Monday, July 31, 2023

CPA (M-L) contribution to ICOR webinar on united front against imperialism

Written by: CPA (M-L) on 1 August 2023

On Sunday 30 July, a comrade from the CPA (M-L) made a short contribution to the discussion. As there were many participants from countries around the world, each person was limited to a 3-minute presentation. The comrade spoke without notes but has made the following written recollection of his comments.



Greetings comrades,

Firstly, let me begin by acknowledging the more than 300 people, many of them young, who confronted Nazis at a Nazi recruitment event in Melbourne yesterday. Their defiance of these right-wing street thugs is a very good thing.

Secondly, I can report that in common with workers in other advanced capitalist countries, Australian workers are facing declining living standards as the ruling class seeks to control inflation by using the levers of unemployment and interest rates. As a result, more and more are finding it difficult to meet mortgage repayments and rent increases, adding to the crisis of homelessness. They are yet to find the path to organised resistance, partly due to the repressive industrial relations laws that make all but “protected” industrial activity illegal. Even so, outbreaks of struggle are taking place.

Thirdly, on the international situation.  In our region we are acutely conscious of the danger of war as the competition develops between Chinese social-imperialism and US imperialism. Even those who are friendly towards the US are increasingly worried by the government’s surrender of sovereignty to the US. Mass organisations with broad popular appeal are organising resistance to the US stranglehold over Australia. The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) is one in which we work with former diplomats and politicians, with peace activists and others across a range of differing viewpoints, all wanting the Australian government to possess greater capacity for independent decision-making in matters of foreign policy. Alliances are being built across our region. An IPAN conference on the theme of a peaceful Pacific was held on July 29 with speakers from Australia, Okinawa, Guaham (Guam), Samoa and New Zealand.

Australia has recently joined the US and UK in the AUKUS alliance. This saw the cancellation of a contract for France to build conventional submarines in Australia in favour of a $368 billion contract with the US and the UK for eight nuclear-powered submarines. Even within the “defence” establishment there are criticisms of this arrangement. The submarines will not be based in Australian coastal waters, but will be “seamlessly interoperable” with US submarines off the coast of China. A new organisation, the Australian Anti-AUKUS Coalition is bringing together the rank-and-file of the governing Labor Party, unions and peace activists. A common demand is for the scrapping of AUKUS and the direction of the $368 billion towards the social problems of the working people.

A further consequence of AUKUS is that Australia must take responsibility for the disposal of nuclear waste from these submarines once they are decommissioned. For sixty years, the government has tried to impose a nuclear waste dump for intermediate and low-level waste on communities that have successfully resisted these proposals. Inevitably, they are proposed for “remote” locations on the lands of the First Peoples. We campaigned with the Barngarla people of South Australia, and the local farming community, to successfully block the latest dump proposal. The prospect of a future high-level nuclear waste dump will further boost the anti-nuclear movement.

Finally, let me acknowledge that many comrades at this ICOR meeting face far greater difficulties than those of us in countries like Australia. We pledge to do what we can to assist them in our joint struggle against imperialism.

Thank you.

The spineless puppets must be defied!

Written by: Nick G. on 31 July 2023 

The visit to Australia by our imperial masters, Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State, and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin III, has revealed just how spineless Australia’s political “leaders” are.

Not only have we “agreed” to purchase 20 C-130 Hercules heavy transport planes from Lockheed Martin for $10 billion at what defence insiders complain is a vastly inflated price; not only have we “agreed” to manufacture and export missiles to the US war machine; not only have we “agreed” to further upgrade air bases in northern Australia so they can be used for training exercises by both Australian and American troops; not only have we seen the spectacle of a cut-out kangaroo daubed in the Stars and Stripes on board the USS Canberra in a gratuitous display of ownership of our sovereignty; not only are we to have US military spies embedded within “our” Defence Intelligence Organisation in Canberra, but Albanese and Wong have nothing to show for their representations to the US for the dropping of plans for the extradition of Julian Assange to face trial in the US.

Acknowledging that the matter had been raised at the AUSMIN meeting, Blinken publicly humiliated Wong by declaring that he thought it “important that our friends here understand our concerns about this matter.” In other words, stuff you, we are out for revenge and we’re not going to be swayed by the opinions of our puppets. 

Albanese and Wong have come away from their latest round of obsequious pleading with nothing in their hands.

Their failure to secure the release of such an internationally famous icon as Assange, whose only “crime” was to have shattered the imperialist monopoly over, and control of, information does not bode well for any action they may be persuaded to take in the case of Australian citizen Daniel Duggan, currently held in a maximum security Australian cell while the US makes out a case for his extradition. The US believes it can use Duggan as an exhibit in its case against China, although he has done nothing illegal under Australian law. Attorney-General Dreyfus is deaf to pleas made on Duggan’s behalf.

The desire for revenge is not just a US imperialist character trait. The Australian government is still proceeding with its persecution of David McBride, the former Australian Army lawyer who blew the whistle on Australian war crimes in Afghanistan, and Australian Tax Office whistleblower Richard Boyle.

