Sweeping new terror laws add to climate of fear
As the government considers escalating troop numbers in Iraq, it has pushed on with its anti-terror crusade at home. The second of three counter-terrorism bills—the Foreign Fighters Bill—was waved...
Sydney meeting builds opposition to Islamophobia
Around 80 people attended a public meeting in Sydney to oppose the wave of Islamophobia following the government’s theatrical anti-terror raids and its military deployment to Iraq. Lydia Shelly, a...
Nauru vigilantes attack refugees: A sign of things to come?
At an institutional level, the government policies of offshore processing and mandatory detention are coming under sustained attack both domestically and internationally.
Ms Dhu: another WA death in custody
Relatives of Julieka Dhu and other Aboriginal people who have lost family members in police and prison custody led a major protest at the G20 summit in Brisbane on...
Communities held to ransom by mining industry
Aboriginal people at Borroloola and the surrounding Gulf region in the Northern Territory have stepped up protests against Glencore Xstrata’s MacArthur River Mine (MRM), the largest open cut lead...
Liberals facing defeat in Victoria after one term
Victorians are set to punish the Liberals at November’s state election. Labor was leading in the polls as we went to press, with the likelihood of the end of the Liberal government after one term.
Fairfield Council strike for pay and allowances
Fairfield Council workers downed tools for two days in September in the face of an aggressive management trying to slash workers’ pay, allowances and other entitlements. Over 100 United Services...
Grassroots must use SRC to boost student movement
The victory of Grassroots in the Sydney University Student Representative Council (SRC) elections in September was undoubtedly a win for the Left. However, there are worrying signs that the chance to translate the election win into building the activism that can take the fight to uni management and Abbott in 2015 is being undermined by the bureaucratic attraction of wheeling and dealing for office-bearer positions.
NUMSA expulsion creates shockwaves in South Africa
South Africa is witnessing the most significant break to the left of the ANC since the end of apartheid, with immense potential consequences. The expulsion of the National Union of Metalworkers from COSATU in November increases the prospects for the birth of a mass working class party campaigning for socialism.
Ayotzinapa—School of struggle that dares to challenge death in Mexico
The disappearance of 43 students in Mexico, after they were kidnapped by police and drug traffickers, has thrown the country into turmoil, exposing the close connections between the political elite and drug gangs.
Is the left breaking through in Europe?
Electoral earthquakes have rocked one country after another across Europe. Parties that dominated the mainstream for decades are seeing their support hollowing out or collapsing.
Imperialism no ally for Kurdish fighters in Kobani
The defence of Kobani against the reactionary and sectarian Islamic State (IS) has inspired many on the left. But it would be wrong to idealise the situation.
US war in Iraq brings more sectarianism and death
Barack Obama has doubled the US troop commitment to the latest war on Iraq, and used the APEC conference to ask allies including Australia to send additional contributions too. But Western intervention will solve nothing.
Islamic State: who are they and where do they come from?
The emergence of the group Islamic state is a product of Western intervention and imperialist power games in the Middle East, writes James Supple
Eastern europe and the Berlin Wall: 1989’s people power revolutions
The Eastern European regimes toppled by mass protests twenty five years ago had nothing to do with socialism, argues Victor Yang
Whitlam’s legacy and the death of social democracy
Following the show of continuing adoration for Gough Whitlam at his packed out memorial, Jean Parker reflects on his contradictory legacy
The IWW in Australia: Direct action against capitalism and war
The Wobblies combined opposition to the First World War with militant industrial organising, but their intransigence was also their undoing, argues Lachlan Marshall
‘The people who help asylum seekers the most are people smugglers’
Confessions of a People-Smuggler is a confronting, and revealing book. Dawood Amiri, a Hazara, tells his story of fleeing from the Taliban’s targeted killings in Quetta in Pakistan, to getting involved in people smuggling in Indonesia to fund his own trip to Australia by boat.
Backing bloodshed a long Labor tradition
Bill Shorten’s uncritical support for Tony Abbott’s renewed war in Iraq has handed the Liberals the political initiative and horrified many Labor voters. But his unquestioning approval of the rush to war has deep precedents in the ALP tradition.
Climate action requires challenging capitalism
Naomi Klein’s new book is a welcome intervention into climate politics. There is a hunger for serious responses to climate change. Over 2000 people turned up to Klein’s book launch in London.
Editorial: War and terror—desperate moves from a desperate government
Abbott’s terrorism scare is a desperate ploy from a deeply unpopular government.
Inside the system
New war propels US defence stocks to record highs, Plastic sword seized in terror raids, Abbott’s war to cost only 200 million middies, Medibank chief to get 400 per cent pay rise, Israel promotes rape advocate as expert on Palestinians, Vice Chancellor millionaires’ club swells
Wave of Islamophobia stirred up from above
Tony Abbott’s terror scare has led to a vicious wave of racism against the Muslim community. Abbott has taken every opportunity to stoke division.
New terror laws will let ASIO off the leash
The government is using hysteria about terrorism to deliver a major boost to ASIO and police powers. They’ve devised an enormous number of new and modified anti-terror laws to make it easier to conduct surveillance and charge people with terrorism-related offences.
Federal public sector moves towards strikes
A huge fight is looming between workers across the Australian Public Service (APS) and the Abbott government.
