The business media, and an increasing number of politicians, are claiming that the economic crisis has passed and we are entering into a sustained period of “recovery”. Try telling that to the 600 workers who will be sacked following the closure of Bridgestone Australia’s Adelaide plant, announced in October.
The Rudd government is involved in a disgraceful bidding war with the Liberals about which party is toughest on refugees.
As Christmas Island detention fills up, Rudd has been spooked by the small increase in asylum boat arrivals, and stung by Opposition criticism that his refugee policies have failed.
In the clamor to prove himself tough on refugee boats, Kevin Rudd has failed to even mention the persecution faced by the Tamil people currently fleeing Sri Lanka by sea.
As Solidarity goes to press, the Rudd government and the Opposition continue to play political football with refugees, and the lives of Tamil asylum seekers in particular.
The suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA), stands as a blatant testament to the racism of the NT Intervention.
A national speaking tour has generated growing public and union support for the Ampilatwatja community walk-off, an ongoing protest camp against the NT Intervention involving hundreds of Aboriginal people.
Opponents of the NT Intervention have long maintained that its initial, stated aim—to protect Aboriginal children from sexual abuse—was an emotive smokescreen. So what is the real agenda, asks Paddy Gibson
The Rudd government claims to be serious about reaching a deal at international climate change negotiations at Copenhagen in December. In late October Rudd agreed to become one of three lead negotiators who would try to broker a deal.
The Greens have gained support for their principled stand on climate change. Their attempt to focus this into a concrete alterative came last month with the release of 22 amendments to the CPRS, in an omnibus “Safe Climate Bill”.
The recent collapse of Solar Systems, the only company in Australia capable of building large-scale solar power stations, has exposed Rudd’s failure to support renewables. Central to this is the obsession that building and funding renewable energy must be left to the free market.
This year’s NSW Climate Camp provided an important chance for the climate movement to come together to take action and discuss how to strengthen the campaign. But the choice of the Helensburgh coal mine as the target led to a potentially disastrous response from locals, and sent mixed messages to both the public and activists involved.
ON FRIDAY October 16 five Sydney men were convicted of plotting a terrorist act. First arrested in November 2005, along with four others in Sydney and 13 men in Melbourne, the fate of these men is a reminder of the need to scrap the anti-terror laws once and for all.
A public meeting organised by the Kelvin Grove Labor Party branch has revealed that a majority of the Queensland Parliament is now in favour of legalising abortion.
Eighty per cent or more of the Queensland electorate remains solidly opposed to the state government’s privatisation agenda in spite of an expensive publicity campaign to convince them otherwise, and the employment of the former reserve bank boss, Bernie Fraser, on $2500 a day, to pacify the unions.
On October 11 in a sunny Washington DC park I waited with fellow early arrivals to see if the call for a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender march would be answered. An hour later, with protesters filling the avenue as far as the eye could see with banners, chants and rainbows the answer was clear.
Foreign affairs Minister Stephen Smith claimed the elections in Afghanistan would be “an important step for Afghanistan’s developing democracy”. Instead they have seen the credibility of the US-led occupation completely collapse after Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah pulled out of a planned run-off election on November 7.
Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party was re-elected in the recent German elections—but the main outcome was polarisation to the left and right. Among the major beneficiaries was Die Linke—the young radical left party which has grown as a result of the rightward shift of the equivalent of the Labor party, the SPD.
After its recent electoral breakthrough, the British National Party (BNP), a fascist organisation that wants to institute a Nazi dictatorship and a whites-only Britain, is trying to establish itself as part of the mainstream of politics in the UK.
Amy Thomas traces the history of arguments for population control, and shows why they have no place in the movement to combat climate change
The popular revolutions that brought down Stalinism were a rebellion against the ruling class in the East, not against socialism, argues Mark Gillespie
Review: The Politics of Suffering
By Peter Sutton, Melbourne University Press, $34.95
Recent elections in the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) have taken place at a challenging time for public schools and teachers.
State education minister Bronwyn Pike has wholeheartedly signed onto the national policy agenda being promoted by Julia Gillard, which includes standardised testing, school comparison tables and performance pay.
TAFE Teachers across NSW have walked off the job in protest at the combined attack on their working conditions from the NSW government and the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC).
A generation of neo-liberal attacks dressed up as reform or restructuring have created deep suspicion among many workers about anything that’s described as “streamlining” conditions.
And people are right to be cautious. Take the current round of award modernisation, which could lead to some workers losing $300 a week or hard-won conditions.
Review: Capitalism: A love story
Directed by Michael Moore, In cinemas now
Review: The People’s Train
By Tom Keneally, Vintage Books, $32.95
The Rudd government is considering amendments from the Liberals that would further increase handouts to big business under its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).