“Not joining the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement doesn’t mean that you’re not taking a stand,” Associate Professor Jake Lynch told a meeting at the University of Sydney on March 14. “By continuing institutional links to Israeli high education, universities here risk unwittingly becoming indirectly complicit in violations of international laws and abuses of human rights.”
A 72-year-old man overly fond of a cold shandy on a hot day and a cigarette or two, was found dead in the room he rented in a pub in Waterloo, Sydney on February 23. There was nothing particularly unusual about it except that the man, Eddie Trigg, was the last person to see Juanita Nielsen alive. Nielsen was a society heiress, a member of the family that owned the iconic Sydney retailer Mark Foy’s. In the 1970s she was living in Victoria Street, Kings Cross, running a local paper called Now.
Former Coalition government treasurer Peter Costello envisions Queensland as a privatised, “small government” state in the final report he has written for the state government. A huge sell-off of remaining public assets was recommended in the 32-page executive summary released on March 1. The full report in excess of 1000 pages has been withheld until after the May budget.
I have always found tests and exams, whether the NAPLAN or Victorian Certificate of Education, very problematic. For one thing, it only tests English and numeracy, as if other subjects are not important and do not contribute to numeracy and literacy skills. For several years, educators have known that there are different learning styles and techniques. Some people have one dominant learning style, others use different styles in different situations, and styles are not fixed.
This year marks the bicentenary of the first European crossing of the Blue Mountains in NSW. For white Australia it was a great triumph and a significant step forward in the process of colonising the entire continent. For the Aboriginal people of this area, however, it was a disturbing development that heralded the most significant challenge they had ever faced.
Our eldest child just started secondary school. Not long ago the school didn’t have a uniform, but nowadays you can’t attract the “aspiring” families if you’re not serious about modelling the corporate world. Parents seeking “good” careers for their children are increasingly aware of the importance of correct procedures and work ethic. “Good schools” encourage hours of homework every night and are driven by “disciplined structures” and “excellence”.
Aboriginal banners decorated an angry rally in Sydney’s Hyde Park on March 14. The families of Colleen Walker-Craig, Evelyn Greenup and Clinton Speedy-Duroux rallied with others from Bowraville, west of Nambucca Heads, and Sydney residents, calling for a Royal Commission into the Bowraville children murders. Twenty-three years ago, four-year-old Evelyn Greenup and 16-year-olds Colleen Walker and Clinton Speedy-Duroux were killed in a five-month period on a street near the Bowraville mission.
About 100 people attended a forum and concert titled, "Remembering Fukushima, Two years on: Time to end the nuclear chain," at the Teachers Federation on March 10. The forum was addressed by Japanese farmer and anti-nuclear campaigner Kenichi Hasegawa; Peace Boat International member Akira Kawasaki, South Australian Indigenous elder and co-chair of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) Peter Watts, Illawarra Aboriginal community and ANFA member Dootch Kennedy, Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon, and Uranium Free NSW spokesperson Nat Wasley.
Venezuela’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez, died on March 5, and if there is one thing we can take away from coverage in the Western mainstream media is there is now one less dictator threatening the free world. Sure, on the surface, Chavez didn’t really seem like much of a dictator, what with the whole coming to power through free elections and encouraging unprecedented political participation by ordinary citizens thing. But it is just like those serial killers whose neighbours always say seemed so nice until the horrible truth came out.
The Moreland municipality has the second-highest rate of family violence in Victoria. Most violent crime in Moreland is family violence. “This means that there is an epidemic of family violence in Moreland,” said the Socialist Alliance’s Moreland councillor Sue Bolton. At its March 13 council meeting, Moreland council passed a community safety motion to start an immediate expansion of CCTV cameras. The Moreland council was offered funding by the state government that could be spent only on CCTV cameras.
Campaigners against the planned Woodside gas hub at James Price Point in the Kimberley believe the Greens’ opposition to the proposal was the reason for their success in the Kimberley seat. They say it has proven the Broome community does not want the Western Australian Liberals and Woodside's gas hub at James Price Point.
A feminist performing group was initiated in Cairns in late 2011, in response to a range of issues, including male violence against women and the retention of abortion in the criminal code in Queensland. The members of this group are diverse — in age, background and previous performing experience — but all have a commitment to improving the status and rights of women in far-north Queensland.
Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on March 15. *** This week, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke announced that coal seam gas (CSG) projects that could affect water resources will now trigger federal approval. The bill — detailing the proposed changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) — was tabled [last] week. Stop CSG spokesperson Jess Moore said: "This trigger does not live up to the hype from Burke.
In the WA election the Socialist Alliance ran in the seats of Perth, Fremantle and Willagee and won 0.9%, 1.2% and 2% of the vote respectively. Willagee candidate Sam Wainwright said: "While small votes in absolute terms, for us they represent a modest increase and contain some important indicators." Wainwright, a City of Fremantle councillor representing the Hilton ward, said that this was the first time the Socialist Alliance had run in Willagee, most of which has a more working-class character and more state housing tenants than Fremantle.
Green Left Weekly's 2013 Fighting Fund appeal for $250,000 was launched in January. Since then volunteers and supporters around the country have been busy raising funds and generously sending in donations to keep the project afloat. It's relentless work, but vital in order to keep an independent media voice alive in Australia; a voice that puts the truth and journalistic integrity before sensationalism and profit.
Hundreds of people rallied outside parliament house in Canberra on March 13 to demand action for the war crimes of Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa. The rally was organised by Campaign for Tamil Justice, who are calling for an independent investigation into allegations by a UN panel of Sri Lankan military war crimes and crimes against humanity. Campaign spokesperson Trevor Grant said: “The UN Human Rights Commission is meeting right now on Sri Lanka and the word is that there will be another insipid resolution issued, with support from Australia.