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

Town hall turmoil as Republicans targeted

Julia Jones Republican congressional representatives are under siege at town hall meetings across the US. Hundreds and in some cases thousands of protesters have descended on what usually are low-key affairs between lawmakers and their constituents. At a 9 February meeting in the Republican and Mormon heartland of Utah, nearly 3,000 locals voiced their discontent with their representative Jason Chaffetz. People lined u...CONTINUE READING

Why we are fighting for free education

April Holcombe Higher education in Australia has never been in worse shape. Government funding is low by OECD standards, class sizes have ballooned and Centrelink payments are 50 percent below the poverty line. International students pay upfront fees of tens of thousands of dollars and often work for less than the minimum wage, showing the ruthless profit making logic of education policy. Higher education is Australia’s t...CONTINUE READING