Australia and South Pacific

Western Australia Labor government dismisses water contamination risks in indigenous communities

By Margaret Rees, 20 April 2019

Labor has dismissed evidence of a potential correlation between poor water quality and elevated levels of kidney disease and type-2 diabetes.

Australia: University of Melbourne IYSSE holds successful meeting in defence of Julian Assange

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 20 April 2019

Students at the meeting voted unanimously for a resolution to fight for the freedom of the WikiLeaks publisher.

Growing popular support for Julian Assange in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 April 2019

Since Assange’s illegal arrest by the British police last Thursday, 75,000 more people have signed a petition demanding that the Australian government take action to defend the WikiLeaks founder.

Australian election dominated by false promises and diversions

By Mike Head, 19 April 2019

The mudslinging from all sides is to cover up the fact that there are no fundamental differences between any of these parties.

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson demands release of Julian Assange

By Richard Phillips, 19 April 2019

Ricketson was arrested in Cambodia in 2017 and imprisoned for 15 months on bogus claims that he was spying for “foreign states.”

Human rights advocate Professor Stuart Rees denounces attacks on WikiLeaks publisher

By Stuart Rees, 18 April 2019

“This is not a legal controversy. It is a massive political issue. The US culture of revenge has to be exposed and challenged. Grass roots outrage needs to be mobilised.”

Unsealed affidavit demonstrates US seeking to prosecute Assange for his journalism

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 April 2019

The extradition request is a pseudo-legal figleaf for an extraordinary rendition operation.

New Zealand bus worker dies of stroke after corporate restructure

By our correspondent, 17 April 2019

Wellington bus controller Dmitri Edwards died following a “day from hell,” during which he had to make 85 changes to rosters and schedules.

Australian political establishment rejects calls for defence of Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 16 April 2019

Both the ruling Liberal-National Coalition and opposition Labor Party have doubled down on their support for Washington’s decade-long operation to lock Assange away.

Prominent WikiLeaks supporter Somerset Bean speaks out in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 April 2019

“The powers that be want to use the persecution of a successful and effective publisher as a warning to us all not to challenge their power and their crimes.”

The Socialist Equality Party candidates in the 2019 Australian election

By the SEP (Australia), 16 April 2019

The SEP is standing Senate groups in New South Wales and Victoria and running candidates in the House of Representatives’ electorates of Parramatta in Sydney, Calwell in Melbourne and Ipswich in Brisbane.

Australia: Kimberly-Clark to shut Ingleburn plant and axe over 200 jobs.

By Terry Cook, 15 April 2019

The closure of the south-west Sydney plant is part of a global restructuring plan that will see 10 facilities shut down internationally and the elimination of over 5,000 jobs.

Twenty years since the death of Australian Trotskyist and Aboriginal worker, Comrade Yabu Bilyana

By Linda Tenenbaum, 15 April 2019

On April 5, 1999, Yabu Bilyana, the first indigenous Australian to join the International Committee of the Fourth International, died at the age of 54. This obituary was written by then Socialist Equality Party assistant national secretary, Linda Tenenbaum, and published by the WSWS on April 7, 1999.

Message of condolence from David North

“He based his life on the ideals of justice, equality and human solidarity”

15 April 2019

“Had he not been so tragically disabled by illness, Yabu undoubtedly would have played a major role in the expansion of the party’s influence in the working class.”

Yabu Bilyana addresses ICFI World Conference: “Genocide of indigenous peoples is still practiced throughout Australia”

By Yabu Bilyana, 15 April 2019

Bilyana exposed the ongoing oppression of Australia’s Aboriginal population and the whitewash carried out by the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody.

SEP (Australia) rallies demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 April 2019

“Assange has performed his duty as a journalist to workers, to youth, to the mass of ordinary people around the world. Now, we are obliged to repay that debt which we owe him.”

Prominent Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis speaks out for Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 April 2019

“Journalists, all over the world, who have published material that WikiLeaks made available, should stand up for Julian’s rights.”

Australian PM and Labor Party leader both reject any defence of Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 13 April 2019

On the opening day of the federal election campaign, there was sickening bipartisan agreement to help hand the WikiLeaks publisher over to the Trump administration.

