Abbott concerned for BHP Billiton’s profits Opposition leader Tony Abbott has asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard to promise to never apply its new mining tax to gold, copper and uranium. The June 13 International Business Times said Abbott sought the assurance “on behalf of BHP Billiton”, the world’s third biggest company.
The Coalition against Israeli Apartheid and Jews Against the Occupation hosted the Melbourne launch of Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists on June 9. Two Jewish activists and a Palestinian spoke out against Zionism at the launch. All speakers stressed that “speaking out against the actions of Israel is not anti-Semitic”, highlighting the often blurred line between Jewish identity and Zionism.
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on June 13. * * * Since the uprising against the government of Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011 the death toll in Syria is now estimated to have exceeded 10,000. As the violence escalates, Western government leaders are openly canvassing launching a military intervention. We oppose imperialist military intervention.
Heavy rain did not deter workers across NSW from turning out in their thousands today to protest against the Barry O’Farrell Liberal-National government’s attack on hard-won workers' compensation rights and entitlements. There were firefighters, nurses, construction workers, factory and office workers recalling workplace casualties and angrily shouting out: "Shame, Barry, shame!" The workers later left flowers outside Parliament House gates to remember those killed and injured.
The June 11 Sydney Morning Herald reported that people with disabilities in Australia are paying up to five times more for essential equipment than their overseas counterparts.
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on June 12. * * * The Socialist Alliance stands in solidarity with the Yolngu Nations Assembly in its unequivocal rejection of federal Labor’s Stronger Futures bill. This proposed law continues the trauma of invasion, dispossession, paternalism, neglect and cultural destruction that Australia’s First Nations have withstood since colonisation began in 1788.
Tracker, June 6: You’ll forgive Aboriginal people for not jumping over the moon today at the Transit of Venus. One of the last times the "Evening Star" got between the Earth and Sun, it was used as the pretext for invasion. Ever a suspicious lot, the British had long wanted to claim the "Great Southern Land" for themselves, which they were sure existed thanks to the hard work of explorers from other countries. But they didn’t want to tip off other countries to what they were doing.
Up to 30,000 Victorian school teachers took strike action on June 7 in what the Australian Education Union (AEU) said was the largest teachers’ strike in the state’s history. More than 11,000 — many wearing the AEU signature red colours — marched through the streets of Melbourne to rally at state parliament. Before the march, teachers packed out Melbourne’s Hisense Arena for a mass meeting. Several hundred more people who could not fit in gathered outside to watch and listen to the proceedings on huge screens.
A vigorous exchange of views took place at the Socialist Alliance and Resistance-sponsored forum, “Women’s Rights today” at the Perth Activist Centre on May 30. The audience heard from a panel of Bec Copestake, who spoke about the Western Australian government’s prostitution bill, Kamala Emanuel, who spoke about reproductive rights, Zoe Bush, who discussed the rape culture on campus at the University of Western Australia (UWA), and Sanna Andrew, who spoke about the victory of the Australian Service Union’s equal pay campaign and the steps taken to achieve it.
Anti-war and progressive groups in the Philippines have asked for Australian support against a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between Australia and the Philippines currently before the Philippines Senate for ratification. On June 6, there were two anti-war protests against the VFA, which is seen as part of a US-led military build up in the Asian region aimed at China. The US used to operate huge military bases in the Philippines under the Marcos dictatorship. After Marcos was toppled by peoples power uprisings, these agreements were revoked.
Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left Edited by Antony Loewenstein & Jeff Sparrow Melbourne University Press, 2012 RRP $32.99 In the past few years, the world economy has fallen into its deepest crisis for eight decades with no end in sight, shocked scientists have reported new evidence the climate is changing quicker than feared and opinion polls have reflected widespread anger and cynicism with mainstream political parties openly tied to business interests.
This article and petition was prepared by a group of young Cambodian women activists. * * * Evictions and forcible confiscations of land ranks as one of Cambodia's most pervasive human rights problems, and in fact is growing worse. Such actions, coupled with total impunity and a lack of the rule of law, are leading to violence fuelled by deep dissatisfaction over existing resettlement schemes. This in turn leads to violent responses by companies, the authorities and the law enforcement agencies.
On June 7, Australian Education Union (AEU) members — primary and secondary teachers in Victorian government schools — held their first stop-work meeting since 2008. About 25,000 teachers took part in Melbourne and marched to the steps of Victoria’s parliament house. In 2008, teachers were campaigning for their Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA), which expired at the end of last year. Since then the AEU officials have been unsuccessfully negotiating with Victoria’s Ted Baillieu state government for a new EBA.
Carlo Sands comes out strongly in favour of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, lauding everyone from Tom Jones to Julia Gillard, even putting up his own hand to make a similar sacrifice.


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