Issue 990

Australia

Members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at Murdoch University have voted to call off industrial action and support a new enterprise agreement with the university.

The agreement was offered as union members were preparing to go on strike on November 20.

Initially,...

Six Malaysian activists from the Himpunan Hijau (Green Assembly) group have begun a three-day occupation of the entrance to the corporate headquarters of Lynas in Sydney. The Australian company has built an unwanted toxic rare earths refinery in Kuantan , Malaysia.

They have come armed...

National Union of Workers (NUW) members went on strike at the Sheridan sheet warehouse in Port Adelaide on November 25.

The NUW have been bargaining with the company as part of a new enterprise agreement.

Workers at the Adelaide warehouse are upset they receive $160 a week less...

A Melbourne woman has taken to living in a treehouse suspended from a tall mountain ash in the Toolangi area north-east of Melbourne, to highlight loss of Victoria's native forest and the critically endangered Leadbeater's possum.

Hannah Patchett told community radio 3CR that she decided...

Qantas has announced the closure of its maintenance base for Boeing 747 aircraft at Avalon airport in Victoria. About 300 workers are to be sacked, most of them from the local town of Geelong.

The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association has questioned company claims that the...

Unionists and community activists protested outside the Melbourne headquarters of Australian-based mining company OceanaGold on November 15, in solidarity with the people of El Salvador and the Philippines.

The protest took place in support of a tour by an anti-mining activist from El...

Supporters of refugees from Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Newcastle converged on Parliament House in Canberra on November 18.

About 600 protesters gathered, among them were Hazara and Iranian refugees.

The protest coincided with the Labor parliamentary caucus...

National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members have been on indefinite strike at the Centre for Adult Education (CAE) since November 18, in pursuit of a new agreement with fair pay and conditions.

Staff and their union have been trying to negotiate a new agreement since February 2011,...

Staff at RMIT University held a 24-hour stopwork for a new Enterprise Agreement on November 20.

Organised by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), the strike was called to reject a substandard agreement that offers a 3% pay rise with no improvements to conditions. 

RMIT...

The gallery was packed at the Moreland Council meeting on November 13. About 100 residents crowded into the Glenroy Senior Citizens Centre determined to make their concerns felt over several contentious planning issues.

First was Amendment C123, which, if passed, will turn parts of...

Macquarie Street, home to NSW Supreme Court and Parliament, reverberated with chants for justice as 150 Aboriginal people and supporters marched to demand justice for the Bowraville three on November 21.
 
In 1991, a triple murder of three Aboriginal youths took place within five...

About 150 people walked through Perth on November 16 to call for an end to blaming victims of sexual assault, in the city's third annual SlutWalk.

Initiated in response to comments made by a Canadian police officer that women should avoid looking like sluts if they don't want to be raped...

Victoria police have apologised to the family of a man who died hours after being released from police custody in 2010.

The Age reported on November 20: "Deputy Commissioner Tim Cartwright, who is responsible for all people in police custody across the state, said officers at...

The National Tertiary Education Union released this statement on November 21.

***
 
The Minister for Education Christopher Pyne today introduced the Higher Education Support Amendment (Savings and Other Measures) Bill 2013 into parliament, a bill which in the minister’s own...

Rita Hester was found murdered inside her apartment on November 28, 1998. Hester was transgender and also African American, her death highlighting not only the issue of transphobic murder, but also the disproportionate representation of people of colour among its victims.

Her murder is...

Friends of the Earth released this statement on November 21.

***

Friends of the Earth has welcomed today’s announcement by the Premier that the moratorium on the process of unconventional gas fracking will be extended at least until June 2015.

Friends of the Earth...

World

A Walmart in northeast Ohio is holding a holiday canned food drive ― for its own underpaid employees. “Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner,” a sign reads in the employee lounge of a Canton-area Walmart.

Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesperson...

The 40th anniversary of the polytechnic uprising that helped end the Western-backed military junta in Greece was marked on November 17.

The date is a national day of remembrance and marks a defining moment in modern Greek history. The image of a tank battering down the gates to the...

Lurid articles about Venezuela have peppered the Western press in recent days and weeks. The latest event that has been widely reported is the use of the military to occupy stores, including the national electronics chain Daka, with a mandate to sell products at “just prices”.

This is...

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro criticised US “intervention” in the internal affairs of Latin American countries, and in the Honduran elections, on November 25.

Xiomara Castro, candidate for the LIBRE party formed by the resistance movement that opposed the 2009 US-backed coup,...

Both leading candidates are claiming victory in Honduras’s disputed presidential election, Democracy Now! The race has pitted Xiomara Castro, wife of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, against right-wing candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez.

According to election officials, with more...

Three of the main political parties contesting the November 24 election in Honduras are accusing the oligarchy-controlled Supreme Elections Tribunal of vote manipulation and fraud following a massive voter turnout on election day.

Liberty and Refoundation (LIBRE) party presidential...

Venezuela’s National Assembly granted President Nicolas Maduro the power to pass laws by decree on economic and anti-corruption issues for a period of 12 months on November 19.

The National Assembly held a second and final vote on a proposal from Maduro to enact the so-called enabling...

