Australia and South Pacific

Australian police monitoring journalists’ travel and internet data

By Mike Head, 10 July 2019

New reports demonstrate an escalating effort to criminalise exposures about key military and intelligence operations.

Australia: DP World stevedoring strike against attacks on conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 July 2019

While the stoppage expresses growing militancy among dock workers, the union is seeking to contain any struggle and enforce a sell-out agreement.

SEP (Australia) holds rally in Brisbane to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By Gary Alvernia, 8 July 2019

Despite downpours of rain, workers and young people came from far afield to join the event, demonstrating the underlying support for the WikiLeaks founder and the courageous whistleblower.

Australian Labor Party backs government’s tax cuts for the wealthy

By Mike Head, 6 July 2019

By voting for the massive tax cuts, Labor further repudiated its bogus election rhetoric against “the big end of town” and for a “fair go” for working people.

SEP meetings review political lessons of Australia’s federal election

By our reporters, 6 July 2019

Labor’s defeat in the May 18 elections poses the urgent necessity for an intensification of the fight for socialist and internationalist consciousness among workers and youth.

Australian workers and youth discuss SEP election campaign

By our reporters, 6 July 2019

“I’ve seen the Labor Party and the unions working hand-in-glove at the expense of the workers throughout my entire working life.”

Punjab Roadways workers strike for three days; thousands of Bangladesh municipal workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 July 2019

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

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson calls on journalist Peter Greste to defend Assange

4 July 2019

Ricketson’s “Open Letter” debunks Greste’s claim that Assange is not a journalist and therefore not deserving of support, and calls on him to defend the WikiLeaks founder, as he did Ricketson who was wrongly jailed in Cambodia.

Australian central bank cuts cash rate to record low

By Mike Head, 4 July 2019

The second cut in two months is a sign of fear in ruling circles of the intensifying impact of the global turmoil on the domestic economy.

South Australian teachers strike for better wages and conditions

By Sue Phillips, 4 July 2019

South Australia teachers have joined their counterparts in New Zealand, other Australian states and around the world, to strike against their current, unsustainable wages and conditions.

Video: Watch the Sydney Free Assange rally

4 July 2019

The demonstration is one of a series of rallies organised by the Socialist Equality Party to defend Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning; the next will be in Brisbane on Saturday followed by Melbourne on Sunday July 14.

Australian prime minister lines up with Trump at the G20

By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2019

Trump made clear that he expected Morrison and the Australian government to back the US in its confrontations on all fronts—in particular against Iran and China.

New Zealand secondary teachers’ union pushes through sellout

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 3 July 2019

The deal pushed through by the Post-Primary Teachers’ Association, following a similar sellout by the primary teachers’ union, will only see the crisis in schools worsen.

Australia: Hundreds of students and staff protest against trimesters at UNSW

By our reporters, 3 July 2019

“Orientating the uni towards profit rather than education is not a good thing overall for education.”

Video: Protesters at SEP (Australia) rally speak out in defence of Assange and Manning

2 July 2019

“I came to support Julian because of all the time he has lost to help the poor people and the oppressed around the world.”

Australian media chiefs seek to divert anger over police raids

By Mike Head, 2 July 2019

There was no mention of the violent arrest of Julian Assange, which opened the floodgates for a broader assault on free speech.

Australian PM refused to raise persecution of Assange with Trump

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 July 2019

At the G20 summit Morrison fawned over Trump, who is seeking to imprison the WikiLeaks founder for life, or execute him.

SEP (Australia) holds Sydney rally in defence of Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 1 July 2019

“If two million people can come out on the streets of Hong Kong against extradition legislation, then we can surely build such a mass popular movement on a global scale to free Assange and Manning.”

Far-right Australian senator disbands party in favour of Coalition government

By Mike Head, 27 June 2019

Bernardi’s decision underscores the ongoing refashioning of the political establishment in a right-wing populist direction to try to divert seething social discontent.

Join the Sydney rally this Saturday demanding freedom for Julian Assange!

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 June 2019

The demonstration will insist that the Australian government take immediate action to prevent the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to the US, where he faces life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson to speak at SEP rally in defence of Assange

26 June 2019

“We must do all in our power to prevent Assange’s extradition to the US. Signing petitions is not enough. We must make our presence felt in the streets at vigils and demonstrations.”

