1107

Following a four-hour stop work meeting, staff from Victoria's Thomas Embling Hospital marched on the office of state mental health minister Martin Foley on August 16, demanding better services, staffing and safety. Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) state secretary Lloyd Williams said: "There is too much pressure on our staff so it means people with mental illness miss out."
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), which covers staff at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), said PM Malcolm Turnbull should be "apologising not finger pointing” for the August 9 Census debacle. CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said: “Staff saw these problems coming a mile off. There are 700 fewer staff at the ABS now than when the last Census was conducted five years ago and as a result staff are suffering under massive workloads.
Carlton United Breweries' (CUB) attack on its maintenance workers was clearly premeditated. The brewery forced workers to do large amounts of overtime to build up its stock before sacking 55 maintenance workers on June 10. Although the 55 workers were told they could reapply for their jobs through a new contractor, they were not told who the new employing contractor would be or what their new terms and conditions would look like. Meanwhile, CUB had secretly recruited temporary workers from interstate to replace the sacked workers.
Protesters target the Bakken pipeline. Despite ongoing resistance by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, a North Dakota federal court has ordered the indigenous group to stop their blockade protests against a US$3.8 billion oil pipeline.
An August 11 meeting at the Melbourne Trades Hall heard an inspiring report on the rebuilding of Kobane and the progress and problems of the Rojava revolution. Hawzhin Azeez, a former University of Newcastle academic and now a central figure on the Kobane Reconstruction Board, spoke for almost an hour outlining the significance of Kobane to the Kurdish freedom struggle and the importance of the rebuilding effort.
The Pine Gap military spy base was established 50 years ago on the traditional lands of the Arrernte people, about 20 kilometres outside of Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory. Pine Gap is supposedly a joint US-Australian defence facility, but very little of it is “joint” or “defence” related.
The fence outside Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek's office in Ultimo was adorned with cardboard cut-outs of children trapped behind bars on August 15. Some had messages urging Australia to bring refugees from Manus and Nauru to Australia. The action was one of more than 40 across the country. They were organised as a response to the bipartisan cruelty towards refugees exposed in the Nauru files released by the Guardian the previous week.
The refugee rights movement is gaining momentum, but the establishment is looking for ways to placate and demobilise it. The growing breadth of the campaign is evident in the response to the Guardian's release of the Nauru Files, which contained more than 2000 reports detailing sexual assault, child abuse and acts of self-harm in Nauru detention centre. Almost immediately, "Love Makes A Way" actions were organised, involving a diversity of organisations protesting outside more than 40 Coalition and Labor MP's offices across the country on August 15.

A week after Green Left Weekly reported on the Brighton Grammar scandal, it has been revealed that this is just the tip of the iceberg: a large-scale child pornography ring is being run by boys and young men at high schools across Australia.

When a gang of right-wing goons from the Party For Freedom (PFF), dressed as stereotypical Muslims, stormed the Sunday service at the Gosford Anglican Church on August 14, their actions were nominally disowned by Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party in a written statement. However, the statement also sought to justify and excuse the actions of the PFF.
Firefighters rallied outside state parliament house on August 16 to demand greater support for the victims of toxic contamination at the Country Fire Authority's (CFA) former Fiskville training facility. Fiskville was closed down in 2015, but a state parliamentary enquiry found that CFA management had known about the contamination since 2010 and allowed training to continue there. The chemicals have been linked to a rise in the number of incidences of cancer and other diseases among firefighters who trained there.
While the New South Wales government's disastrous WestConnex tollroad project is facing new challenges, the public campaign against the $17 billion privatised road network continues to grow. The latest headache for the government came about when chief commissioner for the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) Lucy Turnbull triggered a public outcry after stating she was unaware of any large-scale destruction of houses in the heritage suburb of Haberfield, precisely as homes were being demolished in the inner-western Sydney suburbs.
Climate change is not just a scientific or technical problem, nor can it be solved in the “usual” way. Instead, people need to get organised and develop solutions that improve lives and communities as well as protect the environment. This was the central theme behind the “Creating a climate for change” public meeting held on August 11 in the Northcote Town Hall. The meeting was organised by the Melbourne Playback Theatre Company and Darebin Climate Action Now.
A fight broke out on a beach on the French island of Corsica on August 13 after a tourist began taking photos of women wearing burqinis. Following the altercation, the local mayor decided to ban the full-body swimwear. That's right: someone took photos of women without their permission, people got upset and, in response, the state is now dictating what women can and cannot wear.
Fifty years ago this week, 200 Aboriginal stockmen and domestic servants walked off the job at Lord Vestey's Wave Hill cattle station, 600 kilometres south of Darwin. Most of them were members of the Gurindji people, with small numbers of Walpiri and other indigenous people. They were to stay out on strike for ten years.
A four-year campaign by local residents has forced agrochemical giant Monsanto to abandon its plans to build one of the world's largest transgenic seed factories in the province of Cordoba, Argentina. The campaign included protests, concerts, blockades and a campsite that had been maintained since 2013. Local activist Vanesa Sarton said of their struggle: "[It] has become an icon of resistance. It demonstrates that people can organize, and even though it had appeared that everything was ready, closed and sealed, these decisions can be overcome. If the people organise, it can happen.”

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