News aggregator

US fast food workers take on junk wages

Green Left Weekly - Wed, 08/21/2013 - 00:24
Sun, 18/08/2013 By Peter Rugh

As US President Barack Obama continued his economic speaking tour, walkouts at fast-food restaurants rippled across cities nationwide in early August, calling attention to the nation’s growing wealth gap.

At the franchise stores of McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King and KFC and other grease-slinging corporations, thousands of people protested the low wages dished out by the biggest names in the industry and raised a common demand: US$15 (A$16.30) an hour and the right to unionise.

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Manning bio tells the WikiLeaks whistleblower's story

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 12:57
Tue, 20/08/2013 By Phil Shannon

The Passion Of Bradley Manning: The Story Behind the WikiLeaks Whistleblower
Chase Madar
Verso, 2013
181 pages, $19.95 (pb)

The issue in the trial of Bradley Manning, the source of tens of thousands of US military and state secrets leaked to WikiLeaks, is, in some eyes, simple.

“He broke the law,” lectured United States President Barack Obama, conveniently overlooking, as Chase Madar comments in his book on Manning, the routine violation by the ruling elite of the principle that “rules are rules”.

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WikiLeaks Party risks Abbott controlled Senate

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 12:43
Tue, 20/08/2013 By Simon Butler

The WikiLeaks Party has come under fire for its Western Australia and New South Wales preference allocations for the federal elections, which put right-wing and racist groups ahead of Greens and socialist candidates.

WikiLeaks Party senate candidate for Western Australia, Gerry Georgatos, has defended a decision to preference two National Party candidates ahead of Greens Senator Scott Ludlam. Of all Australian parliamentarians, Ludlam has been the most outspoken in defence of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

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Story of Australian leftist's role in Sri Lanka's independence struggle

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 11:07
Tue, 20/08/2013 By Phil Shannon

The Bracegirdle Incident: How an Australian Communist Ignited Ceylon’s Independence Struggle
Alan Fewster
Arcadia/Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2013
173 pages, $39.95 (pb)

In 1937, Ceylon’s British Chief of Police reported that “it is clearly dangerous” to allow the Australian communist Mark Bracegirdle, to remain in the country “stirring up feelings against employers of labour and against the British Government”.

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The Yucky Country -- Just make Clive Palmer PM. Green Left fundraising comedy show

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 08:59

In two Green Left fundraising shows at the Brisbane Fringe Comedy Festival, Green Left TV's Carlo Sands asks, in the interests of efficiency, isn't time we cut out the middle men and women and let those who OWN the country RUN it too?

"Carlo Sands is a sharp, well-informed political comedian who crafts laughter from the absurdities. of Left and Right" -- Rod Quantock

The Loft West End. 100 Boundary Street, West End, Brisbane.

Tues. September 3; Thurs. Sept 5, 9.30pm $10 (plus booking fee online)
Book here: http://31digital.com.au/bffc/events/carlo-sands-elect-clive-palmer

Event date:  Tue, 03/09/2013 - 9:30pm - Thu, 05/09/2013 - 9:30pm Website:  http://31digital.com.au/bffc/events/carlo-sands-elect-clive-palmer/

We Kid You Not: Fukushima, Taiwan plant leaking contaminated water

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 08:41
Tue, 20/08/2013

Fukushima spilling containimate water 'for years''

“Workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have told the ABC that contaminated water has most likely been seeping into the sea since the disaster two-and-a-half years ago. Japan's nuclear watchdog has described the leaks as a 'state of emergency'

“Workers have told ABC's AM program that they do not have much faith in Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) ability to handle the situation and they claim another accident is inevitable.

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Canada: New pipeline plan dwarfs Keystone XL

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 07:57
Tue, 20/08/2013 By Derek Leahy

TransCanada Corp. announced on August 1 that it will proceed with plans to create a pipeline capable of shipping 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil and tar sands bitumen from western Canada to refineries and ports in Quebec and New Brunswick.

Called “Energy East”, this west-to-east pipeline would dwarf the oil delivery capacity of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline in the US. Keystone would ship 830,000 bpd.

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Britain: Fracking firm forced to back down

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 07:44
Tue, 20/08/2013 By Paddy McGuffin

UPDATE: Green MP Caroline Lucas was one of more than a dozen people arrested on August 19 after police broke an anti-fracking blockade of a West Sussex drilling site.

Snatch squads were seen dragging demonstrators from the front gates of energy giant Cuadrilla's Balcombe site after police declared the picket a breach of public order, alleging that it could potentially block emergency services from reaching the site.

The protest's organisers No Dash For Gas reported 19 arrests.

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Palestine: Hares Boys should be freed

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 07:35
Tue, 20/08/2013 By Steven Katsineris

“I want all the people to come to the court and see what democracy in Israel really is,” said the mother of Palestinian youth Ali Shamlawi, being held in jail by Israel on fabricated charges.

On March 14, there was an accident near Salfit in the West Bank when an Israeli settler’s car crashed into the back of Israeli truck. Four people in the car were hurt, one seriously. The truck had stopped on the road due to a flat tire.

Later, this accident was described by the car's settler driver as a stone throwing attack by Palestinian youths.

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Palestinians celebrate prisoner releases

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 07:18
Tue, 20/08/2013

Palestinian families celebrated on August 14 as Israel released 26 prisoners on the eve of long-stalled peace talks.

Buses carrying the inmates left the Ayalon prison in central Israel late on August 13. Celebrations erupted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where thousands of Palestinian well-wishers awaited the buses' arrival.