ACTU plans another marginal seats campaign
The ACTU’S recently produced “Campaign Operational Plan: defending the living standards of working Australians” confims what we already knew. Firstly that the ACTU has given up campaigning to Bust the Budget; and secondly, that its campaign to defeat Abbott is overwhelmingly focussed on campaigning in marginal seats.
Left victory in Sydney Uni SRC can strengthen anti-Abbott fight
Left-wing activist Kyol Blakeney has won an overwhelming vote of 61 per cent to become President of the Sydney University SRC. He was supported by the Grassroots ticket which involved student activists, Greens members and Solidarity students.
No TPVs—refugees need permanent protection
On 25 September, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced a deal with Clive Palmer to re-introduce Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs).
Fiji election a defeat for racial division
Fiji returned to the polls last month in its first democratic election since the 2006 coup. The result was a decisive victory for popular former Rear Admiral, Voreqe Bainimarama, and his party Fiji First.
Ebola—a crisis world leaders allowed to happen
A humanitarian crisis, more than 4000 people dead, and thousands more to come if there is not sufficient medical aid...and the rich Western nations do next to nothing.
Eyewitness from Hong Kong: ‘Occupation of large sections of the city continues’
Matte Rochford writes from Hong Kong on the ongoing protests for democracy
Expanding Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution
The democratic uprising that has swept Hong Kong must feed into more serious working class mobilisation in order to achieve real change writes Kevin Lin.
US failure in Iraq returning to haunt it
In August, Barack Obama became the fourth consecutive US President to bomb Iraq and has also begun airstrikes inside of Syria. Tony Abbott has been the most enthusiastic member of his “coalition”, pledging Australian military support even before the terms of the war became clear.
US imperialism and the new world order
Paddy Gibson looks at the turmoil and renewed power games across the Middle East, Ukraine and Asia and what drives conflict among the world’s major powers.
Trade union officials and the working class
Caitlin Doyle-Markwick looks at the role played by trade union officials in the unions, and why they are a naturally conservative force.
Not a Class Act: McKew joins the education wars
Maxine McKew’s Class Act is sub-headed “Ending the Education Wars”. But it’s actually another shot in the war against teachers and poor, working class public school kids. There’s nothing...
Inspiring story shows how solidarity breaks down divisions
Pride is the brilliant and true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, a solidarity group set up to raise money for British miners during their historic strike of 1984-1985.
US bombs won’t help the Kurds
The relentless advance of the Islamic State (IS) on the Kurdish city of Kobane has drawn international attention to the plight of the Kurds, caught between IS, on the one hand, and Turkey on the other.
Editorial: Stand up to Abbott’s Islamophobic terror scare
It didn’t take long for the Islamophobia behind Abbott’s new terror scare to have its effect. Abbott’s “Team Australia” is all about fostering Islamophobia while he goes to war in Iraq and wages war on jobs, health and education at home.
Unpopular Abbott opts for war and terror scare
Abbott seized on the anti-terror raids on 18 September to declare that Australia was at “serious risk from a terrorist attack”. The government is trying to find a way out of its budget nightmare by beating up a terrorism scare campaign.
Don’t wind down the fight against Abbott’s budget
Tony Abbott has signally failed to win support for his budget—either from the public or from the Senate. Yet far too many of Abbott’s opponents seem prepared to let the fight against the budget peter out.
Inside the system
Get out of jail free card for rich drunk drivers, Be alarmed—AFP leave a bomb at Sydney Airport, NSW police remove Aboriginal children at gunpoint, PM for Indigenous Affairs axes Indigenous tutoring program, Muslim banned from speaking at Sydney Uni, Government funds Israeli fortifications for Sydney school, Sex industry workers excluded from welfare benefit
Private GP visits trial—Americanisation by stealth
Since November 2013 Australia’s largest private health insurer, Medibank Private, has been operating a “trial” allowing its members to get priority deluxe GP services at six clinics in Queensland. With over 30,000 consultations already completed, the scheme represents the introduction of a US-style two-tiered primary healthcare system by stealth.
AMA co-payment compromise a sick joke
A co-payment compromise plan by the Australian Medical Association has rightly been slammed by leading welfare and healthcare organisations. Under the plan, released in August, a minimum $6.15 co-payment would apply to all patients with an exemption for concession card holders and people under 16.
Answer to Liberals’ 457 changes is solidarity with migrant workers
Not surprisingly, the Coalition’s “independent” inquiry into 457 visas has recommended a number of changes all designed to make it easier for bosses to work the 457 system.
Two deaths too many: Close Manus Island
The death of 24 year-old Iranian asylum seeker, Hamid Kehazaei in Brisbane on 5 September has again brought home the horror of offshore processing.
Morrison holds asylum seekers hostage to TPVs
The cracks in Morrison’s offshore processing regime are growing wider, as the Immigration Minister pushes harder for the re-introduction of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs). In mid-August, on the eve...
Ausreo workers win pay rise after ten week lockout
After a ten week lockout, striking workers at Ausreo’s Wetherill Park factory in western Sydney have won a victory against management. Ausreo supplies concrete reinforcement materials to the building...
NTEU at UNSW gears up for strike action
National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at UNSW have voted to stage a four hour strike on 20 October if management does not commit to a fair workplace agreement.
