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.
Issue 37 - December-January 2012
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.
Issue 36 - October-November 2011
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.
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.
Issue 35 - September 2011
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.
[This is the speech delivered at the Second International Conference on the Victims of Agent Orange in Hanoi, August 8-9, by Agent Orange Justice – Australia Vietnam Solidarity Network (AOJ-AVSN) representative Hamish Chitts. Chitts was an infantry soldier with the Australian military and served in East Timor in the late 1990s.
[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 in Brisbane on May 9.
Issue 34 - August 2011
Fifty years ago this month, the US began its spraying of Agent Orange and similar chemicals containing large amounts of deadly cancer-causing dioxin over southern Vietnam. This murderous campaign lasted 10 years, poisoning uncounted Vietnamese civilians and liberation fighters and members of the US military and its allies.
Every two years, parts of northern Australia are invaded by the joint Australian-US war rehearsals known as Exercise Talisman Sabre.
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.][ezequiel>
Issue 33 - June-July 2011
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
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.
On April 16-17, more than 60 members and supporters of the Australia Cuba Friendship Societies (ACFS) from across Australia gathered in Sydney for the annual national consultation. The consultation coincided with historic events, as the Cuban Communist Party met for its Sixth Congress to decide on long-debated adjustments to Cuba’s planned socialist economy.
Issue 31 - April 2011
The fires of the Arab uprising have spread to US-occupied Iraq. Sectarian divisions fostered by the US and its puppet Iraqi government, through death squads, sermons and propaganda, have been swept aside as Iraq’s working class unites to demand jobs, basic services and an end to corruption.
Anzac Day has long been less about remembrance of the people slaughtered in wars for Australia’s capitalist class and their foreign friends and more about creating a culture of blind nationalism and militarism.
Issue 30 - March 2011
The 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) concluded on January 19. Over eight days, the congress reviewed its past decisions and performance and set the course to lead the people in building Vietnam into an industrialised nation.
Issue 29 - February 2011
In the weeks at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, tens of thousands of homes were flooded across Queensland’s metropolitan and regional centres. In the days following the flood, the corporate media and ABC local radio provided lots of information, coverage and sympathy for home owners, but little was said about those who have to rent the place they live in.
The Australian anti-war veteran group Stand Fast will be touring Michael Prysner in June. Prysner is a co-founder of the US anti-war veteran group March Forward!, an affiliate of the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition, which organises against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars while fighting for social and economic justice in the US. March Forward!
Issue 28 - November-December 2010
The federal Labor Party government formally agreed in early November to create an even tighter linking of Australian foreign policy and military forces with the policy and forces of the US government.
Issue 27 - October 2010
The owners of corporations, their media and their parliamentary stooges have deliberately created many myths over many years in order to justify their wars for profit. A vile mix of racism, xenophobia and nationalism is added to an almost religious awe surrounding the military and war.
Stand Fast, a group of veterans and former service people opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, had two more successful barracks gate speak-outs against the war in Afghanistan: on September 9, outside of Brisbane’s Gallipoli Barracks, home of the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade, including the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment currently deployed in Afghanistan; and on Sep
[This article is based on talks presented to Brisbane and Sydney seminars on Vietnam on September 18 and 25. Chitts is a member of the Revolutionary Socialist Party and a founder of Stand Fast, the organisation of military veterans campaigning against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.]
Issue 26 - September 2010
Zionism, the belief that all Jews throughout the world constitute a nation that requires its own homeland, is a relatively recent ideology.
Complete with flight suit, then US President George W. Bush flew by fighter jet to the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln in May 2003. In a performance staged for the cameras before a huge banner reading “Mission Accomplished”, with thousands of troops cheering him on, Bush declared the “end of major combat operations” in Iraq.
Election statement by Hamish Chitts, Revolutionary Socialist Party candidate for Griffith.
Regardless of which party gains government from Saturday’s Federal Election the majority of people in this country, the working class, will be worse off. Whoever wins will continue to oversee measures that will profit a tiny minority of super rich, the capitalist class.
Issue 25 - August 2010
Despite the Vietnam War ending 35 years ago the US chemical bombardment of Vietnam is still claiming victims. More than 3 million Vietnamese have suffered the effects of Agent Orange – the nickname given to dioxin rich herbicides sprayed by the US military over large parts of central and southern Vietnam.
Statement from Hamish Chitts, Revolutionary Socialist Party candidate for Griffith:
The Northern Territory Emergency Response legislation, commonly referred to as the NT Intervention, is a prime example of the ALP’s and Coalition’s bipartisan approach to racism. Initiated by the Howard government months before it lost the 2007 election, the intervention was readily continued by the Labor government.
While the ALP and the Liberal-National Coalition put on grand theatrics on how different they are from each other (usually with no actual basis) when it comes to foreign policy neither party seems willing to display any difference.
Issue 24 - July 2010
Less than a week after the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran on June 9, the Australia government is planning its own unilateral punitive measures.
Issue 22 - May 2010
Revolutionary Cuba is a leader in Latin America in the battle against homophobia and is taking steps to become a world leader. Since 1994 the age of consent for gay and lesbian sex in Cuba has been 16 years, the same as for heterosexual sex – unlike Australia. Since the 1980s Cubans have been able to access sex reassignment surgery (SRS) as part of Cuba’s free healthcare system.
