Cultural Dissent

Prophets of Rage at their first live show in Los Angeles in May.

Tom Morello, renowned guitarist from Rage Against the Machine and social activist, has just finished a “Make America Rage Again” tour with new supergroup Proohets of Rage. The group features RATM members Brad Wilk and Tim Cummerford, as well as Public Enemy vocalist Chuck D and Cypress Hill frontman B Real.

From continued ire toward NFL star Colin Kaepernick over his protests against police killings to outrage over a racist mascot and a Los Angeles slugger’s rejection of Trump, sport in the US is fast becoming politicised.

Reflecting a racially-polarised society, tensions have recently broken past the typical barriers and spilled — like a rowdy, drunken fan — onto the playing field of the usually-insulated field of sports.

Dirty Secrets: Our ASIO Files
Edited by Meredith Burgmann
Newsouth, 2014
464 pages, $32.99 (pb)

The only thing worse, notes Meredith Burgmann in Dirty Secrets, than discovering that your personal file held by Australia’s domestic political police, ASIO, is disappointingly thin is to find out that your official subversion rating hasn’t warranted a file at all.

Play On! The Hidden History of Women’s Australian Rules Football
Brunette Lenkić and Rob Hess
Echo Publishing 2016,
324 pages

In a landmark development, the first national women’s Australian Football competition — AFL Women’s — will be launched next February. But a century ago, attitudes to women playing the game were very different.

The star of the new Netflix hit Luke Cage, Mike Colter, said the new show — featuring a bulletproof African-American man sporting a hoodie — highlighted the plight of many young Black people in the United States who have been shot dead by police and the decades-long struggle against such brutality.

The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe
Written and directed by Ros Horin
In cinemas now

About 90% of women refugees have been subjected to sexual violence in the process of becoming a refugee. In this film, four African women who managed to make it to Australia open up about their experiences and, in the process, create a theatrical work that has swept the world.

Pitched Battle: In the Frontline of the 1971 Springbok Tour of Australia By Larry Writer Scribe Melbourne, 2016 336pp, $35.00

“Sport and politics don’t mix” is often heard from politicians and media commentators when people target sporting events in acts of protest or athletes use their chosen sports to make political statement — for example Muhammad Ali and, more recently, US NFL star Colin Kaepernick. However, sport is often politicised in many different ways by the ruling class to reinforce the status quo.

We Shall Fight, We Shall Win
Produced by All India Forum for the Right to Education

The All India Forum for the Right to Education (AIFRTE) has just released a documentary about its struggle against the privatisation of education in India. The film, We Shall Fight, We Shall Win provides a rare glimpse into grassroots voices for public education in India.

In a dramatic depiction of the vast differences in resources and respect between men’s and women’s sport, a report by the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has laid bare the woeful pay and conditions for W-League football (soccer) players.

AAP reported on September 23 that he report by the PFA, the union representing Australian footballers, surveyed almost two-thirds of W-League players last season. The report suggests players could walk away from the game because of the financial strain.

Kurdish footballer Deniz Naki has been indicted by a Turkish court on “terrorist propaganda” charges for sharing posts on Facebook and Twitter about Turkey’s destruction of Kurdish cities and killing of civilians and militants.

Naki, who plays as a striker and playmaker for Kurdish team Amedspor, in Turkey’s Second League, will face up to five years in prison if found guilty. Amedspor are based in Diyarbakır, the unofficial capital of Turkish Kurdistan.

 The protests by professional sports players in the United States during “The Star-Spangled Banner” have spread since NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked the controversial movement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in August by refusing to stand for the anthem before games. The protests have spread, with other NFL players joining in as well as sportspeople from soccer and volleyball.

After Sustainability: Denial, Hope, Retrieval
By John Foster
Routledge, 2015
230pp, $53.95

Just thinking about the global ecological crisis is enough to make you worry. So what is it like when a professional philosopher, theologian and academic starts mulling it over?

