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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.
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.
Four thousand nurses and midwives met at Sydney Olympic Park on November 24 to protest against the state government's refusal to fund safe nurse-to patient-ratios. It was the first state-wide nurses’ strike since 2001 and 170 hospitals were affected. The action was supported by 180 branches of the NSW Nurses Association (NSWNA). The Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) said the strike must be called off, but the nurses were defiant.
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.
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.
“Winning Our Rights” is the theme of the December 10-11 Union and Community Summer School, which will be held at Melbourne Trades Hall. The conference will discuss the 30-year-long retreat of the Australian union movement and also victories over that period. “Winning Our Rights” will feature unionists leading important struggles. They will share their experiences and discuss how to turn the tide. Attending will be Tom Buckley from New Zealand’s Unite union. Unite has won the rights of restaurant and other retail workers by organising in a heavily casualised industry.
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.
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.

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 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.
Tamil asylum seeker Mugeeb Rahuman Mohaideen is detained in Maribynong Detention Centre. He came to Australia on November 7. He told Green Left Weekly that he ran a clothes-making store in the war-torn Tamil Eelam province of Sri Lanka. Mohaideen's customers included the Sri Lankan Army. He said the SLA took a large order in August 2009 and didn't pay. When Mohaideen asked for payment, they came for him.