Australia and South Pacific

“Truth ultimately is all we have:” Julian Assange appeals for public support

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 May 2019

In the first publicly-released comments to supporters since his arrest, Assange detailed his conditions of isolation at Belmarsh prison and called for supporters to mobilise in his defence.

Actor Geoffrey Rush awarded record payout in defamation damages

By Linda Tenenbaum, 25 May 2019

The Oscar-winning actor was granted a total of nearly $2.9 million, in general and special damages, due to the Murdoch media’s defamatory articles.

Who is Scott Morrison?

Australia’s right-wing, US-backed prime minister

By Mike Head, 25 May 2019

Morrison has clawed his way to the top job by pledging fealty to the US military alliance, mobilising the military to repel refugee boats and slashing social welfare entitlements.

Socialist Equality Party wins important support in Australian federal election

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 May 2019

Thousands of workers, students and young people signalled their support for a socialist alternative to war, budget cuts and authoritarianism.

Australian voters speak out

Workers and youth condemn major parliamentary parties

By our reporters, 24 May 2019

“I’d like someone in charge who thinks of the 98 percent, rather than the 2 percent of the highest earners in the country.”

Australian voters speak out

Workers and young people warn about the mounting social crisis

By our reporters, 23 May 2019

“The most important thing for me is jobs, security and the economy—we need real action on jobs.”

Australian Labor Party in crisis after election debacle

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 May 2019

The election result demonstrated a deep-going rupture between the working class and the big business Labor Party.

Australia: Tasmanian paramedic protests ambulance ramping

By Margaret Rees, 22 May 2019

The high incidence of ramping is product of the wider crisis of the hospital system which has been chronically underfunded by Labor and Liberal governments alike.

Right-wing Australian government re-elected as voters turn against Labor

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 May 2019

The election result reflected widespread hostility among workers, students and young people to Labor and the entire political establishment.

The Australian Labor Party’s election debacle and the fight against the far-right

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 May 2019

The election outcome exposes the bankrupt claims by the unions and the pseudo-left that the rise of the extreme right can be opposed by supporting pro-business centre-left parties such as the Australian Labor Party.

Labor’s promise on childcare wages—another cynical deception

By Terry Cook, 17 May 2019

Labor leader Bill Shorten’s pledge is designed to prevent a rank-and-file struggle for a genuine improvement in wages and working conditions.

Vote 1 Socialist Equality Party! Take up the fight for socialist internationalism!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 17 May 2019

The SEP is campaigning to build a revolutionary, socialist movement of the working class against the entire parliamentary establishment and the capitalist system that it defends.

Mass unemployment, climate change and a toxic dump in Oxley

By Michael Smith, 17 May 2019

The following is an edited version of the speech delivered by Michael Smith to the Socialist Equality Party election public meeting in the Brisbane electorate of Oxley.

Strong response to SEP’s socialist program at final election meetings

By our reporters, 17 May 2019

There were animated and extended discussions at SEP public meetings in the working-class electorates of Parramatta, Hunter, Calwell and Oxley this week.

Workers and youth discuss Julian Assange, social conditions and war at SEP election meetings

By our reporters, 17 May 2019

One worker said: “It is absolutely vital that we have meetings like this in working-class areas. Having this meeting, as a party, is one step ahead towards the goal of achieving equality.”

Speech by Oscar Grenfell

Millions in Australia “view Assange as a hero who is being attacked for revealing the truth.”

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 May 2019

We are publishing here the speech of Oscar Grenfell, a leading member of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and national convenor of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, at the May 12 meeting in London in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Labor and the unions responsible for social crisis in western Sydney

By Oscar Grenfell: SEP candidate for Parramatta, 16 May 2019

Grenfell explained that Labor and the unions have presided over “an onslaught against manufacturing and industrial jobs.”

Australian Labor Party’s fraudulent cancer care pledge

By Gary Alvernia, 13 May 2019

Even if implemented in full, the plan would not significantly reduce the exorbitant costs of cancer therapy and care.