Labor Party rank and file are showing their displeasure at the Labor Government’s crawling to the US by passing motions at local branch level to pull out of AUKUS and cancel the $368 billion purchase of nuclear-powered submarines.

Along with other Australians, they will fight for the right to assert our sovereignty and independence.

More and more unions are passing resolutions against AUKUS. Common to their demands is that the money wasted on submarines be spent on meeting the people’s needs.

None of us want to be dragged into another unwinnable US war.

But to prevent that happening, we must rely on our own determination to struggle against US imperialism. 

The spineless puppets in the Coalition and in Labor will not do that for us.

Greetings from Ukrainian revolutionary


(Above: Bucha main street after Russian invasion.    Photo: Oleksandr Ratushniak  Creative Commons Share Alike 4.0)

Written by: Andriy on 31 July 2023

 A webinar held under the auspices of the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organisations (ICOR) was held recently. Contributors from Germany, France, Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Palestine, Australia, Turkiye, South Africa, Uruguay, Tunisia, and Cameroon shared 3-minute presentations on the situation in their respective countries. The following contribution came from Andriy, a socialist Ukrainian. We publish it for our Australian readers – eds.


I greet everyone on behalf of the working people of Ukraine, who have been fighting the hardships of a bloody war and imperialist aggression for the second year already. Every day some people are killed by missile and bomb attacks by Russian imperialism. Houses, cities, and the environment are destroyed. Huge territories are mined, and people are dying from this as well. And a crime that affects not only our country, but the whole Europe, and the Black Sea region, is the destruction of the Kakhovka reservoir dam, which led to the flooding of large territories and the death of dozens of civilians, collapsing thousands of residential buildings and other civil infrastructure.

In addition, dangerous accidents are possible at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the largest one in Europe. This can lead to more serious consequences for the country and the entire region than even the Chernobyl disaster. Putin's interventionists can easily arrange such an accident, and the Western imperialists are interested in this issue only from the point of view of their plans in Ukraine and Europe, and not in terms of harm to ordinary people. The bourgeoisie cares about their "business", their pocket, and not about millions of workers.

In such conditions, the majority of workers are busy with the problems of everyday survival – many of them have lost their homes, and unemployment is high, real incomes of the people have fallen significantly.

And some words about the war. The interventionists still have great power, and the supply of Western weapons is also growing. It is difficult to say how long the war will last, but, apparently, at least one year more. One of the factors is the US elections: both the pre-election campaign and the election results can affect Washington’s activity in Ukraine, the dynamics of military support etc. In any case, even now, after one and a half years of the war, this is a bloody horror in the middle of Europe. And this is a direct consequence of imperialist contradictions and capitalism as it is.

There is no doubt that the danger of war on a world scale is growing before our eyes. The imperialists are endangering the lives of entire continents and of all mankind for the sake of their selfish interests. Therefore, the United Anti-Imperialist Front is of particular importance, and meets the real interests of the working people worldwide, in whatever country they may be. This will make it possible to coordinate the struggle on a global scale, the struggle against imperialism and militarism.

Down with any imperialism!


Inter-imperialist rivalry and the Niger coup


(Above: Photo by VCG)

Written by: Nick G. on 30 July 2023

The military coup in Niger is proof that without genuine anti-imperialist independence, neither bourgeois democracy nor socialism can be secured.

Four days after Niger’s democratically elected President Mohammed Bazoum was detained and removed in a coup led by members of his presidential guard, details of the rivalry for influence and control between various imperialist powers is emerging. 


This relatively large and landlocked African nation has a population of 25 million, nearly all of whom are Muslims. Nearly 80% of Niger is Saharan Desert country. It was a French colony until 1960. 

Niger's armed forces have a long history of military cooperation with France and the United States. As of 2013, the capital Niamey is home to a U.S. drone base. The country has had close ties to France since independence, and relies on French and US military support against Boko Haram jihadists from neighbouring Nigeria. 

At Sochi in October 2019, Putin announced that Russia would supply Niger 12 Mi-35 attack helicopters to use against Boko Haram. 

However, Niger also decided to take on board much of the French force expelled from Mali, and this has not gone down well with everyone. In September 2022, demonstrators took to the streets of Niamey carrying Russian flags and placards attacking the French. This was very similar to the pro-Russian rallies earlier in neighbouring Burkina-Faso. 

Niger is also of interest as it is one of only a few African countries to have an arms deal with Turkey. The latter only supplies 0.5% of Africa’s weaponry, but is keen to expand its influence on the continent. In June 2022 it was reported that Turkey had delivered six Bayraktar TB2 drones to Niger. The deal includes armoured vehicles and Hurkus light attack aircraft, the first Turkish manned aircraft to be exported.

The European Union earlier this year launched a 27-million-euro ($30m) military training mission in Niger. The US has more than 1,000 service personnel in the country. France has 1,500 soldiers, which conduct joint operations with the Nigeriens. 

However, urban residents in Niger’s bigger towns, faced with continuing threats from Boko Haram, have called for intervention by Prigozhin’s Wagner mercenaries. 

In the capital, Niamey, an opposition stronghold, according to an Al Jazeera report, several hundred people on Thursday gathered to chant support for the Russian military group Wagner while waving Russian flags. Later, they burned cars and ransacked the headquarters of the president’s political party.

