Mulrunji Doomadgee died in police custody on Palm Island in November 2004. Despite reviewing findings highly critical of police by coroner Brian Hine at the third Coronial Inquest in May, on November 23 the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission (CMC) found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the officers involved.
It should come as no surprise that Latin America, a region converted into a laboratory for ongoing experiments in social change, has increasingly become the topic of discussion and debate among the broader left. Latin America has not only dealt blows to imperialism but also raised the banner of socialism on a global scale. It is of strategic importance for those fighting for a better world, especially at a time when capitalism is in systemic crisis.
The federal Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard filed a submission to Fair Work Australia (FWA) on November18, which backed away from its year-long commitment to support the Australian Services Union (ASU) application for an Equal Remuneration Order for social and community sector and disability workers. The government said it supported the principle of pay equity, and agreed community sector workers were underpaid, but its submission argued against granting equal pay to this historically exploited section of the workforce because of budget constraints.
Maire Leadbeater is a spokesperson for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee (Auckland). She recently returned from West Papua, a nation that has faced repression since its occupation by Indonesia in 1963. She spoke to Green Left Weekly's Ash Pemberton. * * * Can you give your impressions of West Papuan society under Indonesian occupation?
Prominent queer rights and climate activist, Paola Harvey, will stand for the Socialist Alliance in the seat of Keira in the March 2011 NSW elections. Harvey, a resident of Mount Keira and part-time student, is a founding member of Equal Love Wollongong, the organisation leading the struggle for marriage equality, and is a member of the Wollongong Climate Action Network (WCAN). Also a member of Resistance, socialist youth organisation, she is involved in campaigns for youth rights, education and employment.
The letter below was written by Socialist Alliance member Justine Kamprad. She wrote it to federal member for Fremantle Melissa Parke after South Australian rigger Ark Tribe was found not guilty on November 24 of refusing to attend an interview with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). Dear Melissa Parke, As blue-collar workers, my partner and I have been involved with our unions over the past decade. In that time I have seen our unions fight for safety, dignity and a better life for our family.
A community sit-in defending Melbourne’s only Indigenous school, Ballerrt Mooroop College in Glenroy, began on November 24. The state Labor government planned to shift the Glenroy Specialist School (GSS) onto the site, which would push the Koori school into portable classrooms in a tiny area. The government provided $18 million to GSS to relocate, but the Koori school received just $750,000.
Ark Tribe walked out of Adelaide Magistrates Court a free man on November 24, after he was finally found “not guilty” of failing to attend an Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) interview in 2008. As Tribe, a rigger and Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) member left the court house, he was greeted by cheers from more than 1000 workers and officials from different unions. The victory was celebrated as a win for all workers.
The success of Greens MP Adam Bandt's marriage equality motion in federal parliament, which called on MPs to take the issue back to their electorates, shows how successful our grassroots movement has been. We've forced the Gillard Labor government to back away from its ridiculous discriminatory policy of denying equal marriage rights. Prime Minister Julia Gillard now says the official ALP policy, which says marriage can only be between a man and a woman, should be looked at again at Labor’s next national conference. She wants to bring the conference forward to December 2011.
About 100 people attended a “Save Gleniffer Brae” meeting on November 15 as part of a campaign to keep the historic, heritage-listed manor house in public hands. Organised by Reclaim Our City, the meeting demanded, “no action leading to the sale of public land at Gleniffer Brae and this precinct be taken by Wollongong City Council and its non-elected administrators”. The meeting welcomed a recent commitment by the council to hold off on any discussion of the matter until 2011. It demanded community consultation before any attempts to sell the land were made.
The Socialist Alliance’s Socialist Ideas Conference on November 20 featured informative presentations and spirited discussion. It reviewed the political situation in Australia and globally. One of the speakers was Greens MLC Mark Parnell. The most animated discussion was about the Greens' political perspectives and relation to community campaigns and grassroots activism. This followed an online debate before the event, about whether a Greens parliamentarian — particularly from the right of the party — should have been invited to speak at a conference promoting socialist ideas.
In early November, I attended the Wesfarmers AGM at the Perth Convention Centre. Yes, that Wesfarmers, the one that owns Coles, Bunnings, Officeworks, coal mines and plenty more. Not my usual sort of haunt, but I was there holding proxy votes for members of the Australia Western Sahara Association. Western Sahara was a Spanish colony until 1975, when Morocco invaded the country before a vote of self-determination could be held.
Max Watts, a well-known personality on the left in Australia, particularly in Sydney, died on November 23. Max was a left-wing freelance journalist, an occasional contributor to Green Left Weekly and its discussion e-list, and a solidarity activist with many national liberation struggles, including in Palestine, Kanaky, West Papua and Bougainville. In the 1960s, he was a central activist in Europe working with soldier resistance to the Vietnam War within the US armed forces. Resistance inside the army (RITA) was one of his great political passions.
All around the Western world, far-right groups (some with neo-Nazi links), are gaining political ground through an orchestrated campaign against Muslim communities. These groups are spreading fear and hatred against recent immigrant communities from Muslim countries, and tap into well-resourced post-9/11 war propaganda initiated by rulers of the world’s richest and most powerful states.
The third annual camp for climate action will happen in the Hunter Valley from December 1-5, between the Liddell and Bayswater power stations. The camp will bring will be an important forum for diverse groups to build stronger links with one another.
Morning Star clarification We were pleased to see Green Left Weekly’s reprint from the Morning Star of Jeff Sawtell's review of the Made in Dagenham film (GLW #860). Just one quibble. You have expanded Jeff's reference to the Morning Star to the “Communist Party of Britain’s newspaper, Morning Star”, which is inaccurate. For the record, since 1945, the Morning Star and its forerunner, the Daily Worker, have been owned by a readers' co-operative, the People's Press Printing Society Ltd (PPPS).