NSW union delegates push to revive budget campaign
Unions NSW used a meeting of around 250 delegates to announce plans for a community-based state election campaign. But a group of rank-and-file activists won a resolution calling for a “Your Rights at Work style campaign including regular mass work-day rallies and stoppages and combined unions delegates meetings to oppose Abbott’s budget measures”.
Uni Vice-Chancellors push for higher fees
After passing the lower house, the government’s higher education reforms are now set to be decided in the Senate in October.
Don’t let Abbott slash renewable energy target
Tony Abbott is coming after renewable energy, with plans to junk the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
New war on Iraq no humanitarian mission
The US has stepped up its bombing in Iraq after President Obama announced plans to “degrade and destroy” the jihadist group the Islamic State (IS).
Scottish independence could shake the British elite
As Solidarity goes to press, the people of Scotland are voting on independence from Britain. A narrow lead for a “Yes” vote in some polls has sent the entire British...
Gaza punished, but Israel can’t eradicate resistance
As Palestinian children in Gaza restarted school on 14 September, the number of their classmates slaughtered during Israel’s recent war stood at approximately 500, while upwards of 3000 had been injured.
How the unions struck to save Medicare
Kent Ireland examines the union campaign to defend Medibank from Liberal PM Malcolm Fraser, and how it led to a national general strike
Israeli academic: ‘a regime based on brutal military occupation’
Israeli academic Marcelo Svirsky, now at Wollongong Uni, explains his opposition to Zionism and why he supports BDS, in a speech from Solidarity’s Keep Left conference
Deciphering Marx’s Capital
Alex Callinicos’s new book Deciphering Capital argues that Karl Marx’s main work is still vital to understand how to change the world
Exposing the phoney ‘deaths at sea’ argument
There is a strong sense of déjà vu for refugee rights activists. Many of the battles waged against the Howard government, like opposing long-term detention and Temporary Protection Visas,...
Build the anti-budget anger against Abbott
Anger against the budget has just gone up a notch. Treasurer Joe Hockey’s offhand comment that the “poor don’t drive cars” has added to the public outrage and reveals the contempt that the government has for workers, pensioners and the unemployed.
ACTU industrial strategy won’t stop budget measures
The ACTU has announced what is says is an industrial strategy to fight the budget. The recognition that unions have the power to fight the budget through strike action to make bosses pay is welcome.
CPSU members in the firing line—time to fire back
The CPSU says that over 1000 workers in the Australian Public Service (APS) have joined the union in the past two weeks. Officials say they are gearing up for...
Inside the system
Corruption case a national embarrassment says DFAT; Zionist killers escape Libs’ anti-terror campaign; Charges over Frances Abbott scholarship leak help hide corruption; Detroit Mayor shuts off water supply; Budget cuts leave firies with no truck as hostel burns; Victorian education bosses wield axe and pocket millions in bonuses
Queensland swings against Campbell’s cuts
The LNP government in Queensland was crushed in the Stafford by-election in late July with a thumping 19 per cent swing against them. This follows Labor’s win in the...
Campaign builds against Morrison’s refugee cruelty
The arrival of a boat of 157 Tamil asylum seekers on the mainland, the first this year, punched a hole in Operation Sovereign Borders.
Abbott’s opportunism over M17 stokes imperialist tensions
The shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 over rebel held territory in eastern Ukraine is a terrible tragedy. It has cost 289 lives, including 37 Australian citizens and permanent...
Evidence shows carbon tax was worse than useless
The carbon tax is now history. But there is nothing to mourn in its passing.
SOS for women’s shelters in NSW
The NSW government is facing a community backlash over new reforms that are forcing women-only shelters and refuges to close or be taken over.
NSW Catholic teachers walk off the job
NSW Catholic Teachers and support staff have taken strike action for the first time in over a decade.
Management tries on divide and rule at UTS
On 20 August academic staff at UTS will strike for 24-hours in their year-and-a-half fight for a decent agreement. One of the key battlegrounds is workloads. While UTS is spending...
Rank-and-file action wins on class sizes
Teachers at a high school in Melbourne’s North West won a victory against our principal’s penny-pinching plan to over-fill classes. After months of excuses for crowding more kids per...
Palestine needs solidarity against Israeli terror
After weeks of bombing and a ground invasion by Israeli troops, up to 30 per cent of Gaza’s population, or 520,000 people, are now without a home.
Collusion by Arab regimes allows Israel to punish Gaza
When it comes to support for Palestine, there is a yawning gap between the mass of the Arab population and their leaders.
US will worsen a tragedy of their creation in Iraq
The US has begun bombing raids on northern Iraq after President Barack Obama declared the US had to intervene against the Sunni Islamist group, the Islamic State.
Abbott bangs drums of war and racism
Australia has lent aircraft to the US intervention in Iraq while the Liberals are attempting to use the Islamic State to stir up nationalism and Islamophobia at home.
Universities reserved for the rich: The Liberals’ vision for education
Caitlin Doyle-Markwick examines what Abbott’s budget would mean for universities
Are the unions too weak to beat Abbott?
In the face of Abbott’s budget attacks on workers’ living standards, James Supple looks at whether union decline prevents the movement fighting back
Intersectionality, sexism and the left
Jasmine Ali examines the renewed interest in the idea of intersectionality associated with the revival of feminism
An outsider in his own country
Charlie’s country is a beautifully shot and brutally honest portrayal of life under apartheid in the Northern Territory.
