Issue Number 3

August 2008

  • Hugo Chaves: Cuba and Venezuela are one revolution
  • Global warming crisis: Labor proposes cash handouts to worst polluters

International News & Analysis

By Sam King

Yogyakarta – An estimated 20,000 Indonesian farmers from 10 villages will be displaced if an Australian company proceeds with a proposed iron sand mine. The venture would span some 22km of coastline of the Kulon Progo regency in the Yogyakarta Special Region, on the south coast of Java.

By Jon Lamb

This month is the 20th anniversary of Burma’s “8888 uprising”, which began on August 8, 1988, when tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Rangoon, the capital, to protest against decades of military rule and economic mismanagement.

By Marcus Pabian

Arriving in Havana on June 16 for a meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro and his brother, retired Cuban president Fidel Castro, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that Cuba and Venezuela were undergoing “one and the same revolution”.

By Jon Lamb

On July 15, the final report from the joint Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF) was officially received by the governments of Indonesia and East Timor.

By Kim Bullimore

Ramallah, occupied Palestine – In April, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers became the latest union internationally to support Palestinians’ call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

By Gonzalo Villanueva

La Paz, Bolivia – On August 10, a recall referendum will decide the fate of Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, the vice president and eight prefects (governors). The referendum campaign was launched by opponents of Morales in an attempt to oust Morales, who was elected president in December 2005 with 53.74% of the vote.

By Ben Reid

In four years of ups and downs, the Respect broad-left party has illustrated both the opportunities for and the obstacles to building a mass working-class party in Britain. Respect emerged in 2004 in opposition to the neoliberal and pro-war policies of PM Tony Blair’s Labour government.

Australian News & Analysis

By Shua Garfield

“We cannot continue to pour carbon pollution into the atmosphere as if there is no cost … Climate change threatens our food production, agriculture, and water supplies.” With this dire warning, the minister for climate change and water, Senator Penny Wong, released the federal government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme green paper on July 16.

By Kathy Newnam

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and federal Liberal Party leader Brendan Nelson have shown their willingness to use the soldiers they claim to honour and respect to suit their own political ends, cynically using the emotions generated by the return of Australia’s Overwatch Battle Group from southern Iraq and the death in early July of the sixth Australian soldier in Afghanistan since 200

By Linda Waldron

On July 1 the Rudd government’s multibillion-dollar package of tax cuts and family support came into effect. Working families, however, are financially worse off than when the ALP took office in November.

By Kathy Newnam

Since 1996 the main Australian government overseas aid organisation, AusAID, has been prevented from funding any organisations that provide “abortion training or services, or research, trials or activities which directly involve abortion drugs” even where it could save the life of a woman.

Activist News

By Shua Garfield

Imagine if the Australian government provided all education, from pre-school to post-graduate level, and all medical care, free of charge.

Views, Discussion & Debate

By Kerry Vernon

An estimated 80,000 were killed in a few seconds on August 6, 1945, when the first atom bomb, “Little Boy”, was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima from a US Army Air Force B-29 Superfortress bomber, the Enola Gay. About 13 square kilometres of the city were obliterated. Two days later, the second nuclear bomb, “Fat Man”, was detonated over the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

By Allen Myers

Nearly all societies in the world today are based on a division of labour. No individual or family produces everything it needs to live. Everyone specialises in one or a few activities. At least some of that activity goes to the benefit of others, and, in return, in one way or another, we receive the things we need that we don’t produce ourselves.

By Marce Cameron

Revolutionary socialists have a duty to support socialist revolutions in other countries. Such international solidarity is vital.


By Kim Bullimore

Ramallah, occupied Palestine – It’s a Thursday night – the beginning of the Palestinian weekend – and the Ramallah Cultural Palace is packed. There are young Palestinian men and women in their late teens and 20s, as well as parents with their pre-teen children streaming into the large auditorium.

Reviewed by James Crafti

Documentary written and directed by Matt Norman
92 minutes

By Virginia Brown

“Californian-based Australians joined the throngs of girlfriends packing US movie theatres to see their favourite heroines hit the big screen”, the Murdoch-owned News Corporation outlets reported on June 2.

Reviewed by Nick Everett

Unfinished Nation: Indonesia before and after Suharto
By Max Lane
Verso 2008 312 pages
RRP (Australia) $49.95


Stand Fast

On behalf of Stand Fast I’d like to thank Direct Action for James Donaldson’s article [“Anti-war veterans group formed” DA #1] on our group. Already we have received positive feedback about Stand Fast via our website,, from readers of DA.

In Their Own Words

Just created a ‘big-business friendly’ political environment

“The United States government has stayed out of the matter of awarding the Iraq oil contracts. It’s a private sector matter.” – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, June 29.