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Sean Christian Price's nasty history and previous convictions

Sean Christian Price, accused of murdering school girl Masa Vukotic, has a dark past.

It has already been revealed that Price had been an inmate at a secure psychiatric institution where he managed to punch Tony Abbott, then Health Minister, during an inspection.

The Herald Sun gives us another clue but without the details: Price's middle name, Christian, comes from his father, of Pitcairn Island.

Spanish Ebola nurse: infected others in holiday swimming pool?

English news reports of Teresa Romero, the Spanish nurse infected with Ebola mention that she had been on holiday when she first started experiencing the symptoms of Ebola.

As most people know by now, a patient becomes infectious the moment that they start to exhibit symptoms.

Australia can't criticize Putin while competing with him

While much of the world is watching the tragedy of MH17 and contemplating the grim fate of 298 deceased passengers sealed into a refrigerated freight train in the middle of a war zone, Australia (with 28 victims on that train) has more than just theoretical skeletons in the closet too.

Abbott may kill more Australians than Putin

Australians are the third biggest group of casualties in the MH17 tragedy this week. Australia's leader, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is already calling Mr Putin to account before the facts have even been confirmed.

The startling reality is, OECD research already suggests that Mr Abbott's own policies have the potential to kill more Australians.

Balancing a budget with sex work?

Tony Abbott has attracted worldwide ridicule for himself and our country (not for the first time of course) with his infamous wink incident this week.

In fact, people repeatedly sharing this incident on social media are not really adding much to the national debate. Anybody who's opinion actually matters already knew Tony Abbott is not fit to even lead a scout group, let alone a whole country.

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Hijacking 'Anthropocene': Anti-green ‘Breakthrough Institute’ misrepresents science

Links International - 10 hours 31 min ago

By Ian Angus

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone,
“it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
—Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

May 19, 2015 -- Climate and Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- What can lobbyists do when science contradicts their political messages? Some simply deny the science, as many conservatives do with climate change. Others pretend to embrace the science, while ignoring or purging the disagreeable content. That’s what the Breakthrough Institute (BTI) is doing with one of the most widely discussed issues in 21st century science, the proposal to define a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene.

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Eyewitness Donetsk: War and displaced persons in Ukraine and Haiti

Links International - 11 hours 35 min ago

"Pioneer" camp director Svetlana and Dr. Yuriy in discussion on April 14, 2015. Photo by Roger Annis.

More on the political situation in Ukraine

By Roger Annis

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Categories: Community

John Riddell: Dissecting the failure of Soviet ‘socialism’

Links International - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 13:36
Real Socialism

For more articles and videos by or about Michael Lebowitz, click HERE.

For more by or about John Riddell.

Review by John Riddell

The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted
by Michael A. Lebowitz
New York: Monthly Review 2012.

May 19, 2015 -- JohnRiddell.Wordpress.com, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- In current discussions of twenty-first century socialism, the work of Michael Lebowitz has a unique merit: it is rooted in the experience of Cuba and Venezuela, where efforts in recent decades to move toward socialism have been the most vigorous. Quotations from Che Guevara and Hugo Chávez set the tone.

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Where are the ads?

Daniel Bowen - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 07:07

Before you read too much of this post, play the video and (assuming you haven’t seen it before), see how long it takes you to work out what it’s an ad for.

Gosh, isn’t it optimistic! And I’m finding it really catchy.

Even the bloke at the end seems pretty happy, perhaps with good reason.

That ad seems a bit long for television; perhaps it was in cinemas, or perhaps it was online only — though it seems there was a shorter version for TV.

These TV ads accompany it:

…and this in particular I like, as it manages to capture a key reason of why the product is so important:

(There’s one more I wasn’t so keen on… if you want to see it, it’s here.)

Meanwhile, I’ve just finished reading Mark Ovenden’s excellent book London Underground By Design.

Both the Washington DC ads above and the book show examples of rail authorities that are aware of the importance of promoting their new rail lines.

Piccadilly line extension promotion - from Mark Ovenden's book London Underground By Design

Today it’s a month until Regional Rail Link opens on 21st of June, and there’s been no promotion of it at all.

So far I’ve seen no posters, no ads, nothing online (the official project web site doesn’t even seem to indicate the precise date; it only says “June”), and recent media stories about it (not since the ones advising that the opening was delayed).

I’m told even the new rail map, which would have highlighted the new line to Metro users, has been delayed until later in the year. This is a real shame — it would have been a perfect way to promote the new stations to existing users, including those who might currently be driving from nearby suburbs to the overcrowded Werribee line.

Way to get people excited and interested in the first new major suburban rail line to open in 80 years!

Let’s hope local residents hear about it opening. At least they’ve seen construction going on.

But wait a minute, I hear you say, why does the rest of Melbourne need to know about this? I don’t live anywhere near Tarneit and Wyndham Vale; how will it help me?

As former Western Australian transport minister Alannah MacTiernan pointed out in a presentation in 2013, when the new Mandurah line opened in Perth, it actually resulted in patronage growth right across the Perth rail system.

My guess is it’s a mix of the benefits of the new line serving destinations previously difficult to reach, and the halo effect — oh, look at that, a new rail line just opened — it looks so modern — I haven’t caught a train in ages, but maybe I should take another look and see if my local trains are any good… oh, they’re more frequent than they used to be… I’ll give it a go.

In this short video about the creation of the Washington DC ads, they note (at about the 3 minute mark) that the campaign increased overall awareness of Metro, and helped contribute to very strong patronage on the new line when it opened last year.

Most of us don’t look as happy as the people in the first ad when riding trains.

But I think the “Good times are ahead” message resonates because it reminds us of something important — better public transport means better access to jobs and education and other opportunities — whether or not you can drive — and an option for getting out of the traffic. I can say with some certainty that my life is better thanks to good access to PT.

So too the Regional Rail Link will be of huge benefit to the residents of Wyndham Vale and Tarneit — and the frequency boost expected on the rest of the Geelong line and on the neighbouring lines thanks to freed up capacity will also help many others.

In Victoria, we seem to have an awful lot of trouble promoting the good things about public transport.