Keep pushing for strike action as unions start to move
The fight to “bust the budget” took a step forward on 6 July, with the first day of action called by the unions. The opening of the new Senate has shown the difficulties Tony Abbott faces.
Inside the system
Corporations the real winners at the World Cup, Coal company pockets billions but pays no tax, Report shows inequality soaring, Australia on global arms spending spree, Kiribati looking for land as islands disappear
Bust the Budget rallies can mark the beginning of the fightback we need
Up to 20,000 marched across the country on Sunday 6 July to bust Abbott’s budget, as part of a national coordinated union day of protest.
Union activists start budget strike action push
Around 200 unionists have signed an open letter urging Unions NSW to convene a one-day stopwork rally against the Abbott budget. The signatories including delegates from the CFMEU, NTEU, CPSU, the Teachers Federation and a number of PSA central councillors.
Welfare review signals more attacks on disabled and poor
Abbott wasn’t satisfied with the welfare cuts meted out in the Budget. The interim report of the government’s welfare review signals that more cuts and changes to welfare are on the cards.
Five months after Reza’s killing—danger signs on Manus Island
On Manus Island, there are ominous signs that Transfield and the Immigration Department are actively preparing to re-introduce local PNG staff into the detention centre.
Peace in Sri Lanka—another Abbott lie
Tony Abbott has declared Sri Lanka “a society at peace”. But the truth is very different.
Morrison’s refugee bashing is all at sea
As Solidarity goes to press, the whereabouts of 153 Tamil asylum seekers is still unknown—except that they are on a Customs ship in the custody of the Australian government, probably still on the high seas in the Indian Ocean.
Bendigo stands up to Islamophobia
Islamophobes are trying to stir up anti-Muslim hatred in Bendigo, but local anti-racists won’t have it.
Redfern Tent Embassy fights to save The Block
Aboriginal activists in Redfern have scored an initial victory, with plans to begin further bulldozing at The Block held off.
No excuses for job and mail service cuts at Australia Post
Nine hundred jobs are going at Australia Post amid speculation letter delivery services could be reduced to three days a week by the end of the year.
NSW Teachers’ Federation wants to squander the fight
The 2014 Annual Conference of the New South Wales Teachers Federation fell only days before the Unions NSW Bust the Budget rally, and amid a wave of anger against Abbott’s budget.
Ian Thorpe’s battle a window into society’s homophobia
Swimming champion Ian Thorpe’s decision to come out has exposed how ingrained homophobia is in Australia.
Israeli terror aims to strangle Gaza
After slaughtering over 230 Palestinians and leaving another 1300 injured so far in its latest bombing campaign, Israel has now launched a ground invasion of the Gaza strip.
Israeli terror state stirs up violent racism
The reaction to the deaths of three Israeli teenagers has exposed the brutal racism behind Zionism.
Revolution, not ‘peace process’ talks, can free Palestine
Millions of people across the globe are rightly furious at Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza. They want to see an end to the killing.
Indonesia rejects former general, but new president won’t bring change
Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has claimed victory over former general Prabowo Subianto in a closely fought presidential election in Indonesian. However, Jokowi is expected to continue favouring big business and investors at the expense of ordinary people.
South African miners make history, metalworkers hot on their heels
After a five month long strike, South African platinum miners are celebrating a momentous victory.
Abbott and the US approve Egypt’s crackdown
Yet last month the US gave the military regime its seal of approval when Secretary of State John Kerry announced the release of $575 million in US military aid to Egypt.
Inside the rise of Clive Palmer
As the Palmer United Party takes centre stage in the Senate, James Supple and Adam Adelpour look at what’s behind Clive Palmer’s games
Pacific plunder: Australia’s WWI grab for colonies
Tom Orsag looks at Australia’s seizure of German Pacific colonies during WWI and how this motivated Australian involvement in the war
Do revolutions always fail?
The counter-revolution in Egypt, together with the confused outcome of the upheavals in Ukraine, has revived the old argument that real popular power is impossible. John Molyneux explains why this is wrong.
Once again on social media and social movements
David Glanz’s article in Solidarity’s last issue, “Protest 2.0? Social media and the streets” is a useful contribution on the strengths and limitations of social media.
How Muckaty won against waste dump
Warlmanpa people fighting attempts to dump nuclear waste on their land at Muckaty in the Northern Territory are celebrating an historic victory.
As budget anger grows: It’s time to strike back at Abbott
Abbott’s budget is the most unpopular in a generation, with greater public opposition even than the horror budget John Howard delivered straight after his election in 1996. The Liberals...
Inside the system
Lifetime ripping off Spaniards forces out a royal, No expense shared on hotels for the super-rich, Boss paid workers in pizza, Chaplaincy program linked to homophobia, Anti-homeless spikes appear in exclusive London suburbs, Jobless pregnant women to be denied income
Melbourne unions stop work to stop Abbott
Melbourne got a taste of the power that could stop Abbott when over 20,000 workers joined a weekday stopwork rally to bust the budget on 12 June.
Sydney unions begin moving to fight budget
Unionists from across Sydney gathered in a mass delegates meeting on 12 June to launch a major rally against the budget for Sunday 6 July.
