Issue 970

Australia

About 100 people attended a public meeting jointly organised by Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative in Sydney on June 25.

The meeting discussed how a united left would be in a stronger position to campaign against a conservative Coalition government. Speakers from both...

Prominent human rights advocate, Julian Burnside, QC, was scathing in his assessment of both the major parties and mainstream media’s approach to asylum seekers in a public address at the invitation of the Townsville branch of Amnesty International on Jun 14.

Burnside told the audience...

About 40 people gathered in Raintree Park, Darwin, to mark World Refugee Day on June 20.

Larrikiah woman June Mills opened the gathering with a rendition of Arafura Pearl, and an explanation of the Aboriginal practice of welcoming strangers to their land. Other speaker included Greens...

About 400 people filled the Fitzroy Town Hall for the launch of the “trains not toll roads” campaign on June 13.

The Yarra City Council organised the launch to advocate for a rail line from the CBD to Doncaster Hill, as well as to oppose the state government’s proposed East-West road...

The Refugee Action Coalition released this statement on June 21.

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Asylum seekers are angry and upset at the death of an Afghan asylum seeker in the Villawood detention centre on June 20.

According to witnesses inside the detention centre, Serco guards left the man,...

Many protests took place last week. There were protests against government inaction on the climate emergency, against the mass sackings by a bank making record profits and a sad vigil for a 26-year-old Hazara man who died in an Australian immigration detention centre.

More protests were...

Stop Income Management in Playford released this open letter on June 17.

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We the undersigned call for the suspension of the federal government’s compulsory income management, expanded to Playford and four other sites as part of programs that began in July last year.

We...

Hundreds of people turned out in Perth, Australia on June 23 to support the Brazilian protests.

About 120 landowners from NSW and Queensland staged a sit-in at Parliament House in Canberra on June 20 to protest the federal government approval process for mining projects.

It follows the Liberal and Labor parties voting down legal changes to give farmers the right to say “no” to...

Taxi drivers at Melbourne airport have started a hunger strike in protest at changes that will see their pay cut by up to 40%.

The Australian said on June 11 that drivers rallied against "a new fares system implemented at the airport earlier this year, which sometimes sees them...

Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of Julian Assange entering the Ecuadorean embassy in London on June 19, 2012, to seek political asylum.

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Throughout the MUA’s long history, our union has...

About 90 people attended the launch of a new book by Labor for Refugees titled Alternatives to offshore processing on June 17.

Labor for Refugees was one of many organisations which submitted policy ideas for the processing of refugees to the Houston inquiry last year. Although...

World

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) recognised Venezuela on June 16 as one of 18 countries that had achieved exceptional progress toward reducing the prevalence of malnutrition.

Measuring progress from 1990-1992 until 2010-2012, the FAO determined that 20...

The protests and demonstrations over the announced closing of the whole Greek Public Television and Radio Network (ERT) by the Greek government on June 11, are not only about the proposed firing of 2650 workers, nor are they simply a protest about the severe blow to quality broadcasting and...

Democratic Left pulled its ministers out of Greece's ruling coalition cabinet on June 21 after talks to resume state television broadcasts collapsed.

MPs from the party, which makes up the third part of the ruling coalition, were angered by the abrupt shutdown of broadcaster ERT on June...

Brazil is in revolt. What started as a protest about a R$0.20 rise (about $0.10) in bus fares has turned into a mass nationwide movement against corruption, the rising cost of living, starved public services and money squandered on sporting mega-events.

Events are moving fast with...

Edward Snowden said on June 17 that it was as a compliment to have former US vice President Dick Cheney call a “traitor” for leaking classified information from the National Security Agency. Sowden, who has been charged with espionage by US authorities, made the comment in a June 17 live web...

Following the implementation of measures to tackle shortages in some basic food and household items, both private Venezuelan media and the government report that the level of shortages is now decreasing.

Shortages hit their highest level in five years in April, provoking a flurry of...

For much of the past two years, Israel stood sphinx-like on the sidelines of Syria’s civil war.

Did it want Bashar al-Assad’s regime toppled? Did it favour military intervention to help opposition forces? And what did it think of the increasing visibility of Islamist groups in Syria? It...

Sireen Khudiri is a 24-year-old Palestinian teacher, human rights activist and political prisoner. She studied computer science at the Open University in Tubas, on the West Bank.

Khudiri is an advocate of the rights of children in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank to have a decent...

“In light of news that every day the entirety of telecom giant Verizon’s call system records are handed over to the NSA, news that Occupy Wall Street protest attendees’ cellphones were logged should hardly come as a shock,” said Salon.com on June 7. “It nonetheless bears noting that cellphone...

