MELBOURNE — On March 5, the Melbourne-based Women for Palestine group endorsed the call issued on January 31 by the International Coordination Network on Palestine and the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign for global protests on June 9-11 under the slogan “The world says no to Israeli occupation”.
On March 8 at the Brisbane Activist Centre, 30 people attended a forum to discuss the Aboriginal movement in Australia and indigenous struggles in Bolivia and Venezuela. Sam Watson, Aboriginal rights activist and Socialist Alliance member, spoke about recent developments over the Palm Island killing of Mulrunji and how the case has galvanised the whole of Aboriginal Australia. He said it has renewed activism within the community and made Aboriginal people aware of the broader support for their struggle.
Political fervour, passion and a fighting spirit marked the “Fighting racism in the NSW state election” forum held by the Socialist Alliance Parramatta branch on March 6.
At noon on March 8, 50 protesters gathered outside James Hardie Industries’ Pitt Street offices to express outrage at the company’s decision to lock out 12 maintenance workers at its Rosehill plant in western Sydney and to strip them of entitlements.
The construction division of the Victorian branch of the Construction, Foresty, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has condemned as a “callous” act the sacking from a building site of occupational safety representative Leigh Scott, the sole provider for and father of five children.
“Kevin Rudd made a point of letting everyone know which side the Labor Party is on when he went and had a friendly meeting with war criminal Dick Cheney while slandering the peaceful protesters outside as ‘violent ferals’”, student anti-war activist Simon Cunich told Green Left Weekly.
SYDNEY — More than 50 people joined the Socialist Alliance contingent in the Mardi Gras parade on March 3, chanting “What do we want? Marriage rights! When do we want it? Now!” For more photos visit <http://www.socialist-alliance.org>.
A ban on political content took place during the March 1 orientation day at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, rural NSW. The Student Representative Council (SRC) fought this censorship and successfully negotiated with university management to hold a “political market day” forum the following week.
A spirited demonstration of 200 people marched to state parliament on March 9 to protest the poisoning of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is imprisoned in Turkey. Waving Kurdish and Australian flags and holding pictures of Ocalan, the founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the protesters chanted “Freedom for Ocalan, long live Kurdistan” and called for an end to the war in Kurdistan.
@9point non = CAIRNS — The Time’s Up campaign, seeking to throw out the Howard government and its anti-worker laws, held a rally and public meeting on March 5. More than 80 people protested at the office of federal Liberal MP Warren Entsch, while that evening 30 people heard from Andrew Dettmer, state secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union; Michael Ravbar, the state secretary of the construction division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union; and Peter Simpson, assistant state secretary of the Electrical Trades Union.
On March 7, 60 people joined with three “comfort women” survivors — Jan Ruff O’Herne AO, Hsie Mei Wu and Gil Won Ok, from Australia, Taiwan and Korea — outside the Japanese Consulate in Martin Place.
With global warming increasingly dominating mainstream political discussion, the debate about solutions has intensified. While PM John Howard has thrown his weight behind the lie of “clean, green” nuclear power, the ALP has maintained its opposition to this deeply unpopular option.