Aboriginal activists in Western Australia are gearing up for a rally on November 12 to protect remote communities in the face of federal government attacks. It will follow a September 16 rally against state government threats to Aboriginal heritage and an October 23 rally against ongoing Black deaths in custody. The federal government announced on September 24 that it would withdraw funding for 180 remote Aboriginal communities in WA. It will grant $90 million to the WA government for a two-year “transition period”.
100 Days Phil Monsour September, 2104 $19.99 www.philmonsour.com Referring to the war in Vietnam, Joan Baez once said that if you don't fight against a rotten thing you become a part of it. It’s an attitude Brisbane-based singer-songwriter Phil Monsour lives by. For more than a decade, he has made it his mission to fight the rotten thing at the heart of the Middle East: Israel’s genocidal dispossession of the Palestinians.
This statement was released on November 6 by Sean Broklehurst, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale in the November 29 Victorian elections, and Sarah Hathway, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Geelong. It refers to the project, set to cost at least $15 billion, to link Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway and City Link, with the major part of the project being a 4.4 kilometre tunnel. ***
About 300 Aboriginal people and supporters from around NSW rallied against legislation being pushed through state parliament that threatens the land rights of coastal Aboriginal communities. On November 3, Hyde Park was awash with Aboriginal flags and community members, young and old, representing many of the 120 Aboriginal land councils across the state. They were there to protest against the Crown Lands Amendment (Public Ownership of Beaches and Coastal Lands) Bill. The bill was introduced by Minister for Natural Resources Kevin Humphries last week.
Oxfam released a report in January that found companies have hidden between $21 trillion and $32 trillion in offshore bank accounts to escape paying tax. That amount is double US GDP or about 20 times Australian GDP. One of the issues that will be discussed at the G20 meeting in Brisbane is how to set up an international framework to stop this tax avoidance. Unfortunately, it will not work.
Australians for Kurdistan began this petition on Change.org. It asks the Australian federal attorney-general to arrest Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, when he visits Brisbane for the G20 summit on November 15. It also asks the attorney-general to remove the Kurdistan Workers Party from the list of terrorist organisations. To sign the petition go to www.change.org. * * *
The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) held a hearing on October 29 to allow the community to express their views on Incitec’s proposal to build an ammonium nitrate production facility in Newcastle. All 18 speakers slammed the proposal as presenting an unacceptable risk of a catastrophic explosion that could threaten the lives of thousands of people in the city. Speakers ranged from explosives expert Tony Richards to the Socialist Alliance, the Greens, and several community groups from Stockton and Mayfield, as well as members of the public.
Protesters successfully stopped self-described “pick up artist” Julien Blanc from giving his planned seminar on October 6 on how to manipulate and sexually assault women.
A small number of inner Sydney women's refuges flagged for closure received news on October 30 that their state government funding has been reinstated. However, other city and regional refuges continue to face closure or loss of specialist services for women, including Aboriginal women and young people, following their transfer into the hands of churches and charities.
“The Battle of Brisbane.” These were the words that greeted readers of Queensland’s Courier Mail on October 28. The article, taking up the front cover and several subsequent pages, dealt with the alleged threat of violent protests at the G20 summit to be held in Brisbane on November 15 and 16. The police, according to the Courier Mail, should meet the protesters with brutal suppression. The actual threat of violence was left vague. In many ways, the phrasing of the subhead for the piece told it all: “Cops vow to crush G20 ferals”.
Activist Arts Festival The Bella Union, Carlton South November 15, 12.30pm Sea Shepherd, Amnesty and Refugee Action Collective are among a range of activist groups involved in the Activist Arts Festival, an initiative set to connect local communities with activist groups across Melbourne in a non-protest environment.
A campaign organised by Cambodians has led the country’s first vice-president of the National Assembly to urge Australia to back down from its bid to resettle refugees there. Kem Sokha said in a letter to the Australian Ambassador to Cambodia, Alison Burrows, that the deal to transfer up to 1000 refugees from Nauru could have “negative impacts which would possibly be caused by economic, social situations”. Joyce Fu, who works for NGO Corner Link and was part of organising protests and petitions calling for the refugee deal to be abandoned, said Cambodia was ill-equipped for the plan.