One of the protesters was quoted as saying, “We are tired of being targeted by the men in the bush … Down with the French people. We’re going to collaborate with Russia now.” 

This explains the demands by the US imperialists for the restoration of the Niger government, and their threats to withhold financial support for Niger.

Imperialist rivalry promotes regional instability

Niger is part of Africa’s unstable Sahel region which has seen eight coups in three years, and a growing presence of Wagner group soldiers in places like Mali, Burkina-Faso and the Central African Republic.

US Secretary of State Blinken visited Niger in March saying he wanted to promote stability in the region, imperial-speak for imposing US dictate to the exclusion of competing imperialist powers.

The Niger coup has corresponded with the opening in St Petersburg of the Second Russia-Africa Summit. Just 17 heads of African states are attending this year, less than half of the 43 heads of state that attended the 2019 conference. Russia has lost some influence across the continent in the wake of its aggression against Ukraine, a major grain supplier to African countries, and is keen to recover some of that lost influence.

The great African continent has suffered more than any other from the ravages of imperialism. 

We stand with all African peoples struggling for liberation and socialism.
For further reading on Africa, see our Russia’s New African Adventure.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Superpowers court PNG, Solomon Islands as regional tensions intensify


Written by: (Contributed) on 26 July 2023

An announcement from Port Moresby that the PNG Defence Force were considering establishing an elite military grouping has raised concerns about wider issues arising in the South Pacific. The small area to the north of Australia remains riven with ethnic and inter-ethnic rivalries, exacerbated by fierce hostility with US-led regional operations directed toward perceived Chinese influences, particularly in the neighbouring Solomon Islands.

In mid-July the PNG government in Port Moresby announced it was seriously considering establishing a special operations force modelled on the British Gurkha regiment. (1) British defence officials had already had formal meetings with their PNGDF counterparts on the basis that PNG 'struggles to strengthen its armed forces at a time of increased tension in the region between China and the US'. (2) It was noted the 'South Pacific has become a theatre for strategic competition between the US and China' (3)

The Gurkhas, historically, have been associated with elite military traditions and jungle warfare; in May PNG signed a Defence Co-operation Agreement with the US, paving the way for US forces being exempt from taxes and criminal prosecution, unimpeded and rent-free access to bases in PNG, and stationing troops and equipment for deployment. (4) The move forms part of the stated intention of PNG to increase the size of the PNGDF from the present 3,650 personnel to 10,000 by 2030, together with a reservist force of an extra 3,000 personnel. (4)

The moves coincided with a bi-partisan diplomatic statement from the Biden administration that, 'NATO's expansion into the Asia-Pacific region … was … inevitable, arguing that the AUKUS security pact, of which Australia is a key member, is the first step into turning the growing military into a global bulwark against China and Russian power'. (5)

The moves, however, are far from straightforward: France, for example, vetoed a push by some NATO members in June to open a diplomatic office in Japan to increase liaison with Indo-Pacific nations. (6) While the reasons explaining France's diplomatic decision were merely noted as, 'a big mistake … amid concerns it could antagonise Beijing', a far more likely explanation was that France retains major diplomatic links with Vanuatu as a former part-colonial power, New Caledonia and the wider Polynesia. (7) The Macron presidential administration does not want outside interference in what they regard as essentially their French regional interests. 
The fact that Japan was chosen for the NATO office would also indicate the recent moves rest upon the US-led Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) whereby the US-Japan alliance has been upgraded to a global alliance, resting upon the so-called 'Quad' composed of the US, Australia, India and Japan. (8) The IPS also has lower-level partners, including South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam and others. (9) Whether PNG has now been included remains to be verified, although its defence agreement with the US in May would tend to indicate the decisions have already been taken with this goal in mind.

PNG has, historically, been the dominant player in the South Pacific due to its size and population: it has about 10 million people compared to the Solomon Islands 611,340, and Vanuatu only 307,815. PNG has also been a dominant player inside the British Commonwealth. Moves, by the US, to expand their IPS, have to be assessed in this light. And the fact the Solomon Islands does not even have its own defence force, likewise, is also an important consideration. The Solomon Islands relies upon its police force for defence and security provision, and outside assistance, if required.

Under these circumstances it is not particularly difficult to establish the fraught nature of Australia-Solomon Islands diplomacy. The Solomon Islands has been noted as of 'vital strategic importance to Australia'. (10) There is little doubt, however, that the US are pulling the strings as a puppet-master: while Sogavare was visiting Beijing, the US National Security Council raised the matter as a concern. (11) The Solomon Islands would appear to be regarded by the US intelligence services as a country of some considerable interest.  

