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Issue 33 - June-July 2011

We stand for the transformation of human society, from its current basis of greed, exploitation, war, oppression and environmental destruction, to a commonwealth of social ownership, solidarity and human freedom, living in harmony with our planet’s ecosystems.

By Andrew Martin

In April, refugee rights activists from Perth and other parts of Australia attempted to visit asylum seekers held in the Curtin detention centre. Leading the protest action were the asylum seekers themselves, who went on hunger strike. Why is there so much underlying tension within the system of mandatory detention?

By Kirat Kaur

May 7 was a turning point in Singapore’s political history. Singaporeans went to the polls that day in the country’s 16th parliamentary elections, and by the next morning it had become clear that the political mood has shifted in this island nation.

By Nick Everett

Angered by rising unemployment and a deepening social crisis, and inspired by the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, tens of thousands of Spanish youth have taken to the streets, occupying city squares throughout Spain. Solidarity protests have taken place throughout Europe.

Reviewed by Jon Lamb

Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effects on Our lives
By Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez
Palgrave Macmillan, 272 pages

By James Balowski

Jakarta – May Day was commemorated across Indonesia by thousands of workers, students, women activists and NGOs. Despite large turnouts in most cities, this year’s demands were less militant, with a major focus on the Social Insurance Management Agency (BPJS) law being deliberated by the House of Representatives (DPR).

By Sam King

The international capitalist media have largely ignored the tumultuous developments in Egypt unfolding under the pressure of a massive movement for change. Most coverage since the resignation of former president Hosni Mubarak on February 11 has been uncritical reportage of “sectarian” violence.

By Kim Bullimore

On April 19, the same day that Marrickville Council met to reconsider its vote in support of the Palestinian-initiated boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian human rights and against Israel, the Socialist Party of Australia issued a statement opposing the BDS campaign.

By Hamish Chitts

Ezequiel Morales from the Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP) (the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples) spoke with Hamish Chitts from Direct Action on May 9 after Morales had spoken to a workplace meeting of Brisbane bus drivers organised by the Rail, Tram, Bus Union and the Australia Cuba Friendship Society.

Issue 32 - May 2011

Dear Fellow Worldlings,

By Doug Lorimer

British government memos obtained under freedom of information requests by oil industry researcher Greg Muttitt have revealed the oil profits were a key motivator of the UK’s participation in the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. On April 19, the British Independent daily published a major story about these disclosures.

By Nick Everett

On the morning of March 20, waves of NATO jet fighters and bombers launched an air attack against Libya’s air force, air defence systems, airports, roads, ports and ground forces with hundreds of cruise missiles, under cover of UN Resolution 1973, pushed through the Security Council on March 17.

By Nicole Mousley

[This is an edited text of the speech by RAC activist Nicole Mousley to the April 2 Broadmeadows rally.]

By Hamish Chitts

For the past 80 years, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) has led the country to historic victories that showed not only Vietnam’s spirit of national unity and self-determination but also the CPV’s political strength, its ability to mobilise the people and its ongoing commitment to building socialism.

By Sam King

More than a million people filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square on April 8 in the biggest show of strength from the Egyptian mass movement since February 18, when a similar number celebrated the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Statement by the Revolutionary Socialist Party adopted April 9.

By Doug Lorimer

“Europe's debt crisis returned to haunt markets Monday as investors fretted over a possible Greek default”, Associated Press reported April 23.

By Win Padauk Wah

Western Australia’s small mining town of Roebourne became a centre of attention following a native title meeting that was taken over by outsiders and turned into a sham on March 16.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – April 20 was the first anniversary of the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico of a deep ocean oil rig owned by British Petroleum. Eleven workers were killed, and the ensuing massive oil leak over the next months became the greatest ecological disaster in US history.

By Allen Myers

It created a small stir in late March when British journalist and columnist George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian that the ongoing nuclear accident at Fukushima in Japan had convinced him that the use of nuclear power needs to be expanded in order to counter global warming.

By Kim Bullimore

Writing in the Washington Post on April 1, Richard Goldstone, who headed the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict in the wake of Israel’s 2008-09 Operation Cast Lead, which killed 1400 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, announced he was “reconsidering” some of the findings of the report that bears his name.

Quiet diplomacy

“The new American ambassador in Damascus, Robert Ford, has been quietly reaching out to Mr. [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad to urge him to stop firing on his people.” – New York Times, March 26.

By Kathy Newnam

One of the most common arguments encountered when making the case for revolutionary change is that working people in Australia are too comfortable to fight against capitalism. The other, related, argument is that people are too selfish – that a socialist society won’t work because it’s human nature to be greedy and individualistic.

Between October 28-30, 2011, politicians and businesspeople from 54 Commonwealth nations will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at the Perth Convention Centre. The recently formed CHOGM Action Network (CAN) is calling for a peaceful protest march on CHOGM on the morning of October 28, the Queen’s Birthday public holiday.

By Kim Bullimore

Shock is the first word that comes to mind. When I first read about the murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis just hours after he was killed on April 4, like so many others, I reeled in shock. Then I burst into tears for a man I had never met. I cried for him, for his family and for the Palestinian people.