In an atmosphere of manufactured hysteria about “Muslim terrorists” in our midst, the Coalition government has introduced sweeping attacks on civil liberties in Australia. Prime minister Tony Abbott declared that the “balance between freedom and security may have to shift” and that “there may be more restrictions on some so that there can be more protection for others”.
Below is the first part of a statement initially released by Socialist Alliance in Australia on September 24 and updated on October 4. In Sydney, on Friday morning (October 10), members of the community will a protest fast in Sydney Town Hall Square from 9am. See also: Sydney solidarity with Kurdish struggle (PHOTO STORY)
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has committed Australia to join the US’s latest military intervention in the Middle East. About 600 Australian military personnel and aircraft operating from a base in the United Arab Emirates will join US forces in bombing Islamic State forces in Iraq and assisting the Kurdistan Regional Government with weapons and training. ‘HUMANITARIAN’ WARMAKING
I am the Socialist Alliance candidate for Geelong in the upcoming state elections. I am a 24-year-old Gordon TAFE student living on youth allowance and for that reason my candidacy may not be taken seriously by the media and the other candidates, but it is for that exact reason I am running in the state elections. Young people do not have a voice in this country or in our state. We are one of the first groups to be targeted so that our government can “balance the budget” and one of the groups most affected by the cuts to welfare, education, health, and housing.
The following statement was adopted by the Socialist Alliance national executive on September 4 in response to the Australian government's decision to join the US and other imperialist states in further military intervention in Iraq. *** The US wars on Iraq, in 1991 and 2003, killed hundreds of thousands of people and completely wrecked the country. The US promoted sectarian divisions to maintain control. It created the conditions for the rise of the “Islamic State” and is thus responsible for the crisis.
The Socialist Alliance released this statement on August 29. *** "The Independent Commission Against Corruption's uncovering of corrupt political dealings between corporations and the two major parties in NSW shouldn't come as a surprise,” said Susan Price on August 29. Price is standing as a candidate for the Socialist Alliance in the new seat of Summer Hill on a platform of “People before Profit — NSW is not for sale”.
Forty thousand people marched against the federal government and its budget in over 30 locations on the weekend of August 30-31. This was smaller than the three similar mobilisations in March, May and July, but shows there is still a strong community sentiment against the budget. All campaigns have ups and downs — no grassroots movement ever grows continually upwards. The smaller numbers reflect the fact that the initial raw anger against the budget has passed. To maintain a campaign in this context, people need to have confidence that their efforts can bear fruit.
Finance minister Mathias Cormann has threatened the opposition parties that if they continue to block key budget measures — such as the demolition of universal health care and welfare, the deregulation of university fees, and the hike in the interest rate on student HECS debts — then the government would be forced to look at raising taxes.
For the fifth time since their election in September last year, thousands of Australians will take to the streets in protest against Tony Abbott Coalition's government. These mobilisations have been critical to keep the pressure on the Labor Party, Greens and independents to stand firm in opposing the government's budget, which will bring austerity, cuts and privatisation. As a result of this opposition, Treasurer “Smokin' Joe” Hockey's budget has stalled.
Media reports about a deal being struck this week between the Australian government and Cambodia to resettle refugees from Nauru have been denied by Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison. However the government has confirmed that negotiations towards a memorandum of understanding was continuing.
The Victorian Coalition government faces an uphill battle to win a second term in the November state elections. Its commitment to building the controversial East West Link toll road and the impact of the federal budget cuts has made the Coalition very unpopular. Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale Sean Brocklehurst said the East West Link is “a huge handout to big corporations.
The NSW Coalition government will face pressure at the state election in March next year. The resignations of sitting Liberal MPs Tim Owen and Andrew Cornwell, after being investigated for alleged corruption by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), will likely trigger a byelection that could hand the seats to Labor. After the corruption scandals under Labor rule, the Coalition were elected on the back of promises to “clean up” NSW politics. But the Coalition has now proved to be no better than the Labor Party.