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Issue 37 - December-January 2012


“It is reasonable to ask whether the people of Iraq will notice any change.” – US Congressman Dennis Kucinich on President Obama’s pledge to withdraw troops from Iraq but leave thousands of armed contractors and State Department employees.

By Allen Myers

An idea that has been raised and argued for at the Occupy Sydney general assemblies was that “you leave your affiliations at the door when you participate in Occupy”, as a motion put it.

By Max Lane

The simmering discontent throughout Indonesia regularly overflowed throughout October and November. There were student protests against the Yudhoyono government, attacking corruption, economic injustice and political manipulation of local government, in cities including Jakarta, Jogjakarta, Cirebon, Samarinda (in Borneo), Makassar, Surabaya and Kediri.

By Chris Slee

Dear editor

Allen Myers, in his article “What are we waiting for?”, (Direct Action no. 36) says:

“The Russian Bolsheviks did not become a real mass party until after the February 1917 revolution”.

By John Percy

The many crimes of the rapacious global corporation Monsanto were exposed at a public forum in Sydney November 23, organised by Agent Orange Justice – Australia Vietnam Solidarity Network.

By Kay Vern

Occupy Sydney has mobilised more than 3000 people in two rallies and smaller actions, gathered together a diverse range of people engaging in many hours of discussions and debate, within general assemblies, working groups, creative art groups, on social networking media and on the website.

By Hamish Chitts

Despite constant harassment from Brisbane City Council and the Queensland government and despite slander and misinformation from the corporate media, Occupy Brisbane has maintained a constant presence in Brisbane’s public spaces since October 15.

By Kathy Newnam

[Speech delivered to the Defend the Occupy Movement Unity rally, November 5, King George Square, Brisbane.]

By Max Lane

“Two nations; between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws.” “You speak of – ” said

By Sri Kandi

Paris – Palestine achieved a significant breakthrough in its bid for recognition as a state on October 31. In a landslide vote of 107 in favour and 14 against, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) admitted Palestine as its 195th member.

By Ben Reid

The Qantas lockout of its workers in Australia is not unique. More than 2000 workers were locked out by Philippine Airlines (PALEA) since October 1. The Philippine Airline Employee’s Association has maintained a growing campaign for their re-instatement that is gaining international support.

By James Crafti

Accepting Australian political rock band Midnight Oil’s induction into the ARIA hall of fame, the band’s drummer, Rob Hirst, commented: “Bush finally admitted that Iraq may prove to be his Vietnam. But Vietnam inspired some of the greatest protest songs ever written.

By Hamish Chitts

Partners in war crime:

Prime Minister Gillard and US President Obama leaving a press conference in Canberra. For the sake of world domination by US capitalists these two have supported and implemented plans that have cost the lives of millions of people.

By Nick Everett

On November 20, the governing Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), led by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of voters angered by the harsh austerity measures imposed upon them.

By Margaret Perrot

Cuba is ranked as a Third World country, but the education and health systems are equivalent to or better than those of all First World countries.

By Doug Lorimer

Across the developed capitalist world, the Occupy Wall Street movement has inspired similar protests by thousands of people angered at the government bailouts of the banks and big corporations while the rest of us are forced to endure attacks on our living standards through government-imposed austerity. It has also attracted some weird hangers-on.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – No one predicted the phenomenon that has become known as Occupy Wall Street (OWS), nor could it have been predicted.

Issue 36 - October-November 2011

By Kim Bullimore

Mahmoud Abbas surprised even his critics on September 23 by giving a stirring and emotional speech to the UN General Assembly as part of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s highly publicised bid for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood.

By Andrew Martin

After the High Court ruling it illegal to send asylum seekers to Malaysia, the Gillard government could have used the opportunity to take a new approach in how it treats refugees. Instead, the ALP kept to its usual script of trying to outdo the Coalition in attacking refugees and decided to redraft legislation to resume offshore processing.

By Hamish Chitts

The Australia Cuba Friendship Society (Brisbane) held a screening of the film Will the real terrorist please stand up? in solidarity with the Cuban 5 on September 7. The film was introduced by the Cuban ambassador to Australia, Pedro Monzon, who was in Brisbane as part of an official visit to Queensland.

By Tim Stewart

In an attempt to “create our own moment and message” internet-based environment coalition Moving Planet declared September 24 a “day to move beyond fossil fuels – to demand solutions to the environment crisis”.

By Max Lane

On September 5, the Cuban Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Libya affirming, among other things, that “the Republic of Cuba does not recognize the National Transition Council or any other provisional authority and will only give its recognition to a government legitimately constituted in that country without foreign intervention and through the free, sovereign and sole will of

By Doug Lorimer

On September 29 the European Financial Stability Facility cleared a major hurdle when German MPs voted to ratify an increase in its size and scope, including enabling it to buy government bonds from eurozone nations facing bankruptcy. The expansion of the bailout fund from 440 billion to 780 billion euros almost doubles Germany’s contribution – to €211 billion.

Nothing has happened until we say so

“Just because something is in the public domain doesn’t mean it’s been officially released or declassified by the US government.” – Jennifer Youngblood, a spokesperson for the CIA, trying to explain why the CIA censored, from a book about 9/11, commonly available information, including the author’s testimony to a US Senate committee.

By Max Lane

On September 20, the State Electricity Company Trade Union of Indonesia issued a call for support for a campaign against the privatisation of the state-owned company, and against the liberalisation of the electricity market in general.