There’s certainly political promotion — this week I’ve received two sets of flyers about the forthcoming level crossing grade separations; at the station, AND in the mail… and let’s not forget ridiculous ads for non-existent infrastructure like last year’s promotions of the proposed airport line — designed not so much to promote the line, as to influence your vote.

But there has been virtually no promotion of the new RRL line, the trains that now run every ten minutes, the fare cuts in January, or the realtime mobile Smartbus information.

With the huge investment now going into the system to produce these upgrades, it’s time PTV and the government started better promoting projects as they are completed, to ensure people know about the benefits, and the return is maximised by getting more passengers on board.

  • Washington Metro ads found via Marcus Wong and commenter wxtre
  • The appallingly catchy tune is Melbourne band Architecture In Helsinki. I once saw them in support of Belle And Sebastian and was thoroughly unimpressed. Perhaps they were having a bad night.
Categories: Community

Spain: 'Barcelona Together' and the fight for people-first city councils

Links International - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 04:14

Conversation in the Reina Sofia Museum Square, Madrid, attended by various left coalitions standing in the May 24 municipal polls.

For more on politics in Spain, click HERE.

By Dick Nichols, Barcelona

May 21, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A commentator for the mainstream Barcelona daily La Vanguardia reported in its May 9 edition on a conversation in a lift that he had overheard between two “executives of a certain age”.

They were talking about an opinion poll giving the radical, movement-based ticket “Barcelona Together” and its mayoral candidate, housing rights activist Ada Colau, the lead in the March 24 contest for the Barcelona City Council. On that day elections will also be held in all municipalities in the Spanish state, as well as in 13 of the country’s 17 autonomous communities (states).

Executive A: “Have you seen that [incumbent Barcelona mayor Xavier] Trias is losing?”

Executive B: “Yes, Colau is winning.”

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Categories: Community

An Amazingly Wonderful Development for the Dolphins of Taiji

Sea Shepherd - Wed, 20/05/2015 - 16:58
An Amazingly Wonderful Development for the Dolphins of Taiji

JAZA Cuts Ties with the Dolphin Killers of Taiji

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

Sea Shepherd has been opposing the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji since 2003 in a campaign called Operation Infinite Patience.

Finally today that infinite patience has paid off.

The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) has voted to no longer purchase dolphins from the killers of Taiji.

Last month, JAZA was given a choice by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) to either stop purchasing dolphins from Taiji or be permanently suspended from WAZA.

JAZA made the decision to stay with WAZA.

After years of pressure from Sea Shepherd, Dolphin Project, Earth Island Institute and others, WAZA ruled that the Taiji hunt is "cruel," and made the decision that none of its members can purchase dolphins from the dolphin butchers of Taiji.

In a letter to WAZA, the Japanese group, which comprises 89 zoos and 63 aquariums, said it would abide by WAZA's decision.

"It is our wish at JAZA to remain as a member of WAZA," chair Kazutoshi Arai said in a letter addressed to WAZA President Lee Ehmke.

This is a landmark decision by JAZA. Will it end the slaughter? We do not know yet. But what it will do is undermine the market for dolphins captured in Taiji. The captures are where the money is. Killing dolphins for meat alone cannot sustain the dolphin drive. This is a significant blow to the butchers of Taiji and wonderful news for the dolphins in the waters around Japan.

Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians will continue to monitor Taiji to see what happens next season. Taiji will remain under the international spotlight until the killing is permanently ended.

JAZA has voted to stop buying dolphins captured in Taiji and remain a member of WAZAJAZA has voted to stop buying dolphins captured in Taiji and remain a member of WAZA
Photo: Sea Shepherd Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians will continue to monitor the hunt in Taiji Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians will continue to monitor the hunt in Taiji
Photo: Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians Visit our
Cove Guardians
site for more information.
Categories: Community

JAZA Votes to Stop Buying Dolphins Captured in Taiji

Sea Shepherd - Wed, 20/05/2015 - 16:46
JAZA Votes to Stop Buying Dolphins Captured in Taiji

JAZA members have voted to stop buying dolphins captured in Taiji’s brutal and infamous drive huntJAZA members have voted to stop buying dolphins captured in Taiji’s brutal and infamous drive hunt
Photo: Sea ShepherdOn Wednesday May 20 (Japan time), the Japanese Association of Zoos & Aquariums (JAZA), following a poll of its member aquariums and parks, announced its decision to stop buying dolphins captured in Taiji’s brutal and infamous drive hunt.

With this decision, JAZA will remain a member of the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums (WAZA), which prohibits its members from acquiring cetaceans captured in Taiji. Of the 142 votes collected from JAZA members, a staggering 99 voted to stay with WAZA.

While not yet an end to the drive hunt, this announcement brings great news for the dolphins in Taiji, because the captive trade represents the true money behind the slaughter that turns the waters of the cove red with blood. With the elimination of the demand for Taiji dolphins from Japanese aquariums, Taiji’s hunt is one huge step closer to being sunk economically.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society first exposed Taiji’s brutal hunt in 2003, releasing shocking undercover photographs and footage of a blood red cove and skiffs piled high with dead dolphins seen around the globe. Beginning in 2010, Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians took up stations along the shores of the cove daily throughout the entire six-month hunt season and have done so every season since as part of the annual Operation Infinite Patience campaign, acting as ocean sentinels and documenting and live streaming every capture and every slaughter for the world to see.

Time and time again, Sea Shepherd has documented the inextricable link between captivity and the slaughter. Despite claims from Taiji, the dolphin killers and dolphin trainers regularly work side-by-side to choose the “prettiest” dolphins (those without visible scars) to be sold for captivity, while other members of the pods are simultaneously slaughtered. These highly intelligent, socially complex marine mammals are forced to witness their family members killed before their very eyes and swim in the blood of their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.

JAZA’s decision will significantly decrease the demand for dolphins captured in Taiji, and it is Sea Shepherd’s hope that other aquariums and marine parks around the world will follow suit and stop buying these dolphins captured from their ocean home so brutally.

