Jay Fletcher

A spirited rally of 1500 people protesting against the pope’s reactionary policies took place on July 19 against the backdrop of an important civil liberties victory in the courts.
The unjust quarantining of Aboriginal people’s Centrelink benefits, enforced as part of the federal government’s Northern Territory intervention, has been labelled by some as the intervention’s most destructive element.
Former employees of the sacked Wollongong City Council (WCC) are seeking to expose the culture of sexual harassment and bullying that they say existed in the council workplace for years.
Truck drivers are planning a national strike if demands for changes to new transport reforms are not met by the federal government. Drivers from NSW, Victoria and Queensland will take action from midnight on July 27.
More than 200 people from across Australia turned anger into action at the Resistance National Conference, held in Sydney from June 27-29. Activists met to discuss everything from revolutions in Latin America to the next steps in the climate change campaign.
On June 21, Indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin announced that her government would begin to end funding for infrastructure to remote Northern Territory (NT) Aboriginal communities that she deemed were “economically unviable”. This is the Rudd Labor government’s first major attack on Aboriginal land rights since taking power.
Young people today are angry: there are major and urgent problems in our society including global food shortages, a rise in oil prices — which will send millions into greater poverty — and the build-up of greenhouse gas emissions.
Fossil Fools’ Day, an international day of action on April 1 around climate change, was marked by protest actions across Australia involving up to 500 young people demanding an end to the use of fossil fuels and an increase in renewable energy sources.
For the first time in 11 years we are under a new government, a Labor government. PM Kevin Rudd’s government was elected off the back of mounting dissatisfaction with the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, inaction on climate change, the Northern Territory intervention and Work Choices, but the battle for change has not been won.
Working with Aunty Mary Davis, who died at the age of 67 on August 12, was working with a powerful fire, determined to rip through prejudice and create justice. “She was always at the forefront of anything, with government and non-government agencies, organisations, the community”, says Aunty Mary’s son, Richard.
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting will be held in Sydney in September. Twenty-one nations are represented, from both the First and Third Worlds. It describes itself as the “premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region”. In reality, it works to ensure that the Third World nations attending further open their markets. This makes it easier for multinational corporations, along with First World nations, to strip the poorer countries’ natural resources with no regard for the environment and to further exploit their work forces.
The Illawarra Aboriginal community led more than 200 protesters through the centre of Wollongong on August 2 in a day of action to express disgust and outrage towards the Howard government’s Northern Territory intervention plan.
On the evening of June 1, international shipping company Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) announced it was backing down after a tense four-day stand-off with Port Kembla members of the Maritime Union of Australia. Garry Keane, Port Kembla MUA branch secretary, reported to jubilant wharfies and community supporters that CSL had agreed to let “shore-based labour” unload the bulk carrier Capo Noli.

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