Australia: GetUp’s silence over the persecution of Julian Assange

By Richard Phillips: SEP Senate candidate for New South Wales, 13 May 2019

The protest group’s reaction to the incarceration of Assange signals its complicity and is a political godsend for Australia’s political elite.

Two former Australian prime ministers tout Labor’s pro-business record

By Oscar Grenfell: SEP candidate for Parramatta, 11 May 2019

Hawke and Keating boasted they had created the “modern” deregulated economy, and called for the election of a Labor government to deepen this pro-business agenda.

Free Assange NZ denounces hypocrisy at World Press Freedom Day event

By Tom Peters, 11 May 2019

Alex Hills from Free Assange New Zealand condemned the British government’s “brazen hypocrisy” and called on the media to “end the smears and lies about an anti-war hero.”

Fiji authorities suppress May Day protests, arrest locked-out workers

By John Braddock, 10 May 2019

The sacking and persecution of the FWA workers and ban on the protests again underlines the dictatorial nature of the Fijian regime, which rests directly on the military.

The Australian election and the fraud of the NDIS

By Max Boddy: SEP candidate for Hunter, 10 May 2019

The National Disability Insurance Scheme was always designed to privatise the disability sector, push people off welfare payments and slash public spending.

Video: Workers at SEP rally in Parramatta denounce persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 9 May 2019

The Socialist Equality Party won strong support from workers and youth at its rally demanding the immediate release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and US whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Greens offer bogus climate pledges while pleading for another partnership with Labor

By Mike Head: SEP candidate for Oxley, 9 May 2019

The “plan” of the Greens is not about saving the environment and the planet but handing billions of dollars to supposedly “green” companies.

Australian fascist group tried to recruit Christchurch terrorist

By Tom Peters, 8 May 2019

The latest revelation further discredits claims by the Australian and New Zealand governments and police that Tarrant was a lone gunman whose attack could not have been prevented.

Former Australian PM denounces anti-China witch-hunt of intelligence agencies

By Oscar Grenfell: SEP candidate for Parramatta, 8 May 2019

Paul Keating’s outburst highlights the degree to which Australia and its military and security agencies have been integrated into the US war drive against China.

Video: At Sydney rally Assange’s father demands Australian government secure son’s release

7 May 2019

Two days after Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail, protesters rallied in Sydney’s Martin Place.

Labor leader makes phony populist pitch at Australian election launch

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 May 2019

Labor is absurdly claiming that paltry funding on health and a miniscule increase in tax collected from multinational corporations, will resolve the deepening social crisis.

The persecution of Assange and Manning is an attack on the working class

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 May 2019

We are publishing here the text of the speech to the 2019 Online International May Day Rally delivered by Oscar Grenfell.

SEP election meetings in Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle, Brisbane

Vote Socialist Equality Party! No to War and Austerity! For Socialism and Internationalism!

7 May 2019

The Socialist Equality Party has placed at the very centre of its election campaign the demand that the Australia government immediately repatriate publisher and journalist, Julian Assange and courageous whistleblower, Chelsea Manning

Assange’s father tells demonstrators Australian government must secure son’s release

By our reporter, 6 May 2019

Friday’s protest in Sydney was held two days after Assange was sentenced in a British court to 50 weeks’ jail on bogus bail charges.

Australian youth speak out against climate change

By our reporters, 6 May 2019

The climate strikes are part of a growing politicisation of young people in Australia and internationally.

Austrian government ties welfare payments to German language skills

By Markus Salzmann, 3 May 2019

The targets of the cuts are mainly foreigners and those with large families.

The Labor Party tries to “save capitalism”

By Mike Head: SEP candidate for Oxley, 3 May 2019

The ruling elite is terrified that the emerging support for socialism can become a conscious turn toward revolutionary Marxism.

Victorian Socialists’ fake-left election campaign

By Patrick O'Connor, 2 May 2019

The Australian pseudo-left groups are seeking to channel the left-wing shift among workers and young people behind the parliamentary set-up.

