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Barry Hemsworth, a Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union member and workplace delegate, was sacked unfairly from his job at Botany Cranes in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in 2006, made possible by the Howard government’s unfair dismissal laws. July 2 will mark the 300th day that Barry has held vigil outside the gates of his former employer with the support of the union movement.
The Victorian Socialist Alliance held a successful special state conference in Melbourne on June 16. Ninety people attended, with a strong presence from Geelong and Ballarat. The conference also attracted activists from environmental organisations, a range of unions and Latin America solidarity groups.
Jim McIlroy, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the Brisbane seat of Griffith, called on Labor leader Kevin Rudd to condemn the Talisman Sabre war games being held at Shoalwater Bay.
Aims to make a killing "We run an absolute dictatorship and that's what's going to drive this transformation and deliver results. If you can't get the people to go there and you try once and you try twice, then you just shoot them and get them out
On June 17, 400 people marked World Refugee Day by rallying outside the Melbourne Exhibition Building and marching through Fitzroy. The new concentration camp on Christmas Island was a focus for the rally, and protesters called for all detainees on Christmas Island and Nauru, as well as in Australia’s “onshore” refugee jails, to be freed, and for temporary visas to be replaced with permanent residency. Speakers included representatives of the West Papuan and Tamil refugee communities.
I hope that when Kevin Rudd speaks of zero tolerance on lawlessness he means that bosses who kill workers with unsafe work practices will be jailed, and workers who have had their entitlements stripped away by employers, with the backing of the Howard government, will see justice.
“Not many people realise that Hawaiians feel that our country is under an occupation”, Terrilee Kekoolani, an organiser with the DMZ Hawaii activist coalition, told a public meeting of 20 people on June 19. She was in Australia to take part in protests against the US-Australian Talisman Sabre war games in Queensland.
Kevin Rudd’s decision to convene a special ALP national executive meeting to expel Joe McDonald marks a new high tide of anti-unionism in the so-called party of the unions. The ACTU, and unions like the CFMEU, should cut funding to Labor if its attacks on unionists don’t stop.
Christians Against All Terrorism members Donna Mulhearn, Bryan Law, Jim Dowling and Adele Goldie, known as the Pine Gap Four, were found guilty on June 14 of breaching an archaic law — the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act (1952) — when they conducted a “citizens’ inspection” of the US-Australian spy base at Pine Gap on December 9, 2005, to highlight its role in the Iraq war.
The headline of the June 21 Adelaide Advertiser blared “Unfair pay” and for once, most fair-minded people had to agree with the paper. The headline was referring to a pay rise for the state’s already overpaid members of parliament.
Reproductive health service provider Marie Stopes International has announced it will begin providing medical abortions using cancer drug methotrexate at clinics in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria. The move to broaden the offering of medical abortions using methotrexate in combination with another drug, misoprostol, may add momentum to push the more effective abortion pill, RU486, onto the market.
Activists from the Indonesian National Student League for Democracy (LMND) and the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) in the East Kalimantan city of Balikpapan have been the targets of harassment by the local government officials, police and the military (TNI).