Public meeting: Close these hell holes – Australia’s ‘Nauru solution’ and the struggle for refugee rights

Socialist Alternative member Colleen Bolger has been active in the refugee rights campaign in Australia for the past decade, protesting at Woomera Detention Centre in 2002 and now building protests in solidarity with refugee hunger strikers.

In this talk she outlines Julia Gillard’s revival of the Howard-era offshore processing nightmare and describes the dynamics of the unfolding campaign to let the refugees in.

Thursday 22nd November, 6.30pm
MacKenzie Room, St Johns in the City, Willis Street, Wellington

China’s leaders have no solutions

by Charlie Hore

The 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) closes in Beijing this week. Its main purpose was to demonstrate an orderly transition of power at the heart of China’s ruling class.

Under Mao Zedong such meetings were rare—just two took place between 1949 and 1969. Leadership and policy issues were settled by brute force.

The post-Mao leadership has been determined to establish clear rules for settling disputes and changing personnel. These include CCP congresses every five years and compulsory retirement from central leadership posts at 70 years old.

The Congress brings together CCP members from across China, supposedly to represent all the organisation’s members. Apparently some need more representation than others. This year six of China’s 100 billionaires are in attendance, but just 26 migrant workers out of 200 million. [Read more…]

Obama victory: We don’t want “four more-of-the-same years”

The following is an editorial piece that appeared at in the US.

Barack Obama has won re-election, thanks to a strong turnout by the Democratic Party’s core supporters in every place the president needed to win.

Obama was only barely ahead of Mitt Romney in the national popular vote as this article was being written, with more ballots still to be counted.

[Read more…]

How the 1 Percent conjured a monster storm

Chris Williams, author of Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis, examines the man-made factors contributing to the disaster of Hurricane Sandy.

October 30, 2012

“If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections, and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind. If this rule were always observed; if no man allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquility of his domestic affections, Greece had not been enslaved; Caesar would have spared his country; America would have been discovered more gradually; and the empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed.”
— Dr. Victor Frankenstein, in Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley

Manhattan deluged by flooding as Hurricane Sandy strikes

Manhattan deluged by flooding as Hurricane Sandy strikes

THERE IS little doubt that freakish and unnaturally assembled storms are a taste of what the future holds under an economic system that has “interfered with the tranquility of domestic affections” and galvanized the forces of nature into a fury of clashing dislocations as we pump ever-more heat-trapping gases into our atmosphere and industrial filth into our lungs. [Read more…]

What’s wrong with lesser evilism

Those who advocate a vote for the “lesser evil” hope to defeat the “greater evil” of the right wing–but they enable the Democrats to shift further right themselves.


DOES BARACK Obama deserve your vote? That’s the question people on the left should be asking as Election Day approaches.

When you consider Obama’s record after four years in office–a multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street, the continuing “war on terror,” more civil liberties shredded, the Employee Free Choice Act abandoned, deportations on the rise, a deepening assault on public schools–the answer has to be no. The list of broken promises and betrayed hopes goes on and on, outweighing anything that could be described as progress.

[Read more…]

Against Austerity: from Athens to Aotearoa

There’s a stupid joke doing the rounds on the internet that says a German and a Greek are drinking at the bar. The Greek walks out, leaving the German to pay the bill. A more accurate joke would put a German, a Greek and a banker in the bar. The banker drinks the bar dry, trashes the place, then mugs the German and the Greek. This is the reality of austerity.

[Read more…]