Issue Number 21

April 2010

  • Another attack on land rights: No NT nuclear waste dump!
  • Obama's health reforms: millions still uninsured

International News & Analysis

By Allen Myers

Vientiane – “Defending Cuba today is the only way to keep alive the hopes and dreams of social justice”, states the final declaration of the Fifth Asia-Pacific Regional Conference for Solidarity with Cuba. A stepped-up campaign of support for revolutionary Cuba against imperialism was the central decision of the conference, held in the capital of Laos on March 19-20.

By Marce Cameron

Since becoming Cuba’s president (initially acting president) in August 2007, when Fidel Castro became gravely ill and had to step down, Raul Castro has called for a nationwide debate on the future of Cuba’s socialist revolution. The debate is aimed at consensus on what must be done to revitalise Cuba’s socialist project.

By Marce Cameron

The March 28 Miami Herald, mouthpiece of wealthy Cuban-Americans opposed to Cuba’s socialist revolution, reported that 3000 to 5000 protesters “formed a river of white as they marched around a lake in a Los Angeles park Sunday, joining other marchers around the world to expose the plight of political dissidents in Cuba and support the wives, mothers, and other women who defe

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – A March 4 “day of action” brought out tens of thousands against cuts to education in California schools, from kindergarten through to university postgraduate studies.

By Kim Bullimore

If one were to believe the almost breathless reports coming from the Israeli, US and other corporate media, a major ruction in US-Israeli dealings had occurred and the demise of their “special relationship” was imminent.

By Dani Barley

When US President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, he said: “Today after over a year, today after all the votes have been tallied health reform has become the law of the land in America … Our presence today is remarkable and improbable with all the punditry, all the game playing in Washington … We are a nation that faces its c

By Marcus Pabian

On March 11 a Reuters article headlined “Venezuela Murder-rate Quadrupled Under Chavez: NGO” was carried by major corporate media outfits including Yahoo!7 News, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Australian News & Analysis

By Hamish Chitts

On March 14 another Aboriginal person died in custody, this time in a Perth police watchhouse. He was 33 years old. His completely preventable death is one of over 300 that have occurred since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody issued its final report, with 339 recommendations, in April 1991.

By Kathy Newnam

Women could be charged with murder in the US state of Utah if they have a miscarriage caused by an “intentional or knowing act”. On March 8, the state’s governor signed into law a bill to that effect.

By Kathy Newnam

A lively protest was held in Brisbane on March 13 against a rally organised by a coalition of anti-abortion groups. There were about 70 people over the four-hour protest – holding a speak-out and chanting for the duration of the protest, even as the massive PA at the anti-abortion rally tried to drown out the chants with a Christian rock band.

By Nick Everett

“Aboriginal people are treated worse than second class citizens”, Paul Haywood told a rally in Perth on March 17. Haywood, whose brother Deon Woods died in the Perth watch-house on March 14, told protesters, “Deon’s son is here today. Now he hasn’t got a father. I haven’t got a brother. My mother has lost her son and my sister in law has lost her man.”

By Jon Lamb

Solidarity activists and supporters of the Cuban Revolution will gather this month at the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society National Consultation, where one item of discussion will undoubtedly be how to defeat the stifling economic blockade imposed on Cuba by the US government since 1962.

By Jon Lamb

Indigenous communities, environmentalists and human rights activists are gearing up for a fight against the federal government’s push to create a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory. Traditional owners in the area of the proposed waste dump at Muckaty Station, located around 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek, are strongly opposed to it.

By Hamish Chitts

While the wars of occupation against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, like most wars, are being fought for big-business profits, they cannot be waged without the assistance of racism.

Views, Discussion & Debate

By Allen Myers

Last month, I was fortunate to hear Phillip Adams’ ABC Radio interview with Dr James Hansen, the US scientist who has done so much to awaken the world to the fact that our climate is already changing and that it will change catastrophically if we don’t very quickly stop dumping carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

We stand for the transformation of human society, from its current basis of greed, exploitation, war, oppression and environmental destruction, to a commonwealth of social ownership, solidarity and human freedom, living in harmony with our planet’s ecosystems.

By Kerry Vernon

In a March 19 article on the website of the Socialist Alternative (SAlt) group, the largest Australian organisation claiming to be Marxist, titled “Why men don’t benefit from women’s oppression”, SAlt member Kate Jeffreys repeats a gross distortion of the Marxist analysis of the oppression of women under capitalism.

Reviews

Reviewed by Dani Barley

Green Zone
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Written by Brian Helgeland
(based on the book by Rajiv Chandrasekaran)
Starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, and Brendan Gleeson
Runtime: 115 minutes

Letters

By Dani Barley

It is with great respect that I must disagree with part of the article by John Pilger in DA#20, “Why the Oscars are a con”, in particular his dismissive critiques of Invictus, Avatar and The Hurt Locker.

By Steven Katsineris

Like many people the world over I am deeply distressed with the continual, tragic conflict and carnage in Palestine. It is therefore disheartening to read about more Israeli settlement building, the suppression of protests, arrests, beatings, detentions, killings and curfews and total lack of progress towards a just resolution.

In Their Own Words

Finance made easy

“It’s like buying fire insurance on your neighbor’s house – you create an incentive to burn down the house.” – A German finance expert, quoted in the February 25 New York Times, explaining the financial derivative known as credit-default swaps.