Rachel Evans

Prime Minister Scott Morrison called it “Sydney’s biggest billboard”. Most of us call it the Sydney Opera House. The difference is revealing of two sharply contrasting mindsets.

Three hundred Brazilians and their supporters took part in a solidarity action near Sydney's Opera House on September 30 to protest against Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's far-right frontrunner in the October 7 presidential elections. 

It came a day after huge protests across the South American nation’s 27 states were organised against the anti-woman, neo-fascist candidate. 

Pat, a 16-year-old Aboriginal boy, was killed on September 28, 1983, after a fight erupted between a drunken off-duty police officer and local Aboriginal people in Roebourne, Western Australia. Pat was passing by at the time and was drawn into the melee by police. Pat was subsequently struck by a police officer, falling backwards and hitting his head on the pavement. Denied medical assistance, he died a just a little more than an hour after he was locked up. 

Young Aboriginal man David Dungay jnr died on December 29, 2015 after pleading for his life in the mental health wing of Sydney’s Long Bay jail.

The 26-year-old Dunghutti man from Kempsey, a known diabetic, suffered a cardiac arrest when he was pinned down by four members of the prison’s Immediate Action Team (IAT) for refusing to stop eating biscuits and injected with two strong sedatives. He was due to be released three weeks later.

A meeting of 80 anti-racist and anti-war activists, unionists, students and Greens MPs launched a protest alliance on July 25 to prepare for US President Donald Trump's potential visit to Australia in November.

The alliance wants to create a strong, broad-based opposition to Trump and the Australian government's invitation for him to visit. It appears Trump plans to visit after the APEC meeting in November in Papua New Guinea, possibly on November 19.

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.

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