The recent visit by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to Beijing, therefore, also saw diplomatic tension between Honiara and Canberra escalate: while in Beijing, Sogavare signed nine agreements with China, which Australia have requested are published immediately. It was noted with alarm, from Canberra in the meantime, that 'exact details are yet to be disclosed'. (12) Fears exist that while the Solomon Islands have discussed the prospect of creating their own army with Canberra, Honiara also has a defence agreement with China, which may complicate the matter. (13)

Those inside the corridors of power in Canberra would appear to have forgotten the Solomon Islands are a sovereign independent state, as ratified by the United Nations, not a neo-colonial outpost from yesteryear ruled by the Australian Colonial Administration. The continued response from Canberra has also been symptomatic of the colonial and Cold War politics of yesteryear, and has left little to the imagination: two editorials in Murdoch’s the Australian, for example, have portrayed Sogavare as seemingly an agent of influence; one was titled 'Sogavare kowtows to Beijing', and the other included references to 'Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has been singing from the Chinese Communist Party's anti-Australia songbook'. (14)

Such diplomacy and media comment would hardly qualify as professional or conducive to harmonious relations between Australia and the wider South Pacific. It would, to the contrary, be typically symptomatic of US-led Cold War positions, based upon neo-colonial relations.

                                        We need an independent foreign policy!

1.     PNG, UK discuss 'Gurkha' regiment, Australian, 14 July 2023.
2.     Ibid.
3.     Ibid.
4.     We won't be pawns in global game: PNG., Australian, 18 July 2023.
5.     PNG, UK discuss 'Gurkha' regiment, Australian, op.cit., 14 July 2023.
5.     NATO sets sights on Asia-Pacific, Australian, 18 July 2023.
6.     Ibid.
7.     Ibid.
8.     The reasons behind Washington's push for GSOMIA., Hankyoreh, 12 November 2019.
9.     Ibid.
10.   China-Solomons pact 'wake-up call', Australian, 17 July 2023.
11.   China, Solomon Islands sign policing pact in upgrade of ties, Reuters, US News, 10 July 2023.
12.   Sogavare hits Canberra over budget delay, Australian, 18 July 2023.
13.   Ibid.
14.   See: Sogavare kowtows to Beijing, Editorial, Australian, 13 July 2023; and, Sogavare rant is fooling no one, Editorial, Australian, 19 July 2023.

Greece is on fire and the system of profit is responsible.


Written by: Communist Party of Greece (Marxist-Leninist) on 24 July 2023

Our thoughts go out to the people of Greece, currently suffering the consequences of capitalism’s war on nature and its consequence of global warming and extreme weather events. Greek people will rally today, Monday July 24, at Syntagma, the central square of Athens. The statement below was released by the Communist party of Greece (Marxist-Leninist) on July 18.  Although there are several references to particular matters that we do not know abut, the general thrust of the analysis is clear – eds.


The country is on fire!
Government policies will not go untouched!
The system of profit and exploitation is GUILTY!
Saronida, Kouvaras, Kalyvia. Dervenochoria, Mandra. Loutraki. The whole of Attica and its surroundings are in flames. At the same time, dozens of firefronts have opened simultaneously across the country. The toll so far is tragic: thousands of acres of burnt forest land, houses and even entire settlements have been burned to the ground, hundreds of people have been displaced, dozens of animals have been burned. And the danger has not yet been reduced, since new areas are threatened, even in dangerous places, with industries within the urban fabric.
Desperate residents are trying by all means to protect and defend their livelihoods. So far, there have been many complaints about a complete lack of firefighting equipment. Anger is overflowing for the government and the regions that allowed Attica to turn into a paralysis of fire for yet another year.
The media and system actors were quick to recommend calm:
To say that now is not the time to seek responsibility, not to politicize the tragedy. Of course, at the same time they whisper about the "irresponsible" who "did not clean their plots". They openly mock residents' complaints that fire brigades did not come, replying that just because they did not see them, it does not mean that they did not act in another nearby spot! At the same time they talk about a successful operation, because (so far) there has been no human loss. They say the greatest achievement is the message about evacuations! When the anger of the inhabitants presses them, they dare to recall the crime in Mati with the dead. They are trying to defuse anger by saying that reparations will be given quickly and on time. Such a statement was made by Mitsotakis from Brussels. Syriza has reintroduced for the umpteenth time the "see you later" approach.
In other words, they do everything to conceal their own criminal responsibilities! The fact that they have stripped the entire country, but even more Attica of any means of protection and prevention for such disasters. We see it and "measure" it every year in floods, snowstorms and fires. The people, helpless and alone, trying to make ends meet. At the same time the system prides itself on its investments, wind farms, hotels and casinos. That has cemented or closed the last square meter of green space or park even in the center of Athens! Who makes "transfers" of staff from one service to another (we have seen in recent days with the shortages in EKAV) in order to patch up needs without being forced to make permanent recruitments. All of the above are compatible and organically tied to the system of profit, to the policies of "everything to capital, all to capital". The -ultimately- indifference to human life. His crimes (in the Pandemic, in Tempi, in Pylos, etc.) remind us of this daily and continuously!
The battle with the flames is not over yet. Everyone, however, anticipates that in many areas the "next day" residents will see a destroyed area.
We declare our solidarity with the residents who are fighting for their lives and livelihoods. We know very well that many stay in the areas despite calls from state mechanisms to evacuate, not only out of desperation (as the media say), but because they know, through their experience, that the state has left them alone. That he doesn't care how they live the next day. That tens of thousands of people affected by fires and floods are still waiting for compensation or have received some crumbs.
The battle with the system of exploitation and the policies that give rise to all these crimes is the issue.
Reclaiming the lives and lost labors of the people is imperative. And it has to come in as early as today.
To immediately and fully compensate those affected.
To ensure immediately and for as long as necessary decent housing for those who were displaced.
So that the burnt forests do not turn into a field of exploitation for capital.
So that we do not allow such crimes to happen again!

