On August 25, a demonstration was held in Jakarta, organised by the Parliament of the Streets Alliance, at the inauguration of newly elected members of parliament. The protesters demanded free education for all citizens, free health programs, employment and housing programs for poor people.
Imprisonment is still mandatory for refugees arriving by boat — despite the ALP government’s promise to mitigate the harsh anti-refugee policies of its predecessor. In the latest incident, the navy intercepted a boat carrying 52 refugees and three crew on August 29 and took them to the Christmas Island prison camp.
This abridged interview with Gerard Jodar, president of the pro-independence trade union federation Union of Kanak and Exploited Workers (USTKE), was first published in Liberation on August 17. He was interviewed by Matthieu Ecoiffier on the struggle of Kanaky, a French colony in the Pacific, for independence and social justice.
More than 100 people attended a meeting organised by the Sri Lankan Human Rights Project at the University of Sydney on August 31.
In Sao Paolo, Brazil, over August 17-19, Green Left Weekly journalists Kiraz Janicke and Federico Fuentes, together with journalists from Marea Socialista (Venezuela) and Alternativa Socialista (Argentina) spoke to Gilberto Rios, from the National Popular Resistance Front against the Coup in Honduras (FN).
Three hundred people rallied in Sydney to demand equal rights for international students on September 2. The protest was organised by the Cross-Campus Concessions Coalition and the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association
On August 17, the Network Working Group, formed out of the January Climate Action Summit, circulated its national network proposal to 300 climate action groups and networks that make up the grassroots climate movement. The groups have until September 18 to vote on the proposal.
Fifty people marched from Newcastle Trades Hall to state MP Jodi McKay’s office on August 28, protesting against the proposed privatisation of the Wallsend aged care facility. The rally was organised by the NSW Nurses Association. NNA members were joined by members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Maritime Union of Australia Veterans Association.
In April 2008, workplace relations minister Julia Gillard began the process of “award simplification”, asking the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) to compress about 2500 existing state and federal awards into just 120.
As Bolivia heads towards its December 6 national elections, the right-wing opposition has again turned to violence and disinformation to try to halt the process of change led by the country’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales.