With industrial disputes breaking out on wharves and warehouses around the country, conflict is also brewing between those who kick the roundball on the nation's football (soccer) pitches and those who administer the game. Football Federation Australia (FFA) is locked in a long-running dispute with players — represented by their union, the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) — over a new collective bargaining agreement. The PFA is seeking a better pay deal for the national men's team (Socceroos) and national women's team (Matildas), as well as an A-League salary cap and wage rise.
This week Canadian author Naomi Klein is visiting Australia to speak about why capitalism is incompatible with action on climate change. Her book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate encourages everyone already involved in fighting for social justice and equality to see climate change as the “best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world”.
It all began in 1835 when the British Empire sent a German-born naturalist and explorer to conduct geographical research in the South American territory it had colonised and named British Guiana. In the course of his explorations, a map was drawn that well-exceeded the original western boundary first occupied by the Dutch and later passed to British control.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and Hutchison Ports management agreed on August 28 to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which will result in all sacked workers at Port Botany and Port of Brisbane being reinstated for a further six weeks from August 31.
A plan to swamp Melbourne’s CBD with Australian Border Force officials, police and transport officers to check the visa status of “any individual we cross paths with” was cancelled before it began following sustained criticism of the operation from politicians, unions, Melbourne city council, human rights lawyers and the people of Victoria.
On the weekend that marked the one year anniversary of the police killing of Michael Brown, another disturbingly similar case made the social media rounds: another unarmed young Black man was shot dead, on August 7, another police officer on administrative leave holding the smoking gun, another rush to convict the dead.
On August 25 the Melbourne Magistrates Court dropped terrorism charges against 18-year-old Harun Causevic, who had spent 120 days in maximum security solitary confinement for the alleged “Anzac Day terror plot”. In April more than 200 police were deployed to arrest five Melbourne teenagers. The mainstream media unquestionably repeated police allegations about the plot, allowing politicians to talk and act as if its existence were an established reality.
Photo: dpac.uk.net. Campaigners warned on August 27 that reports that 2380 people died within months of being branded “fit for work” under the British government's new welfare laws grossly underestimate the true impact of invasive government assessments into the lives of severely ill and disabled people.
The China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is a major deal, but there is little public understanding of its content. Much of the coverage of ChAFTA in the corporate media has focused on its benefits for business and its impact on Australia. But ChAFTA has far reaching consequences for working people in both countries. The Chinese and Australian governments signed off on ChAFTA on June 17. But before it can come into effect, both the Australian and Chinese governments need to pass enabling legislation.
John Percy, veteran socialist, died on August 19 in Sydney, aged 69. He was a co-founder of the revolutionary youth organisation Resistance and the Socialist Workers Party, later the Democratic Socialist Party. John, together with his brother Jim, began his political career as a student activist at Sydney University in the mid-1960s in the growing movement against the Vietnam War.