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Australia

Australian socialists: `Vote Socialist & Greens, put Abbott's conservatives last'


Sam Watson, Socialist Alliance Senate candidate for Queensland. Longstanding leader of the Aboriginal community of Brisbane, campaigner against Black deaths in custody and for Indigenous rights.

On July 24, 2010, Australia's leading socialist newspaper Green Left Weekly spoke to Peter Boyle, national convener of the Socialist Alliance, about the political climate of the 2010 federal election, to be held on August 21.

* * *

Many progressive people are feeling depressed about the federal election. How do you see it?

The Australian Labor Party and the conservative Liberal Party-National Party Coalition are in a “race to the bottom”, as Socialist Alliance lead Queensland Senate candidate and Murri [Indigenous] community leader Sam Watson aptly put it.

`Overpopulation' — a political weapon for conservatives

By Simon Butler

July 24, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- Forget about the climate science and the record high temperatures. Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard has decided she doesn’t need a serious climate change policy to win the August 21 federal election. In its place, she kicked off her election campaign on July 18 with a “sustainable Australia” policy. It promised a future of low population growth, which “preserves our quality of life and respects our environment”.

Opposition leader and climate denier Tony Abbott was quick to say he fully agreed with this vision, but was even more committed to it than Gillard.

From a conservative point of view it makes sense to raise the spectre of overpopulation in this election campaign. Population control is the mother of all political diversion tactics. Population levels explain nothing about social problems. But they can be scapegoated for just about everything, from traffic jams and home prices to grocery bills and climate change.

Australia: `Sustainable population?' -- Scapegoating migrants and refugees for the capitalist system's ills

To read more on the discussion around population, click HERE.

By Graham Matthews

July 24, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- In one of her first policy changes after replacing Kevin Rudd as leader of the Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister Julia Gillard dumped Rudd’s idea of a “big Australia”. On June 26, Gillard said “Australia should not hurtle down the track towards a big population”. Instead, she called for a “sustainable population”.

Almost four weeks on, however, Labor’s policy has no details — just lots of rhetoric designed to pander to fears that immigration (particularly asylum seekers) is causing a raft of social problems.

Tackling climate change: Is putting `a price on carbon' enough?

An absract `price on carbon' is the favoured solution of supporters of business-as-usual. Photo by Lauren Carroll Harris.

By Simon Butler

July 18, 2010 -- Pressure is now bearing down on the Australian climate movement because there has been so little forward progress in the federal government’s climate policy. The pressure is for the movement to accept, support and campaign for weak or inadequate climate policies on the grounds that something is better than nothing.

This is plain from looking at the new, media-driven “consensus” about the need for a “price on carbon”.

Putting a price on carbon is not the best way to deal with climate change, but a growing chorus of media commentators, NGOs and politicians are nonetheless plugging it as the key solution.

Many who advocate a price on carbon would agree that we face a dire climate emergency. The problem is that they are willing to let the emergency response be privatised.

Markets

Climate action now! Socialist Alliance releases latest Climate Change Charter

Photo by Martina Popovich, Green Left Weekly.

By the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

July 2010 -- For years, climate scientists have warned us that we need to act on climate change. Now, science is saying that climate change is taking place more rapidly than everyone previously thought.

The warning signs are obvious. April and May were the world’s hottest months since records began. This year’s Arctic ice sheet melt is taking place at a pace never seen before.

Scientists say carbon pollution has made the world’s oceans more acidic than they have been for at least 20 million years.

There is already too much carbon in the atmosphere. The warming already in the system risks the crossing of various natural “tipping points” that would raise temperatures further and faster.

If these points are crossed, it would bring average temperatures to levels that have not existed for millions of years, and to which today’s nature is simply not adapted.

Australia: Report shows how to reach 100% renewable stationary energy by 2020

To download the full Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan click HERE (8.4MB). You can also download a 16-page synopsis HERE.

Hard copies can be purchased from the Melbourne Energy Institute.

July 14, 2010 -- Don't miss out on this cutting-edge research, which shows how Australia can reach 100% renewable energy within a decade, using technology that is commercially available right now.

* * *

By Pablo Brait and Leigh Ewbank

Beyond Zero Emissions -- In April, the Australian government abandoned the severely flawed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme [a carbon trading scheme], the centrepiece of its national climate policy agenda.

Timor Leste and Australian activists reject Australian government's racist refugee policy

Statement by Luta Hamutuk, Timor-Leste Institute for Research, Advocacy and Campaigns

Dili, July 7, 2010 -- According to Australian foreign affairs policy announced by the Australian prime minister in Sydney recently and published by a range of media, including the Indonesian newspaper the Java Post, “Prime Minister (PM) Julia Gillard has tightened Australia immigration law. Not wanting to be bothered by the economic and social problems caused by asylum seekers, the Australian leader plans to build a detention center for asylum seekers in Timor-Leste” As quoted by Associated Press (Java Post, 07/07/2010).  

The above statement shows how Australian foreign policy contains “racist characteristics” toward Timor Leste and the region.

Luta Hamutuk's position

Luta Hamutuk, as a member of civil society in Timor Leste, would like to declare our position on this statement as follows:

Sosialis Australia Tolak Rencana Pusat Suaka di Timor Leste

Oleh: Data Brainanta

8 Juli 2010 -- Berdikari -- Aktivis partai Aliansi Sosialis (Socialist Alliance – SA) di Australia menolak rencana PM Julia Gillard untuk membangun pusat pemrosesan suaka regional di Timor Leste.

Kandidat SA dari Perth, Alex Bainbridge, menggambarkan bahwa rencana menampung pencari suaka Australia di Timor Leste bukan didasarkan atas belas kasihan dan keadilan, sebagaimana dikatakan oleh PM tersebut, melainkan untuk mendorong pemenjaraan lebih banyak lagi.

