1034

The following is an open letter to Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett by Aboriginal campaigner Iva Hayward-Jackson.

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Recently the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett, committed to closing down approximately 150 remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.

The premier has claimed that the closures would be in the best interests of Aboriginal people in Western Australia. He has followed the old uninformed line that demonises Aboriginal men by insinuating that Aboriginal women and children are under great threat by the men in the communities.

Hundreds of members of the NSW Public Service Association rallied outside state parliament on November 13 to protest against the government’s privatisation of disability services over the next 12 months.

Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) is part of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, but the NSW government plans to hand it to the corporate and non-government sector.

Howard Byrnes from the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) and Lisa Newman from the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) addressed a forum organised by the Sydney Union Activists Network on November 15.

Byrnes, a CFMEU delegate and member of the union's state management committee spoke about the kangaroo court that is Prime Minister Tony Abbott's union royal commission.

Activists tried to stop the transfer of asylum seekers from Villawood in Sydney to Yongah Hill in Western Australia on November 12 and 13.

Activists heard that 65 asylum seekers would be transferred following on from the forcible transfer of at least 83 refugees from Villawood in April.

Refugees oppose being transferred to remote detention centres because they have less access to support networks, such as friends and lawyers. The friendships they have made in detention can also be destroyed if people are sent to separate facilities.

Leslie Feinberg, who identified as an anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist, died on November 15, aged 65.

She succumbed to complications from multiple tick-borne co-infections, including Lyme disease, babeisiosis and Protomyxzoa rheumatica, after decades of illness.

She died at home in Syracuse, New York. Her partner and spouse of 22 years, I was at her side. Her last words were: “Hasten the revolution! Remember me as a revolutionary communist.”

After years of a rigged task force; horrific planning and zoning meetings; city council discussions; countless hours flyering, rallying and tabling; untold industry threats; and thousands of hours of sleep lost, residents in the Texas city of Denton won a ban on hydraulic fracturing within the city limits.

Thousands of workers, campesinos, members of civil society, and students marched in Mexico City on November 20 to demand justice for the missing 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers' school.

They were joined by the family members of the missing students, who have been traveling in three solidarity convoys throughout the country to build support for their cause.

President Evo Morales and his party, Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), won a resounding victory last month. This gave the Morales administration a further five-year term to deepen the progress of the past nine years.

I was privileged to take part in a delegation to Bolivia via the New York-based Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle. The delegation travelled around the country learning from, and offering solidarity to, the exciting revolutionary processes taking place in Bolivia.

Here are some numbers. There were 51.2 million refugees and displaced people worldwide at the end of last year. About 11,000 Australian protection visas are available, worldwide, each year, for people overseas who have applied for asylum.

Australia’s total share of the 11.7 million refugees officially registered with the UN refugee agency is 0.3%.

A coalition of French left groups held nation-wide demonstrations on November 15 against the new austerity budget of the unpopular Socialist Party (PS) government.

The protests called for a redistribution of wealth from finance and big business to workers and the poor, creating jobs, increasing social security and cohesion, and beginning an ecological transition of society.

Called by the anti-austerity group Collective 3A, organisers said the protests drew 30,000 people in Paris. More than 30 other cities across France staged rallies, including several thousand in Toulouse.

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