Issue 997

Australia

The statement below was released by the Refugee Action Coalition on February 16.

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Report from Manus Island indicate a major protest and breakout has taken place on Manus Island late this afternoon. The most recent reports indicate that the riot squad has been mobilised and...

A farmer from Wyoming, who featured in the documentary Gasland, is touring Australia to warn locals about the health and environmental consequences of fracking for coal seam gas (CSG).

John Fenton will speak about his experience of living with polluted ground water, polluted air...

Several hundred residents and supporters rallied in Ashfield Park, in Sydney’s inner west, on February 9 to protest against the WestConnex road development.

Rally organisers said: "WestConnex intends to widen Parramatta Road in order to create an entrance to the planned westbound tunnel...

Seaspray locals have pledged to resist resources company Lakes Oil, which has applied to undertake horizontal drilling for tight gas near the Victorian town in East Gippsland.

The state government has a moratorium on fracking — hydraulic fracturing underground to release gas held in...

At a major speech in parliament on February 12, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the government was “serious about Aboriginal policy … no less serious than it is about stopping the boats”.

He pledged to close the gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous outcomes in health, education and...

"February 14 is celebrated as a day of of love by many people, but for us it is a day of grief" said one of the Aboriginal speakers at the start of the rally and march to mark the 10th anniversary of the killing of Aboriginal youth TJ Hickey in a police pursuit in Redfern. The protest began at...

As a 65-year-old Afghan Hazara man fights to avoid deportation, refugee rights advocates grow increasingly alarmed by reported “round ups” of hundreds of asylum seekers who are being threatened with imminent deportation.

Immigration minister Scott Morrison confirmed last month that the...

Immigration minister Scott Morrison has circumvented the Senate block of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) by making use of a different type of visa — Temporary Humanitarian Concern visas (subclass 786) (THC).

Labor and the Greens blocked Morrison’s attempt to reintroduce TPVs in...

Victorian state government enterprise VicForests tabled its annual report in parliament in October last year, revealing that, for the sixth year running, the corporation had failed to pay a dividend to the state for being allowed to log publicly owned forests.

Environmentalists say that...

More than 500 people protested against the “bikie” laws in Brisbane on February 11. The crowd included unionists, Indigenous and community activists, members of motorcycle clubs, and family groups, who rallied in King George Square before marching through the city to parliament house.

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The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) released this statement on February 14.

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Australian journalist and photographer Tamara Pearson has been threatened at gunpoint by opposition activists while reporting on student protests in Venezuela. The incident occurred...

A builder who donated $200,000 to the Liberal Party last year has gone into administration owing sub-contractors and suppliers an estimated $30 million. The collapse of Steve Nolan Constructions affects five building sites in the northern suburbs of Lindfield, St Leonards, Roseville and Gordon,...

Residents of Moreland in Melbourne's inner north have joined the campaign against the unpopular East West Link tollway tunnel. A community rally is planned for  March 30.

Some of the local groups most affected by the tunnel in Moreland are sporting clubs. The Brunswick Zebras soccer club...

Two police officers have been released on bail in Mackay after being charged with raping a woman while on duty.

The constables, aged 28 and 29, were charged after an internal police investigation. Little information about the crime itself has been released. But it is apparent there were...

Sixty people rallied outside NSW parliament on the February 12 anniversary of former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s apology in 2007 to the Stolen Generations, to protest against what they say is a continuation of unjust removals of children from Aboriginal families.

From the 1890s to the...

Two protesters chained themselves to a gate, preventing VicForests contractors from accessing a logging coupe for the day in the Toolangi State Forest north of Melbourne, on February 7.

The Toolangi State Forest is one of the few areas of forest unburned by the 2009 Black Saturday fire....

The Northern Territory government released the draft report of the independent Review of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory on February 7.  The government’s website says the review aimed to “get an informed understanding of the impact of current programs and initiatives”....

World

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has expelled three United States consular officials from the country due to suspected conspiracy with the right-wing opposition, Venezuela Analysis said on February 17.

It came after days of violent protests and riots by right-wing students that...

Sit-ins to support Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been held every week since 1995 in the courtyard of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s Gaza office. Recently, they have been followed by rallies outside the office for Ibrahim Bitar, a sick detainee in Israel’s Nafha...

From Sortu, left-wing party of supporters of Basque sovereignty, we would like to congratulate Green Left Weekly on publishing 1000 issues to date; a long journey, during which it has provided a truthful coverage of world events.

We would like to express our thanks for the...

The Basque political prisoner Arkaitz Bellon was found dead in his jail cell on February 5, more than 1000 kilometres from his home.

The body of the prisoner from Elorrio, who was 36, was found in his bed. Jail authorities say “his death points to natural causes”, but they will carry out...

The letter below was published at Egypt Solidarity Campaign, where you can go to add your name.

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TO: President Adly Mansour; Prime Minister Hazem el Beblawi.

We the undersigned, condemn the Egyptian government’s arrest, detention and torture of activists exercising...

A rupture of the TransCanada PipeLines (TCPL) gas line occurred in the middle of the night on January 25 near the village of Otterburne. A huge fireball erupted into the night sky and burned for many hours.

The explosion tore a large crater in the ground. Several thousand homes in 10...

In the general elections held on February 2, 44.7 million people were eligible to vote. On the day, 20.4 million cast their vote.

