Kerry Smith

The Moreland municipality has the second-highest rate of family violence in Victoria. Most violent crime in Moreland is family violence. “This means that there is an epidemic of family violence in Moreland,” said the Socialist Alliance’s Moreland councillor Sue Bolton. At its March 13 council meeting, Moreland council passed a community safety motion to start an immediate expansion of CCTV cameras. The Moreland council was offered funding by the state government that could be spent only on CCTV cameras.
Football Rebels Presented by Eric Cantona Al Jazeera Started screening March 11 http://aje.me/YaPbYC Al Jazeera is screening a five-part documentary on the stories of five football heroes whose social conscience led them to challenge unjust regimes, join opposition movements and lead the fight for democracy and human rights.
Protesters targeted the offices of federal minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin on January 11. They were angry about federal Labor’s cut to sole-parent incomes and refusal to raise the Newstart Allowance. Sole parent Rose Ljubicic initiated the protest. She organised another protest on December 24 last year, sparked by receiving a government letter telling sole parents to cut up their pension cards on December 31. Macklin told journalists on January 1 that she could live on the Newstart Allowance.
The Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) is calling for people to sign a petition to reinstate internet access for refugees on Nauru. They released a statement on December 6 that said: “The Salvation Army administration has come under fire for drastically reducing the time allowed for an appointed representative, Mahdi, to maintain the Nauru asylum seekers Facebook page and website.
Aboriginal students and their supporters rallied at the University of Sydney on October 31 to demand university management commit to maintaining the Koori Centre. The Koori Centre provides a supportive place for Aboriginal students to work and study together. Students organised the protest in response to information that the centre was slated for closure. The protesters marched from the Fischer library to the university administration building, where they handed over petitions calling for management to stop attacking the centre.
As world leaders gather in Brazil for the Rio+20 summit to discuss the pressing environmental issues facing the world, academics, politicians, unionists, climate activists and local resident groups are preparing to meet and work out real proposals for how western Sydney can begin to tackle climate change. The Australian government’s Climate Commission report The Critical Decade found that rising temperatures in western Sydney will impact on everything from our water supply to mental health and crime levels.
The NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) launched the Putting Students First Charter on June 19. The charter is a response to the state Coalition government’s plans to radically restructure the education system and cutback teaching an allied support positions. Teachers called on the government to guarantee it would preserve quality education. The NSWTF warned that if the government refused to give such guarantees, it would ask members to stop work on June 27 to attend protest meetings and rallies.
The trial of 16 activists arrested at a Palestine solidarity protest outside a Max Brenner chocolate store in Melbourne's QV shopping centre in July last year finished on May 25. Throughout the trial a megaphone has been sitting beside the magistrate as evidence. Freedom of political expression and the right to protest have been on trial in this court case. The court case began on May 1 and lasted almost a month. The defence counsel and the prosecution finalised their submissions on May 24 and 25.
The findings of the Climate Commission report The Critical Decade will be a focus of discussion at the upcoming Climate Change Social Change conference. The report has generated much heated debate by suggesting that rising temperatures in western Sydney will affect everything from our water supply to mental health and crime levels. The impact of the carbon price on the environment and working families in western Sydney will also feature at the conference. It will be held at the Parramatta Town Hall and will take place on June 30, the day before the tax officially takes effect.
It would not come as a surprise to many activists, but a little of the close relationship between police and commercial interests has been revealed in the trial of 16 activists charged for taking part in a Palestine solidarity protest outside the Max Brenner chocolate shop in QV shopping centre in Melbourne’s CBD. The trial began on May 1 and is scheduled to last for two weeks.

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