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.
New South Wales has become the first state in Australia to ban greyhound racing, with an announcement on July 7 that it will be banned from July 1 next year. Premier Mike Baird said the government was left with "no acceptable course of action except to close this industry down" after it considered an 800-page report by a special commission into the "widespread and systemic mistreatment of animals" in the industry.
"We call on the Baird state government to re-block the Waterloo towers, not knock them down," Richard Weeks, spokesperson for the Waterloo Public Housing Action Group (WPHAG), told Green Left Weekly on July 6. He was referring to the NSW Coalition government's plans to demolish the public housing towers in the inner suburb of Waterloo, and replace them with high-rise, private apartments.
While international media floods to cover the killing of police officers in the United States, the deaths of Latinos often go unnoticed. The police killings of Black men Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, which have sparked angry protests, have also justly occupied the news waves, but the death of four Latinos this week slipped by.
The 2016 federal election has confirmed the continuing decline of Australia's two-party system. The relative stability that characterised the decades after World War II was shaped by a phase of unprecedented economic growth, record low unemployment and mass home ownership. But that is long gone, in fact it was an aberration. Our system of single member electorates helped paper over the current period of rising economic insecurity, but inevitably politics is catching up.
There was some good news in the federal election. Ten Coalition members lost their seats in the July 2 federal election. Jamie Briggs lost the seat of Mayo with a swing of 16%. Sophie Mirabella lost in Indi again with a further vote decline of 17.5%. Andrew Nikolic lost in Bass with a decline of 10.8% and Wyatt Roy lost with a swing of 8.4%. Overall the Coalition vote was down 3.5%. Other Liberal figures who lost support but not their seats included Christopher Pyne, down 9.53%; Tony Abbott, down 9.01%; Peter Dutton, down 5.6%; and Kevin Andrews, down 7.6%.
Protesters march against the education reform in Mexico City. Public school teachers in Mexico City launched an indefinite strike on July 5, called by leaders of the dissident National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) teachers union to protest the education reforms imposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The federal election is now over and the final outcome is still being worked out, but the winners and losers are becoming clearer by the day. The two biggest losers were the major parties. While the Coalition retained enough seats to still be able to govern, it lost its sizable majority in the lower house and is facing an even more hostile Senate. The Labor Party recovered several seats overall, but it still managed to record its second lowest number of votes in a Federal election since World War II.
NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced a ban on greyhound racing, after the state government considered an 800-page report tabled by a Special Commission into "widespread cruelty" in the industry. The Special Commission, which was sparked by ABC's Four Corners investigation into the industry, was presented to racing minister Troy Grant last month. The report found that between 48,000 and 68,000 greyhounds — almost half of all greyhounds bred to race — were killed in the past 12 years because they were deemed uncompetitive.