Issue 967

Australia

Over 1000 people - organisers said 1600 - marched through the streets of Perth in opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the company Monsanto (which is one of the foremost proponents of GMO technology).

The rally was one of more than 400 actions that took place in over...

Registrations are now open for the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s (AVSN) next brigade to revolutionary Venezuela. The solidarity tour, to run over December 4-13 this year, will be a special one for the AVSN, the first since the election of President Nicolas Maduro following the death...

Delegates arriving at the Australia-China Minerals Investment Summit in Darwin on May 17 were met with about 20 protesters. The group had a strong message for those going into the convention centre: “Stop uranium mining, lock the gates on shale oil and gas, go solar!”

The summit was...

This is a speech by Peter Boyle, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Sydney, at a rally for equal marriage rights in Sydney on May 25.

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Let me begin by acknowledging that we are gathering here today on stolen Aboriginal land, the land of the Gadigal...

The Tamil Refugee Council released this statement on May 22

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The decision to release Tamil widow, Manokala, and her six-year-old son, Ragavan, from indefinite detention was a welcome move, and opens up many questions about ASIO’s adverse security assessments, the Tamil Refugee...

About 100 people attended a rally at the University of Sydney on May 23 to protest the police brutality that has occurred at picket line held at the university earlier this month.

Staff at Sydney University are involved in an enterprise bargaining process between the National Tertiary...

The North West Alliance released this statement on May 23.

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A broad range of farmers and community members concerned about the impacts of new mining and coal seam gas proposals across NSW north-west are expressing their support for the Gomeroi native title claimants in their...

World

There are more than half a million poor or socially marginalised children in Greece, while 322,000 of these are in dire straits materially, the Athens-Macedonia News Agency said on May 22. The shocking statistics were found in a “The state of the children of Greece 2013” report by the United...

The Obama administration asserts that presidents of the United States have the power to wage endless war anywhere in the world without permission or hindrance from Congress.

This claim is reiterates the position of the Bush administration, which was most strongly pushed by Bush’s vice-...

The 40-day strike of more than 500 dockworkers at the Port of Hong Kong ended on May 6 with a settlement that included a 9.8% wage rise, non-retaliation against strikers and a written agreement, all of which had been fiercely resisted by the four contractors targeted in the strike.

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In West Papua, May 1 holds a special significance besides being the international day marking working-class struggle. It was on May 1, 1963, that Indonesia was granted control of the western half of the New Guinea island the by the United Nations.

Since then, many West Papuan...

A report released in May by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and the Norwegian Refugee Council shows that 32.4 million people were forced to flee their homes last year by disasters such as floods, storms and earthquakes. Asia and west and central Africa bore the brunt, but 1.3 million...

Founder of Venezuela’s world famous El Sistema music program, Jose Abreu, met with President Nicolas Maduro on May 22 to discuss expanding the program. They agreed on a project called Musical Program Simon Bolivar, which aims to have 1 million Venezuelan youths and children playing musical...

The People's Assembly is electrifying the movement against austerity in Britain. Hundreds of new people are flocking to People's Assembly meetings around the country to hear speakers like author Owen Jones, comic Mark Steel, anti-war activist Lindsey German, trade unionists and local campaigners...

Francisco Louca is an economics professor at the Technical University of Lisbon. Louca was part of the student movement against the Salazar dictatorship in the 1970s. He was a founding member of the Left Bloc, launched in 1999 when several left groups united....

The first McDonald's strike ever in Wellington took place on May 22. At 8am, five of the seven workers on shift came off the job and joined the picket line that had been set up outside Bunny St McDonald's.

It was a noisy, lively affair, with Fightback member and Wellington Unite union...

After a relatively quiet couple of years, the Unite union, which organises fast food and other previously unorganised sectors, has burst into action with a vigorous industrial campaign against McDonald's.

The key demands are focused around winning a NZ$15 starting wage, an end to...

Bolivia is demonstrating to the world why nationalising natural resources is a crucial first step for any government seeking to put people and the environment before profits.

On May 1, 2006, less than four months after becoming president, Evo Morales decreed the nationalisation of the...

WikiLeaks released an enormous treasure-trove of classified US government documents in 2010. It included US military logs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, over 250,000 diplomatic cables, and Collateral Murder, a video depicting the killing of 12 civilians by a US helicopter...

The May 22 attack in Woolwich yesterday was horrific. There can be no justification for a murderous attack on an individual soldier in the streets of London. It must have been awful, too, for the local people who witnessed it.

Unlike with most terrorist attacks or indeed other crimes, we...

An important summit of global significance, held in Brazil May 16-20, has largely passed below the radar of most media outlets, including many left and progressive sources.