Don’t rely on Labor to fix Abbott’s budget blows
Abbott’s obscene rule-for-the-rich budget has given Labor a new lease on life. But if we want to kick out Abbott and his policies, we can’t rely on Labor.
Fightback campaign can block the $7 GP fee
The Liberals’ proposed $7 Medicare co-payment is among the most hated element of Abbott’s budget.
Covering up for Manus murder: Lies, damned lies and the Cornall inquiry
The Cornall inquiry, commissioned by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, into “the events of 16-18 February on Manus Island” has now been released. But we are none the wiser for it.
Labor caucus backs offshore processing but there’s cracks in the ranks
Shamefully but not surprisingly, on 17 June, a motion proposing that parliamentary Labor oppose the offshore processing of asylum seekers lost “on the voices”.
High Court rejects challenge to offshore detention
The High Court struck down a constitutional challenge to Manus Island and Nauru on 18 June.
Sydney Uni campaign for BDS has controversial start
On 4 June, a 130 strong meeting of the Sydney University branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) voted 68-56 against a motion to devote branch time and resources to discuss BDS.
UTS staff strike back at management
National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at UTS picketed the campus as part of a 24-hour strike on 21 May.
Iraq’s crisis and divisions created by the West
The dramatic capture of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, by sectarian extremists is the direct product of the US occupation and its imposition of divide-and-rule sectarianism.
Sisi presidency sign of Egypt’s advancing counter-revolution
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s recent “win” in Egypt’s Presidential elections and the jailing of key activists are signs of the advancing counter-revolution.
Racist right benefits from mainstream political crisis in Europe
May’s European elections showed the growing crisis for the mainstream parties after their introduction of austerity policies in response to the economic crisis.
Thailand’s military stage coup for elite and monarchy
The Thai military has seized power after nine months of disruptive protests by pro-military royalists, the Yellow Shirts, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Tiananmen Square: Another China is possible
The protests in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago showed the possibility of real socialism emerging in China, writes Dave Sewell The fall of the Soviet Union, and China’s turn to...
Protest 2.0? Social media and the streets
Social media has been given the credit for protests from Occupy to the Arab revolutions. David Glanz looks at what it really means for activists and social movements
Frontier wars: the wars that really forged the nation
Systematic frontier massacres to drive Aboriginal people off the land established the foundation for Australian ruling class wealth, writes Paddy Gibson
Files that give a glimpse of what ASIO was up to
Meredith Burgmann’s new book Dirty Secrets brings together chapters from left activists and other well known Australians written after accessing their own files.
It’s time to fight and strike Abbott out
Treasurer Joe Hockey’s budget has produced widespread outrage and anger right across the community. It is the most savage attack on welfare and workers since former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard’s “horror budget” in 1996.
Abbott’s budget: Ruling for corporations and the rich
Treasurer Joe Hockey is in no urgent rush to slash the deficit, with cutbacks contributing just $1 billion in savings over the next year. What he wants to do is entrench fundamental, neo-liberal changes to the health system, universities and welfare over the long term.
Out of control pension costs a myth
The budget attack on the pension involved both raising the pension age to 70 for everyone born after 1965, as well as cutting the pension rate by tying increases to inflation rather than average earnings from September 2017.
Abbott out to force health costs onto workers and the poor
The Liberals’ $7 GP fee is designed to undermine Medicare as a universal health system and entrench the principle of user-pays in health.
Liberals want universities for the rich
Universities face a savage wave of free market reforms following the budget. The Liberals’ aim is to force up student fees and create a two-tier system.
Savage attack on welfare will push under 30s to the edge
Young people have effectively had access to welfare benefits stolen from them in the budget through the Liberals’ “earn or learn” measures. Anyone under 30 will be forced to wait through six months of unemployment before they get access to unemployment benefits.
Abbott’s Parental Leave trumps Labor’s
The microscopic mention of Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave scheme in the budget raises questions about whether the Liberals will end up actually implementing it. But it is concerning to hear ACTU and Labor party leaders call it “gold plated” and “too costly”.
The myths behind Hockey’s deficit rhetoric
Of all the lies used to justify the budget cuts, the myth that Australia has a debt “crisis” has been central.
Bentley blockade shows people power can beat the Liberals
The campaign against Coal Seam Gas has won a significant victory at Bentley, near Lismore on the NSW Northern Rivers.
Cambodia isn’t safe for refugees
Reports claim that a deal between Australia and Cambodia to resettle refugees from Nauru in Cambodia could soon be signed.
Justice for Reza Barati: the minister for murder has to go
One hundred days after Iranian asylum seeker, Reza Barati, was killed inside the Manus Island detention centre no one has been held to account. The killers, former G4S workers...
Liberal corruption confirmed at higest levels
New evidence of corruption in the NSW Liberal Party has been pouring out through the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC).
Poverty in Nigeria fuels Boko Haram—and force will not stop it
Baba Aye of the Socialist Workers League in Nigeria explains the roots of Boko Haram and why military action against it is bound to fail
Is international revolution possible?
Eliot Hoving continues our series on socialism, arguing that international revolution is both possible and necessary
South Africa’s ANC challenged by black workers and a new left
The recent South African elections saw the African National Congress (ANC) face the most serious challenge since the end of apartheid.
