2008

Can WikiLeaks change the world?

As Julian Assange faces his extradition trial, James Supple takes a look at the role of information in the fight for social change WikiLeaks' release...

Making sure we don’t pay as economy fails

So far the world economic crisis has not had the same impact in Australia as in the US or Europe. A few months...

Slump shows Rudd hasn’t bailed us out

What a difference a month makes. In mid-October, Kevin Rudd was the toast of corporate Australia. But now no one is confident that Australia...

ABC Learning–save the centres, save the jobs

As Solidarity goes to print, the fate of up to 386 ABC Learning child care centres is in doubt. That represents one-tenth of the...

New laws not the end of WorkChoices

The final piece of Labor’s new industrial relations regime has been unveiled by Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard. The new legislation was hailed by...

University staff resist job cuts in Victoria

The shocking announcement a few weeks ago of the largest ever mass sackings in Australia’s higher education sector at Victoria University (VU) prompted a well attended protest rally...

NSW government pushes privatisation and cutbacks

In the context of the global financial crisis, governments across the world have abandoned financial conservatism, proposing significant expenditure programs, often funded through debt....

NSW teachers vote for 48-hour strike

Twenty thousand teachers at meetings around NSW have voted to take 48 hours of industrial action at the start of the 2009 school year,...

Nuke waste dump laws condemned

A strong community campaign involving Traditional Owners, health organisations, environment groups and the Central Land Council has called for immediate repeal of Howard-era legislation...

New service fee will silence dissent on campus

In early November the Rudd government announced it would introduce a Student Service Fee of up to $250 per student which universities could choose...

Labor axes CDEP and steps up the NT intervention

In early October, the Federal Labor Government announced major changes to the CDEP (Community Development Employment Programs). The changes have been met with outrage...

Modeling shows loopholes in emission reductions plan

The Australian government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) is more about profit than planet. When the Treasury modeling on the CPRS was released on...

Movement must take position on carbon trading

The Walk Against Warming rallies this year were smaller that last. This is largely because they had no particular clear demands, and they did...

Global summits solve little as world economy slumps

The majority of western economies are now in recession. The OECD, an umbrella group for 30 industrialised countries, says its members are facing “a...

Revival of the socialist left in Malaysia

Over the weekend of November 8 and 9, the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) hosted “Socialism 2008” in Kajang, a rapidly growing working class...

Foreign rivalry over resources fuels war in Congo

Renewed fighting in the Congo threatens to drag the country back into full-scale conflict, in a country where five million civilians died in war...

Mood for change sweeps the US

There were two million people in and around Chicago’s famous Grant Park (the site of the infamous 1968 anti-war protests) at midnight on November...

Can US workers unite across the race divide? Yes they can!

Obama’s election has buried the myth that the US white working class is inherently racist, hopelessly tied to the white elite. Before the election we...

Socialist planning and alternatives to the market

The failure of free market policies evidenced by the collapse of major banks and big falls on the stockmarket raise whether there is an...

Unions after the Rights at Work campaign

The union campaign against WorkChoices succeeded in getting Howard voted out, but has not put unions in a stronger position to organise and fight. Solidarity examines why.

Anti-union laws: How the penal powers were defeated

In 1969 over one million workers took part in a general stoppage and won the freedom of jailed union official Clarrie O’Shea and an...

Putin’s Russia: back to the future?

Jarvis Ryan looks at the re-emergence of Russian power and explains its significance The brief but bloody war between Russia and its neighbour and former...

Series exposes colonialism’s brutal history, but paints it as all in the past

Review: The First Australians Directed by Rachel Perkins Available on DVD soon The First Australians is a six part television documentary series which attempts to portray on...

Symbol of Northern Ireland’s civil rights struggle

Review: Hunger Directed by Steve McQueen In selected cinemas now The film Hunger depicts the 1981 hunger strike of Irish Republican prisoner Bobby Sands. It is a...

Labor goes missing in the Howard years

Review: The Howard years ABC1, November 17 to December 8 We survived the Howard years, and now you want us to watch it on Monday night...

Letters

Flannery a dubious ally Anne Picot and I must have read different copies of Tim Flannery’s Quarterly Essay, “Now or Never” about global warming. Flannery’s commitment...

Things they say

“Banks are going to fail, so keep them individually small so that the failure of one can’t upset things.” Paul Volker (former Chairman of the...

Land rights not leases

A MAJOR investment program in Aboriginal housing in the NT is being used as a weapon to further break up community control, push people...

1949 coal strike: How Chifley lost Labor’s supporters

For decades, only the Left has talked about the 1949 coal miners’ strike, using it as an example of how low a Labor government can stoop—to the point of using soldiers to scab. So it should have been welcome news that the ABC had put resources into an hour-long dramatisation, Infamous Victory: Ben Chifley’s Battle For Coal. Unfortunately, the ABC has given us little to cheer about.

Will Rudd’s spending package save Australia from economic disaster?

There have been three constant themes in the Rudd government's rhetoric about the global financial crisis. The first is that Australian banks are fundamentally sound,...

Rudd’s plan won’t shield us from this crisis

The struggle over who will pay for the growing economic crisis has begun. Across the world banks are collapsing and economies are heading into...

Review paves road for ongoing intervention

Aboriginal affairs minister Jenny Macklin announced her government will ignore two key recommendations of the review commissioned into the Northern Territory intervention. Macklin will...

Rally against intervention on Human Rights Day

THE RECENT anti-intervention convergence on Alice Springs has galvanised the commitment of activists to step up the fight against the NT intervention. The Stop...

Hundreds rally in support of Lex Wotton

Three hundred people rallied in Brisbane on November 1st to demand Lex Wotton be freed. The angry rally marched on parliament handing in petitions...

Lex Wotton found guilty–Racism rules in Queensland courts

After a trial lasting almost three weeks, and two days of deliberation, an all-white jury found Lex Wotton, an Aboriginal plumber from Palm Island,...

