Comment and Analysis

The real reason Tony Abbott wants to bomb Syria


The only thing unclear about Abbott's likely response to a request to join the US air war in Syria is how many flags Abbott will stand in front of when he makes the announcement.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied reports his government lobbied the US to formally request for Australia to extend its involvement in the US-led air war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — and bomb targets in Syria, not just Iraq.

Resistance members join fight for Divestment at UQ

The University of Queensland Resistance Club has joined with other student clubs to call on the university administration to divest money from fossil fuels.

The university has an undisclosed amount of money invested in projects whose emissions jeopardise the future of the young people that UQ is supposed to be educating.

WORLD TO WIN: Stop handouts to big business

Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance’s “World to Win” series, aims to give voice to the ideas and aspirations of radical young people who are involved in the struggle for social change. This week, Murray Taylor discusses the ideas behind wealth inequality and the demand for redistribution.

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Remember how Treasurer Joe Hockey promised that all Australians would pay an equal share in his efforts to balance the budget and assist in this recovery?

HESTA divests from Transfield Services

Pressure from activists for super funds to divest from Transfield Services, the biggest contractor in the Australian immigration detention industry, is increasingly bearing fruit.

HESTA, the industry superannuation fund for health and community services workers — at $32 billion one of Australia’s largest super funds — sold its 3.5% stake, worth $23 million, in Transfield Services on August 18.

On August 25 NGS Super, the industry superannuation fund for private school teachers, announced it would sell its $5.5 million stake in Transfield “on moral grounds”.

Inside immigration detention on Manus Island

Carol Hucker worked on Manus Island as a counsellor for International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) and as a case worker for the Salvation Army from June 2013 to July last year.

She has allowed Green Left Weekly to publish her account of her time there so people can become more aware of what is occurring on Manus Island and to these men. She said: “It is my hope that through this brief account the men on Manus will not be forgotten.”

This is the first of a multi-part series and covers the period June to July 2013.

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Oxfam Australia responds on Better Power

This is a reply by Oxfam Australia's Climate Change Policy Advisor Simon Bradshaw to Andrea Bunting’s article “GetUp!-Oxfam’s Powershop partnership raises questions” in Green Left Weekly #1064.

As a leading international development agency working around the world, Oxfam is seeing the world’s poorest people made even more vulnerable through the increasing risk of droughts, floods, hunger and disease due to climate change.

Vale John Percy — veteran socialist activist

John Percy, veteran socialist, died on August 19 in Sydney, aged 69. He was a co-founder of the revolutionary youth organisation Resistance and the Socialist Workers Party, later the Democratic Socialist Party.

John, together with his brother Jim, began his political career as a student activist at Sydney University in the mid-1960s in the growing movement against the Vietnam War.

What is in the China Australia Free Trade Agreement?

The China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is a major deal, but there is little public understanding of its content. Much of the coverage of ChAFTA in the corporate media has focused on its benefits for business and its impact on Australia. But ChAFTA has far reaching consequences for working people in both countries.

The Chinese and Australian governments signed off on ChAFTA on June 17. But before it can come into effect, both the Australian and Chinese governments need to pass enabling legislation.

Serious climate action must challenge the system

This week Canadian author Naomi Klein is visiting Australia to speak about why capitalism is incompatible with action on climate change.

Her book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate encourages everyone already involved in fighting for social justice and equality to see climate change as the “best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world”.

Scott Morrison’s attacks: first asylum seekers, now expectant mothers

Scott Morrison must be the cruellest, most insensitive minister for immigration that Australia has ever seen.

“Border protection” was a vote winner so international treaty obligations were trashed, human rights trammelled and asylum seekers fleeing from persecution were greeted with perverse punishment.

After his resounding success in the portfolio, Morrison was promoted to minister for social services, where he wasted no time in attacking the unemployed, the disabled and age pensioners.

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