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Asia Pacific Currents

Asian Talk

Stories and issues from the Asia Pacific region with a labour and grassroots perspective. Regular interviews with activists from countries in the Asia Pacific region. Produced by Australia-Asia Worker Links.

Stories and issues from the Asia Pacific region with a labour and grassroots perspective. Regular interviews with activists from countries in the Asia Pacific region. Produced by Australia-Asia Worker Links.


South Carlton, VIC


Asian Talk


Stories and issues from the Asia Pacific region with a labour and grassroots perspective. Regular interviews with activists from countries in the Asia Pacific region. Produced by Australia-Asia Worker Links.






PO Box 45 South Carlton, VIC 3053 Australia +61 3 9663 7277


Resistance continues in Turkey

The Gezi Park protests in Istanbul in 2013 were the catalyst for the human rights and labour movements to come out and protest against the repressive policies of the President Erdogan. There have been many issues since then, including the attempted coup in 2016, President Ergodan is still in power and tens of thousands of activists have been targeted by the government.APC talks to Ecehan Balta from the socialist collective Başlangıç Kolektifi about the current situation in Turkey.Due to the...


Filipino workers continue to resist

The Philippine working class has a history of militant actions and resistance against repressive governments and exploitative working conditions. The last three years under the Presidency of Rodrigo Duterte have been particularly hard.We talk with Elmer Labog, Chairperson of the militant labour union federation KMU, about the situation for workers in the Philippines and some of the ways that they organise and stay alive.Asia Pacific Currents provides updates of labour struggles and campaigns...


The fight for women's rights continues - IWD 2020

International Women's Day (IWD) has been commemorated since 1908. It has always been a movement for women to gain rights and achieve equality in the economic, social and political fields. It is marked by rallies and actions every year around the world on the 8th of March.For this years IWD, APC brings you an interview with Zoe Xhao, a sociology student on issues of gender, digital labour and transnational social movements, looking at the issues facing the global women's movement.Asia Pacific...


Fascist thugs rampage in New Delhi, India

This week, the ongoing tensions over the government Citizenship Act, in conjunction with the nationalistic fervour unleashed by USA President Trump’s visit, spilled over in mass acts of violence that left whole neighbourhood burnt and close to 40 people dead. All reports indicate that the perpetrators of this violence were Hindu fascist militias with ties to the governing party of the BJP.APC spoke to Shivani Kaul, Political Activist with Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, about these riots, the response...


Rebuilding workers organisations in Cambodia

Trade union repression is a global problem that affects all workers. In some countries, the repression is via beatings, arrests and murders. In other countries, it is via sackings, fines and anti union legislation. The ultimate aim is the same - weakening the power of workers.At a forum in Melbourne, Australia, on trade union repression, APC interviewed Thy Yann, the Secretary of the Building & Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC) on the issues facing construction workers...


Palestinians continue to fight against new deal

The long awaited 'deal of the century' by the current USA administration to resolve the Palestinian issue is nothing of the sort and is just a continuation of the ongoing dispossession of Palestinian lands and the the creation of a Greater Israel.We talk to Reem, a local Palestinian activist, about this supposedly new deal for Palestine, its significance, and its ramifications for the future.Asia Pacific Currents provides updates of labour struggles and campaigns from the Asia Pacific...


Fighting back against state terror in the Philippines

The last three years of the Government of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines is increasingly bringing back memories of the Marcos dictatorship in the 1970's and 80's. Pres Duterte has unleashed a terror campaign via unleashing death squads and granting total impunity to police and the army. Tens of thousands of working class people and activists have been killed. Nevertheless, as under the Marcos regime, opposition to this terror is continuing in the Philippines. We talk to Renato Reyes, the...


Invasion Day protests mark National Holiday in Australia

Australia’s national holiday, 26 January, is Invasion Day. It commemorates the start of the British invasion in 1788 and the dispossession and genocide of that land’s First Nations peoples. Aboriginal people have resisted this from the beginning and their resistance continues today. For many decades, Aboriginal people were forced to labour or had their wages stolen. Under the theme of ‘Abolish Australia Day’, demonstrations calling for a stop to the ongoing exploitation, repression and...


Where to for the working class uprising in Iraq?

For the last two and a half months Iraq has experienced mass protests against corruption, exploitation and poverty by millions of people from working class communities. Notwithstanding heavy repression by the IRaqi government and associated militias that have killed more than 400 protestors, the uprising is still continuing demanding the resignation of the whole Iraqi political class.We interviewed Nadia Mahmood, an Iraqi socialist, on these mass working class uprisings that started in early...


