Issue Number 30

March 2011

  • US backed dictators fall - Arab revolution
  • Fighting for women's rights in Indonesia

International News & Analysis

By Doug Lorimer

British Judge Howard Riddle ruled on February 24 that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden to be questioned about allegations of sexual assault. This is despite the fact that Assange has not been charged with any criminal act.

By Sam King

I’ve never understood how people could sit up at night watching TV sport on the other side of the world. But I sat for hour after hour watching live coverage of the Egyptian revolution unfolding.

By Kathy Newnam

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.

By Adam Hanieh

The events of the last weeks are one of those historical moments when the lessons of many decades can be telescoped into a few brief moments and seemingly minor occurrences can take on immense significance. The entry of millions of Egyptians onto the political stage has graphically illuminated the real processes that underlie the politics of the Middle East.

By Zoe Kenny

The story of women in Indonesia is inseparable from the development of the Indonesian nation itself. Indonesia was swept up in the global wave of anti-colonial national liberation movements in the mid-20th century, declaring its independence in 1945 after almost 350 years of Dutch colonial rule.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – The Arab upsurge has left Washington reeling, scrambling to maintain its control of the region as best it can. The contradictory statements coming out of the White House, State Department and the US military as the events in Egypt unfolded illustrate the imperialists’ dilemma.

Perempuan Mahardhika

Perempuan Mahardhika (Free Women) National Network Statement – March 8, 2010

By Kathy Newnam

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.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – Contagion has spread not only in the Arab world. It has even been seen in the United States, specifically in Wisconsin. The background is the assault by the federal and state governments against public worker unions, part of the ruling class’s drive against the social wage, including cuts in education and other social services.

By Nick Everett

Only a month after a university-educated street vendor burned himself to death, a mass movement forced dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee Tunisia on January 14. Tunisia’s upheaval sparked massive demonstrations in Algeria against rising food prices, forcing the country’s military regime to reintroduce food subsidies.

By Kim Bullimore

Ramallah, occupied Palestine – More than 1000 people, predominately Palestinian youth, rallied in Ramallah on February 17 to call for unity between Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian factions.

By Hamish Chitts

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.

Australian News & Analysis

By Ian Jamieson

With hundreds of members rolling in for the opening of its third biennial state conference in Fremantle February 21-25, the Western Australian branch of the Maritime Union has declared, to the enthusiastic and unanimous endorsement of its members, that 2011 is the “Year of the Wharfie”.

By Andrew Martin

The fortunes of Western Australia’s billionaires have surged, unabated by the global economic crisis. Gina Rinehart is the first woman to top Forbes Asia’s list of the wealthiest Australians, with an estimated fortune of $9 billion. Her wealth grew by $7 billion in one year. Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest came in at No 2 as his wealth surged 68%, thanks to soaring iron ore prices.

By Doug Lorimer

Faced with opinion polls showing that the 16-year-old NSW Labor government is facing electoral wipe-out in the March 26 state election, Premier Kristina Keneally unveiled a phoney “fairness for families” package as her main campaign platform at a gathering of 400 party supporters and candidates in Sydney’s western suburbs on February 6.

By Sam King

Melbourne police have dropped charges against two Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) activists involved in a dramatic protest against Australian racism on January 26 last year. The protest received extensive media coverage in Australia and around the world, especially in India.

Views, Discussion & Debate

By Allen Myers

It was almost unheard of. Last month, a Fairfax business writer hinted that capitalism – at least, the Australian capitalism that we all know and love – might be not quite perfect. Something, Stuart Washington wrote on February 7, is “broken” in Australia’s “pricing system”, and “I believe failures in pricing are posing grave dangers to what we know as capitalism”.

In Their Own Words

Interest of who?

“All options should be on the table. Surely you’ve got to get in and protect the interests of the state.” – Mike Baird, likely to be the next NSW treasurer if the Liberals win the March election, on bailing out the private-public corporation that is making a mess of producing new train carriages.