2009

Fight for democracy in Haiti as butcher returns to the scene

The return of Haiti’s former dictator, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, has raised questions about continued US interference in the disaster-ravaged country. Baby Doc inherited the...

Stop new coal plants in NSW

Acting to reduce carbon emissions is urgent. The UK Meterological office recently confirmed we face warming of at least four degrees if governments do...

Rudd negotiates away civil rights for LGBTI

Rudd’s Labor government confirmed its homophobic credentials last month by effectively gutting the ACT Labor/Greens government law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples in...

Things they say

“The emissions trading scheme that is currently in the Parliament...is one which is very similar to the scheme that John Howard took to the...

Rudd, the Mad Monk and climate failure

The implosion of the Liberals and the collapse of the CPRS provides a chance to push for real solution to climate change Watching the parliamentary Liberal...

Leaders at Copenhagen won’t save the climate

World leaders are incapable of agreeing to the action necessary to halt dangerous climate change. It is already clear that there will be no deal...

Rudd’s CPRS: worse than useless, worse than ever

With the Senate unable to pass the CPRS, Rudd could be taking his amended scheme to the next election. The deal negotiated by Penny...

Govt figures prove ‘things are getting worse’

The federal government’s “Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory” monitoring report, released quietly in October, provides damning evidence of the failure of the NT Intervention. It compares...

RDA still suspended, Macklin entrenches Intervention

Breaking clear promises, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has introduced legislation that will continue to suspend the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) until December 31, 2010. Reading...

Drop the charges: Abortion activists on the march in Brisbane

About one hundred people attended a Brisbane rally on November 21 to demand free, safe and accessible abortion and that the charges of “procuring...

Students shake up Austrian and German universities

Over a month ago students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna held a protest and occupied their main auditorium. Since then the...

Bumpy ride ahead for world economy

A mild panic swept global share markets in the last week of November, when Dubai World, with debts of $US59 billion, asked its banks for...

Chris Harman: Ideas for revolution in the 21st century

In this obituary to British Marxist Chris Harman, Ernest Price outlines some of his key contributions, which will help guide revolutionaries for generations to...

Where to for the climate movement?

The climate movement has suffered from a lack of strategy—and needs to focus on the CPRS and public investment in green jobs, argue Chris...

A year of crisis and hope for change

Paddy Gibson reviews the key political events and moments of resistance of 2009 January Obama inaugurated The year began with global capitalism teetering on the brink and...

Marx’s ecology

The writings of Karl Marx showed an understanding of capitalism as a system that distorts humanity’s relationship to the environment, writes Jasmine Ali “Let us...

Marek Edelman: The Ghetto Fighter

Jewish resistance fighter Marek Edelman died recently, aged 90. John Rose looks at the story and legacy of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto anti-Nazi uprising...

NSW Labor conference–where was the anti-privatisation revolt?

A union push to overturn the NSW government’s privatisation drive failed to materialise at the Labor state conference in mid-November. A year ago at...

Queensland teachers deal–could do better

The leadership of the Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) has sold its members a dud pay offer. During a fortnight long propaganda barrage, they managed...

Guidebook for understanding the system

Unravelling Capitalism By Joseph Choonara, Bookmarks, $20 Joseph Choonara’s new book, Unravelling Capitalism is a short but comprehensive guide to Marxist economic theory and its continued...

When Hurricane Katrina brought the war home

Review: Zeitoun By Dave Eggers, Penguin $32.95 Zeitoun is the true story of one man, his family and the tragedy which besets them in the aftermath...

Letters

More serious than mining? Paddy Gibson’s article about the causes of the NT Intervention (Solidarity No. 19) makes an unnecessary division between mining interests and...

Let all the refugees land

After winning a guarantee of re-settlement in Australia, the 78 Tamils on the Oceanic Viking left the ship. All of them, including women and children,...

Things they say

“We have a political class that has no understanding of our industry…and people whose idea of career planning is a lifetime parliamentary pension and...

Fight needed to stop 600 job cuts at Bridgestone

The business media, and an increasing number of politicians, are claiming that the economic crisis has passed and we are entering into a sustained...

Rudd races to the bottom on refugees

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,...

Tamil refugees running from genocide

In the clamor to prove himself tough on refugee boats, Kevin Rudd has failed to even mention the persecution faced by the Tamil people...

Twelve more drown: Rudd’s Indonesian Solution hypocrisy

As Solidarity goes to press, the Rudd government and the Opposition continue to play political football with refugees, and the lives of Tamil asylum...

Macklin’s whitewash: special measures and the RDA

The suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA), stands as a blatant testament to the racism of the NT Intervention. Minister Jenny Macklin had made...

Speaking tour wins union support for Ampilatwatja

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...

Intervention motives more serious than mining

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...

Australia helps undermine international climate deal

The Rudd government claims to be serious about reaching a deal at international climate change negotiations at Copenhagen in December. In late October Rudd...

Greens bill lacks alternative to market solutions

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...

Obsession with market policies dooms renewables

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....

Lessons to learn from local response to Helensburgh climate camp

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...

Terror laws see Sydney men convicted on thought crimes

ON FRIDAY October 16 five Sydney men were convicted of plotting a terrorist act. First arrested in November 2005, along with four others in...

Bligh’s lies block move to decriminalise abortion

A public meeting organised by the Kelvin Grove Labor Party branch has revealed that a majority of the Queensland Parliament is now in favour...

