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About 40 protesters gathered outside NSW state parliament on June 17 to oppose the NSW Minerals Council’s "Beyond the Rocks Conference" being held in partnership with the Baird state government. They called for the council, representing multinational corporations such as Whitehaven Coal and Rio Tinto, to support a transition away from the destructive coal export industry. Protesters carried banners and placards with message such as "Minerals Council Conference: 1. Lies about coal. 2. Lies about CSG. 3. Lunch." The rally was called by Front Line Action on Coal.
The crowdfunding campaign to make a dramatic feature film about the historic Jobs for Women campaign at the Port Kembla steelworks reached its fundraising target of $25,000 with a week to spare. Four days from the end of the campaign, $26,898 had been contributed toward the making of the film, over a 6-week period.
In recent difficult economic times, with youth unemployment at record rates, there is still one major state institution which is always recruiting — the military. As they have in the past, the armed forces are trying as hard as possible to present an attractive job prospect to the youth market. The offer of a career, job stability, qualifications and training can often seem too good to pass up.
Early this month the federal government transferred its first infant back Nauru. The five-month-old baby girl known as “Asha” (not her real name), her mother and father were forcibly transported from Melbourne's detention centre to Darwin detention centre and then to Nauru. Refugee activist Siobhan Marren has been campaigning for Asha and her family’s return. She told Green Left Weekly: “Asha is the first baby to be transferred back to offshore detention since the amendment to the Migration Act last December.
Albert Einstein said the purpose of socialism is to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development. Today it seems the predatory phase is here to stay. The choice between socialism or barbarism is now pressing us on all sides. Mining, for instance, pays little in taxes, but we subsidise it to $4 billion a year — and will bear its health burdens for generations to come. As former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd found when he tried to make mining companies pay reasonable taxes, it is a rogue industry.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s persistent response to media questions about allegations raised in the unions’ Royal Commission concerning his former union, the Australian Workers Union (AWU), has been to refuse to provide a “running commentary”. After being requested by the commission to appear before it last week, he is now reported as saying: “I welcome the opportunity to talk about my 21-year record of standing up for workers”.
Perth City Council and WA Police raided the Nyoongar encampment at Matagarup (Heirisson Island) at 7am on June 18. Tents were seized, move-on notices issued and concrete barricades were erected at the car park entrance to try to deliver a terminal blow to the Matagarup Refugee Camp as the encampment is known. Police and council workers arrived in large numbers with trucks and equipment. More than 15 people had stayed overnight at the camp.
The murder of nine people in a historic Black South Carolina church is both a deep tragedy and a strong symbolic attack on the Black community, civil rights activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray told TeleSUR English. Three men and six women, including South Carolina Democrat Senator Reverand Clementa Pinckney, were shot dead in a mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17.
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 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.
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.