Across Australia on November 30, hundreds of thousands of workers answered the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ call to protest against Work Choices. The ACTU estimated that around 270,000 people took part, the majority hooked up to the Sky Channel broadcasts from the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
On November 23, the SX News websire reported that Penrith City Library, in far western Sydney, had tentatively rejected a DVD promoting the “ex-gat movement” donated to its collection by the right-wing Christian Democratic Party.
Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez spoke for people the world over at the United Nations General Assembly in September when he attacked US imperialism’s attempt to dominate the world and subjugate its people. Referring to US President George Bush’s speech the day before, Chavez said: “The imperialists see extremists all around. No, it’s not that we are extremists. What is happening is that the world is waking up and people everywhere are rising up. I have the impression Mr Imperialist Dictator that you will live the rest of your days as if in a nightmare, because no matter where you look we will be rising up against US imperialism.”
Pressure from workers and students forced the University of Western Sydney’s Board of Trustees to review its rejection of a $250,000 SRC funding proposal on November 29. The proposal is designed to help UWS Student Association (UWSSA) survive federal “voluntary student unionism” (VSU) legislation and came on the back of UWSSA having its budget slashed from $2.5 million to $450,000 for three years.
On December 1, the anniversary of the 1961 raising of the West Papuan flag, 70 people rallied outside the Indonesian embassy in support of West Papuan independence.
In the lead-up to the November 7 US Congressional elections, President George Bush’s Republican Party tried to terrorise the US public into voting for the party responsible for leading the country into the disastrous Iraq war.
Despite increasing recognition about the problem of violence against women, most refuges, community and non-government organisations devoted to helping women and children in crisis, allocate a good deal of their stretched resources to writing submissions for limited funding. This is because both the state and federal governments have a piecemeal, short-term approach to the problem.
In a November 25 media release, Michael Anderson, a spokesperson for the Gumilaroi Nation, accused the federal and WA state governments of “not having the intestinal fortitude to stand against the multinationals who seek to destroy Aboriginal culture”. He was commenting on the threatened destruction of ancient Aboriginal rock art on the the Dampier Archipelago, resulting from the $50 billion Pluto Gas natural gas project by Woodside Energy on the Burrup Peninsula.
New York City police pumped 50 bullets into a car carrying three unarmed African-American men in the early morning hours of November 25, killing one man on his wedding day.
Jim Casey was elected senior vice president of the NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU) in its May elections. Casey, a socialist, was part of a left ticket of four, running with an ALP member, a syndicalist and a rank-and-file unionist with a history in of activism in the Maritime Union of Australia. The team decided to run an executive ticket of four people, with recommendations for the other nine positions on the committee of management.
The West Papuan “Morning Star” flew over Newcastle City Hall on December 1, the anniversary of the first official raising of the flag in West Papuan in 1961. The flag raising ceremony was addressed by Greens councillor Michael Osborne and Australian West Papua Association spokesperson Michael Freund of Australian West Papua Association.
Nicaragua’s Sandinistas will never forget the night of November 5 and the four days of street celebrations that followed. The first official results of the election came in around 11pm. They foretold that Daniel Ortega, presidential candidate of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), would win on the first round. Partisans of the Sandinista movement, which led the popular revolution of 1979, had waited 16 long, trying years for this day, ever since the Sandinista government went down to bitter defeat in February 1990.