Union fight over privatisation still live in Queensland

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...

Huge US march for LGBT equality hits Washington

On October 11 in a sunny Washington DC park I waited with fellow early arrivals to see if the call for a national lesbian,...

Afghan election farce exposes Karzai’s corruption

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...

Polarisation in German election sees Left advance

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...

Nazis don’t deserve free speech

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...

Climate change: Why population is not to blame

Amy Thomas traces the history of arguments for population control, and shows why they have no place in the movement to combat climate changeThe...

1989–Revolution and the fall of the Berlin wall

The popular revolutions that brought down Stalinism were a rebellion against the ruling class in the East, not against socialism, argues Mark GillespieIn the...

Academic gloss for the new assimilation

Review: The Politics of Suffering By Peter Sutton, Melbourne University Press, $34.95 Peter Sutton has a substantial pedigree in anthropology. He is the author of 40...

Plan to resist competitive model needed in Victorian schools

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...

NSW TAFE teachers walk out over savage attack on conditions

TAFE Teachers across NSW have walked off the job in protest at the combined attack on their working conditions from the NSW government and...

Rudd’s IR streamlining cuts rights and conditions

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...

Moore’s condemnation of capitalism falls flat

Review: Capitalism: A love story Directed by Michael Moore, In cinemas now Revolutionaries steeped in Marxist theory and the history of class struggle play an important...

The Brisbane Bolshevik and the Russian Revolution

Review: The People’s Train By Tom Keneally, Vintage Books, $32.95 TOM KENEALLY’S The People’s Train is an exhilarating story of early 20th century radicalism, friendship and...

Rudd negotiates more handouts to polluters

The Rudd government is considering amendments from the Liberals that would further increase handouts to big business under its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). The...

US labour stats show workers paying for recession

On the September 14 anniversary of the collapse of Lehmann Brothers, Obama gave a speech to Wall Street declaring that the global economy had...

Climate campaigners reach out to Hazelwood workers

The “Switch off Hazelwood” campaign organised a public meeting in Victoria’s Latrobe valley, prior to last month’s 500-strong rally at the Hazelwood power plant,...

Market policies killing solar power

Climate negotiations were high on Kevin Rudd’s agenda during his visit to the US for the G20 meeting. Rudd tried to position himself as...

Statement: Population is not to blame for climate change

Open letter to the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and Labor MP Kelvin Thompson We are shocked and angered that the ACF has supported Labor MP...

Coking coal not the best target for climate movement

The expansion of the coal industry exposes the fraud of Kevin Rudd’s claims that his government is tackling the climate crisis. The likelihood that...

Rudd’s policy the cause of Solar Systems collapse

David Turner, who worked at Solar Systems before its collapse, talked to Solidarity about the lack of government support for the company and the...

Solar systems campaign unites jobs and climate

The campaign to save Solar Systems holds the potential for uniting the fight for jobs and renewable energy. Its factory in Abbotsford, Victoria currently sits...

Intervention fuels racist violence in Alice Springs

The bashing murder on July 25 of young Aboriginal man, Kwementyaye Ryder, by a group of five white men highlights the violent extremes of racism...

Punitive welfare won’t improve education

Conservative Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson has used recent school attendance figures to trumpet the success of the punitive Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC). The FRC, designed...

Abortion laws on trial in Queensland

The horrible ordeal faced by the Cairns couple, Tegan Leach and her partner Sergie Brennan, charged “for procuring an abortion” is set to continue...

Bosses exploit hidden nasties in Rudd’s new work laws

Labor’s Fair Work Act has lifted the sense of intimidation felt about union membership among many workers. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures from earlier this year...

‘Green shoots’ of recovery don’t signal an end to the crisis

“Green shoots” is the buzzword of economic commentary over the last few months. They are meant to re-assure us that the global crisis will...

How long can China’s economic revival last?

A good deal of the official optimism about the Australian economy’s prospects is based upon the belief that Australia’s number one trading partner, China,...

Movement spoils coup plans in Honduras

After a number of failed attempts, deposed President Manuel Zelaya unexpectedly returned to Honduras in late September and took up residence inside the Brazilian...

Afghanistan: why the West is losing

Afghanistan has reached a turning point. Recent media headlines such as “where Empires go to die” and “Afghanistan: Tipping Point” signal that after eight years,...

Healthcare backlash against Obama

Right-wing hysteria has dominated the political debate about health care reform in the US. The Republican right wing has gained renewed traction with their bizarre claims...

Sex, sexism and sport: the Caster Semenya case

Caster Semenya, world champion South African runner, is both “a woman… and a man!” So said the New York Daily News, days after the...

Was the Second World War a war for democracy?

Seventy years after the end of World War II, it is still celebrated as the good war, a necessary war for democracy to counter the threat of fascism. This hides the reality of an imperialist war that cost 55 million lives with civilian causalities six times higher than in World War I.

Why socialists support nationalisation

As companies around the world sack workers and close their doors in response to economic crisis, Jasmine Ali demonstrates the importance of the demand...

Ten years of Australian control of East Timor

The tenth anniversary of East Timor’s vote for independence was marked on August 31, with around 650 Australian troops and 200 Federal Police still...

Film points finger at Australian complicity over deaths in Balibo

Balibo Directed by Robert Connolly, In cinemas now Balibo, the film about six Australian-based journalists murdered by Indonesian troops as they invaded East Timor in October...