Join the fight for international socialism!

To halt climate change, capitalism must be abolished

By Tessa Pietsch: SEP Senate candidate for Victoria, 2 May 2019

The attempts to channel the climate strike movement in Australia and internationally behind the political establishment must be resisted.

Liberal and Labor compete in stoking anti-refugee scare-mongering

By Mike Head: SEP candidate for Oxley, 1 May 2019

The SEP unequivocally defends right of asylum seekers, immigrant workers and their families to live, study and work in Australia, or anywhere in the world, as full citizens.

Participants in SEP (Australia) rally demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By our correspondents, 30 April 2019

Attendees passionately defended the WikiLeaks publisher for exposing the war crimes, anti-democratic conspiracies and mass surveillance conducted by the US and its allies.

Workers should reject Australian unions’ “Change the rules” campaign

By Oscar Grenfell: SEP candidate for Parramatta, 30 April 2019

The unions are seeking to channel mounting anger in the working class behind the election of yet another big business Labor government.

On Australian TV, Julian Assange’s father calls for son’s freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 April 2019

John Shipton warned that his son’s persecution was “to demonstrate that publishers and whistleblowers will be destroyed.”

Economic reversal exposes Australian election myths

By Mike Head, 27 April 2019

Inflation was zero during the March quarter, indicating a rapidly stalling economy that will intensify the corporate offensive against the working class.

Anzac Day 2019: Conditioning the Australian population for war

By Richard Phillips: SEP Senate candidate for New South Wales, 27 April 2019

The media and political establishment has erected a wall of silence around Australia’s involvement in the US-led preparations for war against China and Russia.

Australian mining magnate renews his fraudulent populist pitch

By Mike Head: SEP candidate for Oxley, 26 April 2019

While feigning sympathy for working people, billionaire Clive Palmer is bankrolling an election blitz by his so-called United Australia Party.

Pennsylvania woman killed in factory meat grinder

By Tom Eley, 25 April 2019

Jill Greninger, 35, was working alone when the accident took place.

Australian rugby player Israel Folau challenges sacking over social media posts

By John Braddock, 25 April 2019

The moves to sack Folau over his social media posts are an attack on the player’s basic rights and on freedom of speech.

The Australian government must act to free Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell: SEP candidate for Parramatta, 25 April 2019

Assange’s brutal arrest and the attempts to extradite him to the US are an attack on the working class.

Julian Assange was denied access to lawyers, visitors in Britain’s Belmarsh prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 April 2019

The reported denial of the WikiLeaks founder’s right to consult his legal counsel, for over a week, casts grave doubt that he will be afforded due process.

SEP (Australia) election candidates win strong support for the immediate release of Assange and Manning

By our correspondents, 23 April 2019

The SEP is the only political party in the election defending Julian Assange and US whistleblower Chelsea Manning and fighting to mobilise workers and youth to demand their immediate release from prison.

Video: IYSSE (Australia) members at University of Melbourne demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 22 April 2019

“We demand the Australian government cease its collaboration with the US vendetta against Assange.”

Western Australia Labor government dismisses water contamination risks in indigenous communities

By Margaret Rees, 20 April 2019

Labor has dismissed evidence of a potential correlation between poor water quality and elevated levels of kidney disease and type-2 diabetes.

Australia: University of Melbourne IYSSE holds successful meeting in defence of Julian Assange

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 20 April 2019

Students at the meeting voted unanimously for a resolution to fight for the freedom of the WikiLeaks publisher.

Growing popular support for Julian Assange in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 April 2019

Since Assange’s illegal arrest by the British police last Thursday, 75,000 more people have signed a petition demanding that the Australian government take action to defend the WikiLeaks founder.

Australian election dominated by false promises and diversions

By Mike Head, 19 April 2019

The mudslinging from all sides is to cover up the fact that there are no fundamental differences between any of these parties.

