History

Pitched Battle: In the Frontline of the 1971 Springbok Tour of Australia By Larry Writer Scribe Melbourne, 2016 336pp, $35.00

“Sport and politics don’t mix” is often heard from politicians and media commentators when people target sporting events in acts of protest or athletes use their chosen sports to make political statement — for example Muhammad Ali and, more recently, US NFL star Colin Kaepernick. However, sport is often politicised in many different ways by the ruling class to reinforce the status quo.

Thailand’s King Pumipon Adulyadej died on October 13 aged 88, after more than 70 years on the throne. Thai socialist Giles Ji Ungpakorn has been in exile since he was charged with lese majeste (insulting the monarch) over a 2006 book criticising the king’s support for a military coup. Below he assesses the monarch’s role as a block to democracy and social justice.

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King Pumipon was a weak and characterless monarch who spent his useless and privileged life in a bubble, surrounded by fawning, grovelling toadies who claimed that he was a “god”.
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was executed by a Bolivian soldier in the village of La Higuera, Bolivia, on October 9, 1967. The soldier was acting on orders that came directly from Bolivia’s then-president Rene Barrientos. Guevara was summarily executed for fear that a trial would become a public spectacle and garner sympathy for Guevara and his revolutionary socialist cause. History has proven that what Barrientos, and Latin America’s elites, wanted was impossible. Guevara’s ideas live on and he continues to serve as an inspiration for leftists and revolutionaries throughout the world.
During a debate in Miami earlier this year between the candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders came out against the Monroe Doctrine. This doctrine dictates that the United States government could intervene throughout the hemisphere and overthrow whatever government does not suit Washington.

Thousands marched in Venezuela’s capital of Caracas on October 12 to commemorate the Day of Indigenous Resistance — previously known as “Colombus Day”. The march also sought to counter opposition mobilisations in favour of the recall referendum against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Photos of forcibly disappeared supporters of the Patriotic Union. Photo: EFE. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos acknowledged the state’s responsibility in the killing of thousands of members of a leftist political party three decades ago, TeleSUR English said on September 15. Santos pledged to prevent such assassinations again.

Suspected leftists held by the military during the mass killings that followed the Western-backed 1965 Indonesian military coup. East Timor’s decision to take Australia to the Hague over Australia’s refusal to obey international law — and grant East Timor its legitimate share of oil and gas resources — comes just weeks after a tribunal at the Hague found Australia was complicit in the murders in Indonesia in 1965.

By some estimates, more than 1 million people came out across Catalonia on September 11 for Catalonia’s national day (the Diada) to show their support for Catalan sovereignty and — for most present — for Catalan independence from the Spanish state.

Oppose the coups in Latin America! Solidarity with the people of Venezuela and Brazil!

We, the undersigned, condemn the destabilisation plan underway in Venezuela against President Nicolas Maduro. We send our solidarity to President Maduro and the Venezuelan people who are resisting attempts by right-wing opposition forces to oust a democratically-elected government by violent means in violation of the democratic vote of the people and the country’s constitution.

It is a sad day when a good comrade like Richard Neville, who first rose to prominence as editor of counterculture magazine Oz in the 1960s and ’70s, dies.

Explaining why he refused to stand for the “Star Spangled Banner” before a preseason game on August 26, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Howard Gayle during his time with Liverpool. Photo: Facebook/Howard Gayle. The first Black football player for English club Liverpool, Howard Gayle, said he declined a nomination for the Member of the British Empire (MBE) honour because he felt he would be betraying his Black ancestors who suffered oppression at the hands of British colonialism.
Fifty years ago this week, 200 Aboriginal stockmen and domestic servants walked off the job at Lord Vestey's Wave Hill cattle station, 600 kilometres south of Darwin. Most of them were members of the Gurindji people, with small numbers of Walpiri and other indigenous people. They were to stay out on strike for ten years.
And that was how the horror came to my doorstep. To tell you the truth, like many people who live in the provinces – a somewhat disparaging term used to refer to the rest of France that exists outside of Paris and its surrounds – I thought terrorist attacks were mainly a concern for those in the capital. On July 14, this certainty was blown apart by the sad and harsh reality: 84 people of various nationality and beliefs, among them dozens of children, died due to the actions of a lunatic on the Promenade des Anglais, the “Malecon” of the city of Nice, in the south-east of France.
An Iraqi woman passes by the scene of a car bomb attack in Kamaliyah, a predominantly Shia area of eastern Baghdad in 2013.
For some people, it was impossible to believe that this day would come. Seven years after John Chilcot started to take evidence in a British inquiry into the Iraq War and 12 years after the previous inquiry into the war, many anti-war protesters could be forgiven for being sceptical about what the report would say. First impressions, announced over microphones and megaphones while being read from mobile phones, were met with a militant response. There was a sense of vindication for those of us who opposed the war from the outset and has renewed our determination.

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