United Firefighters Union (UFU) members handed out leaflets at polling booths in Victorian marginal seats on election day, in an attempt to counter a Liberal scare campaign against a new enterprise agreement for UFU members employed by the Country Fire Authority (CFA). The Liberals falsely claim that the agreement gives the UFU the power of veto over CFA management decisions, and that it would prevent volunteer firefighters from fighting fires unless seven professional firefighters were present. They claim that the agreement endangers public safety.
Dozens of Gippsland dairy workers have been locked out indefinitely by milk producer Parmalat. When workers arrived at the gates of the Parmalat-owned Longwarry Food Park, east of Melbourne, on July 5, they were met with news of the lockout and closure of the site. The Longwarry workforce is among the lowest-paid in the dairy industry according to the National Union of Workers, and had been calling for improved conditions in their pay deal to bring them in line with other Parmalat sites.
About 60 anti-uranium protesters set up a bonfire in the middle of the road leading to Olympic Dam, in South Australia, stopping all traffic in and out of the BHP Billiton uranium mine for about 19 hours on July 3. Olympic Way was also closed for about 90 minutes on July 2 as about 200 demonstrators undertook a funeral procession, carrying a black coffin and baskets of animal bones to the gates of Olympic Dam. The protest was organised by Desert Liberation Front, which opposes toxic waste dumps in Australia and wants BHP Billiton's uranium mine to be closed within two years.
Up to 150 residents of inner western Sydney crammed into the chambers of the now-sacked Ashfield Council to oppose the state government's dismissal of three suburban councils and their merger into an "Inner West Council" and to protest the controversial WestConnex tollway project. They demanded that undemocratically installed one-person administrator Richard Pearson take action on his stated intention to oppose WestConnex, in line with the unanimous positions of the three sacked councils, Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville.
The hole in the ozone layer was first discovered in 1985 by scientists from the British Antarctic Survey, who described how ozone levels above the Antarctic were steadily dropping compared to the previous decade. This was quickly recognised as a severe environmental problem — and the culprit was identified as the unchecked use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
In the same way that women had to organise and struggle to win the vote, equal pay and access to higher education, women have also had to fight for their reproductive rights, including access to contraception and access to safe medical and surgical abortion. The impact of pregnancy and childbirth on a woman is so great that no matter what other political, social or economic rights women have, if they do not have control over whether or when to have children, it is meaningless to speak about women controlling their own lives.
“Protesters in Chicago, New York and St Paul, Minnesota, took to the streets on July 7 to express outrage after the second fatal police shooting of a Black man in the United States in two days,” Reuters said that day . Reuters said the protests were peaceful but tension was evident after the shooting of Philando Castile, 32, by police near St Paul on July 6. His girlfriend posted live video on the internet of the bloody scene minutes afterward, which was widely viewed.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared that, if re-elected, his government still plans to present the bill reinstating the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) to a joint sitting of parliament, even as Resources and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg admitted on the ABC's Q&A program that the bill's prospects are effectively "dead". Turnbull said on July 5 that the reason he had called a double dissolution of parliament was that it was the "only way" to revive the building industry watchdog and crack down on the militant unions.
Pauline Hanson is back in the Senate after 18 years, riding the wave of anti-Muslim hatred spawned by various confected Wars on Terror™. But liberal commentators are warning we should take her more seriously this time. She and her 10% are “not just racists” they say. And they're right. Since the election, Hanson has made it clear that she has two major priorities this time around: protecting Christian fish'n'chips from Middle Eastern halal fast food, and tender-hearted men from the feminist Family Court.
The Chilcot Inquiry into Britain's role in the Iraq War has prompted calls for a similar inquiry into the Coalition government, then led by John Howard, taking Australia into war in 2003. Andrew Wilkie, the only intelligence official from the US, Britain or Australia to dispute the official explanation for the Iraq War, said on July 7 there should be an investigation into the Howard government's decision to go to war.
Armed with the findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, South Australian Labor Premier Jay Weatherill is pressing ahead with plans to import as much as a third of the world's high-level nuclear reactor waste and store it in the state's outback. There are compelling reasons to reject it. The project, it now emerges, could go ahead only over resistance from Indigenous traditional landowners, some of whom took part in the Lizard Bites Back convergence in early July.
Election after election of racist and Islamophobic rhetoric from both major parties, combined with a growing swarm of far-right outfits, is resulting in violent hate crimes. A car firebombed at the Thornlie mosque in Perth on June 28 and racist graffiti on the wall of an Islamic college are the latest in a string of attacks. Hundreds of people were praying inside the mosque and it was only a matter of luck that no one was injured or killed.
Corbyn supporters celebrate his victory in Labour leadership elections in September. The media-backed attempted coup by right-wing Labour Party MPs against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has failed, amid large demonstrations and public meetings across Britain defending the left-wing leader.
For some people, it was impossible to believe that this day would come. Seven years after John Chilcot started to take evidence in a British inquiry into the Iraq War and 12 years after the previous inquiry into the war, many anti-war protesters could be forgiven for being sceptical about what the report would say. First impressions, announced over microphones and megaphones while being read from mobile phones, were met with a militant response. There was a sense of vindication for those of us who opposed the war from the outset and has renewed our determination.
British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on July 6 that public opposition to the war in Iraq had been “vindicated” — and called on politicians who ignored pleas for peace to “face up to the consequences”. Speaking in parliament after the publication of the long-awaited Chilcot report, Corbyn said its conclusions proved the 2003 invasion of Iraq was “an act of military aggression launched on false pretences”.
Anger with the two major parties was the clear winner this federal election as a quarter of the electorate gave their first preference to independents, Greens or minor parties. The Socialist Alliance (SA) ran in the Senate in three states, and in four lower house seats. Despite its blanket exclusion from the corporate media, its reliance on small donations and its radical message, its votes increased in two lower house seats, dipped in two others and increased our Senate vote in NSW and WA compared to the previous election.