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The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has launched a wave of half-day stoppages, and other industrial action, in support of its campaign against the Tony Abbott government's attacks on wages, rights and working conditions. "This is the largest industrial action taken by Commonwealth public servants in a generation," Nadine Flood, national secretary of the CPSU, told a mass meeting of about 500 workers in the Sydney Masonic Centre on June 18.
Police are searching for a gunman who killed nine people and injured several others at a historic African American church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, in what is being called a hate crime by local officials. As of the morning of June 18, the perpetrator was still at large, local police officials said. “I do believe this is a hate crime,” the police chief, Greg Mullen, said during a late night statement, according to the Washington Post.
On June 12 the Geelong Women’s Unionist Network (GWUN) hosted a book launch for Women of Steel at Geelong Trades Hall. The purpose of the event was not only to launch the book recounting the Jobs for Women campaign which took on BHP in Wollongong in 1970s but also to raise funds for the Jobs for Women film project.
Stephen Langford, long term solidarity activist with Timor Leste and secretary of the Australia East Timor Association NSW in the 1980s and 1990s, was awarded the Order of Timor Medal in a special ceremony in Maliana, Timor Leste, on May 20 as part of Independence Day celebrations. The Indonesian government illegally occupied Timor Leste for 24 years from 1975 to 1999. The Australian government was complicit in the invasion, never opposing the actions of the Indonesian government, despite five Australian journalists being killed by the Indonesian military just before the invasion.
On June 13 a demonstration supporting the government of Ecuador and its new inheritance tax was held in Sydney. A group of Ecuadorians, members of the Chilean community and other Latin American sympathisers, gathered at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville, Sydney, to show their support for the Ecuadorian president and the recently proposed inheritance taxation project. Wealth redistribution is one of the most important elements in the framework of La Revolucion Ciudadana (Citizen’s Revolution).
Following the announcements of the closure of Ford, Alcoa and Target’s head office, workers in the Geelong region have been dealt another blow. Barwon Health, now one of the largest employers in the Geelong region, announced on May 29 that its laundry service LinenCare would close by June 30, making 94 workers unemployed.
The Tony Abbott government’s illegal “Turn Back the Boats” policy is under further scrutiny, following media revelations that in late May, Australian customs officials paid $US30,000 to six crew members on a boat carrying 65 asylum seekers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, which was heading to New Zealand, from Indonesia.
ISRAEL BOYCOTT IS WORKING There is a reason why the Israeli government and pro-Israel organisations use everything from slander to vexatious litigation to oppose the global campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The campaign is working. The June 12 Financial Times reported: “This week an Israeli financial newspaper covered a leaked government report estimating that BDS could cost Israel’s economy $1.4bn a year.
On June 14, NSW Minister for Social Housing Brad Hazzard unveiled plans for a $170 million development on the inner-Sydney Cowper Street, Glebe, block, which has lain vacant since the previous state Labor government demolished a low-rise public housing estate on the site in 2011. According to the government's plan, the new 500-apartment development would include about 250 private apartments, 150 public or social housing units and about 100 "affordable housing" apartments, reserved for "essential workers", such as nurses or teachers.
Supporters of Correa and the pro-poor 'Citizens Revolution' flood Quito on June 15.
Ecuador's left-wing President Rafael Correa has called for dialogue with his country's right-wing opposition amid a wave of protests over proposed reforms aimed at taxing the rich. The anti-government protests that began on June 8 have continued despite Correa's announcement on June 15 that he would temporarily postpone parliamentary debate on two tax measures targeting the ultra-rich.
Thirty refugee rights activists rallied outside Commonwealth offices in Sydney, to coincide with the June 17 presentation of a 65,000 strong petition to the Federal Parliament in Canberra, calling for the immediate closure of Manus Island and Nauru detention centres. The petition is here and can still be signed. Nicole Judge, Manus Island detention centre whistleblower, and Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) spoke at the rally.
A rally for justice for Eddie Murray, a young Aboriginal man who was killed by "persons unknown" while detained in Wee Waa police station in north-western NSW on June 12, 1981. Anna Murray, Eddie's younger sister recalled answering the door to the police who came to arrest her brother 34 years ago. She was the last member of the family to see Eddie alive. She added that there had never been a protest in Wee Waa over her brother's death and she proposed that one be held there this time next year.
A 50-year-old woman died in custody at Bandyup Women’s Prison in Western Australia on June 15. The death has been confirmed by the state coroner’s office, but details of the circumstances surrounding her death are yet to be released.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for an urgent meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to discuss tensions and possible coup plots against the government of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa. “It's time for us to activate all our solidarity with the people of Ecuador and with President Rafael Correa,” Maduro said on June 13 during an event in the Venezuelan state of Miranda. The call comes after Correa denounced a coup plot being hatched against him as he returned to the country on June 14 from the European Union-CELAC meeting in Brussels.
A small symbolic protest in the rain was held outside the Commonwealth government offices in Bligh St, Sydney on June 16. The action marked the submission of a petition to the Senate with 65,000 signatures calling for the immediate closure of Manus Island and Nauru asylum seeker detention centres. These Australian offshore asylum seeker detention centres were disasters that could not be fixed, Nicole Judge, a whistleblower and former worker at both centres, told the protest which was organised by the Sydney Refugee Action Coalition.
Funding to provide legal services to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community has been denied to the 42-year-old Aboriginal Legal Service run by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC), and granted instead to the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service. The threat means the loss of $11.7 million over five years, and 15 jobs, many of them filled by Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

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