Issue Number 39

May-July 2012

  • Greece votes against austerity - again
  • Australia-funded military accused of murder in West Papua

International News & Analysis

By James Balowski

Jakarta – Riots erupted in the West Papuan provincial capital of Jayapura on June 14 after a leading pro-independence activist was shot dead during an arrest reportedly led by members of the Australian-funded counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88.

By Max Lane

Between March 24 and 30, a wave of quite militant demonstrations against the coalition government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono spread throughout Indonesia. For the first time, some of the major trade union confederations joined the actions.

By Doug Lorimer

For a second time, Greek working people on June 17 voted against the austerity measures imposed on them by the Greek bankers, the International Monetary Fund and the European capitalist establishment.While the corporate media presented the election result as a “victory for the euro”, that is, for the pro-austerity parties, a clear majority of voters, 53%, voted for candidates oppos

By Doug Lorimer

“Final results released Tuesday placed a liberal alliance ahead of other parties in Libya’s first free nationwide vote in half a century, leaving Islamists far behind, but each side is already trying to build a coalition with independents.

By Jalalludin Ngoko

The political party Greater Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) recently announced its 314-strong leadership structure.Gerindra is headed by Suharto era general and son-in-law Prabowo Subianto.

By Nick Everett

One hundred and fifty thousand people poured onto the streets of Madrid on the evening of July 11 to greet tens of thousands of Spanish miners, who had participated in an 18-day marcha negra (black march) from Spain’s northern coal mining regions of Asturias, Leon, Palencia and Aragon.

By James Balowski

Jakarta – In some of the largest demonstrations seen in recent years, tens of thousands took part in May Day rallies across Indonesia calling for higher wages and an end to contract labour and opposing fuel price increases.

By Lindsey Collen

Port Louis – Victories, even partial, are rare in these times. The Mauritian political party LALIT would like to share an important new development in the class struggle and struggle for women’s emancipation in Mauritius.

Australian News & Analysis

By Andrew Martin

The ALP government’s fifth budget, handed down by treasurer Wayne Swan with much fanfare, is a continuation of neoliberal polices, relying much more on stick than on carrot. It headlined in many newspapers as a Labor budget with Labor values, but there was little to differentiate it from any of the budgets of the Coalition when it was in power.

By Maree Ivy

The La Trobe University Management Council on June 20 announced a proposed major “restructure” of the university’s Humanities and Social Sciences (HUSS) Faculty.The proposed changes, announced in an “Organisational Change Impact Statement” (OCIS), would cut up to 45 full-time staff from the faculty, slash the available courses from 1230 subjects (available on rotation) to fewer tha

By Kerry Vernon

Increasing unemployment, soaring living costs and the environmental and social impacts of unexpected severe rains and flooding in parts of NSW are impacting on more poor and working-class people and extending into sections of the middle class.

By Kerry Vernon

Not a murmur of protest has come from the NSW Labor Opposition over the O’Farrell government’s political use of the state’s police in Operation Goulding against Occupy Sydney.

Both Greens City of Sydney councillor Irene Doutney and NSW MP David Shoebridge have supported Occupy Sydney’s right to protest.

By Ian Jamieson

Deeply angered by moves by the resources and mining industry to replace union labour with super-exploited workers from overseas and the employers’ blatant disregard for necessary skills training among unemployed youth, thousands marched in Perth on July 4 to demand that the industry giants negotiate with their employees about who is to share in the massive profits they have generat

Activist News

By John Percy

Australian and Vietnamese artists are contributing works to an art exhibition in Sydney August 7-11 to expose the ongoing horror of the Agent Orange chemical warfare inflicted on the Vietnamese people by the US war in the 1960s and ’70s. August 10 is the 51st anniversary of the beginning of spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Views, Discussion & Debate

By Allen Myers

Dear Your Holiness,

I was most interested in your recent visit to Cuba and your comments, quoted by Reuters, that the Cuban system “no longer works” and that the Catholic Church was eager to help Cubans find a “new model” because – and this is the line that really floored me – “Marxist ideology in the way it was conceived no longer corresponds to reality”.

By John Percy

[This is the text of a talk to a forum organised by the People’s Liberation Party in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, on April 7.]

The central feature of the international political situation today is the extremely stark contradictions of capitalism internationally, combined with the severe limitations of working class leadership in nearly every country.

By Allen Myers

A fascinating article appeared in Rolling Stone magazine in March. Titled “Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail”, Matt Taibbi’s article cuts through the mystification of official economics and explains a major factor in the 2008 financial crisis. That central cause was fraud, corruption, theft: in short, crime.

By Allen Myers

Since the outbreak of the international financial and economic crisis, “austerity” has become the proclaimed goal of governments over most of the developed capitalist world. Governments have been sticking to this goal even when it leads to their own demise, as in Greece and France.


Reviewed By Doug Lorimer

The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, volume I: The Sixties, A Political Memoir, by Barry Sheppard, Sydney: Resistance Books, 2005, 354 pages including index, with a rich collection of photographs.

In Their Own Words

Record success

“... fiscal year 2011 was a record-setting year at just over 30 billion [dollars]. This fiscal year will be at least 70 percent greater.” – Andrew J. Shapiro, a US assistant secretary of state, on US government arms sales.