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A "Fix NSW Transport" lantern walk will be held on August 11, beginning at Town Hall and proceeding through city streets, to highlight community opposition to tollways, especially WestConnex, and the crisis of public transport in the state.

Initial endorsements included activist groups No Westconnex: Public Transport Not Motorways; EcoTransit; Friends of Erskineville; Keep Sydney Beautiful; Rail Tram and Bus Union; Netwown Residents Against WestConnex, National Tertiary Education Union; Restore Inner West Line; and Westconnex Action Group.

Thousands of Rafael Correa supporters marched through one of Quito's main arteries on July 5 in defense of Ecuador's former president, accused of orchestrating a failed kidnapping attempt in 2012 – a charge he vehemently denies.

Carrying giant 'No, Neoliberalism' signs and shouting "A united community will never be beaten," demonstrators marched along Quito's 10 de Agosto Avenue towards the Plaza Grande, outside President Lenin Moreno's executive offices, but were blocked by police and military forces.

Family members and supporters of Eric Whittaker rallied outside NSW Parliament on on July 4, the first anniversary of his murder.

Speakers at the action included Eric's mother, Margaret Hall, Diane Whittaker, Elizabeth Jarrett, Padraic Gibson, Raul Bassi and Ken Canning.

Whittaker was a 35-year-old Kamilaroi man put in Parklea Prison for an alleged breach of bail conditions.

The Walgett father of four was imprisoned for only two days before he was fatally injured in the prison.

Hundreds of union members and supporters made the trek to the ExxonMobil (ESSO)/UGL Longford Gasworks on June 28 to mark the first anniversary of an ongoing industrial dispute.

Unionists from across the state attended. There were contingents from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Electrical Trades Union and the Australian Workers Union — the three main unions in the dispute.

Nearly 80 workers at Laverton Cold Storage in Melbourne’s western suburbs went on strike for the first time on June 25 when negotiations for their first enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) broke down.

The Laverton workers are the lowest paid cold storage workers in Victoria, with a base rate of $20.50 an hour — only 30 cents more than the minimum wage. They work in sub-zero temperatures ranging from -10°C to -35°C. Laverton Cold Storage recently doubled the size of its facility in Truganina, showing it is not short of money.

By now, it is widely known that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “won the election” in his country. But Muhsin Yorulmaz writes that the authoritarian leader’s support is waning.

The federal government, supported by the Labor Party, successfully amended the Criminal Code Act 1995 by passing the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017 on June 28 to introduce new espionage offences. Green Left Weekly’s Pip Hinman asked NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon about the laws’ possible impact on those struggling for a better world.

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Will the changes make it more difficult to protest? Do they criminalise dissent?

Another fundamental liberty of the people of New South Wales took a hit on July 1.

On that day a new regulation under the Crown Land Management Act 2016 took effect, granting the NSW government wide powers to disperse or ban protests, rallies and virtually any public gathering across about half of all land across the state.

The powers apply on any Crown Land — land owned by the state government, including town squares, parks, roads, beaches, community halls and more.

The latest round of penalty rate cuts, which reduce weekend and public holiday penalty rates for staff in the retail, hospitality and pharmacy sectors by 10–15% from July 1, is estimated by the ACTU to affect 700,000 workers.

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association national secretary Gerard Dwyer said the penalty rate cuts would cost many retail and fast food workers between $2000 and $6000 a year.

Many Australians have probably never heard some of these Australian languages before Yothu Yindi, Gurrumul, Shellie Morris and others brought them to broader ears. But they are the languages of this continent: they grew up with this land, evolved with it, and have much to tell us about its histories, ecologies and peoples.

As a lesbian feminist in the early 1970s, I worked in coalition with gay men to bring about change, not only to gain equal rights but to change the world views on institutions that supported male privilege and men having more power than women.

 

International and domestic students rallied outside the NSW state Labor Party conference on June 30, calling for an end to the discriminatory policy under which international students are ineligible for student travel concession cards.

Despite having more than 300,000 international students enrolled in universities across the state, NSW is the only state in Australia that does not give international students travel concessions.

 

Dozens of creative and disruptive actions were held across Australia under the banner of “drawing a red line” on new coal. Organised by Front Line Action on Coal (FLAC) and local Stop Adani groups, people from Auckland to Melbourne and many regional communities protested outside politicians’ offices, dropped banners over freeways and blockaded coal train lines.

Polls show more than 55% of Australians oppose the Adani coalmine, with about 70% opposing government financial support for it.

The Fare Network (Football Against Racism in Europe) is an organisation that tracks racism and homophobia in the football (soccer) world. For the 2018 World Cup in Russia, they set up a series of “diversity houses” for the LGBTQI community and people of colour.

Now in St Petersburg, they have been evicted from the building they were leasing for these safe spaces. Other tenants are also reportedly under instruction not to offer subleases, leaving only the brutal symbolism of a diversity house shuttered.

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Sarah McNaughton SC recently filed criminal charges against Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery and his client, a former officer of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).

More than 100,000 people took to the streets on June 30, in about 750 cities and towns in every state across the country, to protest the separation of immigrant children from their parents seeking asylum and denounce President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy that made this cruel practice possible, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

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