Issue 981

Australia

Are you sick of elections that primarily involve a choice between two pro-capitalist parties?

Well, here's your chance to experience an election involving a mass mobilisation of revolutionary-minded people determined to bring about socialism of the 21st century in their country.

...

September 11 marked 40 years since a brutal military coup brought down the left-wing government of President Salvador Allende in Chile.

The "Other September 11" represented the state terrorist actions of the US government and the CIA in subverting and overthrowing a democratically...

Pro-choice activists fear that a new bill, soon to go to NSW parliament, will pose a threat to women’s reproductive rights. “Zoe’s law” will create a new offence that recognises crime or harm against a foetus.

The Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2013 No. 2 was introduced by...

Supporters of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua, including the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, gathered outside the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Brisbane on September 2.

They were protesting against the arrest of four supporters of the Freedom Flotilla in the West...

The West Papua Freedom Flotilla released this statement on September 12.

***

Evading the Indonesian navy, two tiny boats met near the Australia-Indonesia border to ceremonially reconnect the indigenous peoples of Australia and West Papua. The ceremony was the pinnacle of a 5000...

The Socialist Alliance ran seven lower house candidates and a Senate team in NSW in the recent federal elections. Through letterboxing, campaign stalls, public forums and polling day, it engaged people who wanted to be involved in activism and politics in a meaningful way.

The Socialist...

The fight to defend public education is shaping up to be a key campaign against the cutback agenda of the Colin Barnett government in Western Australia. Thousands of teachers and education assistants rallied outside state parliament on September 3 in two separate mobilisations and further...

The NSW firefighters union has slammed the Barry O’Farrell state government for recent budget cuts that left five fire stations closed as more than 60 bushfires raged across the state on September 10.

Following the warmest night and day temperatures ever recorded for a Sydney spring,...

World

Venezuelans rallied to condemn fascism on September 11, marking the 40th anniversary of the United States-backed coup d’etat in Chile that ousted left-wing president Salvador Allende.

The rally began at Plaza Salvador Allende at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) and marched...

The wife and two daughters of folk singer and 1973 coup victim Victor Jara have filed a lawsuit in a US federal court against a former Chilean army officer who they say killed him, Morning Star.

The civil lawsuit, filed on September 4 in Jacksonville, Florida, is a bid by Jara’s...

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on September 10 that a Venezuelan Armed Forces plane would carry humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Beirut, Lebanon.

The initiative came out of a resolution from the political council of the anti-imperialist bloc Bolivarian Alliance for...

Striking Mexican teachers from a dissident union leading popular resistance to the government’s neoliberal reform agenda in recent weeks.

Despite enduring relentless media hostility, the teachers' strike is now starting to broadened out to merge with protests against plans to hand over...

Thousands of striking teachers seized two of Mexico City's central thoroughfares on a march to the president's residence on September 11 after losing their battle to block new educational reforms less than 24 hours earlier.

The teachers disrupted the centre of the city for at least the...

The secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is about to become even more secret, perhaps seen as a necessity in light of plans to make it easier for tobacco companies to sue while making health care more difficult to obtain.

The governments negotiating the draconian TPP still don’t want...

In a national census held over September 7 and 8, 1150 communes registered in a national census, exceeding expectations.

The communes are forms of “popular power” in Venezuela that unite representatives of local communal councils across a regional area. Community councils in Venezuela...

The proposal by Russia, accepted by the regilme of Bashar Al-Assad, for Syria’s chemical weapons to be turned over to an international authority (presumably the United Nations) for destruction, has temporarily put off Washington’s plans for war against Syria.

Obama has postponed asking...

On my wall is the front page of the Daily Express of September 5, 1945, and the words: “I write this as a warning to the world.” So began Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett's report from Hiroshima. It was the scoop of the century.

For his lone, perilous journey that defied...

About 1.6 million Catalans linked arms to form the Via Catalana, a 400 kilometre human chain demanding a referendum on independence for their country, to mark Catalonia’s national day (the Diada) on September 11.

The country has been a region of the Spanish state since September 11, 1714...

New Zealand celebrities have joined protests against proposed law changes that will remove the right of public consultation on applications for deep sea oil and gas drilling. Law changes will also remove the right to protest at sea.

Actors Sam Neill, Lucy Lawless and Robyn Malcolm,...

