Issue 982

Australia

About 1000 protesters marched through the streets of Melbourne on September 21, in opposition to the Coalition government’s attacks on refugees. It was the first refugee rights rally since the election of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The rally heard from several speakers, including Bishop...

Hundreds of people gathered at Federation Square in Melbourne on September 14 to oppose the planned construction of a McDonald’s restaurant opposite a primary school in the Dandenong Ranges town of Tecoma.

The demonstration included performances by the Tecoma flash mob and musicians,...

Members of Sydney's Chilean community and supporters protested outside New South Wales Parliament on September 16 to demand Premier Barry O'Farrel sack Liberal MP Peter Phelps.

The Liberal whip in the NSW Legislative Council caused outrage by praising former Chilean dictator Augusto...

Socialist councillor Sam Wainwright is one of three Fremantle councillors facing a challenge in the local government elections that open on September 26. Mayor Brad Pettitt, a member of the Greens, also faces a challenge from defeated federal Liberal candidate Matthew Hanssen.

The city...

"Over the past 20 years since the Oslo Accords were signed, we have seen the continued reduction of Palestinian sovereignty over their legitimate territory,” Richard Falk told a forum at Sydney University on September 19.

“Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere are...

Jeff Halper, the leader of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), spoke about his ideas on the future of Palestine and Israel at Melbourne University on September 19.

The ICAHD campaigns against the demolition of Palestinian houses by the Israeli occupation regime. It...

Large stop-work rallies were held across Western Australia on September 19 to fight the Liberal state government’s education cuts.

About 15,000 people attended the rally in Perth and another 5000 attended stop-work meetings across regional WA, including 2000 in Bunbury, 500 in Albany,...

Hundreds of blind people and their supporters have linked white canes in front of Vision Australia Enterprises in support of blind manual workers facing the sack at the end of this month. The white cane chain stretched more than 200 metres, doubling back across the length of the Kensington...

World

Hong Kong-based business executive Bruce Rockowitz told the New York Times recently that consumers are ultimately the ones responsible for dangerous conditions in garment assembly plants in the global South.

The problem is that improved safety would raise the price of clothing,...

Florida medical examiner claim prosecution threw Zimmerman case

“In a bombshell allegation, Florida medical examiner Dr Shiping Bao claims that Florida state prosecutors were biased against Trayvon Martin [an unarmed Black teenager shot dead by George Zimmerman] and...

Ahmad Qatamesh is a 62-year-old Palestinian University academic, writer and political activist who has been held in an Israeli jail under administrative detention for more than two years.

Under Israel’s policy of administrative detention, people can be held without charge or trial for...

A terrible disaster unfolded in 2010 in the Hunza Valley in Gilgit Baltistan (a formerly self-governing territory occupied by Pakistan since 1948). For protesting for people's rights in the aftermath of this disaster, three left-wing activists have been sentenced to 10 years jail.

In...

Venezuela has rejected the United States’ version of events in the dispute over Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s passage through US airspace on September 19.

The diplomatic fallout reached media attention when Venezuelan foreign minister Elias Jaua told reporters that Maduro had...

Bolivian President Evo Morales plans to file a lawsuit against the US government for crimes against humanity, RT.com reported on September 20. Morales criticised the US for its intimidation tactics and fear-mongering after a plane carrying Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was blocked from...

A leaked submission prepared by a New Zealand government department raising serious concerns about the risk of water pollution to a Hawke’s Bay river has been suppressed by the government, the New Zealand Labour Party and the Greens Party said.

The Department of Conservation prepared a...

The school year should have already begun on the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula), but it hasn’t. Since September 16, high school and primary teachers have been on an indefinite strike.

In Palma, capital of...

For the second time in three months, a CP Rail train carrying toxic and flammable hydrocarbons has derailed in the city of Calgary, in Alberta province.

On September 11, eight railway wagons carrying close to one million liters of a highly flammable gasoline product (diluent) used in the...

Two related anniversaries were marked this September.

The first was the collapse five years ago of Lehman Brothers, which came to symbolise the financial crisis, the subsequent Great Recession, and the anemic recovery.

The second was the upsurge of the Occupy movement two years...

Threats of a new United States-led war in the Middle East abated, at least for now, on September 20 when Syria met a deadline set in a September 14 agreement between the US and Russia.

