Issue 977

Australia

Zane Alcorn, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Newcastle, scored equal top in a survey of candidates on environmental issues.

The Hunter Central Rivers Alliance conducted a survey of 17 questions designed to compare the different parties policies on coal and coal seam gas and...

A protest to defend welfare rights and public housing was held in Coburg on August 3. The rally called for a rise in all welfare payments to a liveable income, the restoration of the sole parents pension, an end to welfare quarantining and public housing for all who need it.

Moreland...

About sixty people attended a meeting on “America’s Pacific Push” on July 25.

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, spoke about the growing US military presence in the Pacific.

Examples included the expansion of a missile test...

Nauru's terrible poverty, stagnant economy and unstable administration has paved the way for its main aid-provider, the Australian government, to sign it up for a similar refugee “deal” as Papua New Guinea.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that refugees who arrived in...

Asylum seekers are welcome on Aboriginal lands in Australia despite the inhumane approach of both major political parties, the Aboriginal Provisional Government said on July 29.

Secretary Michael Mansell said: “As people who know what it’s like to be invaded by boat people we are in a...

While Australia’s mining sector shows signs of resilience, there is one mineral whose outlook may be terminal. 

There are five significant events that have occurred recently that send a clear message about the future of the uranium sector and the wider nuclear industry.

The...

A public meeting held in the Tasmanian town of Oatlands on August 2 discussed the application by PetroGas, an offshoot of Petratherm, to explore for shale gas and oil in more than 3000 square kilometres of southern Tasmania.

About 80 residents attended the meeting. Tim Kirkwood, general...

Several hundred people gathered in Greeves Street, St Kilda, on August 8 for a candlelit vigil for local street sex worker Tracy Connelly, who was murdered in the street on July 21.

The vigil was a chance for her family, friends and, importantly, her community to honour her as well as...

About 40 people gathered in Wollongong on August 6 to commemorate the 68th Hiroshima Day.

The day marks the anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by the United States in 1945. The bomb caused tremendous devastation and instantly killed between 70,...

The Koori community and supporters rallied on the historic Redfern Block in on August 3 to show their solidarity with Trayvon Martin, the young black man who was followed and shot by a neighbourhood watch volunteer in Florida, and to oppose racism and racial profiling anywhere in the world....

World

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main party representing Tamils in Sri Lanka’s parliament, has selected 36 candidates to contest the Northern Provincial Council elections, to be held on September 21.

Sri Lanka’s northern province, which is mainly inhabited by Tamils, has been under...

United States: Seven-year-old banned from mentioning 'fracking' ― ever

“When a property owner reaches a settlement with an oil or gas driller, it's not unusual for the company to demand that the plaintiffs in the case agree to a gag order that bars them from talking...

Hassan Rouhani was inaugurated as the president of Iran on August 4. He was elected in June, after mass mobilisations swept the country in support of his candidacy.

Those who supported him saw his election as the best way to open up space for reforms within the country. However, he is...

Back in 1989 a schoolmate of mine showed me some copies of Tribune, the newspaper of New Zealand’s Socialist Unity Party.

The SUP had for decades been convinced of the infallibility of the leadership of the Soviet Union, and the pages of Tribune were full of recycled...

In April last year, many Palestinian political prisoners in Israel went on hunger strike calling for rights to family visits and the end of solitary confinement. Israel eventually conceded their demands.

But now Israel says the deal did not apply to the Palestinian political prisoners...

For a good part of his 33 years in power, Robert Mugabe has presided over a ruthless dictatorship. From the thousands killed in the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres and misery for millions under structural adjustment plans, Operation Murambatsvina and hyper-inflation of 2008.

Yet in the July...

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) cost United States workers 700,000 jobs. But another effect was to drive Mexican small farmers out of business.

In the brave new world of free trade, Costco makes tortilla chips and salsa in the US and trucks them to its stores in Mexico...