‘The struggle against Apartheid did not liberate the working class’
Irvin Jim, the general secretary of South Africa’s biggest union the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), thinks the time is right for a new struggle for...
Imperialist rivalry and Putin’s Russia
As the conflict inside Ukraine continues, Solidarity looks at Russia’s increasing assertiveness under Vladimir Putin.
How revolution ended the First World War
Revolutions across Europe ended the First World War, writes Lachlan Marshall, as the working class rose up against the rulers that had sent them to war.
Racism—just a laughing matter in Jonah from Tonga
Award-winning comedian Chris Lilley is back with six-part “mockumentary”, Jonah From Tonga, following the life of Year 9 student Jonah Takalua. But Jonah from Tonga is a racist travesty.
Inside the system
Abbott and Hockey enjoy luxury while serving up cuts, No ‘heavy lifting’ in budget for millionaires, Palmer policy is pay cuts for his workers, Winning Lotto makes people more right-wing, Stop whinging Pyne, we’re the ones being assaulted, Things they say
Editorial: Abbott targets us for cuts so rich can keep their loot
Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey are lining up an ever-growing list of possible cuts for the May budget. Hockey says that “Every Australian is going to be asked to contribute to the Budget repair”—but the budget cuts are not aimed at the rich.
Inside the system
‘Age of entitlement’ not over for royals; CIA torture architect says he supports Amnesty International; US a plutocracy not a democracy; Poor left to rot in NSW; Tourism body says rich should be able to skip queues; Chinese mining boss ran capitalism as organised crime
O’Farrell’s demise shows Liberal culture of corruption
The resignation of NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has exposed the culture of corruption and political favours inside the Liberal Party.
Moving away from unions won’t fix Labor’s woes
Labor's drubbing at the WA Senate election has opened renewed demands for “party reform”. However, despite rhetoric about “democratising” the party, the main aim is further diluting union influence.
Unionists organising for refugees: ‘They’re no threat to us’
One of the many highlights of Sydney’s Palm Sunday rally in April was the 100-strong Unions for Refugees contingent. The group formed after last year’s federal election and managed to get representation from 13 unions at the rally.
Abbott and Labor both punished in WA election
Both major parties received a kicking from voters in the WA Senate election re-run in March.
Fight Abbott’s attack on unions and CFMEU
Tony Abbott's Royal Commission witch hunt into the unions has begun, with its first hearing held in early April. Abbott’s “concern” about union corruption is a thinly-veiled attack the right to strike and routine union activity.
Super-A-Mart workers win victory against low pay
Low paid workers at the Super-A-Mart warehouse in Somerton, Victoria have won their first union agreement following a six-week lockout.
Nurses delegate: ‘The $6 Medicare fee is just the beginning’
Frances Usherwood works as a clinical nurse educator in a Paediatric hospital, and is a NSW Nurses and Midwives Association delegate and branch assistant secretary. Below is part of her speech to a Solidarity meeting in Sydney recently.
Business and the military still running politics in Indonesia
Legislative elections in Indonesia on April 9 offered a preview of what to expect in July’s presidential elections.
Fascists thrive in France amidst austerity
Marine Le Pen’s fascist Front National (FN) achieved its best results ever in French local elections in late March. Recent polls indicate they may also top the European elections in May.
Afghan elections keep warlords in control
Western politicians have been quick to claim the recent presidential election in Afghanistan as some sort of victory. While western newspapers were full of pictures of Afghan women lining up to vote, behind the democratic veneer is a deeply traumatised society where power depends on the support of rival warlords.
Opposition on the home front: Strikes, conscription and the First World War
Solidarity examines the campaign against conscription and opposition to the First World War in Australia
How the unions brought down Howard
James Supple looks at the lessons from the union campaign that defeated Liberal Prime Minister John Howard in 2007
Boycotts and the fight for social change
Erima Dall examines the strategy of boycotting to achieve social change
Are we too selfish for socialism?
Geraldine Fela looks at the claim that the selfishness of human nature means socialism is impossible
Witness to the torture on Nauru
Mark Isaacs spent almost a year as a Salvation Army worker on Nauru. The Undesirables is his compelling firsthand account of the horror, injustice and disaster of offshore detention.
Morrison’s refugee brutality unravels
While Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott try to portray Operation Sovereign Borders as the Coalition's stand out success, the contradictions of offshore processing are growing sharper by the day writes Ian Rintoul
March in March shows: Abbott can be beaten
The phenomenal turnout at the March in March rallies shows the possibilities for a fightback against Tony Abbott. Organisers estimate 115,000 people took part across the country.
Inside the system
Multinationals dodging tax, Abbott to help; Abbott’s Australia: Open for the rich, closed to refugees; Australia “assists” Bougainville with mining law
Morwell coal fire puts lives and climate at risk
For more than eight weeks, the fire at the Hazelwood open-cut coal mine in Victoria spewed toxic smoke and ash across Morwell. Meanwhile the state Liberals and the company that own the mine, GDF Suez, spewed out deception and denial.
Stopping Operation Sovereign Murders
One day after the calculated murder and bloody retribution at the Manus detention camp, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison stood in front of news cameras and told a concocted, now completely discredited, story.
Transfield boycott wins a victory for refugee rights
Artists who boycotted the Sydney Biennale over its links to Transfield have won an important victory for refugee rights.