Strike action hits sector, but Melb uni deal not good enough

National Tertiary Education University members at 16 universities across the country stopped work on September 16 as part of the NTEU national bargaining round...

Opposition to privatisation stays strong in Queensland

Anna Bligh was hoping that a combination of time and spin would be enough for Queensland workers to get used to her unpopular decision...

Will Nathan Rees survive the NSW Labor conference?

The 2009 NSW Labor conference is shaping up to be a focal point of anger at the Nathan Rees government. At the Sydney Entertainment...

Bosses build their profits on toll of workers’ lives

Review: Framework of Flesh By Humphrey McQueen, Ginninderra Press, $30 Noted Marxist historian Humphrey McQueen’s book on the builders’ labourers battle for health and safety, Framework...

Inconsistent exposure of values that damage a family

Review: Beautiful Kate Directed by Rachel Ward, In cinemas now RACHEL WARD’S film Beautiful Kate was hailed by some as a breakthrough moment for women in...

It’s time to unite

In July Aboriginal elders from the Ampilatwatja community began a walk-off protest against the Intervention. Solidarity spoke to Richard Downs, one of the protest...

Rudd panders to terrorism raids hysteria

Massive “counter-terrorism” raids in Melbourne last week have further stirred up racism against Muslims and immigrants. More than 400 police were involved in the...

Rudd’s CPRS no solution to climate change

The failure of the Rudd government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) to pass the Senate in August was no bad thing. The Greens were...

Sydney Uni Environment Collective debates the way forward

Current debates occurring within the Sydney University Environment Collective reflect the tensions in the wider climate movement. A recent proposal to lobby the university into adopting...

Hazelwood protest needs fight for jobs at its centre

Climate change campaigners are organising to protest at Hazelwood power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley to highlight the need to transition from coal to...

NT goes to the brink of new election

Instability and opportunism have dominated the last few months in NT politics, with a merry-go-round of Ministers causing headache for Chief Minister Paul Henderson. Personal...

Unions back anti-Intervention lobby of ALP conference

The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney organised a strong lobby of the national ALP conference on Thursday July 30. About 150 people turned...

Cracks in the Intervention as opposition mounts

The cracks in the NT Intervention project can be clearly seen in the pages of the Intervention’s urger—The Australian newspaper. The Weekend Australian August...

Walk-off protest still strong

The month old protest camp at Ampilatwatja is still going strong. Around 150 residents of the remote Central Australian community have vowed not to...

Union anger over ABCC at Labor conference

A march by hundreds of workers to a union fringe event on the Labor conference’s second day was one of the few brights spots...

Pressure piled on Rudd to back gay marriage

The ALP national conference was expected to be a tight ship. But one issue that showed possibility of provoking some real debate was gay...

Activists win victory over riot charges in G20 trials

Almost three years after the protests against the Melbourne meeting of the Group of 20 nations, Sunil Menon, Timothy Davis-Frank and Sina Brown-Davis have...

Corruption crisis takes toll on Queensland Labor government

The popularity of Queensland’s Bligh Labor government remains at rock bottom. Not only has Bligh alienated working class voters with her decision to privatise...

Campaign against Queensland privatisation continues

Unions and community groups are continuing to resist Bligh’s plan to privatise $15 billion worth of public assets. More than 200 unionists including many...

Divisions deepen in Iran despite vicious state crackdown

Despite heavy state repression Iran’s democracy movement remains defiant. Following President Ahmadinejad’s confirmation ceremony in early August thousands took to the streets again and...

South African workers strike against ANC neo-liberal policie

South African workers have staged mass protests and strikes over the past two months in a challenge to the new African National Congress (ANC) government. Burning...

Casualties mount in unwinnable Afghan war

At the end of July Private Benjamin Ranaudo became the eleventh Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan. Both Prime Minister Rudd and Opposition leader...

Why Peter Garrett lost his way

Peter Garrett's collapse into conservatism has been not just quick, but abject. The Environment Minister’s credibility is not in tatters—it has evaporated completely. David Glanz...

The hot autumn: How workers’ revolt shook Italy

The years after 1969 in Italy showed the potential for mass radicalisation of the working class within western capitalism, argues Judy McVey The French ten...

Ruddism at large

James Goodman, of the School of Social Inquiry at UTS, situates Rudd’s philosophy historically, arguing that his pricincipal goal is marketisation and that he...

Labor, neo-liberalism and the welfare state

Ben Spies-Butcher, lecturer in economic and political sociology at Macquarie Uni, examines what Rudd’s supposed end of neo-liberalism means for the government’s commitment to...

Saving capitalism: Rudd, Labor and social democracy

Solidarity's Ian Rintoul explains how Rudd’s new essay shows that he accepts the ‘Third way’ model of accomodating to capitalism Prior to the federal election...

Queensland teachers dispute in arbitration limbo

As Queensland teachers geared up for a state-wide strike, Queensland’s Labor Government has used the state’s industrial laws to drive the wage dispute into...

Staff protest plan to shed 220 jobs at Melbourne Uni

Melbourne University NTEU members are in a battle with the University of Melbourne to stop a proposed 220 job attrition. A massive big-brother reorganisation, called...

A frock-coated communist: rediscovering Friedrich Engels

Review: The frock-coated communist By Tristram Hunt Allen Lane $59.95 As establishment economists struggle to explain capitalism’s crisis, the ideas of Karl Marx are enjoying a...