Global outcry in response to the brutal nature of Taiji’s massacre of ocean wildlife is what has brought about these steps from both WAZA and JAZA. Sea Shepherd has maintained that it is gaiatsu, or external pressure, that will end the slaughter in Taiji, not pressure from within Japan.

Sea Shepherd wishes to extend thanks to our celebrity Cove Guardians, Shannen Doherty and Simone Reyes, who helped to shine a bright, international spotlight on this important issue. We also celebrate today’s news in honor of the late Sam Simon, whom we are sure would have been overjoyed for the dolphins he loved so dearly, and for whom he traveled to Taiji in 2014 despite his battle with terminal cancer.

Finally, Sea Shepherd wishes to thank every Cove Guardian who has stood with us for the dolphins in Taiji, bearing witness to these atrocities committed against the world’s wild, migrating dolphins in Japan’s waters. We thank you for your compassion, selflessness and your Infinite Patience that has helped make this day possible. Sea Shepherd also wishes to thank our Senior Cove Guardian Leader Melissa Sehgal who, with her unwavering dedication to this campaign, has led and inspired our team on the ground for four seasons and helped to bring about massive awareness, which undoubtedly has led to this significant change. Sea Shepherd will continue to monitor the hunt in Taiji until the slaughter is brought to a permanent end. We hope that you will continue to stand with us and, most importantly, with the dolphins.

Cove Guardians Visit our
Cove Guardians
site for more information.
Categories: Community

Greece: 'Europe's moment of truth'; SYRIZA needs solidarity, says Tassos Koronakis

Links International - Wed, 20/05/2015 - 06:16

For more on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

By Tassos Koronakis, SYRIZA

May 18, 2015 -- Change4All, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Tassos Koronakis (pictured), secretary of the Central Committee of SYRIZA, calls for acts of social and political solidarity. From the organisation of rallies and awareness campaigns across Europe, to institutional initiatives in local, regional and national parliaments, and personal or collective statements of support to the efforts of Greece to swift the European paradigm of austerity.

* * *

Dear friends,

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Categories: Community

Sea Shepherd – When the Services of Good Pirates are Required

Sea Shepherd - Tue, 19/05/2015 - 23:06
Sea Shepherd – When the Services of Good Pirates are Required

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

editorial-150519-1-jolly-roger-400x300When the services of good pirates are required, who you gonna call?

At last, an article that recognizes Sea Shepherd’s role in a world where the majority of the earth’s surface lies in a state of anarchy and lawlessness. Read more: The conundrum of the Patagonian toothfish.

Since 1977, Sea Shepherd has been protecting marine life from ruthless and illegal exploitation.

Yes, Sea Shepherds are considered pirates by their enemies, much the same as when Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh were considered pirates by the Spanish, yet lionized by the British.

Of course there are obstacles and problems to overcome. Even the great Lord Horatio Nelson was blocked by judges, merchants, and government bureaucrats when he tried to interfere with profiteering pirates in the Caribbean.

I’ve always viewed Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as the “Ladies of the Night” of the conservation movement. Many people secretly agree with and can even admire Sea Shepherd in the dark of the night but would prefer to not be seen with Sea Shepherd in the light of day.

Today that is especially true of politicians. Jean Michelle Cousteau once told a friend of mine, “I like Sea Shepherd, but how can I be expected to talk with Presidents and Prime Ministers if they think I support Sea Shepherd?”

Many years ago when our enemies began calling us pirates I responded by creating our own version of the Jolly Roger. We were not ashamed of being called pirates. Pirates get things done and tend to skirt the paperwork and the red tape.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, pirates attacked and boarded slavers and freed Africans from their shackles. Freed slaves were allowed to join pirate crews and could rise in the ranks based on their abilities. There was no other enterprise in the world at the time that allowed that sort of equality. Pirate ships were run as democracies, and their captains were elected in an era when captains of merchant and military ships were ruthless dictators.

Were they thieves? Is it theft to take gold from thieves? Sometimes we forget that the Spanish galleons attacked by the pirates were not very innocent; the gold they carried in their holds had been stolen from the Meso-American Indians whom they had murdered.

Today, who are the real pirates of Somalia? The impoverished fishermen driven to rob ships out of desperation because the pirate fishing fleets of Europe and Asia have looted Somalian waters of all their fish?

Many pirates of old were rewarded for their efforts. Aside from Drake and Raleigh, Henry Morgan was knighted and given the governorship of Jamaica. The French pirate Jean LaFitte became an American hero, as did John Paul Jones, the founder of the American Navy who had been condemned by the British as a pirate. The French pirate Robert Surcouf was awarded the Legion of Honour by Napoleon.

Which all goes to prove that pirates are good or bad depending on your point of view and your vested interests.

Sea Shepherd crews cannot legally be defined as pirates. The plain simple fact is that if they were, Sea Shepherd vessels would not be given the right to berth in world ports or to fly the flags of the nations where the ships are registered. Sea Shepherd’s “Jolly Roger” is a flag of a movement, not a flag of registration or a symbol of lack of registration.

The Thunder was legally a pirate vessel because she had been stripped of her flag by Nigeria. A pirate ship by definition today is a ship without a flag. Sea Shepherd ships have always flown legitimate flags and have always abided by the regulations of their flag states. Presently, Sea Shepherd ships are officially registered under the flags of the Netherlands, Australia, the USA and Great Britain. Sea Shepherd vessels also fly their own Jolly Roger and the flags of the Five Nations (Iroquois), the Aboriginal and Maori flags given in recognition of Sea Shepherd’s work to protect wildlife and the environment.

That work makes a difference. Sea Shepherd stops poachers where there is a lack of enforcement against poachers, rescues marine wildlife from illegal exploitation, and investigates and documents illegal activities. Sea Shepherd partners with the police and with government rangers where and when possible. And Sea Shepherd educates and empowers volunteers with the understanding that each and every indivdual has the ability to make a difference.

Sea Shepherd expects to be unpopular and to be criticized for the simple reason that Sea Shepherd says things people do not wish to hear, does things that some people would rather not be done, and tends to embarrass some governments, and cost many powerful interests a great deal in profit losses.