“Kebijakan yang sesungguhnya kita butuhkan adalah yang berdasarkan belas kasihan dan rasa keadilan – yakni menempatkan mereka di tengah-tengah komunitas [masyarakat] Australia,” kata Bainbridge.

“Fakta sederhananya, pemenjaraan adalah pemenjaraan – apakah pemenjaraan itu di Pulau Christmas atau Leonora, Timor Leste atau Nauru,” tambahnya.

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

July 6, 2010 -- 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.

“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.”

The socialist revolution and the mass revolutionary party

Lenin: "In its struggle for power the proletariat has no other weapon but organisation".

By Dave Holmes

Today humanity faces a global crisis stemming from the incredible rapacity of the capitalist system. In the first place, there is catastrophic climate change which threatens to end life on our planet, then there is endemic war and conflict, mass poverty in the Third World and neoliberalism's ever more ruthless assault on working people everywhere.

Capitalism will destroy the human race. It is absolutely clear that the bourgeoisie will continue to put the drive for corporate profit ahead of everything, even our own future as a species. It is incapable of changing. Even when it recognises the danger it cannot stop doing what it does. If capitalism is not overthrown, humanity is most likely doomed.

The only way out is the abolition of capitalism and its replacement by socialism. And the only means to do this is anti-imperialist revolutions in the Third World and proletarian socialist revolutions in the advanced capitalist countries.

İsrail’in Gazze’ye yardım gemisine saldırısını lanetliyoruz!

Avustralya İsrail ile var olan ilişkilerini kesmelidir

Socialist Alliance bildirisi 3 Haziran 2010

Socialist Alliance, Gazze’ye yardım malzemesi taşıyan sivil yardım gemisine İsrail silahlı güçlerinin haksız ve canice saldırısını lanetler.

1985 yılında Fransız Gizli Servisi’nin Auckland Limanı’nda Rainbow Warrior’u bombalamasından bu yana bir devlet tarafından böylesine utanmaz bir uluslararası korsanlık örneğine rastlanmamıştı.

Australian outrage at Israel's massacre of aid activists


Thousands protest against Israel's terror attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Sydney, June 5, 2010. Speakers: Ophelia Haralgi (Students for Palestine), Pip Hinman (Socialist Alliance), Sylvia Hale (Greens) and Phil Monsour (performer). Footage by Peter Boyle.
 

على حكومة "روود" أن تقطع كل علاقاتها مع القاتلة إسرائيل

2010

بيان من التحالف الإشتر اكى الأسترالى

يدين التحالف الإشتراكى إسرائيل لهجومها الغادر على القافلة الإنسانية المتجهة لغزة.

على حكومة "روود" أن تقطع كل علاقاتها مع القاتلة إسرائيل

تصريح إعلامى فورى من التحالف الإشتراكى الأسترالى

English translation below
الثلاتاء أول يونيو2010

تصريح إعلامى فورى من التحالف الإشتراكى الأسترالى

دعا مرشح التحالف الإشتراكى لدائرة "بيرث" ، اليكس بانبردج، والتى يمثلها الآن المدعو ستيفين سميث، دعا الحكومة الأسترالية الى إدانة فورية على الهجوم الإسرائيلى على قافلة السلام  لدعم المحاصرين بغزة.

`Foro Social Latinamericano', issue #3 of Green Left Weekly's Spanish-language supplement

May 26, 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: Tax billionaire companies to fund rapid transition to renewable energy

By Dick Nichols

May 24, 2010 -- Even as the Australian federal Labor government sticks its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme [carbon trading scheme] into the freezer the climate change crisis intensifies, demanding a response adequate to its enormity. The goal dictated by climate science is annual emissions reductions of 5% from now to 2020 -- the critical "transition decade".

Policies such as a carbon tax and feed-in tariffs have a role to play in reaching that target, but there is no way it will be remotely achieved without a vast increase in public investment in programs that strip back carbon emissions in the key problem sectors -- energy generation, transport, land use, buildings and carbon-intensive industry.

Public investment, planning and oversight is the irreplaceable centrepiece of adequate climate action.

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

May 2010 -- 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.

“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.”

Australia/Thailand: In solidarity with the democracy protests in Bangkok

On May 16, 2010, an emergency rally in solidarity with the democracy movement in Thailand was held outside the Sydney Town Hall. More photos below.

By Thai Red Australia Group for Democracy

May 16, 2010 -- Since March 14, Bangkok has been the scene of mass pro-democracy protests. The protesters known as “Red Shirts” have demanded the resignation of unelected Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and new elections. Abhisit came to power in December through the overthrow of a democratically elected government by right-wing “Yellow Shirt” gangs, assisted by the military and elements of the royal family.

Bolivia: Australian participants report on World People's Conference on Climate Change

April 23, 2010 -- Several representatives from Australia's climate justice movement attended the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth held in Bolivia, April 19-22, 2010. They included activists from Beyond Zero Emissions, Rising Tide, Socialist Alliance, Climate Emergency Action Network of South Australia and inner city climate action groups Yarra Climate Action Now (Melbourne) and Climate Action Newtown (Sydney). Below Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal collects some of their accounts.

Photo essay: `Stop the coal rush!' -- people's blockade halts exports from world's biggest coal port

Ship movements cancelled at the world's biggest coal port, Newcastle (Australia) -- March 28, 2010 from jagath dheerasekara on Vimeo.

Photo essay and story by Jagath Dheerasekara

March 28, 2010 -- Newcastle, Australia -- A mass community protest at the biggest coal port in the world, Newcastle, succeeded in preventing coal ship movements all day. Hundreds of peaceful protesters occupied the harbour from 10 am.

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