Telstra tries on second non-union agreement

Last issue Solidarity reported that Telstra workers in the Wholesale and Service Advantage area had voted down a non-union collective agreement. It was a...

Strike against non-union agreement at Rio Tinto

TRAIN DRIVERS in the Pilbara region of Western Australia have taken strike action as part of a struggle to establish a collective union agreement...

Sydney Uni uses economic crisis to justify cuts

In the midst of global panic last month, the University of Sydney's Vice-Chancellor announced shock budget cuts of up to 9 per cent because...

NSW teachers to stopwork as fight for 5 per cent continues

NSW teachers will continue their campaign for salary and staffing justice with statewide stopwork meetings on November 19. They will hear details of a...

Pressure mounts to scrap anti-terror laws

Two of Australia's most high-profile anti-terrorism cases, those of Dr Mohamed Haneef and Jack Thomas (the first person to be charged under the federal...

Abortion decriminalisation bill succeeds in Victoria

AFTER EXTENSIVE debate in the Victorian state parliament, opposition from the anti-abortion lobby and threats from the religious right, the Victorian Abortion Law Reform...

Iraqis oppose US plan for continuing occupation

Last month 50,000 Iraqis hit the streets in protest at a new Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) being pushed by the US which would...

Pakistan and the curse of US imperial power

Review of The Duel: Pakistan on the flight path of American power By Tariq Ali Simon & Schuster, $34.95 PAKISTAN IS a complex country. Popularly characterised by...

Will Obama bring much-needed change?

As Solidarity goes to print, Democratic candidate Barack Obama is set to win the most passionate US presidential election campaign in generations. Reshaping the political...

Italy rises up against economic crisis and cutbacks

Last month Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi told people how they could stave off financial disaster--buy shares in two national energy companies--yet by the...

World economy faces protracted downturn

As Solidarity goes to print, many mainstream economists are claiming the worst of the banking crisis is over. Governments worldwide have adopted a whatever...

US workers hit hard by housing crisis

Following the dot.com crash in 2000 and the 9/11 attack in 2001, US workers were told it was their patriotic duty to spend. This...

The birth and life of neo-liberalism

The current economic crisis has shaken belief in the capacity of neo-liberal “free market” policies. Tom Orsag examines where neo-liberalism came from—and where it...

Are we headed for another Great Depression?

The Great Depression of the 1930s strikes fear in the hearts of working class people around the world, with memories of skyrocketing unemployment, homelessness...

Struggling to hold on: the Unemployed Workers Movement

The economic devastation that gripped Australia during the 1930s dealt an almost fatal blow to the organised labour movement. In the face of mass...

Unions and the fight for the environment

In the 1970s the Builders Labourers’ Federation led inspiring struggles in defence of the natural environment. Emma Torzillo looks at the history of an...

Ideas for the global climate movement

Review: Stop Global Warming: Change The World By Jonathan Neale Bookmarks, $30.00 from Solidarity AS ONE of the most sun-drenched continents on the planet, Australia should...

Solutions to global warming but no way to get there

Review: “Now or never”, Quarterly Essay 31 By Tim Flannery Black Inc, $15.95 WHILE THE great financial melt-down has dominated the headlines for the past month,...

How ordinary people paid for the boom

Review: The Land of Plenty By Mark Davis Melbourne University Publishing, $36.95 NOW THAT the Australian economy is slowing, ordinary Australians will be expected to take...

The politics of Rudd’s ‘family values’

Review: The Henson Case By David Marr Text Publishing, $24.95 WHEN, IN May this year, the right-wing forces of Miranda Devine and 2GB radio came together...

Things they say as the economic crisis deepens

Things they used to say… “I think the financial volatility has diminished and the credit crisis is coming to an end” Reserve Bank member Professor Warwick...

Workers to rally for end to anti-union ABCC

THOUSANDS OF building workers across the country are set to strike on December 2, when Noel Washington, senior vice president of the Victorian branch...

Editorial: Capitalist greed threatens recession

Despite George W. Bush’s controversial bailout package (see page 5), we have by no means seen the back of the current economic crisis. Up...

Bush finds billions for bankers

THE BUSH Administration finally gathered support for a US$700 billion plan to bail out US banks—no less than US$2000 for every person in the...

Brisbane construction sites stopwork to defend Noel Washington

OVER 3000 Brisbane construction workers walked off the job for a mass stopwork meeting in central Brisbane on September 12. The action was in...

NSW teachers campaign to break Labor’s pay cap

NSW TEACHERS are still seeking a salary raise of 5 per cent or more and an end to restrictions on transfers. The October state...

Queensland public sector workers fight pay offer

PUBLIC SECTOR workers rallied in Brisbane on September 30 to protest over the state government’s paltry 3.25 per cent wage offer. Over 3000 workers...

Action can stop job cuts at Melbourne Uni

A COLD, wind-swept day did not stop over 120 Melbourne Uni staff and students joining a protest against university management’s plan to sack 20...

Does NSW really face a budget crisis?

ALMOST THE first words uttered by the new premier Nathan Rees were along the lines of “I’ve been briefed by Treasury. It’s worse than...

Alice Springs opposes uranium exploration

On October 5 a community protest gathering of over 300 people was held in Alice Springs to voice opposition and outrage at the Northern...

Blow to Telstra’s plans for non-union agreement

WORKERS AT Telstra have voted to reject the collective non-union agreement the company was trying to force on them. This is a major defeat...

Drop the charges against Lex Wotton

ON OCTOBER 6 Palm Island man Lex Wotton faced the Supreme Court in Queensland. He is charged with “riot involving damage or destruction of...

Garnaut climate plan to suit big business

IN HIS final report to the government, Professor Ross Garnaut echoes the calls from industry to abolish the one measure the Rudd government has...

Melbourne terror trial fuels Islamophobia

As the banners telling us “History is coming!” went up all over Melbourne getting ready for the AFL grand final, the verdicts came down...

Barwon 12 trial: in the words of the defence consel

“We’ve seen an airbrushing, a re-write of history” “The crown has presented a selected and distorted picture” “The ‘war on terror’ has been...