Sea Shepherd’s confrontations are not restricted to the high seas, but to wherever Sea Shepherd must fight for its clients (biodiversity and endangered species in the Ocean), including in the courts and in the forums of world opinion in the media.

Our efforts to save bluefin tuna off the coast of Libya in 2010 landed Sea Shepherd UK, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) and myself in court in Britain when the poachers charged us for the loss of profits for the 800+ tuna we liberated from their nets. We won in the courts and the tuna poachers had to pay our court costs.

SSCS is presently fighting the Japanese whalers in the courts with precedent-setting arguments that could have profound legal implications.

But most importantly pirate crews of passionate Sea Shepherd volunteers are presently on the beaches of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cape Verde and Florida saving the lives of turtles. Captain Oona Layolle from France is presently under sail in the Sea of Cortez defending the endangered vaquita. Captains Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden, Sid Chakravarty of India and Adam Meyerson of the USA are working on opposing illegal fishing off Africa, in the South Pacific and in the North Atlantic. Captain Alex Cornelissen is organizing a plan to save the lives of pilot whales in the North Atlantic. Sea Shepherd volunteers are defending seals in Scotland and Finland and opposing poachers in the Galapagos Islands.

Sea Shepherd pirates are the first pirates of compassion that the world has ever known – pirates without profiteering, driven into action by a sense of urgency that if we don’t act to defend life in the oceans, who will?

Most people I meet on the street, from students to lawyers, from artists to policemen, voice their support for Sea Shepherd’s efforts.

On occasion when someone angrily calls me out as a “pirate,” I smile and respond, “You’re damn right I’m a pirate, and I’m damn proud of it.” And on occasion when they call me an “eco-terrorist,” I smile once again and respond, “No I’m not an eco-terrorist; I’ve never worked for Monsanto or Shell.”

Categories: Community

EE UU: Cooperación sin precedentes en la izquierda

Links International - Tue, 19/05/2015 - 14:24

Por Dan La Botz

[English at http://links.org.au/node/4412.]

12 de mayo de 2015 -- Vientosur.info -- Unos 200 activistas políticos, individuales o miembros de diversas organizaciones independientes, han protagonizado un debate enriquecedor y amistoso sobre la manera de colaborar en la construcción de una amplia alternativa política a la izquierda del Partido Demócrata.

Los participantes en la Conferencia sobre el "Futuro de la Izquierda y la Política Independiente" – candidatos y activistas nacionales, estatales y locales, así como cargos electos del Partido Verde, del Partido de la Paz y la Libertad, la Alianza Progresista de Richmond, la Alternativa Socialista y el Partido Progresista de Vermont– debatieron en un espíritu de cooperación sin precedentes sobre los retos electorales y las dificultades que entraña ejercer un cargo público mientras se intenta construir movimientos y llevar a cabo políticas progresistas. A la conferencia también asistieron miembros de los Demócratas Progresistas de América y del Partido de la Justicia.

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Categories: Community

Sudáfrica: Para resistir la xenofobia es necesario abordar sus causas profundas

Links International - Tue, 19/05/2015 - 14:02

[English at http://links.org.au/node/4401.]

Por Patrick Bond, Durban

10/05/2015 -- Sinpermiso -- En Sudáfrica los símbolos políticos están un día y desaparecen al siguiente, pero la opresiva política económica continua. En la superficie, somos testigos de una explosión de activismo anti-racista entre los sudafricanos más ilustrados – jovenes académicos negros que tratan de romper los restos de poder de un apartheid residual - pero al mismo tiempo, una implosión xenófoba está causando estragos en los estratos socioeconómicos inferiores.

A mediados de marzo, en la Universidad de Ciudad del Cabo (UCT), el estudiante de pregrado de ciencias políticas Chimani Maxwele arrojó un cubo de excrementos a la estatua de Cecil John Rhodes, el gran emprendedor colonial del sur de Africa, catalizando una rebelión contra las estructuras de poder dominadas por blancos en la UCT y otros lugares. Menos de tres semanas después, una revuelta de sudafricanos pobres urbanos en otras dos grandes ciudades del país - Durban y Johannesburgo – escogía como chivo expiatorio un sector igualmente pobre y oprimido: los inmigrantes, en su mayoría de otras partes de África.

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Categories: Community

Post delivery by tram

Daniel Bowen - Mon, 18/05/2015 - 23:33

For some time – since well before the introduction of the Free Tram Zone – I’ve seen uniformed Australia Post employees with small delivery carts on board trams in central Melbourne.

Post by tram

At first I wondered if this was a good use of space on a tram, given how crowded they can get.

But I think it’s arguable that it’s Australia Post being smart about moving (at least some) letters and parcels around a busy urban environment, quickly and cheaply and without taking up the road space that the usual van fleet would take.

Similarly, long distance travellers with wheeled luggage often seem more inclined to use public transport than catch a taxi — Gordon Price described this as “the only significant new mode of transportation to develop so far this century.”

(Note: I’ve seen Post employees stand back and wait for a less crowded tram, rather than trying to squeeze on with a cart, so it’s not like they’re being totally unreasonable about it.)

Now it turns out Amazon is doing something similar in New York City on the subway.

Once upon a time many cities had freight trams. Perhaps this is the 21st century version of that.

And perhaps it’s yet more evidence that the wheels of commerce can adapt to not requiring motor vehicles to survive and thrive.

Post delivery by tram

Categories: Community

Aotearoa/New Zealand: Unite Union's fast-food workers take on corporations and win!

Links International - Mon, 18/05/2015 - 14:26

 unnamed-5-600x253.jpg

Unite fast food delegates at a national gathering on February 14 take time out to picket a McDonald's store to launch the campaign publicly.

By Mike Treen, Unite national director

May 18, 2105 -- Unite Union, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Workers in the fast food industry in Aotearoa/New Zealand scored a spectacular victory over what has been dubbed “zero hour contracts” during a collective agreement bargaining round over the course of March and April this year.

The campaign played out over the national media as well as on picket lines. The victory was seen by many observers as the product of a determined fight by a valiant group of workers and their union, Unite. It was a morale boost for all working people after what has seemed like a period of retreat for working class struggle in recent years.