Guide for climate campaigners reflects movement’s weak points

Review:Climate action By Mark Diesendorf UNSW Press, $34.95 Mark Diesendorf will be well know to many climate activists from his regular speeches for local activist groups...

Letters

Open letter to Solidarity Socialist Alternative recently received a letter initiated by students in Solidarity. While claiming to be for a broad left ticket...

Racism is behind abuse of students

As racist attacks on Indian students continue, a scandal has erupted over the wider discrimination faced by international students in securing a decent education...

ABCC campaign hots up as second unionist faces jail

The battle for union rights under the Rudd Labor government is set to hot up in August, when building workers around the country go...

Blowing Rudd’s green cover in the lead up to Copenhagen

There was much media fanfare about the G8’s decisions on climate change, intended to be a step towards global negotiations in Copenhagen in December. Leaders...

Jakarta bombings a response to West’s crimes

It is not yet clear who is responsible for the terrorist bombing of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta. It has raised the...

Justice, not jail—stop black deaths in custody

On June 20, coinciding with national mobilisations against the NT Intervention, more than 1000 people marched in Perth demanding justice for Mr Ward, an...

Macklin moves to take over Alice Springs town camps

“In communities GBM’s houses get put up in a matter of days, but we’re still waiting for houses and schools”: PAPA (Prescribed Area...

Racist paternalism is widening the gap

A Productivity Commission report into Indigenous disadvantage was released in July. Examining the period 2000 – 2008, it demonstrates the horrific human toll of...

Billions for coal expansion in NSW

Rudd's CPRS has sent the message that big polluting companies can continue business as usual well into the future. The consequences are on display...

A Power Shift: from the grassroots to the government

Lack of political clarity has held back the climate movement’s ability to galvanise opposition to Rudd’s climate policies and mount an effective challenge to...

Climate activists build links with Hazelwood workers

Environment activists at the recent Students of Sustainability conference made a solidarity trip to visit workers on strike at the Hazelwood power station in...

A Plan B for emissions reductions?

Plan B, a program for immediate action to reduce emissions across all sectors of the Australian economy, was recently released by a coalition of...

Sober reality behind economic recovery hype

The government is now arguing that the recession will not be as bad for Australia’s workers as first thought. We are told there is...

Workers pay the price to save General Motors

General Motors, a company previously thought to epitomise the success of American capitalism, has collapsed, filed for bankruptcy, and been taken-over by the US...

Still fighting for abortion rights in Qld

The campaign to drop the abortion charges against a young Cairns couple continues. In April 2009, Tegan Leach, 19, and her partner Sergie Brennen,...

Indian students boycott Harmony Day

State and Federal politicians are finding it difficult to ignore the continuing attacks against Indian students because of the impact they have had on...

Rudd’s anti-people smuggling hysteria is risking asylum seekers’ lives

The dramatic events surrounding a boat of Afghan asylum seekers at risk of sinking off the Indonesian island of Sumbawa has revealed how Rudd’s...

Garrett approves new uranium mine

Labor’s environment minister Peter Garrett has given approval for the opening of a new uranium mine in South Australia, the “Beverly Four Mile” project. Garrett...

Uighur oppression behind clashes in China

Hundreds of people were killed, with hundreds of others injured and arrested, during protests by the Muslim Uighur people in the Xianging region in...

Obama’s drones spread the Af-Pak war

The war in Afghanistan is rapidly spreading into Pakistan to create what is becoming known as the Af-Pak war. The US has undertaken about...

Afghan MP: ‘Our government is one of the most corrupt in the world’

Malalai Joya visited Australia recently to promote her new book, which tells the story of how civil war and foreign intervention have ripped Afghanistan...

Mass protests oppose military coup in Honduras

A coup against Honduran president Manuel Zelaya has provoked protests throughout the country. The response of the armed forces, which have taken control, was the...

Iranian discontent simmers amidst repression

Pro-democracy protests in Iran have continued despite a bloody crackdown by the authorities. Tens of thousands gathered at Teheran University on July 17 to...

Iran 1979: How people power toppled a dictator

Iran’s revolution in 1979 ended up replacing one dictatorship with another. But the outcome could have been very different, writes Ernest Price The mass people...

Labor and the depression: The great coal lockout of 1929

Carl Taylor takes a look back at a strike where workers took on a Labor government “The most dramatic industrial clash that has ever shocked...

Brisbane Casino: The union officials and the strike that never happened

It was so close. There were just eight votes in the decision at Brisbane’s Treasury Casino to accept the company deal (see story p...

Union leaders ‘neutrality’ at Casino sells a rotten deal

Anger and resentment is running high among workers at Brisbane’s Treasury Casino.  Eight months of bargaining and two cancelled strikes have left us with...

Thiess in bid to sack union members and slash workers’ conditions

IN EARLY June Thiess Services sacked four union members for pushing a union collective agreement with the company. The CFMEU construction union is calling on...

Bligh puts Queensland up for sale

Anna Bligh’s Labor government is well and truly on the nose following its decision to privatise $15 billion worth of public assets. According to...

Unions to launch campaign to defend public services in NSW

The gap between unions and the NSW state Labor government continues to widen. At the end of June Unions NSW unveiled its new response...

Confronting the myths used to justify dispossession

Review: Possession By Bain Atwood, Melbourne University Press, $54.99 The introduction to Possession argues, “the principle challenge to the Australian nation’s sense of itself as morally...

