Issue 986

Australia

Father Rod Bower has been the rector at the Gosford Anglican Church for 14 years. His cheeky and very direct signs on the church board have received up to 50,000 views and thousands of shares on Facebook. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Niko Leka about joining the...

Representatives from the Nyoongar tent embassy gave a presentation forum on Nyoongar native title at Murdoch University on October 15, hosted by the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre.

The focus of the forum was the ongoing negotiations between the Western Australian state government and the...

NSW MPs supporting a Liberal MP's private members bill to recognise crime or harm against a foetus — dubbed “Zoe’s law” — have tried to avoid any connection between it and their reactionary anti-choice backers.

But on October 24, Katrina Hodginson, National MP for Burrinjuck, publicly...

Members of the Chilean community and other Latin American supporters rallied outside NSW parliament on October 23 to protest against Liberal Upper House whip Peter Phelps, who has praised Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as a "hero."

Protesters are demanding an apology from Phelps and...

Cairns police arrested two people under Queensland Premier Campbell Newman's new anti-association laws on October 18. A search was carried out on their clubhouse and the two men, Peter Johnston and Mark Filtness, have been charged with being in a criminal organisation and entering a prescribed...

The NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU) is campaigning to reverse cuts to the state fire services budget by the Liberal state government.

Under the theme, "Stop Fire Station Cuts and Closures," the FBEU is circulating an open letter to NSW Liberal Premier Barry O'Farrell stating: "As...

When Neville Cunningham died, the world lost a great fighter for peace, justice and equality. I first met Neville Cunningham through fellow communist, band mate and cellmate Harry Anderson in the 1960s.

Harry and Neville had been shipmates and comrades for years. Both enthralled and...

Women and men took to the street in Brunswick for Melbourne's Reclaim the Night rally and march on October 19, to demand an end to victim blaming and violence against women.

Speakers included Yorta Yorta woman Monica Morgan, chairperson of Elizabeth Hoffman House, Poppy Jacob from...

National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at the University of Western Sydney, Parramatta South campus, staged a half-day strike and picket at the university on October 23.

Staff picketed the main entrance to the campus and persuaded many vehicles trying to enter the university to...

About 500 people rallied in Perth on October 19 to protest against a new forest management plan approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in July, which could destroy 2000 square kilometres of native forest over the next 10 years. 

The rally was organised by campaign group...

World

The Israeli authorities must drop all charges against a Palestinian human rights lawyer now released on bail, Amnesty International said.

A military judge at Ofer Military Court ordered the release of Anas Barghouti on bail because confessions from other detainees submitted as evidence...

Few people from the 20th century can really claim to have changed history. One of them was General Vo Nguyen Giap, who led the Vietnamese people to defeat the French and American empires.

Giap died on October 4, aged 102.

Mainly remembered as a military leader, Giap was also one...

Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on August 7 for leaking classified US government documents to WikiLeaks.

These documents revealed evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses carried out at the behest of the US government. Diplomatic cables leaked...

October has been a month of sharp shifts in French politics.

On October 4, an Ifop poll in the French weekly Nouvel Observateur showed the xenophobic and racist National Front (FN) of Marine Le Pen leading voting intentions for next year's European elections with the support of...

The bid by Republicans to defeat President Barack Obama’s health care program by shutting down the government and threatening to cause a default ended in failure.

The result opened fissures within the Republican Party between its “moderate” right wing and the further right-wing Tea Party...

The results of the September 28 Portuguese local government elections would seem obvious: the big winner was the opposition Socialist Party (SP), and the big loser the governing alliance of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Democratic and Social Centre—People’s Party (CDS-PP).

...

Demonstrators clashed with police on October 19 as tens of thousands marched through Rome to protest against the government's intensifying austerity program.

They chanted slogans against unemployment and government cuts to benefits and social housing programs. Many camped throughout the...

“More than 100 survivors of a shipwreck in which hundreds of African immigrants died burst through the gates of a holding center on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Monday in a protest against the refusal of authorities to allow them to attend a funeral ceremony for the victims,” Reuters...

Five months ago, I was in Tarija in southern Bolivia taking part in a forum debating the political process in this country, a process we call the “democratic and cultural revolution”.

A participant asked me whether it was possible to deepen this revolution, to make it an economic and...

Analysis

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) is a powerful right-wing lobby for big corporations, which has spearheaded the push for deregulation and privatisation in Australia for four decades.

It has also led the war on trade unions and the promotion of individual contracts to replace...

The result of the October 19 Fremantle Council election was a real glimmer of hope for us in Western Australia, particularly after the bleak state and federal results this year.

Under the first-past-the post system used in WA council elections, I was re-elected in Hilton Ward with 58% of...

With political advantage from a national celebration of the centenary of World War I in mind, the Julia Gillard government last year allocated an initial $83.5 million towards the “Anzac Centenary”.

Through a local grants program, up to $125,000 is available for each federal MP to fund...

The Defence Department has confirmed it was responsible for starting the ferocious State Mine fire in the Blue Mountains that burnt over 50,000 hectares of bushland in the past two weeks.

An investigation found that a large amount of explosives — exceeding normal limits — were used...

Soh Sook Hwa, a member of the Socialist Party of Malaysia, is taking part in the conference “How to make a revolution” organised by Resistance. Resistance member Sean Brocklehurst interviewed her about the political campaigns she is involved with in Malaysia....

Last month, the High Court heard a case brought by lawyers for Ranjini, a Tamil woman who was accepted as a refugee but is being held in indefinite detention because ASIO considers her a security threat.

Ranjini is one of 47 people in this situation. They face the prospect of spending...

PM Tony Abbott has repeatedly said climate change has absolutely nothing to do with the recent record-breaking spring bushfires in NSW. Such ideas are “hogwash”, he told News Limited’s Andrew Bolt.

The claims associate his government with the most extreme climate change denial and...

The Australian Capital Territory assembly passed a same-sex marriage bill on October 22. The Marriage Equality (Same-Sex) Bill 2013 allows same-sex marriages of ACT residents and non-residents, and is a huge step forward for marriage equality.

The ACT is the first Australian...

Immigration minister Scott Morrison reintroduced temporary protection visas (TPVs) on October 18 in a two-page “regulation” that amends the Migration Act and strips many rights and protections for refugees in Australia.

Morrison said the move was part of the government's “border...

Prime Minister Tony Abbott had a really busy time last week, running around fighting fires before rushing back to his office to slash funds to those affected.

Between volunteering with the Davidson Rural Fire Service brigade to help fight the fires near the Blue Mountains and tightening...

A leaked draft of the second Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, due to be released in March, gives a sobering picture of what lies ahead for Aboriginal communities in Australia as climate change intensifies.

Last month, the IPCC said it was 95% certain that human...

Culture

Left Hand Drive
Craig McGregor
Affirm Press, 2013
334 pages $24.95 (pb)

Two experiences of institutional conformity — as a boarder at an elite private school and as an Australian army conscript — bequeathed a lifelong “fear and hatred of...

Murder in Mississippi
John Safran
Penguin, 2013
368 pages.

There probably has never been a true-crime book quite like Murder in Mississippi.

Melbourne-based “documentary filmmaker of sorts” John Safran filmed a segment for his...

Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic
Anna Rose
Melbourne University Press, 2012
357 pages, $19.99 (pb)

Anna Rose, a young climate change activist, was warned by her many colleagues in the environment movement of the risks...