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Categories: Community

Syria: Rojava offers a way forward

Links International - Mon, 18/05/2015 - 04:40
Kurdish fighters in Rojava.

[For more on the struggle of the Kurdish people, click HERE.]

By Tony Iltis

May 9, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- War planes from the US and its allies bombed the village of Birmehli in northern Syria on the night of April‭ ‬30.‭ ‬US Central Command spokesperson Major Curtis Kellogg claimed that at least‭ ‬50‭ ‬fighters from the self-styled Islamic State‭ (‬IS‭) ‬group were killed and there was‭ “‬no indication that any civilians were killed‭”‬.

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Categories: Community

Socialists: 'Stop pushing back refugee boats; ASEAN must solve Rohingya humanitarian crisis!'

Links International - Mon, 18/05/2015 - 03:36

May 16, 2015 -- Socialist Party of Malaysia, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Together with all concerned Malaysians, the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia) would asserts that for the 8000 or so Rohingya [refugees] at our doorstep, pushing back the boats into the sea should never be considered an option. Instead they should be allowed onto Malaysian shores while negotiations take place at ASEAN level on how best to resolve this humanitarian crisis.

Though the sad and bitter truth is that the sea seems to be the only place willing to host them now, it would be completely inhuman to push back the boats and abandon 8000 lives to the vagaries of weather and sea. 

Malaysia and other ASEAN countries need to accept that they are dealing with 8000 lives, mostly victims of the barbarism of the genocidal Myanmar regime that has taken away their citizenship, and their right to life. Instead of criminalising the victims, ASEAN nations must resolve to find permanent solutions  to the situation. Turning them away or deporting them back to Myanmar are not only unacceptable, but such actions also do not address the crisis or prevent its recurrence.

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Categories: Community

Real time information now available for buses

Daniel Bowen - Sun, 17/05/2015 - 23:55

PTV announced on Thursday that online realtime departure information is now available for some bus routes: specifically, Smartbus routes, which have long had realtime information displays at major stops.

Ironically as I post this, it seems to be down… but when working, it’s a small but welcome step forward in the quest to get more realtime information available to the public — via apps or web sites, so you can check your phone or your computer to see how far away your service is.

 real time departure information

It follows the introduction of Tram Tracker way back in 2006, initially available by phone — premium SMS, at 55 cents a pop. Remember, this was before the launch of the iPhone — some phones had got basic web access in about 2001, but at the time, very few people knew how to use it.

Tram Tracker went onto the web in 2007, followed by apps for iPhone and Android (the initial one being unofficial) a couple of years later.

Tram Tracker, by the way, isn’t quite realtime. It uses the “Automatic Vehicle Monitoring” system originally introduced in the 1970s, which records the trams passing specific points along the routes, can track them to an extent between those points, and then interpolates the time at each stop based on that data. Generally it’s pretty close to accurate, but occasionally a disruption between the points can throw it out.

Bus tracking

The new bus tracking is, it seems, linked to the GPS devices inside the Smartbuses which trigger automated announcements and displays for the next stop. From what I’ve seen so far it’s reasonably accurate. (More accurate, it seems, than the hopeless equipment that was installed with Myki which often can’t tell the difference between Melbourne’s two vast zones.)

In the PTV app, and on the web site, it appears the realtime information is distinguished by it being a minutes countdown instead of a fixed time. I think they could have done better on this — it’s not exactly crystal clear.

A myriad of information

Along with service information now provided via apps, Twitter and the web, passengers are starting to get a better picture of how services are running on any given day. There’s actually a myriad of information out there.

table.tableizer-table { border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } Timetables Planned disruptions Service status Realtime departures Trains tick Stations
tick Web
tick Apps (PTV/Train Trapper) tick Stations
tick Web
tick Apps (PTV/Metro)
tick Twitter tick Some stations
tick Web
tick Apps (PTV/Metro)
tick Twitter tick Stations (displays, green button) Trams tick Stops
tick Web
tick PTV App tick Stops
tick Web
tick Apps (PTV/TramTracker)
tick Twitter tick Some stops
tick Web
tick Apps (PTV/TramTracker)
tick Twitter tick Some stops
tick Web
tick Apps SmartBus tick Stops
tick Web
tick PTV App tick Web
tick PTV App
tick Twitter (Transdev/Ventura) tick Some stops
tick Web
tick PTV App
tick Twitter tick Some stops
tick Web
tick PTV App Other buses tick Stops
tick Web
tick PTV App tick Web
tick PTV App
tick Some on Twitter tick Web
tick PTV App
tick Some on Twitter Not yet V/Line tick Stations
tick Web
tick PTV App tick Stations
tick Web
tick PTV App
tick Twitter tick Some stations
tick Web
tick PTV App
tick Twitter tick Some stations (displays)

(Any corrections? Leave a comment below. I haven’t included information available by phone, eg voice. If you know the right phone number and are willing to navigate menus and wait on hold, you can get this sort of info. And on vehicles and at stations, announcements are sometimes made, though these can be sporadic.)

There’s a heap of different online/app ways to get all this information, and it’s fair to say that they’ve really got their act together in the past few years (despite some now-resolved hiccups with Metro’s Twitter feed, and their withdrawal of SMS alerts).

The PTV app and web site seems to have it all, but the individual operators offer more tailored views into the same information.

Hopefully in due course we’ll get realtime departure information available more widely. The biggest gap now is trains and non-Smartbuses — they’re working on both, but they can’t even reliably get realtime train information onto the bus stop signs just outside the stations, so I’m not holding my breath.

 apology 2

As time goes on, for frequent routes, I suspect departure countdowns and service status will become more important than timetables. It’s already the case with many tram users — they check Tram Tracker to see how many minutes away the tram is; not the timetable.

This in turn may see authorities start to operate services in such a way as to maintain a regular service, rather than trying to meet specific times: if a service is cancelled, shift the others forward or back by a few minutes to even up the headways. As this (unofficial) London bus timetable says: “This route is classed as high frequency, and as such controllers will endeavour to provide an even service rather than necessarily adhering exactly to the times shown.”

In some cities they don’t publish full timetables, just frequency guides. Timetables will remain important for the less frequent routes, of course — any gaps greater than about 10 minutes, and people are likely to want to plan around that.