Australian intelligence chief says no need for “reset” after New Zealand fascist attack

By Mike Head, 13 April 2019

The ASIO director-general’s testimony raises further questions about how the violent plans of an Australian fascist supposedly went unnoticed by the state agencies.

Police attack teachers in Kolkata; thousands of Bangladesh jute mill workers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 April 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Australian police dismissed death threat by Christchurch terrorist

By Tom Peters, 12 April 2019

The revelation demolishes claims by Australian and New Zealand authorities that the fascist Brenton Tarrant was not “on the radar” of any state agencies.

British police arrest Julian Assange in Ecuadorian embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2019

“Assange’s expulsion from the embassy and his arrest are unprecedented crimes,” said James Cogan, the national secretary of the SEP (Australia). “A journalist and publisher, who has committed no crime, has had his asylum terminated and has been dragged off to prison in violation of repeated UN rulings upholding his status as a political refugee.”

WikiLeaks exposes spying operation against Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, acting as a vassal of the US, has surveilled every aspect of Assange’s life.

Australian prime minister calls crisis election for May 18

By Mike Head, 11 April 2019

Prime Minister Morrison’s announcement is a bid to shut down parliament and go to the polls as quickly as possible before the economic situation worsens.

Australian trade unions hold pro-Labor “Change the Rules” rallies

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 April 2019

The union protests yesterday were called to promote the election of a yet another Labor government that will implement the demands of big business.

New Zealand inquiry set to whitewash fascist murders in Christchurch

By John Braddock, 10 April 2019

The royal commission will cover up the promotion of far-right extremism by the political establishment and pave the way for further anti-democratic police powers.

“Four Corners” broadcasts further claims of “Chinese interference” in Australia

By Peter Symonds, 10 April 2019

The “Four Corners” program signals a push to enforce the draconian “foreign interference” laws, passed last year with bipartisan support.

Australia: Another toxic factory fire endangers working-class suburbs

By Peter Byrne, 10 April 2019

Every sphere of social life is now subject to corporate profiteering, including the disposal of hazardous waste.

In leaked court testimony, Assange denounces his illegal detention

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 April 2019

The WikiLeaks founder declared: “No journalist, no citizen, should accept that what they speak about can be defined from day to day by reasons of political expediency.”

Workers and youth in Australia support Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 9 April 2019

SEP campaigners found a deep well of opposition to the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder over his exposure of the war crimes and diplomatic intrigues of the US and its allies.

Assange faces ongoing threats at Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 April 2019

While the Ecuadorian government denied that Assange would be “imminently” expelled from the embassy, it did not dispute that plans had been afoot to terminate his political asylum.

Australia: Tasmanian teachers take strike action

By Frank Gaglioti, 6 April 2019

Teachers in Tasmania are the lowest paid of any state in Australia.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 April 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

WikiLeaks warns that Julian Assange faces imminent eviction from Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 April 2019

The publisher warned that a “high-level source” within the Ecuadorian state had information that Assange would be expelled from the building and taken into British custody “within hours or days.”

Australian Labor Party leader offers false hope of “fair go” in budget reply

By Mike Head, 5 April 2019

Acutely aware of seething working class discontent towards the entire political establishment, Shorten sought to promote illusions in making capitalism less brutal.

More layoffs point to worsening jobs crisis in Australia

By Terry Cook, 5 April 2019

Major companies across a range of sectors continue to shed jobs amid forecasts of a worsening global slowdown, particularly in China.

Australian government sets global precedent with online censorship bill

By Mike Head, 4 April 2019

While nominally directed against the far-right, the bill will be used to step up the offensive against oppositional, left-wing and socialist postings.

After death on Australian construction site, evidence emerges of widespread safety violations

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 April 2019

Unsafe scaffolding on building sites—which caused the death of a young apprentice on Monday—was the subject of more than 100 breach notices by the state regulator last year.

Ecuadorian president threatens to evict Julian Assange from London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 April 2019

Moreno accused Assange of “repeatedly violating the conditions of his asylum,” to create a pretext to hand him over to British and US authorities.

Australian government delivers a callous, anti-working class budget

By Mike Head, 3 April 2019

The Morrison government handed down a vote-buying budget pitched at satisfying big business and the wealthy, while feigning concern for the rest of society.

One worker killed, another critically injured after scaffolding collapse in Sydney

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 April 2019

The tragedy in Australia points to the subordination of workers’ safety to the profit demands of the construction companies and property developers.