Issue 21 - April 2010
On March 14 another Aboriginal person died in custody, this time in a Perth police watchhouse. He was 33 years old. His completely preventable death is one of over 300 that have occurred since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody issued its final report, with 339 recommendations, in April 1991.
While the wars of occupation against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, like most wars, are being fought for big-business profits, they cannot be waged without the assistance of racism.
Issue 20 - March 2010
When the visit of US President Barack Obama was announced last month, an official White House statement said he “is looking forward to commemorating the 70th anniversary of Australia-US relations”.
Issue 18 - December 2009
For the past few years, private military contractors have out numbered US troops in Afghanistan despite a doubling in the size of the US occupation under the Obama administration. There were more contractors than US troops in Iraq a year ago, but the number of contractors dropped slightly this year to 120,000 – equal to the number of US troops.
Issue 17 - November 2009
During October, Richard Downs, an elder of the Alyawarra-speaking community from the Northern Territory township of Ampilatwatja (300km north-east of Alice Springs) toured major eastern Australian cities to raise support for a protest camp established 3km from the township.
Issue 16 - October 2009
October 7 marks eight years since the US-led coalition of imperialist powers and their client states invaded Afghanistan.
Issue 14 - August 2009
Recent reports and revelations have conclusively shown that the Rudd Labor government is using the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) policy to dispossess Aboriginal people. Under the Australian government’s “emergency protection measures”, the situation for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory has become worse.
[The following article is based on a speech given on behalf of the war veterans group Stand Fast at a public meeting in Rockhampton on July 10 as part of the Peace Convergence protests against the bi-annual joint Australian and US Talisman Sabre war rehearsals that occur in and around environmentally and culturally sensitive Shoalwater Bay.
Issue 13 - July 2009
On August 20, Afghanistan will conduct its second presidential election under the US-led occupation. Current Afghan President Hamid Karzai is the clear frontrunner in the election, despite a December Gallup poll having found that only 10% of Afghans supported Karzai’s government.
Last month was the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in Greenwich Village, New York City, when, for the first time in US history, gay men and lesbians fought back against government-sponsored persecution.
Issue 12 - June 2009
Last month the Melbourne Age revealed that members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) had covered up the killing and wounding of civilians in Afghanistan by Australian Special Air Service (SAS) troops. In the same month, The Australian newspaper proudly reported the use of SAS patrols as death squads carrying out assassinations in Afghanistan.
Whenever Australian capitalist politicians have talked about protection, welfare and reconciliation in relation to Aboriginal people they have actually meant dispossession, forced cultural assimilation and racial oppression. The capitalist class knows that much of its wealth has been gained at the expense of Aboriginal people through the takeover of their lands.
Issue 11 - May 2009
The global crisis of capitalism is being used by the ALP as an excuse to water down workers’ rights and measures to tackle climate change as well as for a general “belt tightening” of public services. But the Rudd government is keeping its commitment to maintain the Howard government’s annual 3% real increase in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) budget.
Issue 10 - April 2009
By the end of March, 10 Australian soldiers had been killed in the US-led occupation of Afghanistan, including nine in the past 18 months. Last month alone, there were two Australian Defence Force deaths in separate incidents as the Rudd government endorsed Washington’s decision to escalate the occupation forces’ war in Afghanistan.
Issue 9 - March 2009
Australian soldiers of the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) were searching through homes in southern Uruzgan province on February 12, when, they claimed, they were fired on by Afghan resistance fighters. The troops returned fire, killing five children and wounding two children and two adults.
In the small community of Mona Mona, just north of Cairns, some 150 people met last December 9 with Linda Aplet, the director-general of the Queensland government’s Department of Communities.
Issue 8 - February 2009
Barack Obama’s first military act as US president was to order two remote-controlled air strikes that killed 22 people, many civilians, in Waziristan, northern Pakistan. The Hellfire missile attacks on two villages were accompanied by presidential rhetoric about “smart power” and “tough love” that could easily have been spoken by his predecessor, George Bush.
Issue 7 - December 2008
Many who voted for the ALP on November 24, 2007, did so thinking that a Rudd Labor government would end Australia’s involvement in the US-led war in Iraq. One year on and the Australian military under PM Kevin Rudd is still an active cog in the US-led imperialism war machine in Iraq.
After PM Kevin Rudd’s February 13 official apology to the Stolen Generations, media outlets around the world hailed him as a great humanitarian friend of Aboriginal people.
Issue 6 - November 2008
The global arms industry is a very lucrative way for businesses to profit from death, destruction and oppression. It is estimated that each year 2% of world gross domestic product (GDP), or more than US$1 trillion, is spent on the military. Part of this goes to the procurement of military hardware and services from the arms industry.
Issue 5 - October 2008
On September 29, the Rudd government announced that it would give a 2-week extension to the review board and panel of experts handpicked to look at the federal government’s intervention into remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.
Issue 4 - September 2008
Officially the governments that wage war on the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan acknowledge that by August 26 this year, 4460 of their troops had died in Iraq and 934 had died in Afghanistan.
Issue 2 - July 2008
The first anniversary of the federal government’s racist “emergency” intervention into 73 remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory was marked by protests in Australia’s major cities by Aboriginal people and their supporters. The protests called attention to the real intent of the intervention, which is to continue stealing Aboriginal land.