Kasian Tejapira, a lecturer at Thammasat University, has estimated that there were about 12 million people who could not vote due to the right-wing thugs...

A new opinion poll shows left-wing opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party ahead of the ruling conservative New Democracy by 1.5%, Ekathimerini.com said on February 12.

The survey showed SYRIZA leading with 30% support. A poll published in January put SYRIZA at 31.5% and...

The statement below was released by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs on February 14.

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The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) views with great alarm the violence perpetrated against the democratically elected government and civilians in Venezuela that has resulted, as of...

Venezuela's opposition have continued staging violent demonstrations amid calls for calm from across the political spectrum.

In an address to the nation late on February 13, President Nicolas Maduro said there were fresh reports of violent demonstrations, including attacks on government...

The period allowed for businesses to adjust their prices to the government's new “fair prices” law ended on February 10. The government has a wave of inspections planned to ensure the measure is applied.

The Law for the Control of Fair Costs, Prices and Profits aims to stop price...

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network released the statement below on February 13.

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The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network condemns the recent violent actions instigated by far-right sections of the opposition in various cities across Venezuela.

The first...

London transport workers have been involved in industrial action against proposed job cuts. The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs' Association are campaigning against plans to close all 260 London Underground ticket offices, which will cut...

In this piece reprinted from Counterfire, Lindsay German looks at what the severe flooding in Britain tells us about the system.

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1) Climate change is a reality, and those who deny it are the equivalent of those who persisted in believing the earth was flat, against all...

Anti-government demonstrations broke out in Tuzla, Bosnia on February 6. They were led by workers who had been laid off by the owners of newly privatised factories.

Contracts agreed at the time of the state sell-offs stipulated that the new owners were to invest in their companies....

History repeats itself. The time-worn tactic of the dominant class that controls the spread of information is to provoke violence and then blame it on the enemy, usually those who struggle for change.

Nero did it when he burned down much of Rome and blamed it on the Christians. Similarly...

The statement below was released by the British-based Hands Off Venezuela.

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After days of violent opposition demonstrations in several cities of Venezuela, February 12 had been billed as the “D Day” of an offensive to overthrow the democratically elected Nicolas Maduro...

The BBC's Today program is enjoying high ratings, and the Mail and the Telegraph are, as usual, attacking the corporation as left-wing.

Last month, a single edition of Today was edited by the artist and musician PJ Harvey. What happened was...

On a hot and breezeless day at the end of January, representatives from 83 unions across El Salvador gathered in the Casa Sindical (a shared union hall) in San Salvador to greet a delegation of international election observers.

We had come to ensure that the presidential election would...

In his State of the Union address on January 28, United States President Barack Obama highlighted growing inequality in the US. He also pledged to take steps to cut greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

So what has the Obama administration done recently on both counts?

First, it...

United States oil giant Chevron has filed a suit for damages against a cartoonist who ridiculed its legal antics in its ongoing case against Ecuador.

The oil giant is using the US court system to seek to avoid paying US$9 billion that an Ecuadorian court ruled it owed in environmental...

Analysis

The consequences of the inhumane policies by successive Coalition and Labor governments to make life as unbearable as possible for asylum seekers are unfolding on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

One person was killed on Manus Island overnight on February 18 and at least 77 others were...

There are some cynics who argue that Tony Abbott is a lying scumbag who wouldn't know the truth if it was tattooed on Rupert Murdoch's arse. Or, to put it another way, if it was right in front of his face.

But this is demonstratively false, because Abbott told us in his February 1...

Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia, gets its powers from the Reserve Bank Act (1959). Its two primary functions are to ensure the stability of the currency and the provision of full employment.

Besides managing Australia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves...

The Tony Abbott government has announced another Royal Commission into corruption in building industry unions.

But Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Dave Oliver said the terms of reference for this Royal Commission “are narrowly directed at unions and will not adequately deal...

As 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. This week we look at climate change.

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When Green Left Weekly first hit...

In its written submission to the four-yearly review of the award system, the federal government has called on the Fair Work Commission to introduce comprehensive changes that will include cuts to minimum award rates of pay and conditions.

As major employer groups prepare to argue for...

Australia's latest official unemployment figures only confirmed what everyone already knew — jobs are being destroyed by the thousands.

The announcement of Toyota's plan to close down car-making, after a decision by General Motors Holden and Ford to do the same, dominated the headlines....

Culture

Condemned To The System
Nausea
Willowtip Records
Released January 7, 2014
www.facebook.com/nauseala

Seminal grindcore band Nausea released a genre-defining album in 1989's World Downfall. A quarter of a century on...

Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies
Bruce Lourie & Rick Smith
University of Queensland Press, 2013
289 pages

The intrepid, and possibly just a little mad, environmental advocates Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith, are up to...

The Wolf of Wall Street
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler
Showing at selected cinemas

“There is no nobility in poverty. I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor and I...

Since their founding in 1896, every Olympics has arrived with the promise to unite the world.

One can still hear the lyrical words of the man who presided over the 1936 Berlin games, Chancellor Adolf Hitler, who said that he hoped his Nazi Olympics could help “knit the bonds of peace...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Bosnia: Uprising helps revive class politics

Starting on February 5, mass protests led by workers and retrenched workers in privatised factories, have rocked most major industrial cities in Bosnia, writes Michael Karadjis. Read more.

Venezuela: The...