Unfortunately, what results is this utterly despondent book by Lancaster University’s John Foster. It is, however, a sophisticated work and activists will no doubt encounter people quoting it in years to come.

Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
By Richard Seymour
Verso, 2016
paperback, 256 pages

If ever a book was born under a lucky star, it surely was Richard Seymour’s Corbyn.

No sooner had the English socialist blogger and author’s book about the British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn been published in May than the anti-Corbyn coup pushed it into the best sellers list.

Directed by Oliver Stone
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo
In cinemas now

How often in do people stand up to the behemoth that is the mighty US military-industrial-spy complex and get away with it? Not often enough.

But if you count living in limbo in Russia — unable to fly to asylum in a third country once his passport was cancelled, unable to return home to the US without fear of a rigged, secret trial on espionage charges — as getting away with it, Edward Snowden did just that.

Miami Dolphins kneel during national anthem on September 11.

On September 11 in the United States, a small group of National Football League players risked their careers, their endorsements and their livelihoods. They did so through the simple act of refusal.

Simon Hunt is a lecturer at UNSW’s Art and Design school as well as a political satirist. Hunt found success and notoriety in the 1990s as Pauline Pantsdown, releasing song “I’m A Backdoor Man” (1997) and “I Don’t Like It” (1998), which parodied far right politician Pauline Hanson. In 2004, Hunt released “I’m Sorry”, a parody of then-prime minister John Howard that was released as “Little Johnny”.

Humming of the Axis
Jeremiah Johnson

Singer-songwriter Jeremiah Johnson, who grew up in regional New South Wales, is well known and loved in his adopted hometown of Cairns and will soon be hitting the road for an extended tour around Australia. After a successful crowd funding campaign this year, the independent musician has a fully equipped tour bus and it’s time for his fan base to grow even further.

”Benny G the clown”, painted on the Israel's Apartheid Wall, referencing Ben Gurion, first prime minister of Israel.

It is a sad day when a good comrade like Richard Neville, who first rose to prominence as editor of counterculture magazine Oz in the 1960s and ’70s, dies.

If you had any doubt about Richard’s deep radicalism, it is worth watching his video about climate change posted on The Guardian site with the Marsha Rowe and Geoffrey Robertson obits. In it he nails neoliberal economists, the corporations and the rich as the drivers of dangerous climate change — and implicitly anticipates the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon.

BoJack Horseman
Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Designed by Lisa Hanawalt
Starring Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris

Created by Raphael Bob-Wakesburg in collaboration with Lisa Hanawalt, who had previously worked with him on the web comic Tip Me Over, Pour Me Out, the critically acclaimed for BoJack Horseman is a black comedy satirising Hollywood and celebrity culture.

The 2016 Critics Choice Award winning show follows the exploits of BoJack (Will Arnett), a washed up former star as he struggles to regain relevance in Hollywood.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has launched the first of two important collaborative projects that will be of much interest to left activists and scholars internationally.

Explaining why he refused to stand for the “Star Spangled Banner” before a preseason game on August 26, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

South African runner Caster Semenya won the women's 800m at the Rio Olympics in the fifth fastest time in Olympic history. Her win, and the petulant responses from the runners she beat, has drawn renewed attention to the problems facing international sports bodies as they struggle to maintain strict segregation by biological sex.

Chanting “I love Celtics”, Palestinians have released a video praising the fans of Scottish football team Celtic FC for “one of the biggest solidarity actions in European football history”.

It came as Celtic fans raised more than £100,000 by August 23 for Medical Aid Palestine — who deliver health and medical care to those “worse affected by conflict, occupation and displacement” — as well as to the Lajee Center for equipment to start a youth league, TeleSUR English said that day.

Radical Radio: Celebrating 40 years of 3CR, $49.50

I love this book. It is a showcase of four decades of Melbourne community radio station 3CR — one of Australia’s oldest and most progressive broadcasters, intertwined with the local and national landscape of political struggle from the mid 1970s until today.