Letter from Manus Island: ‘G4S attacked us—they killed Reza’
This letter was written by one of the injured Manus asylum seekers and smuggled out of a Port Moresby hospital where he was sent for treatment. It gives an eyewitness account of the attack on 17 February. It has been slightly edited to protect identities.
Abbott effect saves Labor in South Australia, but hard lessons in Tasmania
The Coalition was expected to march to victory in both Tasmania and South Australia’s March state elections. Yet Labor, with the support of one independent, will hold onto power in South Australia, defying predictions.
Axe flies at Qantas—but where’s the fight for jobs?
Tony Abbott has cheered on the announcement of 5000 job cuts at Qantas, salivating at the prospect of a company prepared to take on the unions. But neither Labor nor the union leaders are prepared to back the fight to save the jobs that is sorely needed.
Millers Point fights housing sell-off to the rich
Residents of Sydney’s historic Millers Point has vowed to fight eviction plans, following the NSW Liberals’ decision to sell off their homes.
WA workers face fines as Liberals begin war on CFMEU
The Abbott government has the CFMEU construction union in its sights.
Public sector facing Abbott’s job cuts, pay freeze
Abbott came to power promising 12,000 job cuts in the public service. Already this has risen to 14,500 over four years, after discovering Labor had already factored these cuts into the budget before it left office.
Macquarie Uni lecturers teach a lesson about pay, casualisation
Staff at Macquarie Uni in Sydney staged a 24-hour strike on 11 March to demand a reduction in casualisation and reject a below-inflation pay offer from management.
Cutbacks prompt fightback at La Trobe
A two-day strike was planned at La Trobe Uni as Solidarity went to press, after management announced 350 job cuts across its Melbourne and regional campuses. Its five faculties will be merged into just two as part of a restructure plan.
Right-wing protests aim to exploit Venezuela’s problems
Venezuela has again been rocked by right-wing protests intent on overthrowing the democratically elected government of Nicholas Maduro.
Ukraine crisis ignites tensions between Russia and the West
Russia’s seizure of control of the Crimea has taken Ukraine to the brink of war and escalated tensions between the US and Russia.
The myth of soaring welfare costs
The Liberals’ claims that welfare spending is unaffordable and must be reined in don’t stack up, argues Daisy Farnham
Militarism and the myths of Anzac
As First World War centenary celebrations begin, David Glanz looks at the Anzac myth, and how it is used to promote nationalism and the glorification of war
Australia, China and the US pivot to Asia
Tom Orsag looks at the US military’s efforts to face China, and the implications for Australia
Hitchens on trial: Islam, religion and the left
Richard Seymour’s latest book Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens exposes one of the most celebrated public intellectuals of the last 30 years.
Close the hell-hole: Manus blood on Morrison’s hands
The events on Manus Island have been nothing short of horrific. A 24-year-old Faili Kurd is dead; and other asylum seekers are critically ill, one with a fractured skull, another with a cut throat.
As Abbott lines up attacks, prepare to fight
More of Tony Abbott’s real plan for Australia has been revealed—and it’s ugly.
Inside the system
85 billionaires hold as much wealth as 3.5 billion, Aboriginal woman blinded by taser attack, Millionaire CEO says he is ‘like Darryl Kerrigan from the Castle’, Navy staff linked to far-right racist group, Commission of Audit salaries escape austerity
Softening up for cuts to jobs and services at Australia Post begins
As the Abbott government’s Commission of Audit prepares its war path against public services and public sector workers, Australia Post looks to be squarely in the firing line.
Small step towards justice for Jessie
Jessie Cayanan faced deportation last October after his 457 visa ran out, but has now been granted a Bridging Visa E with work rights. Most Bridging Visa Es don’t come with work rights, so this a minor victory for the campaign to grant him permanent residency.
Liberals have always dreamed of killing Medicare
The plan for a $6 co-payment fee for every bulk-billed visit to a GP has generated anger across the country. Health Minister Peter Dutton is on the attack claiming that health spending is “unsustainable”.
Nauru: Australian colonial control never really ended
Today, Nauru is as a pliant micro-state ready to warehouse and imprison asylum seekers. Its willingness to do Australia’s bidding is the result of a history of colonial exploitation.
Nauru—not fit for pregnant women, not fit for anyone
Another mother-to-be brought from Nauru to Brisbane at the end of January has won a reprieve from being sent back to Nauru.
Moral panic over drunken violence covers attack on our rights
The media frenzy over “alcohol fuelled violence” has led to the introduction of sweeping new police powers and alcohol restrictions in NSW, including the introduction of mandatory sentencing.
Media corruption frenzy boosts Abbott’s attack on unions
Tony Abbott has seized upon reports alleging corruption in the construction union to press his case for a Royal Commission and a new round of union busting.
Aboriginal grandmothers fight to stop new Stolen Generation
On the sixth anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s apology, a rally outside the NSW parliament demanded an end to what activists are calling a new Stolen Generation—removals by child protection departments.
Abbott’s attitude to Aboriginal people shows a new paternalism
The latest “Closing the Gap” report, released February 13, shows deteriorating conditions in Aboriginal communities across the country—a result of years of bipartisan support for assimilationist, pro-corporate policies such as the NT Intervention and attacks on Aboriginal organisations.