“A new union report alleges rampant lawlessness in the lucrative and growing reality TV industry,” Josh Eidelson wrote in a November 19 Salon.com article.

“The Writers Guild of America, East [WGAE], which authored the report based on a survey of current and former non-union workers,...

Eleven years to the day after the crew of the 80,000 tonne oil tanker Prestige heard the huge bang that marked the start of its break-up and of Europe’s most devastating oil spill, a high court panel in the Galician city of A Coruna delivered its verdict in the case on November 13....

Continuing New Zealand’s proud history of protests at sea, attempts by Texan oil giant Andarko to start deep-sea oil drilling are being blocked by a tiny sailing boat.

Thousands came out to NZ's west coast beaches on November 23 to support the Oil Free Flotilla in its stand against...

At just 16 years old, Malala Yusufzai is the youngest person to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. When the Pakistani teenager was shot in her head by Taliban gunmen because she spoke out about her right to education, it sent shock waves around the world.

The Western media took...

Young Palestinian prisoner Hassan Abdul-Halim Turabi, who suffered from leukemia, died at the Afula Israeli Hospital aged 22 on the November 5.

Turabi was killed by deliberate Israeli medical neglect, after being denied essential treatment. The number of Palestinian prisoners who have...

After the storm, the “shock doctrine”. This is what awaits the Philippines after the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan.

The familiar cycle of “disaster capitalism” allows wealthy and politically connected First World corporations to profit obscenely from the suffering of acutely...

More than 135 groups internationally have condemned Poland and European Union for facilitating a corporate takeover of United Nations climate talks (COP19) that started October 11 in Warsaw.

The EU aims to expand carbon markets that would benefit big polluters at the UN climate talks,...

A group of 133 developing nations have walked out of a key part of the United Nations climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. The walk out came amid a conflict over how countries that have historically emitted the most greenhouse gases should be held financially responsible for some of the damage...

Kshama Sawant, an openly declared socialist, was elected to the city council in a major United States city, Seattle, in November’s ballot.

You need to go back to the first half of the 20th century to find anything similar in the US.

The Indian-born Sawant ran as an activist. She...

The People's Caravan is a grassroots relief effort initiated by the Party of the Labouring Masses, a Filipino party of the marginalised and poor. It has been collecting goods and food and transporting relief directly to areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan (known as Yolanda in the Philippines...

Analysis

The formation of the Labor Party — created as part of a global movement to form mass workers’ parties in the 1890’s — differed markedly from the formation of social democratic parties in mainland Europe. The tendency in these countries was for the formation of workers’ political parties to...

Australian environmentalists welcomed the October announcement that mining giant BHP was abandoning its plans for a coal export rail and port development at Abbot Point in Queensland.

However, the company is simultaneously involved in a giant new coal export development on Kalimantan in...

Imagine if we found out exactly who was systematically destroying the habitability of Earth? If we had their names and addresses? Wouldn't a responsible society make them stop the destruction?

Climate researcher and author Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute in Colorado...

It's long been a favoured wish of many environmentalists to go off the grid, to be self-sufficient in energy and other services, and avoid the corporate utilities and their coal-powered electricity. The ambition for freedom from energy bills and fossil-fuel electricity is understandable.

...

At the recent UN climate talks in Poland, poor nations and NGOs singled out the Australian delegation for doing the most to block progress on a new deal to cut carbon emissions.

The 132 poor countries grouped in the G77 Alliance staged an unprecedented walkout of the summit on November...

After attending the national day of action on climate change, organised by GetUp on November 17, Sally Rawsthorne wrote in the Guardian that “fringe dwellers” like the Socialist Alliance and the Green Left Weekly participating in the rally “does climate action a disservice”....

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo on November 15 — boycotted by India and Canada in protest against the Sri Lankan regime's crimes against humanity towards the Tamil people — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said of the regime's crimes: "Sometimes in...

Since capitalism began, socialists have debated how to bring to an end to class divisions and make society more fair and just.

Early on, a split developed between those who thought revolution was necessary to overthrow capitalism, and others who thought a socialist society could be...

On the same day that Tasmania decriminalised abortion, the New South Wales parliament took a big step backwards for women’s rights. The Legislative Assembly voted 63 to 26 for a bill aimed at giving 20-week-old foetuses the same legal rights as human beings.

Abortions occupy a grey legal...

The Socialist Alliance condemns the violation of Indonesia's national sovereignty through the actions of the Australian government in tapping the mobile phone of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and nine of his closest advisors, including his wife.

These actions are a...

Culture

12 Years a Slave
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch
Directed by Steve McQueen

12 Years a Slave has received countless accolades from critics. The New Yorker has called it “easily the greatest feature...

The New York Yankees of Egyptian football, Al Ahly, have officially expelled one of its top players, striker Ahmed Abdel Zaher.

Did this extraordinary act take place in the aftermath of a heartbreaking loss? No, the team had actually just triumphed 2-0 and Zaher had even scored a goal...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Strengthening the socialist movement today

Socialist Alliance activist Dave Holmes, in a speech to Socialist Ideas Conference held in Melbourne, November 2, discusses strategy and tactics for socialists in Australia. Holmes looks at the difficult task of how to win broad...