Biggest protests in Australian history

March 12, 2018 SocialistAu 0

A MASSIVE wave of protests shook Australian cities as part of the global day of action against war. No one expected them to be so big. The weekend began with what would have been the largest anti-war demonstration ever in this country. CENTRAL MELBOURNE came to a total halt on Friday evening as a quarter of a million Victorians massed against the war. The turnout represented one in 10 adult Melburnians.  The demo easily dwarfed the largest moratorium march against the Vietnam War in 1970 and the 150,000-strong union rally against Jeff Kennett in 1992. Michele O’Neil, state secretary […]

Talking about a global democratic revolution

February 1, 2018 SocialistAu 0

Vince Caughley looks at the ideas and strategies for change put forward by anti-capitalist thinker George Monbiot. GEORGE MONBIOT, the prominent British journalist, caused a splash with his recent visit to Australia. His call for a “global democratic revolution” to address the enormous inequalities in our world really struck a chord. The people who packed out his meetings were keen to engage in the debate about how to bring about such a transformation. Monbiot’s speaking tour comes at quite an important time for local activists who are campaigning against the proposed Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) and planning actions to […]

Super funds gambling away our future

February 1, 2018 SocialistAu 0

THE MOST insidious aspect of neo-liberalism and economic globalisation is the way our futures are more directly being tied to the fortunes of the market. In Australia its a process thats been occurring since the Hawke and Keating years and has accelerated under the Liberals, culminating in the latest attacks on Medicare and public education. Another of our most important social concerns under threat is security in retirement. After 40 or 50 years in the workforce, you should be guaranteed a reasonable standard of living. Unfortunately, the recent poor performance of Australian superannuation funds and a spate of dodgy company […]

Anti-war local groups

February 1, 2018 SocialistAu 0

Victorian Peace Network THE VICTORIAN Peace Network (VPN) has been meeting every week to promote the setting up of local groups and coordinate Melbourne-wide activities. Delegates from churches, unions and activist groups have been attending with around 30 attending recent meetings. Regional groups have started up in Wodonga and Geelong and initial steps have been taken to try setting up groups in Gippsland and Ballarat. In Melbourne there are local groups in Darebin-Moreland and Western Suburbs. The next major rally will be on the weekend of the 15-16 February, but a definite place and date has yet to be determined […]

Aid loses out to military spending

January 24, 2018 SocialistAu 0

Aid loses out to military spending IN 2003 the combined world military budget hit $US956 billion, with the US accounting for 47 per cent, or $US449 billion. However the US gave only $US17.7 billion in aid in 2003, less than 4 per cent of the US military budget. George Bush initially promised a $US15 million aid package to tsunami-affected countries. This was shortly upped to $US35 million after many condemned the tiny contribution, including US senator Patrick J Leahy, who said: “We spend $US35 million before breakfast in Iraq.” Bush eventually announced the US would deliver $US350 million in aid. […]

Jack Thomas latest victim of terror laws

January 13, 2018 SocialistAu 0

JACK THOMAS, a 31 year old Melbourne father, has become the latest victim of the Howard government’s draconian terror laws. Thomas has been charged with receiving financial support from al-Qaida, providing al-Qaida with resources or support to help them carry out a terrorist act and having a false passport. He has been denied bail despite having a job and a family in Werribee, in Melbourne’s outer south-western suburbs. The evidence against him largely depends on interrogations carried out by Pakistani security agents using torture techniques. His lawyer, Rob Stary, told the ABC: “He had been interviewed by a number of […]