The Rojava Revolution and the leadership of women

 Written by: YPG (Women's Defence Forces) on 20 July 2023

The role of women is central to the successes of revolutionary movements in the Philippines and in India. Women have also played major roles in recent struggles in Iran and Afghanistan. The following statement was recently released by the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), an armed force of Kurdish and other peoples fighting for liberation from ISIS, the Assad regime, and the Turkish invaders in the northern and eastern sectors of Syria. 

On July 19th 2012, the population of Kobane expelled the Syrian army after months of uprisings against the Ba’ath Regime. Yesterday, the revolutionary movement celebrated the 11th anniversary of the Rojava Revolution.
“The Rojava Revolution achieved its true meaning with the YPJ”
Update on
July 19, 2023
The revolution in North and East Syria has created a new life under the leadership of women. While the region was in the middle of a severe crisis caused by the Baath regime as well as the policies of the hegemonic powers, the opportunity to determine our own destiny arose. On this basis, we decided to establish a system in which society organizes itself within the framework of democratic confederalism. In the past years, we defended our lands from severe attacks and fought relentlessly against the policies of genocide. We liberated the territories occupied by ISIS without relying on other forces, motivated by our strong belief in a free and equal life.
Many revolutions have failed because the interests of the people could not be defended, the revolution here however is based on the people’s interests- ecology, democracy and women’s liberation. This is why it has achieved a truly revolutionary change within society.
In line with these principles, the YPJ took the responsibility for creating a free future and became a leading force. The participation of women in the YXK/YPG Units from the very beginning played a decisive role in the organization of women and peoples. The women joining the armed self-defense units ensured that the interests of the people are represented properly and influenced the forces by implementing new styles and methods of our struggle. By being an integral part of the self-defense forces, the YPJ has become a role model far beyond the Middle East.
With the revolution in North and East Syria, women realized the meaning of their existence that had been taken away violently by the dominant male system for thousands of years. Women carried out a relentless struggle against all kinds of invasions and attacks using their legitimate right of self-defense. Within the struggle women are part of organizing the people, educating themselves and others and participating in the armed defense. The fighters of the YPJ defend the identities, languages, cultures and free will of the peoples. For this reason, the Rojava Revolution achieved its true meaning with the YPJ.
The YPJ will continue its relentless struggle as a vanguard force against all policies of occupation and annihilation. We look proudly at 11 years of great struggle, resistance, heroism and the spirit of self-sacrificing. Always side by side with the people of this land. It was the unity of the peoples that made this revolution happen. So, the spirit of unity of the peoples will play a decisive role in the continuation and permanence of the women’s revolution in North and East Syria.
Many of our valuable fighters and commanders gave their lives for the Rojava Revolution. We, the YPJ, make a promise to continue their struggle and ensure the continuation of the revolution.
YPJ General Command

For further information, visit the YPJ website..

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Report on the Australian political situation to the ICOR Asia Conference 22-23 July 2023

Written by: Nick G. on 20 July 2023

The following country report has been sent to the Asia Conference meeting of parties and organizations affiliated to ICOR, the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations.

Our Party is affiliated to ICOR through the Asian Continental grouping, along with parties and organizations from India, Sri Lanka, Bangla Desh, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Iran and Nepal.

The ICOR Asia Conference is being held in India on 22-23 July.

The report follows:

First Peoples

We open this report by commenting on the circumstances of the First Peoples of this continent and its islands. The First Peoples claim to have been here “since time immemorial” which, in calendar years, is around 60,000 years of occupation and ownership. The invasion of their lands by British unsettlers, whose history books for years spoke of “peaceful settlement”, was everywhere accomplished by force and violence or the threat of force and violence. Colonial racism justified attempted genocide, and violent occupation and exploitation of the First People’s lands and country. Indeed, one authoritative “history” published as late as 1890, equated the First Peoples with the “beasts of the field” who “sowed not, nor did they reap”, and whose nakedness indicated that they “pre-dated…even Adamic times”. That is, they were not created by the Christian God in his image, and should not therefore be treated as humans, but rather as a lower race of savages destined to be exterminated off the face of this Earth. Their lands were not regarded as populated in the European sense of having privately owned territories, so no attempt was made to “justify” colonial occupation by way of treaties.

The First Peoples resisted and survived and are determined to take back what is theirs. Never having ceded the rights to their lands by way of treaties with the unsettlers, they have since the 1970s, won through their own efforts, recognition in colonial law of land rights and, after the 1992 Mabo Decision, of their continuing occupation and ownership of traditional lands.

However, their battles are far from over. First Peoples are still subjected to daily racism and systemic disadvantage which results in huge gaps between their health, housing, education and employment levels and those of non-Indigenous Australians. They are the most incarcerated people on Earth. First Peoples continue to be displaced from their lands by the multinational mining corporations.