Revolt of the rich escalates in Bolivia

A WAVE of violence by right-wing paramilitaries in Bolivia left at least 30 people dead and government buildings ransacked across the country’s eastern provinces. The...

Support for US war resisters grows in Canada

IRAQ WAR resisters in Canada received an important victory in late September. On September 22 Jeremy Hinzman and his family successfully appealed their deportation...

Deal between Zimbabwe’s elites will not end the crisis

IN JULY reaffirmed our long-held position of the likelihood “of an elite political settlement between the ruling party and opposition around a western...

‘Afghanistan is becoming like Iraq’

Academic and author Elaheh Rostami-Povey visited Sydney recently, speaking on her research in Afghanistan under the US-led occupation. Below we reprint part of a...

Afghanistan death toll soaring

THIS IS shaping up to be the bloodiest year on record since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan began in 2001. The UN Assistance Mission in...

Changes to intervention won’t end paternalist approach

THE REVIEW into the intervention in the Northern Territory, released in mid-October, has called for an end to blanket welfare quarantining and suggested the...

Selective quarantining tried in Queensland

WHILE THE restoration of the RDA would force some changes to the Northern Territory welfare quarantine legislation, it is likely that these would be...

Converging against intervention in Alice

OVER 200 people from around Australia travelled to join hundreds more from the NT in a protest convergence against the NT intervention in Mparntwe-Alice...

Why is the world economy in meltdown?

With the US economy in tatters, questions are being raised about what caused the crisis and what it will mean for people around the...

Can China protect Australia from the economic crisis?

Kevin Rudd and many in the mainstream press once said that Australia’s economic relationship with China would provide a cushion in the current economic...

Before abortion rights were won

Review: The Racket By Gideon Haigh, Melbourne University Publishing, $34.95 WHILE NEW legislation to decriminalise abortion is debated in the Victorian parliament, influential priests and some...

A graphic and haunting soldier’s tale

Review: Waltz With Bashir Directed by Ari Folman, Limited cinema release ARI FOLMAN was only 19 when he was conscripted as part of Israel’s 1982...

Things they say–economic crisis special

“If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down” George W. Bush on the US financial system during the market crisis negotiations “It’s...

Fight needed to win real work rights

FURTHER DETAILS about Labor’s new IR laws confirm that the new government will retain the bulk of WorkChoices. Legislation will be introduced into parliament...

A fresh look at America’s urban decay

Review: The Wire WHEN US presidential candidate Barack Obama was asked his favourite TV show and character, his answers were The Wire and Omar Little...

Rudd pushes Howard policies

For months now Solidarity has been reporting on the growing contradictions between the hopes that people had for a progressive Rudd government and the...

Response to Garnaut more urgent than ever

The Sydney Morning Herald headline said it all about Professor Ross Garnaut’s latest round of reports: “Sigh of relief from business”. When Garnaut released...

Victorian CFMEU misses chance to link ABCC to pay claim

A mass meeting of 6000 Victorian building workers, members of the CFMEU, in late August, voted to accept the latest EBA put to them...

Victorian abortion legislation a step forward, but restrictions remain

The Victorian government’s decision to legalise abortion rights is a slap in the face for the anti-abortion lobby. After the religious right’s attempts to...

Failure to spread benefits of boom hits WA Labor

Labor looks to have lost its monopoly on power at a state level in the WA election. Despite the extent of the boom in...

Prescribed communities in NT to target review

A planned protest convergence against the NT intervention, set to begin in Mparntwe-Alice Springs in late September, is gathering widespread support. On September 29 a...

Solar power proposal shows renewables’ potential

A proposal to build a major new solar power station in the Pilbara region of Western Australia has been largely ignored by the mainstream...

Students occupy to demand housing

HOMELESS MELBOURNE students and their student union supporters took action last month to address a housing shortage and associated rent rises. They are...

Rudd’s work visa scheme: open the borders to our pacific neighbours

KEVIN RUDD’S announcement at the Pacific Islands forum that he would grant 2500 temporary work visas over three years to Pacific Islanders to pick...

The Senate games begin

BATTLE LINES have been drawn in the Senate. The Rudd government is accusing the Liberals of holding their budget to ransom by blowing a...

Protest plans derail Adelaide arms fair

Activists from around the country are celebrating the cancellation of the first arms fair planned in Australia in 17 years. The Asia Pacific Defence and...

No end in sight to instability in Pakistan

The resignation of Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf was greeted with jubilant demonstrations across Pakistan. But it will not remove the tensions within Pakistani politics....

China and the Olympics

Some of the China-bashing that accompanied the Beijing Olympics was nothing short of nauseating. George Bush took time out to chide China over its...

Pillars of the US establishment

After a week dominated by Barack Obama’s consecration at the Democratic convention in Denver, his Republican rival has succeeded brilliantly in upstaging him by...

Reviewing the Northern Territory intervention

One year, 810 federal public servants, $900 million on—Jean Parker’s intervention report-card ON SEPTEMBER 30 the review commissioned by the Federal Government into the Northern...

Caucasus conflict: bloody cost of the new world order

Paddy Gibson puts the recent flashes of violence between Russia and Georgia in context WESTERN POLITICAL leaders have been sickeningly hypocritical in their response to...

Mapoon: the burning of a community

With the government threatening to close so-called “unviable communities” as part of the intervention in the NT, Mark Gillespie looks at the shameful history...

The AAA credit rating and other Treasury myths

There is a desperate need to invest in public services infrastructure in NSW. Lack of spending has led to ongoing scandals in the hospital...

Explaining Iemma’s privatisation obsession

Why would a Labor government push ahead with a power privatisation plan opposed by 85 per cent of voters, rejected by a massive majority...

Greer’s rage no answer to the NT intervention

Review: On Rage By Germaine Greer, Melbourne University Press, $19.95 RIGHT-WING SUPPORTERS of the NT intervention will find comfort in the pages of Germaine Greer’s...

