World refugee day rally

Australian Solicitor-General Stephen Gageler, who defended the government’s Malaysia solution in the High Court, confirmed the court’s decision “cast doubt” on all offshore processing, immigration minister Chris Bowen said on September 4.

One hundred and twenty people packed out Gleebooks in Sydney on September 1 for the launch of Walk with Us — the latest book from the Aboriginal solidarity group Concerned Australians. The book documents the detrimental impact of the Northern Territory intervention on Aboriginal people and features a call out from Aboriginal elders to Australians, asking them to walk with them in their quest for justice.
About 300 activists protested in Melbourne on September 9 against chocolate company Max Brenner’s sponsorship of elite Israeli military units, as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israeli apartheid in Palestine. Indigenous rights activist Robbie Thorpe told the rally: “Every struggle we see is about human life, their struggle is the same as ours because this is illegally occupied land too.” Trade unionist Dave Kerin said: “The only right solution is democratic, equal representation of all inhabitants of Palestine.”
British-based multinational corporation Serco Group is bidding for more contracts with Australian federal and state governments. Worth £4.3 billion ($6.6 billion), Serco markets itself as a “solution to government”, which takes over government services and runs them for profit. It has run Australia’s disastrous and increasingly unstable refugee detention centres since 2009, owns two Australian super-prisons and took over Western Australia’s court security and custodial services in June.
The “Say No to Government’s Income Management: Not in Bankstown, Not Anywhere” campaign coalition released the petition below in August. To sign the petition, visit www.sayno2gim.info. * * * To the honourable president and members of the senate in parliament assembled: We the undersigned are opposed to the federal government’s income management system, which quarantines between 50% to 70% of Centrelink payments so they can only be used to buy “priority items” at government-approved stores.
Community Action Against Homophobia released the statement below on September 9. * * * In August, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young wrote an opinion piece in The Age arguing that “the fight for marriage equality should be above party politics, which is a vital reason to give members of parliament a conscience vote on the matter”.
About 160 people gathered at The Gap State High School on September 8 for a community forum on the potential impacts of the coal seam gas industry. Gubbi Gubbi elder Nurdon Serico gave a welcome to country, saying he had seen what mining can do to country and community, and highlighting that this industry will lead to the destruction of sacred Aboriginal sites as well as farming land.
Sixty people rallied outside Western Australia’s Parliament House on September 8 in a protest organised by the homeless rights supporters. The rally called on the Barnett Liberal government to provide proper funding to the state’s homeless people and support and shelter all year round. The state government has set aside $112,500 for temporary accommodation and meals for homeless people during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in late October.
The Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) has slammed the Queensland Labor government over its decision to approve a 100% fly-in, fly-out workforce for the Caval Ridge coalmine near Moranbah, central Queensland. The union has about 10,000 members in the state’s coalmines. It said it would fight the Bligh government's decision in the lead up to the Queensland election, due early next year. “We will ensure our members and the communities they live in are not left behind,” said CFMEU state secretary Jim Valery, the September 7 Courier Mail reported.
Fundamentalist Christian street preachers faced stiff opposition from activists who rallied against their public sermons in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall on September 2. Members of the right-wing religious group found themselves surrounded by a large crowd of activists who rallied for more than five hours. The rally’s theme was “love not hate”. The rally aimed to show solidarity for those who have received verbal abuse and suffered violence, particularly homosexual youths often targeted by the fringe Christians.
For many years we were regular contributors to Green Left Weekly and proud supporters of the paper. We’ve now decided to resume writing for GLW and we urge other former contributors to consider doing the same. In May 2008, we and about 50 other former members of the Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP) launched the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and the monthly paper Direct Action (DA) following a bitter internal dispute in the DSP that centred on the Socialist Alliance.
The Central Land Council released the statement below on August 26. It was delivered by Ngarla Kunoth-Monks, CLC executive member, and Rob Roy, CLC member, at the 45th anniversary celebrations of the Wavehill walk-off at Kalkaringi, the Northern Territory. * * * Kalkaringi, NT — We are the Central Land Council and we have been elected to speak for our Land, our Law and our Culture. We demand that the government permits us to take the future in our hands.