Australian teachers establish new Facebook “support network” against ongoing victimisation

By Erika Zimmer, 26 June 2019

Three victimised teachers have launched a new “Bullied Teachers Support Network,” under conditions where nearly 25 percent of NSW high school teachers claim to have been bullied.

Students and staff to protest imposition of trimesters at Australian university

By Martin Scott, 25 June 2019

The University of New South Wales management has put commercial interests ahead of education.

Australian Labor Party embraces huge tax cuts for richest 5 percent

By Mike Head, 25 June 2019

Labor has signalled its readiness to accept, directly or indirectly, the government’s plan to slash income taxes for those receiving more than $200,000 a year.

Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) calls rally to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 25 June 2019

Support the SEG’s rally on Sunday July 14 as part of the international campaign to demand freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

New Zealand neo-Nazi jailed for 21 months for sharing video of mosque shootings

By Tom Peters, 24 June 2019

The trial was a test case for anti-democratic legislation that can and will be used to suppress mounting social opposition from the working class.

Australia: NSW government tries to minimise political and economic fallout over unsafe apartments

By John Wilson, 24 June 2019

Hundreds of Mascot Tower residents still have no idea when the structurally unsafe building will be repaired, so that they can finally return to their homes.

Australian Labor Party leader determined to expel building union official

By Mike Head, 21 June 2019

Corporate outlets have declared that John Setka’s removal is the first “test” of Anthony Albanese’s leadership in turning Labor further to the right.

Australian workers and youth support SEP rallies defending Assange

By our reporters, 21 June 2019

The hostility of ordinary people to the US attempts to prosecute Assange stands in stark contrast to the complicity of the political and media establishment.

Australia: NSW government unveils thousands of public sector job cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 June 2019

The state budget includes 3,000 retrenchments, a deepening offensive against social services and massive handouts to big business.

Professor Stuart Rees to speak at SEP rally to defend Julian Assange

20 June 2019

“The rally must increase public awareness of the outrageous injustice if Julian is extradited to the US to face a possible 170 years in prison.”

John Pilger urges participation in SEP (Australia) rallies to defend Assange

19 June 2019

“In my career, there has never been a more important case. If we lose Julian and Chelsea Manning to the dungeons of a rogue America, once-liberal societies will never be the same again; democracies will be in name only.”

Two protesters arrested at Melbourne rally in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 June 2019

The arrests were aimed at intimidating supporters of WikiLeaks and preventing broader layers from joining the campaign to defend Assange and all democratic rights.

Australia: Another Sydney apartment block evacuated over major structural cracks

By John Wilson, 17 June 2019

The event underlines the escalating crisis in housing and apartment building and the cost-cutting methods used during the past two decades.

Australian Labor Party leader reinforces pro-business message by denouncing building union official

By Mike Head, 14 June 2019

The John Setka affair is an initial “test” set by the corporate elite for the Labor and union leaders of their capacity to suppress rising working-class unrest.

Australia’s industrial tribunal maintains poverty-level minimum wage

By Terry Cook, 13 June 2019

The ruling is part of a decades-long assault on workers’ pay and conditions enforced by successive governments and the trade unions.

New Zealand protest opposes persecution of Julian Assange and Australian journalists

By our reporters, 13 June 2019

Tom Peters of the Socialist Equality Group warned that press freedom and democratic rights are “not compatible with endless war and endless attacks on living standards.”

Australian Labor Party’s hypocrisy on police media raids exposed

By Mike Head, 12 June 2019

The opposition Labor Party has joined hands with the ruling Coalition to pass legislation handing unprecedented powers to the police and intelligence agencies.

Australian journalist calls on colleagues to defend Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 June 2019

Andrew Fowler warned: “If Assange is left to swing in the breeze, it will be an open invitation for any journalist, anywhere in the world, to be extradited to the US.”

US issues formal request for Assange’s extradition

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 June 2019

The Trump administration is pressing ahead with its attempt to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder over his role in the exposure of US war crimes and diplomatic conspiracies.

Australia: Worst economic slowdown since global financial crisis

By Mike Head, 11 June 2019

US-China trade war fears are compounding the impact of falling house prices, plunging construction work and declining real wages.

