Chris Peterson

MELBOURNE — On February 13, a rally was organised by the Oromo Community Association to protest the treatment of Oromo refugees in Somalia since the US-backed invasion by Ethiopia.

An Invasion Day protest to be held on January 26 will demand justice for Mulrunji and an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody. It will be the first time in many years that such a demonstration has taken place in Melbourne on Invasion Day.

On October 10, 50 people joined a memorial service at Melbourne University to commemorate the drowning of 353 refugees when their Indonesian boat — the SIEV X — sank in international waters off Christmas Island in October 2001. A year after the sinking, a Senate select committee investigation concluded that it was “extraordinary that a major human disaster could occur in the vicinity of a theatre of intensive Australian [border patrol] operations and remain undetected until three days after the event, without any concern being raised within intelligence and decision making circles”.

Academics may be given limited access to books banned under anti-terrorism laws, federal attorney-general Philip Ruddock said on October 2. His comments came after University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Glyn Davis wrote to Ruddock seeking clarification on the laws.

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