Issue 976

Australia

"Thirty Years But Still No Justice!" was the theme of an Aboriginal deaths in custody forum held in Redfern on July 27. Speakers addressed issues of deaths in custody, victims of police brutality and other social justice concerns.

The forum was also the Sydney launch of the National...

This statement was released by Gasfield Free Seaspray on July 28.

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A crowd of more than 600 hundred people came together in Seaspray today to celebrate the results of a survey that showed 98% of the community wants the area to remain gasfield free.

Event-organiser “...

A forum at the University of Wollongong on August 1 called "Trouble in the Edufactory: The Sydney Uni Strike and the Struggle for the University" heard from Sydney university PhD student and casual academic staff member Mark Gawne.

Gawne, a graduate of the University of Wollongong,...

Dave Kerin from the Victorian Earthworker Cooperative toured the Hunter region on July 30 and 31 to talk about the Eureka Future Cooperative. The cooperative plans to make solar hot water units in the LaTrobe Valley of Victoria, with the support of trade unions, the Uniting Church, Victoria...

Stop CSG Illawarra released this statement on August 2.

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The NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane, released the initial report from her review into coal seam gas (CSG) on July 31.

The findings — particularly the contaminants involved and risks to...

The Israeli Law Centre, Shurat HaDin, has filed a complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act with the Australian Human Rights Commission against the Sydney Peace Foundation’s Stuart Rees and Sydney University's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies’ Jake Lynch.

The complaint claims...

Doggedly loyal to the struggle for socialism and a member of five different socialist organisations over his life, Allan Little departed our ranks in Brisbane on July 12 at the age of 81.

A person of incredibly modest means, he began his working life as a cane cutter in Queensland’s...

World

A member of Israel's cabinet has declared his backing for killing Palestinian prisoners, rather than bringing them to trial, 972mag.com reported on July 29.

The Huffington Post said on July 29 that Israel announced it would release 104 Palestinian prisoners, as part of the US-...

Uruguay took a major step on July 31 towards becoming the first country in the world to put its government at the centre of a legal marijuana industry.

President Jose Mujica's Broad Front coalition narrowly squeezed the measure through the lower house of Congress after 13 hours of debate...

Towards the end of 2008, I joined thousands in Toronto to protest Israel’s attack on Gaza. At York University, where I was a student, we mobilised the campus to defend Palestinian rights.

A few months later, bombs were falling on my own people ― in the predominantly Tamil Vanni region...

If Bangladesh represents the worst of exploitation in clothing factories, India is home to the most rapacious conditions for auto workers.

Auto workers and union supporters in Manesar, India, launched an indefinite dharna (sit-in and hunger strike) on July 18. They demanded the...

Detroit hit the Trifecta on July 18 — the third in a series of body blows that politicians have landed on the city’s working people.

The Michigan legislature passed “right-to-work” in December and gave the governor the right to impose “emergency managers” on cities two days later. When...

Cuban Vice-President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura praised Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on July 31 for their fight against US imperialism.

Machado said greater Latin American integration was aiding development across the region during the...

The 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march on Washington led by Martin Luther King Jr will take place on August 24.

In 1963, a quarter of a million people marched for jobs and freedom. They gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial where King got up to deliver his “I have a...

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden finally left Moscow's airport, where he had been stuck for weeks evading capture by the United States government, on August 1 after being granted political asylum for one year in Russia. Snowden had sought to apply for asylum in places such as Ecuador and...

Nicolas Maduro completed his first 100 days since being sworn in as president on July 29 — a period marked by his new street government initiative, Latin American solidarity, and debate over spiked inflation and moderate economic growth.

Maduro’s presidency began amid protest and claims...

Outsourced truck drivers contracted to perform work for the Australian multinational company Boral have been on an indefinite strike since June 25 in Dangjin in South Korea’s South Chungcheong province.

Boral specialises in the supply of building materials. Its headquarters are in Sydney...

What a week! Oh such boundless joy that transports us to the very heavens! It began with BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell gasping statements such as: “I am informed the royal cervix has currently widened to 9cm, and the Queen is said to be ‘thrilled’ at this level of dilation.”

...