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson demands release of Julian Assange

By Richard Phillips, 19 April 2019

Ricketson was arrested in Cambodia in 2017 and imprisoned for 15 months on bogus claims that he was spying for “foreign states.”

Human rights advocate Professor Stuart Rees denounces attacks on WikiLeaks publisher

By Stuart Rees, 18 April 2019

“This is not a legal controversy. It is a massive political issue. The US culture of revenge has to be exposed and challenged. Grass roots outrage needs to be mobilised.”

Unsealed affidavit demonstrates US seeking to prosecute Assange for his journalism

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 April 2019

The extradition request is a pseudo-legal figleaf for an extraordinary rendition operation.

New Zealand bus worker dies of stroke after corporate restructure

By our correspondent, 17 April 2019

Wellington bus controller Dmitri Edwards died following a “day from hell,” during which he had to make 85 changes to rosters and schedules.

Australian political establishment rejects calls for defence of Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 16 April 2019

Both the ruling Liberal-National Coalition and opposition Labor Party have doubled down on their support for Washington’s decade-long operation to lock Assange away.

Prominent WikiLeaks supporter Somerset Bean speaks out in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 April 2019

“The powers that be want to use the persecution of a successful and effective publisher as a warning to us all not to challenge their power and their crimes.”

The Socialist Equality Party candidates in the 2019 Australian election

By the SEP (Australia), 16 April 2019

The SEP is standing Senate groups in New South Wales and Victoria and running candidates in the House of Representatives’ electorates of Parramatta in Sydney, Calwell in Melbourne and Ipswich in Brisbane.

Australia: Kimberly-Clark to shut Ingleburn plant and axe over 200 jobs.

By Terry Cook, 15 April 2019

The closure of the south-west Sydney plant is part of a global restructuring plan that will see 10 facilities shut down internationally and the elimination of over 5,000 jobs.

Twenty years since the death of Australian Trotskyist and Aboriginal worker, Comrade Yabu Bilyana

By Linda Tenenbaum, 15 April 2019

On April 5, 1999, Yabu Bilyana, the first indigenous Australian to join the International Committee of the Fourth International, died at the age of 54. This obituary was written by then Socialist Equality Party assistant national secretary, Linda Tenenbaum, and published by the WSWS on April 7, 1999.

Message of condolence from David North

“He based his life on the ideals of justice, equality and human solidarity”

15 April 2019

“Had he not been so tragically disabled by illness, Yabu undoubtedly would have played a major role in the expansion of the party’s influence in the working class.”

Yabu Bilyana addresses ICFI World Conference: “Genocide of indigenous peoples is still practiced throughout Australia”

By Yabu Bilyana, 15 April 2019

Bilyana exposed the ongoing oppression of Australia’s Aboriginal population and the whitewash carried out by the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody.

SEP (Australia) rallies demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 April 2019

“Assange has performed his duty as a journalist to workers, to youth, to the mass of ordinary people around the world. Now, we are obliged to repay that debt which we owe him.”

Prominent Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis speaks out for Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 April 2019

“Journalists, all over the world, who have published material that WikiLeaks made available, should stand up for Julian’s rights.”

Australian PM and Labor Party leader both reject any defence of Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 13 April 2019

On the opening day of the federal election campaign, there was sickening bipartisan agreement to help hand the WikiLeaks publisher over to the Trump administration.

Australian intelligence chief says no need for “reset” after New Zealand fascist attack

By Mike Head, 13 April 2019

The ASIO director-general’s testimony raises further questions about how the violent plans of an Australian fascist supposedly went unnoticed by the state agencies.

Police attack teachers in Kolkata; thousands of Bangladesh jute mill workers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 April 2019

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

Australian police dismissed death threat by Christchurch terrorist

By Tom Peters, 12 April 2019

The revelation demolishes claims by Australian and New Zealand authorities that the fascist Brenton Tarrant was not “on the radar” of any state agencies.