Persepolis: Iran through a rebel’s eyes

Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, Now showing WITH US-LED military threats against Iran showing no signs of abating, the release of Persepolis on...

Inside Kevin 07: Danger signs right from the start

By Christine Jackman, Melbourne University Press, $34.95 THE BEST thing about this book is that we know how the story ends—Howard loses. However, a big...

The Dark Knight: Fighting terror with terror

Directed by Chris Nolan THE DARK KNIGHT, sequel to Batman Begins, is the latest recreation of the 70 year old modern myth that is The...

A lifetime of struggle

Veteran Trotskyist Issy Wyner passed away in August, aged 92. Issy Wyner June 30 1916—August 13 2008 Wyner’s life was closely bound up with the development...

Things they say

“There’s never been an industrial dispute in this country that wasn’t solved by talking.” Deputy PM Julia Gillard on the Fairfax dispute “If these things are...

Bosses side-step ban on AWAs

Kevin Rudd has sent big business the message that the government wants to leave most of WorkChoices intact. Now a push is on by...

Campaign against sell-off brings down Iemma

THE TOPPLING of NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Treasurer Michael Costa, and the defeat of their plans to privatise the power stations, is a...

Rudd’s plan for schools continues Howard’s legacy

Rudd's new schools plan has been widely condemned. Not only does it revive the former Liberal government’s attempt to implement a “league table” ranking...

Walden Bello: ‘US power its lowest for a quarter of a century”

Solidarity interviewed one of the key thinkers from the global justice movement, Walden Bello, of Focus on the Global South, during his visit to...

Editorials: Rudd and the unions; debating climate solutions

THE BELIEF that the Rudd government will bring change is still strong. But many people wish the government was moving more quickly to undo...

Unions start fight to scrap anti-worker laws

VICTORIAN BUILDING unions are set to hold a mass stopwork rally in defence of Noel Washington, the construction union official facing six months jail...

It is not the end of mandatory detention

AT THE end of July, the Immigration Minister Chris Evans announced changes to the administration of immigration detention. He described the changes as...

Return to ration days in NT

ANTI-INTERVENTION campaigners Barbara Shaw, Paddy Gibson and Nat Wasley recently traveled to Tennant Creek to find out about how the intervention is affecting people’s...

Protest can deal blow to NSW privatisation

WITH MORRIS Iemma’s position as NSW premier looking ever more fragile, a further demonstration against his proposed power sell-off will be held on September...

Unions join climate action at Newcastle camp

ON JULY 15, 150 people including Climate Camp participants, local Newcastle residents, and unionists, held a lively picket of NSW Treasurer and climate change...

Involving members key to change in CPSU

IN THE wake of the federal election victory for Labor, the CPSU is holding a series of Agenda For Change discussions around the country....

NSW public sector: ‘2.5 per cent is a joke’

HUNDREDS OF workers rallied across NSW on July 30 against the NSW government’s attempt to cap public sector pay rises at 2.5 per cent....

NSW teachers prepare for action against pay cap

NSW TEACHERS are to take industrial action in August unless the NSW government commences negotiations on teacher provision and salaries. The action of stopwork...

Victorian Labor backs new coal-fired power plant

COAL TECHNOLOGY company HRL (run by Channel Seven boss Kerry Stokes), the Chinese corporation Harbin Power and the Brumby Government have signed a formal...

ETS: bad for climate, bad for workers

AT THE heart of both Ross Garnaut’s interim report and the Rudd government’s Green Paper is the proposals for an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)....

Greenpeace Energy [r]evolution report

AUSTRALIA’S ENERGY evolution is a useful tool for the climate movement. Greenpeace researchers have drawn together the best science and technology to build a...

Italy’s Communists shift left after defeat

THE LARGEST party of the European radical left, Rifondazione Comunista of Italy, held its national congress in July and made a decisive shift to...

Global credit crisis continues to deepen

MANY ANALYSTS thought the worst of the credit crisis passed four months ago, when the US Federal Reserve orchestrated a bailout of investment bank...

G8 leaders refuse to commit to carbon cuts

YET AGAIN the presidents and prime ministers of the richest countries have put their “national interests” ahead of the need for urgent cuts in...

Afghanistan–Obama’s ‘good’ war goes from bad to worse

ONLY A few months ago Democrats’ presidential nominee Barack Obama was a source of hope for those wanting to see an end to the...

Olympics no force for democracy

OLYMPIC CHIEF Jacques Rogge said in 2005 that, “the staging of the Beijing games will do a lot for human rights.” In fact, staging...

Western hypocrisy over human rights in China

REMEMBER TIBET? Only six months ago, as Chinese authorities cracked down on Tibetan protesters, there was widespread talk of an Olympic boycott by major...

Nationalism and the Olympics

SHORT OF war, sport between nations is the best way to generate, express and manufacture “national pride”. How else can you “go for” your...

The fight for same sex marriage rights under Labor

Amy Thomas looks at Howard's homophobic legislation and Rudd's continuation of his legacy-and what we can do to fight it John Howard won the 1996...

The whole world was watching: the 1968 Democratic convention

With Barack Obama set to accept the Democratic nomination for president in Denver on August 28, Mark Goudkamp looks back on the turbulent events...

‘Socialism, yes, occupation, no!’ Czechoslovakia 1968

James Robertson details the history of 1968 in Czechoslovakia, when masses of workers and students challenged the Stalinist order, calling for "socialism with a...

The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island

By Chloe Hooper, Hamish Hamilton, $32.95 CHLOE HOOPER, a novelist whose first book won international praise, recently released The Tall Man, a book on...

Inside the Al Sadr movement

Review: Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq By Patrick Cockburn, Allen and Unwin $29.95 BY A strange coincidence the place where the first US soldier...

Obituary: Colin Campbell

COLIN CAMPBELL passed away on July 17, a comrade and member of Solidarity/ISO for over three years. He worked in homeless men’s shelters for...

