Marking the 10th anniversary of the Tampa scandal, when the former John Howard government refused to allow the MV Tampa to dock in Australia after it had rescued asylum seekers at sea, close to 100 refugee rights activists converged on the Perth detention centre outside the domestic airport on August 27. The rally, which was organised by the Refugee Rights Action Network, called for the end of mandatory detention and for the rejection of the federal government's plans to export asylum seekers as part of the so-called Malaysian Solution.
The family of Rex Bellotti Junior have called a rally for July 23 in Albany where Aboriginal youth Bellotti, then 15 years old, was run over by police driving on the wrong side of the road in March 2009. The family organised the protest to call for a public inquiry into alleged police misconduct and the failure of the state government and the Western Australian police to provide adequate compensation and support for Bellotti and his family. State politicians and legal bodies have left the family to fend for themselves.
Since March 2009, it has been unclear whether promising footballer Rex Bellotti Junior will need to have his leg amputated after he was run over by a police four wheel drive in Albany, Western Australia. The Indigenous boy, then 15, was leaving a wake when the police vehicle, driving on the wrong side of the road, struck him with sufficient force to drag him under the van, breaking his right femur and inflicting lacerations to his legs.
A crowd of 200 people marched on the US consulate in the Perth CBD on March 22 to protest the invasion of Bahrain by Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates (UAE) soldiers to suppress the democracy movement in the country. Bahrain’s popular uprising threatens to follow the examples of Tunisia and Egypt, and topple its Western-backed authoritarian regime. Chanting outside the US consulate, the protesters — many from the local Bahraini community — made clear the hypocrisy of the US.
With the world beginning to feel the initial effects of changing weather patterns due to climate change, governments around the world are faced with immense challenges to ensure the safety of their citizens. The lack of action from most governments and key decision-makers reflects policies that put profitability ahead of human security. This blind and greedy agenda means the great majority of the world’s people are left defenceless. Venezuela stands in stark contrast to this norm.
In September, I spent two weeks on a solidarity brigade in Venezuela. The brigade participants were able to witness the September 26 National Assembly elections and get a first hand view of the revolutionary changes taking place across the country. The brigade was organised by the Australian Venezuelan Solidarity Network (AVSN), and included political activists and enthusiasts from Ausstralia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Britan, Canada and the United States. I would thoroughly suggest this experience to anyone interested in the Venezuelan revolution.
A speak-out against the Labor-Liberal dirty deal on the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) was held in Perth on November 26. The action was organised by the Coalition for a Safe Climate.