For a second, just imagine that one of the highest ranked male tennis players in the world is taking part in the obligatory post-game interview having just won a marathon five setter. Now imagine the interviewer is themselves a veteran of the sport for decades, one who undoubtedly knows the game inside and out. Now imagine the first question they ask the winner is: “So who would you most like to date?”
About 80 people gathered at Victorian Trades Hall on June 20 for a public forum about the United States’ increased military presence in Australia. The forum was organised by the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, with the support of Victorian Trades Hall council, the Philippines Australia Solidarity Association and Spirit of Eureka, among others.
After 13 days of an around-the-clock picket line, the workers at poultry company Baiada in Laverton North have won a tremendous victory. Baiada was well known as having the worst pay and conditions of all poultry processing companies.
Despite the police brutality faced by Occupy Melbourne protesters just over a week before during their eviction from City Square, Occupy Melbourne returned to the streets on October 29. About 500 occupiers assembled at the State Library with the same anti-corporate message and a louder voice. After the meeting at the State Library, there was a march to Treasury Gardens where the general assembly (GA) was held. During the march, the numbers swelled to 1000 or more.
About 300 activists protested in Melbourne on September 9 against chocolate company Max Brenner’s sponsorship of elite Israeli military units, as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israeli apartheid in Palestine. Indigenous rights activist Robbie Thorpe told the rally: “Every struggle we see is about human life, their struggle is the same as ours because this is illegally occupied land too.” Trade unionist Dave Kerin said: “The only right solution is democratic, equal representation of all inhabitants of Palestine.”
Resistance will host the Melbourne campaign launch for Wear It Purple on August 27. Wear It Purple is an organisation which looks out for the interests of young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI), and runs numerous campaigns around homophobic bullying, particularly in high schools.
Pro-choice campaigners and activists will assemble outside a fertility control clinic in East Melbourne on July 23 for several reasons. The clinic is under constant harassment from far-right Christian groups, including Right to Life and the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. These groups rally outside the clinic every fourth Saturday of the month, and sometimes on weekdays too. These groups mobilise their members to harass not only women using the clinic, but also women who just happen to walk past.
More than 300 refugee rights protesters descended on Broadmeadows Detention Centre, in Melbourne’s inner north, on July 9. The activists present were determined to have their voices heard, and make it known that ALP immigration minister Chris Bowen has backflipped on his promise to have all children out of detention by July. The centre, which accommodates only asylum seekers under the age of 18, is indeed still open and running. And it doesn’t look like closing its razor wire gates any time soon.
With the federal government blatantly refusing to even utter the words “equal pay”, the need for grassroots initiative and action is vital in achieving these reforms for women workers. Pay Justice Action is a collective focused on campaigning for equal pay for women, as well as demanding the abolition of youth wages and the scrapping of the basics card, which was part of the NT Intervention. See also: Court says yes to equal pay, but fight not over
Locals from Lake Tyers, a small Aboriginal community in East Gippsland, set up a roadblock leading into their township on March 8. The action was to protest against a Victorian government-imposed administrator and call for a return to democracy in their community. The only exceptions allowed through the blockade were health service employees and school buses.