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`Proud to stand with Palestine' -- The Flame and Green Left Weekly respond to anti-Arab attack by Murdoch press

Sydney protest against Israel's attack on Gaza, January 18, 2009. Photo by Peter Boyle.

By Soubhi Iskander, Stuart Munckton and Emma Murphy

July 4, 2009 -- Green Left Weekly -- On July 1, the Rupert Murdoch-owned national daily the Australian carried an extraordinary attack by Ilan Grapel on Green Left Weekly and its monthly Arabic-language insert the Flame titled “A willing ally to Hamas’s hatred”. The Flame and Green Left Weekly are guilty of a “radical anti-Israel stance”, Grapel said.

Grapel is a researcher with the Australian/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council.

Grapel alleges that the Flame, “unbeknown to its English readers”, also “supports terrorist groups and promotes violence”, and through the Flame, GLW is “openly promoting extremism”.

Can carbon trading save our forests?

By Susan Austin

June 26, 2009 – Hobart, Tasmania -- Along with over 400 other people, I turned up to the Wrest Point Casino here to attend the premiere of The Burning Season on June 1. I had the film’s headline --  “As inspiring as The Inconvenient Truth was frightening” in the back of my mind, hoping for a good news story. Instead I sat through a well-orchestrated promo for a carbon trading company, set up by a young Australian-based millionaire whose message was that it is possible to make money and save the environment at the same time.

By setting up a carbon trading company called Carbon Conservation, and brokering high-level deals between big banks and provincial Indonesian governors, the film’s “star”, young entrepreneur Dorjee Sun, was able to secure the protection of large areas of forests that may otherwise have been logged or burnt.

Australia's Green Left Weekly celebrates its 800th issue

Congratulations on reaching the 800th issue. It is not easy these days for independent left journals to sustain themselves, when they are so badly needed. Look forward to hearing about the 1000th.

-- Noam Chomsky, radical US activist, writer and intellectual

As so much of the corporate media becomes a parody of itself, the agents of power not of people, we need the view from ground more than ever and Green Left Weekly more than ever.

-- John Pilger, journalist and documentary maker

For the most up-to-date list of solidarity messages, please visit Green Left Weekly's greetings page.

June 28, 2009 -- The need for a radical green and left alternative to the monopolised corporate media is even greater today than when the first issue of Green Left Weekly came out in February 1991. From the outset we knew this non-profit project could survive only with the dedication and support from those inspired by a vision of democratic and ecologically sustainable socialist change.

Australia: Towards a history of the Communist Party of Australia

[These articles were first published in Green Left Weekly in 1995 to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Australia.]

By John Percy

September 27, 1995 -- Seventy-five years ago, under the impact and inspiration of the October 1917 Russian Revolution, the Communist Party of Australia was founded. It was a modest beginning, but an historic event. The CPA formed in 1920 finally dissolved in 1991, but for most of its life it was the dominant party on the left in Australia and an important force in the workers movement.

There are many proud chapters in its history -- the numerous trade union struggles led; organising the unemployed, women, Aborigines, young people; important civil liberties fights; and solidarity with international struggles, in Spain, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa and East Timor, to name a few.
The CPA's founders had a vision of socialist revolution in Australia, and this was the goal of most of its rank-and-file members over the years. The party inspired dedication and commitment from thousands of men and women, and organised the most militant, idealistic, self-sacrificing section of the Australian working class.

But it was also a history of mistakes, of betrayals, of lost opportunities.

To mark this important anniversary, Green Left Weekly will be carrying a series of articles on the history of the CPA.

Communism in Australia

By Dave Holmes

[This talk was presented at the A Century of Struggle Laborism and the radical alternative: Lessons for today conference, held in Melbourne, Australia, on May 30, 2009. It was organised by Socialist Alliance and sponsored by Green Left Weekly, Australia’s leading socialist newspaper. To read other talks presented at the conference, click HERE.]

DSP reiterates support for the right of self-determination for the Tamil people

Democratic Socialist Perspective (Australia) statement in response to the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka

June 12, 2009 -- The Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP) -- a Marxist organisation affiliated to the Socialist Alliance of Australia -- supports the right of Tamils to self-determination. We have campaigned in solidarity with the Tamil people for several decades. For example, at the time of the 1983 massacre the DSP worked with the Tamil community in Australia to organise protests. This year too, the DSP, Socialist Alliance and Resistance worked closely with Tamil communities, including helping organise rallies, to highlight the calls for a ceasefire and for self-determination.

