It was standing room only at the Men Speak Out For Treaty forum held in the Redfern Community Centre on March 14 organised by the Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney. The meeting was facilitated by journalist and filmmaker Jeff McMullen. Wiri Man Tony McAvoy argued that a treaty would settle past injustices and build a better future. A treaty would have to include an acknowledgement that Australia was conquered not settled, and recognition of Aboriginal rights to self-determination.
Aboriginal activist and writer Ken Canning will head the Socialist Alliance NSW Senate ticket — For a People's Movement — in the coming federal election. “I've joined this election campaign to build a people's movement to free all our communities from the tyranny of the old big parties which have been bought out by the rich and the multinational corporations.
The Turnbull Coalition government must call a full royal commission into CommInsure, the Commonwealth Bank and the general financial malpractices of the insurance and banking industry immediately. This Coalition government wasted more than $50 million in taxpayers' funds on the royal commission into the union movement, but adamantly refuses to hold a proper inquiry into its big business mates in the major banks.
Rob Pyne (MP) is now the independent Member for Cairns in the Queensland Parliament, following his shock resignation from the Australian Labor Party on March 7. Pyne was a student leader at James Cook University, then served on the Cairns Regional Council between 2008 and 2015 before becoming Australia's first quadriplegic member of parliament in last year's Queensland state election.
I feel privileged to have been able to spend several hours on the community picket outside Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane where people were rallying in solidarity with Asha. Asha is the refugee baby who was being treated for burns after an accident in Australia's notorious offshore refugee detention camp, in the increasingly dictatorial Pacific island state of Nauru.
Kate Carnell, the CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the bosses' main lobby group, was blunt in explaining what she wanted to do with the four out of five people on the age pension who own their own homes. The pension they receive should be treated like a loan, she said, which would then be repaid to the government out of the proceeds of the sale of their homes when they die.
Contractors carrying out construction works for the controversial multi-billion dollar Westconnex tollway, even before official planning approval has been given, called police on February 2 after some local residents occupied their planned drilling site in the middle of Tempe Reserve. No arrests were made during the peaceful protest, which stopped the contractors starting work after residents set up a picnic in the public space where they planned to conduct drilling. One resident also climbed the drill rig and occupied it for several hours to stop work going ahead.
Some of these Liberal politicians must think that the rest of us are stupid. Take NSW Premier Mike Baird, the always-smiling poster boy for this deeply right-wing party, whose latest pitch for raising the GST from 10% to 15% is a politician's promise that he would spend the proceeds on health and education.
Malaysian human rights group SUARAM says that several members of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and other human rights activists were subjected to arbitrary arrests simply for attending a peaceful candlelight vigil in the city of Johor Baru on January 10. The vigil was called to protest the second-time arrest on remand of PSM Central Committee member Khairul Nizam (also known as Aduka Taruna).
In the current world situation — where imperial war and blowback terrorism have fueled a resurgence of racism in West — it is not surprising that Australia's small, far-right, racist Party For Freedom, led by its would-be fuhrer Nick Folkes, has called for a rally to commemorate the racist riot in the Sydney beach suburb of Cronulla ten years ago.