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Australia

Australian socialists: `Stop the massacre in Libya! Power to the people!'

February 22, 2011 -- Solidarity rally in Sydney with the Libyan people in their struggle for democracy. Photo by Pip Hinman. See an article about this action here: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46782.

Statement by the Socialist Alliance (Australia) in solidarity with the people's uprisings in Libya and the Arab world

February 26, 2011 -- The Socialist Alliance extends its full solidarity to the people of Libya now being brutally repressed for demanding an end to the corrupt and unjust regime of dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

The Flame, February 2011 -- Green Left Weekly's Arabic-language supplement

February 19, 2011 -- With the help of Socialist Alliance members in the growing Sudanese community in Australia, Green Left Weekly -- Australia's leading socialist newspaper -- publishes a regular Arabic language supplement. The Flame covers news from the Arabic-speaking world as well as news and issues from within Australia. Editor-in-chief is Soubhi Iskander is a comrade who has endured years of imprisonment and torture at the hands of the repressive government in Sudan.

Soundtrack to a revolution: interview with Asian Dub Foundation's Chandrasonic

February 23, 2011 -- British-born South Asian punk-dance band Asian Dub Foundation (ADF) released their latest album A History of Now just as the revolution in Egypt was starting to build. Someone unknown to the band edited news footage of the revolt to the album’s title track and stuck it on YouTube (above). 

The video, which set ADF’s brittle shards of guitar and searing eastern strings to images of hurled tear gas canisters and bloodied revolutionaries, built a following to rival the crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to guitarist and band leader Steve Chandra Sevale -- who is better known as Chandrasonic for his habit of detuning all his guitar strings to one note and playing the instrument with a knife. Here is the interview in full.

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Malaysian socialists: `Stop brutal massacre in Libya NOW! Power to the people of the Arab world!


February 22, 2011 -- Solidarity rally in Sydney, Australia, with the Libyan people in their struggle for freedom and democracy. See article about this action here: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46782. Made with Slideshow Embed Tool.

Solidarity statement by the Socialist Party of Malaysia with the people's uprising in Libya and the rest of Arab world against authoritarian regimes

February 22, 2011 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) condemns the brutal repression committed by Muammar al-Gaddafi’s regime against its people who revolt against injustices and corruptions.

Australia: 'Green Left Weekly' celebrates 20 years!

One of the despairs of our time is a corporate media that speaks for authority and power, rarely for its readers and viewers. One of the excitements of our time is the means by which we can now circumvent the old gatekeepers. WikiLeaks is a new creation, but Green Left Weekly has been a pathfinder for 20 years, no less. Congratulations!

John Pilger, renowned journalist and filmmaker.

Over the course of the past 20 years, Green Left Weekly has emerged as a focal point of the world green left movement, its leading weekly guide to theory and practice. Long may its flag fly!

John Bellamy Foster, editor, Monthly Review.

What better birthday present could Green Left Weekly have asked for than the Egyptian people’s taste of freedom? Congratulations to all at GLW. Onward!

Raj Patel, independent journalist, author and activist.

More Greetings to Green Left Weekly from around Australia.

Cuba: El sindicato Australian Workers Union se arrodilla ante Washington

[English at http://links.org.au/node/2122.]

Por Tim Anderson

En este mes de enero, el Sindicato de Trabajadores Australianos (AWU—Australian Workers Union) escribió una carta insultante al nuevo embajador cubano en Australia, Pedro Monzón. El documento del sindicato revela la dominación ideológica que Estados Unidos mantiene sobre las partes más débiles y dóciles del movimiento sindical australiano.

El embajador Monzón, llegado a Australia a finales de 2010, invitó a varios dirigentes sindicales para un intercambio. Paul Howes, como Secretario Nacional del AWU, le replicó de manera innecesariamente ofensiva: ‘Estaría encantado de aceptar su oferta de encuentro, pero, desafortunadamente, sólo podrá llevarse a cabo cuando el gobierno cubano cese la represión de los sindicatos independientes y libere los numerosos dirigentes sindicales actualmente encarcelados en su país.’ En la carta se menciona a cinco encarcelados.

Video: Socialist Alliance talk on the global financial crisis


Socialist Alliance member Barry Healy presents a talk to the Western Australian Socialist Alliance on the topic of the global financial crisis. It was given in October 2010.

