Hundreds of people in South Australia could soon be left without defence lawyers, part of a nationwide crisis in the under-funding of essential legal services.
A group of 30 lawyers and law students have established a group to film police behaviour during protests against the September Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit to ensure that the police do not use unnecessary violence or break the law.
On August 15 at 9.30pm, Wang, a Chinese man in the maximum security building at the Villawood immigration detention centre, climbed onto the roof and threatened to kill himself. Wang, normally a happy man in a terrible environment, was driven to take this action after the immigration department refused to let him visit his wife in hospital where she had gone after an accident.
Warren Small and Norman Ham, striking workers from Esselte — a stationery company in Sydney’s south-west — spoke at the August 13 Parramatta Your Rights at Work meeting on their struggle against individual contracts (AWAs).
An Australian citizen passing through airport customs on August 6 came under invasive scrutiny because she wrote “activist” as her occupation on the landing card. Jessica Markham, who works for the Californian-based East Bay Local Clean Energy Alliance, was returning to Australia for three weeks to visit her mother.
Hiroshima Day “is not just a day for commemoration, but a day for action”, Nic Maclellan from the Nuclear Free Independent Pacific told a rally of around 200 people on August 5.
#151; On August 8, a new attack on civil liberties was approved by the federal parliament with the passage of amendments to the National Investigative Powers and Witness Protection Act (2006). The amendment bill was pushed through the Senate in 24 hours, with the ALP’s support.
On August 8, 1000 people packed into the Brisbane City Hall for a public forum on “Australia at the Crossroads: A New Direction”. Organised by the Just Peace and the Just Rights groups, the forum was sponsored by a wide variety of peace, environment, social justice and political organisations.
Around 30 workers and supporters rallied outside Foster’s Queensland marketing headquarters in Fortitude Valley on August 9. Foster’s is still refusing to accept a union-backed collective agreement despite it being the choice of the majority of workers at the Yatala Brewery.
Indigenous comedian and winner of ‘Deadly Funny 2007’ Mia Standford cracked everyone up at the ‘Unfinished Business’ concert — a joint fundraiser for Green Left Weekly and Indigenous children’s service Yappera at the Retreat Hotel in Brunswick on August 11.
On August 2, the High Court of Australia upheld the constitutional validity of a control order on Jack Thomas.
Rachel Evans, a well-known campaigner for refugee, workers’ and queer rights, was preselected as the Socialist Alliance candidate for the federal seat of Parramatta at a meeting of the Sydney West branch on August 7.