As for system information, the ultimate goal would be pulling all the data together in realtime, to help advise you where to go (journey planning) and update you with any changes along the way (the train you’re on is late, so you’ll miss the bus connection; stay on one more stop and get an alternative bus route departing a few minutes later which also drops you where you want to go).

Plus of course we need a coherent reliable frequent network so you need to adapt your travel plans less often — it just works, and you can easily and quickly get from A to B every time, as easily as getting in your car.

Categories: Community

New “Recruits” Join Sea Shepherd’s K-9 Unit In The Galapagos

Sea Shepherd - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 18:21
New “Recruits” Join Sea Shepherd’s K-9 Unit In The Galapagos

One of the new recruits receiving a present for correctly identifying the containerOne of the new recruits receives a present for correctly identifying the container
Photo: Sea ShepherdThe 16th of April was a milestone day for the cooperative work between the Ecuadorian Environmental Police and Sea Shepherd, for it celebrated the training of the newest dog guides and wildlife-sniffing dogs in the K9 unit, which successfully detects shark fins, sea cucumbers and other wildlife being illegally trafficked out of the Galapagos Islands.

The dogs were brought to the Galapagos from Holland by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (“Sea Shepherd”) and donated to the police to help detect environmental crime, which worldwide is an ever increasing and very serious problem.

Sea Shepherd received a formal invitation to the celebration, which was carried out on the grounds of the Regional Center for Dog Training in Quito.

Two high-ranking officials were present: General Edmundo Moncayo, National Director of the Anti-Narcotics Office, and Colonel Freddy Ramos, the Sub-Director, who presided over the celebration accompanied by the chiefs of the Environmental Police and the Training Center.

General Moncayo expressed his thanks to Sea Shepherd for its help in working with the National Police and the section of the Environmental Police, the only unit of its kind in the country.

Sea Shepherd representative Godfrey Merlen was present and gave a talk on the issues and threats generated by environmental crime both in the Galapagos Islands and around the world. He also praised the Environmental Unit for its work, and the Ecuadorian police force in general for its support of this valuable innovation. He was also asked to help present certificates of competence to the dedicated dog handlers.

After the formal presentations, and in more casual conversation, Godfrey was asked if attendees would like to see the new dogs in action. This offer was enthusiastically accepted, and the canine environmental officers gave an impressive show of the dogs’ ability to detect the exact location of selected objects.

This concluded a pleasant and successful celebration.

Sea Shepherd thanks these amazing canines for their contribution to the conservation of the Galapagos Islands and the world’s remarkable bio-diversity and ecosystems.

The newly trained dog guidesThe newly trained dog guides
Photo: Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd representative Dr. Godfrey Merlen gives a speech to the policeSea Shepherd representative Dr. Godfrey Merlen gives a speech to the police
Photo: Sea Shepherd

Visit our
Sea Shepherd Galapagos
site for more information. Sea Shepherd Galapagos
Categories: Community

The generative commons of generalised social capital

Club Troppo - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 10:16

Paul Krugman has an interesting blog post on the extent to which there might be contagion from one area of social capital (or lack thereof) to another. He’s responding to the claim CEOs made to him that they only started arcing up their pay demands when they saw sportspeople doing it. And we can all understand the micro-foundations for rises in superstar sportspeople – local sub-urban live audiences morphing into TV audiences at the city, national or global level.

One of the things that’s gradually been happening over the same period is a kind of leeching away of general social solidarity. The most striking aspect of this is a stat I heard on Radio National’s All in the Mind. Asked of the importance of “being very well off financially”

The latest data from 2013 for entering university students here in the US, 82% say that that is an important life goal. And back in the late ’60s and early ’70s only about 45% said that was an important life goal.

I expect the figure would have been a lot lower in earlier decades (though we are dealing with college students as the sample population, so perhaps not). This isn’t direct evidence of a loss of social capital, as these are private preferences. Still it seems awfully suggestive to me. Two quick points. Firstly there’s a lot of evidecne that people’s life happiness is a function of their meeting their expectations. So this is pretty bad news for our ability to turn any given aggregate economic product into improvements in aggregate happiness. Most people are not going to be “very well off” which we can safely assume is a largely positional aspiration. Secondly people having a sense that society makes sense and makes credible demands on them to ‘do the right thing’ is a huge public good economically and – as suggested above – in terms of individual’s wellbeing.

I put it this way in an earlier post:

Would you rather be a craftsman or a bullshit artist – will you go into – say – engineering, teaching, nursing, musicianship on the one hand or PR, head hunting, corporate strategy, marketing, media, events management on the other? Well if you feel born into any of the craftsman roles, you’ll prefer the former professions. You may not make as much money, but you’ll be happier doing something you were born for. But surely the more common situation is the person who could go either way, but who is more likely to reach their human potential and achieve life satisfaction plying a craft. But in the world we’re in, they won’t just make less money being the craftsman, they’ll be bossed around by people who have little understanding of their job or sympathy with them (or be the subject of professional forces that have been built by similar people – like ‘research quality frameworks’ for academics for instance). They’ll be restructured, reengineered, performance managed - taken advantage of. And so lots of the good ones leave.

The picture I’m painting here is one in which this leaching away of social capital harms both the purely economic performance of a society and its conduciveness to the successful pursuit of happiness.  I know kids who’d love to be teachers, police, nurses. They’re not bad snobs. But they know a certain amount of acquired snobbery is strongly in their interests.They know that entering a low-income, low-status career leads to a lifetime of being poorly thought of, being treated badly, and perhaps more importantly of all, being regarded as a ‘loser’ – a term the recent popularity of which says a great deal.

The other thing this reminds me to say is that I find the argument that it’s neoliberal policies what dun it – what led to rising inequality – pretty unconvincing. They’ve had some impact, but I think it’s the neoliberal zeitgeist far more than just neoliberal government policies what dun it – though the zeitgeist also drove the policies. Why are jobs much less secure? Well you can say because the law has changed, or firms are more ‘competitive’ with one another today, but I think the main reason is that it’s just much more OK within business culture to sack people. (That’s far from all bad by the way, but it comes with large costs to the fabric of our culture, to the sense in which looking after people is radiated throughout the society as a generalised social sense.)

