Australia and South Pacific

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.

SEP national secretary James Cogan calls for maximum participation in rallies to free Julian Assange

25 February 2019

Cogan explains the connection between the fight for Assange’s freedom and the fight against the escalating government attacks in every country against freedom of the press and other basic democratic rights.

The working class and the fight to free Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 23 February 2019

The persecution of Assange is the spearhead of a global offensive against freedom of speech and for censorship of oppositional voices on the internet.

More lawyers could be police informants in Australia

By Mike Head, 23 February 2019

After eight years of official coverup, the affair has thrown a question mark over the entire legal system.

Elizabeth Vos, editor-in-chief of Disobedient Media, urges support for Free Assange demonstrations in Australia

23 February 2019

“We are collectively obligated to protect the ‘rebel library of Alexandria’ that Assange and others have built.”

Indian telecommunication workers strike; Bangladesh teachers and education workers protest pay cuts; New Zealand anaesthetic technicians strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 February 2019

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

NSW universities increasingly integrated into Australian military build-up

By Hugh Peters, 21 February 2019

The Defence Innovation Network is aimed at subordinating university research ever more directly to the ruling elite’s preparations for war.

Alleged hacking of Australian parliament feeds anti-China frenzy

By Peter Symonds, 20 February 2019

The hacking claims are bound up with Australia’s alignment with the escalating US confrontation with China over trade and economic issues, and the military build-up in the Indo-Pacific for war.

Striking midwives rally outside New Zealand parliament

By Tom Peters, 20 February 2019

Midwives, doctors and other health workers face a common fight but their strikes are being divided and isolated by the union bureaucracy.

Australian youth defend WikiLeaks and support demonstrations to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 20 February 2019

“I’m going to come to the rally to defend freedom of speech and freedom of the press”—Adam, University of NSW.

Chinese community in Australia voices concern over xenophobic “foreign interference” campaign

By James Cogan, 19 February 2019

People fear that the banishment of Huang Xiangmo is the prelude to a campaign of persecution directed against all those of Chinese background.

Support for Assange and SEP Australia demonstrations evokes strong international response

By James Cogan, 19 February 2019

In less than 48 hours, Roger Waters’ statement has been retweeted from his Twitter account 2,700 times and “liked” over 5,800 times.

Australian university sacks academic critical of Israeli and US wars

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 February 2019

The University of Sydney has carried out a serious attack on academic freedom, aimed at intimidating growing opposition to militarism and war.

SEP national secretary James Cogan participates in Unity4J discussion on the defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 16 February 2019

Cogan explained why the SEP has called demonstrations demanding the freedom of Julian Assange, as well as the broader campaign by the WSWS against internet censorship.

The State, Business and Education: How rapacious corporations are dismantling public education globally

By Erika Zimmer, 16 February 2019

Billionaires, global tech companies and national governments are imposing a profit-driven, user-pays system.

SEP (Australia) national secretary James Cogan to speak tomorrow on Unity4J online vigil

By our reporters, 15 February 2019

Cogan will be interviewed about the demonstrations called by the Socialist Equality Party to demand the freedom of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, and the broader campaign being waged by the WSWS against internet censorship.

Sydney meeting opposes persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 February 2019

The event was addressed by Consortium News editor Joe Lauria, SEP national secretary James Cogan and other prominent WikiLeaks defenders.

Human rights advocate Professor Stuart Rees supports rallies for the freedom of Julian Assange

15 February 2019

“Julian Assange follows in the footsteps of a long tradition of journalists and whistleblowers who have made significant contributions to civil societies.”

Australian students endorse rallies to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

“I’m going, because I believe Assange should be set free and he should be defended. All people should go to the rallies if they believe in democratic rights.”

Australian government loses vote on refugee medical evacuation legislation

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 February 2019

The bill entrenches the power of the minister to prevent detained refugees from travelling to Australia and receiving desperately needed medical care.

New Zealand government expands police training in schools

By Tom Peters, 14 February 2019

The Police Studies course is being increased as part of the Labour-led government’s policy of boosting police recruitment, instilling discipline, and controlling the increasingly restive working class.

Worsening slump and inequality fuel social tensions in Australia

By Mike Head, 13 February 2019

Growing signs of a global downturn and a domestic slump saw Australia’s central bank suddenly reverse course on interest rates.

