A recent speech by a leading member of the US International Socialist Organisation, Sharon Smith, represents an important contribution the discussions of socialists and activists on women’s liberation. The struggle for socialism is a unifying struggle that encompasses many other movements to end all forms of oppression and exploitation. All progressive struggles are the business of socialists and socialist parties. At the same time, all struggles are strengthened by Marxist-educated, highly conscious activists.
Thousands of people marched through Dublin on November 17 to protest against the death of dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died of blood poisoning after being refused an abortion. More than 10,000 people gathered for a vigil and march over the death and the country's draconian abortion laws. A minute's silence was held at Merrion Square by the crowd, followed by chants of “never again”. Irish doctors appear to have judged that leaving Ms Halappanavar for two days with a fully opened cervix did not present any risk of the infection from which she eventually died.
About 300 people rallied in Melbourne on November 24 to oppose the ongoing harassment of Fertility Control Clinic patients and staff by Christian fanatics. The rally was organised by Melbourne Feminist Action (MFA), a new initiative campaigning for women's rights. Even though Victorian women won the legal right to abortion in 2008, access remains difficult for many women. The clinic is picketed daily and anti-abortion crusaders march once a month after mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral to the clinic.
Socialist Alternative has sparked a debate about whether socialists should be involved in feminist campaigns in an article published on its website on November 22 "Jill Meagher, Reclaim the Night and the political right".
Thousands of people marched to the offices of Ireland's prime minister on November 17 to support a woman's right to choose. The protest was sparked by the death of Savita Halappanavar in hospital, after staff refused to terminate her pregnancy even though her life was in danger. The article below first appeared on the Irish site Sráid Marx. * * *
Pro-choice activist will be rallying outside the East Melbourne fertility control clinic on November 24, under the slogan “Our Clinic, Our Bodies, Our Choice”. The rally is organised by Melbourne Feminist Action (MFA), an exciting new women’s rights collective. MFA was initiated by Jacinda Woodhead and Stephanie Convery who work for literary journal Overland. They were motivated by what seems to be a growing and renewed public interest in women’s rights in Melbourne.
Features interviews with Sue Bolton, the newly elected Socialist Alliance councillor for Moreland in Melbourne and Lindsay Hawkins, one of the Progressive PSA team that have won control of the union representing NSW public servants.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a federal royal commission into child abuse in Australian institutions on November 12. The announcement came after growing scandals about paedophilia within the Catholic Church had reached the point where it was politically untenable for the government to continue with inaction.
This episode focuses on feminism's resurgence and Venezuela's unfolding revolution. It includes activist news on Stop CSG protests, Global Noise protests, plus Carlo Sands on the European Union's Nobel Peace prize win, and a performance by 1000 eyes at Occupy.
Feminists from various organisations and groups gathered outside NSW Parliament House on October 23 to protest the severe cuts the Barry O’Farrell government has proposed for several community organisations. Some of the centres and services that face an uncertain future include the Liverpool Women’s Resource Centre, which provides information and support to disadvantaged and abused women, and the Margaret Jurd Learning Centre, a non-government school that caters for children with disabilities.