[Speech delivered to the Defend the Occupy Movement Unity rally, November 5, King George Square, Brisbane.]
Issue 37 - December-January 2012
Issue 36 - October-November 2011
“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.
Issue 35 - September 2011
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).
Issue 34 - August 2011
On July 5, the Senate passed a motion that condemned the Marrickville Council for its vote last December in favour of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against apartheid Israel. This was the latest in a growing attack against the BDS movement by the Zionists and their supporters in the government and corporate media in this country.
Rupert Murdoch is a union-bashing, racist, warmongering thief, hypocrite, liar and all round crook. That’s not news to anyone, nor are these characteristics unusual for his class of people – the capitalist class. In fact, they are prerequisites. What is unusual is that some of the crimes of his empire are being brought into the light of day.
Issue 33 - June-July 2011
Around 350 people attended the Feminist Futures Conference, held in Melbourne on May 28-29. Before the conference, there was heated debate on the conference Facebook page about the panellists for the conference, much of the focus being on the inclusion of Melbourne academic Sheila Jeffreys in the program.
Issue 32 - May 2011
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.
Issue 31 - April 2011
The so-called humanitarian intervention in Libya is nothing of the kind. It is a war in which the US-led imperialist forces have used the widespread sympathy for the Libyan people’s uprising to justify the latest chapter in their war for empire.
[This article is based on a speech delivered to the International Women’s Day protest in Brisbane Square held on March 5. The rally of around 100 people marked the 100th year of IWD.]
Issue 30 - March 2011
It took 18 days, from the January 25 “Day of Rage” demonstrations in Egypt to the victory of the movement on February 11, when Mubarak was forced to resign. They were 18 days that shook the world and continue to do so. Just as the victory of the people of Tunisia inspired the uprising in Egypt, the victory in Egypt is inspiring revolutionary movements throughout the Arab world.
As Colonel Muammar Gaddafi desperately clung to power and the people of Libya faced the most brutal battle yet in the wave of uprisings spreading through the Arab world, there were suddenly calls from the West for some form of intervention to “protect” the Libyan people – who had already demonstrated their ability to protect themselves.
Issue 29 - February 2011
[Below is an abridged version of a speech delivered at the December 9-10 rallies in Brisbane to defend WikiLeaks and for freedom for Julian Assange.]
There was an overwhelming response from working people to the flood preparation and recovery efforts in Queensland. On the weekend after the waters receded in Brisbane, tens of thousands of people took to the streets, getting knee deep in the mud to assist friends and strangers alike.
The Revolutionary Socialist Party held its second national congress in December. The congress, held in Sydney, mapped out ambitious plans for the party’s campaign work and work to popularise the ideas of socialism and Marxism.
Issue 28 - November-December 2010
On October 20, Gurindji workers in the remote Aboriginal communities of Kalkaringi and Dagaragu stopped work in protest against the NT intervention. This protest revives the memory of the Gurindji walk-off in 1966, which was central in sparking a wave of protest and solidarity that led to the land rights victories of the 1980s.
Queensland’s anti-abortion laws were dealt a sharp blow on October 14 when a Cairns couple were acquitted on charges brought under those laws. For almost two years, the political and legal establishment had tried to have the couple condemned, yet it took the 12 working people on the jury less than an hour to conclude they had no case to answer.
Issue 27 - October 2010
On October 12 a couple in Cairns will face trial under Queensland’s anti-abortions laws, with the prospect of years in prison if the charges are upheld. The case represents one of the most severe attacks on abortion rights in this country for decades.
Issue 26 - September 2010
The Revolutionary Socialist Party candidate for the Queensland seat of Griffith, Hamish Chitts, believes that the campaign was highly successful in raising the banner of revolutionary socialism. The campaign almost doubled the socialist vote in the seat itself and spread the word about the socialist solutions to the crises of capitalism far and wide beyond the seat.