Australia: Expert warns of poor construction after Opal Tower evacuation and Melbourne cladding fire

By John Wilson, 13 February 2019

Governments at every level have been warned about dangerous construction standards.

Australian government claims credit for release of detained Bahraini footballer, but refuses to assist Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 February 2019

Politicians who have abrogated the right to seek asylum and joined the persecution of Julian Assange have postured as champions of persecuted refugees.

Acclaimed musician Roger Waters calls on people to demonstrate in Australia to defend Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 11 February 2019

Roger Waters, the iconic voice of Pink Floyd and renowned solo artist, has called for action to free Julian Assange.

Australia: Northern Queensland flood causes widespread destruction

By Hugh Peters, 11 February 2019

Relief payments from the federal government are capped at a minuscule $1,000 per person, well below what is needed to address the widespread damage caused by the flood.

“Lawyer X” cover-up starts to unravel

Australian police used multiple lawyers as informants

By Mike Head, 9 February 2019

Two revelations this week point to the systemic police use of defence lawyers as informers to secure the conviction of their own clients.

IYSSE calls on students in Australia to join the demonstrations in defence of Julian Assange

By the IYSSE (Australia), 9 February 2019

The defence of Assange is at the cutting edge of the fight against growing authoritarianism and an assault on democratic rights around the world.

Over 200,000 Uttar Pradesh government employees strike; Bangladesh garment workers occupy factory; New Caledonia miners still on strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 February 2019

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

Australia: Tigerair pilots locked in dispute over wages and conditions

By John Harris, 8 February 2019

Tigerair is seeking to set a new benchmark in the assault on the wages and conditions of pilots, a highly-skilled cohort of professionals with immense responsibilities.

Chinese billionaire stripped of Australian residency as “foreign interference” campaign ramps up

By James Cogan, 7 February 2019

Huang’s banishment may well be the prelude to the first criminal charges laid against Australian citizens under the “foreign interference” laws.

Australian Labor Party outbids Coalition in big business tax handouts

By Mike Head, 7 February 2019

Far from opposing inequality, Labor governments have spearheaded the slashing of corporate and high-income tax rates.

Australian actor Craig McLachlan’s defamation case postponed following police charges

By Richard Phillips, 7 February 2019

Gold Logie-winning actor Craig McLachlan’s career has been “effectively destroyed” by the #MeToo allegations.

Australia: Bank shares soar after release of report into financial “misconduct”

By James Cogan, 6 February 2019

The 76 recommendations brought down by the banking Royal Commission do not put anyone on trial, let alone capitalism.

New Zealand health unions suppress struggles against Labour government

By John Braddock, 6 February 2019

Thousands of health workers are facing a political struggle against the Labour-led government, which is imposing the deep austerity measures demanded by big business.

Another flammable cladding fire in Australia highlights government failure

By Paul Bartizan, 6 February 2019

The fire at central Melbourne’s NEO200 high-rise apartment was caused by the same flammable panels used on London’s Grenfell Tower.

Australian workers and youth support March rallies in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 5 February 2019

“I support the rally to free Assange. It is important for us to hold this protest to show that we will not tolerate any further attack on our democratic rights.”

Australia: 2,000 homes submerged in Townsville as floodgates open

By Martin Scott, 5 February 2019

Thousands forced to seek emergency accommodation in overcrowded evacuation centres.

Australia: Telstra workers vote on industrial action amid mass sackings

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 February 2019

The unions covering the telecommunications firm have made clear they will seek to enforce its 9,500 job cuts over the next four years.

John Pilger to speak at March 3 Sydney rally to defend Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 2 February 2019

As well as John Pilger, the Sydney rally will be addressed by SEP National Secretary James Cogan. Cogan will also be the main speaker at the demonstration in Melbourne on March 10.

Biloela resident: “It is really important that we stand up”

Australian rural town continues to fight deportation of Tamil refugee family

By Max Newman, 2 February 2019

Biloela residents have been conducting a nearly year-long campaign to free a Tamil family seized by the government from their community.

Australia’s financial press promotes Labor’s shadow treasurer

By Mike Head, 1 February 2019

The promotion of Chris Bowen is another warning of the Labor Party’s preparations to return to office as a totally committed pro-business government.

Footage shows police pointing assault rifles at child detainees in Australia

By Corrine Jensen, 1 February 2019

The footage resembled an aggressive military operation in the neo-colonial wars conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan.