On October 3, immigration minister Kevin Andrews justified cutting the number of African refugees accepted into Australia using racism, alleging that African refugees were not adjusting too well to Australian society.
Two public screenings of Constructing Fear have been held in Brisbane the first on September 19 to an enthusiastic crowd of 200 people at the University of Queensland organised by the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU). The film exposes the role of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, the anti-union taskforce set up by the Howard government following the recommendations of the Cole Royal Commission.
The first comprehensive research study on how Australian working life is being transformed under Work Choices reveals that Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs individual contracts) are eating away at workers wages, conditions and job security.
On September 19, 100 print and maintenance workers at printing company PMPs Wacol site south-west of Brisbane took protected industrial action for 48 hours in a bid to bring the company to the negotiating table for a new enterprise bargaining agreement. The workers were supported by their union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), which formed a peaceful picket line at the workplace entrance.
The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACV) is calling on the Victorian government to consider lowering the voting age, following the tabling of a report in the ACT parliament recommending 16- and 17-year-olds in the territory be given the vote.
On October 5, Resistance held a protest outside the US consulate to offer solidarity to the people of Bolivia and Venezuela in the face of the campaign against their democratically elected governments by the US. Both countries are targets of Washington for their refusal to allow foreign oil and gas corporations to control their natural resources and determine their future.
The surprise decision in August by Colombian President Alavaro Uribe to allow the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to mediate in negotiations for a humanitarian exchange of 45 hostages held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC Colombias largest guerrilla group), for 500 guerrilla insurgents held in Colombian jails, has given many Colombians hope that a humanitarian accord to swap prisoners could develop into broader and lasting peace negotiations that would put an end to more than 40 years of civil war.
On September 30, Ecuador went to the polls for the fourth time in under a year and gave supporters of left-wing President Rafael Correa a massive majority in the new Constituent Assembly.
As the 40th anniversary of the death of Argentinean-born revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, murdered in Bolivia on October 9, 1967, on the orders of the CIA, arrives, there is increasing evidence that his spirit of struggle against injustice continues to get stronger in Latin America.
Due to the Latin America and Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference (October 11-14 in Melbourne visit for more information) there will be a one-week break in publication schedule. The next edition will be dated October 24 (uploaded October 21).