Letters

Letters on gay marriage rights, World Youth day, Cuba and NSW Labor's crisis Marriage a dubious right Contrary to the belief that same-sex marriage is a...

Walter Shaw from Mt Nancy town camp speaks out

THE RUDD government is set to hand down its “review” of the Northern Territory intervention at the end of September. All signs point to...

Editorial: Rudd, Garnaut and the climate challenge

Professor Ross Garnaut delivered his draft report examining the “impacts, challenges and opportunities” resulting from climate change to the federal and state governments on...

Rethink needed in power sell-off fight

THE LATEST humiliating back-flip by the NSW government over its planned power sell-off indicates two things. Firstly, NSW Labor is facing a serious crisis....

The myth of the carbon footprint

Individuals reducing their energy consumption will do nothing to tackle climate change Myth #1: Using less electricity and gas at home through showering less, turning off...

Labor overwhelmed by oil price crisis

A SEVEN per cent swing against it in the Gippsland by-election, a truckies’ blockade in NSW and news that the rising cost of living...

Truckies: Jam your fuel price rises

IN SYDNEY and across the world truck drivers are leading protests demanding relief from rising fuel costs. In the first week of July, Operation Escargot...

Things they say

“I would say it’s an endeavour that will last at least 10 years” Defence force chief Angus Houston on the Afghanistan deployment ”President Hamid Karzai’s government...

Retirees hit hard by subprime crisis

THE GLOBAL financial crisis is making its mark in Australia. Speculation in global markets by superannuation fund managers has hurt the retirement savings of...

It’s a bit rich

THERE ARE 650 people to every wealthy person in the world, according to the World Wealth Report just released by investment bank, Merrill Lynch...

Iraq oil contacts go to US, British multinationals

US AND British oil corporations have grabbed prime position in the jockeying to exploit Iraq’s oil resources. The US puppet government in Iraq is negotiating...

NSW public sector battles below inflation pay offers

NSW public sector unions including public servants, firefighters and train drivers are planning a united day of action on July 30 against the state...

WorkChoices: how much is Labor planning to change?

The Your Rights at Work campaign mobilised thousands of unionists to campaign against the Howard government and its vicious Workchoices laws. Yet over six...

Dean Mighell: “95 per cent of WorkChoices is intact”

Solidarity spoke to Dean Mighell, secretary of the Southern States branch of the Electrical Trades Union "THE LABOR Party’s promises have proven to be hot...

Labor’s IR changes explained

Solidarity summarises how much of WorkChoices Labor has reversed so far, what else it plans to change, and how much of Howard's laws will...

Construction walkout over Gold Coast deaths

On Saturday morning June 21 two construction workers were killed when their swing stage scaffolding fell from the side of a Gold Coast high-rise...

NTEU campaign: our universities matter

UNIVERSITY STAFF and university communities suffered badly under the Howard government. The HEWRRs legislation, a precursor to the WorkChoices legislation, tied government funding to...

War on terror shakes politics in Pakistan

WITH THE Pentagon finally admitting that the occupation of Afghanistan is in crisis, Pakistan has once again been thrown into the centre of the...

Changing faces: is Barack Obama really so different from Bush?

Despite the massive enthusiasm for his campaign and some of his rhetoric, Barack Obama's actual policies are disturbingly similar to those of the Bush...

Mass protests sweep South Korea

SOUTH KOREA has been rocked by weeks of protests against the government’s decision to lift a ban on imports of US beef. They have...

Macklin’s review―a whitewash in the making

The new government's review of the Northern Territory intervention is stacked with supporters of the policy, and looks set to whitewash the disastrous impact...

Last Drinks: Toohey’s racist diatribe

THE WIDESPREAD acclaim for The Australian journalist Paul Toohey’s Last Drinks: The Impact of the Northern Territory Intervention (Quarterly Essay 30, June 2008), demonstrates...

Ferguson calls for nuclear waste dump

FEDERAL RESOURCES Minister Martin Ferguson has called for the “fast tracking” of a selection process to locate a radioactive waste dump, according to...

New Sydney committee campaigns against the intervention

On June 23 a new group, Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS), was established to campaign against the Northern Territory Intervention. The new group, which...

The long, hard struggle for justice on Palm Island

Veteran journalist Jeff Waters has authored a new book investigating events surrounding the death in custody of Aboriginal man Mulrunji on Palm Island in...

Carbon trading and market solutions

The threat of dangerous climate change is now widely acknowledged. So why won't governments take serious action? Chris Breen examines the major proposed market...

Zimbabwe: the road from liberation to dictatorship

Zimbabwe is in the midst of an enormous social and political crisis. Jarvis Ryan details the history of a troubled country THERE ARE few parallels...

Let them in, but never mind the neo-liberalism

Review of Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders Jason L. Riley, Penguin USA ON May 1, there were mass protests in cities across...

Deported to danger

Review of A Well Founded Fear Directed by Bentley Dean and Anne Delaney Screened as part of the Sydney Film Festival, A Well Founded Fear investigates...

Shopping, sex and the city

Review of Sex and the City, directed by Michael Patrick King Coming to DVD SEX AND the City (SATC), the film based on the television series...

Yuendumu opposes intervention measures

THE WALPIRI people of Yuendumu, 300 kms north west of Alice Springs, have been at the forefront of the fightback against the NT intervention. Following...

Unions versus Labor- the 1948 rail strike

Mark Gillespie looks at the Queensland rail strike of 1948, when the Communist Party led workers in a vicious battle with a state Labor...

Inflation rhetoric is scare tactic

CONTINUOUSLY SINCE its election, the Rudd government has tried to convince us of the urgent necessity of reducing inflation. Why is it so worried? The...

Superhero fights for the US war machine

Iron Man Directed by Jon Favreau In cinemas now Andrea: "Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero."Galileo: "No, Andrea: unhappy is the land that needs a...

Engineers battle below inflation scare tactic

IN MAY, around 1500 Qantas aircraft engineers took strike action in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne over a pay claim. They took this action despite...

