Issue Number 22

May 2010

  • Refugees: Stop Labor's racist attacks!
  • Cuban Revolution combats homophobia

International News & Analysis

By James Circello

The US military has retreated from a base in Afghanistan’s remote Korengal Valley after spending over four years trying to hold the area.

By Hamish Chitts

Revolutionary Cuba is a leader in Latin America in the battle against homophobia and is taking steps to become a world leader. Since 1994 the age of consent for gay and lesbian sex in Cuba has been 16 years, the same as for heterosexual sex – unlike Australia. Since the 1980s Cubans have been able to access sex reassignment surgery (SRS) as part of Cuba’s free healthcare system.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – The “Tea Party” has had a big play in the capitalist media recently, as rallies were held across the country leading up to April 15, the day when income taxes are due. The rallies were organised by a section of the Republican Party establishment, and featured Sarah Palin, the former candidate for vice president.

By Nick Everett

“Business is bustling at the lavish boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs that have reopened in the breezy hills above the [Haitian] capital [of Port-au-Prince], while thousands of homeless and hungry people camp in the streets around them, sometimes literally on their doorstep”, the March 27 New York Times reported.

By Marcus Pabian

On April 13, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stood before hundreds of thousands of supporters on Bolivar Avenue in Caracas and declared that this date would be commemorated each year as the “Day of the Bolivarian National Militia, the People in Arms and the April Revolution”.

By Kim Bullimore

A new Israeli military order will enable the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank or their imprisonment for up to seven years. Military order No. 1650, which was enacted on April 13, amends a 1969 military order known as the Order Regarding Prevention of Infiltration.

By President Raul Castro

[This is an abridged version of Cuban President Raul Castro’s speech to the closing session of the Ninth Congress of Cuba’s Union of Young Communists (UJC) held in Havana, Cuba, April 3-4. The complete text can be read at Agencia Cubana de Noticias].

Australian News & Analysis

By Linda Waldron

In early March the ACTU announced that pay equity between male and female workers would be “the major union campaign priority for 2010, outside of the federal election”. According to ACTU reports, full-time women workers in 2009, on average, received 82.5% of men’s pay.

By Jon Lamb

The Rudd Labor government has dubbed its health and hospital reform package a “health revolution”, but it is a con. It will shuffle around working people’s taxes but will not make any fundamental difference to combating the escalating health problems in Australian society.

By Kathy Newnam

On April 10-11, the first feminist conference to be held in Sydney in more than 10 years attracted more than 500 people. The “F” Conference was organised to re-ignite feminist organising in Sydney, though there were many participants from other cities also.

By Kerry Vernon

The decision last month by the Rudd Labor government to suspend the processing of new asylum claims by Tamils from Sri Lanka for a period of three months and the processing of new asylum claims by Afghans for a period of six months is a clear and racist violation of Australia’s obligations under the 1951 UN refugee convention, which prohibits governments from deciding refugee claim

By Kathy Newnam

The Revolutionary Socialist Party will stand two candidates in the coming federal elections, expected to be held in the second half this year. In Brisbane, Hamish Chitts will stand in the seat of Griffith, currently held by Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. In Melbourne, Van Rudd will stand in the seat of Lalor, currently held by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

By Helen Said

The Council of Single Mothers and their Children’s (CSMC) Action Group will stage a rally at 11 am on Thursday May 6 in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall to highlight single-mother poverty during the Mother’s Day shopping madness.

Views, Discussion & Debate

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 Allen Myers

“Why can’t the left get together? Why are there so many different socialist groups?” Sometimes these questions are just an attempt to belittle the socialist left by right-wingers (who nevertheless think it perfectly normal that there should be many pro-capitalist parties). But it is also a serious question from unaffiliated leftists.


Reviewed by Dani Barley

Food, Inc.
Directed by Robert Kenner
Written by Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
Runtime: 94 minutes
DVD available for order online

Reviewed by Allen Myers

The Good Soldiers
By David Finkel
Scribe Publications (2009),
287 pages (pb), $35.00