Issue 994

Australia

Email your message of support to: 1000thissue@greenleft.org.au

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Jock Palfreeman, Justice for Jock
Our relationship started out in 2002 when I was only 15. In Parramatta we met for the first time and I didn’t know what to make...

January 26 is officially celebrated as Australia Day, but for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (and anyone who values the truth) it is known as Invasion Day or Survival Day. This is the day when British colonial authorities arrogantly laid claim to this continent, opening an era of...

The Socialist Alliance is running two candidates in the Tasmanian state election on March 15.

Whether Labor or the Liberals form government after March 15, Tasmanians can expect to see “prioritising of big business over the interests of the general public and the continuing privatising...

Five hundred ambulance workers rallied outside the Doncaster Ambulance Station in Victoria on January 22. Led by Ambulance Employees Australia (AEA), workers have been fighting for pay equity with ambulance workers in other Australian states and to protect their conditions for 18 months.

...

Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings sacked Greens ministers Nick McKim and Cassie O’Connor from cabinet on January 15 — the same day that she announced a state election would be held in March.

The Greens have shared power with Labor since a minority government was elected in 2010. But the...

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett's unpopular shark cull policy is facing legal and political hurdles as activists plan protest actions for February 1.

On January 22, the media reported that an unidentified fisher had been contracted to administer the baitlines along the south-...

Tamil people and their supporters rallied on January 20 against the detention of 46 refugees who have been held for years even though they have been recognised by the Australian government as genuine refugees.

Most of these refugees are Tamils from Sri Lanka. They are being held because...

Wong Tack, the chairperson of the Himpunan Hijau (Green Assembly) environmental group which has been campaigning against the Australian company Lynas' toxic rare earth refinery in Malaysia, was manhandled and pushed up against a wall by security personnel when his group peacefully protested at...

More than 200 people attended a rally on January 18 in Goddard Park, Concord, in Sydney's inner west, to protest against the WestConnex motorway project.

The rally was organised by the WestCon Action Group, which is campaigning against the NSW and federal governments' $11.5 billion...

On February 14, 2004, as a consequence of a police pursuit, a Redfern police car driven by Constable Michael Hollingsworth rammed TJ Hickey’s bicycle. As a result, he was impaled on a spiked metal fence. The police did not follow proper medical practice and he died in hospital the next day....

World

About 300 West African refugees reached the German city of Hamburg early last year after a long and perilous journey from Libya.

They had, like countless other refugees travelling from north Africa, crossed the Mediterranean to the Italian island of Lampedusa the name that the group of...

A wave of protests has broken out in recent months against militias in Libya’s cities.

The militias are armed groups originally formed during the 2011 civil war. Most are based in a particular town or region, but they sometimes try to exercise power over a wider area.

There is...

The Venezuelan government plans to continue its land expropriations this year in its push to move towards what it terms “agrarian socialism”.

In the 2014 national budget, the government’s National Land Institute (INTI) sets its aim to expropriate 350,000 hectares of land this year....

Communes and social movements have demanded the Venezuelan government combat the assassination of rural activists in the mountains of western Venezuela, which they say is undermining communal organising in the region.

The assassinations are taking place in the mountains of the western...

Having leaked the disturbing details in the chapter on intelectual property rights in the secret proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) last year, WikiLeaks released the TPP's environment chapter on January 15.

As well as the draft text of the chapter, WikiLeaks also leaked a report...

The Manila Seedling Bank, a seven hectare area of small market gardens and big and small shops selling plants, was a rare green space among the traffic jams, shopping malls and slums on the intersection of Quezon and Edsa Avenues in Quezon City, Metro Manila.

It was also home to a...

After almost four years in jail without charge, Irish prisoner of conscience Martin Corey was released from custody on January 15. But he was only freed on condition he stay away from the media and his home town or face a return to jail.

Corey was hidden from members of the press who had...

To an almost audible sigh of relief from its tens of thousands of activists, the two main forces in France’s nine-party Left Front ― the French Communist Party and the Left Party of Jean-Luc Melenchon ― have called a halt to hostilities.

The infighting was undermining the front's chances...