Entertaining series fails to probe crime’s roots

Underbelly Produced by Greg Haddrick and Brenda Pam Out now on DVDUNDERBELLY, THE TV series that dramatised the long-running drug wars in Melbourne, has been a...

Rudd repeats Howard ban on same sex unions

IN EARLY May, the Rudd government threatened to overturn the proposed civil unions bill for same-sex couples in the ACT, breaking a key election...

Globalisation nations and economics

Rogue Economics Loretta Napoleoni, Allen & Unwin, $29.95 WHAT LINKS the growth in sex trade in Eastern Europe, fishing piracy in the North Sea and professional...

Victorian Labor should end all abortion restrictions

THE VICTORIAN Law Reform Commission has just delivered its report on reforming abortion law in the state. As is the case in all states...

Letters

Time for an end to 'wage restraint' Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard talk a lot about working families. But when Qantas workers, university workers...

Howard legacy hangs over Villawood

AT THE end of May, Immigration minister Chris Evans announced a long awaited review of the cases of long term detainees. But the results...

Anti-Muslim racism at play in Camden

IN MANY ways, the gatherings in Camden, on Sydney's outskirts, opposing the construction of an Islamic school, resembled the Cronulla riots minus the booze....

Rudd the ‘anti-terror’ laws and the Haneef inquiry

SINCE COMING to power late last year, the Rudd Government has been unabashed in continuing the Howard Government's "anti-terror" campaign. Not only has the...

Climate Camp needs focus on domestic emitters

IN JULY hundreds of people will converge in Newcastle in a week long camp, with the aim of drawing attention to Australia's contribution to...

China quake- ‘This is not a natural disaster’

The death toll from China's earthquake has risen to 65,000, with over 23,000 people still missing. Such a powerful quake might be expected to...

Hezbollah delivers blow to US

ON MAY 6, the US-backed "March 14 coalition", who controlled the Lebanese government, took a new initiative aimed at weakening the power of Hezbollah,...

Bolivia–big business declares war on government

ON MAY 4 the Department of Santa Cruz in Bolivia held an autonomy vote. Autonomy would give them more tax revenue powers and the...

Lessons in New Labour’s failures

WORKERS IN Britain woke up with a big shock after council elections on 1 May, as the Tories pushed Labour into third position. The results...

NSW teachers take on Iemma

NSW TEACHERS will continue rolling industrial action unless the New South Wales government sits down and negotiates on proposed changes to the school staffing...

Aboriginal delegation speaks out against NT intervention

A delegation from Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory who are campaigning against the intervention travelled to Sydney for the Aboriginal Rights Conference in...

Review announced but conference charts course to fight the intervention

More than 100 people came from all corners of the country to Redfern, Sydney for the Aboriginal Rights Coalition "Black and White, Unite and...

Climate change, poverty and capitalist development

Measures that could genuinely tackle rising carbon emissions are being held back by the desire of individual countries not to harm their economy's global...

Crunch time for anti-privatisation campaign

THE CAMPAIGN against electricity privatisation has reached a critical stage in NSW. Concerted campaigning within the ALP and amongst the public secured an overwhelming vote...

Henson photos controversy- artists revolt against Rudd’s moralism

"I FIND them absolutely revolting... Whatever the artistic view of the merits of that sort of stuff-frankly, I don't think there are any-just allow...

Rudd’s Iraq withdrawal and the new US plan

Robert Nicholas explains the realities of Rudd's "withdrawal" from the occupation of Iraq and the new US bid for ongoing control of the region. ON...

Rudd under the pump?

IS RUDD'S honeymoon coming to an end? Recent weeks have seen him blunder over fuel prices, his Howardesque moralism over Bill Henson and brewing...

Trading our way out of disaster

Massive ice loss in both the Arctic and Antarctic indicate that we are passing important climate tipping points. This mounting evidence of the need...

Bear Stearns- capitalism on the brink

OVER A single weekend last month, the global financial system came close to total collapse. A desperate US Federal Reserve intervened to stop the...

NT Aboriginal elder speaks out–intervention punitive and racist

LABOR'S Aboriginal Affairs minister, Jenny Macklin, consistently presents the Northern Territory intervention as a humanitarian effort aimed at supporting remote Aboriginal communities and stamping...

Ideas for undoing the Howard legacy

Larissa Behrendt, director of research at The Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, University of Technology Sydney How would you characterise the policy shifts that happened...

Activists protest against NT intervention

On March 13, Protests against the NT intervention targeted Centrelink offices in 8 cities and towns around Australia, to draw attention to the racist...

MUA here to stay—The 1998 waterfront dispute

This year marks 20 years since the 1998 waterfront dispute—John Howard’s first attempt to break union power. Mark Gillespie draws out the lessons.

ALP branch condemns intervention

On March 25, Vince Forrester addressed the Darlington branch of the ALP which passed the following motion: "Darlington Branch welcomes the apology to the stolen...

Capitalism and class conflict in the new China

FOR MANY western commentators, China is the saviour of the ailing world economy. However the hellish pace of China's growth is being achieved at...

Welfare policy- blame the victims

The early months of the Rudd government have shown that it is just as committed to the neo-liberal "welfare reform" agenda as John Howard. When...

When the US was defeated last time

JANUARY 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of the Vietnamese "Tet Offensive" against US and South Vietnamese armies. On the 31st of January 1968 the...

Centrelink- organise now to fight razor gang cuts

CENTRELINK WORKERS are well placed to fight the Rudd government's razor gang cuts to the public sector-but the union needs to organise a much...

US defeat offers new hope for Iraq

AS SOLIDARITY grows to print, radical Shia leader Moqtada Al Sadr had postponed plans for a million strong march in Baghdad calling for an...

Queensland privatisation disaster complete

AS PART of its privatisation plan, the NSW government wants to sell off the state's retail electricity arm. But, whatever their claims, the evidence...

The horrors of war on record

What was the purpose of the Winter Soldier testimonies? What Iraq Veterans Against the War were trying to do with Winter Soldier was present testimony...

