The smuggling of cameras inside detention camps on Nauru and Manus Island by the ABC's Four Corners has added to pressure on Labor to answer for the shocking conditions in which men, women and children are being held.

Footage that was aired on April 29 showed rows of muddy tents...

It has been four years since the Tamil rebels were crushed by the Sri Lankan armed forces. The Sri Lankan government, led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, still denies that any human rights violations occurred.

In March, a second UN Human Rights Council resolution called on the Rajapaksa government...

Moreland Council is proposing to install more CCTV cameras in response to concerns about safety after the murder of Jill Meagher last year.

The expansion of CCTV cameras, already a civil liberties concern, would do little to make women safer on the streets at night.

As part of this...

People of the world, freedom is under attack! And as shocking as it might seem, this threat to liberty is emerging from within the “Land of the Free” itself.

Yes, there was actually a bill put to US Congress that sought to increase the background checks on individuals seeking to buy semi...

Presentation by Gaye Page-Burt to the January 31 Sustainable Transport Forum in the Fremantle Town Hall.

Page-Burt was representing the Fremantle Road To Rail Campaign.

Years of campaigning and mass protest have culminated in another round of victories for the worldwide movement for equal marriage rights. In the past month, a further three countries have voted to allow people of the same sex to marry.

A vote in Uruguay’s parliament on April 11 made it...

In an article in the Australian on April 20, Adam Creighton asserted that: “Teachers’ unions in Australia and worldwide have been astonishingly successful at hoodwinking the public into thinking smaller classes matter.”

As a teacher with over 30 years’ experience and a member of...

Letters

Anyone who reads Green Left Weekly would probably know Bernie Rosen was an inexhaustible letter writer and so it seems fitting to compose one in his honour.

Although it should be said that Bernie’s emphasis on letters later in his life was no doubt in part because his other...

Resistance!

Austerity almost seems like the defining feature of politics today. Across Europe and the US, crippling cuts to education, health care and welfare budgets are driving millions further into poverty.

Even in Australia, where our economy has been spared the worst of the financial crisis,...

Culture

A selection of this week's politically-relevant entertainment news...

Snoop Lion Defaces Defenceless Barack Obama With New Snoopify App http://bit.ly/12ff9gy

Unmanned Drones To Deliver Delicious Beverage Relief To Punters At Music Festival http://bit.ly/12fcLGz...

Hearing the news made me feel like I'd accidentally walked into a wind tunnel. For as long as I had written about this issue and as many times as I had said in recent years that this will happen in a matter of months if not weeks, it still hit me like a triple shot of espresso cut with a...

Lately it seems that we can’t get away from the hard, simple fact that art requires labour — both in the actual creation and in the conditions that make it possible.

Where there’s labour there’s normally a lot of hard work and sacrifice. And where there’s hard work and sacrifice, there’s...

Tall Man
Written by Angela Betzien
Directed by Leticia Caceres
La Mama, Melbourne

Despite the cold I ventured out to La Mama - a small, quirky and iconic theatre in Melbourne to see Tall Man, a new work by the infamous Melbourne theatre posse...

Deep Thought EP
Caper
April 5, 2013
www.caper.net.au

Rapper Caper slams the Native Title Act as a "white bible" on his latest release.

The Narungga emcee, who has worked as a Native Title field officer in South Australia for the past 10...

Fighting Fund

The federal Labor government had a rare win when it wedged Tony Abbott and the Liberal opposition into supporting its plan to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) through an increase in the Medicare levy.

But will this be enough to stop Abbott from winning the next...