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Australia

Thais in Australia: `Oppose human rights abuses by Thai military and government'


Australian Thais protest in Sydney, April 12, 2010. Photos by Thai Red Australia Group.

ต่อต้านการใช้ความรุนแรงต่อประชาชนและการละเมิด สิทธิมนุษยชนของกองทัพไทยและรัฐบาล

The following statement by Thai Red Australia Group for Democracy was released at a protest rally in Sydney on April 12, 2010.

“At least 19 people have died and 825 injured as a result of violent clashes in Bangkok Thailand, as troops tried to retake areas from anti-government protesters on 10th of April 2010.”

The Greens: mainstream party or minor irritant?

Greens MP Sylvia Hale addresses a rally in solidarity with Venezuela. Photo by Aporrea.

[The following speech was delivered as the 10th Annual Juanita Nielsen Lecture, on March 23, 2010. Sylvia Hale is a Greens member of the NSW state parliament, elected to the Legislative Council (upper house) in 2003. Juanita Nielsen was a campaigner against the big business development of Kings Cross, Sydney, who disappeared in 1975, and widely suspected of having been kidnapped and murdered by crime figures associated with property developers. The address has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.]

* * *

By Sylvia Hale

The thoughts of `Chairman' Chicka Dixon; `The Fox has the last laugh'

"My thoughts on life. `The thoughts of Chairman Chicka', they could be called. I believe every woman of this planet is my sister. I believe every man on this planet is my brother. Like all Kooris [Indigenous people] I know the earth is my mother. We must learn to share with those three. If the rest of the world could adopt that philosophy of caring and sharing, there would be no wars. But most importantly, there would be no starving children." -- the late Charles "Chicka" "the Fox" Dixon, speaking at the Australian Museum, in December 2003.

Why James Hansen is wrong on nuclear power

By Renfrey Clarke

April 8, 2010 -- “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” Attributed to economist J.M. Keynes, that retort has always been good advice. Now that carrying on with “business as usual” greenhouse gas emissions has been revealed as a road to disaster, should environmentalists change their minds on nuclear power?

To be sure, the dangers of the nuclear industry have not gone away. A major nuclear war, by creating “nuclear winter” conditions, would end most life on Earth. Humanity, however, has managed the threat of nuclear war in the past, and the chances are that we will continue to do so.

If thousands of nuclear power reactors were in operation, reactor accidents would be frequent enough that they would almost stop being news. But deaths would probably be few, and other losses would be relatively minor compared to the dead oceans and scorched grainlands of the greenhouse future.

‘Socialism of the 21st century’ and left unity


By the Socialist Alliance, Australia

[The following is the text of a leaflet being distributed by the Socialist Alliance in Melbourne.]

April 2, 2010 -- The triumphalism spouted by capitalist apologists in the early 1990s with the collapse of the Soviet Union has long gone. Today the problems are so obvious: global warming and the world economic slump are shaking the capitalist world and casting a growing shadow over the future.

“Capitalism is the road to hell”, as Venezuela’s leader Hugo Chavez said at the Copenhagen climate conference. The revolutionary process in Venezuela and the bold stand taken by its leader have resurrected the idea of socialism in the consciousness of millions. His call for a “socialism of the 21st century” has inspired people around the world. And now Chavez has called for a new international socialist organisation which would unite parties and movements that want to fight imperialism and neoliberalism.

But important as solidarity with Venezuela is and much as we may admire Chavez, our fundamental task is to fight for social change right here.

Survival of humanity is at stake

Australia: Freedom fighter Chicka Dixon departs, his activist spirit lives on

Charles "Chicka" Dixon (top left with mouth covered) at the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Canberra. Photo from http://indigenousrights.net.au.

By Peter Boyle, Sydney

March 31, 2010 -- Indigenous and trade union activist Chicka "The Fox" Dixon (1928-2010) was farewelled by more than a thousand people in a state funeral in Sydney Town Hall today. Chicka was from the Yuin people whose traditional lands stretch along the south coast of New South Wales, from the Shoalhaven down to the Victorian border.

The Flame, March 2010 -- Green Left Weekly's Arabic-language supplement

With the help of Socialist Alliance members in the growing Sudanese community in Australia, Green Left Weekly -- Australia's leading socialist newspaper -- is publishing a regular Arabic language supplement. The Flame will cover news from the Arabic-speaking world as well as news and issues from within Australia. The editor-in-chief is Soubhi Iskander, a comrade who has endured years of imprisonment and torture at the hands of the repressive government in Sudan.

“There are Arabic newspapers in Australia, but still all reflect the views of their editors and there is a great need to establish a progressive Arabic-language press which can frankly discuss the squalid condition of the Arab world due to submission and subservience to neo-colonialism”, Iskander explains. “At the same time, the Arabic-speaking communities in Australia need to read articles relating to the Australian government policy internally — articles which will unmask the pitfalls of these policies, and will expose the violation and the lies of the capitalist parties. The Flame, we hope, will be a powerful addition to Green Left Weekly.”

