Issue 999

Australia

Police have not responded to a petition Taser victim Sheila Oakley handed to them a week ago. In response, a community assembly was held outside Logan police station on February 22.

Oakley was in hospital and could not attend the rally. Paul Butterworth, an Aboriginal elder who had...

About 140 people attended Manningham City Council’s forum on February 20 to hear speakers discuss the case for a railway line to Doncaster, Victoria.

Doncaster Rail has been promised since the late 1890s and Manningham City, comprising 10 suburbs and only 12 kilometres from the CBD, is...

Members of the Socialist Alliance have taken part in O-week stalls, which is not only resulting in a boost for Green Left Weekly sales and subscriptions in the lead up to its 1000th issue, but also a boost for the Socialist Alliance and Resistance.

Rachel Evans said on the...

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine is living up to his new nickname, “Naptime”, as the Hazelwood coalmine fire continues its terrible impact on the town of Morwell in the Latrobe Valley.

The edge of the town is only a few hundred metres from where the fire has been burning since February 9...

A byelection was held in the Queensland state seat of Redcliffe on February 22, following the resignation of the sitting Liberal National Party member, Scott Driscoll, over fraud allegations.

The result was a 17% swing to Labor, and the election of the Labor candidate Yvette D’Ath. The...

Qantas is just the latest big company to announce it is about to destroy thousands of jobs. CEO Alan Joyce says jobs have to go to save the company’s profit line.

We've heard the same sob story from Ford, Holden, Coca-Cola, Toyota and Alcoa all over a relative short period of time. Can...

Terry Barnes, a former adviser to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is credited with coming up with the bright idea of introducing a $6 payment when people visit their GP.

After Barnes left the prime minister’s employ, he wrote a submission to the government’s Commission of Audit on behalf of...

Members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) on University of Western Sydney campuses took action on February 28 to highlight management's refusal to agree to a fair enterprise agreement. They have been without an agreement for more than a year.

On the Bankstown campus of UWS...

The Tarkine wilderness in north-west Tasmania is under threat from iron ore mining.

The National Tarkine Coalition took Perth-based exploration firm Venture Minerals and the Tasmanian state government to the federal court last month to challenge a proposed iron ore mine at Riley Creek in...

A historic motion for Ballarat was put forth to affirm support for a “No to Homophobia” campaign at a City of Ballarat council meeting on Febraury 12. The motion was carried unanimously.

Greens councillor Belinda Coates put the motion. She said after the meeting: “It was fantastic to get...

World

With few exceptions, most international media coverage of the recent protests in Venezuela gives little sense of the response from the popular social movements who support the government of President Nicolas Maduro but operate independently from it.

As researchers who have carried out...

The governments of the United States, Europe and Canada are working furiously to help consolidate the conservative and rightist government that has come into office in Ukraine after the overthrow of the authoritarian regime of Victor Yanukovych 10 days ago.

The overthrow of the regime...

Cusco, a city of 400,000 in south-eastern Peru, was totally paralysed on February 25. It was the first day of a 48-hour general strike initiated by trade unions and other civic groups.

The strike was supported by bus, taxi and truck drivers, as well as peasant and indigenous groups in...

A new report by eight international trade unions and non-government organisations details the brutal government repression Cambodian garment workers were subjected to. It said the workers' demand to raise the minimum wage were reasonable.

Entitled A Week that Shook Cambodia: A Fact-...

Indiscriminate violence against ordinary people, whether they be involved in politics or not, is always appalling and serves no progressive or democratic purpose. The recent killing of children is even worse.

We have no idea who has been committing these latest deadly atrocities in...

Almost a year has passed since the death of Hugo Chávez on March 5, 2013. Arguably this has been the most difficult one for the Bolivarian Revolution. Many people, both on the left and the right expressed doubt that there could be Chavismo without Chávez.

Perhaps a year is still too...

Venezuelan car workers have slammed multinational car manufacturers for cutting back production in the country. The country's largest trade union federation has called for the industry to be nationalised.

Accusing multinational car companies of being “imperialist”, the National Workers'...

Four days of talks in Singapore for the proposed TransPacific Partnership (TPP) ended inconclusively on February 25.