Bruno: A homophobic and tedious failure of a film

Review: Bruno Directed by Larry Charles, in cinemas now Dressed up as irony, this caricature of “gayness” is a boost for the bigots. Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen’s...

The bloody history Stalin tried to hide

Review: Katyn, Directed by Andrzej Wadja The revolutionary Victor Serge called the period of Hitler and Stalin “midnight of the century”. Hope for a better...

Walk off protest challenges intervention

Echoing the dramatic land rights struggle of the 1960s and 70s, elders at the Ampilatwatja community, 300 kms north-east of Alice Springs, have walked off...

After changes: CPRS is still worse than nothing

The changes to the Rudd government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), announced in early May, have shown clearly where the government’s priorities lie. In an...

Environment a loser in the budget

Much has been made of the government’s commitment of $1.5 billion to a ‘Solar Flagships’ program in the budget. The project, spread over six years,...

Climate movement must confront Rudd’s carbon trading challenge

Climate change has moved to the centre of Australian politics, and Rudd Labor’s climate opportunism is graphically on display. Having tried to lure Turnbull’s...

‘Defending Australia’ in a time of economic crisis

In early May the Rudd government released Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030, a White Paper detailing their defence plans for...

Campaigners oppose Queensland charges and call for repeal of anti-abortion laws

Pro-abortion activists are rallying in Queensland to defend a Cairns couple, Tegan Leach and Sergie Brennan, who have been charged under Queensland’s Criminal Code...

Rudd budget won’t shield us from recession

Rudd tried to dress up his first recession budget by announcing a small increase in the aged pension and more money for building infrastructure....

Labor for Refugees: how campaigners shifted policy

As boatloads of asylum seekers began to arrive in Australian waters in 1999, John Howard cranked up the repression and the anti-refugee rhetoric. Tragically,...

Macklin unleashes Intervention’s second wave

On Thursday May 21 Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin announced her intention to use Intervention powers to permanently acquire the Alice Springs town camps....

NRL scandal: why will no one call it rape?

On May 11, the ABC’s Four Corners ran a program exposing numerous cases of sexual abuse by National Rugby League (NRL) football players. The...

After war, brutality against Tamils not over

The Sri Lankan army has now completed its brutal conquest of the areas of the island previously controlled by the Tamil Tigers.  In the...

After the saucepan revolution, Iceland steers left

In January, the government of Iceland was the first to be brought down by the global recession. Now, Iceland has moved sharply to the...

Fiji democracy not Rudd’s real concern

On May 2, Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)—the first time ever for a member state. The PIF comprises leaders of...

The 1970s anti-uranium campaign

In the face of the failure to take serious action on climate change, we face the challenge of building the kind of movement that can force the government to shift. The 1970s anti-uranium movement provides rich lessons in how to build one.

Keynes or Marx?

Political leaders across the world are embracing Keynesian economic policies. But they are incapable of escaping capitalist crisis, writes Feiyi Zhang “The ghost of John...

Recovering Marx’s theory of economic crisis

The recession has brought a renewed interest in Marxist explanations of economic crisis. Rick Kuhn’s book is timely in this context. Published last year,...

Is Australia a racist country?

Recent comments by Sol Trujillo, former boss of Telstra, that Australia is a racist country have caused a storm. Most media commentators and politicians...

University workers on the move in Melbourne

WORKERS AT five universities in Melbourne—Melbourne, Monash, Swinburne, RMIT and Deakin, plus a Hawthorn college —went out on strike on Thursday, May 21. Staff at...

As new charges laid, time to scrap ABCC

On April 28, over 10,000 building workers in Melbourne and 3000 in Brisbane took illegal strike action against the Howard-era anti-union Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). The Rudd government still gives $33 million to the ABCC to police union activities on building sites.

Queensland teachers push for pay

On Tuesday May 19, 30,000 Queensland teachers held a 24-hour strike over the measly 12.5 per cent pay rise over three years offered by...

Brisbane Casino workers vote to strike

As Solidarity went to press the results of the Brisbane Treasury Casino strike ballot were released.  The postal ballot, conducted by the Australian Electoral...

Campaign saves Cessnock prison, but NSW privatisation drive goes on

With Cessnock jail off the privatisation list, union activists including prison guards (PSA), teachers (NSWTF), nurses, AMWU and NTEU are seeking to extend the campaign...

The Red Army Faction—flawed product of 1960s radicalism

Review: The Baader-Meinhof Complex Directed by Uli Edel In selected cinemas now When the state uses violence to repress dissent, is it permissible to use violence...

Cannes winner an indictment of Australian racism

Review: Samson and Delilah, Directed by Warwick Thornton In selected cinemas now SAMSON AND Delilah, written, directed and shot by Aboriginal film maker Warwick Thornton, tells...

Climate change–it’s enough to make you sick

Review: Global Warming and the Political Ecology of Health , By Hans Baer and Merrill Singer Left coast press, $49.95 This book traces the likely effects...

Hands off Tangentyere

On Sunday May 24 Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs put a gun to the head of the Tangentyere council, which represents town...

Editorial: A fight needed to stop the jobs massacre

Refugees have temporarily pushed the global recession off the front pages, as Rudd ratchets up his racism, claiming desperate people pose an “emerging threat”....

G20: Can world leaders solve the crisis?

