News aggregator

Venezuela, ALBA sends aid to Syrian refugees

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 09/17/2013 - 13:19
Tue, 17/09/2013 By Tamara Pearson

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on September 10 that a Venezuelan Armed Forces plane would carry humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Beirut, Lebanon.

The initiative came out of a resolution from the political council of the anti-imperialist bloc Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) meeting in Caracas. The plane will bring blankets, medicine, and food. Established by Venezuela and Cuba in 2004 as an alternative to US domination, ALBA now involves eight nations from the region

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Chile: Victor Jara's family sue officer for killing the folk singer

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 09/17/2013 - 13:07
Tue, 17/09/2013

The wife and two daughters of folk singer and 1973 coup victim Victor Jara have filed a lawsuit in a US federal court against a former Chilean army officer who they say killed him, Morning Star.

The civil lawsuit, filed on September 4 in Jacksonville, Florida, is a bid by Jara’s family to bring Pedro Barrientos, now a US citizen, to justice under laws that allow US courts to hear allegations of human rights violations committed overseas.

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Venezuelans rally to mark Chile coup

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:51
Tue, 17/09/2013 By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim

Venezuelans rallied to condemn fascism on September 11, marking the 40th anniversary of the United States-backed coup d’etat in Chile that ousted left-wing president Salvador Allende.

The rally began at Plaza Salvador Allende at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) and marched through the city centre to Llaguno Bridge. On the bridge is a memorial to those killed during the 2002 US-backed coup that temporarily removed former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez from office. Chavez was restored by an uprising by loyal soldiers and the poor.

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Venezuela: More than 1000 communes registered

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:15
Mon, 16/09/2013 By Ewan Robertson, Merida

In a national census held over September 7 and 8, 1150 communes registered in a national census, exceeding expectations.

The communes are forms of “popular power” in Venezuela that unite representatives of local communal councils across a regional area. Community councils in Venezuela are grassroots bodies where local residents manage public funds and undertake projects promoting community development.

Communes, meanwhile, are formed by groups of community councils, and can take on larger scale projects and public works.

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NSW closes fire stations during bushfire emergency

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:47
Sat, 14/09/2013 By Simon Butler

The NSW firefighters union has slammed the Barry O’Farrell state government for recent budget cuts that left five fire stations closed as more than 60 bushfires raged across the state on September 10.

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Coalition to stop media reporting on the boats

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 09/17/2013 - 06:30
Sat, 14/09/2013 By Jay Fletcher

Just before the federal election that put Tony Abbott in power, his soon-to-be immigration minister Scott Morrison said the government may stop telling the public when asylum boats arrive in Australia.

Instead, reporting details about boat arrivals — including numbers on board, their nationalities and whether any are children — would be an “operational decision” of the defence officers in charge of the Coalition's “Operation Sovereign Borders”.

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What's new at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Green Left Weekly - Mon, 09/16/2013 - 12:49
Mon, 16/09/2013

New pamphlet by Marta Harnecker

Veteran Venezuelan-based left intellectual Marta Harnecker has released a new pamphlet called Instruments For Doing Politics. It is looks at what forms of political organisation (“instruments”) are required for let and popular sectors. See it at here

The legacy of Salvador Allende

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Colombia: Rural poor revolt deepens against 'free trade'

Green Left Weekly - Mon, 09/16/2013 - 11:09
Sun, 15/09/2013 By Christian Tym

Representatives of the Colombian rural poor (campesinos) began negotiations with the government on September 12, three-and-a-half weeks into an uprising against “free-trade” policies.

By blockading highways and stopping work since August 19, Colombian campesinos made a dramatic statement for a fairer economy and greater independence from the United States.

The central demand was and is the abolition of the free-trade agreements (FTAs) with the US and EU, and guaranteed minimum prices for their agricultural products.

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Bill Shankly — Liverpool’s determinedly socialist football manager

Green Left Weekly - Mon, 09/16/2013 - 09:03
Mon, 16/09/2013 By David Renton

Red or Dead
By David Peace
Faber & Faber, August 2013

No socialist in 60 years of British life has had more followers than Bill Shankly; no-one on the left has had greater success.

Taking over as manager of Liverpool Football Club in 1959, with his team struggling in the second division, by his retirement in 1974 Shankly had guided Liverpool to three league titles, two FA cups and the club’s first European trophy, the UEFA cup.

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POEM: Head spin

Green Left Weekly - Mon, 09/16/2013 - 08:57
Mon, 16/09/2013 By Jepke Goudsmit 

The election showed
Most people in our country
Still unwilling to take the plunge
Towards system overhaul

Chosing instead to remain
Blind in the face of climate change
Deaf to the groans of the earth and its poor
Dumb to the call for justice and peace
Heads spinning with doublespeak
And massive media manipulation

Wondering how to cope with this
Collective conservatism and the
Pettiness of political leaders
I wander around the flat
A little bewildered and sad
To find myself in front of
My bedside bookshelves

Why Marx was right
Unfinished Animal

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Our Common Cause: Beat Abbott back

Green Left Weekly - Mon, 09/16/2013 - 04:36
Wed, 08/03/2006

Health minister Tony Abbott thinks women are having too many abortions. On February 16 he said, "Every abortion is a tragedy and up to 100,000 abortions a year is this generation's legacy of unutterable shame".
The morning after parliament removed

Health minister Tony Abbott thinks women are having too many abortions. On February 16 he said, "Every abortion is a tragedy and up to 100,000 abortions a year is this generation's legacy of unutterable shame".

