NEWCASTLE — Federal immigration minister Phillip Ruddock attended a citizenship ceremony here on May 28. With only two hours notice, 20 protesters outside greeted the "Minister for Racism" outside the Town Hall. The chanting, banner- and placard-waving activists received support from passing motorists and those attending the ceremony. Several citizenship recipients chose to have their pictures taken with the protesters rather than with Ruddock.
Students demand a 'red' budget
NEWCASTLE Students at Newcastle University vowed to continue the fight for better conditions at an Education Collective speakout and rally on May 30. The action was called to highlight the impact of restrictions on students' internet access, the removal of the women's room on campus and the woeful condition of the library.
More than 1000 students signed a petition demanding the university triple library funding. Many students can't afford to buy textbooks and must rely, often unsuccessfully, on the library's inadequate resources. The rally demanded that the university administration "run into the red" and increase funding.
WOLLONGONG — More than 80 people gathered in the Wollongong Mall on May 26 to protest against the GST, changes to Medicare and the paltry $300 payment for pensioners proposed in the federal government budget.
Speakers included Bill Whiley from the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association, Stephen Martin, federal Labor member for Cunningham and Jennie George, endorsed federal ALP candidate for Throsby.
Although there was agreement that the federal coalition government has made the lives of pensioners a lot harder, the ALP speakers were not spared spirited heckling because they refused to promise to abolish the GST. Socialist Alliance information and copies of Green Left Weekly were well received.