history

Sankara's revolutionary legacy delved into in new biography

Thomas Sankara: An African Revolutionary
By Ernest Harsch
Ohio University Press, 2014
163 pages, $18.56.

A popular uprising in 1983 in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), a small and poor land-locked country in western Africa, had led to an obscure, but charismatic army officer becoming head of state.

This was inspiring news for those looking for a new breakthrough against imperialism. It had come after the depressing news that Margaret Thatcher's Britain had defeated Argentina in the Malvinas and Ronald Reagan's United States had crushed Grenada's revolution.

Aboriginal voices resist closures

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett government is slowly backing away from his controversial announcement that up to 150 remote Aboriginal communities are facing closure.

In what he described as “a more nuanced approach”, Barnett is now proposing a “hub and orbit” strategy that will leave some communities bigger and better resourced, others reduced in services and the smallest ones abandoned.

Forty years on – 10 facts about the US war on Vietnam

The 40th anniversary of the end of Vietnam War, which claimed the lives of millions of Vietnamese as a result of the United States aggression against the country, was marked on April 30.

The war lasted from 1955 to 1975. Ending in Vietnamese victory with the forced US withdrawal. It is known in Vietnam as the “War Against the Americans to Save the Nation”.

How the Anzac myth hides history

An irony of the sacking of SBS sports journalist Scott McIntyre for a series of tweets he made on Anzac Day is that the hysterical reaction from politicians and the media, and the consequences he has faced, has only served to prove his initial point.

Anzac Day is not about remembering history. To remember what actually happened at Gallipoli 100 years ago, and in Australia’s involvement in wars more generally, is not permissible. Whatever the Anzacs fought and died for, it was not free speech.

NT intervention ‘would have worked by now’

Stop the Intervention Collective (STICS) held a forum last month to update participants on the NT Intervention.

Dr Shelley Bielefeld, lecturer in law at UWS, visiting scholar at Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at UTS and the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at ANU, spoke at the forum. Afterwards she spoke to Green Left Weekly.

* * *
How does the government justify the Intervention?

Ways to get active this week

ADELAIDE
Come to Voices of Dissent on Thursday May 14 at 7pm. A Fundraiser for Green Left Weekly. Featuring The Tangled Bank; Kyle Landman, The Young Offenders; Steve O’Malley; Where Was I?; Brendan de Paor. Entry $7. The Jade Monkey, 160 Flinders St, Adelaide. Ph Claudia 0435 108 439.

BRISBANE

Social democracy's past and present dissected in new book

A Short History Of Social Democracy: From Socialist Origins To Neoliberal Theocracy
By John Rainford
Resistance Books
$20, 184pp.

The rise and then fall of social democracy as a movement for fundamental social change is a modern tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. It is one of the epic stories of the 19th and 20th centuries.

East Timor's nightmare relived on stage

Massacre is an explosive theatre work about the politics and violence of East Timor. Produced by Stone/Castro (Australia) and Colectivo 84 (Portugal), it features John Romao as “Timor” and Paulo Castro as “East”.

They work with “weapons of grotesque, sarcasm and a thrash metal soundtrack to create a scenic, hypnotic and dangerous game. The mutant metamorphosis of Australia, Indonesia and Portugal make for an in-your-face confrontation to the East Timor crisis.”

Marshall Islands challenges nuclear powers


In April last year, the government of the Marshall Islands announced it would be taking nine nations — China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Britain and the US — to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague over their possession of nuclear weapons.

The Marshallese have paid a heavy price for other countries’ nuclear weapons. After World War II, they were incorporated into the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands administered by the US.

What's new at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

'People are capable of governing themselves'

Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton spoke to Dave Holmes about her work as a local councillor in Moreland, a municipality in Melbourne, Australia. Bolton was elected in 2012 on a campaign slogan of “community need not developer greed”, which she says “struck a chord with residents”.

Marta Harnecker: From Allende to Chavez

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