Recent polls say the refugee rights movement is in the minority on the issue. An Essential Report shows 61% of Australians support the “PNG solution”, which proposes to expel all refugees that arrive by boat to Papua New Guinea. But we can win people over on this question because we have truth and justice on our side. I am old enough to have taken part in the movement against the Vietnam War. I remember that at the start about only 30% of the public was against that war. But the anti-war movement went on to decisively win the battle through a persistent campaign out in the streets.
Groups in Australia have claimed for several years that low-frequency noise and inaudible sound levels from wind farms have affected people’s health by causing sleep disturbance, headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, fast heart rate, poor concentration and episodes of panic. In 2011, the Victorian Liberal government used these claims to place a ban on windfarms being built within two kilometres of residential areas. Is there any basis to these claims?
This statement was released by Gasfield Free Seaspray on July 28. *** A crowd of more than 600 hundred people came together in Seaspray today to celebrate the results of a survey that showed 98% of the community wants the area to remain gasfield free.
In recent years, there has been the emergence of a career path in the Labor Party that runs from the union movement to political office. Then, after office, to lobbyist and company director. Of the 23 key lobbyists in the five mainland states in 2010, 17 had connections to the Labor Party. In a reflection of cross-party unity in NSW, 134 of the 272 officially registered individual lobbyists are former MPs or ministerial staffers.
Doggedly loyal to the struggle for socialism and a member of five different socialist organisations over his life, Allan Little departed our ranks in Brisbane on July 12 at the age of 81. A person of incredibly modest means, he began his working life as a cane cutter in Queensland’s north and finished as a unionist and manufacturing worker in the Brisbane suburb of Rocklea. Ferociously independent and always reluctant to burden anyone with personal requests — even when bed bound — Allan rarely talked about his life’s experiences.
It was a powerful moment of solidarity as more than 200 Green Left Weekly supporters who had filled Balmain Town Hall for this publication's annual Sydney fundraising dinner held up Bradley Manning masks. Looking down from the stage it was an amazing sight. The guests at the dinner included tables of freedom fighters from all around the world: from Latin America to Asia.
The federal government is considering a proposal to force young unemployed people into strict military-style boot camps. The plan is an inadequate, simplistic response to the complex problem of youth unemployment. The fact that Labor is seriously exploring the scheme is another indication of how increasingly right-wing the party has become on welfare policy. The proposal, promoted as a “possible vote winner” to be announced before the upcoming election, would force early school leavers aged 15 to 21 into tough, hard-line boot camps, though precise details remain sketchy.
The election campaign in Australia is being fought with the lives of men, women and children. Some drown, others are banished without hope to malarial camps. Children are incarcerated behind razor wire in conditions described as "a huge generator of mental illness". This barbarism is considered a vote-winner by both the Australian government and opposition. Reminiscent of the closing of borders to Jews in the 1930s, it is smashing the facade of a society advertised as benign and lucky. Read More:
In the aftermath of the April 24 Rana Plaza collapse, the plight of Bangladeshi garment workers occupied global media attention in a way it never had before. The inconvenient thing about Rana Plaza, as far as the fashion brands that rely on outsourced sweatshop labour were concerned, was that so many workers — more than 1100 — died in one spectacular incident.
"Thirty Years But Still No Justice!" was the theme of an Aboriginal deaths in custody forum held in Redfern on July 27. Speakers addressed issues of deaths in custody, victims of police brutality and other social justice concerns. The forum was also the Sydney launch of the National Deaths in Custody Coalition (NDCC), established in February this year to organise for a national day of action on Saturday, September 28 to mark 30 years since the death at police hands of WA Aboriginal youth John Pat in 1983. The meeting was sponsored by the Indigenous Social Justice Association.