This year there will be a nation-wide referendum to alter the Australian Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Constitution and create a permanent representative  Voice for First Peoples to the Australian Parliament.  Although this demand has been driven by conservatives among the First Peoples and is rejected by more militant First Peoples as an attempt to divert their struggles into the quicksand of parliamentary reform through a powerless advisory-only mechanism, it has prompted a racist Vote No campaign led by the conservative Liberal and National Parties. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, the momentum behind First Peoples’ demands for self-determination will continue and grow.

Australian workers

In the Asian region, the Australian working class has had the benefit of living in an advanced industrial nation of imperialist-dominated capitalism. The Australian working class creates enormous surplus value from the exploitation of its labour power and natural resources on the stolen lands of the First Nations people, appropriated by mining monopoly corporations.  Since the 1980s,  imperialist globalization has destroyed much of the local value-added manufacturing industrial base.  No longer does Australia have car manufacturing and tool making industries, shipbuilding, clothing and footwear, pharmaceuticals, steel production.  We are often described as a quarry for multinational mining corporations (minerals and gas) exporting natural resources and profits.

Although the Australian working class’s living standards are relatively high, so is the cost of living and many are threatened by insecurity through a combination of a decade-long inability to improve wages, through ongoing threats of unemployment or precarious employment, huge rises in rents and purchase prices for housing, rising medical costs and education expenses. As a result, more and more people are homeless, forced to seek accommodation with friends and family, and failing that, sleeping rough in the streets, or living in the family car. These conditions are exacerbated by some of the most restrictive and punitive industrial laws in the advanced capitalist world: strikes are illegal except when granted by permission of the authorities during enterprise agreement negotiations, which means that employers are given plenty of warning and preparation time, and the strikes are of limited duration and effectiveness.  Very little has changed with the election of the social-democratic Australian Labor government, and with Labor governments in 7 of the 8 state and territory jurisdictions. Workers are learning that they must fight for their own independent working class agenda, and not rely on parliament or the authorities.

The US-Australia Stranglehold

The major parliamentary parties are dyed-in-the- wool supporters of US imperialism. Australia is part of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network, is part of the Quad (with India, Japan and the US) and of AUKUS (with the US and UK). Its history post-WW2 is one of willing subservience to the US imperialist global order, and it has joined imperialist wars in Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. At the present time, attempts are made to prepare the Australian people psychologically and politically for a US-led war with its main rival, Chinese social-imperialism. However, there is growing momentum behind opposition to AUKUS and the decision to equip the Australian Navy with US and British nuclear-powered submarines. The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and the Australian Anti-AUKUS Coalition (AAAC) are the driving forces behind this public grass roots campaign which has been supported by a growing number of unions and by many rank-and-file members of the Labor Party.

There is evidence of small divisions within sections of Australia’s ruling class some of whom are aligning themselves closer to China.

Successive Australian governments, both Liberal and Labor, slavishly uphold and promote U.S. global imperialist policies, turning Australia into a major U.S. military base, a launching pad for U.S war with China.  At the same time as ICOR Asia Conference is taking place major military exercises on land, air and sea are being held in North Queensland (North Australia).  Talisman Sabre is the largest US-Australia military training exercises in the region, held biannually in Australia.   This year more than 30,000 military personnel from 13 countries are taking part in these war preparations, most from the U.S.     Nuclear weapons carrying US B51 and B 52 bombers, US warships and US and UK nuclear powered submarines will be regularly based in Australia.

However, recent polls show more than 50% of Australia’s people want Australia to be neutral if war breaks out between US and China.   Support for neutrality is strongest amongst women and young people.

Opposition to Australia’s involvement in U.S. wars and calls for sovereignty and independence are growing.

A movement for peace and nuclear free Australia is being re-built.

Increasing Repression

Australia does not have a Bill of Rights, and the Australian people’s rights and liberties are subject to continual attack by the ruling class. In addition to the repressive industrial laws, anti-terrorism provided the bourgeoisie with the pretext for increased surveillance, for new crimes and for increased penalties for old ones. Most states have massively increased fines and created or strengthened provisions to jail protesters who cause obstruction in a public place. The newly-elected Labor government dropped charges against a high-profile defendant involved in the exposure of Australia’s bugging of East Timorese negotiators on behalf of Woodside, an oil giant, after a widespread mass campaign in his favour. However, they proceed with court action against other whistleblowers such as David McBride, a former British Army Major and Australian Army lawyer who exposed Australian war crimes in Afghanistan leading to a civil court ruling that one Victoria Cross winner was a “bully, a liar and a war criminal” responsible for the murder of Afghan civilians. The government has proven powerless to date to secure the freedom from extradition to the US of Australian journalist Julian Assange, who shattered the imperialists’ monopoly on information with the publication of Wikileaks, and is preparing to extradite to the vindictive and criminal US authorities yet another Australian citizen, Daniel Duggan, whose “crime” was to have trained pilots in China. At the time of writing, he has been held in solitary confinement in an Australian maximum security prison for 260 days whilst his extradition is arranged. 