The global financial crisis feels like it came out of thin air. The mainstream media talk of it as an aberration in the normal operations of capitalism. Politicians talk about "the recovery" as though the worst is already behind us.

Is any of that true?

What if the GFC is just the latest in a series of bigger or smaller shocks that have dogged capitalism from its outset because there are inherent faults in the way the system operates? What if "the recovery" is as phoney as the weapons of mass destruction that justified the invasion of Iraq?

The crisis has not hit Australia as hard as other countries -- will that last?

To get to grips with these issues we need to take a long view of history and examine capitalism from its birth to what could be its death agony.

Cuba: Australian Workers Union tips its hat to Washington

More than a million Cuban workers mobilise each year on May Day, organised by the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba trade union federation.

[See also "Cuban trade unionist: `Workers are key participants in the Cuban revolution'".]

By Tim Anderson

January 26, 2011 -- This January the Australian Workers Union (AWU) wrote an insulting letter to the new Cuban ambassador to Australia, Pedro Monzón. The union’s response shows the tight ideological hold that the US has over the weaker, more compliant sections of the trade union movement in Australia.

Australia: The movement for reconciliation in the Uniting Church -- lessons for revolutionary struggle

“Never let us be blind to developments within the masses as we were to the rise of Liberation Theology.” – Barry Healy, “Who’s Afraid of Liberation Theology”, Marxism Summer School 2005

“Christ who suffered on the cross continues to suffer with the land and the people of the land. In the suffering of the land and the people of the land, we see Christ suffering and we hear Christ crying out.” Rainbow Spirit Elders, Rainbow Spirit Theology, p. 79, as quoted by Chris Budden in Following Jesus in Invaded Space, p. 70

How the Communist Party of Australia exposes the Democratic Socialist Party's 'Trotskyism'

By Doug Lorimer

[This article first appeared in the Democratic Socialist Party's internal discussion bulletin, The Activist, volume 10, number 7, August 2000.]

The Communist Party of Australia has recently published a pamphlet by David Matters entitled Putting Lenin's Clothes on Trotskyism which claims that the DSP's rejection of Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution is really a cover for its support for Trotskyism. However, the real purpose of the pamphlet is to criticise the DSP's position on the 1998 waterfront dispute.

This is made clear in the introduction to Matters' pamphlet by CPA general secretary Peter Symon:

In writing Putting Lenin's clothes on Trotskyism, David Matters has contributed to the task of clarifying ideas and maintaining the validity and truth of Marxism...

The attack on Marxism in the name of Marx, or on Lenin in the name of Lenin, is a particularly pernicious form which can easily mislead those who are not familiar with what Marx, Engels and Lenin actually said and wrote.

The pretension that Trotsky was a great Leninist is one of these misrepresentations and was refuted time and again by Lenin.

What if the state of the world were measured by its majority?

What real democracy looks like: a communal council in Merida votes for its electoral commission in July 2010. Photo by Tamara Pearson.

By Tamara Pearson, Merida, Venezuela

December 30, 2010 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- The rich and their golf courses. From their perspective the whole world is one -- a wonderland of hillocks and streams and games made just for them, watered without thought for drought, and the world’s poor nowhere to be seen. But a bit of the map has said it doesn’t want to be a golf course. The rich, sweaty and sulking, arm themselves with reports, statistics, surveys, foundations, institutes and “causes” and set out to prove that Venezuela is burning and broken, its economy rumbling, its health system out of order, and its politics repressive.

In fact, Venezuela has the worst economy in the world, according to a Newsweek study in August 2010.

Wikileaks: Australians mobilise to defend free speech


December 13, 2010 -- Rallies and marches have been held across Australia, on December 9-12 and with more scheduled, to protest against the persecution of the whistleblower website Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.

In Brisbane, rallies of around 400 people were held on successive days, on December 9 and 10. Speakers at the December 10 rally included Greens representative Andrew Bartlett, Socialist Alliance member and radical academic Gary McLennan, the lawyer for victimised Indian Doctor Mohamed Haneef, Sri Lankan campaigner for Tamil rights Dr Brian Senewiratne, Pro-Choice women's rights activist Kathy Newnam, anti-war veterans' organisation Steadfast spokesperson Hamish Chitts and Socialist Alliance co-convenor Jim McIlroy.

Defend Wikileaks and Julian Assange! Australia should break the military alliance with US!

Julian Assange.

