Kerry Smith

The “Climate Change, Despair and Empowerment” roadshow, which will tour the east coast of Australia from January to March, is based on the highly successful “Endangered Species” roadshow organised by the Rainforest Information Centre in the run-up to the 2003 NSW state election.

“Reports from refugee advocates indicate that six people at the Baxter detention centre have attempted to end their lives in separate incidents over the last four days by hanging”, WA group Project SafeCom announced on December 12. “Some of them have also slashed themselves with broken glass and mirrors.”

Sixty-three Women Of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members were arrested on November 29 during a peaceful launch of its People’s Charter. They were taken to Bulawayo Central Police Station. WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were among those arrested.

On November 17 the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) claimed that workers’ occupational health and safety rights have been cut by PM John Howard’s government. Changes to the federal OHS act mean that employers, both public- and private-sector, will no longer have to include unions in OHS consultations.

“A visit by US officials has raised fears on Christmas Island that an immigration detention centre could be turned into a Guantanamo-style prison”, the November 17 Melbourne Age reported.

On November 10, the Federal Court ordered the reinstatement on full pay and conditions of two retrenched National Union of Workers (NUW) delegates because their employer was unable to prove that its decision to dismiss them was unrelated to their union activities.

Seventy people packed into the Resistance Centre on October 26 to hear author Antony Loewenstein and Green Left Weekly journalist Rupen Savoulian speak about Israel’s role in the Middle East. Loewenstein described the wide range of responses to his new book, My Israel Question, including much positive feedback from Jews who expressed their support for his critique of the Israeli state’s repressive policies in the region.

On October 2, the Sydney-based Edmund Rice Centre (ERC) released its Deported to Danger II report, examining the fate of people whose claims for asylum in Australia were rejected. The report found that 39 of the 41 were deported to danger. Two have been welcomed in New Zealand.

GEELONG — On April 28 at 6am, one hour before the end of the 12-hour night shift, security guards removed and locked out 110 workers from Geelong Wool Combing's Corio factory. The company's justification was that during enterprise bargaining negotiations with the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia, the union had refused to accept 25% pay cuts over 12 months.

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