Photos by Chris Peterson
About 200 people rallied in Melbourne for refugee rights on October 21. The Refugee Action Collective Victoria called the protest. Michelle O'Neill from the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia told the rally: “In reality, we are condemning asylum seekers to languish for indefinite periods of time. The effect of this on many asylum seekers will be extraordinarily severe psychological harm.
More than 60 people met in Footscray on October 17 to plan the next steps in the Save TAFE campaign. Community group “Friends of Victoria University” hosted a public forum to discuss the Victorian state government’s $300 million cuts to the TAFE system and its impacts on communities in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
About 200 people staged a pro-choice counter protest on October 13 in response to a fundamentalist Christian-organised "March for the Babies", which called for the criminalisation of abortion in Victoria. Pro-choice protesters were joined by people who took part in Global Noise rally in Melbourne that day.
Members of the Forgotten Australians rallied in Melbourne on October 13 to demand a Royal Commission into the sexual abuse, emotional and criminal assault, and torture of children in church and government-run homes, orphanages and foster care homes. The term Forgotten Australian refers to children who were placed in care outside of their family home during the 20th century.
Elections are coming up for local councils across Victoria. Many candidates are reflecting community campaigns, but others are reflecting the interests of developers and other business interests. Because council ballot papers don’t identify candidates’ party affiliation, the Liberal and Labor parties often don’t endorse candidates. Instead, members of the Liberal and Labor parties run as “independents”.
About 150 people rallied in Melbourne on October 10 to call for an increase in pensions for retired workers. The rally also called for better concessions, better transport and stronger access to health services. The protest was organised by the Fair Go For Pensioners Coalition, which is made up of groups including the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Council of the Ageing and Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria.
More than 100 people rallied in Footscray in Melbourne’s western suburbs on October 11 to protest against the Victorian government's $300 million dollar cuts to the TAFE system. The rally was organised by community group “Friends of Victoria University”. Protesters included university staff, students and teachers and members of maritime, construction, textile, nursing and other unions as well as people from the wider community.
About 200 people rallied at Melbourne’s Maribyrnong Detention Centre on September 22, against deporting refugees to danger and mandatory detention. Dayan Anthony, a Tamil refugee, was deported to Sri Lanka in July against his will from Maribyrnong. Antony's Lawyer Sanmati Verma said: “Each and every professional and all community members in contact with Dayan Anthony attested that he was a torture survivor. And yet he was put on a plane and yet he was sent back to Sri Lanka.
September marks the arrival of a defining name of the 1980s British anarcho-punk scene, Subhumans, to Australia. This will be the band’s first Australasian tour and features the 1981 line-up that recorded their debut EP Demolition War and classic albums such as The Day The Country Died. Green Left Weekly's Chris Peterson spoke to frontman Dick Lucas.