More bombing of Syria won’t ‘destroy’ Islamic State
French President Francois Hollande called the attacks in Paris an “act of war”. Within days, France responded by bombing Raqqa, the so-called capital of Islamic State in Syria. There will be more to follow, with France moving its only aircraft carrier, which Hollande boasted would “triple our capacity to take action”, to the region.
Target Muslims, stoke fear: Australian politicians and the media’s response to Paris
After the attacks in Paris, the Coalition and the Murdoch media worked hand-in-glove, casting around for ways to make political mileage.
Broader movement needed to defeat Reclaim’s Islamophobia
On November 22, anti-Muslim racists Reclaim Australia held their third day of national rallies. This time Reclaim focused on two anti-mosque campaigns, in Melton, in outer Melbourne, and in Buchanan, near Cessnock in New South Wales, while the neo-fascist group United Patriots Front mobilised in Perth.
Turnbull’s tax reform aims to boost corporate profits
The tax ‘reform’ debate has concentrated on increasing the Goods and Services Tax from 10 per cent to 15 per cent and including in the tax base things like fresh food, and health and education spending.
Why we don’t stand for the national anthem
When the Murdoch media got wind in late October that Muslim students at a primary school in Victoria had left assembly to avoid singing Advance Australia Fair, all hell broke loose.
Inquest exposes brutal police contempt that killed Ms Dhu
On 23 November, a coronial inquest into the death of 22-year-old Aboriginal woman Julieka Dhu began in Perth. Dhu died from pneumonia and septic shock while in the custody of police. She was in police cells because of $3622 in outstanding fines.
Hard-fought wins at Hutchison, but clear victory means defying the law
The inspirational three-month long struggle by Hutchison wharfies in Sydney and Brisbane ended on 16 November, when Maritime Union members voted to accept a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.
NSW council mergers a Trojan horse for privatisation
About 600 people, including many council workers, rallied at Martin Place on 18 November to protest the NSW government’s drive to merge local councils across the state.
General strikes in Greece—this time against Syriza’s austerity
The fight against Syriza’s austerity measures in Greece has begun, with workers staging two general strikes in the space of three weeks.
Suu Kyi to share power with the military in Burma
Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy has won 80 per cent of the vote in Burma’s November national elections. This is a significant political defeat for the military junta after decades of authoritarian rule.
Turned back: Jewish refugees and WWII
As Europe faces its greatest refugee crisis since 1945, Solidarity looks at the mistakes made then in turning back Jewish refugees, and how they are being repeated
Organising the unemployed: Dole strikes and the 1930s Depression
Amid the mass unemployment of the Depression, the Communist Party did some of its best work, organising the fight for high dole payments and more jobs writes Tom Orsag
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King: revolution and black liberation
Amy Thomas looks at the lives and political evolution of two giants of the black rights movement in the US
Klein film foregrounds fight for the climate, but skirts what we’re up against
This Changes Everything was screened around the world in the lead up to December’s climate summit in Paris to promote the People’s Climate March. The focus of the film is the front-line struggles around the world against fossil fuel expansion and exploitation.
Kids out, all out—end detention
In early November, the Free the Children Nauru Facebook page, set up by teenagers on Nauru, got a whopping 23,000 followers within 24 hours. In late November, The Greens...
Editorial: Stuff Turnbull, stuff the GST
Malcolm Turnbull might be keeping the Coalition ahead in the polls, but the gloss is coming off his Prime Ministership. His real agenda becomes clearer by the day.
Inside the system
Use of force on asylum seekers in detention up 2700 per cent; Top 1 per cent own half the world’s wealth; Australians work some of world’s longest hours; SA cop unpunished after threat to lynch Aboriginal man; Abbott hits speaker’s circuit with ‘fascistic’ address; NAB increases interest rates while posting record profits; Things they say
People power for Abyan shows how to stop refugee cruelty
It was not until Abyan’s plight became public and tens of thousands signed a petition and thousands of others sent emails and contacted MPs offices that the government moved to bring Abyan off Nauru.
Dutton’s offshore resettlement crisis: Cambodia, Philippines…Kyrgyzstan?
The latest pitch for a resettlement arrangement with the ex-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan came after the Philippines firmly rejected any idea that it would be part of a refugee resettlement deal with Australia.
Are amalgamations the answer to union membership woes?
The talk of union amalgamations and the latest statistics on union membership have again raised the question of how to build unions.
Turnbull takes up Royal Commission anti-union agenda
Malcolm Turnbull wants to make industrial relations a “frontline issue” at the next election and will use the findings of Abbott’s Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption to go on a union bashing offensive.
Muslim kids and prisoners the new enemy under Turnbull
So much for Malcolm Turnbull’s fresh approach to dealing with the Muslim community. His government is forging ahead with plans to introduce restrictive control orders for people as young as 14.
Wage growth slumps as workers feel economic pain
As part of trying to soften us up for “the economic leadership our nation needs”, Malcolm Turnbull has been telling us Australia is a “high wage, generous social safety...
War and chaos boost Erdogan back to power in Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has secured a majority in Turkey’s re-call election, after refusing to form a coalition government following previous elections in June.
Canada’s Tories toppled by Liberal talk of ‘real change’
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have surged to power in Canada by promising “real change” after almost ten years of Conservative rule. Despite their position as one of Canada’s two big business parties, the Liberals even managed to outflank the New Democratic Party on the left.
