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Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance has created a new zine called Another World is Possible. Let’s Build it Now! It covers a number of issues important to young people today including ecosocialism, racism, feminism, LGBTI liberation, education and class. Below is an extract from the zine. To get a full copy, email resistancenationaloffice@gmail.com. ***
The campaign against the East West Link received a boost on July 18 when the Moreland Council voted to take legal action against the Victorian state government in the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn planning minister Matthew Guy’s approval of the unpopular motorway. The proposed East West Link is an 18-kilometre tollway between the Eastern Freeway in Collingwood and the Western Ring Road in Sunshine West. In a special meeting, the councillors voted six to two to take the legal action, challenging the process by which the minister made the decision to give the project a green light.
The NSW Public Service Association (PSA) has launched a campaign against the state government's total privatisation of disability services, being imposed as part of the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in NSW. The campaign is being supported by the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, and is seeking broader community backing.
Jock Palfreeman, a young Australian imprisoned in Bulgaria, wrote this open letter on July 9. *** On July 6 at 8.30am, a guard, Peter Petrov, performed the morning roll call. He entered cell 11 and shouted in Bulgarian, a language no one present understood. As the roll call finished for that cell he assaulted a mentally ill man from behind for not moving fast enough.
The Feminist Collective and newly-formed group the No Shelter Collective held a meeting at the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre on July 16 to address the NSW state government’s plans to defund key women and children’s refuges across the state. About 130 people came to hear about government plans to defund around 80 specialist refuges, which could potentially force many women and children’s refuges to shut down, or be handed over to be run by private organisations. Many women’s refuges have already been shut down or are under the process of being handed over.
Two Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) members addressed Unions NSW on July 17 about their dispute with Ausreo for wage parity with their Victorian counterparts. Ausreo supplies concrete reinforcing products to the building and construction industry. According to its website, it “takes pride in manufacturing products which meet the highest industry standards and providing superior services and support to match”.
At the weekly meeting of Unions NSW, unionists handed an open letter to Secretary Mark Lennon, calling for it to organise another daytime mass delegates meeting of all unions following the July 6 “Bust the Budget” rally and to plan for a NSW-wide strike. The letter also calls on Unions NSW to call a weekday stopwork protest against the budget and coordinate with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and other state union peak bodies to turn this into a national day of action.
You know, sometimes it seems these days all I ever do in these columns is rant angrily about terrible suffering and misery. So I thought I'd try and change it up this week and talk about Gaza.
Anti-coal activist Jonathan Moylan was sentenced at a hearing of the Supreme Court in Sydney on July 25. He was sentenced to one year and eight months imprisonment, but was released immediately on a two-year good behaviour bond with $1000 surety. Moylan was charged under the Corporations Act for issuing a press release on ANZ letterhead saying the bank had withdrawn its $1.2 billion loan facility from Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Coal Project on environmental and ethical grounds. Whitehaven’s share price temporarily fell before quickly recovering.
The article below is based on a speech given at a Socialist Alliance forum on July 20 in Sydney after the thousands-strong rally against Israel's assault on Gaza. *** I have been an activist for justice in Israel-Palestine for 25 years. My parents were refugees from Hitler and I have drawn from them a strong humanist ethic. I have visited Israel-Palestine many times and worked along side fellow Jews and Palestinians and international activists in actions to alert the world to the situation of the Palestinians.
Ecuador withdrew its ambassador from Tel Aviv on July 18 in protest at Israel's offensive, which has already killed more than 700 Palestinians. Middle East Monitor reported that Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino said: “We condemn the Israeli military incursion into Palestinian territory, we require cessation of operations and indiscriminate attacks against civilians.”
As the bombs fall on the Gaza Strip, taking the lives of over 750 Palestinians — including many civilians and children — one voice has emerged attempting to defend the Israeli regime on a very curious basis: that Israel should be defended because it is a bastion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights and dignity in a sea of nations that would deny these rights. More importantly, American LGBTI people should be thankful “for all Israel has done for us” and remember how important Israel is to the US in the region.