ADELAIDE — One hundred Flinders University students protested the proposed replacement of Austudy with a student loan scheme here on February 28. The demonstration coincided with the opening of a building by federal minister of education Peter Baldwin. When Baldwin didn't show up to address the demonstrators, confronted security guards at the union building he made an appearance.
- Over the three days of Adelaide University orientation week, March 2-4, Resistance sold 184 copies of Green Left Weekly from the biggest and brightest stall on campus. Many new contacts were made, and 37 people joined over the three days, while hundreds of broadsheets were distributed and almost everyone came into contact with Resistance at least once. Resistance and Green Left Weekly are looking forward to a very successful year.
BRISBANE — Justice Products officially ended its tenancy at 235 Boundary Street, under threat of legal action and eviction, on March 1. Justice Products had served as an outlet for self-managed and cooperatively produced goods from both the local area and Third World countries since 1983. The eviction follows in a long line of redevelopment plans and gentrification which began in West End simultaneously with Expo 88. Community activists, are planning to squat the building and utilise the space, already renamed "The Learning Exchange". The Learning Exchange will conduct free classes, workshops and activities.
- A "Great Leap Forward Dinner" here on February 29 celebrated the first anniversary of the launching of Green Left Weekly. Highlights for the 80 people present were music from singer-songwriters Ruth Apelt and Phil Monsour, the piano-vocal combination of Lindsay Stafford and Madonna Forster, and the singing of Clara and the Zetkins and the Sisters Karamazov. Greetings to the success of the first year of the new paper were presented by Roberto Torres, representing the Salvadoran community, and Alfonso Reale, from the East Timorese movement. Some $1600 was collected in cash and pledges from the audience for the GLW Fund Appeal.
DARWIN — Around 130 people from 23 countries are expected to leave here on March 9 aboard the Portuguese vessel Lusitania Expresso on a voyage of peace to East Timor. The local East Timorese community and Australians for a Free East Timor organised a reception for participants in the cruise. Activities included poetry readings, dancing and singing. The Indonesian navy is likely to stop the Portuguese vessel before it reaches East Timor. Participants in the voyage include students, peace activists and journalists.
MELBOURNE — The 500 Years committee launched its campaign in on February 29 with a procession through the inner city streets, which included a float symbolising Columbus' ship. The procession culminated with a festival in the city square. Speakers addressed issues such as the environmental effects of the Spanish landing and the genocide of the indigenous people.
- One hundred people staged a rally outside the March 2, in support of a plan by Brunswick Council to introduce women-only swimming times at the Brunswick Baths. The proposal, designed to increase access to the baths for women from the Muslim community and women who felt uncomfortable using the baths because of sexist behaviour and harassment from men, had drawn opposition from sections of the media and Brunswick independent councillor Jeff Sullivan, who in a racist outburst told the press that Muslim women should "go back where they came from" if they were not prepared to use mixed facilities. At the council meeting following the demonstration, all councillors with the exception of Sullivan voted in favour of women-only swimming times. However, an exemption will have to be obtained from the Equal Opportunity Board before the measure can be brought in.