human rights

Global campaign demands: ‘Free Otegi, bring Basque prisoners home’

An international campaign for the release of jailed Basque pro-independence leader Arnaldo Otegi was launched at a conference in the European Parliament in Brussels on March 24.

A statement calling for Otegi’s release was announced at the conference, which has been endorsed by international figures including former Latin American presidents, Nobel Prize winners, political representatives and former political prisoners.

NSW taxpayers funding James Hardie’s asbestos debts

Mesothelioma is a particularly virulent form of lung cancer. From the date of diagnosis the average life expectancy of a person with the disease is just 155 days.

There is only one way a person can contact mesothelioma: by exposure to the fine particles of asbestos dust that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

The latent period from exposure to diagnosis can be many decades. So the first battle for sufferers seeking compensation was overcoming the legal hurdle in Commonwealth and state jurisdictions known as the statute of limitations.

Greece defies EU, passes anti-poverty law

Greece’s parliament passed what it called a “humanitarian crisis” bill on March 18 in order to help the poorest sectors of its population.

In a move opposed by representatives from the European Union, the government of left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pushed for housing allowances and emergency food aid to people in need.

‘I stood up on a plane to save an asylum seeker from deportation. Here's what happened.’

My name is Stephanie O’Donnell, but I also go by “the girl from the plane”.

On December 19, my partner and I were at Sydney Airport on our way to Heathrow via Beijing. We had booked the cheapest flight available and were waiting to check in for flight CA174, when a plucky activist approached us.

Resistance builds against plan to close Aboriginal communities

Thousands of people rallied in cities and towns around Australia on March 19 in opposition to the planned closure of around 150 remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.

The issue was thrust into the spotlight in September when the federal government — without consultation — announced that it would stop providing funding to these homeland communities from July 1 this year.

West Papua: Young activist killed by Australian trained Indonesian terror force

The statement below was released on the Facebook page of the Free West Papua Campaign.

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We are filled with grief today to learn that a 17-year-old West Papuan youth has been found murdered by suspected members of the Australian-trained Indonesian special forces group Kopassus.

How to get active this week

GREEK ELECTIONS REPORT BACK

GLW correspondent Dick Nichols reported from Athens during the Greek elections and will speak on SYRIZA and the fight against austerity.
Brisbane: Thursday March 26, 6pm Electrical Trades Union, 41 Peel St South Brisbane
Armidale: Saturday March 28, 6pm. Followed by a Mediterranean feast and the launch of the Socialist Alliance New England statement. Kent House, 142 Faulkner Street, Armidale. Phone: Bea 0458 752 680

MARCH ON PALM SUNDAY MARCH 29
Walk for justice for refugees.
Adelaide: 1.30pm @ Parliament House

Vale Roger Burbach — an activist dedicated to a better world

A great companero, colleague and friend, Roger Burbach, passed away on March 5 at the age of 70.

I had the privilege of working with Roger on a book we co-authored, together with Michael Fox, titled Latin America’s Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Socialism.

Despite being almost double our age, Roger was without a doubt the driving force behind this project, which turned out to be his last book published while still alive.

Greece: Solidarity centres push change from below

I visited Athens recently as part of a solidarity delegation from the British party Left Unity. On January 25, the day before radical left party SYRIZA’s election victory, two of us were fortunate enough to take part in a tour of some of the self-organising structures in Athens supported by the Solidarity for All network.

Peter Dutton can ‘play God’ with refugees’ lives

The power to “play God” with the lives of asylum seekers was granted to Australia’s immigration minister by the passage of the most punitive refugee laws ever seen last December.

Former immigration minister Scott Morrison, who held refugee children to ransom to pressure recalcitrant senators to concede their votes, pushed through the laws.

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