The leaders of the G20 put on a united face and declared the outcome of their London summit on April 2 a historic success. As...

Hypocrisy and the UN Rights Declaration

ON APRIL 3 the Rudd government endorsed the United Nations (UN) declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Indigenous...

Pearson postures over ‘wild rivers’

Noel Pearson has resigned as Director of the Cape York Institute (CYI), with much fanfare from his legion of supporters at The Australian. Pearson resigned...

Speaking tour takes forward struggle against NT Intervention

The campaign against the Northern Territory Intervention is taking significant steps forward following a recent east-coast speaking tour by women from “prescribed” communities in...

Rudd’s carbon plan: the facts

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) is the Rudd government’s central policy for dealing with climate change. The gap between rhetoric and reality is...

Climate movement needs to target CPRS

Organising groups in all states are preparing for upcoming climate change rallies around World Environment Day, likely to be Saturday June 13. The rallies...

United union fight needed to beat NSW privatisations

A united cross-union campaign against the NSW government’s privatisation fire sale is needed, as prison workers continue their fight against privatisation. The latest announcement, made...

Rage at G20 meeting rocks London

A range of protests against the G20 summit in the UK captured public anger over the economic crisis. The city financial district was brought...

Thailand: Army crackdown aims to silence ‘Red Shirt’ protests

Smoke from burnt out buses and fire bombs filled the streets of Bangkok this month as the Thai army launched a crackdown on the...

Tensions behind Northern Ireland’s peace process

On July 28, 2005, the Irish Republican Army ended its 30 year armed struggle against British rule in Northern Ireland. It was hailed as...

Obama’s ‘new strategy’ to escalate war in Afghanistan

Following a 60 day review the Obama administration has released its “new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan”. While Obama campaigned on “change” and has...

The history of the Communist Party’s support for Aboriginal struggles

The role the early Communist Party of Australia (CPA) played in fighting for Aboriginal rights provides clear examples of the way that a joint...

Can China’s rulers survive the crisis?

As China’s economy slumps, deep running social tensions are threatening to explode writes Tim Erickson China's rulers fear that their grip on power is threatened...

Socialism, Mao and the chinese revolution

China under Mao adopted Stalin’s model of rapid industrialisation based on intense exploitation, and was never genuinely socialist, argues Ernest Price This year, on October...

Westgate workers defy attempt to slash wages

Two hundred police moved in to break up picket lines on Melbourne’s Westgate bridge on April 15, where 39 workers have held out since...

It’s battle stations—Brisbane Casino workers say 3 per cent not enough

A BETWEEN-SHIFT mass meeting of over 100 Conrad Treasury Casino workers in Brisbane has voted unanimously to initiate a ballot for industrial action in...

Unions call for campaign of defiance of ABCC

UNIONS ARE stepping up their campaign to have the Australian Building and Construction Commission scrapped, with strike-day rallies around the country on April 28....

Irish workers show occupying can save jobs

Workers at Waterford Crystal in Ireland have secured 176 jobs in the plant after an eight week long occupation of their workplace. Their example...

Queensland teachers won’t accept pay restraint

QUEENSLAND TEACHERS are set to vote for 24-hour strikes from the beginning of May. Well-attended mass meetings voted overwhelmingly to hold a publicity and...

Winning right to strike a key challenge for unions

Review: The State of Industrial Relations Evatt Foundation,  $24.95 THIS SHORT volume was put together in 2008, after Labor’s election but before all the details of...

Illzilla’s political hip hop a flower in the wasteland

Review: Wasteland Illzilla, Out now through Shock From its inception in the late 1970s, hip hop has had strong roots in the politics of rebellion. Hip...

Superheroes: the US’s ultimate weapon

Review: Watchmen Directed by Zack Snyder, in cinemas now The Watchmen are masked superheroes vigilantes whose presence has dramatically altered the course of history. In this...

The homophobia of Home and Away

CONSERVATIVE LOBBYISTS are claiming some success in forcing Channel Seven to cut scenes of a more passionate “lesbian kiss” from soap opera Home and...

Employment expert: stimulus failed to target jobs

Solidarity spoke to Bill Mitchell, from the University of Newcatle's Centre of Full Employment and Equity, above how Rudd's stimulus spending could be targeting...

Let them land, let them stay

The arrival of a few asylum seekers’ boats has produced the kind of shocking anti-refugee hysteria that marked the Howard years. It was “children...

Editorial: Don’t sacrifice jobs and living standards for crisis

Every week brings news of thousands of jobs lost as the Australian economy falters. Revised growth projections from the IMF have underlined the depth of...

More troops to Afghanistan will solve nothing

Kevin Rudd was expected to announce an increase in Australia’s troop commitment to Afghanistan, following his first meeting with President Obama in Washington. His visit...

Rudd wants to lock in do-nothing climate plan

Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), the government’s key mechanism for addressing climate change, is under fire on all sides. It’s not hard to...

Anti-privatisation campaign reignites in NSW

NSW unions are again locked in battle with the state Labor government over privatisation. With the government accelerating its planned sell-off of prisons, members...

Queensland state election–it’s business as usual

Labor won the Queensland election, but beyond Anna Bligh becoming Australia’s first elected woman premier, there was nothing to celebrate. Suffering a swing of...

Rudd won’t save jobs in the public service

Despite its promise to create jobs in the economic downturn, the Rudd government is imposing job cuts on the federal public service. Cuts of...