Fireworks lit the sky in Gaza, where rival Hamas and Fatah supporters alike celebrated to the beat of drums. Some danced while others flashed victory signs and waved flags of the Palestinian factions.

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Venezuela: Workers claim win against imposed manager in worker-run plant

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 05:28
Tue, 20/08/2013 By Ewan Robertson

Workers at Diana Industries have welcomed the appointment of a new company manager, claiming victory in their fight to prevent the “imposition” of businessperson David Mendoza as head of the worker-run company.

Nationalised in 2008, production at Diana Industries is organised by workers through assemblies and a Socialist Workers’ Council. The company produces cooking oil, margarine, soap and other products, 80% of which are destined for state-run distribution networks.

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Venezuela: Maduro calls for greater support for communes

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 04:32
Tue, 20/08/2013 By Ewan Robertson, Merida

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on August 15 for his government to give greater support to the construction of communes in the country. He proposed several initiatives by which this could be done.

Communes have their origin in Venezuela's communal councils, which are grassroots bodies made up of members of the local community. These self-managed bodies receive public funds to undertake community projects and small-scale public works.

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BRIEFS: Seattle socialist wins 35% in poll; South Koran carworkers strike

Green Left Weekly - Tue, 08/20/2013 - 04:22
Tue, 20/08/2013

United States: Socialist wins 35% in Seatlle poll

Seattle voters sent a clear message to an out-of-touch political establishment on August 6 that they are fed up with business as usual, and are looking for an alternative to corporate-pandering politicians like Democrat Richard Conlin.

Kshama Sawant, who was recently written off by The Seattle Times as “too hard left for Seattle”, won a stunning 35% of the vote. Sawant is a member Socialist Alternative.

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No cuts, more funds -- education for all

Green Left Weekly - Mon, 08/19/2013 - 14:27
Mon, 19/08/2013 By Ben Peterson

Student protesters will take to the streets in all capital cities and some major regional centres on August 20. The protests will stand up against the planned cuts to tertiary education by the federal government. Earlier this year, the government announced $2.8 billion in cuts to higher education, via cuts to universities and student welfare services.

But the demands will go further than an end to cuts. “Education for all” is one of the demands of the protests. But is a free and accessible education even possible in the age of austerity politics?

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Philippines: Gov't must be held accountable for union leader killings

Green Left Weekly - Mon, 08/19/2013 - 12:56
Mon, 19/08/2013

The Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM), a Filipino socialist party, released the statement below on August 12.

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The PLM joins the campaign to protest against the recent spate of killings of labour leaders, the most recent case being the assassination of transport workers’ leader Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin on July 2.

Petalcorin joins the ranks of assassinated workers’ leaders this year, such as Emilio Rivera and Carlos Cirilo, who were also members of the national labour centre, the Alliance of Progressive Labor in the Philippines.

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Stop NSW plan to burn forests for electricity

Green Left Weekly - Mon, 08/19/2013 - 12:08
Mon, 19/08/2013 By Jim McIlroy

About 30 people rallied outside NSW state parliament on August 15 to protest plans by the Liberal state government to change regulations to allow native forest biomass to be burned to generate electricity.

Environment groups are worried the change will lead to wholesale destruction of native forests and woodlands to feed the power generators.

Protests were also held in Bega and Bellingen on the same day. The rallies were sponsored by an alliance of environment conservation organisations.

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Hundreds rally against Egypt coup in Sydney

Green Left Weekly - Mon, 08/19/2013 - 11:50
Mon, 19/08/2013 By Jim McIlroy, Sydney

More than 500 people, mainly from the Egyptian community, rallied at Sydney's Town Hall Square and marched through city streets to the Egyptian consulate on August 18, in opposition to the military crackdown over recent days in Egypt.

Speakers condemned the massacres committed by the military regime in Egypt against peaceful supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

Chants during the march included, "Free, free Egypt!", "Egypt will soon be free!", and "General al-Sisi, assassin!'

John Pilger: Impoverished and silenced, we must fight back

Green Left Weekly - Mon, 08/19/2013 - 05:10
Mon, 19/08/2013 By John Pilger, London

I have known my postman for more than 20 years. Conscientious and good-humoured, he is the embodiment of public service at its best. The other day, I asked him, “Why are you standing in front of each door like a soldier on parade?”

“New system,” he replied. “I am no longer required simply to post the letters through the door. I have to approach every door in a certain way and put the letters through in a certain way.”

“Why?”

“Ask him.”

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Egypt: Bloodshed grows as military cracks down

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 08/18/2013 - 21:40
Sun, 18/08/2013 By Tony Iltis

The streets of Cairo are running red, as Egypt's military carries out a brutal crackdown on supporters of ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamad Morsi.

On August 14, after weeks of threats and violent harassment, the Egyptian army moved to shut down protest camps in Nahda Square and outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya in Cairo, where supporters of Morsi have been staging sit-ins since his overthrow on July 3.

By the evening, more than 500 protesters had been killed and thousands wounded. The army also killed three journalists in the attack.

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Progressive singer barred from NZ

Green Left Weekly - Sun, 08/18/2013 - 13:44
Sun, 18/08/2013 By Greg Rose

While waiting at Tokyo's Narita International Airport to board his flight to New Zealand on August 13, US progressive singer-songwriter David Rovics was informed that he was banned from entering New Zealand.

The Portland, Oregon-based Rovics is known for his extensive touring, doing concerts in support of progressive causes and workers' struggles in the US, Europe, and Australia.

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