Judge admits terror trials unfair

The "Barwon 13", thirteen Melbourne men arrested, charged and on trial under Australia's "anti-terror" laws, have won a change in their previous humiliating jail...

Missed chance to map out agenda for change

Dear Mr Rudd Edited by Robert Manne Black Inc, $29.95 With Howard finally gone, the time would seem right for a book that lays out how the...

McClelland creates toothless inquiry to Haneef fiasco

John Clarke QC, the former NSW Supreme Court judge, is heading the inquiry into the arrest of Mohammed Haneef under the 'anti-terror' laws, which...

Hollywood’s faith shaking tale of war

In the Valley of ElahWritten and directed by Paul Haggis In cinemas nowSpeaking of the reality of military service, Iraq War veteran Matt Howard last...

Labor won’t wield the axe on military

ANYONE READING last month's papers would be forgiven for thinking that the Rudd government is about to slash the military budget. Media reports suggested...

Howard’s view of history a bore

History's Children: History wars in the classroom By Anna Clark UNSW Press, $29.95 High school students are mostly bored with Australian history. That's the sad conclusion reached by...

Five years on the demonstrations are all the more important

HUNDREDS RALLIED across the country to mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq on March 16. The demonstrations were smaller than previous...

Letters

Remembering the first Mardi Gras Congratulations on the publication and on the article about the first Mardi Gras. The 31st parade, on 1st March, was led...

Fundamental policy change needed to ditch Howard’s refugee legacy

ON 12 March, Labor's immigration minister Chris Evans announced he would personally review the cases of 61 detainees who've been incarcerated for two or...

NSW privatisation plans on the brink

NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Treasurer Michael Costa have displayed an unprecedented level of arrogance in their attempt to push through power privatisation. Privatisation is...

Election shakes Malaysian political system

A political shockwave hit Malaysia in March's general election, with opposition parties destroying the ruling coalition's two-thirds majority domination of parliament. Opposition parties won 82...

Revolt from below threatens Mugabe’s hold on Zimbabwe

It appears that Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe has lost both the parliamentary and presidential elections in the country by a landslide vote. Independent election monitors...

Rudd plans to make us pay

KEVIN RUDD'S future summit, Australia 2020, will be held in Canberra on April 19 and 20. It could have been a chance for a...

Tibet rises up against occupation

OVER THE past month, Chinese paramilitary police and soldiers have been using tear gas and live ammunition against protesters in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital,...

Bosses demand pay cut for low paid

When the Fair Pay Commission holds its annual National Minimum Wage Case hearing in mid-2008, the major employers will propose cuts to real wages....

Bush’s war drums influence Iranian election

IN ITS campaign for yet another war, members of George W Bush's decaying administration have been making almost daily condemnations of Iran over its...

Victorian teachers fight neo-liberal pay limit

Victorian teachers are fighting to break the Brumby Government's pay cap of 3.25 per cent (below the current inflation rate). Following the state-wide Australian...

Garnaut proposes 90 per cent cut

PROFESSOR ROSS Garnaut, establishment economist and China expert, dropped a bombshell in his interim report on climate change, jointly commissioned by state and federal...

Stars in their eyes–Earth Hour 2008

HOW DO we make governments act on the climate crisis? The organisers of Earth Hour believe "the simple action of turning off the lights...

Climate code red network grows

On March 1 more than 80 activists met to create "Climate Code Red Network" (CCRN). This came after more than 200 activists from across...

Labor’s rates policy hurting workers

AGAIN AND again, Kevin Rudd talks of the need to help "working families". He insists that Labor's priority is to fight inflation and that...

Northern Rock–return to state intervention

BRITISH PM Gordon Brown has nationalised the Northern Rock bank after attempts to fend off its collapse failed. In a humiliating back flip, his...

Inflation fight targeted at our living standards

Kevin Rudd's first few months have seen important symbolic breaks with Howard's legacy. The highpoint so far was his apology to the Stolen Generations,...

Afghanistan–Rudd’s good war a catastrophe

Rudd's aggressive determination to support NATO in Afghanistan is almost the flip side to that of his position on Iraq, seeing it as the...

2020 delegates reflect a narrow vision

Kevin Rudd tells us that he is pulling together the "best and brightest" 1000 Australians for his 2020 summit in Canberra in April. Rudd...

Democrats at War

by Jean Parker IF WE needed any proof of the depth of anti-Bush sentiment in the US, from Iraq to health insurance, we need look...

VSU policy leaves political student unionism at risk

In February, the National Union of Students released their new policy alternative to the Howard-era Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) legislation. The policy calls for...

Cuba Socialism and Castro’s legacy

THE US tried for 49 years to assassinate Fidel Castro and bring down his regime, which made his voluntary retirement as Cuban leader last...

Israel launches murderous assault

Israel has unleashed a new murderous offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza strip. But in the same week Kevin Rudd plans to honour Israel...

Kosovo–independence at what cost

In late February the Balkan mini-nation of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, sparking protests by Serbs in Kosovo, Serbia and Australia. The vast majority of...

Need for an anti-war movement not going away

After five years, war in Iraq continues without pause. Turkey's invasion of northern Iraq is further evidence that the headaches for US imperialism in...

American terror–a history of the CIA

GEORGE W. Bush has vetoed the bill, proposed by the Democrats, that would have outlawed the use of torture by the CIA. He is...

Shock G20 jail sentence- but protesters defy riot charges

Thirteen people arrested and charged with riot following the G20 protest in Melbourne in 2006 have resolved to fight the charges. Another four people...

Sexism and working women

ON 8 March 1908 15,000 women garment workers marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. In 1911 socialist...

Government expands punishment policy across Aboriginal communities

There is growing criticism of the welfare quarantining measures within the "intervention" into Northern Territory Aboriginal communities. But the federal government has signalled its...

‘The torture word’

IN LATE February Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film is about the torture and...

