Issue Number 32

May 2011

  • Free the refugees
  • Stop bombing Libya

International News & Analysis

By Doug Lorimer

British government memos obtained under freedom of information requests by oil industry researcher Greg Muttitt have revealed the oil profits were a key motivator of the UK’s participation in the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. On April 19, the British Independent daily published a major story about these disclosures.

By Nick Everett

On the morning of March 20, waves of NATO jet fighters and bombers launched an air attack against Libya’s air force, air defence systems, airports, roads, ports and ground forces with hundreds of cruise missiles, under cover of UN Resolution 1973, pushed through the Security Council on March 17.

By Hamish Chitts

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.

By Sam King

More than a million people filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square on April 8 in the biggest show of strength from the Egyptian mass movement since February 18, when a similar number celebrated the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Statement by the Revolutionary Socialist Party adopted April 9.

By Doug Lorimer

“Europe's debt crisis returned to haunt markets Monday as investors fretted over a possible Greek default”, Associated Press reported April 23.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – April 20 was the first anniversary of the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico of a deep ocean oil rig owned by British Petroleum. Eleven workers were killed, and the ensuing massive oil leak over the next months became the greatest ecological disaster in US history.

By Kim Bullimore

Writing in the Washington Post on April 1, Richard Goldstone, who headed the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict in the wake of Israel’s 2008-09 Operation Cast Lead, which killed 1400 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, announced he was “reconsidering” some of the findings of the report that bears his name.

By Kim Bullimore

Shock is the first word that comes to mind. When I first read about the murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis just hours after he was killed on April 4, like so many others, I reeled in shock. Then I burst into tears for a man I had never met. I cried for him, for his family and for the Palestinian people.

By Roberto Jorquera

Last month occurred the ninth anniversary of the coup against President Hugo Chavez. This event was a major turning point in the Bolivarian revolution that began with the election of Hugo Chavez to the presidency in 1998. Within 48 hours of the coup, people’s power was able to mobilise and, in alliance with sections of the army, to force the reinstatement of Chavez.

By Rada Daniell

“Restiamo humani” – “Stay human” was the life motto of Vittorio (Vik) Arrigoni. He should have left Gaza for Italy some weeks ago, but he decided to stay a bit longer because he feared another Israeli “Cast Lead” being unleashed on Gaza and he wanted to be there. On April 14, he was kidnapped and murdered, reportedly by a radical Islamist group.

Australian News & Analysis

By Win Padauk Wah

Western Australia’s small mining town of Roebourne became a centre of attention following a native title meeting that was taken over by outsiders and turned into a sham on March 16.

By Doug Lorimer

After a rowdy three-hour meeting attended by about 70 banner-wielding observers, the 12-member Marrickville municipal council in Sydney’s inner-west voted on April 19 to rescind a motion originally adopted by 10-2 on December 14 to support the international campaign to boycott, sanctions and disinvestment (BDS) of Israel.

By Andrew Martin and Nicole Mousley

The immigration detention centre at Curtin airbase has again erupted in protests as hundreds of asylum seekers engage in a hunger strike. The centre, located 2500km from Perth in the remote west Kimberley region, was shut down in 2002 following a series of riots and incidents of self-harm by detainees. The federal government reopened it in June 2010.

By Kerry Vernon

More than 200 people marched to Villawood Detention Centre from Chester Hill station in Sydney’s west on April 25 to protest the treatment of refugees and call for an end to Labor’s mandatory detention, deportations and offshore processing regime.

By Melanie Mayze

About 300 pro-refugee activists converged upon the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) centre in the outer-Melbourne northern suburb of Broadmeadows on Saturday, April 2. The protest was organised by the Refugee Action Collective and was intended to raise awareness about children in detention.

By Andrew Martin

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has criticised the Labor government for failing to invest in manufacturing. It claims that Labor is ignoring its “base” in the blue-collar unions and is likely to lose thousands of votes unless it invests heavily in manufacturing.

By Ian Jamieson

Heat is building on the waterfront as the stevedoring industry and a number of port authorities are digging in their heels against attempts by the Maritime Union to address safety concerns and improve wages and conditions on the wharves.

Activist News

By Nicole Mousley

[This is an edited text of the speech by RAC activist Nicole Mousley to the April 2 Broadmeadows rally.]

Between October 28-30, 2011, politicians and businesspeople from 54 Commonwealth nations will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at the Perth Convention Centre. The recently formed CHOGM Action Network (CAN) is calling for a peaceful protest march on CHOGM on the morning of October 28, the Queen’s Birthday public holiday.

By Hamish Chitts

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.

Views, Discussion & Debate

Dear Fellow Worldlings,

By Allen Myers

It created a small stir in late March when British journalist and columnist George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian that the ongoing nuclear accident at Fukushima in Japan had convinced him that the use of nuclear power needs to be expanded in order to counter global warming.

By Kathy Newnam

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.

In Their Own Words

Quiet diplomacy

“The new American ambassador in Damascus, Robert Ford, has been quietly reaching out to Mr. [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad to urge him to stop firing on his people.” – New York Times, March 26.