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Germany: Only high vote for left will send strong message

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 09/15/2013 - 13:49
Sun, 15/09/2013 By Sibylle Kaczorek, Berlin

The upcoming federal elections in Germany, scheduled for September 22, are unlikely to change the character of German politics regardless of the outcome.

The two main parties remain committed continuing to represent the interests of German corporations over its people.

Die Linke (The Left Party) provides a left parliamentary alternative, but it has not succeeded in convincing ordinary, working people that a break of the status quo is possible.

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New Zealand: Labour rights under attack

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 09/15/2013 - 13:44
Sun, 15/09/2013 By Darryn Loveridge

Trade unions, environmental and Maori groups have united to oppose passage of new laws threatening collective bargaining and basic rights in the workplace.

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill, introduced by the government in April, seeks to remove existing requirements for employers to negotiate collective agreements, and rest and meal break provisions.

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New Zealand: Celebrities join protests against deep sea drilling

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 09/15/2013 - 13:40
Sun, 15/09/2013 By Darryn Loveridge

New Zealand celebrities have joined protests against proposed law changes that will remove the right of public consultation on applications for deep sea oil and gas drilling. Law changes will also remove the right to protest at sea.

Actors Sam Neill, Lucy Lawless and Robyn Malcolm, former Supreme Court judge Sir Ted Thomas and many others have joined Maori and environmental groups to condemn the government’s plans.

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Catalonia: Huge pro-independence 'human chain' sharpens crisis

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 09/15/2013 - 13:35
Sun, 15/09/2013 By Dick Nichols, Barcelona

About 1.6 million Catalans linked arms to form the Via Catalana, a 400 kilometre human chain demanding a referendum on independence for their country, to mark Catalonia’s national day (the Diada) on September 11.

The country has been a region of the Spanish state since September 11, 1714, when a besieged Barcelona finally fell to the Borbon coalition of France and Spain.

Amazing success

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John Pilger: The West's chemical hypocrisy on Syria

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 09/15/2013 - 13:23
Sun, 15/09/2013 By John Pilger

On my wall is the front page of the Daily Express of September 5, 1945, and the words: “I write this as a warning to the world.” So began Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett's report from Hiroshima. It was the scoop of the century.

For his lone, perilous journey that defied the US occupation authorities, Burchett was pilloried, not least by his embedded colleagues. He warned that an act of premeditated mass murder on an epic scale had launched a new era of terror.

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Syria: West's hypocritical war drive slowed

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 09/15/2013 - 13:09
Sun, 15/09/2013 By Barry Sheppard

The proposal by Russia, accepted by the regilme of Bashar Al-Assad, for Syria’s chemical weapons to be turned over to an international authority (presumably the United Nations) for destruction, has temporarily put off Washington’s plans for war against Syria.

Obama has postponed asking Congress to approve of his plans to attack Syria. This represents a political defeat for the war drive.

Even if Washington scuttles the proposed agreement and goes ahead with war, it will do so with even less support at home and abroad than it had before the Russian proposal.

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Regional queers fight for marriage rights

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 09/15/2013 - 13:05
Sat, 14/09/2013 By Paola Harvey

The first marriage equality rally in Nowra, south of Wollongong, was held on September 6. About 100 people attended the rally and chalk rainbows were drawn on the footpath.

Rally organiser Tobi Harris told the Illawarra Mercury: “The seat of Gilmore has been held by the Liberals for 17 years, and we want to remind them to stand up for the gay community.”

Long-time queer rights activist Paola Harvey addressed the crowd. Her speech is reprinted below.


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Tamils still face repression in Sri Lanka

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 09/15/2013 - 12:42
Sat, 14/09/2013 By Chris Slee

“The worst genocide of this century” was how Paul Newman, professor of human rights at the University of Bangalore, described what has happened to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.

Newman was delivering the Eliezer memorial lecture, in memory of Professor CJ Eliezer, the founder of the Eelam Tamil Association of Victoria, at Monash University on August 25.

Newman was speaking on democracy in south Asia. He began by outlining some common features of the south Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, before discussing Sri Lanka in more detail.

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New NSW bill to threaten reproductive rights

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 09/15/2013 - 12:22
Sat, 14/09/2013 By Pip Hinman

Pro-choice activists fear that a new bill, soon to go to NSW parliament, will pose a threat to women’s reproductive rights. “Zoe’s law” will create a new offence that recognises crime or harm against a foetus.

The Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2013 No. 2 was introduced by Liberal MP Chris Spence. It is named after the stillborn daughter of Brodie Donegan, who was 32-weeks pregnant when she was hit by a car on Christmas day in 2009 near Ourimbah on the central coast. Donegan suffered severe injuries and an emergency caesarean was too late to save the foetus.

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