A new generation rekindles Palestinian resistance
Palestinians have launched a new wave of resistance in response to decades of dispossession, discrimination and humiliation.
Why climate action means challenging capitalism
Tackling climate change through a rapid transition to renewable energy is perfectly feasible, but corporate interests are determined to frustrate action, writes Erima Dall
Trading our way to disaster on carbon
Labor is again proposing a price on carbon as the centrepiece of its climate policy. The unpopularity of the carbon tax experiment means they now advocate an Emissions Trading...
How Australian workers helped Indonesia end colonial rule
Seventy years on, Lachlan Marshall explains the important role strike action by Australians unions played in assisting Indonesian independence
Capitalism and Aboriginal oppression
Aboriginal dispossession served capitalist interests, argues Paddy Gibson, but Aboriginal people have remained a “problem” from the point of view of Australia’s rulers ever since
Understanding the rise and fall of Syriza
Through all the twists and turns of the last six months, Kevin Ovenden has been a key source of English-language updates on the Syriza government and events taking place in Greece. Now he has produced one of the first detailed accounts of the events that made the radical left’s rise to government possible, and Syriza’s rapid capitulation to EU-imposed austerity.
Editorial: Abbott’s fate shows Turnbull can be beaten
The end of Tony Abbott is a victory for all those who have demonstrated and campaigned against his cuts, racism and homophobia. The scale of the protests and opposition to his first budget crippled his government.
Inside the system
NT Prison guards torment Aboriginal kids; CSIRO ship rented out to Chevron and BP; Trucking magnate invites MPs on luxury cruise; Volkswagen busted for greenwashing; One in five big companies pay no tax; Productivity Commission says cut wages during natural disasters; Things they say
Opposition to the Abbott agenda brought down PM
Abbott was never a popular figure. But it was the sweeping cuts in his first budget that sealed his fate.
Malcolm Turnbull—Prime Minister for the millionaires
Turnbull is fully committed to delivering policies that benefit big business and the rich through cutting spending and delivering “economic reform”, promising "a thoroughly Liberal Government".
Nauru’s horrific war on refugee women
Two days before the High Court case looking at the legality of maintaining offshore detention facilities, Nauru dramatically announced that detention will end on the island. The reality is the announcement means little for those incarcerated on Nauru.
Turnbull stirs Islamophobia over raids and radicalisation
The Turnbull led-Coalition claims to be “resetting” the relationship between the government and the Muslim community. Turnbull has junked reference to “Team Australia”, as well as Abbott’s favoured term for Islamic State, “death cult”. But changing the rhetoric hasn’t changed the substance.
Domestic violence a product of poverty and class oppression
Malcolm Turnbull and new Minister for Women Michaelia Cash have made a great show of confronting domestic violence. But politicians, celebrities, media outlets and sporting codes have already thrown their weight behind the massive White Ribbon awareness campaign, with no reduction in violence.
Greens’ leader Richard di Natale charting rightward course
Last month, The Greens’ leader Richard Di Natale sparked internal strife with his “captain’s pick” decision to take away the Tertiary, Technical and Further education portfolios from the more left-wing NSW Senator, Lee Rhiannon.
Russia forces the West to embrace Syria’s dictator Assad
Russia’s intervention to shore up the Assad regime and begin bombing in Syria has decisively turned the tables on the US and its regional allies.
Mass protests in Lebanon and Iraq show hope for Middle East
The Arab Spring, four years ago a source of inspiration and hope across the Middle East, has given way to a wave of counter revolution, sectarianism and war. But in recent months, new upsurges in struggle have taken place in Iraq and Lebanon—two of the countries most wracked by sectarianism.
Massive corruption scandal fuels Bersih 4 in Malaysia
At the end of August as many as half a million Malaysians joined the Bersih 4 protests on the streets of Kuala Lumpur.
Can Jeremy Corbyn shift British Labour?
Jeremy Corbyn’s phenomenal victory in the British Labour leadership race, with 60 per cent of the vote and support from UNITE and eight other unions, has created irreconcilable tensions in British politics.
No choice for Syrians but to risk dangerous voyage
Syrian refugees face hellish conditions in neighbouring countries, and aid money is running out, forcing larger numbers to use people smugglers to escape writes Solidarity
‘Germany can cope with refugee influx, it’s a question of priority’
Christine Buchholz, socialist MP and member of die Linke, reports on the refugee "crisis" in Germany.
Why australia wanted war in Vietnam
Australia has been an enthusiastic partner of US imperialism in an effort to advance its own interests in the region, argues Vivian Honan
Queensland’s 1935 canecutters strike
Communist Party activists on the sugar cane fields managed to unite workers across racial divisions, defying union officials and a Labor state government, writes Tom Orsag
Holding the Man: Life beyond homophobia
Though Holding the Man is a tragic tale, it’s also a story of hope and pride. The film is based on the play adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s 1994 memoir of the same name.
Abbott’s ship sinking quick—time to build the resistance
The Abbott government continues to lurch from one disaster to the next. The Canning by-election, due as we went to press, could be the final straw. Even a big swing against the Liberals will again put Abbott’s leadership on life support.
Inside the system
Officer who locked up Haneef promoted; Qantas CEO gets 490 per cent pay rise; Force students to pay back HECS sooner, says Andrew Norton; UN report predicts Gaza to be uninhabitable; Border Force shows its soft side; Sydney pub bans workers
Wave of refugees challenges Fortress Europe
Europe is being confronted with its greatest refugee crisis since World War Two. The scale of the crisis is immense. Germany alone expects to receive 800,000 asylum seekers this year.
