Save the ABC
MELBOURNE — Six thousand people rallied on August 12 against the Howard government's slashing of ABC funding, jobs and programs. The rally, organised by the Friends of the ABC, took place at the Melbourne Town Hall and spilled out into Swanston and Collins Streets.
FREMANTLE — Vic and Joan Williams from the Socialist Party of Australia read poetry and talked about their memory of the socialist history of Fremantle at a gathering on August 11. These two dedicated life-long activists described the days when the Communist Party of Australia controlled the Maritime Union and ran the wharves, building solidarity with Indonesia's fight for independence from the Dutch ruling class in the 1940s. Anne Pavy from the Democratic Socialist Party stressed the need to continue Fremantle's strong and rich socialist tradition, learning from the wins and mistakes of the past.
Stop education cuts
PERTH — A protest on August 14, organised by Resistance and the Student Unionism Network, outside the electoral office of Liberal Senator Christopher Ellison was attended by 35 students. The action was called to condemn the proposed cuts and changes to higher education announced by the federal government on August 9.
The protesters' message was that the changes would seriously threaten both the quality and accessibility of higher education. When the senator's staff refused to talk to the students, they burned copies of the budget statement and HECS forms, leaving the ashes at the office door with a note detailing their views. The action ended with the arrival of 10 police.
HOBART — On the occasion of John Howard's visit to the state Liberal Party conference dinner here on August 23, Tasmania University's Education Action Coalition has called a demonstration to draw together opposition to the Coalition's slash and burn federal budget.
The Tasmanian Trades and Labour Council is supporting the protest, and some trade unions are bussing people in from around the state. A member of the East Timorese community will also address the action.