1122

On December 14, I paid a visit to the Beeliar Wetlands Protectors Camp in Coolbellup and witnessed the arrests of several young protesters for taking non-violent direct action against the Roe 8 highway project which threatens this precious wetlands area and significant Aboriginal sites.

“People from all around the community have assembled here to stop work on the Roe 8 freeway which is going through the Beeliar wetlands and woodlands,” Sam Wainwright, Socialist Alliance's Fremantle City Councillor told Green Left Weekly at the protest camp.

The Wuthathi people have been fighting to get back their spectacular ancestral lands on Cape York, from which they were removed in the 1930s, for nearly four decades. That fight was finally over after the title deeds to the land were handed back in a ceremony at Lockhart River on December 15.

Ownership of the entire white sand country, 1180 square kilometres in and around Shelburne Bay, was formally transferred to the Wuthathi people as Aboriginal freehold land.

After a coup and 22 years of authoritarian rule, The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh conceded power in elections on December 1. We can learn from The Gambia that we are stronger united than divided, says Swazi activist Bheki Dlamini.

Swaziland and The Gambia are two of Africa’s smallest nations, both less than 20.000 km2 and with populations below 2 million. Both got their independence from Britain in the 1960s, and both are more or less engulfed by, and to a large degree dependent on, a much larger and more powerful neighbour. 

Socialist Alliance’s Dave Holmes gave this speech at a Melbourne rally in honour of Fidel Castro on December 4.

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Fidel Castro was a towering figure in world politics for almost six decades. Now, with his passing the hacks of the capitalist media have been gloating over the death of the “dictator”. Of course, he was nothing of the sort. As he truthfully told director Oliver Stone in the movie Commandante: “I am a slave to the people”. His life is a monument of conscience and loyalty to principle.

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) announced on December 10 it would ban the use of whips in both racing and training from September 1 next year. This will make Australia the first country in the world to implement a ban on whips.

HRA chairman Geoff Want said the decision was taken for animal welfare reasons. "There is compelling evidence these days that society will not tolerate continued cruelty towards animals," he said.

Want said he believed some in the industry would resist change but "people are going to have to adapt to change".

Balmain Town Hall was packed out on December 8 with residents angry with the Baird Liberal government's WestCONnex tollway monster. Peter Jones, WestConnex project director of Stage 3 M4-M5 Link, addressed the meeting at the start and took several questions from the floor before leaving.

In the early hours of December 12, 55 Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) workers returned to work to the sound of bagpipes and applause.

Five hundred unionists and community members turned out to congratulate the workers on their successful 180-day campaign.

More than 500 participants gathered at the Trade Union Congress headquarters in London on November 26 for the annual Latin America Adelante conference, now in its 12th year.

With more than 70 different speakers and 30 different workshops and plenary sessions, plus the concurrent Alborada film festival, Latin America Adelante has become one of the most important and well-known gatherings of solidarity with a continent that is increasingly facing a right-wing neoliberal backlash.

The Western Australian Division of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) released this statement on December 9.

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In a move unprecedented in the Higher Education sector Murdoch University management have applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the enterprise agreement covering academic and general staff at the University.

Activist Steffie Leedham is sitting on a platform high on a tree in Sydney Park. The platform is connected to two other big trees in the area of the park that has been fenced off for clearing to start building of the #WestConnex tollway and tunnel project's St Peters interchange.

Several thousand people joined Women's Marches in Sydney and Melbourne on January 21, a part of a global mobilisation to coincide with the inauguration of the misogynist far-right US President Donald Trump.

Half a million people took part in the main protest in Washington DC, more than 3 million marched throughout the US and hundreds of thousands more marched globally.

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