Trade unions, environmental and Maori groups have united to oppose passage of new laws threatening collective bargaining and basic rights in the workplace.

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill, introduced by the government in April, seeks to remove existing requirements for employers...

The upcoming federal elections in Germany, scheduled for September 22, are unlikely to change the character of German politics regardless of the outcome.

The two main parties remain committed continuing to represent the interests of German corporations over its people.

Die Linke...

Representatives of the Colombian rural poor (campesinos) began negotiations with the government on September 12, three-and-a-half weeks into an uprising against “free-trade” policies.

By blockading highways and stopping work since August 19, Colombian campesinos made a dramatic...

Analysis

Well, turns out some bastards won the federal elections. I knew some bastards would win. I said it beforehand, I said: “Some bastards are going to win this one, you wait and see.”

I was right. I even tried to put some money on some bastards winning, but no bookies would give me odds....

Soft brown eyes flicked furtively towards the guard’s room, then back to the ripe luscious strawberry she had carefully placed on the table’s edge. She waited for the guard’s laconic indifference to blend into the certainty of distraction, then secreted the treasure in her loose pocket.

...

Socialist Alliance members in Geelong have been victims of a vicious, post-election smear campaign. Federal police are investigating a Facebook page that called for the assassination of PM-elect Tony Abbott.

The creator of the page has not been identified, but they claimed an association...

The first marriage equality rally in Nowra, south of Wollongong, was held on September 6. About 100 people attended the rally and chalk rainbows were drawn on the footpath.

Rally organiser Tobi Harris told the Illawarra Mercury: “The seat of Gilmore has been held by the Liberals...

The proposed fate of Istanbul’s Gezi Park has much in common with the current re-development plans for Barangaroo in Sydney’s East Darling Harbour. Sydneysiders concerned about the Crown/Lend Lease takeover bid can draw inspiration from the Gezi Park occupiers and send a clear message of...

“The worst genocide of this century” was how Paul Newman, professor of human rights at the University of Bangalore, described what has happened to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.

Newman was delivering the Eliezer memorial lecture, in memory of Professor CJ Eliezer, the founder of the...

Since the election of Tony Abbott’s Coalition government, Green Left Weekly has had a rush of new subscribers and many renewals. These people recognise the critical role Green Left Weekly will play in the trying period ahead.

One regular subscriber bought a subscription...

Just before the federal election that put Tony Abbott in power, his soon-to-be immigration minister Scott Morrison said the government may stop telling the public when asylum boats arrive in Australia.

Instead, reporting details about boat arrivals — including numbers on board, their...

Australia’s recent federal election should be remembered as the election that forgot about climate change. Serious action to address climate change was a non-issue for the two big parties and the mainstream media, despite the country experiencing its second-warmest August, second-warmest winter...

Aboriginal Australians awoke on Sunday morning to find they had a new “Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs”, a pledge Tony Abbott delivered during the 2013 election campaign.

One problem — noone, including within the media, ever stopped to ask Aboriginal people if they actually wanted...

So Tony Abbott is the new prime minister. The Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor governments delivered this outcome with the narrow self-interest of its MPs and mafia-like faction heads and its desperation to prove itself as the best managers of the system for the billionaire class.

Abbott's...

Culture

Whitenoise
Sole
September 17, 2013
www.soleone.org

As US president Barack Obama ramped up his rhetoric about Syria's chemical weapons on September 17, US rapper Sole released his latest album, which reflects on his country's...

The election showed
Most people in our country
Still unwilling to take the plunge
Towards system overhaul

Chosing instead to remain
Blind in the face of climate change
Deaf to the groans of the earth and its poor
Dumb to the call for justice and peace...

Red or Dead
By David Peace
Faber & Faber, August 2013

No socialist in 60 years of British life has had more followers than Bill Shankly; no-one on the left has had greater success.

Taking over as manager of Liverpool Football Club in 1959...

Digital Disconnect:
How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy

Robert W McChesney
Spring 2013
www.thenewpress.com

When award-winning author Robert McChesney wrote a much-needed political and economic analysis of the internet...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

New pamphlet by Marta Harnecker

Veteran Venezuelan-based left intellectual Marta Harnecker has released a new pamphlet called Instruments For Doing Politics. It is looks at what forms of political organisation (“instruments”) are required for let and popular...