A powerful art exhibition took place in Brisbane over October 15-23, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the SIEV-X tragedy on October 19, 2001, in which 353 asylum seekers, including 146 children, drowned when their fishing boat sank between Indonesia and Australia. The exhibition featured the works of Melbourne-based artist Kate Durham, under the title, "SIEV-X — and some were saved". It included a supporting exhibition of paintings by artists from refugee communities who came to Australia by boat, titled “Floating”.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on October 26 to discuss allegations of human rights abuses. The meeting took place just hours after a young Tamil refugee killed himself inside Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.
Some conservative commentators have declared the global Occupy movement to be “socialist”. Right-wing activist and musician Ted Nugent said in the Washington Times on October 14: “Occupy Wall Street is nothing more than anti-American socialism on parade... “These useful idiots are clamoring for social justice, as if they don’t have enough of that already.”
In the wake of acts of self-harm and protests by detained refugees, people in Darwin gathered to show their support for a more humane refugee solution. Twenty people rallied outside the offices of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) on October 26 to call for and end to mandatory detention and oppose the proposed new detention centre at Wickham Point.
Occupy Perth released the statement below on October 28. * * * Perth activists are currently occupying Forrest Place in the centre of the CBD. The 100 protesters who have committed to staying the night are calling for an end to corporate greed and for the rise of a real and transparent democracy. The police have informed the group that so long as they do not erect any other permanent structures they will not be moved on.
See all of Green Left's extensive Occupy coverage here The global Occupy movement has inspired huge numbers of Australians who have grown chronically disengaged with the political game-playing of the two big parties and an economic system that puts profit before people and the planet.
The ABC’s Q & A program on October 24 was the first to discuss the Occupy movement sweeping the world. Reportedly there are now occupations in 2200 cities. It revealed why the politicians that represent the richest 1% have no credibility any more.
About 1000 people took part in a march on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth on October 28. The peaceful march and rally involved people from many different movements and causes who united under the banner: “Justice and climate action, not racism and war.
NSW secondary and primary public school teachers will stop work for two hours on November 2 to consider any salary offer from the state government. Should no fair and reasonable offer be made, the meetings will consider taking a 24-hour strike at the end of November. The NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) is demanding Barry O’Farrell’s government begin good faith negotiations immediately. The federation has proposed an offer, but the Liberal state government has failed to respond or begin negotiations for a new salaries award.
Renowned political theorist and writer Noam Chomsky spoke to Occupy Boston on October 22. Below is an abridged transcript of his comments. See all of Green Left's extensive Occupy coverage here * * * It’s pretty hard to give a talk for the Howard Zinn memorial lecture at an Occupy meeting. There are mixed feelings that necessarily go along with it. First of all regret that Howard is not here to take part in, and invigorate in his inimitable way, something that would have been the dream of his life.