This summit was not the usual type, involving heads of states and business leaders.

Instead, it was a...

Jose Maria Aznar, Spain’s messianically neoliberal former prime minister, announced during a television interview on May 21 that he was ready again to serve his country.

“I will act in accordance with my responsibility, my conscience, my party and my country, regardless of consequences,...

When my eyes caught the words “thoughts are with Oklahoma” on a friend's Facebook status update, my heart skipped a beat. As I hurriedly scanned the first article that I found, I saw the words “devastation” and “Moore”, and my stomach tightened.

I dialed my father's house and got that...

Analysis

In the wake of Ford's decision to close up in Australia, at the cost of 1200 jobs directly and potentially more 10,000 manufacturing jobs all up, fellow corporate giant Holden publicly said it was “ready to seek” more government subsidies.

A very brave decision, considering Holden...

It’s been a busy week for discussions of racism. Delta Goodrem re-tweeted a photo of a fan in blackface and was criticised for being racist, Mia Freedman defended her and asked us all to save the word racist for something really important, and we had the blackface discussion all over again....

The rising pressures on the costs of living for Australian households, in particular caused by soaring electricity prices, will likely be a feature battleground in the September federal election.

The two big parties have long been scuffling over who is to blame for an issue that severely...

As part of its federal election campaign this year, the Socialist Alliance is calling for the mining industry, the big banks and the energy companies to be put back into public hands, so that they can be run in a way that respects the environment and social justice.

But several other...

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, now to be known as DisabilityCare, has become a central theme of Australia’s national debate. This is a tribute to the many thousands of people who have campaigned tirelessly for better support for and inclusion of people with disabilities in society....

Najaf Mazari, an Afghan refugee, rug-maker and author addressed a meeting of about 70 people at the Eltham College in Melbourne on May 17.

He described his life in an Afghani village and his journey to a new life in Australia, including his time in a detention centre. The event was...

The Socialist Alliance's Sue Bolton and Socialist Alternative's Mick Armstrong addressed a packed public forum on left unity in Melbourne on May 21.

Unity discussions have been taking place between the groups since last year. The forum attracted about 140 people, including individuals...

Australia’s first Aboriginal parliamentary leader, Adam Giles, announced on May 13 that his government would increase the number of Aboriginal children removed from their families. Concerns that a new stolen generation could be created were putting children at risk, he said.

The NT...

This statement was released by Socialist Alliance on May 25.

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The Gonski review into school funding showed the need for an immediate injection of funds into public schools.

The independent Gonski review into school funding reaffirms what many teachers and parents...

A lively protest took place outside federal MP for Wakefield Nick Champion's office in Adelaide’s Northern Suburbs on May 20.

The protest was organised by Stop Income Management in Playford (SIMPla) and Single Parents Action Group (SPAG).

SIMPla was founded last year in response...

Letters

At the Australian Hotels Association award night on May 22, Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles said the NT's drinking culture was a "core social value". The ABC reported on May 23 that Giles said “‘having a coldie' in a pub should be 'enshrined' as part of Territory life."

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Resistance!

Socialist activists are involved in political struggles across many different issues. From equal marriage rights to defending education, refugee rights to the environment, socialists help organise and lead these campaigns, and seek to win important political reforms around them.

It might...

Culture

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

Jailed Pussy Riot Member Maria Alyokhina Hospitalised After Hunger Strike http://bit.ly/19kvC8a

Domestic abuser Chris Brown Potentially Facing 4 Years Jail...

Round Nine of the Australian Football League, held from May 24-26, was designated the “Indigenous Round” in honour of Aboriginal players and culture.

However, former Age sports journalist Trevor Grant writes that, despite progress, the AFL continues to...

The Kinetic Energy theatre company, a Sydney-based independent company, has just returned from its first national tour of the year: four weeks of performing our Village Space theatre-in-education program in Tasmania, Melbourne, Gippsland, and the Riverina, across April and May.

Over the...

Quarterly Essay
Issue 49 2013
'Not Dead Yet: Labor’s post-left future'
By Mark Latham
Black Inc 2013

Margaret Thatcher may be dead, but Thatcherism is alive and well and living in the bowels of social democracy if Mark Latham’s contribution to the latest...

Burn The World
AC4
March 2013
Ny Våg / Deathwish / Shock
www.ac4official.bandcamp.com

Swedish hardcore punks AC4 blast nuclear policy on their new album, Burn the World. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to frontman Dennis...

Fighting Fund

I had to spend some time in waiting rooms for medical checkups recently. It was an opportunity to glance through glossy magazines.

In its latest issue, National Geographic magazine has an article entitled “Is Australia the Face of Climate Change to Come?”. It said that after a...