Issue 971

Australia

About 90 people gathered in the Coburg library on June 6 to oppose the Moreland Council’s plans for a mini-CBD in the central Coburg shopping centre.

The meeting was organised by the Save Coburg Residents Network which formed in January to oppose the council’s C123 planning amendment....

Australia's four biggest banks — the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, NAB and Westpac — dubbed the "banksters", were condemned for crimes against people and the environment during a protest in Melbourne on June 29.

Protesters marched to each bank, cordoned of the entrance to create a symbolic...

The Illawarra regions of Shellharbour, Shoalhaven and Kiama combined have the highest unemployment rate in the country, at 15.3%, the Australia Bureau of Statistics said.

This is 178% higher than the national average of 5.5%. If Wollongong is included, the average figure is 10.2%, 85%...

More than 100 people encircled by chalk rainbows greeted the weekly meeting of Newcastle city council on June 25.

Chaired by Save Our Figs veteran Debbi Long, the rally heard from Greens councillors Michael Osborne and Therese Doyle; federal Labor candidate Sharon Claydon; Michelle...

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...

About 400 activists from across Australia converged on Sydney over June 21-23 for Australia’s Climate Action Summit 2013.

As the science of climate change becomes ever more alarming, and as the refusal of business and political elites to act becomes ever more glaring, the activists met...

Paul Mees, well known to many Victorians, was an academic specialising in urban planning and public transport. He was an associate professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University. He died of cancer on June 19.

Mees was an indefatigable campaigner for...

A prominent Bahraini surgeon and human rights defender, Dr Ghassan Dhaif, has been barred from entering Australia for a speaking tour organised by Amnesty International Australia and the Bahrain Australia Youth Movement.

The Department of Immigration rejected DrDhaif's visa application...

World

Protests by local people forced the abandonment of a plan to train Sri Lankan military officers at India’s Defence Services Staff College in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India.

The Times of India said at least two towns in Nilgiris were shut down by a...

The Network of Intellectuals and Artists in Defense of Humanity express their indignation at the criminal attack perpetrated in the afternoon of Tuesday July 3 against Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma, by the government of the United States and with the clear complicity of various European...

Texas executes 500th prisoner since 1976

“The US state of Texas has executed its 500th convict since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, a record in a country where capital punishment is in decline elsewhere.

“Kimberly McCarthy, 52, was declared dead by...

Faced with several days of overt threats from the Obama Administration and top senators threatening to revoke a key US-Ecuador trade pact if they dare to grant asylum to Edward Snowden, the Ecuadoran government has told the US what they can do with their frozen broccoli and fresh cut flowers,...

Stephen Murney is a political and community activist who lives in Newry in the north of Ireland. He is also a member of Eirigi (“Arise”), a legal, registered Irish socialist republican political party.

Murney has frequently documented, photographed and recorded incidents of harsh Police...

Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald speaks via Skype to the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago regarding Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA's mass surveillance program. His speech was introduced by Jeremy Scahill, author of ...

The Unified Workers Central (CUT), other trade union confederations and the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) decided on June 25, to jointly organise a protest on July 11 across the entire country.

They also decided on the items to present to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff...

Just hours after pro-choice advocates and lawmakers defeated a bill that would have shut down nearly all abortion clinics in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry announced he is reviving the bill by calling another special session of the legislature on July 1. "I am calling the legislature back into session...

The latest opinion polls in the Spanish state have stirred concern in the elites, hopes on the left and storms of comment in the media.

Nationally, they show the radical federation United Left (IU) closing the gap on the social-democratic Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE). In the...

Frances O’Grady, head of the British Trade Union Congress (TUC), set the tone in the opening session of the People's Assembly in London on June 22, declaring: “The Bullingdon boys are waging class war against ordinary people. We will retaliate, it is time to fight back against a government of...

The June 27 general strike in Portugal, the fourth since the country became an economic protectorate of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund “troika” in 2011, was marked by several important firsts.