Australia: Al Jazeera investigation targets right-wing One Nation party

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 April 2019

The program had the character of a politically-motivated sting operation, aimed at destroying the right-wing, anti-immigrant party.

Australia: NSW voters reject Labor Party’s phoney pitch

By Mike Head, 1 April 2019

Labor’s electoral disaster in Australia’s biggest state is part of a wider crisis of the whole parliamentary setup.

After fascist attack, New Zealand government enacts gun control measures

By John Braddock and Tom Peters, 29 March 2019

The new laws serve to boost the powers of the state, while diverting attention from unanswered questions about the massacre in Christchurch.

New Zealand fascist killer had known Australian far-right links

By Mike Head, 28 March 2019

Despite claims that Tarrant was a “lone wolf” whose murderous plans could not have been detected, he had intimate connections with a fascistic network.

Australian government exploits fascist atrocity in New Zealand to push online censorship

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 March 2019

The entire political establishment is seeking to cover up its responsibility for the fascist attack and exploit it to crack down on the democratic rights of ordinary people.

Why was the New Zealand terrorist attack not prevented?

By Tom Peters, 27 March 2019

There are serious unanswered questions about how fascist terrorist Brenton Tarrant was able to prepare and carry out the March 15 attack in Christchurch without any interference from police or intelligence agencies.

Teacher: One Woman’s Struggle to Keep the Heart in Teaching

An interview with Australian author Gabbie Stroud

By Sue Phillips, 27 March 2019

“It’s almost as if our system doesn’t need a reformation, it needs a re-creation. It’s like we need to dismantle it and start again from the ground up.”

Australia: NSW state election reveals mass hostility and alienation

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 March 2019

The primary votes of the major parties, Labor, the Liberal-National Coalition and the Greens, all fell sharply.

Australia: Striking Chemist Warehouse workers demand higher pay and job permanency

By Steve Streitberg, 25 March 2019

The conditions facing Chemist Warehouse workers are the direct result of cost-cutting agreements between the National Union of Workers and the highly profitable pharmacy retailer.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivers Russia probe inquiry report

By Kevin Reed, 23 March 2019

The report to the US Justice Department late Friday brings to a conclusion the 22-month investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Australian PM seeks to cover up political roots of fascist attack in New Zealand

By Mike Head, 23 March 2019

While the events in Christchurch have come as a shock to many working class people, the record shows that the evolution of an Australian fascist is hardly accidental.

Midday meal workers protest in Telangana, India; Telstra technicians implement work bans across Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 March 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Australian property prices fall faster than during global financial crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 March 2019

Analysts have warned that a host of global factors could transform the downturn into a full-blown economic crash.

Far right attacks on UK Muslims following New Zealand massacre

By Paul Mitchell, 21 March 2019

The attacks were preceded by the claim of Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of the UK’s Counter Terrorism Policing, that “there is no intelligence linking these appalling events in Christchurch to the UK.”

Australian state election dominated by alienation and discontent

By Mike Head, 21 March 2019

Years of widening social inequality and deteriorating living conditions have created widespread social disaffection, which finds no voice in the official political setup.

Australia: DP World stevedoring workers set to take industrial action

By Terry Cook, 21 March 2019

Facing deepening competition, DP World is stepping up its drive to slash costs at the expense of its workforce.

After far-right terror attack, New York Times glorifies New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

By Tom Peters, 21 March 2019

Internationally, the media is covering up the Labour Party-led government’s encouragement of xenophobia and its alliance with the right-wing nationalist, anti-immigrant NZ First Party.

Warnings of New Zealand neo-Nazi attack were ignored

By John Braddock and Tom Peters, 20 March 2019

The question must be raised: has the far-right been allowed to operate freely because it enjoys sympathy and support from the police and intelligence agencies in Australia and New Zealand?

Governments and media seek to cover up culpability for fascist attack in New Zealand

By James Cogan, 19 March 2019

Anti-immigrant demagogy has been used by the ruling class internationally to divide the working class and scapegoat migrants for social inequality.

Australian government targets China in new “foreign influence” register

By Mike Head, 19 March 2019

More than 700 political parties, universities, lobbying firms, media companies and politicians have been warned of serious legal consequences if they fail to register.