By the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

December 7, 2010 -- "The Australian government should defend and support Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange and their efforts to expose the lies, duplicities and outright crimes of the US government and its allies", said Peter Boyle, national convener of the Socialist Alliance on December 7.

"We condemn the Australian government for collaborating with the US government in hunting Julian Assange down. The exposure of classified US government cables and other material by Wikileaks is an enormous plus for all those who are fighting for truth and democracy, and against war and exploitation. Wikileaks and Assange deserve our strongest support.

Australia: A community says no to racist burqa bans

The audience was diverse, with a range of ages and ethnic backgrounds represented. Photo by Robert Alcock.

By Peter Boyle, Sydney

November 26, 2010 -- All around the Western world, far-right groups (some with neo-Nazi orgins and links) are gaining political ground through an orchestrated campaign against Muslim communities. By spreading fear and hatred against recent immigrant communities from Muslim countries these groups have tapped into well-resourced post-9/11 war propaganda campaigns initiated by rulers of the world’s richest and most powerful states.

One of the favourite tactics of these anti-Muslim hate campaigners is to push laws banning the burqa, the fully veiled dress style used by a tiny minority of Muslim women. In Australia, the ultra-conservative Reverend Fred Nile, leader of the Christian Democratic Party and a member of the NSW Legislative Council, and Liberal senator Cori Bernardi from South Australia, have unsuccessfully tried to move private member's bills to ban the burqa.

`Foro Social Latinamericano', Green Left Weekly's Spanish-language supplement, November 2010 issue

November 22, 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.

Malalai Joya interviewed: US occupation making Afghan lives worse

More than 50 people listened to Afghan democracy activist, Malalai Joya (pictured second from left) call on the Australian government to withdraw its troops at a November 12 anti-war vigil in Melbourne. The protest included a spontaneous "die-in" and was also addressed by Chip Henriss from Stand Fast and Dr Richard Tanter at the RMIT Nautilus Institute. Photo: Chip Henriss.

Sunday, November 14, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- Malalai Joya is an Afghan feminist and anti-war activist who opposes the US-led occupation of her country. An opponent of both the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban and the equally fundamentalist and corrupt warlords in the US-backed regime of President Hamid Karzai, Joya was the youngest member elected to Afghan parliament in 2005. She was suspended after she said the parliament was full of warlords. Joya is touring Australia.

Australia -- burqa ban debate: If I can't wear a burqa it's not my revolution?

Kiraz Janicke's "Burqa Revolution".

Green Left Weekly -- On September 23, the Daily Telegraph reported on a wall mural in the Sydney inner-west suburb of Newtown by artist Sergio Redegalli with the slogan “Say no to burqas”. Redegalli’s mural has sparked protests by local residents who have condemned it as racist. Sydney Socialist Alliance activist Kiraz Janicke says Redegalli’s piece “has no other value than to promote racism”. She has responded with an artwork of her own — a submission to the Live Red Art Awards, titled “Burqa revolution”.

Below, Janicke argues that banning the burqa (a veil covering the entire body, with a mesh over the eyes), or other forms of Islamic dress worn by some Muslim women that cover the face, will hinder true women’s liberation.

* * *

Australia: Corruption tactics — outrage management in a local government scandal

The September 13, 2009, Wollongong Against Corruption march for democracy.

By Brian Martin

November 5, 2010 — A mobilised citizenry is a threat to corrupt operations. Therefore, those involved in behaviours potentially labelled as corrupt have an interest in minimising public outrage. Five ways of doing this are to hide the activity, denigrate opponents, reinterpret actions as legitimate, use official channels to give an appearance of justice, and intimidate or bribe people involved. A local government scandal in Wollongong, Australia, illustrates all these tactics, with public hearings and media coverage providing volumes of revealing information. The implication of this analysis is that anti-corruption efforts should emphasise ways of increasing public outrage.

Introduction

Tamil refugee: `Why I fled to Australia'


Aran Mylvaganam's story.

By Sue Bolton, Melbourne

Green Left Weekly -- This year is the 15th anniversary of the Nargar Kovil school massacre in Tamil Eelam, the Tamil area of Sri Lanka. On September 22, 1995, the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) bombed Nargar Kovil Maha Vidyalayam schoolyard, which was crammed with 750 children on their lunch break. Reports of the number of children killed vary from 26 to 70.

Twelve of the children killed were six or seven years old. One hundred and fifty were injured, including 40 seriously. Twenty-two children had their limbs amputated. Ten of the amputees were under 12.

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