1092

When I met up with Mathis Dührsen, he was looking a bit sleepy. And no wonder! He'd stayed up between 1.30am and 11.30am making phone calls to prospective voters in the New York state primary for the Democratic Party presidential candidate to urge support for Bernie Sanders. He is only one of a modest but growing group of people in Australia campaigning for Sanders from afar.
The first screening of the cinematic tale of women fighting for jobs at Port Kembla steelworks screened to 250 people at the Gala Cinema in Warrawong on April 17. Set in 1973, The Women Who Were Never There tells a dramatic story, based on real events, of women who chained themselves to the front gates of BHP to protest the lack of jobs for women. The film brings to life the drama of the women who took on Australia's biggest corporation in their fight for equality.
Chants of "MUA, here to stay!" rang out outside the electoral office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on April 13, as around 200 members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) rallied in protest against federal government attacks on the shipping industry, threats to reduce penalty rates and the Coalition's industrial relations agenda.
Police have launched an internal investigation into why an eight-year-old Aboriginal boy was left unattended in a police paddy wagon for three hours at Coraki in northern NSW. The boy's mother, Jane Williams, said she was at work on April 13 when she got a call that her son had been picked up by police for throwing rocks at a council car. When she got to the police station they did not know where the boy was, but after a call to a colleague the officer found him in a paddy wagon parked at the station.
Concerned residents gathered outside Lismore City Council on April 19 as the NSW Planning Department briefed council on the Draft North Coast Regional Plan. Spokesperson for Gasfield Free Northern Rivers, Dean Draper said: “They should be offering a community briefing in Lismore so we can clearly send our message that this regional plan must be amended to remove the current references to CSG. As well as this removal we are demanding that the plan clearly spells out that there will be no unconventional gas exploration at all for the life of the plan.
Queensland Natural Resources and Mines minister Anthony Lynham announced on April 18 that the government has banned underground coal gasification (UCG) in the state, arguing the environmental risks outweigh the economic benefits. He said the ban, which would apply immediately as government policy, would be legislated by the end of the year. Underground coal gasification involves converting coal to a synthesised gas by burning it underground. The syngas is processed on the surface to create products such as aviation fuels and synthetic diesel.
Activists from Stop CSG Sydney and the Australian Student Environment Network toured the AGL Camden CSG gasfields on April 17 to see for themselves how close gas wells are to homes. AGL has promised to end gas mining in Camden by 2023. Residents want them shut down now. The NSW government has said that gas wells cannot be drilled within two kilometres of homes, but it is happy for Landcom, the government's own developer, to sell house and land packages within a few hundred metres of major gasfields.
I live and work as a nurse in Fremantle and I'm the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Fremantle in this year's federal election. The Socialist Alliance recognises that not only has corrupt, business-as-usual politics caused a deepening social and climate crisis, but that those entrenched and greedy interests are unwilling and incapable of providing real solutions. Major system change is needed. There is a growing despondency amongst large sections of the community; real anger and frustration in the way things are going. And rightly so.
In a week of divestment actions, dubbed “Flood the Campus” starting on April 18, students across Australia took action demanding their universities divest from fossil fuels as a step towards tackling climate change. Initiated by 350.org, the protest was supported by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), environmental collectives, Resistance clubs among others.
The killing of six Kashmiri civilians in Indian-occupied Kashmir have moved Kashmiri communities around the world to organise a coordinated series of vigils on Friday April 22. "These innocent civilians were murdered by the Indian armed forces during a protest march, after reports of a sexual assault on a minor girl by the Indian troops," said Anjun Rafiqi, one of the organisers of a candlelight vigil planned in Sydney.
Mainstream media chatter about recent polls showing the Coalition's honeymoon has dramatically ended has ignored another revealing statistic: there is a growing slice of the population that rejects the politics-as-usual model. They are the people the surveys lump into the category of “don't know”. These are the people who do not engage with the pollsters' questions. They have a variety of reasons, but disengagement from the whole political process as they see it on TV and hear it on the radio is one of them.
Cuba joined a long list of Latin American countries lending assistance to Ecuador on April 18 by deploying a team of 53 health and rescue specialists to treat victims wounded in the devastating 7.8 earthquake that struck the Andean nation April 16, TeleSUR English said. The quake has killed at least 350 people and injuring thousands more.

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