The New Zealand terrorist attack and the international danger of fascism

By Tom Peters, 18 March 2019

The gunman prepared and carried out the terrorist atrocity on behalf of an international network of fascists and white supremacists.

More voices from the Australian climate strike

By our reporters, 18 March 2019

“We have people in power, not just the government, but massive corporations, who are about profit and power.”

Australian royal commission into aged care begins second hearing

By Clare Bruderlin, 18 March 2019

Government cost-cutting has led to chronic under-staffing and poor care, particularly in facilities run for profit.

Fascist terrorists murder 49 in Christchurch, New Zealand

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 16 March 2019

The attack is the outcome of the rise of far-right, fascistic networks that have developed around the world, with the collusion of the state apparatus.

Tens of thousands of Australian students join climate strike protest

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 March 2019

Labor, the Greens and the unions are seeking to head-off a mass political radicalisation of students and young people.

Over 35,000 jute mill workers strike in Bangladesh; 200,000 Sri Lankan teachers and principals walk out for higher pay; Telstra technicians strike in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 March 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

James Cogan to participate in Unity4J online forum to defend Assange and Manning

Watch from Friday, 4 p.m., US eastern time, Saturday: 7 a.m., Australian eastern time

15 March 2019

The vindictive re-imprisonment of Chelsea Manning underscores the urgency of the fight to free Julian Assange from his arbitrary detention by the British government.

Rifts in Australia’s ruling coalition engulf rural-based National Party

By Mike Head, 15 March 2019

Factional warfare erupted publicly within the Nationals this week, laying bare conflicts that go far beyond the current government’s electoral prospects.

The struggle to stem climate change is the political fight to end capitalism!

Join the International Youth and Students for Social Equality!

By the IYSSE (Australia), 14 March 2019

The IYSSE will distribute the following statement tomorrow at high school student strikes demanding immediate action to resolve climate change and environmental destruction.

Crucial evidence from New Zealand mine disaster missing

By Tom Peters, 13 March 2019

No one has been held accountable for blatant safety violations which led to the Pike River Coal mine explosion in 2010 that killed 29 men.

Australian unions try to push through another sellout deal at BlueScope steel

By Martin Scott, 13 March 2019

Working hand-in-hand with BlueScope management, the Australian Workers Union claimed that the fate of the multi-billion dollar company depended on “sacrifices” being made by its employees.

Naming of Australian lawyer police informant highlights top-level involvement

By Mike Head, 12 March 2019

The use of such a well-connected figure as an informer would hardly have occurred without the authorisation of the most senior police commanders.

Workers and young people speak out at Melbourne rally to free Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 12 March 2019

“If Julian doesn’t receive freedom, if Chelsea Manning is not released, then we are going down a slippery slope.”

Lawyer charged for exposing Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 11 March 2019

A former Australian military legal officer faces lengthy imprisonment for leaking damning documents.

Melbourne rally calls on workers and youth to defend Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 11 March 2019

James Cogan declared that “the fight to free Assange must become part of all the actions by workers.”

Australia: Chemist Warehouse workers vote to take industrial action

By Terry Cook, 9 March 2019

The union’s concern is to maintain its position as a labour hire agency and an industrial police force.

More ministers quit as factional war wracks Australia’s ruling coalition

By Mike Head, 8 March 2019

The Liberal-National Coalition, a pillar of corporate rule, is being torn asunder.

New Zealand foreign minister visits Fiji to strengthen military ties

By John Braddock, 6 March 2019

The Labour-led government’s boost to the Fijian military is part of a Pacific Reset strategy to reassert its imperialist interests as part of the US-led confrontation with China.

“Julian Assange is a significant international citizen who has made a stand for truth-telling”

Address by Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees to the Sydney Free Assange rally

By Professor Stuart Rees, 6 March 2019

When the controversy about Julian first started, a Republican senator from New York, King, said: “Why doesn’t somebody take a gun and shoot the son-of-a-bitch? I know it’s illegal, but it would be wonderful for Americans’ freedom if that happens.”

IYSSE (Australia) convenor Oscar Grenfell’s speech to the Sydney Free Assange rally

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 March 2019

“They’re persecuting Julian Assange because they know how much he and WikiLeaks have done to politically educate an entire generation of young people.”

