The Venezuelan opposition and much of the media use the term “peaceful protests” to distinguish gatherings of protesting students and other young people from the more violent actions by opponents of President Nicolas Maduro's government -- including vandalism and shootings carried out by those outside of the university community. “Peaceful protests”, however, is a loaded term that serves to plant doubts about the intentions of the Maduro-led Chavista government.
Brothers Part One: Gallipoli 1915 By John Tognolini 163pp $20 paperback, $5 ebook www.writersandebooks.com
These are dark times, so we should celebrate what victories come the way of working people facing the brunt of the Abbott gang's “kick everyone and their dog” strategy. And so we should celebrate the big win for workers' rights with media star, would-be politician and part-time Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes' announcing his resignation from the union movement.
Over the past year, Geelong has been hit hard by job cuts at Ford, Alcoa, Target, Holden, Toyota and Avalon Airport, as well as state and federal government departments. Geelong Trades Hall has organised a rally on April 7, calling for more manufacturing jobs in the region.
The 10th national conference of the Socialist Alliance will be held in Sydney over the long weekend of June 7-9. This gathering will take place at a time of extreme inequality, intensified conflict and ecological crisis on a global scale. Even in Australia, one of the “richest suburbs” in the world, the political temperature is rising with the 100,000-strong March in March signalling a broad resistance to the attacks from the Tony Abbott government. The conference will discuss strategies and tactics to advance people's power in this country and around the world.
Community Services Minister Pru Goward announced that 293 public housing in Millers Point and The Rocks on Sydney's harbourside would be sold. The billions gained would be used to invest in public housing in the rest of the state, Goward said. But the sell-off would come at a human cost — the destruction of the close-knit working-class community that has existed there for hundreds of years.
PRIME MINISTER TONY Abbott introduced a “red tape repeal day” on March 26. About 9500 regulations contained in more than 50,000 pages of legislation and related documents got the chop. One of the “red tape regulations” that will be scrapped is the Commonwealth Cleaning Services Guidelines, which apply to cleaners employed on government contracts.
Born in 1929, Michael Denborough studied medicine in Cape Town, South Africa, and as part of his training went to treat people in the black townships. Later as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, he saw the stark contrast between the two worlds and his passion for social justice was ignited. World War II had had a profound effect on him as people he had known at school were sacrificed in an “appalling waste of humanity”. He said: “The nuclear industry seems to embody everything that is worst about human nature. It could destroy all life on earth 50 times over simply for greed”.
In Canberra on April 21, there will be the first meeting of representatives of the groups that together make up the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN). The individual representatives will be drawn from every state and territory. On April 22, the main conference will take place, with invited experts speaking on a range of related topics. The conference will be open to the general public and is expected to draw a large number of people with an interest in creating a more independent Australia.
The Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy (BASE) celebrated its two-year anniversary on March 22. During the past two years, BASE has experienced community support and state repression in their struggle to put Indigenous sovereignty on the agenda in Brisbane and has served as a beacon for Indigenous freedom fighters across the country. Boe Spearim spoke to Green Left Weekly about the history of BASE, its projects, influences and future. What were the origins of the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy project?
A public meeting organised by the Queensland Civil Liberties Network was held at Brisbane City Hall on March 24, the second anniversary of the election of the Queensland Liberal National government. Speakers included Indigenous elder and long-term activist Sam Watson; union and community activist Bob Carnegie; QLD President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance Michelle James; Sisters Inside activist Debbie Kilroy; Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams and Civil Liberties Council spokesperson Terry O’Gorman.
It is the end of the “age of entitlement”, we have been told by the federal Coalition government. But now they have brought back feudal titles. Not content with making the poor poorer and the filthy rich even richer, they want to rub our noses in their class privilege. They add insult to injury, just in case we didn't already know who was running the country.
A forum on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement will be presented in Sydney on April 8, and will be an opportunity to hear an open and informative discussion on peaceful non-violent resistance in Israel and Palestine. As the Australian media and politicians debate the effectiveness and legitimacy of the recent Sydney Biennale boycott, a cross section of speakers will offer their support to the global BDS movement — the Palestinian led campaign for justice, equality and peace for all in Israel and Palestine.
Stop Income Management in Playford released this statement on March 26. *** The number of income management clients in the city of Playford in northern Adelaide increased almost 700% over the second half of last year, according to data from the Department of Social Services. As of December 27, 495 people were on income management. The May 23 figure for Playford, seven months earlier, was 71 people.
University students and staff protested proposed cuts to tertiary education in Sydney’s CBD on March 26. The event involved about 200 people from various faculties, who marched against the proposed $2.3 billion dollar cuts to their universities. Students from as far away as the University of Newcastle, gathered outside the University of Technology Sydney Broadway campus.
A new documentary film Radical Wollongong, produced by Green Left TV, will premiere in Wollongong in early May, followed by screenings in other cities and regional centres. The film features activist participants from Wollongong's radical history of strikes and community rallies, from miners’ struggles to Aboriginal justice and environmental protection. Co-producer John Rainford gives some background to the first coalminers associations, setting up Wollongong with its reputation as a city of militants. ***