It is clear big disagreements still exist between the negotiating countries. Combined with unease among the populations in negotiating countries, this is likely to prevent...

After failing to violently crush mass protests in Kiev’s Independence Square, which have been raging since November 21, the regime of Viktor Yanukovich collapsed on February 22.

The protests began in opposition to Yanukovich’s decision to back out of a Free Trade Agreement and...

Seoul's High Court ruled on February 7 in favour of the 153 members of the SsangYong Motor Company branch of the Korean Metal Workers Union who were unlawfully laid-off in 2009.

At the trial, Chief Justice Cho Hye-hyeon ordered the car company to re-instate all the workers and pay each...

At quarter to six on the morning of February 6, in a wood on the Moroccan side of the border with the Spanish north African enclave Ceuta, about 300 asylum seekers met to try to cross the six-metre high razor-wire fence seperating the two countries.

At 7.35am, they tried to cross this...

The armed group Basque Country And Freedom (ETA has made a significant step towards decommissioning the weapons used in its campaign for independence and freedom, Irish Republican News said on February 21. But the Spanish government immediately rejected the move.

The decommissioning by...

Throughout March, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will be reviewing the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, among other countries, at it meeting in Geneva.

At last year’s session, the UNHRC passed a resolution calling on the Sri Lankan government to “conduct an...

In a closely-watched election, the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) tried to break into the anti-union South to organise a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The union lost the February election among the plant’s 1550 production workers. There were 626 votes in favor and 712...

In response to the violence instigated by the Venezuelan elite, the working classes of Venezuela took to the streets this week. They went out not with pistols or grenades, but with brooms and shovels to clean the burnt trash and remove the barricades that have restricted the free movement of...

Millions of dollars worth of damages to public property may have been caused by a wave of violence across Venezuela, according to government sources.

The assessment comes after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for a “National Peace Conference” as a means of resolving the on-...

Analysis

Well the fun just never stops, does it, when it comes to the Abbott government’s asylum seeker policies, or as they call it, “border protection”. Because when it comes to needing protection, fleeing war, torture and genocide is one thing, but won’t someone think of all the poor, downtrodden...

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 women's liberation.

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The mainstream press pretends to address...

“You don't want a wimp running border protection,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on February 21. “You want someone who is strong, who is decent, and Scott Morrison is both strong and decent.”

Abbott was defending immigration minister Scott Morrison for his actions and comments after a...

Outside the city of Port Augusta in South Australia, the firm Alinta Energy runs the ageing brown coal-fired Northern power station. Environmentalists and local campaigners want the plant replaced with state-of-the-art solar power generation. But Alinta would rather solar power were used to pre-...

Two important things were revealed when immigration minister Scott Morrison was finally forced to admit he had been wrong about most of the facts when one man was killed and at least 70 others were injured on Manus Island on February 16.

The first was that asylum seekers who rang and...

An anonymous post to the Facebook group “Parenting Payments for Parents — not Newstart” (PPPNN) on February 26 read: “It’s been a very long, long, tiring road with no help from police regarding the violence ... I am now settled in a new private rental of $355 a week but I just can’t get back on...

Institutionalised corruption in New South Wales stretches from the Rum Corps of the late 18th century to present-day politicians from the Labor and Liberal parties.

The pattern has been consistent: public exposure, followed by the confected outrage of “shocked” politicians that comes...

Culture

For Neville Cunningham

You walk, you walk,
You turn a corner and walk some more

The sun might be there
Some cloud also welcome

But you are always invited
Into the house of the beekeeper.

You will know it when you arrive
Usually an...

The Prince: Faith, Abuse & George Pell
David Marr
Quarterly Essay, Issue 51
Black Inc., $19.99 (pb)

The police had, writes David Marr in his September 2013 Quarterly Essay on paedophile priests in the Catholic Church in...

Radical Dilemma
Rebel Diaz
Released December 4, 2013
www.rebeldiaz.bandcamp.com

Rebel Diaz's much-anticipated debut album tackles a quandary faced by many activists - the "radical dilemma" of trying to change the system while...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Party of the European Left: building unity to build hope

When the 200-plus delegates finally voted on the two main documents presented to the fourth congress of the Party of the European Left (EL), held on December 13-15 in Madrid, there was a faint murmur of surprise at...