Issue 25 - August 2010
A north Queensland couple will face court in Cairns on October 12 on charges brought under the state’s anti-abortion laws. A woman is facing charges for intent to procure a miscarriage, which carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison. Her partner is facing charges for assisting her, which carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.
Issue 24 - July 2010
On May 29 around 150 people took to the streets of Sydney as part of the campaign against the abortion charges brought against a couple in Cairns. The rally was organised by the Women’s Abortion Action Campaign (WAAC) and was chaired by WAAC activist Margaret Kirkby. There were contingents at the rally from Melbourne, Brisbane and participants from Adelaide and New Zealand.
Issue 22 - May 2010
On April 10-11, the first feminist conference to be held in Sydney in more than 10 years attracted more than 500 people. The “F” Conference was organised to re-ignite feminist organising in Sydney, though there were many participants from other cities also.
The Revolutionary Socialist Party will stand two candidates in the coming federal elections, expected to be held in the second half this year. In Brisbane, Hamish Chitts will stand in the seat of Griffith, currently held by Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. In Melbourne, Van Rudd will stand in the seat of Lalor, currently held by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Issue 21 - April 2010
Women could be charged with murder in the US state of Utah if they have a miscarriage caused by an “intentional or knowing act”. On March 8, the state’s governor signed into law a bill to that effect.
A lively protest was held in Brisbane on March 13 against a rally organised by a coalition of anti-abortion groups. There were about 70 people over the four-hour protest – holding a speak-out and chanting for the duration of the protest, even as the massive PA at the anti-abortion rally tried to drown out the chants with a Christian rock band.
Issue 20 - March 2010
Hundreds of people gathered on February 14 for the launch of a “protest house” established by the Alyawarr people at the protest camp at Honeymoon Bore – 350 kilometres north east of Alice Springs. The camp was set up in July 2009 when Alyawarr elders led a walk-off from the Ampilatwatja community in protest against the federal government’s racist treatment of the community.
Rallies will be held across the country this month for same sex marriage rights – the first in a series of protests being organised by the Equal Love campaign as part of a national year of action for the campaign, now in its sixth year. The campaign has been growing since the federal government introduced a ban on same-sex marriage in 2004.
A photo exhibition and songs of struggle night will be held in Brisbane on March 27 to raise funds for Direct Action. The “Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism” evening will feature local performers Phil Monsour, Jumping Fences, Ovideo Orellana and Mark Cronin.
Issue 19 - February 2010
The defining feature of Australian politics today is the ongoing retreat of the organised working class. In the face of the serious economic crisis, there is no mass expression of a working-class alternative.
Issue 18 - December 2009
[On November 21, a 100-strong abortion rights rally was held in Brisbane. The rally demanded the dropping of the abortion charges brought against a young Cairns couple, the repeal of all anti-abortion laws and free, safe and accessible abortion on demand.
Issue 17 - November 2009
On November 28, rallies will take place across Australia to demand same-sex marriage rights. Organised by the Equal Love Coalition, the national day of action will demand the passing of the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009 – legislation put to the Senate by the Australian Greens to remove discrimination in the Marriage Act on the basis of sexual orientation.
Issue 16 - October 2009
A Cairns couple were committed to trial on June 11 on charges brought under the anti-abortion laws in the Queensland criminal code. The charges carry sentences of seven years’ prison for the woman for having an abortion and three years for her male partner for assisting her. The case against the couple rests upon their admission to having used an abortion drug.
Issue 15 - September 2009
A 300 strong protest was held in Brisbane on August 29 to demand the dropping of the abortion charges against a Cairns couple. The rally also demanded the immediate repeal of the anti-abortion laws under which the couple have been charged.
Issue 14 - August 2009
There has been a renewed campaign of anti-Iran propaganda and threats of more severe economic sanctions by the US and its imperialist allies, including Australia, following the mass protests in Iran triggered by the June 12 presidential election and the charges by defeated candidates of electoral fraud.