Abbott’s Syria refugee announcement: Too little, too discriminatory and too hypocritical
As the refugee crisis unfolded in Europe and the photo of the lifeless body of a three year-old on a Turkish beach galvanised calls for action, an outpouring of public pressure has forced the Abbott government to take 12,000 Syrian refugees.
Redfern embassy wins on key housing demands
The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy has won an inspiring victory. After more than 15 months of maintaining a protest camp at the Block in Redfern, in late August RATE forced guarantees about the inclusion of Aboriginal housing in the major redevelopment plan.
Royal Commission bias now out in the open
The farce over Dyson Heydon’s links to the Liberal Party has exposed the Trade Union Royal Commission for what it always was—a political stunt aimed against Labor and the unions.
Is the Australian economy facing recession?
Stockmarket gyrations and slowing growth figures have raised renewed questions about the health of the Australian and world economy.
China deal: the issue is exploitation, not immigration
The debate over the Liberals’ China-Australia free trade deal (ChAFTA) has taken centre stage in federal politics. The problems with the deal are real. But there is no excuse for rhetoric blaming foreign workers for unemployment or taking jobs.
Abbott’s bombs will make Syria’s crisis worse
Tony Abbott is cynically trying to use the Syrian refugee crisis as his excuse for extending Australian airstrikes into Syria.
Protests continue over Hutchison sackings
Sacked wharfies are continuing to maintain a “community assembly” and protest camp outside terminals run by Hutchison Ports Australia in Sydney and Brisbane, demanding re-instatement.
Melbourne strikes halt trains and trams
Industrial action has paralysed Melbourne’s transport system in recent weeks as disputes with Yarra Trams and Metro Trains escalate.
Turkey begins bombing IS—and the Kurds
The Turkish government has begun military operations targeting IS in Syria and Iraq, collaborating with US forces.
Opposition to austerity in Greece forces Syriza back to the polls
After capitulating to Europe’s rulers and signing a new austerity deal worse that any before, Greece’s Syriza Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called a snap election for 20 September.
Corbyn’s left politics sweep British Labour election
Jeremy Corbyn is poised to take the leadership of the British Labour Party, with thousands turning out to hear the veteran “hard left” MP speak at meetings up and down the country.
Privilege theory and the fight against oppresssion
Privilege theory weakens opposition to oppression, because it misdiagnoses its source and portrays those who aren’t oppressed as incapable of fighting it, writes Lucy Honan
The 1917 general strike
Geraldine Fela starts a Solidarity series on great strikes, with a look at the largest strike in Australian history, the 1917 general strike during the First World War
Racism and economic crisis: Lessons from fighting the far right in Greece
Greek socialist Petros Constantinou spoke at Keep Left 2015 on the racism accompanying the economic crisis in Greece and how the left has organised to stop the rise of the fascist Golden Dawn. We reproduce his speech here.
Gayby Baby: The kids are alright
The furore over schools screening Gayby Baby has made one thing clear. If it were up to the vast majority of us, we would shake off the idiocy of homophobia and move right along.
More blood won’t solve the Middle East crisis
Former Australian army officer David Kilcullen has become a widely cited establishment expert on counter-terrorism. A hired gun for western imperialism, Kilcullen likes to present himself as the thinking person’s warmonger.
Editorial: Abbott on the ropes again after same-sex marriage debacle
In the aftermath of the Bronwyn Bishop travel rorts affair, Abbott has slumped in the polls. Labor is leading 54-46 according to Newspoll.
Inside the system
Major parties close ranks to protect travel perks; Warren Truss’ 21K flight; Hillsong rakes it in; UK puts three-year-old on extremism register; Luxury car sales hit record high; Charter flights all the rage for the rich; German company top tax evader in Greece
Lacklustre right-wing line wins the day at Labor conference
The National Labor Conference was designed to position Labor to return to government, in time for the election due by the end of next year. But it only confirmed Labor’s drift to the right.
Deja vu on climate: Labor’s only promise on renewables is emissions trading
One of the big announcements at Labor’s National Conference was the plan for 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030. But the devil is in the detail—and the devil here is that there is no detail.
Labor votes to turn asylum seekers away
The Federal Labor Party lurched further to the right, after leader Bill Shorten won majority support for the turn-back of asylum boats at the Labor National Conference in July.
Queensland teachers oppose transfer of asylum seeker student
Outrage is growing in Queensland over the transfer of a re-detained Iranian asylum seeker from the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA) to Wickham Point in Darwin.
Hutchison workers defy company, courts, Abbott to fight for jobs
Ninety-seven wharfies are fighting for their jobs after being callously sacked by text message and email from Hutchison’s port terminals in Sydney and Brisbane on 6 August. But the workers are fighting the sackings with pickets in Sydney and Brisbane, ongoing as we go to press.
Strike action hits airports as CPSU campaign continues
Workers in Border Force, Immigration and Agriculture took stop work action again on 3 August, with rolling four-hour stoppages across the country. There was significant disruption to international airport queues, with management forced to move into frontline positions to cover for striking workers.
Defend Johnny Lomax: in court for winning a pay rise for workers
Lomax is an organiser with the building union, the CFMEU. He is charged with blackmail. His crime? Lomax put pressure on an employer to sign an Enterprise Agreement and pay higher wages, up from $17 an hour to $26 an hour.
