855

Refugee Action Coalition NSW media release

A year ago, then prime Minister Kevin Rudd called Indonesian President Yudhoyono requesting that the Indonesian navy intercept a boat carrying 254 Tamil asylum seekers to Australia. The boat was the subject of
international attention after the asylum seekers refused to disembark at Merak in Indonesia. In April 2010, the asylum seekers were forcibly removed to Tanjung Pinang detention centre.

Except for two families shifted to detention in Medan, all the Tamils remain in appalling conditions in Tanjung Pinang.

Statement from the Socialist Alliance National Executive October 8, 2010

On October 17, 2001 the Howard Coalition government deployed Australian troops to Afghanistan, just nine days after the US had begun bombing one of the most poverty stricken and war weary nations on earth.

The then newly-formed Socialist Alliance responded to this attack and its reputed catalyst, the terrorist bombings on New York and Washington some weeks earlier, by noting the US' hypocrisy and pledging to campaign against Bush's “war without end”.

According to a report in Prachatai, a popular Thai newspaper, a woman was arrested at freedom bike ride by United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship supporters (popularly known as the Red Shirts) in Thailand’s historic city of Ayutthaya for selling slippers with Thailand’s military-installed Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s face on them. The slippers were printed with the message, “People died at Ratchaprasong” – referring to the May 19 military massacre against the Red Shirts’ mass protest camp in Bangkok.

Community activists in the Illawarra have again condemned the use of Taser guns and renewed calls for a ban on the controversial weapon. This calls comes just days after a man in Sydney's west died after being struck by a Taser in the chest by police. A video from 2008 has also emerged of an Aboriginal man with a mental illness being Tasered 13 times by police officers in West Australia.

On October 10, the international day of climate action, climate activists will converge on Hazelwood, Australia’s dirtiest power station.

Each year, Hazelwood burns 17 million tonnes of brown coal and consumes 27 million litres of water (the equivalent of using one month’s worth of Melbourne’s water supply every day). It accounts for 15% of Victoria’s emissions and 3% of Australia’s emissions.

On September 5, the Basque armed group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Homeland and Freedom, ETA), which has fought an armed struggle for Basque freedom for decades, released a video declaring that several months ago it had decided to stop armed actions, and announced a ceasefire.

In its statement, ETA said: “In recent times, the Basque country has been at an important crossroads. The political struggle has opened up new conditions...

“The time has come to build a democratic framework for the Basque country respecting the wishes of the majority of the Basque people...

On September 27, the repressive police apparatus of the Spanish state was brought to bear on the Askapena, the internationalist organisation of the Basque pro-independence left. Seven members were arrested across the Basque Country.

Among those arrested was Walter Wendelin, who does a lot of solidarity work with Latin America.

Many of the reports in the Spanish media make clear that the police operation is trying to target the relationships of the Basque pro-independence left with Latin America.

On September 26, protesters from climate change activist group Rising Tide shut down the world’s largest coal port at Newcastle. Green Left Weekly’s Zane Alcorn interviewed Rising Tide member Annika Dean.

* * *

What happened at the protest?

Housing was barely mentioned during the August 21 federal election, despite being a huge social issue. The Victorian state election is looming, and it is crucial that more is done to protect and win back our housing rights.

People from all walks of life are affected by the housing crisis. Sole parent families, youth, Indigenous people, migrants, people exiting prison, and pensioners are some of the hardest hit, but hundreds of thousands of Victorians are also struggling due to rental and mortgage stress.

After 23 months of struggle, Tahmoor mineworkers have achieved a new enterprise agreement with their employer, Xstrata.

On September 24, 142 voted for the company’s latest offer and 50 voted against. Until then, attempts by the workers to negotiate were thwarted repeatedly because Xstrata refused to budge, even during mediated talks. Workers have been locked out twice and have taken industrial action on several occasions.

Pages

Subscribe to 855