Issue 13 - July 2009
[The following article is based on a report on the Australian political situation presented to the first congress of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, held over the June 6-8 weekend.]
One of the few remaining US clinics that provided late-term abortions will close in the wake of its owner’s murder, the slain doctor’s family said on June 9. Dr George Tiller was shot dead in his church in Wichita, Kansas, on May 31. His clinic, Women’s Health Care Services, was one of only three remaining clinics in the US to provide abortion services in the third trimester.
A significant victory in the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel was registered on June 8. It was reported in the Israeli Haaretz newspaper that the French-owned Veolia company plans to abandon its involvement in the light rail project being built to connect Jerusalem to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Issue 12 - June 2009
A protest campaign has been launched in Brisbane against the charges bought against a young couple in Cairns under the anti-abortion provisions in the Queensland Criminal Code. The campaign was launched on May 9 when 80 people protested against an anti-abortion demonstration, blocking the anti-abortionists’ way to the state parliament building.
Issue 11 - May 2009
On April 16, a young couple faced court in Cairns on charges brought against them under the anti-abortion provisions in the Queensland Criminal Code (sections 224, 225 and 226).
Issue 10 - April 2009
On March 29, the Israeli Manufacturers Association (IMA) reported that Israeli exporters are losing markets because of the boycott campaign that has been gathering momentum internationally since Israel’s 22-day assault on Gaza.
Issue 9 - March 2009
South African dock workers on February 5 prevented the unloading of a ship carrying Israeli goods to South Africa. Upon the victory, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union stated: “The momentum against apartheid Israel has become an irresistible force. We are proud to stand with the millions around the world who say ‘Enough is enough’.
Issue 8 - February 2009
The true face of Israel was exposed to millions of people throughout the world by the beginning of the Israeli attack on Gaza 0n December 27. The decades-long solidarity movement with Palestine mushroomed overnight, and throughout the three weeks of bombardment of Gaza, the world witnessed some of the largest demonstrations ever in support of Palestine.
Issue 6 - November 2008
A 400-strong rally was held in Brisbane on November 1 as part of the campaign to free Lex Wotton, an Indigenous community leader from Palm Island, who was found guilty on October 24 of “rioting with destruction” by an all-white jury in Brisbane’s District Court.
Issue 5 - October 2008
Over 80% of people in Australia support a woman’s right to choose abortion – a significant gain of the women’s liberation movement. Having lost the debate on a woman’s right to choose, the anti-abortion movement has adopted a new tactic – posing as being “pro-woman”. At the forefront of this maneuver in Australia is Women’s Forum Australia.
Issue 4 - September 2008
Protest actions are being planned for Brisbane in October when Lex Wotton faces court. Wotton has been portrayed by the Queensland police, government and establishment media as the leader of the “riot” that occurred on Palm Island on November 26, 2004.
Issue 3 - August 2008
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and federal Liberal Party leader Brendan Nelson have shown their willingness to use the soldiers they claim to honour and respect to suit their own political ends, cynically using the emotions generated by the return of Australia’s Overwatch Battle Group from southern Iraq and the death in early July of the sixth Australian soldier in Afghanistan since 200
Since 1996 the main Australian government overseas aid organisation, AusAID, has been prevented from funding any organisations that provide “abortion training or services, or research, trials or activities which directly involve abortion drugs” even where it could save the life of a woman.
Issue 2 - July 2008
With abortion set to be decriminalised in Victoria before the end of the year, there are renewed opportunities for abortion rights supporters to retake ground that has been lost since the height of the abortion rights movement in the 1980s, when it won gains including court decisions in Queensland, Victoria and NSW that liberalised the interpretation of anti-abortion laws, enabling
Issue 1 - June 2008
Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, the women’s liberation movement won the public debate about abortion – in Australia today more than 80% of people support a woman’s right to choose whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. But the opponents of this right of women haven’t given up.