Reclaim Australia on the nose—time to unite against Islamophobia
Far right protest group Reclaim Australia has been humiliated, after their second round of anti-Muslim protests on 18 and 19 July flopped spectacularly.
Racist abuse of Goodes fanned from the top of society
The booing of Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes has exposed the faultline over racism in Australia. When the racist targeting drove Goodes to contemplate an early retirement, we saw a tidal wave of support for him from across the country.
Greek activist: Fight against Syriza’s austerity has already begun
Officials from the Troika have returned to Greece to resume the enforcement of austerity measures agreed as part of the new Memorandum agreed by the Syriza government.
‘Out of the closet and into the streets’: The Stonewall riot and LGBT liberation
It was the radical politics of the Gay Liberation movement that emerged from Stonewall that set in motion the shift in attitudes on LGBT rights, explains Amy Thomas
Greece’s royal coup—lessons of the July Days
The current battle against unelected institutions in Greece isn’t the first. Dave Sewell looks at the July Days in 1965—and how that movement could have won
Slavery and the origins of racism
Feiyi Zhang argues that racism is a modern phenomenon, a product of capitalism and the trans-Atlantic slave trade
Editorial: Unpopularity contest as Labor embraces Abbott’s policies
The Morgan Poll in early July, taken during ALP leader Bill Shorten’s appearance at the Royal Commission into Trade Unions, showed the lowest two-party preferred rating for Labor in a year—51 to 49. Still ahead of the Liberals, but only just.
Inside the system
Lawyers make a killing from anti-union witch hunt; WA Department turns hoses on homeless; Abbott bureaucrat parades in Confederate flag; Pollies rort entitlements to watch sport; Politicians spend over $500,000 on flags
Turn back Labor’s slide to the right on refugees
In the run-up to the ALP national conference, the question of whether there will be a push for Labor to support the turnback of asylum boats looms large.
Workers stand up to bipartisan Border Force disgrace
On a cold July Saturday morning, almost 300 medical professionals (doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists) gathered on the steps of Sydney’s Town Hall to demonstrate their defiance of the Border Force Act.
Q&A debate: The real scandal is Abbott’s citizenship laws
Tony Abbott has dragged out his unhinged attack on the ABC’s Q&A. He is aiming to bolster the case for the government’s attack on citizenship rights and push Islamophobia—and it all comes with the added benefit of maligning a traditional enemy, the ABC.
The real Zaky Mallah
Mallah is a victim of a society that encourages Islamophobia and the isolation of young Muslims.
Abbott’s cuts threaten Aboriginal medical service and community control
The Aboriginal Medical Service Western Sydney is fighting closure due to government funding cuts.
Industrial action winning gains in public service
Industrial action in the federal public service has already forced concessions, as endless negotiations, which have rolled on in slow motion, continue.
Oppose corporate agenda of China FTA, not Chinese workers
In June, the Australian government finalised a Free Trade Agreement with China (ChAFTA), a move hailed as a breakthrough by Liberal politicians and business organisations like the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Union support grows for Aboriginal housing on The Block
For fourteen months, the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) has held up a commercial development on The Block, an historic patch of Aboriginal land in the heart of Sydney. As the possibility of eviction and development looms, activists are working on winning critical union support.
Pension changes force workers to pay for retirement
The Abbott government has been pushing for cuts to the pension since its horror budget last year. The changes to the pension that passed parliament recently—sadly, with the support of The Greens—are a step in this direction.
No end to profiteering and rorts at the top end of town
The Coalition wants us to believe workers and the poor have it easy—and that the funds for their coveted budget surplus should be taken from our pockets. But a look at the facts demonstrates that it’s the big end of town that’s doing the leaning.
Greek workers say “oxi” to austerity
The full scale of the EU’s ruthless contempt for ordinary people has been revealed in the new austerity deal imposed on Greece.
Alternative to austerity requires challenging capitalism
Scrapping austerity in Greece would mean withdrawing from the EU. This would allow Greece to default and cancel its €340 billion debts.
Class divide on show in austerity referendum
The Greek referendum revealed the stark class divide in Greece and a deepening radicalisation of the population.
Failure of reformism led to Greek tragedy
Prime minister Alexis Tsipras, of radical left party Syriza, asked the vultures to compromise. When they said no, he had no Plan B but surrender.
European Union imposes neo-liberalism and austerity by design
Many left-leaning people accept the notion that the EU is a progressive force. But the EU is a project that has always been a profoundly capitalist one.
Shorten and the AWU: The best friends Abbott and the bosses ever had
Shorten and the AWU’s model of unionism short-changed workers through doing favours for the bosses writes Mark Gillespie
Marxism, Islam and religion
Islamophobes treat religion as a uniquely backward set of ideas, but religion can also be a reaction to oppression and a way of fighting back, writes Erima Dall
Boundless Plains—but not for sharing
Ian Rintoul looks at Across the Seas, a new book on the history of Australia’s response to asylum seekers and finds a disturbing continuity with the racism of today
Editorial: Labor’s silence lets Abbott’s fear campaign run rampant
Abbott is determined to use racism and Islamophobia to revive his electoral support. The results can be seen in the opinion polls over the last few months. Although Labor would still win an election, Abbott has crept up in the leadership satisfaction ratings.