One year after a huge explosion and fire at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California, there was a demonstration of thousands of people directed against the oil giant on August 3.

Richmond is part of the sprawling San Francisco Bay Area, where I live.

A significant aspect...

As more people start to share scientists' long-expressed concerns over climate change, revelations of big bank energy market manipulations highlight Wall Street's entrenched stake in the fossil fuel economy that is heating up the planet.

In what critics are calling Enron 2.0, JPMorgan...

For more than a month, more than 400 prisoners in seven Californian prisons have refused to eat in protest at the use of long-term solitary confinement and other abuses.

This is the longest hunger strike in California’s history and is provoking a predictably savage response from prison...

The critical moment in the political trial of the century was on February 28 when Bradley Manning stood and explained why he had risked his life to leak tens of thousands of official files to WikiLeaks.

It was a statement of morality, conscience and truth: the very qualities that...

A rally, titled '1984 Day' was held in New York on August 4 to protest the National Security Administration’s surveillance programs exposed by whistleblow Edward Snowden. It was organised by a group called Restore the Fourth, which campaigns to restore the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution...

Analysis

Prime minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement of the “PNG solution” — where refugees who arrive in Australia by boat will be denied resettlement and sent to Papua New Guinea — has sparked the largest refugee rights rallies in Australia since John Howard was in power, as well as opposition from within...

The United States has led the world in deregulation of the financial sector, the economy and social services on the basis of “the market rules”.

This facilitated the great financial crisis from 2007 onwards with devastating impacts on the welfare of the majority of citizens globally. Yet...

Tony Abbott has promised a 1.5% cut in the company tax rate if the Liberal-National Coalition wins the September 7 election. It will cost about $2.5 billion a year and it is exactly the opposite of what Australian society needs.

Big business needs to pay more, not less, tax.

...

The ancient Athenian democracy that emerged in the 6th century BC is often cited as a model for more modern democracies.

In some ways, it had some features that were superior to the once-in-three-year vote we get in the parliamentary democracy we have in Australia today. It was based on...

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is Australia's national security service, and promotes itself as being responsible for protecting Australia from all kinds of attacks — from terrorism to politically motivated violence.

This fairytale should not be taken seriously...

A great part of being a candidate for the federal elections is that people want to talk to you. They want to tell you what’s happening in their lives and they want to let you know their opinion on lots of different issues.

Recently I was invited to address an Electrical Trades Union...

Campaign group Save the Tarkine has condemned federal environment minister Mark Butler’s July 31 decision to approve an iron ore mine in the Tarkine wilderness in Tasmania’s northwest, saying it could guarantee the extinction of the Tasmanian devil.

The Tarkine is home to more than 60...

Letters

It's 200 years too late to stop the boats. Almost everyone of non-Indigenous origin is an economic migrant or a refugee. Greeks left Egypt in the 1950-1970s because the government passed laws decreeing that only 15% of any company's wages could be paid to non-Egyptians.

The laws were...

Resistance!

It's election season once again. For the first time in three years, the government is allocating us all our piece of democracy. People in suits are frantically talking about the issues of the day, in the hope that they can win over enough of us to put them into parliament.

Two of the...

Culture

Love & Struggle, My Life in SDS, the Weather Underground & Beyond
By David Gilbert, PM Press, 2012
336 pp, $22.00

From the earliest anti-capitalist revolutions, starting almost as soon as capitalism cemented its political mastery of Europe in...

Born Free
Ben Iota
Butterthief Records
June 20, 2013
www.beniota.com

Radical rapper Ben Iota stands out in Australian Hip-Hop like a refugee boat in an empty ocean. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to him about his new...

Lyrikal Kombat
Red Eye Balaz
www.facebook.com/RedEyeBalaz

Kerser is one of the best-known acts in Australian Hip-Hop. The south-west Sydney emcee has built a huge following by pitching his hardened battle-rap skills against some of the biggest names...