Culture

The former British colony of Malaya (now Malaysia) gained its independence on August 31, 1957. However, this was based on a deal by the Malay elites represented by the conservative United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) and Chinese and Indian capitalist classes with British colonialism. This deal preserved the privileges of the Malay elite.

Ten years earlier in 1947, a different vision of independence based on popular democratic participation and multi-ethnic solidarity came together in the “People’s Constitution”.

The season of zonked flies
Trapped behind windowpanes
They fall into coffee cups
Loll in left over gravy on dinner plates
A last indulgence on dessert platters
Rolling over, legs up
Not dead yet but on the way
Gone brutally bonkers
No wriggling out of here

The recently re-published classic history of radical politics in Queensland, The Red North: The Popular Front in North Queensland, was launched at a series of forums in Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns over the past month, Jim McIlroy reports.

At the same time as the Israeli Defense Force massacred more than 50 Gazans protesting against the US shifting its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, Matte Gallo writes that Italians are joining protests against the decision of the major cycling race Giro d’Italia to start the contest in Israel.

In various stages of this important Italian sporting event, many activists have protested -- waving flags, chanting slogans and making their presence felt energetically.

British team Leeds United FC is under fire after announcing late last month plans to tour Myanmar despite the mounting allegations of human rights abuses and “ethnic cleansing” in the country.

The club revealed its two final post-season games would be in the Myanmar cities of Yangon and Mandalay. The tour will be sponsored by a bank that has been linked to the government and, consequently, the hundreds of thousands human rights abuses reported by refugee Rohingya Muslims.

A group of young Palestinians in Gaza has founded “The Crutches”: the first football (soccer) team for amputees injured during the last three Israeli attacks on the besieged territory.

Palestinian civil society groups have accused Giro d’Italia cycling race, which started its first leg in Israel on May 4, of covering up Israel’s war crimes in Gaza and its secret police’s repression against Giro protests, said Kerry Smith.

Reconstructing Karl Polanyi: Excavation & Critique
By Gareth Dale
Pluto, 2016
246 pp., $33.88

As a well-known British socialist activist and an academic political economist, Gareth Dale is thus ideally placed to write about Karl Polanyi, writes Derek Wall.

Polanyi was a leading 20th century critic of the free market economics that crystallised into the neoliberal system that is now threatening our planet.

In the Fade
Director Fatih Akin
Starring Diane Kruger, Denis Moschitto & Johannes Krisch
Released in 2017
www.inthefadefilm.com

Between 2000 and 2011, Nazi terrorists murdered and bombed immigrants in Germany without the authorities even noticing. The police were convinced it was just rival ethnic gangs quarrelling.

This film is based on that period, though not drawn from a particular event. 

Heather Rogers has written a brilliant book about a very relevant topic given the current crisis in Australia over recycling.

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