Inside the system
Joe DeBruyn and SDA earn the Liberals’ praise; Sydney housing affordable say millionaire Liberals; Vic Police edit Wikipedia page about fatal shooting; Cops and Immigration get Opal card data; Uni Vice-Chancellors rake it in; Things they say
ACTU Congress launches ‘more of the same’ electoral campaign
A campaign to get Labor elected in 30 marginal seats was the centrepiece of the triannual ACTU Congress held in Melbourne in late May.
ACTU opposes turnbacks, detention on Manus and Nauru
A high point of the recent ACTU Congress was the adoption of a strong asylum seeker and refugee policy.
Doing the maths: Hockey’s ‘fair budget’ hurts the poor
Joe Hockey’s claim that the budget is “fair” has unraveled, with detailed analysis showing that the poorest will suffer the most from the changes.
Greens’ support for pension cuts is a mistake
New Greens leader Richard Di Natale has failed one of his first tests as leader by supporting cuts to the aged pension. The cuts will take $2.5 billion from pensioners over the next four years.
Will they or won’t they? Labor and asylum boat turnbacks
Labor had been vigorously pursuing Abbott and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton over paying the crew of asylum boats to return to Indonesia. But they suddenly went quiet when the spotlight turned on secret payments made when they were in government.
People smuggler payment scandal: Turnbacks are the real crime
The reports that the Coalition government paid six asylum boat crew over $6000 each to return asylum seekers to Indonesia has made dramatic news headlines around Australia and the world.
Abbott stokes anti-Muslim fear with plans to strip citizenship
Abbott has escalated his campaign to sow fear of terror with his extreme plan to strip the citizenship of “terrorists”. It is the latest episode in the government’s attempts to revive their fortunes by spreading the idea that Muslims are a threat.
Monis—not your usual extremist
The inquest into the Martin Place siege has shown a man who was mentally ill with a history of bizarre, attention-seeking acts.
WA community closures: ‘Keep marching, keep up the pressure’
Solidarity spoke with Mitch Torres, one of the main organisers of a campaign group based in the Kimberley, known on social media as SOS Blak Australia, about the demonstrations against WA community closures and the current state of play.
Parnngurr community in WA says no to uranium mine
Martu people from the community of Parnngurr in the Pilbara region of WA are travelling to Sydney on a speaking tour in late June, building support for their fight against a uranium mine proposed on their traditional lands at Kintyre in WA.
Newtown bashing exposes transgender oppression
The bashing of a transgender woman, Stephanie McCarthy, at Sydney’s Town Hall (Townie) pub in Newtown has exposed the discrimination and harrassment faced by transgender people.
World Cup of fraud—FIFA corrupt to the core
What many suspected for years has now been conclusively proven: the world football governing body FIFA is run by an elite implicated in a web of bribery, fraud, money laundering and even gun-running. The competition to win World Cup rights and broadcasting deals has turned FIFA into a lucrative business for corrupt officials.
Irish referendum: Equality, not austerity, the winner
In a historic referendum win, Ireland has become the first country in the world to recognise marriage equality by popular vote. The 62 per cent Yes vote on 22 May represents a resounding rejection of decades of institutional homophobia.
Imperialist tensions on show over South China Sea
China’s land reclamation in the South China Sea has led to an escalating stand off with the US.
How governments treat Muslims as the enemy within
The obsession with radicalisation and the programs to supposedly combat extremism treat wide swathes of the Muslim community as suspect, writes James Supple
Magna Carta: 800 years of rebellion for our rights
The Magna Carta has been a symbol of basic rights for 800 years—but those rights were won through struggle and rebellion writes Tom Orsag
Is the working class still a force for change?
Mark Gillespie looks at the changing nature of the economy and whether this means the working class is disappearing
More than a Score—Lessons from a teacher rebellion
Lucy Honan looks at a new book on the growing rebellion against standardised testing and the cuts to public education in the US
Public sector workers unite to strike against Abbott
Workers have staged federal public sector-wide strike action for the first time in a generation, with the first of a series of national half-day strikes on Thursday.
Editorial: Abbott’s cuts and lies still coming, time to hit back
Abbott’s response to the standoff that left at least 8000 Rohingya asylum seekers stranded on the high seas, without adequate food or medical supplies, was obscene.
Inside the system
Union sued over suicide prevention meeting; NT youth to be tracked with ankle bracelets; Surprise: 50 per cent of Fox’s statements false; Queensland private schools Gorge on profits; Uranium found in Aboriginal peoples’ water; Children of Ayatollahs flaunt wealth in Iran; Bono defends tax dodging
‘Saving lives at sea’? Let them drown says Abbott
More than 200 Rohingyan asylum seekers are dead, and thousands more are at risk, as asylum boats are turned back to sea between Indonesia and Malaysia.
Border policing kills: saving lives starts with welcoming the boats
The more lives lost at sea, the shriller become the hypocritical cries of “stop the boats”. At the time of writing 6000 asylum seekers remain stranded in the Malacca...
Budget smoke and mirrors, but Abbott keeps his cuts
Tony Abbott is desperately praying that this year’s budget will save his skin. But the budget cuts from last year remain in place, and even his new spending on childcare relies on taking money allocated elsewhere for families and new mothers.
Childcare changes entrench unfair market system
The Liberals’ changes to childcare will only entrench a market approach that is expensive and has failed to provide places where they are needed.