Students organise to defend Aboriginal rights

Students returning from the Canberra Convergence against the NT intervention have begun organising on their campuses. In Brisbane, QUT's social justice collective has already organised...

Debt expert–Rates crisis cutting living standards

Not long ago you wrote that, "An official interest rate of just 6.75 per cent would inflict as much pain as 17 per cent...

Thousands march against NSW privatisation plans

THOUSANDS OF union members marched last month against the NSW government's plans to privatise electricity. Despite industry claims otherwise, two-thirds of the state is...

NSW teachers to strike against deregulation

On Saturday March 8, 300 delegates at the NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) state council voted unanimously to strike in opposition to the Iemma government's...

Taxi drivers win victory for driver safety

On April 30 hundreds of taxi drivers blockaded one of Melbourne's busiest intersections, at Flinders and Swanston streets, for 22 hours. The Victorian government...

Campaign to defend G20 arrestees continues

Almost 60 people attended a Melbourne public meeting in solidarity with those arrested following the protest against the G20 summit in 2006. The meeting...

1968–the year the world revolted

Of all the articles, features, memoirs and books devoted to 1968, "The Fire Last Time: 1968 and After", by Chris Harman, the editor of...

Union to defy Howard-era watchdog

Noel Washington, an official with Construction Division of the Victorian CFMEU, will be called before a court after refusing to be interrogated by the...

Letters

Bring on boss freedom day Those wacky right wing free marketers at the Centre For Independent Studies (CIS) came up with the idea of "Tax...

Struggle can reverse union membership decline

NEW FIGURES showing a dramatic drop in union membership in 2007 highlight the challenges facing the labour movement as it attempts to rebuild after...

The NT intervention and the new politics of assimilation

CURRENTLY THOUSANDS of Aboriginal people from outstations and remote communities in the Northern Territory are living in unstable conditions in the major urban centres...

Victorian teachers show the way to win

After three state-wide strikes and five weeks of rolling stoppages, some Victorian teachers have won large pay increases of 10 and 15 per cent...

Free market fails housing needs

The US subprime mortgage crisis has seen hundreds of thousands of Americans lose their homes. In Australia, between 1985 and 2004, incomes doubled-but house...

Boeing strike beats anti-union laws

WORKERS AT Boeing subsidiary Hawker de Havilland in Port Melbourne have successfully defied anti-strike laws to take action in defence of a sacked workmate....

Fear and fantasy in the ‘war on terror’

The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America Susan Faludi Scribe Publications, $35 COULD SEPTEMBER 11 really be blamed on the women's movement? Why did...

Dave Kerin faces jail for supporting strikers

Six months after Labor's election, unionists are still fighting Howard's laws. Dave Kerin of Union Solidarity has been summonsed by the workplace ombudsman to...

Why is Iemma obsessed with privatisation

THE NSW Labor party has been wracked by a bitter dispute over the government's attempt to privatise the power industry. Labor Premier Morris Iemma's...

US union takes strike action against the war

MAY DAY in the US this year was marked by dockworkers along the West Coast taking industrial action against the US-led wars in Iraq...

ALP member–anger against privatisation in the party runs deep

Solidarity spoke to Robyn Fortescue, from the Darlington Labor party branch The rank-and-file members within the party have always been opposed to privatisation and it's...

Egypt–protests riock US-backed regime

RIOTS IN Egypt against a government crackdown have shaken the regime of US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak. On April 6, Mubarak's security forces pre-empted a...

Revolt against privatisation

Iemma and Costa have made clear their determination to push ahead with privatisation despite their crushing defeat at the ALP state conference. But there...

Cairo conference calls for unity

IN LATE March this year the sixth Cairo Conference was held. Hundreds of representatives from opposition parties and organisations including the Muslim Brotherhood...

The real roots of the food crisis

STRIKES, PROTESTS and riots over the cost and availability of food have swept across Burkina Faso, Somalia, Cameroon, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Senegal,...

Boycotts- nationalism and the Olympics

GEORGE ORWELL wrote sport "is war minus the shooting". The tension that exists between states gets expressed in and around sporting events and the...

Marx’s theory–explaining the credit crisis

Neoliberalism has dominated economic and social policy for the best part of three decades. This ideology claims that the economy and society can be...

Editorial–Push for the pay we lost under Howard

Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd are rushing to claim the high ground in the "fight against inflation" after delivering their first budget. Swan says that...

Wide opposition to new Melbourne freeway

Wide opposition to new Melbourne freeway Activists can press for governments to act on climate change by opposing freeway construction and demanding improved public transport. In...

ACTU joins Labor government’s ‘inflation fight’

ON MARCH 4, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) announced its support for a new proposal to transfer this year's planned $31 billion...

Climate camp–key step in wider campaign

The Climate Camp in Newcastle (10-15 July) will bring together climate activists from around Australia. It will be held at a pivotal time for the...

Northern Territory intervention–Rolling out the racism

WITH THE ALP's promised review into the first year of the NT intervention due to begin in July, there are new crises cracking the...

Rudd’s addiction to ‘clean coal’ no way forward

Why is the Rudd government so keen on "clean coal" as a solution to the climate crisis? The coal industry's power as a section of...

Mutijulu elder visits Sydney to speak out againt intervention

ONE HUNDRED and twenty people packed a meeting of the Aboriginal Rights Coalition in Redfern in April to hear first-hand the impact of the...

Budget won’t undo Howard’s legacy

THE RUDD government's first budget is a mixture of small mercies and big crimes. There is a $10 tax cut for low-waged workers, an...

Artists tackle anti-Muslim racism

Fear of a Brown Planet Aamer Rahman and Nazeem Hussain THIS BRILLIANT stand-up comedy show was part of both the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Sydney...

2020–the summit vision in hindsight

Kevin Rudd talked about "opening a window on our democracy to let some fresh air in." But how fresh was the 2020 summit? If imitation...

Oil–an American obsession

ONE HUNDRED years ago the United States was the biggest oil producer in the world. California alone accounted for 22 per cent of global...

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