20,000 people turned out to hear the John Butler Trio, Missy Higgins and Bob Brown among others in a concert and rally and march for the Kimberley in Fremantle on February 24, 2013. It was a massive outpouring of community opposition to the Barnett government's blatant attempts to steal Aboriginal land, ride roughshod over local community opposition to the project and to trash the environmental qualities of the area around James Price Point.
Geert Wilders called off his February 20 public meeting in Perth after the hotel where he was going to speak cancelled his booking. Organisers of Wilders' tour tried to claim that protesters had intimidated the hotel and implied that Wilders' "free speech'' was threatened as people were "denied'' the chance to hear Wilders talk. Wilders' most prominent supporter in the Australian parliament — disgraced Liberal senator Cory Bernardi — also tried to claim that there was "free speech double standard" involved.
Parliamentary leader of the far-right Dutch Freedom Party, Geert Wilders, is visiting Australia this week. He is speaking at public meetings in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Wilders makes use of a tightly rehearsed script focusing on opposition to Islam which he describes as a "totalitarian ideology" to cover for his racist and fascist outlook.
Perth activist Trish McAuliffe had a run-in with Stirling City Council in Perth's northern suburbs over a banner on her property advertising a public meeting about gas fracking. McAuliffe is a member of grassroots campaign group No Fracking Way and put up a hand-painted banner on her property that said “Fracking = pollution”. The sign also gave details for a public meeting organised by the Clean Water Healthy Land Alliance featuring a speaker from the Lock the Gate Alliance.
Hashim bin Rashid is the general secretary of the Lahore branch of Pakistan'sAwami Workers Party, which was recently formed by three left-wing groups uniting. Hasmim was a special guest at the Socialist Alliance national conference in Geelong 18-1-13, where the gave the talk in this video. The video is by Green Left TV.
The second day of the trial of Perth protester Kamala Emanuel ended on January 24 with no verdict from the magistrate. Emanuel was charged with failing to comply with a police officer's direction to leave a legal, peaceful rally last April. Twenty people protested outside the court in support of the right to protest without police interference.
Left-wing singer-songwriter Rory McLeod is on a tour of Australia. As usual, the veteran English-born folk singer’s performances are not to be missed. His six-week tour began at the Woodford Folk Festival, which he described as more diverse than other folk festivals he's been to. “You can be crossing 50 or 60 borders in a day [at Woodford]”, he told Green Left Weekly, referring to the wide variety of music styles presented. From there, he will pass through all states and many towns — large and small.
Socialist Alliance will run three candidates in the March 9 elections in Western Australia. The main message of the campaign is that the state government should take steps to bring the big mining companies operating in the state into public ownership. This will make it possible to fund urgent social justice and environmental projects in WA.
An important trial concerning the right to protest was adjourned on November 28 after it went longer than the single day scheduled for the hearing. Perth activist Kamala Emanuel was charged with refusing to obey a police direction to leave a legal and peaceful protest against gas "fracking" in April.