British police arrest Julian Assange in Ecuadorian embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2019

“Assange’s expulsion from the embassy and his arrest are unprecedented crimes,” said James Cogan, the national secretary of the SEP (Australia). “A journalist and publisher, who has committed no crime, has had his asylum terminated and has been dragged off to prison in violation of repeated UN rulings upholding his status as a political refugee.”

WikiLeaks exposes spying operation against Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, acting as a vassal of the US, has surveilled every aspect of Assange’s life.

Australian prime minister calls crisis election for May 18

By Mike Head, 11 April 2019

Prime Minister Morrison’s announcement is a bid to shut down parliament and go to the polls as quickly as possible before the economic situation worsens.

Australian trade unions hold pro-Labor “Change the Rules” rallies

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 April 2019

The union protests yesterday were called to promote the election of a yet another Labor government that will implement the demands of big business.

New Zealand inquiry set to whitewash fascist murders in Christchurch

By John Braddock, 10 April 2019

The royal commission will cover up the promotion of far-right extremism by the political establishment and pave the way for further anti-democratic police powers.

“Four Corners” broadcasts further claims of “Chinese interference” in Australia

By Peter Symonds, 10 April 2019

The “Four Corners” program signals a push to enforce the draconian “foreign interference” laws, passed last year with bipartisan support.

Australia: Another toxic factory fire endangers working-class suburbs

By Peter Byrne, 10 April 2019

Every sphere of social life is now subject to corporate profiteering, including the disposal of hazardous waste.

In leaked court testimony, Assange denounces his illegal detention

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 April 2019

The WikiLeaks founder declared: “No journalist, no citizen, should accept that what they speak about can be defined from day to day by reasons of political expediency.”

Workers and youth in Australia support Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 9 April 2019

SEP campaigners found a deep well of opposition to the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder over his exposure of the war crimes and diplomatic intrigues of the US and its allies.

Assange faces ongoing threats at Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 April 2019

While the Ecuadorian government denied that Assange would be “imminently” expelled from the embassy, it did not dispute that plans had been afoot to terminate his political asylum.

Australia: Tasmanian teachers take strike action

By Frank Gaglioti, 6 April 2019

Teachers in Tasmania are the lowest paid of any state in Australia.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 April 2019

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

WikiLeaks warns that Julian Assange faces imminent eviction from Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 April 2019

The publisher warned that a “high-level source” within the Ecuadorian state had information that Assange would be expelled from the building and taken into British custody “within hours or days.”

Australian Labor Party leader offers false hope of “fair go” in budget reply

By Mike Head, 5 April 2019

Acutely aware of seething working class discontent towards the entire political establishment, Shorten sought to promote illusions in making capitalism less brutal.

More layoffs point to worsening jobs crisis in Australia

By Terry Cook, 5 April 2019

Major companies across a range of sectors continue to shed jobs amid forecasts of a worsening global slowdown, particularly in China.

Australian government sets global precedent with online censorship bill

By Mike Head, 4 April 2019

While nominally directed against the far-right, the bill will be used to step up the offensive against oppositional, left-wing and socialist postings.

After death on Australian construction site, evidence emerges of widespread safety violations

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 April 2019

Unsafe scaffolding on building sites—which caused the death of a young apprentice on Monday—was the subject of more than 100 breach notices by the state regulator last year.

Ecuadorian president threatens to evict Julian Assange from London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 April 2019

Moreno accused Assange of “repeatedly violating the conditions of his asylum,” to create a pretext to hand him over to British and US authorities.

Australian government delivers a callous, anti-working class budget

By Mike Head, 3 April 2019

The Morrison government handed down a vote-buying budget pitched at satisfying big business and the wealthy, while feigning concern for the rest of society.

One worker killed, another critically injured after scaffolding collapse in Sydney

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 April 2019

The tragedy in Australia points to the subordination of workers’ safety to the profit demands of the construction companies and property developers.

Australia: Al Jazeera investigation targets right-wing One Nation party

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 April 2019

The program had the character of a politically-motivated sting operation, aimed at destroying the right-wing, anti-immigrant party.

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.