80% of the Australian people want the government to stand up to the U.S. to stop the extradition of Julian Assange and bring him home to Australia.
Revolutionary Movement

Comrades, although we are far from a revolutionary situation in our country, a revolutionary movement exists and grows. Feeding into it are related movements against fossil fuel corporations and for action to stop global warming, and the #metoo women’s movement which rallied around a young Tasmanian woman who had been groomed and repeatedly sexually abused by a teacher, and around a political staffer who was alleged to have been raped in a Ministerial office at Parliament House by another staffer. Both of these women’s stories added to the campaign to stop domestic violence and discrimination and abuse of women in the workplace. On average, working women receive $255 less than men per week in wages. Young people are prominent within the climate and women’s movements.

We continue to analyse the political situation in our region where the small nations of the Pacific are asserting their independence and demanding effective action on climate change, and where people across the Indo-Pacific are struggling to prevent war between the US and Chinese imperialists. Our country is a second world, or sub-imperial power, playing a disgraceful role in aligning with the US imperialists who have the Australian bourgeoisie thoroughly enmeshed in a net of economical, political, cultural, diplomatic and military control. We the people are fighting for genuine anti-imperialist independence and for socialism.
We look forward to contributing, in a spirit of proletarian internationalism, to the advance of the peoples’ movements in our region.

Warm greetings,

Nick G.
Chairperson, CPA (M-L) 

Papua New Guinea and the US Indo-Pacific Strategy


(Above: Signing the US-PNG Defence agreement     Photo source: ABC)

Written by: (Contributed) on 19 July 2023

A major diplomatic statement from a well-placed source in Canberra about planned sensitive military facilities in PNG has shown how the South Pacific has become a front-line for Australian military and security with the wider region. Reference to the US and their Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) partners was also contained in the statement showing how it has become the core of US regional foreign policy.

In early July, the Strategic Analysis Australia in conjunction with the National Security College, issued a major statement about US regional foreign policy in general, with specific reference to PNG. (1) In recent times, due to the changing balance of forces with the rise of China, countries such as PNG have become more sensitive to military planners in Canberra and the Pentagon.

The timing of the statement coincided with similar moves made between Canberra and Indonesia with a high-level contact established with President Joko Widodo visiting Australia in early July. It was noted, 'in the diplomatic sphere, direct engagement is an opportunity to build on a key strategic partnership as the Indo-Pacific becomes increasingly fraught'. (2)

Reference in the PNG report, likewise, was made to the Milne Bay area being assessed for military facilities; the sheltered deep-water harbour surrounded by heavily wooded terrain has made the area ideal for covert US-led regional operations. Previous attention given to the Lombrum facilities on Manus Island have proved highly controversial with complaints from local land-owners. Milne Bay also faces Fiji, another Pacific country with a strategically-placed deep-water harbour, used by submarines for regional operations.

There is also another important reason why Milne Bay has been chosen over Manus Island for the defence and security of 'US interests'. Milne Bay faces a multitude of small island chains, including the Calvados Chain reaching to Rossel and Adele Islands. They are situated on a straight line from the Kuril Islands in the northern hemisphere through Australian military bases in Queensland, at 153 degrees east and face the western Pacific between 10 and 30 degrees south and the Solomon and Coral Seas. (3)

The Kuril Islands mark the beginning of Pentagon regional military planning with Island Chain Theory, a re-used relic of the previous Cold War now upgraded for containing and encircling perceived Chinese interests. Island chains are used for regional demarcation to restrict easy access and egress into the wider Oceania.

Of the nine military bases in Queensland, Lavarack in Townsville remains the most important, hosting the Third Brigade of the Combat Signals Regiment. It is also not surprising to find the arc from Lavarack to Milne Bay also swings through Darwin, used by the US for troop rotations into the wider Indo-Pacific. (4)

References in the diplomatic statement to the 'US agreeing to share satellite data with PNG', is also evidence of the strategic significance of Milne Bay. (5) While the US is able to spy on the entire world with their surveillance and monitoring systems, they require local knowledge to identify areas of interest from agents and 'ground human'. Local people in the Milne Bay area, for example, would have experience of islands and population movements between the small land-masses which have become more sensitive in recent times.

It is also significant to note references in the diplomatic statement to other US allies included in their Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), as lower-level partners: Taiwan, South Korea, India, and others. (6) The Japan-South Korea General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) is regarded by the US as 'essential as a military intelligence sharing framework for trilateral missile defence as a key axis in the IPS targeting China', and has four key points: the US, Australia, India and Japan, with the enclosed area including strategic assets for 'US interests', particularly in Asia. (7)

Recent regional assessments have revealed how the US has been pressurising Australia to upgrade its influences in South-east Asia to counter China's large regional aid program. (8) A total of $55.7 million was allocated in the recent federal budget to 'deepen ties with South-east Asia'. (9) At present Australia's two-way trade with the area of the Indo-Pacific only amounts to fourteen per cent of its total trade. (10) China, by contrast, has increased its regional diplomacy during the last decade by using programs based on mutual benefits with a $38 billion program launched in 2015 and completed in 2021. (11) 

When PNG signed a Defence Co-operation Agreement with the US in May, to enable the Pentagon to deploy assets to selected PNG bases, it was noted that 'PNG will become a key location to build some real influence in Melanesia', and that they were placing themselves in the front-line of US-led regional hostilities. (12)

Australia should really consider an independent foreign policy before it is too late to prevent the drift into real-war scenarios, most likely through rapid escalation of hostilities elsewhere in the region.