An Phoblacht: Racism and resistance in Australia

This article first appeared in An Phoblacht, Ireland’s biggest selling political weekly newspaper. It has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with An Phoblacht's permission. An Phoblacht reflects views of Sinn Fein. For more information about An Phoblacht click HERE.

* * *

By Emma Clancy

February 25, 2010 -- An Phoblacht -- When Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal people in February 2008, hopes were high that this indicated a new approach from the government in its relations with the country’s Indigenous people.

But Rudd, elected in November 2007 after 11 years of conservative, Thatcherite rule under John Howard, has continued many of his predecessor’s policies, which undermine the rights and wellbeing of Australia’s Indigenous people.

Asia-Pacific calls for protests during Obama's visits to Guam, Indonesia and Australia

Statement by the Working Peoples Association (Indonesia), People's Democratic Party (Indonesia), Socialist Alliance (Australia), Socialist Worker (New Zealand), Partido Lakas ng Masa (Philippines), Solidarity (Australia), Labour Party Pakistan, Socialist Alternative (Australia), Socialist Party of Malaysia and the Confederation Congress of Indonesia Union Alliance. Supported by James Petras

[If your organisation would like to add their names to the statement, please email international@prp-indonesia.org.]

March 8, 2010 -- We, the undersigned progressive, anti-war, anti-neoliberalism and anti-imperialist organisations in the Asia-Pacific region, call for a wave protests to meet US President Barack Obama's planned visits to Guam, Indonesia and Australia in March 2010.

`Foro Social Latinamericano', issue #2 of Green Left Weekly's Spanish-language supplement

February 24, 2010 -- For environmentalists, Indigenous rights activists, feminists, socialists and all progressive people, Latin America is a source of hope and inspiration today. The people of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and El Salvador, among others, are showing that radical social change is possible and a better, more just society can be imagined and built.

The tide of rebellion and revolution now sweeping Latin America is posing a serious challenge to imperialism’s brutal global rule. For anyone who wants an end to war, exploitation and oppression, Latin America’s struggles to create alternatives are crucially important.

Australia's leading socialist newspaper Green Left Weekly is strongly committed to supporting the growing “people’s power” movement in Latin America. We are proud of the fact that GLW is the only Australian newspaper to have a permanent bureau in Latin America, based in Caracas, Venezuela. Through our weekly articles on developments in the region, GLW strives to counter the corporate media’s many lies about Latin America’s revolutions, and to give a voice in English to the people’s movements for change.

Australia: Trade union solidarity with NT Aboriginal struggle


Made with Slideshow Embed Tool. Trade union brigade offer practical solidarity to the Ampilatwatja community. Photos by Tim Gooden.

By Emma Murphy, Ampilatwatja, Northern Territory

February 12, 2010 -- From February 1-14, in a remote part of Australia's Northern Territory (NT), a group of trade unionists and Aboriginal rights activists from Victoria, New South Wales and the NT joined forces with the Alyawarr people from Ampilatwatja community to help make history.

Many people around Australia have already been inspired by the Alyawarr people’s walk-off. On July 14, 2009, following a great tradition from Aboriginal struggles of the past century, they walked off their community and set up a protest camp.

Alistair Hulett: `A truly great singer, songwriter, activist and socialist'

January 29, 2010 -- Alistair Hulett died at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow on Thursday evening, January 28, 2010. Alistair's partner Fatima thanks all those who wrote in with messages of support in the past week since news of Alistair's illness became public. The response was overwhelming, and shows just how many people cared about Alistair and his music.

* * *

Alistair, a truly great singer, songwriter, activist and socialist, will be greatly missed by us all.

Alistair Hulett was born in Glasgow and discovered traditional music in his early teens. In 1968 he and his family moved to New Zealand where he established a reputation on the folk circuit with his large repertoire of songs and his interpretation of the big narrative ballads.

New Zealand: Socialists cooperate in defence of refugees

Auckland protest in support of Tamil refugees, January 18, 2010.

By Grant Morgan, Socialist Worker-New Zealand

January 19, 2010 -- The refugee issue is almost certain to rise from near invisibility in New Zealand politics to become a strategic battleground. Waves of refugees will be thrown up by the poverty, strife and ecotastrophes of global capitalism's end times.

The right, centre and much of the left in New Zealand politics will seek to portray these waves of refugees as threats to "our way of life". This could open the way towards authoritarian nationalism which jackboots the New Zealand working class as well as offshore refugees.

New Zealand socialists and our allies must show that offshore refugees are a resource, not a threat, to the majority of Kiwis under the thumb of corporate bosses and politicians.

