Issue Number 37

December-January 2012

  • Occupy - we are the 99%
  • ALP no hope for refugees

International News & Analysis

By Doug Lorimer

After 11 hours of talks in Brussels throughout the night of October 27, the 17 leaders of the states that share the euro as their currency announced a package of measures they hoped would be regarded by international financial markets as a “comprehensive” solution to the eurozone debt crisis.

By Kim Bullimore

More than 100,000 Egyptians packed Tahrir (Liberation) Square on Friday, November 27 for the ninth consecutive day since new protests began on November 18, calling for democracy, social justice and an end to the military’s control of the country.

By Setyo Budi

It was 10 o’clock in the evening on September 11. Sudiro, the chief negotiator in West Papua’s ongoing Freeport strikes, was sitting alone on the veranda of his house. He had spent all day with Freeport Indonesia management, bargaining for a wage rise for the members of his union – the All Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI) Freeport division.

By Max Lane

The simmering discontent throughout Indonesia regularly overflowed throughout October and November. There were student protests against the Yudhoyono government, attacking corruption, economic injustice and political manipulation of local government, in cities including Jakarta, Jogjakarta, Cirebon, Samarinda (in Borneo), Makassar, Surabaya and Kediri.

By Max Lane

“Two nations; between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws.” “You speak of – ” said

By Sri Kandi

Paris – Palestine achieved a significant breakthrough in its bid for recognition as a state on October 31. In a landslide vote of 107 in favour and 14 against, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) admitted Palestine as its 195th member.

By Ben Reid

The Qantas lockout of its workers in Australia is not unique. More than 2000 workers were locked out by Philippine Airlines (PALEA) since October 1. The Philippine Airline Employee’s Association has maintained a growing campaign for their re-instatement that is gaining international support.

By Nick Everett

On November 20, the governing Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), led by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of voters angered by the harsh austerity measures imposed upon them.

By Margaret Perrot

Cuba is ranked as a Third World country, but the education and health systems are equivalent to or better than those of all First World countries.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – No one predicted the phenomenon that has become known as Occupy Wall Street (OWS), nor could it have been predicted.

Australian News & Analysis

By Andrew Martin

The ALP national conference in Sydney on December 3 and 4 should present an opportunity for the ALP to reassess its policy of mandatory detention and an opportunity to adopt a more humane approach towards refugees. But no one is waiting with bated breath.

By Kay Vern

Discussions in several Occupy Sydney general assemblies have included debates about the nature and role of the police and whether to support the police union’s disputes and their November 22 rally (over injury compensation) with the NSW O’Farrell Coalition government.

By Nick Everett

One thousand people marched through Perth’s CBD on October 28, the first day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), despite a massive security presence. The protest, organised by the CHOGM Action Network (CAN), united activists from numerous campaigns behind the slogan “Justice and Climate Action, Not Racism and War”.

By Tim Stewart

The grassroots campaign against coal seam gas mining appears to have won important ground, making it onto the popular ABC program Gruen Transfer and as a dedicated feature launched on the ABC News website on November 24.

By Andrew Martin

Two deportations of Sri Lankan Tamils have been averted, pending a High Court challenge to be heard in the new year giving the asylum seekers a temporary reprieve. These were to be the first deportations of people who arrived by boat under the current Labor government.

By James Crafti

The Occupy Melbourne Protest was brutally attacked on October 21 by Victorian Police, who used extreme force... Having set up an occupation site at City Square on Swanston St in the Melbourne CBD on Saturday October 15 as part of the global Occupy Together movement, the Occupy Melbourne protests were starting to consolidate.

By John Percy

The many crimes of the rapacious global corporation Monsanto were exposed at a public forum in Sydney November 23, organised by Agent Orange Justice – Australia Vietnam Solidarity Network.

By Kay Vern

Occupy Sydney has mobilised more than 3000 people in two rallies and smaller actions, gathered together a diverse range of people engaging in many hours of discussions and debate, within general assemblies, working groups, creative art groups, on social networking media and on the website.

By Hamish Chitts

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.

By Kathy Newnam

[Speech delivered to the Defend the Occupy Movement Unity rally, November 5, King George Square, Brisbane.]

By James Crafti

Accepting Australian political rock band Midnight Oil’s induction into the ARIA hall of fame, the band’s drummer, Rob Hirst, commented: “Bush finally admitted that Iraq may prove to be his Vietnam. But Vietnam inspired some of the greatest protest songs ever written.

By Hamish Chitts

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.

Views, Discussion & Debate

By Allen Myers

An idea that has been raised and argued for at the Occupy Sydney general assemblies was that “you leave your affiliations at the door when you participate in Occupy”, as a motion put it.

By Doug Lorimer

Across the developed capitalist world, the Occupy Wall Street movement has inspired similar protests by thousands of people angered at the government bailouts of the banks and big corporations while the rest of us are forced to endure attacks on our living standards through government-imposed austerity. It has also attracted some weird hangers-on.


By Chris Slee

Dear editor

Allen Myers, in his article “What are we waiting for?”, (Direct Action no. 36) says:

“The Russian Bolsheviks did not become a real mass party until after the February 1917 revolution”.

In Their Own Words


“It is reasonable to ask whether the people of Iraq will notice any change.” – US Congressman Dennis Kucinich on President Obama’s pledge to withdraw troops from Iraq but leave thousands of armed contractors and State Department employees.