It is not idle speculation: a recent study conducted by the University of Technology, Sydney, and their Australia-China Relations Institute, for example, found most Australians thought military conflict with China a distinct possibility within the next three years, and fewer than half thought the AUKUS military agreement will make Australia a safer place. (13)

1.     America walks the walk in battle for Pacific minds, Australian, 10 July 2023.    
2.     Canberra-Jakarta union to bolster growth, security, Australian, 3 July 2023.
3.     See: Peters Projection, Map of the World, Actual Size.
4.     Ibid.
5.     Australian, op.cit., 10 July 2023.
6.     The reasons behind Washington's push for GSOMIA., Hankyoreh, 12 November 2019.
7.     Ibid.
8.     China holds regional sway with $38 bn aid, Australian, 5 June 2023.
9.     Risks and rewards in Asia, Australian, 6 July 2023.
10.   Ibid.
11.   Australian, op.cit., 5 June 2023.
12.   Australian, op.cit., 10 July 2023.
13.   War with China on the cards, says poll, Australian, 11 July 2023.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Kimba nuclear dump decision – tears of joy.

 Written by: Nick G. on 18 July 2023

There were tears of joy outside the Federal Court in Adelaide this morning when Barngarla First Peoples and their supporters celebrated the quashing of the federal government’s decision to construct a nuclear waste dump at Napandee, near Kimba on Eyre Peninsula.

Earlier, the mood of the standing-room room only courtroom of Justice Natalie Charlesworth was solemn as she dismissed three of four grounds of the Barngarla’s case. However, the substantive fourth ground was upheld, with Justice Charlesworth finding that then federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt had shown “apprehended bias” in deciding in favour of the Kimba site, and therefore set his decision aside.

It is rare for a court to make a ruling of apprehended bias against a Minister, although the Federal Court last March made such a ruling against former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, quashing his decision to refuse to extend Asset Energy’s petroleum exploration permit, as his decision could be apprehended to have been predetermination following his overt public stance against the project.

At common law and under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977, the test for the Bias Rule extends beyond whether there is actual bias to whether there is an appearance of bias. An appearance or apprehension of bias may occur if, in the circumstances, a fair-minded lay observer may reasonably apprehend that the decision maker may not bring an impartial mind to their decision.

Leaving aside the legal niceties of the courtroom, it was the strength and courage of the Barngarla community that helped decide the issue. Uncle Harry Dare, a Barngarla elder told me as we waited for the court to open that regardless of which way the decision went, the Barngarla would continue their fight against the dump. They had strong allies among the farmers of Kimba who had their own organisation, No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA. However, they did not have the financial resources to fund their own court case against the decision, President Peter Woolford declaring that the system was unfair to those without such resources.

In a statement following the court decision, Woolford said that he was “extremely happy and relieved” that the court had decided in the Barngarla’s favour.

“Having also experienced the injustices and the manipulations that have occurred over the entire 8 year process, we fully understand the frustration and stress that the government’s tactics have caused. We are so pleased that the voices of the traditional owners have been heard and listened to, and that their unwavering opposition to this facility has finally been recognised.”

“What does this say about the Voice?”

Both Liberal and Labor federal governments have thrown huge amounts of taxpayer moneys to get the dump approved and to defend their process against the Barngarla’s pursuit of a court review of the process. Facilities around Kimba have benefitted from millions given to the town to entice its ratepayers to vote for the dump, with the promise of a community development package of up to $31 million once the dump was operational. 

They also spent more than $10 million on their legal costs against the Barngarla, who over the same period had only spent $124,000 on their legal costs.

Barngarla Development Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Jason Bilney described the legal battle as a “David and Goliath” battle. He said that it was a very proud and emotional day.

He also asked what the long drawn-out case said about the Voice. The Barngarla had commissioned their own vote on the dump proposal and it had been unanimously opposed by the 83 respondents, yet the incoming Labor government continued to run with the dump, and their Resource Minister Madeleine King had shown her support for the dump on a visit to Kimba and by authorising work at the site despite the Federal Court case being still underway. The previous government and the current one had both ignored the Barngarla voice. He said today’s victory was for truth-telling. 

The federal government now has two choices.  It can appeal today’s decision, wasting more money, further disrespecting the Barngarla and throwing into even more doubt the sincerity of their promise to listen to the Voice of First Peoples. Or it can initiate a new search for a stable, deep underground repository for nuclear waste. The waste will not only be low level and intermediate level waste but must now, by virtue of the AUKUS arrangement, include high level waste from decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines. The search for a new site must work with, and not against, the communities concerned. Such a process of site identification must avoid what Peter Woolford said was the “absolute disgrace” of the Kimba process.