Uniting the socialist left: the Australian experience

Peter Boyle is national secretary of the Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP), a Marxist tendency in the Socialist Alliance in Australia. He was interviewed by Socialist Voice (Canada) co-editor Roger Annis.

 * * *

Socialist Voice: The Australian left founded a project of left unity and activism in 2001. Can you describe the early years of that project and what it achieved?

Peter Boyle: The Socialist Alliance was formed in 2001 on the back of great optimism about the prospects for left revival in the wake of the rise of a movement at that time against capitalist globalisation. Some 20,000 people had participated in a three-day long blockade of a summit of the World Economic Forum in Melbourne the previous year. That was Australia’s “Seattle” [1] and it was followed up on May 1, 2001 with mass blockades of the stock exchanges in all the capital cities of the country.

New pamphlet: The Tamil Freedom Struggle in Sri Lanka

The Tamil Freedom Struggle in Sri Lanka
By Chris Slee, Brian Senewiratne, Vickramabahu Karunarathne
Published by Resistance Books
2009, 40pages
$5.00

Click HERE to order.

June 3, 2009 -- Ever since Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) gained independence from Britain in 1948, the basic rights of the Tamil minority have been under attack.

The ruling elite from the Sinhala majority have found anti-Tamil racism an extremely convenient device to secure their power and privilege and deflect discontent from below. The history of Sri Lanka is marked by a shameful and bloody series of government-instigated anti-Tamil pogroms.

Ten reasons why population control is not an answer to climate change

By Simon Butler

June 1, 2009 -- Climate change is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. The scientific evidence of the scale of the threat is overwhelming, compelling and frightening. Climate tipping points -- points which if crossed will lead to runaway global warming -- are being crossed now.

We live in a time of consequences. So it’s crucial that the climate justice movement -- made up of those determined to take a stand now to win a safe climate future -- campaigns for the changes that can actually make a difference.

A discussion has surfaced about whether population-control measures should be a key plank in the climate action movement’s campaign arsenal. Below are 10 reasons why such a decision would hinder, rather than help, the necessary task of building a movement that can win.

1. Population does not cause climate change

Advocates of population control say that one of the most effective measures we can take to combat climate change is to sharply reduce the number of humans on the planet. This wrongly focuses on treating one symptom of an irrational, polluting system rather than dealing with the root causes.

Support democracy in Nepal! Support the Nepalese people!

Democratic Socialist Perspective

May 5, 2009 -- All supporters of democracy and social justice have reason to be concerned by the recent events in the republic of Nepal. The military high command, backed by right-wing parties tied to the country’s elite, has openly defied the authority of the elected civilian government, led by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M).

In response, the government sought to remove army chief of staff General Katawal, via legal and constitutional means. Katawal refused to accept his removal and the government’s decision was illegally overturned by President Ram Baran Yadav from the conservative Nepalese Congress party, whose position under the interim constitution is largely ceremonial.

With their coalition partners in government refusing to support the UCPN-M, Nepal’s prime minister and UCPN-M leader Prachanda announced on May 3 that the Maoists had no choice but to resign and leave government.

The removal of the Maoists from government is nothing less than a coup. It reveals the real situation in Nepal — that despite its democratic mandate for change, the Maoist-led government is being prevented by the old elite from implementing such change.

The Maoists are working to mobilise their large base of support among the poor majority for street demonstrations against this coup.

May Day, 2009: `Advance the socialist alternative!', `Together we shall restore humanity'

May Day 2009 in Karachi, Pakistan. Photo by Farooq Tariq.

May 1, 2009 -- Below are a number of messages to mark International Workers' Day -- May Day -- from revolutionary organisations around the world. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal will post others as they become available. Please check back.

* * *

April 30: Vietnam celebrates Liberation Day

By Peter Boyle

April 30, 2009 -- Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific -- There are two unforgettable images of Vietnam's Liberation Day on April 30, 1975. The first is the image of liberation fighters entering the Independence Palace (now Reunification Palace) in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). The second is the hasty evacuation by helicopter from the roof of the US embassy.

Thirty-four years later Vietnam will celebrate not just the end of a 16-year war of aggression by the US, Australia and other imperialist and pro-imperialist states but also the end of the two-decade-long economic blockade that was subsequently imposed by the US on this poor and war-ravaged nation.