Deceit and hypocrisy–Rudd’s sorry reportcard

Following his apology to the Stolen Generation, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised to deliver an annual “report card” on the government’s progress in addressing...

Aboriginal employment sacrificed for big business

During his “report card” speech Kevin Rudd claimed his government had “driven reforms through employment programs to give more Indigenous peoples the skills they...

Two way education becomes a one way street

In a shock move in October 2008 the former Northern Territory Minister for Education Marion Scrymgour declared that the first four hours of teaching...

A green new deal to meet capitalism’s crisis

We face two global crises, climate change and economic collapse. The answer to both is climate jobs, or what some have been calling a...

Tension grows over ‘Pakistani Taliban’

Mass demonstrations in Pakistan have forced President Asif Ali Zardari to back down and fulfil an election promise to reinstate judges sacked by the...

France rocked by general strike for jobs

The second general strike in two months brought France to a standstill on March 19. Millions demonstrated in 200 cities and towns around the...

Irish workers refuse to pay for the crisis

Anger at the Irish government’s response to the recession has exploded into angry and growing protests. Over 120,000 joined a protest in Dublin in...

Obama order continues US torture regime

On January 22 US president Obama signed his first Executive Order (EO). The order banned torture, directed the CIA to “shut what remains of...

Stopping Rudd’s carbon plan

Solidarity spoke to two leading climate activists, John Hepburn from Greenpeace Australia Pacific and Damien Lawson from the Victorian Climate Action Centre, about the...

Why “Buying Australian” won’t save jobs

Demanding the government "buy Australian" or impose tariffs has failed to save jobs in the past, and paints "foreign workers" as the enemy, writes...

Migrants are not to blame for job losses

In response to the economic crisis, the federal government has moved to reduce Australia’s skilled migration intake. Some unions not only welcomed this, but called...

Rosa Luxemburg: reform or revolution?

NINETY YEARS ago Rosa Luxemburg, one of the great revolutionaries of the twentieth century, was assassinated. This came in the midst of the mass...

Excusing responsibility for the Holocaust?

Review: The Reader Directed by Stephen Daldry, In cinemas now The Reader is a story of illicit love, of betrayal and guilt, and of redemption. Kate...

Former insider exposes carbon lobby deception

Review: Quarterly Essay “Quarry Vision: coal, climate change and the end of the resource boom” By Guy Pearse, Black Inc, $16.95 AS DEBATE hots up over...

Brisbane Casino workers prepare for wage action

WORKERS AT Brisbane’s Treasury Casino are getting restless. The casino EBA expired on December 31, 2008. Since negotiations started in November 2008, Tabcorp, the...

Still no right to strike under Workchoices-lite

MINOR CHANGS saw Rudd pass his “WorkChoices-lite” package through the Senate in late March. But Rudd’s bill has failed to repeal the anti-strike laws contained...

Fosters uses crisis as excuse to slash wages

Profitable companies are using the economic crisis as an excuse to sack workers and slash wages. Despite a 9 per cent rise in profit to...

Bosses divide and conquer at Drivetrain

Bosses at Drivetrain Systems have used “divide and conquer” tactics to stop workers resisting mass sackings at an Albury-Wodonga gearbox factory. The company dismissed all...

Sydney University staff gear up for strike ballot

On February 25 meetings of approximately 200 members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at the University of Sydney voted to seek a...

The deregulation revolution in higher education

Julia Gillard recently announced the introduction of “demand driven” places at universities. Paddy Gibson spoke to Elly Howse, co-education officer of the Sydney University...

Wave of occupations over Gaza sweeps campuses

The recent Israeli assault on Gaza sparked global outcry. In the US and UK, it has also produced a new wave of student militancy...

Support Pacific brands workers

Workers across the country were outraged with the announcement in February that Pacific Brands plans to sack 1850 workers. Many joined the factory workers’...

Letters

A tireless fighter for peace and socialism Newspaper editors rarely allow the words “kindness”, “patience” and “socialism” to coexist in one sentence. However, you’ll need...

Editorial: Fight needed to save jobs

Rudd’s attempts to pump up the Australian economy with tens of billions in government spending have been widely welcomed. We are facing a deep...

Rudd doles out $42 billion, but is it enough?

It’s an indication of how nervous the ruling class is about the prospect of economic collapse that Rudd the financial conservative has become Rudd...

Workers across Europe strike against recession

Workers across Europe are meeting the deepening recession and growing job losses with action. Over the course of the last weeks, literally millions of...

Things they say

“Your statement that I have disgraced my judgeship is true. My actions have destroyed everything I worked to accomplish and I have only myself...

Waterford Crystal: ‘We’re occupying to save our jobs’

Six hundred workers are occupying the Waterford Crystal factory in Ireland after receivers tried to sack them and close the plant.The plant had already...

More action needed to trump Telstra over pay

Telstra workers went out on a strike for the second time in two months on Monday February 9. Following on from a four-hour stoppage...

NSW teachers victory could have gone further

NSW TEACHERS have won a pay increase and the reinstatement of a state-wide staffing plan as part of a new 3-year-award. An initial pay rise...

Will taking wage cuts save jobs?

As unemployment edges upwards, the myth that cutting wages can save jobs is being promoted once again. Accepting this would be a huge mistake...

Afghanistan: could this be Obama’s Vietnam

Anyone expecting a less hawkish approach from Obama to the occupation of Afghanistan will be sadly disappointed.His very first military act—three days after his...

