A meeting of 500 First Nations representatives voted on February 3 to reject Constitutional recognition and to begin talks on self-determination and a treaty with the Victorian government. The proposed treaty would be a legal document covering Aboriginal affairs and services and addressing past injustices. It would be the first such agreement in Australia and follows similar arrangements with First Peoples in Canada, the US and New Zealand. Dja Dja Warrung elder Gary Murray said the national debate around Constitutional recognition was just "a distraction".
South-west Victorian farmers have used sheep to spell out their opposition to unconventional gas mining in the region. Gasfield Free West Victoria organised for 2000 sheep to run into a paddock and spell out “BAN GAS”, as a reminder to the Victorian government that they do not want gas mining on their prime agricultural land. It took two weeks to train the sheep to follow the grain trail that spelled out the message.
A survey of 604 Australian youths undertaken by Our Watch has come up with some dismaying findings about their attitudes towards sex and consent. Of those polled, one in four said it is normal for men to pressure women into sex, and 60% said it was “up to the girl to make it very clear if she does not want to have sex”. Thirty seven per cent reported that it was hard to respect a female when she was drunk and 27% said it was hard to respect a woman in revealing clothing.
About 300 people from the neo-Nazi United Patriots Front (UPF) marched in Bendigo on February 27 to launch their new political party, Fortitude. It was the final leg of the UPF’s tour of the east coast, following gatherings of less than 50 people in Orange and Toowoomba. It was met by about 100 anti-racist protestors organised by the Bendigo Action Collective, who held a “March Against Fascism and Bigotry”.
Protestors knock down police barricade in Amed, March 2. Photo: Kurdish Question. Thousands of people marched to the Sur district of Kurdish city of Amed (Diyarbakir in Turkish) in Turkey's south-east Sur district from all corners of the city on March 2 to break the three-month siege and curfew by Turkish state forces.
Kurşunlu mosque in Amed. Damage is from bombardment by the Turkish military. The following statement was released by Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş on March 1.
* * *Across 58 separate curfews imposed in several neighbourhoods of the 21 districts of 7 Kurdish provinces, 290 citizens have so far lost their lives.
Far right Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic establishment favourite Hillary Clinton were the biggest winners from the "Super Tuesday" caucuses on March 1, but socialist candidate Bernie Sanders won some key states to stay in the race. Voters took part in the caucuses in 11 states, on a day when a quarter of all delegates, who will vote on who will be the candidate for each party in November presidential race, were decided.
Before being elected to Parliament, I worked as a trade union official, with garment workers who were owed back pay by unscrupulous employers. Later I worked with public-sector workers fighting to protect their jobs and services and low-paid women fighting for equal pay. And I know how much harder it is now today for the trade union movement — with Britain home to the most restrictive anti-union laws in Europe, which are about to get even more restrictive.
Ahead of the March 1 "Super Tuesday" primaries, nationwide marches has swept across the Untied States in support of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders on February 28, US Uncut said that day. Organisers reported that demonstrations were held in at least 40 cities, and possibly as many as 70, in support of the self-described socialist.
French riot police fired tear gas as they began demolishing the Calais “Jungle” refugee camp on February 29, Morning Star Online said. Tear gas was reportedly used in response to stone-throwers at the shanty town, which is home to about 4000 people. Lines of police vans gathered on the perimeter of the camp's southern section and people were prevented from entering the site.