Shorten shows he’s useless for stopping Abbott
Last year Bill Shorten’s budget reply turned the Liberals pale, as he lashed out at Abbott’s cuts and promised to block the worst attacks in the Senate. This year the Labor leader delivered a pathetic, uninspiring speech that showed why he’s widely considered useless.
Public servants strike against Abbott’s cuts
Public servants are staging one-hour rolling strikes in a dozen agencies this month, as their union, the CPSU, ramps up what it says is the largest campaign of industrial action in 30 years.
Groomed for war
In 1914 Australia was a nation that had been grooming and schooling its young males in military skills, and introducing their families to martial experiences, since 1911, writes Rowan Cahill.
New Greens leader no break from the past
Richard Di Natale’s sudden ascension to The Greens’ leadership appears to mean the status quo remains—but that’s not what the left and the movements need.
Union House facing demolition as university expands corporate vison
The University of Melbourne has announced plans to demolish Union House, which currently houses the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) and other student spaces and collectives.
Abbott’s climate inaction on display—but emissions trading no alternative
Tony Abbott’s contempt for climate change has again been on display over the efforts to lower the Renewable Energy Target. Meanwhile, with his Direct Action policy is underway, it continues to be widely, and rightly, derided.
Syria between both Assad’s and IS’s counter-revolution
What began in Syria in March 2011 as peaceful pro-democracy protests inspired by the Arab Spring’s demands for democracy and social justice has become a nightmarish military quagmire.
Syriza backsliding in Greece as EU tightens the screws
Greece narrowly avoided default in May by scraping together the €750 million debt repayment due to the IMF. The European Union is tightening the screws, demanding the new radical left Syriza government capitulate to accept further austerity in exchange for another bailout.
British Labour’s compromises with austerity hand Tories power
The UK is set for further austerity and anti-immigrant racism following the re-election of David Cameron’s Conservative government.
Populism, anti-politics and the left
Anti-political movements and new left parties like Podemos and Syriza are only inconsistent opponents of the system, writes James Supple
Assimilation and the push to close communities
Paddy Gibson looks at the renewed push to close remote Aboriginal communities.
Karl Marx and the First International
Christian Høgsbjerg shows how Karl Marx made a vital contribution to found the first international workers’ organisation and how he fought to ensure its militant trajectory.
Abbott still dangerous every day he hangs on
The Liberal victory in the NSW election was a reprieve for Abbott after Liberal defeats in Victoria and Queensland.
Abbott’s community cuts draw wave of protest
Tony Abbott’s “lifestyle choices” gaffe has drawn attention to the federal policy of defunding Aboriginal communities—and succeeded in sparking lively and large demonstrations around the country.
Inside the system
Nauru riot squad photographed with Hanson at racist rally; Obama sells more arms than Bush did; “Anti-Terror” harassment at airports takes off; Federal Government to spend $4 million on TV drama to deter refugees; Industrial action at Windsor Castle; Serco butcher non-clinical services at Fiona Stanley Hospital; Ultra-rich buy flying palaces
Detention protest stops Nauru transfers
While three single men were returned to Nauru from the Darwin’s Wickham Point detention centre on 16 April, protests inside the centre stopped the planned transfers of any asylum...
Open the borders or regional resettlement?
The death of Malcolm Fraser in March has brought renewed attention to the policies of his government regarding asylum seekers.
Selfish corporate giants dodging all the tax they can
Big business gave the Australian Senate the middle finger salute during Economics References Committee hearings into tax avoidance.
Abbott’s ‘Team Australia’ breeds racist ‘Reclaim Australia’ rallies
The racist, anti-Islam “Reclaim Australia” rallies only managed to attract a few hundred people each on Easter Saturday—but they are a sign that months of Abbott’s official racism and dog-whistling is giving encouragement to racism and the far right.
Liberal win in NSW election means fight against privatisation and WestConnex needed
After swings against the Liberals in the recent Victorian and Queensland elections, Liberal Premier Mike Baird managed to hold on in NSW.
Hell-Bent on slaughter for empire: Australia in WWI
On the eve of the outbreak of World War I, the British Cabinet was deeply divided. While PM Herbert Asquith was for war against Germany, a large proportion of the Cabinet members were opposed.
SDA kicks own goal as bosses target penalty rates
In March the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) signed a “template” agreement with Business South Australia to reduce penalty rates for weekends, evenings and public holidays.
Power sale fight must spark into strike campaign
Workers at the NSW state-owned energy network operators went on strike in a series of stoppages over a stalled workplace agreement in March. They are also demanding job protections...
Imperialism intensifies Yemen’s crisis
At midnight on March 27 Saudi Arabia began a campaign of airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Saudis are leading the military assault as part of an alliance...
Anzacs who became opponents of war
Mythology about the Anzacs and the First World War is still used to justify militarism today. But for a number of the Australian soldiers that fought, the experience turned them into socialists and opponents of war.
Nothing to celebrate in Anzac: The bloody history of the British empire
The Gallipoli campaign was not about democracy, but defending the profits and colonies of the British empire, one of the most brutal the world has seen.
Rosa Luxemburg and opposition to WWI: 100 years since the Junius pamphlet
Paddy Gibson continues our series on resistance to the First World War by looking at Rosa Luxemburg’s famous anti-war pamphlet
Why workers and the left fought Fraser
Mark Gillespie recalls Malcolm Fraser’s years as Prime Minister and his role in toppling Whitlam to explain why he earned the hatred of the working class.