More voices from the Sydney Free Assange rally and Brisbane Livestream meeting

By our reporters, 6 March 2019

“We need to demand of the government, ‘what are you going to do to assist Julian now?’ We should not be beating around the bush because his life is in danger.”

The political lessons of the March 3 Free Assange rally

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) Political Committee, 5 March 2019

The demonstration in Sydney won broad support on the basis of mobilising the working class to defend democratic rights and class war prisoners such as Julian Assange.

Media Serve the Governors, Not the Governed

Speech by Joe Lauria, March 3, 2019

By Joe Lauria, 5 March 2019

Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, delivered this speech to the rally organised by the Socialist Equality Party in Sydney to demand the freedom of Julian Assange.

Opening remarks to March 3 Sydney rally by Socialist Equality Party leader, Linda Tenenbaum

Hundreds defy slanders, lies and media censorship to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By Linda Tenenbaum, 5 March 2019

Julian Assange has never been charged with a crime; he has an Australian passport; he is an Australian citizen and, as such, the Morrison government is obligated to defend his democratic rights.

Workers and youth speak out at Free Assange rally in Sydney

By our reporters, 5 March 2019

“People want to bring him home so he can continue his work of bringing these corporate and government criminals to justice.”

Freedom for Julian Assange depends upon the intervention of the working class

Speech by James Cogan, March 3, 2019

By James Cogan, 4 March 2019

The following speech was delivered by Socialist Equality Party National Secretary, James Cogan, to the SEP’s March 3 rally at Sydney’s Martin Place to free Julian Assange.

Warnings of further housing plunge and job losses in Australia

By Mike Head, 4 March 2019

With a federal election due in May, the corporate elite is insisting that austerity measures must be imposed.

Sydney rally issues strong demand for the freedom of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 4 March 2019

James Cogan declared: “We are sending a clear message to Julian Assange today and he will hear it—you are not alone, you have not been abandoned, you have not been forgotten. You will be freed.”

Australia: Sydney residents protest downgrading of Mona Vale Hospital

By John Wilson and John Harris, 2 March 2019

Protests continue against the hospital’s closure in the lead up to the March 23 New South Wales state election.

Video: SEP national secretary James Cogan urges maximum participation in Free Julian Assange rallies

2 March 2019

Cogan demanded the Australian government answer why it does not accept the UN ruling that Julian Assange is being ‘arbitrarily detained.’

Joe Lauria, editor-in-chief of Consortium News, endorses Free Assange demonstrations

2 March 2019

“Supporting Assange and WikiLeaks is supporting the people against the state.”

Australian government refuses to defend Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 March 2019

In a Senate committee hearing, Foreign Minister Marise Payne reiterated the government’s refusal to secure the freedom of the persecuted WikiLeaks founder.

Australian filmmaker Curtis Levy demands freedom for Julian Assange

28 February 2019

Veteran documentarian Curtis Levy speaks out in defence of the WikiLeaks publisher and freedom of the press.

Australian workers and youth support March 3 and March 10 rallies demanding freedom for Assange

By our reporters, 28 February 2019

“I’m going on March 3 and I think everyone should come because we need to take action to free Assange and end war.”

Australian media union complicit in the persecution of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 February 2019

The MEAA claims to defend journalists, but only those who have not fallen afoul of the US and Australian governments and the major media conglomerates with which it collaborates.

Australian port workers threaten strikes against DP World’s cuts to wages and conditions

By Terry Cook, 26 February 2019

The Maritime Union of Australia is seeking to prevent a unified struggle by port and stevedoring workers facing similar attacks on their jobs, wages and conditions.

Terry Hicks, father of former Guantanamo prisoner David Hicks, speaks on the defence of Julian Assange

26 February 2019

Terry Hicks, who waged a determined five-year battle to secure his son’s release from Guantanamo Bay and repatriation to Australia, spoke out on the campaign to free the WikiLeaks publisher.

Australian teachers pass workplace motion endorsing Free Assange rallies

By our reporters, 26 February 2019

The motion was moved by a member of the Committee For Public Education (CFPE), which is actively promoting and campaigning for the demonstrations on March 3 and March 10.

Australia: Victorian Labor government’s bogus healthcare promises

By Margaret Rees, 25 February 2019

The Andrews government is preparing to accelerate the privatisation of the health system.