Green Left Weekly’s Ben Peterson spoke to Wellington-based student activist Joel Cosgrove about socialist organising in New Zealand. Cosgrove is a member of the Workers Party and the Mana Party. He will speak about radical politics in New Zealand at Resistance’s Time Of Revolution conference in Adelaide, July 20-22.

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What is ‘We are the University’?

Guillaume Legault, a leading member of Quebec’s CLASSE student organisation, will join this year's Resistance national conference “A Time of Revolution” over July 20-22 in Adelaide.

CLASSE — the Broad Coalition of the Association for Student Union Solidarity — is the most radical student association leading the student strike in Quebec against rising tuition fees. Hundreds of thousands of students and supporters have taken part in the strike and daily protests.

Planning has started for the Resistance National Conference, to be held this year in Adelaide, South Australia, over July 20-22 at the University of Adelaide.

With the Arab Spring in the Middle East, anti-austerity protests across Europe and the Occupy movement in the US, last year was a year in which people’s movements around the world stood up to take centre stage in world politics. The theme of this year’s conference, “A Time of Revolution”, was inspired by these uprisings.

The University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence and the university Senate further displayed their “democratic” views on May 7 by sending riot police to break up protests by more than 500 students and staff.

Protesters disagreed with the flawed plan to carry out budget cuts and retrench staff.

Spence also sent an email to all staff damning the protesters as “outside agitators”, even though the protest was organised by the student-led Education Action Group (EAG) and the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU).

For the past 12 weeks, students of Quebec’s colleges and universities have been on strike against Premier Jean Charest’s proposal to increase tuition fees by 75%. The indefinite strike involves more than 170,000 students and is now attracting high school students. Broad layers of the general public are sympathetic to the movement.

In the early hours of April 22, police officers risked the lives of hundreds in Kings Cross by opening fire on the unarmed occupants of a stolen car, shooting the 14-year-old driver twice and a 17-year-old passenger in the neck.

Police then smashed the passenger's head on the road and body-slammed him on the curb, which left him in a coma. Police do not normally shoot unarmed teenagers in the middle of a crowded night spot. But this was different, possibly because the boys were Aboriginal.

The Australian system of mandatory detention for refugees is not, contrary to official government rhetoric, based on a policy of security. Rather, it is based on an age-old policy of demeaning and scapegoating foreigners.

Under international law, Australia is obliged to respect the right of refugees and settle them if they face genuine persecution, regardless of how they arrive in Australia or whether they have identification. But the policy of mandatory detention for asylum seekers subverts these rights.

In several places around world, students are rising up, fighting for their rights and demanding real change.

In Quebec, university students have mobilised in record numbers to oppose attacks on their education. The government of Premier Jean Charest plans to introduce a massive 75% hike in tertiary education fees — on the back of fee increases of C$100 a year for the past five years.

In response, 200,000 students and supporters marched to oppose the cuts on March 22. By March 29, about 300,000 students had gone on strike, boycotting their classes to protest the fee hikes.

Activists campaigning for stronger action to stop climate change often come up against pseudo-scientific arguments from climate change deniers.

Arguments put forward by misusers and abusers of the science such as Ian Plimer or “Lord” Christopher Monckton have become mainstays of the deniers’ argument arsenal.

Below are three of the most common violations of science that are touted as evidence disproving the “theory” of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change, and response to these arguments.

A telling quote in the film KONY 2012 says: “Who are you to stop a war? — the question is, who are you not to?”

I think the question that the people behind KONY 2012, which went viral on the internet on March 7, need to be asked is: “Who are you to start one?”

Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army in eastern Africa, is a bad man. He should be held to account for his crimes. But we should be wary of any campaign that says the solution is to send in US troops to Uganda. And that is the take-home message from the campaign.


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