When I was a kid my parents didn’t enrol us for scholarships to private schools because, even though they were ‘merit’ scholarships and not predicated on an inability to pay my parents thought they should not be taken. I’d be happy to live in such a world, and happy to contribute. But the way things are, that seems kind of quaint. I’d feel like a mug to do it when almost no-one does that. So I pursue a more ‘neoliberal’ approach to the common good which is to take the money and also to make more deliberate contributions to the common good via philanthropic giving of money and my time. But it’s not the same of course. As Adam Smith might have written if he’d written the Theory of Moral Sentiments according to modern lingo, culture is a generative commons.

Categories: Community

The best films of the German Film Festival

Club Troppo - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 10:49
Festival Website | Films | Melbourne Schedule Top Picks Trailer Icon 03 Who Am I-No System is Safe Benjamin is a socially inept nobody. Max is handsome and charismatic. What these strangers have in common is computer hacking. After proving his skill, Benjamin is invited to join Max and his friends in a subversive hacker group. Identifying themselves as CLAY the gang carries out a series of spectacular attacks on political parties and even the ‘Federal Intelligence Agency’. For the first time in his life Benjamin feels like he belongs to something. Benjamin now wants recognition and status in the shadowy corner of cyberspace where hackers communicate-“the Net inside the Net.” To achieve this he will need to impress MR X, reigning king of the hacking world. The road to MR X involves an extremely dangerous Russian group known as FRI3NDS. With European cyber police also on his trail, Benjamin and CLAY will need to execute the most brilliant of plans just to stay alive. ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 8:15 PM Saturday 16 May @Kino Cinemas 9:00 PM Friday 22 May @Kino Cinemas 8:15 PM Sunday 24 May @Palace Cinema Como Trailer Icon 03 Tour de Force Every year without fail Hannes, his wife Kiki and their closest friends go on a bike tour. It’s Kiki’s turn to choose the destination and for some strange reason she’s selected Ostend in Belgium. Why Belgium? What does Belgium have to offer besides chocolate and fries? Shortly into the journey Hannes makes an announcement. He is terminally ill, and assisted suicide is legal in Belgium. This will be his final ride. After the shock has subsided the group decides to pedal hard and enjoy a wild time in celebration of Hannes’ life. For his younger brother Finn, womanizing Micha and bickering couple Mareike and Dominik, this will be a ride to remember. ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 8:30 PM Sunday 17 May @Kino Cinemas Trailer Icon 03 When under Fire-Shoot Back In the last days of Apartheid in South Africa four photographers from The Star newspaper in Johannesburg risked their lives daily to document the country’s frequent and appalling outbreaks of violence. Kevin Carter, Ken Oosterbroek, Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva were collectively known as the “Bang-Bang Club”. Today, only Marinovich and Silva are alive. Their candid testimony reveals how camaraderie, extreme bravery and sense of personal and professional duty results in the capturing of extraordinary and frequently disturbing moments in time. We also discover how violence and its aftermath claimed the lives of Carter and Oosterbroek. ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 6:30 PM Monday 18 May @Palace Cinema Como Trailer Icon 03 Alphabet A documentary that analyzes the modern educational system and argues that it squelches children’s capacity for imagination, creativity, and independent thought. Our economic and social system is increasingly jeopardized by crises and there is no answer in sight. The politically and economically powerful were largely educated at the best schools and universities. Their cluelessness is tangible and long-term prospects have been replaced by hectic knee-jerk activity. It is becoming terrifyingly clear that the boundaries of our thinking have been too tightly confined from childhood on. Regardless of what school we attended, we follow thought patterns that date back to the early era of industrialization where what counted was forming people into well-functioning cogs in a production-line manufacture-driven society. Since then, learning contents may have greatly changed since then, and the school is no longer a place of authoritarian drilling. Nonetheless, the fixation on normed standards determines lessons more than ever. For some time now a harsh wind blows at schools. “Performance“, the maxim of the competitive society, has become the inexorable measure of all things throughout the world. But the exclusive orientation towards technocratic learning goals and the accurate repetition of context-free information is the death of precisely that playful creativity which might help us, without fear of failure, to seek new solutions. Alphabet concludes a trilogy that featured We feed the World and Let‘s make Money; it reverts to the themes of both, concentrating them in its lense and magnifying them to the point of ignition. ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 6:30 PM Tuesday 19 May @Kino Cinemas

Trailer Icon 03 Rough Road Ahead Germany, 1968. Teenagers Martin and Ruby fall in love. Everything seems possible. Martin dreams of becoming a famous writer. Ruby sings like an angel. It can only be a matter of time before her beautiful voice carries her to stardom. But first they have to escape their provincial town and Ruby’s tyrannical, devoutly Catholic father. In desperation the lovebirds run away to Berlin. Their freedom is short-lived. For her sins Ruby is placed in a Catholic home run by the merciless Sisters of Mercy. Martin’s punishment is a stint in the infamous Freisstatt House of Correction. Fast-forward to 1977. Martin is broken and angry, while Ruby sings, but only with the help of booze and pills. But at last they are reunited. What does the future hold for these damaged souls? ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 6:30 PM Wednesday 20 May @Kino Cinemas 6:30 PM Thursday 28 May @Kino Cinemas Trailer Icon 03 Faust A magnificently photographed and superbly decorated adaptation of the German legend as told in the plays Faust by Johann Wolfgang Goethe and The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. The story begins with a wager between an angel and Mephisto (the Devil). Claiming he can destroy the soul of anyone, Mephisto sets his sights on Faust, an elderly alchemist who has led a simple and honest life. Mephisto starts his diabolical campaign by casting a deadly plague upon Faust’s hometown of Prague. From there Faust loses his faith in God and forms a pact with Mephisto that promises him eternal youth and carnal pleasure with beautiful duchess Marguerite and innocent virgin Gretchen. ☆☆☆☆☆ Cine-Vue ☆☆☆☆☆ Eye For Film ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 8:30 PM Tuesday 26 May @Palace Cinema Como Trailer Icon 03 Soul Kitchen ‘Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans’ is the basis for this film. Fatih Akin offers the audience exquisite cuisine in this comedic look at a German-Greek chef running a Hamburg eatery, who upsets regular customers when a new chef presents his nouvelle cuisine. Adam Bousdoukos plays the financially strapped owner-chef whose battles with his brother, recently released from jail, and the new chef, lead to amusing and challenging events. Watch out for Anna Bederke who plays a waitress with attitude, and in one of her last film appearances, Moritz Bleibtreu’s mother Monica. The film has been described as ‘an audacious, dirty Heimat film’ — savour it for yourself. ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB ☆☆☆☆☆ Reel Views ☆☆☆☆☆ Slant Magazine Show Timings: 6:30 PM Wednesday 27 May @Hophaus Melbourne Schedule Table Date Palace
Cinema Como
Kino
Cinemas
Hophaus Thursday 14 May Beloved Sisters
(6.00 PM)
Friday 15 May Nanga Parbat
(6.00 PM)

