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Issue 36 - October-November 2011

By Vivi Widyawati and Zely Ariane

Around 100 women and men took part in a rally, Miniskirt Protest – Women against Rape, at the Bundaran Hotel Indonesia in Thamrin, Jakarta, on Sunday, September 18. Dozens of women, including several activists from Perempuan Mahardhika (Free Women), wore miniskirts, as a statement that rape has nothing to do with the way women dress.

By Mehrdad Valipour

In early August Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad nominated four new ministers to the 290-member Majlis, the Iranian parliament. Among the four was a new oil minister, Rostam Ghasemi.

By Doug Lorimer

At least 35,000 NSW public sector workers rallied in the Sydney Domain and then marched past the NSW parliament in Macquarie Street on September 8 to protest against the attacks on public sector jobs, wages and conditions announced by state Coalition government of Premier Barry O’Farrell, which includes a decision to axe at least 5000 public sector jobs.

By Kathy Newnam

“If we focus on the possibilities and shed our despair, our hesitancy and our cynicism, and if we collectively come to Wall Street with critical thinking, ideas and solidarity, we can change the world.” – Occupied Wall Street Journal.

By Max Lane

It is very possible that in late September or early October, the United Nations Security Council will vote on whether to recognise Palestine as a state and accept it as a member of the United Nations. The president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mohammed Abbas, will address the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 23.

By Ben Reid

In a major attack on workers’ rights, Philippine Airlines moved to retrench and lock out some 2600 workers and members of the Philippine Airline Employees Association (PALEA) between September 26 and October 1. PALEA has responded with a campaign of actions and the establishment of a protest camp at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

By Doug Lorimer

A day after BlueScope Steel Ltd. announced on August 22 that it planned to close a blast furnace at Port Kembla (in the Illawarra region of NSW) and its Western Port (Victoria) hot strip mill, shedding 1000 jobs, the Socialist Alliance issued a public statement on its website and publishing it in the August 24 edition of the SA’s paper Green Left Weekly.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – On September 21, shortly before 11 pm, the state government of Georgia injected poison into the veins of an African American, Troy Davis. The murder was completed at 11:08 pm.

By Hamish Chitts

As the corporate media and pro-war politicians launch an intensified propaganda campaign around the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sell the war in Afghanistan it is important to examine the US response to these terrible events and the impact this has had on working class people in Australia and around the world.

By Allen Myers

Yes, eventually, we need a Leninist party, members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party are often told. But it’s just not possible to do it now. Later on, maybe, but right now we have to be more realistic. For now, all we can do is build a left wing in the ALP or a “broad” left party.

By Jorge Jorquera

From the very beginning, students and educators were an important target for the Pinochet dictatorship. Thousands were killed and disappeared. Education was considered or at least treated as an enemy of neoliberalism. Why not? After all capitalism has always had an uncomfortable relationship with universal quality education.

By Mehrdad Valipour

More than 6000 workers at the petrochemical complex in Mahshahr City in Khuzestan province struck for 10 days from September 25, demanding an end to individual contracts and abolition of all subcontracts at the complex.

Issue 35 - September 2011

By Allen Myers

[This is the speech delivered at the Second International Conference on the Victims of Agent Orange in Hanoi, August 8-9, by AOJ-AVSN representative Allen Myers. Myers was a US GI active in resisting against the US war on Vietnam in the 1960s and was court-martialled twice for his activism.

By Owain Jones

A 100 strong anti-racist rally was held in Brisbane on August 6. The rally was called in response to a protest organised by the far-right racist group, Australian Patriots Defence Movement (APDM). The APDM takes its inspiration from the racist English Defence League – the same group that inspired the gunman who slaughtered nearly 100 people last month in Norway.

By Kim Bullimore

In the largest show of support for the Palestinian-initiated boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign so far in Australia, more than 350 persons marched on 29 July in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle – and in opposition to an attempt by Victorian Police to criminalize Palestine solidarity activism in Melbourne.

By Ben Reid

For a lot of people who have spent much time in Britain, the widespread riots were not a big surprise. Rather the response has been “What took you so long?”

Justice for Palestine

Justice for Palestine, Brisbane media statement, August 29.

Brisbane BDS supporters have pledged to intensify their campaign following a successful protest on August 27. Despite the rain, fifty protestors took to the streets to highlight the links between the Max Brenner chocolate store and the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.

By Nick Everett

“Protesters vow to break CHOGM security lines” is how the August 23 issue of the Perth daily West Australian headlined an article accusing CHOGM protesters of being “on course for a confrontation with police at key CHOGM events”.

By Max Lane

It is 13 years since the Indonesian dictator Suharto was forced to resign by a student-led mass protest movement. The current president, Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono, will complete his second five-year term in 2014. At the level of the state and government, Indonesia has experienced another extended period of “stability”.

By Kathy Newnam

The Gillard government announced details of its latest attack on welfare rights on July 30. This will put restrictions on new applicants for the disability support pension (DSP).

By Doug Lorimer

In September 2010 the UN General Assembly was devoted to a discussion on ending global poverty, to the fulfilment of the so-called Millennium Goals first adopted in 2000.

By Paulus Suryanta Ginting

Jakarta – On August 2, Kholis Annasir, from the student group Centre for Student Struggle for National Liberation (Pembebasan – Liberation) and I attended an action called by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). We were invited to attend by Okto, the coordinator of the planned action. I was representing the People’s Liberation Party (PPR).

Limited comprehension

“This goes beyond our comprehension.” US Democrat member of Congress John Tierney of Massachusetts, commenting on an investigation that found that half the contractors moving supplies for the US military in Afghanistan were paying protection money to the Taliban.

By Tim Stewart

Anger against coal seam gas (CSG) mining, which has erupted into significant street protests over the past six months, has now spilled into parliament.

By Hamish Chitts

Hanoi – The Vietnamese Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) hosted the Second International Conference of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin in Hanoi August 8-9. Attending the conference were participants from more than 20 countries and 30 organisations, including Agent Orange victims, victims of other toxic chemicals, scientists, lawyers and social activists.