Looking back at 2019 working class issues in the region

We usually do the year's round up of stories and issues affecting workers in the Asia Pacific region on our last program of the year but this year we did it a week earlier because of interviewing scheduling issues.So, labour updates of the week's stories but also what has happened in the last year.Asia Pacific Currents provides updates of labour struggles and campaigns from the Asia Pacific region. It is produced by Australia Asia Worker Links, in the studio of 3CR Radio in Melbourne,...


Australian maritime workers battling global stevedoring companies

The shipping industry around the world is one of the most globalised sectors on the world economy, dominated by global companies that have terminals in multiple countries. It is characterised by a fierce global race to the bottom in terms of wages and conditions as companies try to continually shorten the time it takes to upload and download containers.APC interviewed Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Victorian organiser, Aarin Moon about the ongoing struggles of dock workers against the...


Honda workers in India fight against precarious work

Over the last two decades, the Indian economy has fully integrated intp the global capitalist economy. This has led to the growth of huge industrial zones where companies seek to take advantage of low wages and favourable laws.One of these areas in the Gurgaon region in Haryana state just to the north of the capital New Delhi. Automotive factories are one of the sectors that have established in this sector. There have been many huge labour actions and strikes in the last decade, for example...


Repression against labour activists intensifies in the Philippines

On October 31st, police and military personnel arrested 61 labour and human rights activists belonging to Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kadamay, and the National Federation of Sugar Workers in a series of co-ordinated operations across the Philippines. While they have all been released, many have been put under heavy bail conditions, including raising substantial amount of money.Even more worrying, many of these activists have been 'Red Tagged' by the military as communists. Under President...


Freeing Julian Assange is a worker's issue

Repression against journalists, researchers and writers unfortunately occurs around the world as governments and organisations try to suppress information from being publicised.Julian Assange, the founder of the investigative social media organisation Wikileaks, became world famous in 2010 when he disseminated a whole raft of secret documents that exposed US military war crimes and operations. In response, the USA government initiated a campaign to arrest and silence him. Assange is now in a...


Where is the workers movement in Australia at?

The strenght of the labour movement in every country goes up and down depending on economic conditions and the level of repression it is facing.While in part of Asia we are seeing huge working class struggles erupting, the labour movement in Australia is still struggling to go on the offensive and regain the ground that it has lost over the last 30 years. We hear a talk by Gwynnyth Evans, Assistant Secretary of the Victorian Australasian Meat Industry Employees' Union (AMIEU), that was...


The workers movement in Hong Kong and China

The Chinese working class movement is probably the largest in the world, it is constrained in its ability to organise and form independent unions. The ongoing mass protests in Hong Kong have focused renewed attention to the situation in China and its labour movement.For this week's program, we play a recorded talk by Kevin Lin, an activist and researcher of China’s labor movement, on the Chinese labour movement and international solidarity. The full recording of the international meeting...


Working class communities rise up in Iraq

The country of Iraq has had a very turbulent history since the USA military invasion of 2003 that overthrew the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. The invasion led to a series of social and military crisis since then, with armed militias now a feature of the countries political landscape.Working class communities have borne the brunt of this violence. In addition, this instability has fostered a climate of nepotism, sectarianism and corruption that has seen billions of dollars being...


Taking on Australian mining companies around the world

Global mining companies are not only one of the most important and strategic pillars of the capitalist system, but their are also some of the most predatory companies in the world, leaving a trail of social and environmental destruction in their wake.Kevin Bracken, former leader of the Maritime Union of Australia Vic Branch and long time union activist, talks to us about the background and history of the campaign against the Australian company Oceana Gold and the crimes that the company has...


Tensions in West Asia continue to simmer

The increasing tensions between Iran and the USA/Saudi Arabia may have been triggered by events associated with the war in Yemen, but the issues are deeper than that with both historical roots going back to the Iranian revolution of 1979 and political/economic issues associated with the Arab Spring that started in 2010.APC talked with Joseph Daher, a media commentator and academic, on the possibilities of a war breaking out between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and how these tensions are reflected...


Labour activists increasingly being targeted in the Philippines

It has been a bit over three years since President Duterte was elected as President of the Philippines. President Duterte administration authoritarian and repressive policies have surpassed those of the late Dictator Ferdinand Marcos in terms of people jailed and killed. While not initially targeted, the situation for labour activists has now deteriorated with increasing arrests and murders, with many others fearing for their safety. The lexicon of 'Red Tagging' has now become part of the...