Stations of the Cross
(9.15 PM)
Beloved Sisters
(6.00 PM)

Superegos
(9.30 PM)
Saturday 16 May From Caligari to Hitler
(11.00 AM)

About A Girl
(3.45 PM)

Suck Me Shakespeer
(6.00 PM)

The Whole Shebang
(8.30 PM)
Jack
(3.45 PM)

The Circle
(6.00 PM)

Who Am I-No System is Safe
(8.15 PM)
Sunday 17 May Your Beauty is worth Nothing
(11.00 PM)

Superegos
(2.00 PM)

Not My Day
(6.00 PM)

Tour de Force
(8.30 PM)
Ruby Red
(11.00 AM)

Haus Tugendhat
(3.30 PM)

Stereo
(6.00 PM)

The Dark Valley
(8.15 PM)
Monday 18 May When under Fire-Shoot Back
(6.30 PM)

Tour Du Faso
(8.15 PM)
Lola on the Pea
(11.00 AM)

Anderson
(6.30 PM)

The Cuckoo and the Donkey
(8.30 PM)
Tuesday 19 May Superegos
(6.30 PM)

The Lies of the Victors
(8.30 PM)
Alphabet
(6.30 PM)

Agnieszka
(9.30 PM)
Wednesday 20 May Age of Cannibals
(6.30 PM)

The Bunker
(8.30 PM)
Ruby Red
(11.00 AM)

Rough Road Ahead
(6.30 PM)

The Aryans
(9.00 PM)
Thursday 21 May The Cut
(6.00 PM)

The Kings Surrender
(9.30 PM)
Bright Night
(6.30 PM)

A Hitman’s Solitude before the Shot
(8.30 PM)
Friday 22 May Ms Mueller Must Go
(6.30 PM)

Suck Me Shakespeer
(8.30 PM)
Not My Day
(6.30 PM)

Who Am I-No System is Safe
(9.00 PM)
Saturday 23 May Haus Tugendhat
(11.00 AM)

Lose my Self
(3.45 PM)

Stereo
(6.00 PM)
A Horse on the Balcony
(11.00 AM)

Miss Sixty
(3.45 PM)

Family Fever
(6.00 PM)

The Dark Valley
(8.00 PM)
Sunday 24 May Lola on the Pea
(11.00 AM)

Jack
(3.45 PM)

About A Girl
(6.00 PM)

Who Am I-No System is Safe
(8.15 PM)
Sapphire Blue
(11.00 AM)

Of Girls and Horses
(4.00 PM)

The Cut
(6.00 PM)

The Hotel Room
(9.00 PM)
Monday 25 May The Council of Birds
(6.30 PM)

The Circle
(8.30 PM)
Song from the Forest
(6.30 PM)

35 Cows and a Kalashnikov
(8.45 PM)
Tuesday 26 May From Caligari to Hitler
(6.00 PM)

Faust
(8.30 PM)
Sapphire Blue
(11.00 AM)

The Adventures of Huck Finn
(6.00 PM)

The Cuckoo and the Donkey
(8.45 PM)
Wednesday 27 May Of Girls and Horses
(6.30 PM)

Miss Sixty
(8.30 PM)
Family Fever
(6.30 PM)

The Bunker
(8.30 PM)
Soul Kitchen
(6.30 PM)
Thursday 28 May Bright Night
(6.30 PM)

Age of Cannibals
(8.30 PM)
Rough Road Ahead
(6.30 PM)

The Whole Shebang
(9.00 PM)
Friday 29 May Stations of the Cross
(6.30 PM)

The Hotel Room
(9.00 PM)
Lose my Self
(6.30 PM)

Ms Mueller Must Go
(8.30 PM)
Saturday 30 May The Aryans
(4.00 PM)

The Dark Valley
(6.00 PM)

Nanga Parbat
(8.30 PM)
Fiddlesticks
(11.00 AM)

Suck Me Shakespeer
(3.30 PM)

Agnieszka
(6.00 PM)

The Lies of the Victors
(8.15 PM)
Sunday 31 May Not My Day
(4.30 PM)

About A Girl
(7.00 PM)
The Council of Birds
(4.00 PM)

The Cut
(6.00 PM)
Categories: Community

Spartacus: 'proto-communist' or rebel?

Links International - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 04:00

The slave revolt led by Spartacus shook the Roman world to its foundations and, although a failure, has inspired the oppressed for centuries. Communist historian Doug Enaa Greene delivered a talk at the Center for Marxist Education on Spartacus on March 7, 2015.

For more by Doug Enaa Greene, click HERE

By Doug Enaa Greene

May 15, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The ancient rebellion of Spartacus and tens of thousands of subjugated slaves is arguably the most famous slave revolt in history. During his lifetime, Spartacus dared to challenge the dominance of the Roman slave masters and their Republic. In subsequent generations, the name of Spartacus has stood forth as a symbol for resistance and liberation from oppression – inspiring the Haitian slave Toussaint L'Ouverture, who led a successful revolt in the 1790s; Karl Marx; and Germany's Spartacist League of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht.

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Categories: Community

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