SEP (Australia) calls rallies demanding freedom for Julian Assange

11 June 2019

The protests will demand that the Australian government take immediate action to prevent the WikiLeaks founder's extradition to the US and secure his complete freedom.

Australia: Telstra to destroy 10,000 contract jobs over two years

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 June 2019

The announcement of new sackings targeting contractors coincided with reports that Telstra has already eliminated many of the 9,500 permanent jobs it is seeking to destroy by 2022.

Australian workers and youth defend Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

By our reporters, 10 June 2019

“Assange is a genius and a hero and if it wasn’t for him, people around the world would not know about government war crimes and other illegal things that they have been doing.”

Australian police chief links media raids to US-led “Five Eyes” spy network

By Mike Head, 8 June 2019

Gaughan’s statement points to the targeting of journalists in order to cover up Washington’s preparations for wars and mass political surveillance.

“Is there going to be a future for journalism?”

Australian media workers denounce police raids

By our correspondents, 8 June 2019

ABC workers spoke of their shock and alarm at the arrival of federal police in their building.

New Zealand secondary teachers’ union cancels industrial action

By Tom Peters, 7 June 2019

There is growing anger over the Labour Party-led government’s refusal to adequately fund education, and the unions’ efforts to isolate teachers.

Murder of homeless woman in Melbourne a result of housing and mental health crisis

By Tessa Hugo, 7 June 2019

The tragedy exposes a deep crisis within Australia’s healthcare system, which leaves scores of young people and workers unable to receive the treatment they often desperately need.

The global war on journalism

By Mike Head, 6 June 2019

The arrest of Julian Assange has set a precedent for the state persecution of journalists, triggering police raids in Australia and France against reporters documenting government crimes and corruption.

Australian Federal Police raid journalists over exposures of government spying, war crimes

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 June 2019

The raids, targeting a News Corp journalist and the Sydney offices of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, are part of an expanding assault on democratic rights and press freedom.

Australian government forces refugees back to face repression in Sri Lanka

By Max Newman, 5 June 2019

At least 20 more asylum seekers have been detained by the Australian navy and deported to Sri Lanka to face possible torture and imprisonment.

Australian PM’s trip to Solomon Islands highlights intensifying US confrontation with China

By Mike Head, 4 June 2019

Morrison’s visit, his third to the southwest Pacific this year, was to send a blunt message to Pacific Island states to line up against Beijing.

Britain and Australia dismiss UN report that Assange has been tortured

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 June 2019

The brazen responses demonstrate the criminality of the US-led vendetta against Assange, which is proceeding in violation of due process and the fundamental tenets of international law.

Sydney Peace Prize recipients demand Australian government defend Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 June 2019

The statement was a powerful indictment of the Australian political and media establishment, which has abandoned the WikiLeaks founder or openly participated in his persecution.

Australian billionaires celebrate soaring wealth, while wage case leaves millions in poverty

By Mike Head, 1 June 2019

The annual Rich List, along with the outcome of the latest minimum wage case, underscore the acceleration of social inequality in Australia and around the world.

New Zealand budget delivers billions for the military, starves public services

By Tom Peters, 1 June 2019

The Labour Party-led coalition government’s “well-being budget” deepens the program of austerity and militarism supported by all the parties in parliament.

Australia: Children detained in adult watch houses in Queensland

By John Harris, 31 May 2019

Children as young as ten have been held in maximum security facilities, where they have been subjected to horrific abuses.

Amid grave concerns for his health, Assange transferred to Belmarsh Prison medical wing

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 May 2019

The WSWS demands Assange’s immediate release from the maximum security prison and his transfer to a hospital with the best medical care available and with doctors of his choice.

New prime minister installed in Papua New Guinea

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 May 2019

The manoeuvring between rival political cliques to form government underscores the gulf that separates the country’s poverty-stricken masses and its corrupt and venal elites.

Despite Assange’s ill-health, Swedish court rejects delay to hearing

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 May 2019

The ruling is the latest example of the international legal vendetta being perpetrated against the WikiLeaks founder.

Australian government, Labor opposition silent on espionage charges against Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 May 2019

Labor and the Coalition are signalling their support for the US-led persecution of Assange, for his exposure of war crimes and diplomatic conspiracies.

“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.