Issue 979

Australia

Seven Iranian families — comprising 14 adults and 12 children — were sent to Nauru’s detention camp on August 21. Immigration minister Tony Burke said the children were aged between five and 15. He said more families would be sent to the island and “before long” unaccompanied minors would also...

The US army whistleblower formerly known as Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks.

In a statement after the sentencing, Manning announced her decision to transition to life as a woman and requested...

About 50 people rallied outside minister for climate change Mark Butler's office in Adelaide on August 24 to make climate an election issue.

Organised by the Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN), the rally called on the government to: build solar thermal in Port Augusta; end all...

The Victorian Blind Workers Union and United Voice Queensland have stepped up the fight to save the jobs of 73 vision-impaired workers. The workers are due to be sacked within three months by Vision Australia Enterprises in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

Not-for-profit...

The Australian Council of Trade Unions emailed 90,000 union members on August 21, urging them to “go hard against Abbott” in the last two-and-a-half weeks of the election campaign.

They will have to in South Australia if the Newspoll released on the same day is accurate.

A...

About 500 people rallied at City Square against coal seam gas (CSG) extraction in Seaspray on August 17. Many at the rally were cattle farmers in the Gippsland area.

Protesters expressed concern that CSG mining would destroy farmland, contaminate water, threaten the health of their rural...

The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua departed on August 17, a week after the arrival of its supporters who had travelled in a land convoy from Lake Eyre. Aboriginal elders, West Papuan refugees, filmmakers, musicians and artists will sail the flotilla’s two boats to West Papuan waters, via...

Hundreds of people campaigning against coal seam gas (CSG) mining delivered a petition, signed by more than 13,000 people, to NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell on August 21.

The NSW-wide petition, initiated by Stop CSG Illawarra, calls on the government to: "Ban all coal seam gas prospecting...

World

A few years ago, in the run up to the 2009 climate negotiations at Copenhagen, the fossil fuel industry seemed on the defensive, with pressure to cut carbon emissions mounting.

With energy prices rising and doubts raised about the industry’s ability to increase oil production, it seemed...

Campaigners vowed today to challenge the use of “extreme” pressure-point tactics to break the anti-fracking blockade tagretted operations of energy giant Cuadrilla in Balcombe, Morning Star said on August 22.

Sussex Police used the “mandibular angle” technique to drag people...

On November 18, 2001, Laura Bush gave her first radio address urging worldwide condemnation of the treatment of women in Afghanistan. She stated that the “fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women”.

The plight of women and children in Afghanistan, the...

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on August 28.

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The Socialist Alliance condemns the threatened US-led Western military assault on Syria. We call on the Australian government to reject this latest imperial aggression, to extract itself from its military...

The removal of the Mohamad Morsi government by Egypt's military on July 3 and subsequent bloody repression against Muslim Brotherhood supporters had caused debate on the international left on how to understand the events and what attitude to take to the anti-Morsi protests, the July 3 coup and...

In a move aimed at demobilising and splitting the opposition, the leaders of Tunisia's governing party, Ennahda, reached out to Beji Caid Essebsi, leader of the secular ex-regime party Nidaa Tounes. It was part of a bid to resolve the political crisis that has crippled the north African nation...

The Australian government has made it clear that it will not offer consular help to activists on the West Papua Freedom Flotilla if they are arrested by Papua New Guinea NG or Indonesian authorities.

The flotilla is expected to enter Indonesian territory early next month. Carrying West...

Chelsea Manning, a private in the US Army who worked as an intelligence specialist, was sentenced on August 21 to 35 years in jail for leaking hundreds of thousands of ecret cables to WikiLeaks.

Formerly known as “Bradley”, Manning announced via her lawyer on August 22 that she would...

“We of course recognise that this is it — make or break time for us to make the long overdue change occur now and are thus in it for the long haul,” said Todd Ashker, a representative of hunger strikers in the Californian prison system, who has been on hunger strike for 44 days.

“The...

The Army private and WikiLeaks whistleblower formerly known as Bradley Manning announced, in a statement via lawyer David Coombs, the decision to transition to life as a woman and a request to be referred to as Chelsea and with female pronouns. Visit here for more information on Manning's case...

The Palestinian prisoners holding Jordanian citizenship have suspended their hunger strike following concessions from the Israeli prison authorities to allow them regular family visits from their family members in Jordan.

