Issue Number 36

October-November 2011

  • Occupy Wall Street: We are the future
  • ALP intensifies attacks on refugees

International News & Analysis

By Kim Bullimore

Mahmoud Abbas surprised even his critics on September 23 by giving a stirring and emotional speech to the UN General Assembly as part of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s highly publicised bid for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood.

By Max Lane

On September 5, the Cuban Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Libya affirming, among other things, that “the Republic of Cuba does not recognize the National Transition Council or any other provisional authority and will only give its recognition to a government legitimately constituted in that country without foreign intervention and through the free, sovereign and sole will of

By Doug Lorimer

On September 29 the European Financial Stability Facility cleared a major hurdle when German MPs voted to ratify an increase in its size and scope, including enabling it to buy government bonds from eurozone nations facing bankruptcy. The expansion of the bailout fund from 440 billion to 780 billion euros almost doubles Germany’s contribution – to €211 billion.

By Max Lane

On September 20, the State Electricity Company Trade Union of Indonesia issued a call for support for a campaign against the privatisation of the state-owned company, and against the liberalisation of the electricity market in general.

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 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 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 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.

Australian News & Analysis

By Andrew Martin

After the High Court ruling it illegal to send asylum seekers to Malaysia, the Gillard government could have used the opportunity to take a new approach in how it treats refugees. Instead, the ALP kept to its usual script of trying to outdo the Coalition in attacking refugees and decided to redraft legislation to resume offshore processing.

By Hamish Chitts

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.

By Tim Stewart

In an attempt to “create our own moment and message” internet-based environment coalition Moving Planet declared September 24 a “day to move beyond fossil fuels – to demand solutions to the environment crisis”.

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.

Views, Discussion & Debate

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 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.

In Their Own Words

Nothing has happened until we say so

“Just because something is in the public domain doesn’t mean it’s been officially released or declassified by the US government.” – Jennifer Youngblood, a spokesperson for the CIA, trying to explain why the CIA censored, from a book about 9/11, commonly available information, including the author’s testimony to a US Senate committee.