1085

Punks For West Papua
Directed by Anthony Brennan
46 minutes
www.punks4westpapua.com

A friend's request to film a punk rock concert and a rushed drive across Sydney to do a last-minute interview with West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda — without even knowing who the twice Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist was — was the catalyst for filmmaker Anthony “Ash” Brennan to make his award-winning film Punks For West Papua.

With scores of anti-fracking protesters outside, the Australian Labor Party Northern Territory conference voted on February 13 to approve a moratorium on any development of the fracking industry while critical scientific studies on its impacts are carried out.

Peruvians took to the streets of the country's capital Lima in large numbers on February 25 to protest against the pro-corporate Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving 12 Pacific Rim nations.

In a January ruling marking a turning point in German transport policy, an administrative court in Wiesbaden ordered the regional government of Hesse to clean up diesel exhaust fumes by September or face a fine.

Following the deepening VW diesel emissions testing scandal, the ruling puts pressure on the entire German vehicle industry production of diesel cars — which has been central to their business model.

Students at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in Sydney have won a battle to change their uniform policy and allow students to wear boys or girls uniforms regardless of their gender.

Jo Dwyer, a year 11 student at the school said: "Our aim was to remove the un-inclusive gender labels from the school uniform, and make it so that anyone could wear any aspect of the uniform without having to go through a long and difficult process."


Palestinians protest in support of jailed journalist Mohammed al-Qeq

Thirty three-year-old Mohammed al-Qeq, a Palestinian journalist who has being held for more than six months in administrative detention without charge or trial in an Israeli prison, ended a 94 day hunger strike on February 26.

Al-Qeq ended the strike — the longest by any Palestinian prisoner — after Israel agreed not to renew his administrative detention order, which ends on May 21, AFP said that day.

Twenty graduating Qantas apprentices have become the first aircraft maintenance engineers in decades to complete their training without being offered secure positions by the airline.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, the Australian Workers Union and the Electrical Trades Union intervened in the Fair Work Commission on February 7 to stop Qantas terminating their employment.

International Mother Language Day on February 21 is dedicated to celebrating, preserving and protecting languages of all peoples.

In the week leading up to the day, media reported that late last year, Northern Territory MLA Bess Price was told off by parliamentary speaker Kezia Purick for using Warlpiri, her first language, in parliament. Purick told Price “the language of the assembly is English”, although it remains to be seen where, exactly, that rule is written down.

A rally of 200 bicycle riders and their supporters was held in the early morning of February 18 in front of NSW State Parliament.

The riders were opposing the introduction of mandatory photo identification for riders and a massive increase in fines.

There has been no evidence produced by the Mike Baird government that these measures will lead to greater safety for riders and other road users.

Riders argue the new rules will be a disincentive to riding, especially for children, as anyone over the age of 12 years is not allowed to ride on the footpath.


Bolivian Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera and President Evo Morales.

The “no” vote narrowly won with 51.3% of the vote in a February 21 referendum in Bolivia held to resolve whether left-wing President Evo Morales could run again in 2019.

The vote, involving an unprecedented participation rate of 90% of registered voters, was over whether to change the constitution to allow a president and vice-president to stand for re-election twice.

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