August 9, 1971 is a date firmly etched in the minds of many people in six counties in Ireland's north occupied by Britain. It was the date of the start of the occupying British Army's Operation Demetrius — more commonly known as the start of internment.

Internment was the military...

For the second time in six months, Tunisia's government has been thrown into chaos after the killing of a left-wing leader. Mohamed Brahmi, a leader of Tunisia's Popular Front, was assassinated on July 25.

Brahmi was attacked by two men on motorbike outside his home in Ariana, a suburb...

In the aftermath of the April 24 Rana Plaza collapse, the plight of Bangladeshi garment workers occupied global media attention in a way it never had before.

The inconvenient thing about Rana Plaza, as far as the fashion brands that rely on outsourced sweatshop labour were concerned, was...

The mainstream press has focused on the decision of the judge in the military courts-martial of Bradley Manning to find him not guilty of “aiding the enemy”.

However, judge Denise Lind's conviction of of the whistleblower who exposed war crimes for 20 other charges amounts to a full-...

Former Brazilian president Lula, who helped found the ruling Workers’ Party (PT) and governed from 2003–2010, took his time to comment on the wave of protests that erupted in mid-June, bringing millions onto the streets.

But when he finally gave an interview, he warmly welcomed the...

Fearing state repression, farmers in the Cataumbo region of Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, have formally requested asylum in Venezuela.

Farmers in the Rural Workers’ Association of Catatumbo (Ascamcat) erleased a public letter on June 21 asking Venezuelan President Nicolas...

The Barack Obama administration has proposed new regulations for hydraulic fracturing on 756 million acres of public and tribal lands.

The rules were written by the drilling industry and will be streamlined into effect by a new intergovernmental task force, established by the president,...

Analysis

The federal government is considering a proposal to force young unemployed people into strict military-style boot camps.

The plan is an inadequate, simplistic response to the complex problem of youth unemployment. The fact that Labor is seriously exploring the scheme is another...

I was very glad to read about the US military exercise that involved bombing the Great Barrier Reef, because let's face it, climate change is just taking too damn long to kill the thing.

Sure, climate scientists have repeatedly said global warming is definitely well on its way to killing...

The election campaign in Australia is being fought with the lives of men, women and children.

Some drown, others are banished without hope to malarial camps. Children are incarcerated behind razor wire in conditions described as "a huge generator of mental illness". This barbarism is...

Recent polls say the refugee rights movement is in the minority on the issue. An Essential Report shows 61% of Australians support the “PNG solution”, which proposes to expel all refugees that arrive by boat to Papua New Guinea.

But we can win people over on this question because we have...

Groups in Australia have claimed for several years that low-frequency noise and inaudible sound levels from wind farms have affected people’s health by causing sleep disturbance, headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, fast heart rate, poor concentration and episodes of panic....

In recent years, there has been the emergence of a career path in the Labor Party that runs from the union movement to political office. Then, after office, to lobbyist and company director.

Of the 23 key lobbyists in the five mainland states in 2010, 17 had connections to the Labor...

It was a powerful moment of solidarity as more than 200 Green Left Weekly supporters who had filled Balmain Town Hall for this publication's annual Sydney fundraising dinner held up Bradley Manning masks.

Looking down from the stage it was an amazing sight. The guests at the...

After promising not to “lurch to the right” on refugees if he returned as prime minister, Kevin Rudd dramatically did just that with his plan to send refugees to Papua New Guinea for processing and resettlement. He says no refugee who arrives by boat will ever be settled in Australia.

...

This statement was released by the Socialist Alliance on August 2.

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“Both Liberal and Labor governments have squandered the fruits of the mining boom,” said Peter Boyle, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Sydney, in response to the Rudd government's August 2 economic...

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett and Local Government Minister Tony Simpson unveiled the state's worst-kept secret on July 30, when they announced their plan to slash the number of councils in Perth from 30 to 14.

Buoyed by the two-thirds parliamentary majority the conservative...

Culture

In The Shadow of Gallipoli: The Hidden History of Australia in World War 1
By Robert Bollard
New South Publishing, 2013
223 pages (PB), $32.99

Every year, around ANZAC day on April 25, hordes of Australian tourists and backpackers descend on...