The annual Queerspace student conference held at the Australian National University on October 6-8 was attended by 40 students from Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Wollongong, Newcastle and Perth. The conference launched the national Queer Activist Network (QAN) for youth and students.
Israel’s war on Gaza, its continued colonisation of the West Bank, and its construction of the apartheid wall represent the third wave of ethnic cleansing in Palestine since the establishment of Zionist state, Israeli academic Tanya Reinhart told 250-strong meeting in Melbourne on October 12.
“If you’re angry, you’re not mad” declared a banner at a march and rally of 120 supporters of the rights of the mentally ill on October 14. The action was part of the local Mental Health Week activities and was organised by the Association of the Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill.
For the second consecutive year, Grassroots, a broad left-wing ticket has won a majority on the governing council of the Wollongong Undergraduate Students Association (WUSA). The elections were held on October 3-5.
A hunger strike will be held on October 20-21 in the Parramatta Activist Centre in solidarity with the “death fast resistance” that has been carried out by Turkish political prisoners since October 20, 2000.
On October 2, the Sydney-based Edmund Rice Centre (ERC) released its Deported to Danger II report, examining the fate of people whose claims for asylum in Australia were rejected. The report found that 39 of the 41 were deported to danger. Two have been welcomed in New Zealand.
The report handed down by Queensland deputy coroner Christine Clements on September 27 found that Palm Islander Mulrunji not only died in police custody on November 19, 2004, but died at the hands of the arresting police officer.
The trial of four activists who inspected the top secret US-Australia spy base at Pine Gap for terrorist activity began on October 4. Jim Dowling, Adele Goldie, Bryan Law (Cairns) and Donna Mulhearn, members of Christians Against ALL Terrorism (CAAT), face charges under the Commonwealth Crimes Act and the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act (DSU) 1952. If found guilty they face seven years’ prison.
When invited to address an October 12 rally in defence of women’s right to abortion, both Labor Premier Steve Bracks and state Liberal Party leader Ted Baillieu declined to attend. The rally, held on the steps of the state parliament, was initiated by the Socialist Alliance.
On October 10, 60 people attended a public meeting at which the keynote speaker, historian Henry Reynolds, spoke about the ongoing oppression of Indigenous Australians.


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