Police corruption: the whole system is rotten
Corrupt police are a natural product of policing under capitalism, argues Miro Sandev.
Budget measures finished, but Liberals still want cuts
Tony Abbott and Education Minister Christopher Pyne suffered another humiliation when their university deregulation plans were defeated in the Senate for a second time in March. Abbott’s budget agenda is now in tatters.
Inside the system
Chevron maroons workers on island during cyclone; Australia’s mega rich the happiest; Gina Rinehart looks down on plebs; Israeli Foreign Minister says decapitate Palestinian Arabs; Immigration refuses delivery of detention letters; Crisis in US drone killings program as pilots quit; US toddlers kill more people than terrorists
Dumping Abbott no guarantee of Liberal recovery
After facing down the leadership spill Abbott gushed to Channel Nine’s Karl Stefanovic of feeling “young and vigorous and at the height of your powers.”
March 4 rally shows appetite to fight Coalition’s cuts
Thousands of unionists took strike action against the Abbott government as part of the Australian Council of Trade Unions March 4 day of protest.
Co-payment victory, but Medicare war goes on
In early March, Health Minister Sussan Ley announced that she was scrapping the $5 optional GP co-payment announced in December 2014. This is the Coalition’s third backdown in three months on the GP co-payment. It is a victory—but the Coalition is still at war on Medicare.
Liberal privatisation plan fuels swing against Baird in NSW
The Liberals under Mike Baird were still favourites to win the NSW election as Solidarity went to press. But a big swing to Labor looks likely.
Private colleges rort students as TAFEs gutted
Private vocational training providers are making the news for ripping off students, funded by student debt through government schemes.
Mass arrests and defiance as Nauru refugees fight for freedom
In January, it was the mass hunger strikes on Manus Island that challenged the offshore processing regime. Now Nauru has become the latest flashpoint of resistance writes Ian Rintoul.
PNG court challenge to Manus Island detention
A major constitutional challenge to the Manus Island detention centre, and the violation of the human rights of asylum seekers detained there, is underway in the PNG Supreme Court.
Redfern Tent Embassy stands strong against developers
The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy is currently standing strong against repeated threats of eviction from Aboriginal land at the Block in Redfern.
Abbott ramps up attack on Muslims in desperate search for support
Tony Abbott made his most explicit attack on the Muslim community yet in a “national security statement” in late February, surrounded by Australian flags.
Higher HECS fees keep poor students out of universities
The Abbott Government’s efforts to sell its deregulation package included talking up the current Higher Education Commonwealth Support Scheme (HECS).
EU out to crush Syriza’s challenge to austerity
James Supple looks at how negotiations with the EU have seen Syriza agree to accept a new version of austerity—undermining initial promises
Economic shock as mining boom evaporates
The Australian economy’s dream looks to be over as the mining boom runs out of steam and living standards are squeezed. Peter Jones takes a closer look.
How British workers rebelled against the First World War
Tom Orsag explains how the sacrifices demanded during the war produced mass resistance and opposition amongst the British working class
Eleanor Marx: A fighter for workers and women
Lucy Honan reviews two new works on the lesser known Marx and her important contributions to Marxist ideas about women’s liberation and class struggle
Discussing the breakdown of the political system
Tariq Ali is a serious figure on the left and has been since the 1960s. His new book skewers mainstream politics and its purveyors where “centre-left and centre-right collude to preserve the status quo”.
Selma a reminder of the justice still to be won
In official US history, the civil rights movement has been emptied it of its radical content. Martin Luther King now gets a national holiday and is celebrated for non-violence...
Aboriginal community closures: ‘This is an attempt to destroy our culture’
Meriki Onus, from Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance and organiser of a rally of more than 1000 people against community closures, spoke to Solidarity about the agenda of assimilation.
Abbott’s terminal: resistance can kill off his agenda
The Liberals are tearing themselves to pieces after just 18 months in power. It is a joy to watch. Tony Abbott has survived for now, but it’s hard to see him holding on much longer.
Inside the system
Target workers forced to do ‘walk of shame’; Herald-Sun publishes call for dictatorship; Russia blames transsexuals for road chaos; Immigration official’s $44,000 taxpayer funded binge; HSBC leak reveals industrial scale tax evasion; ‘Freedom’ brand muesli bars banned on Manus
Compromise threat on uni fees—maintain the rage
Unwavering opposition to university fee deregulation is the reason the Senate has, so far, held fast, voting the legislation down first just before Christmas in 2014. But we can’t rest easy just yet.
Liberals’ inquiry prepares attack on rights at work
The vicious overreach of the Coalition government is on display in the recently-announced Productivity Commission inquiry into workplace relations.
Muslims pay the price of Abbott’s desperation
After narrowly surviving a leadership spill on the first day of parliament for 2015, Tony Abbott reached for one of his most trusted political cards: racist fear-mongering in the name of the war on terror.
Manus hunger strike largest in detention regime history
By 23 January a hunger strike protest had swept the detention centre on Manus with hundreds of asylum seekers in every compound joining in. The biggest sustained protest against Australia’s offshore detention regime had begun.
Shooting the messenger on kids in detention
For weeks, in the run up to the publication of the Human Rights Commission report into children in detention, The Australian has been running a witch-hunt against its President, Gillian Triggs.
Refugee deportations: ‘If people stand up they can make a change’
Refugee rights activists have stepped up anti-deportation actions as the government tries to send back a growing number of asylum seekers to countries like Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and China. In December, for the first time, action by passengers on an Air China Flight from Sydney successfully prevented the deportation of an asylum seeker.