As part of the deal, Syria submitted details of its chemical weapons to Organisation for the...

If after Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, and Darius Simmons, you thought that you could be sickened by racist violence but no longer shocked, you need to know the story of Jonathan Ferrell.

In the early hours of September 15, as the country remembered the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street...

Analysis

The death of a young man from a suspected drug overdose at a dance music festival in Sydney on September 14 showed not just how inadequate prohibition is at dealing with drugs, but how it also unnecessarily risks lives.

Defqon.1 is an annual music festival featuring hardstyle electronic...

Sam Wainwright and Margarita Windisch stood for the Socialist Alliance in the federal election in the seat of Fremantle in Western Australia and Wills in Victoria, respectively. Green Left Weekly spoke to them about their campaigns....

A push to give a foetus “personhood” has been, until now, quietly making its way through the NSW parliament.

About 100 people packed out the NSW Parliamentary gallery on September 19 to witness a debate on a bill to amend the NSW Crimes Act to give foetuses of 20 weeks, and more than 400...

One of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s first acts has been to abolish the Climate Commission. Set up under Julia Gillard in 2011 and chaired by Tim Flannery, the commission’s role was to explain climate science to the public.

It is well known Abbott will abolish the carbon price, but other...

The new Prime Minister Tony Abbott is infamous for his homophobia. Only recently he dismissed the equal marriage rights campaign as the “fashion of the moment”.

The equal marriage rights campaign is about much more than marriage. It’s about a prejudice that kills people. Particularly for...

About 1000 people packed the Sydney Opera House on September 16 for a public forum featuring Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning’s defense lawyer David Coombs, independent US journalist Alexa O’Brien and Australian academic...

It has been 30 years since the death in custody of 16-year-old Yindjibarndi youth John Pat after he was assaulted by five off-duty police officers in Roebourne, Western Australia.

John Pat’s murder, and the subsequent acquittal of the five police, started the movement against black...

Liberal PM Tony Abbott can't abolish the truth, but he is trying. Whether it is his new government's attempt to keep refugee boat arrivals secret or the abolition of the Climate Commission, Abbott has moved quickly to keep the public in the dark.

Former Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery...

After the ALP caucus deposed Julia Gillard in June this year, her recycled replacement, Kevin Rudd, thanked them by making sure that they wouldn’t get the chance to sack him a second time.

In what many of them saw as an ambush, he proposed to a surprised caucus that, in future, Labor...

Tony Abbott was officially sworn in as prime minister on September 18 at Government House in a ceremony that seemed to involve the ritual blood sacrifice of public servants.

Featuring the sacrificial slaughter of three top public servants that day, the ceremony appears to have enabled...

Research by The Australia Institute has found Australian gas prices are set to double over the next few years — not because there is a gas crisis, but because gas companies are exporting Australian gas for much higher prices, driving up the price of domestic gas.

Mark Ogge...

A media campaign began this month to discredit the findings of the fifth major report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due to be released on September 27.

The Australian published a front page story on September 16 headlined: “We got it wrong on warming...

Culture

Clive: The Story of Clive Palmer
Sean Parnell
HarperCollins, 2013
328 pages, $39.99 (hb)

When the local council denied planning permission for the Queensland National Party’s media director, Clive Palmer, to build a 66-story townhouse...

When he was assaulted by a gang of black-shirted Golden Dawn thugs on the night of September 18 in the Keratsini district of Athens, 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas — a big and powerful man — was with his girlfriend and another couple.

Rather than run away from the squad of neo-Nazis, Pavlos...

Real Talk: Aboriginal Rappers Talk About Their Music & Country
By Mat Ward
100 pages
Download for free

Australian hip-hop pioneer Urthboy told The Music Network last year: “I was asked to write about the state of hip-hop in Australia. I’d...

It smells like everything sweet and nice but you can never get enough of it.
It tastes like chocolate that turns into vinegar but you can’t stop eating it because the chocolate’s so good and you think one more bite can’t hurt.
It sounds like drums echoing in the hallway drawing you...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

World's longest running strike sets example

Mike Marquesee looks at the ongoing struggle of South Africa's ex-Midrand Council workers. They are engaged in what is surely the world's longest running industrial dispate, starting in 1994. They are still fighting.

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