Australia

On September 13, Micah Weekes, once a coal miner and now an anti-coal activist stopped a coal train heading into the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle.

A former scaffolder from the Central Coast, Weekes worked in the coal industry for nearly 10 years. He said he was taking action because of the coal industry’s toxic impact on people’s health.

“You don’t have to work in the industry to get sick from this. My kids are going to get sick. It’s already happening. People in my community have reoccurring respiratory illnesses, cancers and tumours.”

“Kick coal out of politics” was the key message protesters sent to the new Prime Minister from Cronulla Park on September 8.

The action in the PM's electorate involved some 500 people and was part of the global #Rise for Climate. It was one of 40 protest actions organised in all capital cities and some 30 other cities and towns across the country.

Actions focussed on clean energy where people and justice are put before profits were organised in 83 countries.

Fifty refugee supporters held a vigil on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, to commemorate the suicides of three refugees in the space of two weeks.

A snap protest was organised by the Committee in Solidarity with Peoples Struggles in Iran on September 12 in response to the execution of three Kurdish political prisoners in Iran: Ramin Hussein Panahi, Loghman Moradi and Zanier Morandi.

Protesters took to the streets of Sydney on September 12 against Australia’s prosecution of Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery for allegedly whistleblowing on Australia’s bugging of Timor-Leste government offices.

Talk has once again resurfaced about extending police powers and militarising police forces after a violent brawl outside a pub in Collingwood, Victoria, earlier this month. But many are asking just how far governments are willing to go in sacrificing freedoms for an ill-conceived notion of being “tough on crime”.

The federal Coalition government has dropped further in the polls following the knifing of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Nevertheless, both new Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the hard right Peter Dutton/Tony Abbott faction in the Liberal Party seem determined to take politics even more to the right.

Hundreds of thousands of people joined protests around the world on September 8 calling on governments to take serious action on climate change. 

While conservative governments are constantly making calls to criminalise trade union activities, Geelong Trades Hall Council secretary Colin Vernon says governments should instead be focusing on the real crime wave occurring in our community right now.

Sometimes the most powerful protests are those made in silence by brave individuals deciding to take a stand.

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