In an atmosphere of festive social mobilisation, the National Assembly of Ecuador adopted the Organic Communications Law on June 14, mandated by the 2008 Constitution. It has taken more than four years for the law to come to light.

The law is part of a new democratising trend with...

It took 76 years and one day since his abduction on the orders of Stalin during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), but on June 17 all parties of the Catalan left came together in Barcelona to recognise the contribution to the Catalan and Spanish working people of revolutionary fighter Andreu Nin...

Minetu Larabas Sueidat is a young Saharawi woman living in refugee camps in Tinduf in the south-west of Algeria. Western Sahara, the land of the Saharawi people, has been occupied by Morocco since 1975. In 1991, the United Nations brokered ceasfire between Morocco and...

In his 1928 book Propaganda, Edward Bernays wrote: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.

“Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible...

Representatives of more than 30,000 groups held a historic Popular Assembly in Caracas on June 9 to reinvigorate the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), which united the governing United Socialist Party of venezuela (PSUV) with pro-revolution political parties and socioal movement groups.

The...

I travelled to Brazil last September to investigate preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. It was painfully evident that the social disruption of hosting two mega-events in rapid succession would be profound.

Everyone with whom I spoke in the community of social movements...

Greens Senator Richard Di Natale questioned foreign minister Bob Carr on June 5 during a senate hearing on human rights abuses in West Papua.

Carr’s response was to deride the international solidarity movement for West Papua. This movement, Carr claimed, “are planting in the minds of...

The statement below was released by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance on June 12 in solidarity with the more than 2600 workers at Greece's public broadcaster ERT who are fighting the governmkent's decision to close the station. Underneath it is a June 13 statement of support from the...

Analysis

Australian foreign minister Bob Carr is nothing if not committed to humanitarian causes. And anyone supporting humanitarian causes cannot be anything but especially concerned about the situation facing the people of West Papua.

And so it was that Carr bravely spoke out against the “cruel...

The Socialist Alliance released this statement on June 20.

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The Socialist Alliance in Australia stands in warm solidarity with the Gezi resistance in Istanbul, throughout Turkey and around the world.

We watched in horror as the peaceful occupation of Gezi Park was so...

When I asked Margarita Windisch, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Wills, to explain why she became an activist, the answer was simple.

She said, “Life is very political, like it or not. So it’s better to get into the fray and fight for what we want and what the planet...

This is a speech by Peter Boyle, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sydney, at a picket outside an ANZ bank in Sydney on June 21.

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We called this demonstration following news of more job cuts by the ANZ bank despite its recent rise in profits.

In April...

Women are facing a global health epidemic according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A report by WHO released on June 20 has found one in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence.

While acknowledging that violence against women is nothing new, the report...

I want to talk about a campaign we should abandon. We should stop saying yes to a price on carbon.

At the launch of last year’s Climate Summit, I argued that carbon pricing — the notion that we can best reduce pollution by extending private property rights to pollution — had a fatal flaw...

US activist Ben Silverman recently wrote a short essay titled ">“What next for the US climate movement?”

He wrote: “We need to be engaging and incorporating into this struggle millions and millions of people, people who haven’t normally been involved with environmental politics...

This June marks a four-year anniversary for my little family, made up of one parent and one little boy. I named him Ariel, which in Hebrew means “Lion of God”. I named him that because I knew our lives would be tough and he would need to be strong.
 
When I found out I was pregnant...

Greg Barns from the WikiLeaks Party addresses the GetUp candidates forum in Perth on June 14.

This is an abridged transcript of an interview Linda Seaborn conducted with Dr Bob Boughton who helped initiate a Cuban supported literacy program in the NSW town of Wilcannia. Part two of this interview can be read here.

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Culture

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

Rapper LL Cool J explains his song 'Accidental Racist' with country music singer Brad Paisley. http://youtu.be/GG676KRXH9A + Full Song Lyrics http://tinyurl.com/...

Garrumul: His Life & Music
Robert Hillman
2013, $65

Dr M Yunupingu, former Yothu Yindi frontman and Gumatj clan member, passed away on June 2 at his home community of Yirrkala, in north-east Arnhem Land.

It is often the case that we learn...

Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters: An Incomplete Biography of Johnny Warren & Soccer in Australia
Johnny Warren with Andy Harper & Josh Whittington
Random House Australia, 2002

A late header from lanky striker Josh Kennedy ensured Australia beat...