The Injured Workers Support Network released the statement below on June 12. * * * Injured Workers Support Network members will tomorrow take to the streets and join unions and community supporters at a rally at NSW Parliament House in protest of the O’Farrell government’s proposed slashing of workers compensation benefits to injured and ill workers.
Australian mining companies, already ravaging the traditional land of Indigenous peoples in the Philippines, are now pushing for ratification of a military agreement that would allow Australian troops to enter the Philippines for "combined training, exercises, or other activities mutually approved by the Parties". Protests broke out in Manila on June 6, 2012 as the Philippines Senate was deliberating the ratification of this controversial 'visiting forces' military pact with the Australian government, signed by the disgraced former President Gloria Arroyo in 2007.
Australians should be worried about the attempt to rush through the Philippines Senate the Philippines-Australia Status of Forces agreement visiting anti-bases activist Boyette Jurcales Jr told a Sydney meeting on June 7. Jurcales is the coordinator of the Philippines-based Ban the Bases and the meeting was organised by the newly-established anti-bases network Keep War from Our Door – Wave of Hope.
Germany's Die Linke (The Left) party elected a new leadership team at its June 2-3 congress. It came at a time of rising economic and social crisis in Europe, as well as losses for Die Linke in recent state elections. Die Linke was formed in 2007 as part of a unification of two parties, one with a base in the old eastern states (the PDS) and the other based in the western Germany (the WASG). Between 2007 and 2009, Die Linke achieved strong electoral results in federal elections and was represented in all state parliaments.
Anti-war and progressive groups in the Philippines have requested Australian solidarity against a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement between Australia and the Philippines currently before the Philippines Senate for ratification. On June 6 there were two anti-war demos against this Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) which is seen as part of a US-led military build up in the Asian region aimed at China.
About 300 members of the NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) Council voted unanimously on June 2 to call upon the Barry O’Farrell government to provide guarantees for public school student learning conditions. If the O’Farrell government refuses to provide these guarantees the NSWTF will consider industrial action in the final week of June.
QR National announced on June 5 it would cut 500 rail jobs, to add to the 600 lost last year through voluntary redundancies. QR National is now Australia's largest rail freight company. It was was privatised in 2011 as part of the previous Labor state government's controversial public asset sales program. Rail Tram and Bus Union (RBTU) Queensland state secretary Owen Doogan told the June 6 Courier Mail that the redundancies were damaging: “We believe they will be outsourcing some of their work which means QR National workers will have been sold down the road.”
A group of unemployed people slept on the streets last weekend before being coerced into working for free — at the queen’s jubilee. It is the latest shocking story of life under the Tories’ Work Programme. Up to 30 jobless people were bussed into London from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth to work as stewards. Workers from Bristol say they were dumped in London at 3am on Sunday. Some said they had originally been told they would be paid for the work. But when they got onto coaches they were told they’d be doing the work for free—or lose out on a chance of paid work at the Olympics.
Pro-democracy campaigners Republic continued their campaign against the monarchy with a protest outside St Paul's Cathedral on June 5. The Queen and her royal sidekicks were attending a service at the cathedral, which was the long-term site for the Occupy Movement camp in London. Members of Republic, unintimidated by taunts of God Save the Queen, held up placards saying: "9,500 nurses or one Queen?" and "Republic Now!"
This photo essay by Tom Grundy, an activist-journalist based in Hong Kong, shows the 180,000-strong candlelight rally held in Victoria Park, Hong Kong on June 4 to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre in Beijing. It is republished with permission from his Hong Wrong blogsite.
The Goddess of Democracy statue.
The Goddess of Democracy statue.