Refugees are a resource for our side because they are fleeing the poverty, wars and other calamities caused by the same world system which kicks most Kiwis around. They are our natural allies against the unnatural forces of global capitalism.

Australia: International greetings to the Socialist Alliance's 7th national conference

January 9, 2010 -- Sydney -- The Socialist Alliance conference -- held January 2-5, 2010 -- was attended by representatives of a number of parties and organisations overseas, who presented verbal greetings to the conference. These were:

Abelardo Curbelo Padron, ambassador to Australia for the Republic of Cuba;

Sivaranjani Manickam, Socialist Party of Malaysia;

Reihana Mohideen, Party of the Labouring Masses, Philippines;

Peter Hughes, Socialist Worker New Zealand; and

Mike Treen, Unite, New Zealand.

The greetings below were sent by organisations and activists unable to attend the conference.

[Just prior to the Socialist Alliance conference, the Democratic Socialist Perspective voted to merge with the Socialist Alliance to strengthen left unity in Australia. For reports see HERE and HERE.]

Australia: 'It's time for the DSP to merge into the Socialist Alliance'

Peter Boyle speaks at the Socialist Alliance seventh national conference, Januray 2, 2010. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

[This report, presented by Peter Boyle on behalf of the Australian Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP) national executive was adopted, by the 24th DSP congress on January 2, 2010. See also ``Australia: New era of left unity as DSP votes to merge with the Socialist Alliance''.]

We are proposing to take an important step forward in our party building effort, an effort that has now spanned some four decades. We propose, at this 24th congress, to merge the Democratic Socialist Perspective into the Socialist Alliance, to take everything we have learned and built over these years of political struggle (organised through the DSP) into a broader political organisation, an organisation which has a majority of members who don't come from the DSP.

Australia: New era of left unity as DSP votes to merge with the Socialist Alliance


Made with Slideshow Embed Tool

[The following speech, to the opening rally of the seventh national conference of the Socialist Alliance on January 2, 2010, was delivered by Peter Boyle, former national secretary of the Democratic Socialist Perspective.]

Comrades,

My job tonight is to make the unusual – if not unexpected – announcement that the Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP) decided today at its 24th congress to effectively dissolve into the Socialist Alliance and to transfer all that it has built up, over some four decades of its existence, to the Socialist Alliance.

People's power in Copenhagen

December 30, 2009 -- Green Left Weekly writer and Australian Socialist Alliance climate change activist Simon  Butler talks about the the Copenhagen climate talks with Radio Adelaide’s Backstory.

Australia: How governments and the capitalist media marginalise the Muslim community

Photo by Margarita Windisch.

By Helen Patterson

December 15, 2009 -- The antipathy of mainstream Australian society toward Muslims is not a new development. As early as 1912, Australians were being cautioned about the danger of Australia falling under Islamic control. The adoption of camel transport had brought Muslim men from Afghanistan to Australia in increasing numbers from 1860 until they controlled the camel transport business. Despite their valuable contribution to the expeditions carried out by the European “explorers” and their vital role in establishing a transport system in the harsh outback conditions, the early Muslim immigrants were considered inferior to the dominant, white, Christian Europeans and marginalised in a similar way to the detribalised Aboriginal community.[1]

Sydney, Jan. 2-5, 2010: Fighting for socialism in the 21st century: Justice, sustainability and people’s power

Socialist Alliance 7th national conference, January 2-5, Women’s College, University of Sydney

In the face of global environmental, economic and social crises that threaten billions of lives, if not the very survival of humanity, the need for fundamental social change is urgent. The world can’t wait, and the question of how to construct sufficiently strong social movements, fighting trade unions and alternative political organisations that can stop the capitalist parties’ neo-liberal rampage, warmongering and greenwashing confronts us all.

Answering this question will be the focus of discussions at the Socialist Alliance’s 7th national conference, sponsored by Green Left Weekly. The conference agenda (read the final version here) includes educational workshops, and panel presentations and discussions to plan the Socialist Alliance’s policies and campaign activities for 2010.

Lumumba Di-Aping: Third World hero of Copenhagen

Lumumba Di-Aping. Photo by Jens Norgaard Larsen/Reuters.

By Derek Barry

December 16, 2009 -- Woolly Days -- Lumumba Di-Aping has made the brave call that no Australian politician has been game to make, callin Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd a climate sceptic. The key negotiator at Copenhagen on behalf of the G77-China group told the ABC (also see below) that Rudd’s message to his own people was a fabrication which “does not relate to the facts because his actions are climate change scepticism in action”. Di-Aping was pointing the disparity between Rudd’s sayings and actions on climate change. “It's puzzling in the sense that here is a Prime Minister who actually won the elections because of his commitment to climate change”, Di-Aping said. “And within a very short period of time he changes his mind, changes his position, he start acting as if he has been converted into climate change scepticism.”

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