Palestine: how can there be peace?

Despite Israel’s declaration of ceasefire, the number of dead in Gaza continues to rise. Bombings and incursions into the Strip are still claiming civilian...

Convergence strengthens anti-Intervention campaign

Held at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the Canberra Convergence was set to coincide with the opening of Federal Parliament for 2009. The Convergence brought...

New push for uranium mines on Aboriginal land

Conservative Indigenous ALP political figure Warren Mundine has taken a position on the board of the Australian Uranium Association (AUA), the industry’s peak lobby...

NT health worker: ‘We demand back our rights’

Irene Fisher is a Jawoyn woman, whose people live mainly around Katherine in the “top end” of the Northern Territory. She works as chief...

Going down: world economy sinks further into recession

The global economic crisis is entering a new phase, as production declines and governments desperately try to stop a global recession turning into depression....

Obama’s gloss starting to wear off

Euphoric scenes marked the inauguration of Barack Obama—and the end of the Bush era. Millions who campaigned for an end to war and neo-liberal...

Is Rudd returning to social democracy?

“Seismic changes are underway”, writes Kevin Rudd in the latest issue of The Monthly. He declares that a “regime change” from the neo-liberal order...

Israel’s war destabilises Egyptian dictatorship

Sara Poya was in Egypt in late January, at the end of the latest Israeli attacks on Gaza. She spoke with Solidarity. Why was the...

Worldwide outrage over Israeli war crimes in Gaza

The world has looked in horror at the carnage left after Israel’s attack on Gaza. The sheer scale of the massacre of more than...

Imperialism and revolution in the Middle East

The Israeli assault on Gaza has exposed deep divisions between Arab ruling classes, their Western allies and the people of the region, argues Simon...

History of our unions from high point to retreat

Review: Trade Unionism in Australia: A history from flood to ebb tide, By Tom Bramble , Cambridge University Press, $49.95According to the most recent...

Milk-a tribute to a fighting movement

Review: Milk, Directed by Gus Van Sant, In cinemas nowThe day after the election of Barack Obama, thousands took to the streets of California...

Luhrmann’s Australia a nationalist myth

Review: Australia, Directed by Baz Luhrmann, In cinemas nowBaz Luhrmann’s new epic film, Australia, is set in a mythologised Northern Territory in the late...

Planning Solidarity’s work for 2009

Solidarity held its annual decision making conference over the weekend of February 7 and 8. With the world economy facing its most serious economic...

Universities still living with Howard-era cuts

The Rudd government came to power promising an “education revolution”. And a dramatic about face in government policy is desperately needed in the university...

Climate summit provides direction for the movement

Over five hundred people, representing 150 different groups active around climate change, took part in the climate action summit in Canberra from January 31...

Fiddling on climate while Victoria burns

The devastating Victorian bushfires should have been a harsh wake up call for Kevin Rudd. While Rudd comforted survivors and promised millions to rebuild...

Hope for change from Gaza to Washington

Anger at the massacres in Gaza exploded onto streets around the world in January. From Beirut to Sydney, huge crowds denounced Israel, their chief...

Israel’s war on Gaza is not over

Despite its claims, Israel failed to achieve its objectives in Gaza of smashing Palestinian resistance. Its ceasefire means little while it continues to blockade...

Take childcare into public hands

A not-for-profit consortium led by Community Childcare Co-operative NSW has made a bid for 241 ABC childcare centres that the company’s receivers had deemed...

Thai socialist faces jail in attack on democracy

The new Thai government has launched a wave of prosecutions against government critics and opponents of the 2006 military coup. In a major attack...

Can the jobs massacre be stopped?

Throughout 2008, Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan remained optimistic to the point of absurdity about the state of the Australian economy in the face...

Union puts university management on back foot

Union members in the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) have faced down compulsory redundancies at Victoria University (VU) and the University of Melbourne (Melbourne...

Noonkanbah: when Aboriginal people and unionists united for land rights

Under the cover of the NT intervention, governments are once again trying to force Aboriginal people off their land. If history is a guide,...

Discontent with intervention policies widening

The intervention is more than a policy about what happens within 78 “prescribed communities”. It is a radical new ideology that combines a fierce...

Climate summit a chance to refocus the movement

Late this month the first national summit of climate action groups will be held in Canberra. Only a few years ago mainstream debate on climate...

Carbon trading not the solution we need

Rudd’s method for reaching his meagre 5 per cent reduction target is the carbon pollution reduction scheme, a version of emissions trading. The loopholes...

Do we consume too much energy?

A common response to the climate crisis is to argue for restrictions on individuals’ energy use. As a result some environmental activists have supported...

Labor not on target to stop climate change

Just after his election, Kevin Rudd called climate change “the defining challenge of our generation”. But his targets for emission reductions will not even...

Governments bicker while time to act runs short

The world may be in great danger, but the annual summit of governments designed to progress a global agreement on climate change did very...

Hamas and the struggle for Palestinian liberation

The US has blamed Hamas for causing Israel’s assault. Kevin Rudd has called them a “terrorist organisation”. Israel would have us believe they are...

Gaza and the US war for control of the Middle East

Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza has, once again, been willingly backed by the US. Israel is the key US ally in the Middle East....

Plan to spread intervention

There are worrying signs from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) that policy measures associated with the NT intervention will soon be imposed on...

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