Issue Number 29

February 2011

  • Exposed: Capitalism's war crimes and lies - Free Julian Assange! Defend WikiLeaks
  • Queensland, Victorian flood disasters: a socialist viewpoint

International News & Analysis

By Andrew Martin

Thousands of Tamils around the world commemorated the massacre at the Nagerkovil school that occurred 16 years ago near Jaffna, in the north-east of Sri Lanka. Many of the Tamils who commemorated the bombing of the school are facing deportation back to Sri Lanka where the Tamil people face systematic persecution.

By Doug Lorimer

On January 27, the lower house of the Irish Parliament approved by a vote of 81 to 76 legislation imposing savage austerity measures on working people.

By Marce Cameron

In November, Venezuela’s revolutionary socialist President Hugo Chavez visited the Cuban capital, Havana, to mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the historic cooperation pact between Cuba and Venezuela, core of the pro-socialist Bolivarian Alliance for Our America, known by its Spanish acronym ALBA, and to review and strengthen economic and social cooperation between the tw

By Virginia Brown

The ongoing socialist revolution in Cuba is an inspiring example of what can be achieved for women’s rights when the capitalist agenda no longer dictates.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – The US capitalist media are going all out to portray the political assassination of six people in Tucson, Arizona, and the attempted assassination and wounding of 13 others, on January 8, as merely the action of a psychotic individual. But the facts speak otherwise. The assassin, Jared Loughner, planned his attack well in advance.

By Max Lane

In hindsight, there was a great deal of beauty in the scene. There was a kaleidoscope of colours: dark blues and greens, the red and white of the national soccer team, as well as fading browns and greys and dirty whites. T-shirts and dresses, trousers and singlets, chequered green and brown sarongs, black pecis on black hair, all coloured the scene.

By Roberto Jorquera

For more than 50 years, the Cuban revolution has been an inspiration to millions around the world. Since the successful 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro with his younger brother Raul and Ernesto Che Guevara, many have studied, commented and debated its significance in the struggle for socialism.

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

Brigade dates: April 25-May 4, 2011
Registration deadline: February 28, 2011

By Kim Bullimore

Ramallah, occupied Palestine – In 2005, more than 170 Palestinian civil society organisations issued an international call for the boycott of Israel. Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign is conducted in the framework of international solidarity and resistance to injustice and oppression.

By Nick Everett

Following the hasty departure of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, Tunisia’s uprising has continued to mobilise across the country against the fake “national unity” government imposed upon it by the dictator’s cronies, desperate to cling to power.

By Bayardo Rodrieguiz

The North Korean military’s artillery-fire upon the disputed territory of Yeonpyeong Island last November was the latest response to an unceasing campaign of provocations by the US military and its South Korean ally. The Yeonpyeong incident resulted in at least four fatalities.

Communist Party of Vietnam 11th Congress

The 11th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), held in Hanoi January 12-19, endorsed Marxism-Leninism as the cornerstone of the economic renewal started 25 years ago.

Australian News & Analysis

By Andrew Martin

Thirty activists from the Perth-based Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN) visited the remote mining town of Leonora in late January to protest against the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and to provide solidarity to those detained there.

By Andrew Martin

The dangers refugees face trying to reach the shores of Australia were briefly brought to attention on December 15, when 28 refugees, mostly from Iran and Iraq, lost their lives after the small wooden fishing boat they were on was smashed against rocks off the coast of Christmas Island.

By Max Lane

After assessing 2010’s political activities, members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party at its December congress adopted an outlook for this year emphasising consolidation and building across the range of those activities.

By Jon Lamb

There is much that could be said about the furore surrounding PM Julia Gillard’s proposal for a flood levy to assist with the reconstruction process. One thing patently clear is that most of the outcry – whether in support or against the levy – is that it is shrouded in political opportunism and manoeuvring.

By Hamish Chitts

In the weeks at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, tens of thousands of homes were flooded across Queensland’s metropolitan and regional centres. In the days following the flood, the corporate media and ABC local radio provided lots of information, coverage and sympathy for home owners, but little was said about those who have to rent the place they live in.

By Tim Stewart

Gasland, an explosive documentary exposing the dangers of coal seam gas mining in the United States, has shocked audiences as it toured film festivals and country towns facing the same “hit-and-run” industry in Australia.

By Peter Green

Sydney: More than 400 residents crowded the four corners surrounding the Glebe Post Office on January 20 to demand that Australia Post abandon its plan to close the facility.

By Allen Myers

NSW Labor is on the nose with voters, like never before. In October, according to Newspoll, it became the most unpopular ALP government there has ever been in Australia, with only 23% support. When Labor lost government in Victoria last year, it suffered a uniform swing of about 6%. In NSW, election analysts are predicting double that, or more.

By Ben Reid

If anyone is not convinced of the utter rottenness of ALP politics in Australia, they need to look no further than the NSW state electricity privatisation. Premier Kristina Keneally’s moribund state government is set virtually to give away prime public assets to the private sector and in the process even further alienate its working-class constituency.

By Jon Lamb

The devastating floods across Queensland and Victoria have killed dozens of people, displaced thousands and wreaked billions of dollars in damage to infrastructure and industry, leaving scores of shattered towns and cities.

By Kathy Newnam

The Revolutionary Socialist Party held its second national congress in December. The congress, held in Sydney, mapped out ambitious plans for the party’s campaign work and work to popularise the ideas of socialism and Marxism.

By Sam King

The apathy and racism inherent to most mainstream “Australia Day” (Invasion Day) events was dealt a blow by activists from the Revolutionary Socialist Party on January 26 in Melbourne.

By Hamish Chitts

The Australian anti-war veteran group Stand Fast will be touring Michael Prysner in June. Prysner is a co-founder of the US anti-war veteran group March Forward!, an affiliate of the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition, which organises against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars while fighting for social and economic justice in the US. March Forward!

Views, Discussion & Debate

By John Percy

[These are extracts from the international situation and international work report presented to the Revolutionary Socialist Party Congress, December 18-20, 2010.]

By Kathy Newnam

[Below is an abridged version of a speech delivered at the December 9-10 rallies in Brisbane to defend WikiLeaks and for freedom for Julian Assange.]

By Kathy Newnam

There was an overwhelming response from working people to the flood preparation and recovery efforts in Queensland. On the weekend after the waters receded in Brisbane, tens of thousands of people took to the streets, getting knee deep in the mud to assist friends and strangers alike.

There is nothing more miserable than working people stealing from other working people at any time, but when people are devastated by a natural disaster, it is an act even more worthy of hateful scorn.

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 John Pilger

The attacks on Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are a response to an information revolution that threatens old power orders in politics and journalism.


By Jock Palfreeman

G’day Direct Action – RSP, a friend sent me a copy of DA some time ago now. My name is Jock Palfreeman, an Australian currently enjoying Sofia Central Prison’s hospitality. See for further details, or Google. I know that money is a rare commodity.

In Their Own Words

Never ever

“We will never seek to weaken our currency as a tool to gain competitive advantage or grow the economy.” – Timothy Geithner, US Treasury secretary, defending the Obama administration’s policy of weakening the dollar to stimulate the economy and make US exports more competitive.