Queensland rejects austerity in LNP election rout
Despite their enormous majority in the Queensland parliament, Campbell Newman and the LNP have followed the Victorian Liberal government to be thrown out of office after just one term.
Political chaos as out of touch parties govern for the elite
Australian politics is in turmoil. Labor under Rudd then Gillard tore itself to pieces and lost all credibility within six years. Now the Liberals are repeating the experience. What’s going on?
Sweet victory for flavour factory workers
Workers at the International Flavours and Fragrances factory in Dandenong have won a significant victory following a four-day occupation.
Australian police and politicians guilty hypocrites over Bali nine
As the execution of Bali nine “ringleaders” Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has moved closer, the Australian government has joined hundreds of thousands of Australians calling for clemency. But the government, unlike the millions of people who would like to see Chan and Sukumaran given a second chance, has no real concern for the their lives.
Anti-racists in Germany push back Islamophobic Pegida
Anti-racist campaigners in Germany have pushed the Islamophobic Pegida movement into crisis.
Syriza’s challenge to austerity in Greece
Alex Callinicos looks at the challenges facing Greece’s new left government—and the ideas behind its strategy
EU leaders prepare to punish Greece
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras’s first act in government was canceling privatisations in electricity and the ports of Pireaus and Thessaloniki.
The Second International: Movement that failed to prevent war
Eliot Hoving looks at how the international workers’ movement pledged to resist the outbreak of the First World War
Karl Marx, crisis and capitalism
The growth of inequality and the persistence of economic crisis mean Marx’s ideas are as relevant as ever, argues James Supple
Racism and Aboriginal rights: Fifty years since the Freedom Ride
The NSW Freedom Ride saw student activists tackle racist discrimination against Aboriginal people—a fight that continues today, writes Lachlan Marshall
Workers and Egypt’s unfinished counter-revolution
If you want to understand the social processes and economic contradictions which led to the Egyptian revolution in 2011, read this book. It also explains why the military is back in charge and waging a counter-revolution, but never suggests this was the inevitable outcome.
Sickening piece of propaganda for US power
It was incredibly hard to watch American Sniper. The prospect of a two-hour long justification—or, more accurately, glorification—of the Iraq war was not particularly exciting.
As Abbott threatens more cuts, it’s time to revive the fightback
Abbott’s new year has got off to a bad start. His “plan B” to attack Medicare is already in tatters after the government was forced to dump a key plank that could have seen doctor’s visits cost $20.
Inside the System
Liberal MP blinded by anti-Muslim bias, Gay references airbrushed from Pride film cover, Beggars swept under the rug in Perth, Tasmania makes it a crime to insult business, Prince Andrew implicated in sex slavery, The best of friends, Man with terminal illness told to look for work
Back the hunger strikers: Manus must be closed
The hunger strike on Manus Island is now in its tenth day. For ten days, over 700 asylum seekers have maintained the most desperate protest against the brutality of Australia’s offshore detention regime, writes Ian Rintoul.
Don’t let Islamophobes exploit Charlie Hebdo killings
The attacks in Paris that left 17 people dead have caused shock all around the world. The actions of the three men who carried out the attacks are deplorable. But we can’t let this be an excuse to further whip up racism against Muslims.
Abbott and world leaders are hypocrites on free speech
Following the attacks in Paris Tony Abbott and other leaders pledged to stand up in defence of freedom of speech. This is gross hypocrisy.
After Victoria: Can Labor win Queensland?
The Queensland LNP’s decision to race to the polls in January is a very calculated bid to hang onto power. The polls only looked like getting worse for Campbell...
Abbott not giving up on co-payment plan
The year has opened with a deeply humiliating defeat for Abbott’s health agenda. On 15 January brand new Health Minister Sussan Ley was forced to stop sunning herself on a cruise ship and front the media to announce that the $20 rebate cut for short GP visits was now “off the table”.
First charges as union Royal Commission does Abbott’s dirty work
Tony Abbott’s union Royal Commission has recommended charges against a series of union officials from the CFMEU, AWU and HSU.
Tax avoidance: the rich get off scot free
The United Voice commissioned Tax Justice Network report into tax avoidance by big business in Australia, Who pays for our Common Wealth? has shone a light into very dark corners.
Can a Syriza victory end austerity in Greece?
Greece’s snap election on 25 January will almost certainly see left-wing party Syriza take power. This would be an important victory against austerity—but there are immense challenges ahead.
Renewed US ties will strengthen Cuban move to the market
On 17 December last year US President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced a commitment to renew diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba. The announcement follows 18...
Sri Lankan war criminal replaced by one of his henchmen
A shock election defeat has brought an end to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rule. But as yet there is no evidence of a substantial shift to ease the...
Aboriginal ‘recognition’—a cover for Abbott’s assimilation
Constitutional recognition is a farce designed to divert attention from the decimation of Aboriginal life through funding cuts and the closure of communities, argues Paddy Gibson
Abbott’s cuts target desperately needed Aboriginal services
More Aboriginal children are being removed by welfare services than at any time in Australia’s history, but the Liberals have ended funding for Aboriginal Child and Family Centres across...
Racism, police and black rights in the US
Fifty years since the civil rights movement, racism and poverty among blacks in the US are as bad as ever, writes Lachlan Marshall