Australia

Ebola crisis: How Cuba shames the West

The ebola outbreak in West Africa is "unquestionably the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times", World Health Organisation (WHO) director general Dr Margaret Chan said on October 14.

A baby with nowhere that's safe: Court finds Baby Ferouz has no right to refugee status

The decision to deny 11-month-old Ferouz Myuddin a protection visa precedes a plan by Tony Abbott’s government to retrospectively deny all babies born to asylum seekers the right to seek refugee status.

An amendment bill containing extensive changes to the Migration Act was tabled by the federal government last month. The bill would remove most references to the refugee convention and legalise boat turnarounds.

The Coalition government also wants all babies born to asylum seekers who arrived by boat after August 13, 2012 to be declared “unauthorised maritime arrivals”.

Solidarity with Kobani: Why should the left support it?

Kurdish fighters in the northern-Syrian city of Kobani have been fighting an armed struggle against Islamic State (IS) fighters for the past month. The Kurdish fighters are resisting IS attempts to take their city, which would result in a massacre.

There has been some debate among left activists about whether the Kurdish struggle is anti-imperialist, whether the people’s militia groups in Kobani have been calling for imperialist military intervention, and what issue Australian anti-war activists should focus on.

CPSU ballots for industrial action in Dept of Human Services

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) on October 13 gained Fair Work Australia authorisation for a ballot of members on protected industrial action in support of a fairer agreement in the federal Department of Human Services. The electronic ballot will start in late October for the 15,000 CPSU members in Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support.

Resistance statement: Support the struggle in Kobani

Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance released this statement on October 16.

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Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance supports the struggle in Kobani against the Islamic State for a number of reasons.

Kobani, is part of an emerging progressive autonomous region called Rojava where people of all ethnicities and religious beliefs are equal and where women are leading the way forward.

Put a socialist in NSW parliament

NSW ALP Senator John Faulkner, luminary of the Labor left, has been complaining of the structural flaws in the party for decades. Despite being a long-time beneficiary of the party’s factionalism, almost 10 years ago he was writing of the “shared venality” of party apparatchiks that led it back beyond factionalism. “It is feudalism, and it is killing the ALP.”

Last week he was at it again in his address to the “Light on the Hill Society” at Revesby Workers Club in western Sydney.

Patients to lose out from Medibank Private sale

"We are now in the world of 'big insurance,' with health funds squarely in the business of providing financial returns to shareholders ... Private health insurers serve their shareholders, meaning they don't necessarily seek to actively protect or advance models of care that result in the best health outcomes for members," chief executive of St Vincents Health Australia Toby Hall, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health-care organisation, wrote in the October 10 Sydney Morning Herald.

The G20 Act won’t deter protests

The Queensland capital is getting ready to lock down for a two-day meeting of world leaders in mid-November. More than $171 million has been allocated to “city improvement works” in an effort by the government “to help Brisbane shine” in time for the G20 summit.

Homeless people will be offered hotel rooms, bins will be sealed to prevent bomb concealment, public transport will be affected and roads will be closed.

The G20 “red zone” will encompass the central business district and Spring Hill along with much of Kangaroo Point, Fortitude Valley and South Brisbane.

Socialist candidates say: Stop violence against women, fight sexism

Sarah Hathway, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Geelong, and Sean Brocklehurst, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale, released this statement on October 16.

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We strongly support the Reclaim the Night marches organised across Victoria and the world. Violence against women is endemic to the sexist culture promoted by our oppressive, exploitative, capitalist society. Vibrant public campaigns protesting such violence can help win better safety and rights for women, and are an important part of the struggle for a better world.

Progressives students contest UTS campus elections

Progressive student activists at the University of Technology (UTS) are running on a ticket to contest the student representative council (SRC) and elect delegates to the National Union of Students (NUS) conference in December.

The ticket, called “Grow your SRC and NUS”, is focusing on fighting the proposed fee hikes and providing better support to disadvantaged students, as well as calling on UTS management to divest from fossil fuel corporations.

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