Cheang Thida (pictured below) is a young woman local union leader of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU) at Kin Tai Factory in Phnom Penh. Last December she led 10,000 workers on a legal and peaceful strike demanding a minimum wage that satisfies the workers' basic needs. As a...

“The richest 85 people in the world, who could fit onto a single double-decker bus, have just as much wealth as the poorest half of world,” Huffington Post said on January 20.

The statistic was revealed by non-government organisation Oxfam in a new report, Working for the...

In five-star hotels on Mumbai's seafront, children of the rich squeal joyfully as they play hide and seek.

Nearby, at the National Theatre for the Performing Arts, people arrive for the Mumbai Literary Festival: famous authors and notables drawn from India's Raj class. They step deftly...

I was deeply saddened to read the article by Anne Elizabeth Moore titled “What’s the Price of Workers’ Lives in Cambodia?” published on January 17 in the US-based Truth-out.org website.

This story contained an outrageous attack on the Cambodian garment workers demonstration over the...

Analysis

Many people gasped when they read that an Oxfam study found that the richest 85 people in the world own the same wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

It is shocking and unconscionable. It is grossly unfair and unjust. But it is much more than this. This unimaginable...

It has been a long and horrifying two months for refugees and asylum seekers seeking protection in Australia. Many new directives, plans and an increasingly brutal border control regime have led to a mounting crisis that legal experts are increasingly referring to as criminal.

Here are...

When the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) found that former union official, John Maitland, and former NSW ALP minister for primary industries, Ian Macdonald, had engaged in corrupt conduct over the granting of a coal exploration licence at Doyles Creek, they said the licence...

The one thing that we can expect with some confidence this year is an increase in unemployment. An analysis of Australian employment statistics for 2013 shows that jobs growth was at its lowest level for more than 20 years.

Last year, unemployment increased by more than 5000 people a...

Australian Services Union leader Sally McManus has compiled a list of 85 broken promises or other attacks on Australians by the Abbott government since the federal election.

Prominent on the list are attacks on refugee rights, workers' rights, public services and the environment.

...

A private member’s bill was successfully passed on November 21 last year to remove abortion from Tasmania’s criminal code.

Tasmania has joined the ACT and Victoria in decriminalising abortion. Until then, the criminal code set out the limitations of when an abortion is not lawful and...

If one country plays host to the armed forces of another, it has either been invaded or invited the second country in.

If the latter, this is indicative of some level of inadequacy on the part of the first country; an inability to fully take care of itself — the classical colonial...

As Green Left Weekly approaches its 1000th issue, more than 20 years after it first hit the streets, we will be looking back at some of the campaigns it has covered and its role as an alternative source of news.

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When Green Left Weekly was launched in 1991,...

I am clearly a pretty tough guy. I mean I must be, seeing as I've been going out and getting drunk quite frequently in Sydney for years now and have never once been assaulted.

True, I don't exactly “work out”, and I look more like a deflated beanbag than a Mr Universe contender, but as...

In recent weeks, federal education minister Christopher Pyne announced a review of the national curriculum.

The key purpose of Pyne’s review is to divert attention from the much-needed Gonski funding. Pyne believes that the widening gap in the educational performance of students from low...

SOMETIMES in life, you can feel pretty helpless. That said, I’m a privileged white guy in a privileged white society. So for me at least, it doesn’t happen very often.

It happened last year.

John Pilger is a journalist I grew up reading, and a large part of the reason why I...

Culture

When Nadine Angerer, German goalkeeper for the Brisbane Roar W-League football (soccer) team, won the 2013 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, it highlighted the quality of women's football in Australia.

However, as Aron Micallef highlights in the article below, it remains severely...

If I Had a Hammer
David Rovics
Liberation Records, 2013

Fans of radical US singer-songwriter David Rovics will welcome his latest CD, If I had a Hammer, a compilation of three albums recorded last year and released in December. And those not...

Alienation: An Introduction to Marx’s Theory
By Dan Swain
Bookmarks, 2012

The human race lives in a terrible contradiction. Quite obviously, there is enough wealth to create a decent life for every person on the planet. Yet, billions suffer...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Inequality the issue for 2014

With everyone from Pope Francis to US President Barack Obama bemoaning the effect that inequality is having on the world today, the national director of New Zealand's Unite union Mike Treen says it has become a decisive issue across the...