Rachel Evans

Irene Doutney, a tireless campaigner for the downtrodden, laid down her warrior gloves on June 11.

She fought her last herculean battle against cancer and passed away at the Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst, having outlived doctors’ expectations while being cared for by a loyal friend in her Redfern public housing apartment.

When I moved to Sydney, in even the most dreadful of weather, Irene was always at rallies. Against the war, protesting for refugees, demanding justice for TJ Hickey, for marriage equality: Irene was always there.

Around 60 people unfurled a long blue ribbon on May 19 at Coogee beach five metres from the coast line. The action symbolised future seal level rises and the erosion of Coogee's beautiful coast line if state and federal governments continue to support coal and gas production over renewable energy. 

The “Line in the Sand” action was part of the Repower NSW campaign, which, in the lead up to the state elections next March, is calling on the government to phase out coal-fired power stations and ensure a just transition to 100% clean energy by 2030.

More than 600 people rallied in Sydney on May 14 to protest against Black deaths in custody after footage showing a Western Australian senior sergeant deliberately driving over 18-year-old Aboriginal man William Farmer was released. The police officer who assaulted Farmer has been stood down, but the young man sustained serious injuries as a result of the assault.

Just a week before Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA) held their annual Council elections on April 26 and 27, the out-going co-presidents Mariam Mohammed and Kiriti Mortha called on Sydney University management to investigate the "governance structure" of SUPRA, alleging there was a "toxic" culture on the council.

Universities are big business and critical to the health of Australian capitalism.

University education added $140 billion to the Australian economy in 2014. According to Universities Australia, 1.3 million Australian and international students were enrolled in Australian universities in 2016.

Aboriginal activists and supporters have been protesting in Bundjalung Country, also known as the Gold Coast, exposing the whitewashing Commonwealth Games.

Continuing the legacy of actions against the Commonwealth Games in 1982, the “Freedom Camp” at Doug Jennings Park has been exposing the Games’ establishment elitism with actions almost every day. Aboriginal activists from Western Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales and north Queensland have converged on the park.

“Stop police attacks on gays, women and blacks” shouts an iconic poster at the 2018 Museum of Love and Protest gallery exhibition.

It was the slogan that reverberated down Sydney’s Oxford Street 40 year’s ago as the original 1978 protest-parade marched through Darlinghurst, laughing, dancing and imploring others to come out of the closet and join the fight to repeal anti-homosexual laws.

War drums are beating louder in Asia. North Korea launched another ballistic missile on November 29. In response, the Japanese government requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council and South Korea conducted a "precision-strike" drill, firing three missiles into the sea off the east coast that was designed to emulate a strike on the North's launch site.

A pin could have been heard dropping in Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park in the moments before the result of the postal vote on marriage equality was announced on the morning of November 15.

Lovers stood with their faces pressed into each other’s chests, whitened knuckles held shaking hands, friends stood shoulder-to-shoulder and rainbow families held each other in tight embraces. Even the blustering wind that had dishevelled our stall all morning seemed to have been holding its breath. All was silent as we braced for the result.

More than 200 staff and students rallied outside the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) after staff took protected strike action on October 19.

Vince Caughley, UTS Branch President of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) told Green Left Weekly: “The major aim of our industrial action was to send a message to UTS management to respond to our claims. The NTEU has been bargaining for six months and as yet no senior management figures have come to negotiate with us.

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