Egypt’s revolutionaries still defying the military
Three years ago more than a million people packed Egypt’s Tahrir square celebrating the fall of the hated dictator, Hosni Mubarak. Today things are not so bright.
Why Marx was right about capitalism
Karl Marx’s ideas remain crucial to understanding capitalism and the crisis and instability across the world today.
100 years since the First world war: Slaughter for empire and profit
Lachlan Marshall explains how the First World War was the logical outcome of the drive to divide the world into rival empires, not simply a tragic mistake
Oil, imperialism and intervention: Australia’s sordid history in East Timor
Australia’s self-interested grab for Timor’s oil is of a piece with the motives that drove the 1999 military intervention argues Vivian Honan
Full savagery of black slavery captured on film
Based on the life of Solomon Northup, published as a book in 1853, Twelve Years a Slave is a serious attempt to deal with the substance of slavery.
Mary and Mohammad both in the same boat
Heather Kirkpatrick's documentary, Mary Meets Mohammad, captures two worlds colliding in “Australia’s least multicultural town” of Pontville, where Tasmania’s first refugee detention centre was opened in mid-2011.
Outrage and anger shows Abbott can be fought
Incredibly, just months after he came to power, both Newspoll and Nielsen polls revealed in December that Abbott has slumped to a position where he would now lose an election. The government has over-reached on a whole number of issues.
Same-sex marriage anger turning on Abbott
Abbott and the Coalition should have been celebrating a victory when the High Court overturned the ACT’s same-sex marriage legislation. But their attempt to stick with a minority position against same-sex marriage is not doing the Coalition any favours.
The Liberals lie: we can afford Medicare
The Liberals claim that healthcare costs are rising so fast that they will be “unsustainable” without cutbacks. But this is only because they want to reduce taxes on corporations and the rich.
Abbott has the unions in his sights
Tony Abbott deliberately portrayed himself as an industrial relations moderate before the election. But he is no moderate. On the second day of the new parliament he passed laws re-establishing the Howard-era anti-union Australian Building and Construction Commission.
Abbott’s corporate agenda means Aboriginal assimilation
Not content with the devastation of six years of the NT intervention, Tony Abbott went to the election insisting he would be the “Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. He has wasted no time in launching a new wave of attacks on Aboriginal communities.
Blacktown shows how to beat the Liberals
A campaign by unionists and the Blacktown community has scored a victory. Plans to sell off Blacktown City Council’s 24 child care centres were derailed, following protests by parents and child care workers, when three Liberal Councillors crossed the floor to support a motion to continue providing the services late last year.
Turn back Abbott – not the boats
In its desperation to “stop the boats” the Abbott government has secretly resorted to intercepting and towing boats back to Indonesian waters. After Indonesia denied entry to two Australian navy ships carrying asylum seekers in November last year, it seems that there have been at least five asylum boats turned back by the Australian navy since Abbott was elected.
Christmas Island protests rock Morrison
The protest that has erupted inside the Christmas Island detention centres is the largest to confront the government since the protest and fire that destroyed the Nauru detention camp on 19 July 2013.
Outpouring of protest after visa denied to gay Pakistani man Ali Choudry
A petition campaign to support the visa application of Ali Choudry generated huge support in a matter of hours in January.
Nationalise Holden: fight for every job
After 64 years manufacturing in Australia, and taking billions in government subsidies, General Motors Holden has announced its Australian factories will close in 2017. At least 3000 workers face the sack and up to 45,000 jobs in the auto component industry are at risk.
Retreat from Afghanistan shows disaster of occupation
In December Australia’s last combat troops in Afghanistan left after 12 years. According to Tony Abbott the withdrawal was, “Not with victory, not with defeat, but with, we hope, an Afghanistan that is better for our presence here”, in an effective admission that the West has lost the war.
Ukraine: Pro-EU protests no answer to corruption and crisis
An economy in crisis and a corrupt government: Ukranians have plenty to protest about. But the protests that grabbed international headlines in December against President Viktor Yanukovych are happening on the terms of a nasty section of the ruling class. They offer little prospect of improving the situation for ordinary Ukrainians.
Australia’s Timor oil grab exposed in spy scandal
Following Abbott’s arrogance over the Indonesian spying scandal, there have been fresh revelations of a disgraceful Australian government spying operation in East Timor. This is part of Australia’s grab for access to the impoverished nation’s oil and gas.
Russia’s homophobia in Olympic spotlight
The upcoming Sochi Olympic Games have shone an international spotlight on Russia’s treatment of dissent.
Cambodian strikers shot down by military
On Christmas eve, as Australian retailers like K-Mart and Big-W tried to maximise holiday sales profits, the Cambodian workers who make their clothes and footwear (as well as for Adidas, Levi Strauss, H&M, the Gap and Puma) were walking out on strike.
Aboriginal soldiers: rewarded with racism and discrimination
The supposed freedom and liberty fought for in both world wars was never extended to Aboriginal soldiers who sacrificed for Australia’s rulers, writes Tom Orsag.
Utopia: the Intervention exposed
John Pilger’s new film Utopia exposes the worsening conditions for Aboriginal people as a product of the return to assimilationist policies, writes Lucy Honan
South Africa: the unfinished struggle
Nelson Mandela’s South Africa did not live up to the hopes of freedom and equality that drove the struggle against apartheid, argues James Supple