Australia

MELBOURNE — The Fitzroy Legal Service (FLS) has had it’s funding slashed by $160,000.
When 72-year-olds take their shirts off in anger on a cold winter’s day in Melbourne, you know something is wrong. Seriously wrong.
Hasn’t the Victorian state government noticed that climate change is speeding up alarmingly and that transport is the fastest growing cause of greenhouse emissions in Australia?
“Under the jackboot of Howard’s Northern Territory intervention, the great majority of Aboriginal people supported Rudd in the last election. Now they feel betrayed by the Rudd Labor government”, commented Sam Watson, the Socialist Alliance’s national Indigenous affairs spokesperson, at its Queensland state conference on May 31.
“The thought of our beautiful Camden accommodating to this religion is a disgrace … This Islamic school will change the town forever”, “Hayley”, a Camden resident, was quoted by the November 6 Sydney Morning Herald as saying in relation to an attempt to build an Islamic school in the far-outer Sydney suburb.
Green Left Weekly asked these Resistance activists what they hope to get out of the national conference in Sydney later this month.
Twenty-first century capitalism has sentenced millions of workers to near slavery in the form of various migrant labour schemes that underpin the mega profits of many giant corporations. From Singapore to Dubai to the US, such schemes spell super-exploitation. So would a “guest worker” scheme in Australia be much less exploitative?
One thousand farmers from across Victoria descended on Melbourne on June 3 to protest the state government’s North South Pipeline plan, which will bring 75 billion litres of water each year from the Goulburn River across the Great Dividing Range to Sugarloaf Reservoir. The pipeline is due to be completed by 2010.
On June 5, I joined a suburban World Environment Day campaigning stall organised by Resistance, a socialist youth group in Australia.
On June 2, while announcing the withdrawal of 550 Australian combat troops from Iraq, PM Kevin Rudd told parliament that all the arguments justifying the troop deployment in the first place were lies. This vindicates the anti-war movement’s position since the 2003 invasion.

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