The fight to be a society of good ancestors -- capitalism and ecosocialism

Ian Angus addresses the World at a Crossroads conference. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

By Ian Angus

[Ian Angus was a featured guest at the World at a Crossroads: Fighting for Socialism in the 21st Century conference, in Sydney Australia, April 10-12, 2009. The event, which drew 444 participants from more than 15 countries, was organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective, Resistance and Green Left Weekly. Below is Angus’ talk to the plenary session on “Confronting the climate change crisis: an ecosocialist perspective”. It first appeared on Climate and Capitalism and has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.]

* * *

Vietnam: `Building an equitable, democratic and civilised society'

Vietnamese delegation addresses the World at a Crossroads conference. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

By Le Vinh Thu

This is the text of the speech on behalf of Communist Party of Vietnam's delegation to the World at a Crossroads conference, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and Resistance, held in Sydney, April 10-12, 2009.

* * *

Dear comrades and friends,

Left activists discuss solutions at World at a Crossroads international socialism conference

Photos by Alex Bainbridge. Individual pictures can be viewed here.

By Simon Butler

Sydney -- April 18, 2009 -- Green Left Weekly -- Several participants at the World at a Crossroads conference, held in Sydney on April 10-12, remarked that the conference could not have been better named.

As the world economy lurches into a deep recession, and the looming climate emergency reaches a crisis point, the world truly is at a crossroads. The future will be decided in the conflict between the greedy capitalist elites and those around the world fighting for a far better world — a world free of racism, war and environmental plunder.

Canadian socialists: `The goals that unite us are vastly more important than our differences'

Ian Angus addresses the World at a Crossroads conference. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

By Ian Angus

[Ian Angus is an associate editor of Socialist Voice (Canada). He was a featured guest at the World at a Crossroads conference, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and Resistance, and held in Sydney, Australia, April 10-12, 2009. Below is Ian Angus' speech to the final session of the conference: ``World at a Crossroads -- Fighting for our future''.]

Malaysian socialists: `Unite to turn workers’ frustration into a political struggle for socialism’

M. Saraswathy. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

By M. Saraswathy

[M. Saraswathy is deputy chairperson of the Socialist Party of Malaysia. She was a featured guest at the World at a Crossroads conference, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and Resistance, and held in Sydney, Australia, April 10-12, 2009. Below is M. Saraswathy's speech to the final session of the conference: ``World at a Crossroads -- Fighting for our future''.]

Cuba si! Yankee no! Uh! Ah! Chavez no se va!

Red salute from Malaysia to all friends and comrades!

The Socialist Party of Malaysia thanks the Democratic Socialist Persective, Socialist Alliance and Resistance for inviting us to this valuable World at a Crossroads conference.

Michael Lebowitz: What would Marx say today?

Michael Lebowitz addresses the World at a Crossroads conference. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

Is it time to dust off a copy of Das Kapital and revisit Marx's analysis of capitalism's ills?

Michael Lebowitz has recently been in Australia as a featured guest of the World at a Crossroads conference, held in Sydney April 10-12, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and Green Left Weekly. He was interviewed by the ABC Radio's Late Night Live on April 14, 2009.

Sydney, April 10-12, 2009: `World at a Crossroads' 21st century socialism conference day-by-day agenda

 

World at a Crossroads: Fighting for socialism in the 21st Century
Easter 2009, April 10-12, Sydney

Venue: Sydney Girls High School

World At A Crossroads is a conference that brings together hundreds of socialists, progressive activists and Marxist thinkers from around Australia, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and North America in dozens of panel presentations and workshops dealing with the urgent questions that confront us all: war, imperialism, food security, racism, workers' rights, sexism, the media and culture. Feature sessions and streams will include:

Eyewitness reports from the Nepal's revolution

By Ben Peterson

[The following are a series first-hand reports from Nepal, by Australian socialist activist Ben Peterson, a member of the Democratic Socialist Perspective and the socialist youth organisation Resistance, both affiliated to the Socialist Alliance. They first appeared at Ben's blog, Lal Salam, and are posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with his permission.]

* * *

First impressions and adventures in Nepal

March 6, 2009 -- And here I am. After too long speculating from the sidelines (and sidelines 10,000 kilometres away) I have finally arrived in the land of Mountains and Maoists. On Tuesday night at about 10 pm, I landed in Kathmandu to see with my own eyes the processes unfolding here.

This is less of an in-depth analysis and more of a account of my personal experiences so far, which have been really intense.

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