This was reported in a press conference held in Amman by family...

The following is a transcript of the statement made by United States Private Chelsea (formerly "Bradley") Manning as read by David Coombs at a press conference on August 21 after Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks that exposed serioous war...

Workers in fast food companies such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC and others took to the streets in mobilisations at the end of July in seven cities.

They highlighted miserable wages and working conditions, and demanding the right to form unions in the virtually non-union...

Detroit public-sector workers, pensioners and residents filed objections on August 19 against the city council's request for bankruptcy protection. They want federal judge Steven Rhodes to block the bankruptcy request by unelected emergency manager Kevyn Orr.

Individual creditors began...

“There will never be strikes in my company,” Foxconn CEO Guo Taiming once proclaimed. But just last month, 1800 workers struck at two Foxconn factories in China — following the example of other Foxconn workers in Taiyuan and Chengdu last year.

Foxconn produces cell phones and other...

South Korea: Hyundai workers strike

About 46,000 Hyundai workers will launched a four-hour strike over two days in order to press the South Korean car-maker for higher wages and benefits, union officials said on August 20.

Spokesperson Kwon Oh Il said that talks...

Analysis

The Socialist Alliance Senate candidates for New South Wales, Jim McIlroy and Reg Dare, spoke to Green Left Weekly about two of the party’s key platforms in this year’s federal election.

McIlroy, 67, is a retired public servant and 15-year workplace delegate for the Community...

It is 95% certain that human activity is causing climate change, a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says.

The final report has not been released, but a leaked copy of the draft has revealed a stark image of the destructive impact climate change will...

You may have heard of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and US army private Chelsea (formerly known as Bradley) Manning, who both leaked large amounts of secret US government information, and wondered what all the fuss was about. Well, not much, if you ask Australian attorney-general Mark...

Margarita Windisch is the Socialist Alliance candidate for the Victorian seat of Wills. This is an edited version of a speech she gave to a rally for equal marriage rights in Melbourne on August 17.

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Oscar Wilde once said that disobedience and...

At every election since its founding in 2001, the Socialist Alliance has decided preferences on a principled basis, by giving preferences to other parties based on how closely their policies and actions align with its own.

This federal election, the Socialist Alliance is running two...

The WikiLeaks Party has come under fire for its Western Australia and New South Wales preference allocations for the federal elections, which put right-wing and racist groups ahead of Greens and socialist candidates.

WikiLeaks Party senate candidate for Western Australia, Gerry Georgatos...

Letters

I disagree with a few points in the article “Blind workers fight for jobs at Vision Australia”. There are lots of parts of welfare to work which are not great but there is a particular part which helps people with disabilities be able to compete on the labour market or become self employed more...

Resistance!

Brilliant poet Bertolt Brecht once said: “The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn't hear, doesn't speak, nor participates in political events. He doesn't know the cost of life; the price of the bean, of the fish, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on...

Students across the country held protest rallies against the federal government’s proposed cuts to higher education on August 20.

The cuts were announced by former prime minister Julia Gillard, but have been supported by PM Kevin Rudd, his new education minister Kim Carr and the Liberal...

Culture

The Signal And The Noise
Asian Dub Foundation
Out now in Japan, rest of the world soon
www.asiandubfoundation.com

Legendary punk-dub-electronica group Asian Dub Foundation are celebrating their 20th year with the release of a...

Elysium
Written and directed by Neill Blomkamp
Starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga
In cinemas now

In the mid-22nd century, Earth has become a crowded, polluted, poverty-stricken slum. While the poor, mostly black and...

The Bracegirdle Incident: How an Australian Communist Ignited Ceylon’s Independence Struggle
Alan Fewster
Arcadia/Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2013
173 pages, $39.95 (pb)

In 1937, Ceylon’s British Chief of Police reported that “it is...

The Passion Of Bradley Manning: The Story Behind the WikiLeaks Whistleblower
Chase Madar
Verso, 2013
181 pages, $19.95 (pb)

The issue in the trial of Bradley Manning, the source of tens of thousands of US military and state secrets...

Fighting Fund

Two of the most prominent Fairfax newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, have updated their mastheads to include the slogan “Independent. Always.”

The slogan alone does not make it clear from who or what they are claiming independence. After all, billionaire...