Issue Number 9

March 2009

  • Victorian bushfires: Lives sacrificed to save money
  • Venezuela referendum victory strengthens socialist revolution

International News & Analysis

By Kathy Newnam

South African dock workers on February 5 prevented the unloading of a ship carrying Israeli goods to South Africa. Upon the victory, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union stated: “The momentum against apartheid Israel has become an irresistible force. We are proud to stand with the millions around the world who say ‘Enough is enough’.

By Marce Cameron

Their uniform is not the traditional white coat of the medical fraternity, but red and blue T-shirts with the slogan “For the triumph of virtue”. Their medicine is the warmth of social solidarity and the gift of friendship. Nearly all are members of Cuba’s communist youth organisation, the UJC.

By Kim Bullimore

Six weeks after the formal cessation on January 18 of Israel’s 22-day war on the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in Gaza, Israel continues to carry out sporadic airstrikes on the small coastal region.

By Max Lane

Elections for the two houses of Indonesia’s national parliament and the provincial parliaments will take place on April 9, at a time of growing dissatisfaction with the parliamentary parties. These elections will be followed in July by what will likely be the first of two rounds to elect a president and vice-president.

By Nick Everett

Salvadorans will vote for a new president on March 15. For the last 12 months, former independent journalist Mauricio Funes has held a double-digit lead over his rival, Rodrigo Avila, a former chief of the national police.

By Zoe Kenny

The approval by Ecuador’s parliament on January 29 of a new mining law sparked protests and civil disobedience throughout the country.

By Marcus Pabian

On February 15 some 6.3 million Venezuelans, 54.86% of voters, approved a constitutional amendment that allows all public officials to be re-elected more than once, thus enabling Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez to stand in the next presidential election in 2012.

By Jo Williams

At the end of February, my co-workers and I head into indefinite industrial action at Melbourne’s Victoria University. VU’s management has failed to negotiate a new agreement guaranteeing job security and acceptable workloads.

By Jon Lamb

East Timor has passed through the first year of “stability” since the failed assassination attempts in February 2008 on East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

Australian News & Analysis

By Allen Myers

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s lengthy essay on “The Global Financial Crisis”, in the February issue of the Monthly, blames the international economic crisis on neoliberalism.

By Hamish Chitts

Australian soldiers of the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) were searching through homes in southern Uruzgan province on February 12, when, they claimed, they were fired on by Afghan resistance fighters. The troops returned fire, killing five children and wounding two children and two adults.

By Hamish Chitts

In the small community of Mona Mona, just north of Cairns, some 150 people met last December 9 with Linda Aplet, the director-general of the Queensland government’s Department of Communities.

By Doug Lorimer

The announcement by the Melbourne-headquartered Pacific Brands clothing and footwear manufacturing company on February 25 that it would sack 1850 employees – one-fifth of its global workforce – over 18 months, including 1200 in clothing manufacturing, demonstrated the failure of the Rudd Labor government’s $10.4 billion pre-Christmas “jobs protection” economic stimulus package.

By Shua Garfield

The official death toll from the Victorian bushfires was 210 by February 23. At least 7500 people have been left homeless by the fires, which began on February 7, after over 2000 houses were destroyed.

Views, Discussion & Debate

By Zely Ariane

[The following article was written in response to an article by Kelik Ismunanto, a leader of Papernas (National Liberation Unity Party) titled “Indonesia: Tracing a path towards parliament” that was published in the December 3 issue of Green Left Weekly.

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

Nationalism is the belief that the members of a nation share common interests that are different from the interests of other nations and different from the interests of the human race as a whole.


Reviewed by John Percy

Building the Revolutionary Party. Jim Percy Selected Writings 1980-87. Resistance Books, 2008
Traditions, Lessons and Socialist Perspectives. By Jim Percy. New Course Publications, 1994

Reviewed by Dani Barley

Runtime: 128 minutes
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Written by Dustin Lance Black
Starring Sean Penn, James Franco and Josh Brolin

In Their Own Words

Sorry, but could you explain the irony?

“Ironically, it now falls to social democracy to prevent liberal capitalism from cannibalising itself.” – Kevin Rudd in his essay in the Monthly.