Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell threw his weight behind students who took to the streets on November 4 over Tory plans to cut maintenance grants and raise tuition fees.
“There is a saying amongst them that all cops are bastards,” Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm said on November 3 about the attitude of many fans of the Western Sydney Wanderers football (soccer) team towards the police force. “The cops have earned that label, they have to un-earn it.”
The Annual General Meeting of Transfield Services (where shareholders voted to change its name to Broadspectrum) was the focus of refugee rights protests in Sydney on October 28. The Refugee Action Coalition, along with other groups including No Business in Abuse (NBIA) protested at the meeting. Around 150 protesters were stationed at the front of the building, drawing attention from shareholders, onlookers and the media.
Queensland refugee advocate David Sprigg was fined $1000 on November 4 for throwing his shoes at immigration minister Peter Dutton at a citizenship ceremony on June 14. Sprigg told the court he was not remorseful for his actions, which were in protest against the government's border protection measures and detention of refugees.
One hundred medical students and their supporters took action at Sydney University against offshore processing and the detention of children on November 5. Taping their mouths shut to represent the attempt to gag workers under the Border Protection Act, the students held up signs saying “I am a Medical Student Against Kids in Detention #DetentionHarmsChildren #KidsOut.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dumped knights and dames from the honours system, saying they are “anachronistic and out of date”. The imperial honours were reintroduced by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in 2014 to ongoing ridicule and controversy. Turnbull, a well-known republican, said Cabinet agreed the titles are no longer appropriate in a modern Australia and revealed the Queen has approved his request to scrap them. “Knights and dames are titles that are really anachronistic. They're out of date, not appropriate in 2015 in Australia,” he said.
Carol Hucker worked in Manus Island detention centre as a counsellor for International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) and as a case worker for the Salvation Army from June 2013 to July last year. She has allowed Green Left Weekly to publish her account so that people can become more aware of what is happening in Australia's offshore detention centres. She said: “It is my hope that through this brief account the men on Manus will not be forgotten.” This is the last part of a multi-part series and covers her time there in June and July 2014. ****
ADELAIDE Watch Naomi Klein's new film This Changes Everything on Thursday November 12 at 7pm. Wallis Cinema, Noarlunga. Bookings at tugg.com/events/70646. Ph 0437 714 786. Email adelaide@ socialist-alliance.org. BRISBANE Join us at a forum: System change, not climate change on Friday November 13 at 6.30pm. Brisbane Activist Centre, 74B Wickham St, Fortitude Valley. Ph Angus 0431 935 576. CANBERRA Come to a film: This Changes Everything on Monday November 16 at 6.15pm. Event Cinemas, 6 Franklin St, Manuka.
The community assemblies at Port Botany in Sydney and Port of Brisbane continue to hold the line as the protracted process towards a settlement of the long-running dispute between Hutchison Ports and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) continues. On November 6, the dispute over the controversial sacking of 97 Hutchison waterfront workers by text and email reached its 92nd day.
Greens MP Jamie Parker gave this speech at the Sydney rally for World Kobane Day on November 1. * * * I'm here in solidarity with the people of Kobane and with all Kurds. I have spoken about the YPG and YPJ before, but now I also want to speak about the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). In this country there is only one party in the parliament, the Australian Greens, which fully supports the unbanning of the PKK. The PKK is not a terrorist organisation and we have stood against its banning since 2005, when the government first sought to list the PKK as a terrorist organisation.