Action updates


Action updates

ANU staff take action

CANBERRA — Australian National University academic and general staff held rolling strikes and picketed all schools and faculties last week as part of the National Tertiary Education and Industry Union campaign against involuntary redundancies. Vice-chancellor Dean Terrell plans 100 sackings, with 24 academics and five general staff to go from the arts faculty alone. Funds allocated to salaries have instead been spent on extravagant building projects.

Student activists joined the workers on the picket lines. A stop-work meeting on August 18 will decide whether a strike proposed for the August 18-20 should goes ahead. A joint student-staff rally is planned for August 20.

Forest solidarity

SYDNEY — A protest in solidarity with the 100 or so people arrested during the forest blockade at Goolengook in Victoria attracted 25 people to Town Hall Square on August 4. They marched to Parliament House to demand the end of logging in old growth forests.

Child-care campaign

ADELAIDE — On July 25, the SA Child Care Coalition met to develop plans for a long-term campaign for more child-care funding . Community based child-care and family day care representatives, plus activists from women's organisations at the meeting also discussed how to counter the media's negative portrayal of child-care quality.

Stormin' Norman condemned

SYDNEY — A small but spirited demonstration of 20 people marked the visit of ex-General Norman Schwarzkopf to Sydney. The commander of the US forces during the 1991 Gulf War was paid $160,000 to speak on "success" and "personnel development".

Students plan rally

BRISBANE — A rally against federal government attacks on youth income and the education sector will be held on August 20. Organised by the Queensland Education Action Network, it will be part of a national week of action called by the National Union of Students. The rally will demand: a living income for all; no common youth allowance; no cuts to Austudy or Abstudy; and no up-front fees. High school and TAFE students will also take part. See pages 29-31 for details.

Alternatives to police shooting

SYDNEY — The Coalition Opposing Police Shootings (COPS) on August 6 publicised its demand for the disarming of NSW police by acting out alternative scenarios to the police shooting of Roni Levi. Levi, armed only with a knife, was shot dead at Bondi Beach on June 28. Before a large beach front audience, COPS showed how a net, beach sand (flung in the eyes) or talking with Levi may have prevented his Levi's death.

Burma massacre remembered

CANBERRA — More than 200 people rallied outside the Burmese embassy on August 8 to commemorate the anniversary of the 1988 massacre of an estimated 20,000 pro-democracy activists during the take over by the Burmese military junta. Speakers included representatives from the All-Burma Students' Democratic Organisation, the Democrats and the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union. A boycott of Australian companies trading with Burma was launched.

Blue Mountains reconciliation meeting

KATOOMBA, NSW — Members of the Blue Mountains Aboriginal community and their supporters met on July 26 to discuss the recent national reconciliation conference and ideas for continuing the reconciliation process locally. Participants in the national conference expressed anger at Howard's refusal to apologise for government policy over the stolen generations.

Workshops discussed ideas for reconciliation projects in the mountains, ranging from wall murals to educational campaigns in schools. There was enthusiasm for establishing an anti-racism network to organise against Pauline Hanson supporters, who are expected to meet in Springwood later this year.

Hiroshima Day

WOLLONGONG — The 52 anniversary of the US bombing of Hiroshima was commemorated by a gathering at Peace Place on August 6. The Illawarra Trade Union Choir performed, Thirroul Primary School students placed 500 paper cranes on the Peace Plaque, and speakers pointed out the persistent dangers of nuclear weapons around the world.