BREAKING NEWS: Aunty Jenny Munro announced on August 31 that the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy had forced the hand of the Aboriginal Housing Company to sign a commitment to guarantee that housing for Aboriginal families will be built as a part of the redevelopment of The Block. The signing is due for September 1, 2015.
Students rallied across the country on August 19 to protest education minister Christopher Pyne's third attempt to introduce a fee deregulation bill.
Tony Abbott’s government has twice failed to pass fee deregulation, which could allow fees in excess of $100,000 for students. The bill has not yet been put for a third time, but Pyne is determined to pass it.
More than 80 people rallied at the Sydney University protest, called by the National Union of Students, to oppose deregulation, defend current degrees and oppose all course and job cuts.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott's blocking of a conscience vote for marriage equality in a six-hour Coalition party room meeting has angered supporters of equal marriage.
The grassroots movement for marriage equality, a defining feature of Australian politics over the last 11 years, has been reinvigorated over the last two months.
Rallies are being organised by Equal Love in Melbourne and Adelaide on August 15 and 16. Liberal MP Warren Entsch's cross party bill will be put on August 17.
On August 8 and 9, rallies took place in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.
About fifty supporters holding Aboriginal flags and chanting “Deicorp, Deicorp we won’t stop! Get your hands off The Block” gathered on August 14 to defend the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s (RATE) fight for affordable Aboriginal housing on The Block.
The battle to stop commercial development in Redfern, the original site of the urban Aboriginal land rights struggle, has been waging for 15 months.
The Sydney University National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) organised a rally in trying weather conditions on Wednesday 5th August. They were joined by lively contingents from the Student Representative Council, Sydney University Postgrad Student Association, Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative, Greens members and staff from a variety of departments.
Kyol Blakney, SRC president gave an acknowledgement of country and condemned the corporatism of universities.
We thought marriage equality was in the bag after Prime Minister Tony Abbott hinted he’d support a cross-party bill and conscience vote in the Liberal Party room in June.
We thought we were closer when opposition leader Bill Shorten put forward a marriage equality bill. Victories overseas — Ireland and the US — in May and June propelled momentum here.
But both Abbott and Shorten are now backtracking.
About sixty Aboriginal activists and supporters protested outside the federal government’s “Recognition” meeting at Kirribilli House on July 6. PM Tony Abbott invited a selection of 40 Aboriginal "leaders", and opposition leader Bill Shorten, to discuss his proposal for a referendum on including a new clause in the Australian constitution to recognise prior Aboriginal occupation.
Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) has led a successful occupation of the Redfern Block for more than a year, calling for affordable Aboriginal housing to be built on the site. RATE has been fighting off attempts by the Aboriginal Housing Corporation (AHC), led by Mick Mundine, to develop the site with a $70 million commercial and residential development.
In the 1960s and ’70s the Block became a focal point for the modern day urban land rights movement. Protests led to grassroots organisations such as the Aboriginal legal, medical cultural and housing services.
Fifteen hundred people filled Canberra city centre with rainbow pride on June 21, to demand marriage equality.
The vibrant rally, organised by GetUp! and Australian Marriage Equality (AME), heard from Samantha and Hayley Wilson, Ebony and Ben Grady, Angie Shillington and Ally Howe, Yvette Berry from ACT Labor, Shane Rattenbury from ACT Greens and Ivan Hinton Teoh from Australian Marriage Equality.
Early this month the federal government transferred its first infant back Nauru.
The five-month-old baby girl known as “Asha” (not her real name), her mother and father were forcibly transported from Melbourne's detention centre to Darwin detention centre and then to Nauru.
Refugee activist Siobhan Marren has been campaigning for Asha and her family’s return.
She told Green Left Weekly: “Asha is the first baby to be transferred back to offshore detention since the amendment to the Migration Act last December.