NSW universities on the attack against students and staff

April Holcombe Sydney University’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan is well under way. Course cuts, job losses and more expensive degrees are all vice chancellor Michael Spence dreams about. The plan is to amalgamate 16 faculties into six, cut 122 degree options to 20 and mess with degree structures in myriad ways to make students pay more. Fees will rise while management sacks and replaces hundreds of administrative staff. The job...CONTINUE READING

Marxism 2017 conference draws more than 1,000 attendees

Tom Bramble Socialist Alternative hosted the Marxism 2017 conference in Melbourne over the Easter weekend, drawing together radicals and activists from around Australia and the world. More than 1,200 tickets were sold and it was standing room only at some of the meetings. Several hundred people heard Lebanese socialist Farah Kobaissy and Australian activist and blogger Michael Karadjis speak on “Syria: resistance and r...CONTINUE READING

Marxism 2017 conference off to a flying start

Tom Bramble The 2017 Marxism conference got off to a flying start in Melbourne tonight. Four hundred people packed into a big theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in South Melbourne to hear a panel of speakers talk about “Crisis, global resistance and the fight against the right”. First up was Haley Pessin, an African American activist from upstate New York, who reported on the boost that the election of...CONTINUE READING

Far right making gains of campuses

Hersha Kadkol “Illegal people aren’t a race; they’re people who don’t belong in your country,” disgraced alt-right spok esperson Milo Yiannopoulos declared to cheering students at the University of New Mexico on 27 January. The rise of the far right has been reflected in student political life everywhere, not just in the US. From the ABVP (youth wing of the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP) sweeping student elections across...CONTINUE READING

Activists stave off the deportation of refugee

James Crafti Refugee rights activists have helped to prevent the deportation of a 60-year-old man to Iraq. “Saeed” (not his real name) is from a religious minority that faces ongoing persecution. The head of his village was murdered in 2015 in a suicide attack. His family reside in Iraq but are stateless. Saeed and his brother fled to Australia in 2012. They were on the same boat and shared the same set of circumstances...CONTINUE READING

Betrayal and resistance at the Block

Diane Fieldes At a big public meeting on 9 March, Aboriginal people, many of them former residents of the Block in Redfern – the heart of Aboriginal Sydney for many decades – accused the Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) of once again selling out the community. Instead of listening politely, they demanded answers. No wonder the 200 people at the meeting were angry. New plans mean that the scale of development on the Block...CONTINUE READING

UNSW rattled by successful protest against restructure

Jamie Whitford “Come on out and face us! Come on out and face us!”, chanted hundreds of students outside the UNSW Chancellery at a rally on 8 March. Joined by NTEU staff members, the protest aimed to shake up vice-chancellor Ian Jacobs for the announcement made late last year that management was implementing trimesters by 2019. The rally did its job. It was large and angry and elicited a tantrum from management. It is the...CONTINUE READING

A new arms race?

Reeshan Zakiyya The global arms trade has reached the highest level since the end of the Cold War, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. This is a reflection of both current conflicts and rising tensions between nations. Between 2012 and 2016, the United States was responsible for one-third of total global arms exports. The next top four exporters are Russia (23 percent), China (6.2 percent), F...CONTINUE READING

Labor betrays women in Queensland

Tom Bramble Once again, Queensland’s politicians have squibbed the opportunity to decriminalise abortion. For more than 40 years, activists have been campaigning to remove sections 224 to 226 from the Criminal Code. They make women having an abortion, doctors performing one or anyone who assists a women to have one, subject to criminal charges. Jail terms of up to seven years are prescribed. These laws have been on the...CONTINUE READING