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In a referendum held on Sydney University on September 20-21, 90% of the 3000 participating students voted for the university to reduce its contribution to climate change by purchasing a minimum of 20% clean, renewable energy. Currently the university uses 52 million kWh of electricity each year, all of which is generated by coal-fired power stations.
On October 27, women and their supporters will rally in many cities, towns and rural areas around the world to protest against sexual violence against women and children. Over the past 28 years, Reclaim the Night rallies and marches have encouraged women to protest against violence and sexual assault.
On October 13, 50 people from the local Your Rights at Work campaign group protested outside a real estate agent’s office over his attempt to pressure Gail Austin, a long-term employee, to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement (individual contract) that “would have slashed [her] income by $30,000”, according to Workers Online. Austin said that she was told to sign the agreement or quit. Mark Ptolemy from the Your Rights at Work group said: “This company has done nothing illegal, but that doesn’t mean its actions are not highly immoral.”
Almost four decades later, the image can still make hairs rise on unsuspecting necks. It’s 1968, and 200-metre gold medalist Tommie Smith stands next to bronze winner John Carlos, their raised black-gloved fists smashing the sky on the medal stand in Mexico City. They were Trojan Horses of Rage — bringing the Black revolution into that citadel of propriety and hypocrisy: the Olympic games. When people see that image, their eyes are drawn like magnets toward Smith and Carlos, standing in black socks, their heads bowed in controlled concentration.
Bernadette Peters is a part-time cleaner and a full-time activist. She is also the partner of Mal Peters, one of the “Leighton Kumagai 107", who were fined $22,000 by the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) for a strike in February in defence of a sacked health and safety delegate.
Youth Rock the Block, held in Redfern on October 14, featured young community performers expressing their culture and raising money for a local women and children dance studio. The day included singing in the Indigenous Darug language, original dance pieces, renditions of well-known Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal pop songs and hip-hop.
“I want to switch the lights on. I want people to see that there is a chance for a change.” This is how Aboriginal rap artist and social justice campaigner Jakalene X-treme describes what she wants to get out of the Socialist Alliance campaign for the March 2007 NSW state election. Jakalene was selected as an upper house candidate at the Socialist Alliance state conference on October 7.
A workshop involving trade unionists from around Australia is being held in Geelong on October 28 from 1pm. Socialist Alliance initiated the workshop because union activists are telling us that there are many issues in the campaign against Work Choices that aren’t getting discussed.
Peter Bray from Rising Tide has questioned the independence and make-up of the “independent expert panel” set up to assess the proposed coal export terminal in Newcastle, branding it a “coal-dependent export panel” designed to ignore climate change.
In October, ALP leader Kim Beazley sent a letter to households that expressed his support for the withdrawal of troops. Below is Beazley's letter and a reply by anti-war campaigner Pip Hinman, who argues that Australian troops shouldn't be taken out of Iraq just to be re-deployed to Afghanistan.
Melbourne’s public transport system is in crisis — despite a huge increase in subsidies since privatisation. Delays, cancellations and standing room only — this is the reality for passengers across the system. And on top of the bad service, Melbourne has the most expensive fares of any Australian capital city.
On November 18-19, Melbourne will host some of the world’s most brutal warmongers and economic rationalists. They will be meeting under the auspices of the G20, with this year’s meeting chaired by Treasurer Peter Costello. A chief architect of the US war on Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz, will also be present, in his capacity as World Bank president.