Page after page of informative, entertaining stories make for great reading.

Howard Gayle during his time with Liverpool. Photo: Facebook/Howard Gayle.

The first Black football player for English club Liverpool, Howard Gayle, said he declined a nomination for the Member of the British Empire (MBE) honour because he felt he would be betraying his Black ancestors who suffered oppression at the hands of British colonialism.

During a August 17 European Champions League qualifying fixture in Glasgow against Israeli club, Hapoel Beer Sheva of Israel, fans of Glasgow's Celtic FC flew the Palestinian flag in solidarity with Palestine's struggle for freedom. The action came in defiance of UEFA threats to punish the club if fans flew the flag, and even Scottish police threats to arrest fans who flew the flag.

Rafaela Silva.

There is joy in Olympic Rio, make no mistake about it. Maybe it takes two hours to travel 25 miles across the city; and maybe only 15% of the Olympic decorations were delivered; and maybe there are more soldiers on the ground, per capita, than the United States had in Iraq at the height of Bush’s war; but there is joy.

With the highest record of Olympic medals in Latin America, Cuba owes its sports achievements to its socialist revolution.

The devastating US blockade on Cuba, which has lasted for more than 50 years and includes restrictions on the nation's sporting industry, has not stopped the island from becoming the most successful Latin American country in Olympics history.

Celtic fans defy a UEFA ban and police threats to fly the Palestinian flag during against against an Israeli team.

During Glasgow-based football club Celtic FC's August 17 European Champions League qualifying fixture in Glasgow against Israeli club, Hapoel Beer Sheva of Israel, Celtic supporters defied an explicit UEFA ban to fly Palestinian flags in solidarity with Palestine's struggle for freedom.

Five new books for green lefts and left greens — as compiled by ecosocialist site Climate & Capitalism, which is edited by Facing the Anthropocene author Ian Angus.

It features Cuban science fiction, the birth of the Anthropocene, agribusiness and disease, surviving catastrophe, rising seas and the private plunder of public assets.


Fans at Olympic women's soccer hold “Fora Temer” (“Temer out”) signs. August 6.

Jorge Knijnik is a researcher at the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney, and specialist in sport and social justice issues.

Ibtihaj Muhammad.

An American Muslim fencer, who is the country’s first Olympian to wear a hijab, says she does not feel safe in the US due to the country’s increased anti-Muslim rhetoric, The Independent said on August 5.

Author Ian Angus at the launch of 'Facing the Anthropocene'. Sydney, May 13.

Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism & the Crisis of the Earth System
By Ian Angus
Monthly Review Press
New York, 2016

We are living in a time of unparalleled ecological breakdowns and the crisis is much worse than most people realise. There are other books that tell this harrowing story, but Ian Angus's Facing the Anthropocene is different.

Brazil has been hit by anti-government protests in the lead-up to the Rio Games.

When the 2016 Olympic Games began on August 5, it was the culmination of a harrowing, exhausting decade-long battle between the people of Brazil and the demands of those utterly unaccountable, scandal-plagued sports bodies, FIFA and the IOC.

Hebron’s Ahly al-Khalil plays Gaza-based Shejaiya in the 2015 Palestine Cup. Ahly al-Khalil won the title, which it successfully defended on August 2 after Israel caved in to let players travel for the match.

Stingray Sisters
Three-part film series
Directed By Katrina Channells
Released on August 9
Watch at

Stingray Sisters is a deeply moving three-part documentary highlighting the story of three Aboriginal sisters, Noni, Alice and Grace Eather, and their return to Maningrida in the Northern Territory, from schooling in Brisbane.

Palestinian swimmer Mary al-Atrash.

Palestinian swimmer Mary al-Atrash headed to the Rio 2016 Olympics despite the Israeli occupation making the West Bank-based athlete’s training extremely difficult.