Issue Number 2

July 2008

  • New US Fourth Fleet threatens Venezuela's revolution
  • Stop climate change: Phase out coal exports!

International News & Analysis

By Max Lane

The Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM), which won a seat in the country’s federal as well as in one state parliament, in the March 8 elections, made another advance on June 18 when home affairs minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar gave the PSM the green light to be registered as a legal party, subject to it showing that it has a national base.

By Kim Bullimore

In Ramallah, Occupied West Bank – Thirty extra truckloads of food and commercial goods were allowed into the besieged Gaza Strip on June 22, as Israel temporarily opened the Kerem Shalom crossing. Since April, Israel had been permitting only 60 truckloads of supplies per day to enter the region via the nearby Sufa crossing.

By Marce Cameron

Since Raul Castro became Cuba’s president, the Cuban government has announced a range of reforms to the country’s post-capitalist economic system. This has resulted in much speculation in the Western corporate media that under Raul’s leadership Cuba is abandoning its commitment to socialism.

By Max Lane

Protest demonstrations in Jakarta and other Indonesian cities in recent weeks marked the appearance of a new progressive alliance, the National Liberation Front (FPN). The FPN was formed in May at the initiative of the Workers Challenge Alliance (ABM), a coalition of progressive union federations.

By Marcus Pabian

On July 1 the US Fourth Fleet, operating in the Caribbean and off the coast of South America, was been re-activated in a desperate attempt by the US rulers to reassert control over a region in which working people in rebellion against US corporate domination.

By Linda Waldron and Ray Fulcher

The Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) is a revolutionary party, founded in 1997, with a membership of around 3000. The LPP has shown inspiring leadership in the struggles against women’s oppression, dictatorship, religious fundamentalism and imperialism in Pakistan. Direct Action spoke to Farooq Tariq, LPP spokesperson, on the current situation in Pakistan.

By Marcus Pabian

A centralised planned economy to meet the needs of the people, essential for a socialist revolution, is taking shape in Venezuela. It began when the Chavez government, reinstated by a workers’ and soldiers’ revolution that defeated a US-backed coup in April 2002, gained control of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA in early 2003.

By Fidel Castro

It would be dishonest of me to remain silent after hearing the speech [US Senator Barack] Obama delivered on the afternoon of May 23 at the Cuban American National Foundation created by Ronald Reagan. I listened to his speech, as I did [US Senator John] McCain’s and [US President George] Bush’s.

Australian News & Analysis

By John Percy

Since the final heroic victory of the Vietnamese liberation fighters on April 30, 1975, the imperialist rulers in both the US and Australis have sought to obscure the historical lessons of their defeat.

By Kathy Newnam

With abortion set to be decriminalised in Victoria before the end of the year, there are renewed opportunities for abortion rights supporters to retake ground that has been lost since the height of the abortion rights movement in the 1980s, when it won gains including court decisions in Queensland, Victoria and NSW that liberalised the interpretation of anti-abortion laws, enabling

By Owen Richards

From the start, NSW Labor Premier Morris Iemma’s attempt to privatise the state’s electricity industry – “the most important micro-economic reform in this state in decades” – has been marked by hypocrisy from all sides of official politics.

By Hamish Chitts

The first anniversary of the federal government’s racist “emergency” intervention into 73 remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory was marked by protests in Australia’s major cities by Aboriginal people and their supporters. The protests called attention to the real intent of the intervention, which is to continue stealing Aboriginal land.

By Andrew Martin

The biggest losers from the restructuring of Queensland Rail being pushed through by the state Labor government will be QR’s employees – followed closely by commuters. The restructure will prepare QR for sell-off or closure and enable the splitting up of collective union agreements.

By Tim Stewart

Exactly 20 years after his June 23, 1988 testimony to the US Senate, which alerted the public that global warming was underway, Dr James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, offered a sobering deadline – one year – to begin deffusing the “global warming time bomb”.

Activist News

By Barbara Rojas

On June 4, a US appeals court upheld the convictions of Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Cabanino and Fernando Gonzalez, five Cuban men who are imprisoned in the US for the “crime” of defending Cuba from terrorist attacks planned and organised in the US.

Views, Discussion & Debate

By Nick Everett

“Imagine the CEO of a national bank declaring the whole enterprise was geared to make no profit and their goal was to support the creation of a socialist society. Daily life in Venezuela is full of such rich contrasts to wealthy Australia”, Ian Jamieson explained to me when I caught up with him about his experiences on a recent fact-finding brigade there.

By James Crafti

On June 14, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd complimented his predecessor, John Howard, for providing “$1 billion” in aid to Indonesia after the December 2004 tsunami.

By Allen Myers

The name of this paper refers to something that has a long tradition in movements for social change. In its most fundamental sense, direct action is the idea that, if you want something done, you should go and do it yourself, not wait for someone else to do it for you.


Reviewed by Nick Everett

Written and directed by Clifton Ross
PM Press 2008
Bilingual with subtitles in Spanish and English
85 minutes

Reviewed by James Crafti

You Don’t Mess with the Zohan
Directed by Dennis Dugan
Screenplay by Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow and Robert Smigel
Starring Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui
113 minutes

In Their Own Words

There are times when it isn’t?

“At times downright malicious and dishonest.” – NSW Shires Association president Bruce Miller, describing the state Labor government.