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A determined and vocal crowd of more than 300 union activists packed an all-union meeting called by the Victorian Trades Hall Council on May 20. The meeting welcomed a call by the council’s executive for a weekday “bust the budget” union rally on June 12. Speakers from the floor were cheered as they pushed the Trades Hall Council and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to go further and organise mass delegates meetings, nationally coordinated action, and a clear focus on the demand to block the budget and bring down the government.
Representatives from the two sides of Thailand’s political conflict sat around a table on the afternoon of May 22 for the second day of negotiations hosted by the Royal Thai Army. The meeting took place under the military's self-declared martial law. It was clear from the outset that no agreement between the pro- and anti-democracy forces would be reached. And so at about 3pm, the army chief General Prayuth Chan-Ocha, laid his cards on the table by bluntly presenting government representatives with one option ― resign.
A forum titled “An Aboriginal Perspective on Inequality, The Intervention, Racism and Struggle” was held on May 6 in Adelaide. Hosted by the South Australia Aboriginal Coalition for Social Justice, the Socialist Alliance and SIMpla, the forum heard from an all-Aboriginal panel including Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy member Boe Spearim and Northern Territory-based activist Amelia Kunoth-Monks.
The statement below was released by several Asian socialist groups on May 23 in opposition to the military coup in Thailand. To add the name of your group, email int.psm@gmail.com, cc international@socialist-alliance.org. You can see the updated list of signatories at here. * * * We, the undersigned organisations, strongly condemn the latest coup d’etat staged by the Thai military under the leadership of Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Love Makes A Way is a movement of Christians seeking an end to Australia’s inhumane asylum seeker policies through prayer and non-violent action. The group organised a sit-in protest in Tony Abbott’s office on May 19, leading to seven arrests. Below, Karl Hand explains why he took part in the protest. ***  
Radical Wollongong Written by John Rainford Directed by John Reynolds and Paul Benedek Produced by Green Left TV www.radicalwollongong.com Radical Wollongong, the first documentary produced by Green left TV, met with significant enthusiasm at its premier screening at the Gala Cinema in the Illawarra on May 18. With standing room only, in one of the region's few remaining theatres, we were shown a treat of a film on the history of Wollongong ― in particular, its most radical and interesting manifestations of class, politics and working life.
An estimated 3000 students have rallied in Sydney against the Coalition government's proposal to deregulate university fees. This was part of a national protest organised by the National Union of Students (NUS) on May 21. On the same day, staff at the University of Technology Sydney, went on strike for 24 hours and joined the protest. They have been in negotiations with the university for increased job security, fairer pay and equity in the workplace.
Kavita Krishnan has become a well-known international spokesperson for the movement against sexual violence in India that grew after a horrific, internationally-publicised, gang rape of a student in Delhi in 2012.
Gemma Weedall gave this speech at the March in May rally in Adelaide on May 18. She is a member of the Climate Emergency Action Network and the Socialist Alliance. *** This week I heard some news that really scared and shook me. Believe it or not, I’m not talking about the budget – although that did too.
Taking God To School: The End of Australia’s Egalitarian Education? Marion Maddox Allen & Unwin, 2014 248 pages, $29.99 (pb) To the traditional “three Rs”, Australia has added a fourth ― religion. Religious private schools, religious instruction in public schools and religious counsellors have found generously-funded favour with successive federal and state governments, writes Macquarie University politics professor Marion Maddox, in Taking God to School.

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