It was the largest general strike to date, with...

The news in May that carbon dioxide levels had broken through the symbolic barrier of 400 parts per million (ppm), a level not seen since the beginning of our species’ evolution on planet Earth, 3 million years ago, caused a barely perceptible ripple in the mass media.

As climate blogger...

Iran's presidential election on June 14 resulted in a large victory for self-described moderate, Hassan Rouhani, who received 50.7% of the vote in the first round, a high enough vote to ensure a second round vote was unnecessary.

Rouhani's win led to celebrations in many cities across...

The United States Supreme Court, the nation’s highest judicial body, made two very significant rulings that affect the rights of oppressed peoples across the US on June 26.

The Supreme Court voted to strike down the Defence of Marriage Act, which allowed individual states to outlaw equal...

Edward Snowden remained in the transit area of the Moscow airport as of June 26, as Washington stepped up its threats against China and Russia for not turning the NSA whistleblower over to the US.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that China’s decision to allow Snowden to leave Hong...

Analysis

The eight-storey Rana Plaza collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, during working hours on April 24. The official death toll stands at 1129. However, workers’ rights groups believe the number could be higher. Another 2000 workers were injured in the collapse, many losing limbs.

Perhaps the most...

Israel and Australia’s joint projects normalising Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity have sunk deeper in the degenerate mire of hasbara — propaganda and lies.

Australia Post and Israel Post collaboratively issued two stamps last month commemorating the Australian...

Nearly 60 years have passed since Totem 1, a British nuclear test in the Australian desert, was recklessly conducted in unfavourable meteorological conditions.

Nuclear testing of any sort, even in the most “controlled” of circumstances, is inherently abusive, a crime against the...

In the next few weeks, protests will be held around the country against the Australian government’s complicity in the PRISM spying scandal.

These demonstrations were called in response to the anger and frustration many Australians felt at the eroding of their civil liberties for the...

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

As the global financial crisis unfolded in October 2008, part of the Australian government’s response was to provide unlimited guarantees of bank deposits and wholesale funding. One result was that the big four banks got bigger while little was said of the $13.8 trillion in off-balance-sheet...

Nauru camp detainees have made allegations of brutal beatings by security guards, as newly leaked documents from the Salvation Army detailed the early “chaos” of the camp.

A protest of recent arrivals that began on June 25 was met with a violent crackdown by guards that reportedly left...

Most of Australia’s fossil fuel reserves — coal, oil and gas — must stay in the ground if we are to keep the climate below a 2°C rise and avoid catastrophic climate change, a new report by the Australian Climate Commission says.

The report, The critical decade 2013: Climate change...

Whatever their views on the relative merits (if any) of Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, there were many people inside and outside the Labor party who breathed a sigh of relief when Rudd replaced Gillard as Labor leader and prime minister.

The reason was simple. It offered the hope that...

You have to hand it to the United States authorities. When they were caught red-handed engaging in almost unimaginable levels of illegal spying and espionage against citizens and governments around the world, they responded, rather than sheepishly apologising and begging forgiveness, by...

Resistance!

High school has always been turbulent at best, but never before was I confronted with institutionalised oppression in the way that I was when it came to Year 9 sex education.

Year 9 is the final year in my school where all students have access to sex education regardless of their subject...

Culture

One Day in December: Celia Sanchez & the Cuban Revolution
By Nancy Stout
Monthly Review Press
457 pages, US$28.95
Read an excerpt

Revolutions are great processes. Thousands and then millions of people, who had previously been excluded...

This year marks 100 years since the opening of the Kahlin compound in Darwin, a place where Aboriginal children, stolen from their families, were forced to live and work.

The compound was closed in 1938, but lives on in the memory of many who were held there — many of whom are still in...

On June 27, as Nelson Mandela was reported to be lying in hospital on life support, London-based activist and hip-hop producer Carlos Martinez released the track "Madiba’s Message".

The instrumental, which samples a speech from the South African leader, was released to...