Jim McIlroy

“Governments will only act when they are forced to by social movements”, Dr Mark Diesendorf told around 150 people at the Queensland University of Technology on June 28. “In the USA and Australia, these social movements around climate change are growing, and involving a broader sector of the community.”
Dr Gary MacLennan, a long-time socialist activist and lecturer in creative industries at the Queensland University of Technology, was suspended for six months without pay on June 6. He, along with a colleague, Dr John Hookham, was charged with misconduct following the publication of an article in the Australian that criticised a PhD film project that mocked the disabled. Students and staff launched a support campaign for the two suspended lecturers which has linked up with a struggle against QUT’s decision to close down the school of humanities and human services.
Chants of, “Hey Brisbane, listen up; the cleaners are standing up!” and “Caruso workers´ rights, worth fighting for!” rang through the Brisbane CBD on June 15, as 60 cleaners, members of the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union, marched from the LHMU office to the offices of Caruso Cleaning.
On June 13, 100 students and staff rallied in front of the administration building at Queensland University of Technology’s Gardens Point campus to protest the suspension of two QUT academics, Dr Gary MacLennan and Dr John Hookham, on charges of misconduct.
On May 28, 30 people picketed an administration building at the Queensland University of Technology s Gardens Point campus to support Dr Gary MacLennan, a long-time radical activist and academic at QUT, who was facing disciplinary charges over his criticism of a PhD film project mocking disabled people.
On May 31, a picket of 50 people organised by Solidarity Unity protested outside the offices of Mighty River Power, which supplies electricity to Mercury Energy, the company responsible for the death of an Auckland woman on May 29.
“There are two big issues in this dispute: the right of academics to free speech and the question of QUT [Queensland University of Technology] conducting unethical research”, left-wing academic Dr Gary MacLennan told Green Left Weekly on May 24.
BRISBANE — “Australia is the only Western democracy without human rights legislation”, James Whelan from Amnesty International told a public forum attended by 50 people on May 23.
A group of Rohingya people, a Muslim ethnic minority from western Burma’s Arakan state, is being held indefinitely at the Australian government detention centre on Nauru.
Well-known left-wing academic Dr Gary MacLennan and his Queensland University of Technology colleague John Hookham are facing possible suspension or dismissal without pay on charges of “straight misconduct” over their public criticism of a PhD project approved of by the QUT ethics committee.
“Anyone who says this camp is being built for refugees is talking nonsense”, union activist and former leader of the 1985 SEQEB dispute Bernie Neville told a Socialist Alliance meeting of around 25 people on May 9. Neville recently returned from working on the construction of the secret new detention centre on Christmas Island, dubbed “Australia’s Guantanamo Bay”.
— Australia will face a moral duty to accept thousands of “environmental refugees” when rising sea levels caused by global warming displace the peoples of small Pacific island states in future decades, Clive Hamilton, director of the Australia Institute, told an audience of around 300 at the Irish Club on May 1.
new front in the battle against the Howard government’s anti-union laws has opened with a push by federal workplace relations minister Joe Hockey for local councils to sign their employees up to the new Work Choices legislation.
The federal government must take a “strong and principled” approach to opposing the death penalty whenever and wherever it is applied, former ALP national president Barry Jones told a public forum attended by more than 100 people on April 19. The forum was organised by Australians Against Capital Punishment.
Around 1000 workers rallied in Musgrave Park on April 20 to oppose the Howard government’s Work Choices legislation, under the theme “Time’s Up”.
“The Women Workers Help Line is a member-based, voluntary, non-profit making, non-governmental organisation, struggling to create legal, political, democratic and trade union awareness among women for a socially just, economically equitable, politically aware and gender sensitive society”, explains the WWHL’s vision statement. Green Left Weekly’s Jim McIlroy visited Bushra Khaliq, the WWHL’s general secretary, at the organisation’s Lahore headquarters in late March.

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