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Supporters of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua, including the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, gathered outside the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Brisbane on September 2. They were protesting against the arrest of four supporters of the Freedom Flotilla in the West Papuan city of Sorong on August 28 and who are now facing charges of treason for raising the West Papuan Morning Star flag.
The West Papua Freedom Flotilla released this statement on September 12. *** Evading the Indonesian navy, two tiny boats met near the Australia-Indonesia border to ceremonially reconnect the indigenous peoples of Australia and West Papua. The ceremony was the pinnacle of a 5000 kilometre journey beginning in Lake Eyre, in which sacred water and ashes were carried and presented to West Papuan leaders.
The first marriage equality rally in Nowra, south of Wollongong, was held on September 6. About 100 people attended the rally and chalk rainbows were drawn on the footpath. Rally organiser Tobi Harris told the Illawarra Mercury: “The seat of Gilmore has been held by the Liberals for 17 years, and we want to remind them to stand up for the gay community.” Long-time queer rights activist Paola Harvey addressed the crowd. Her speech is reprinted below. ***
Well, turns out some bastards won the federal elections. I knew some bastards would win. I said it beforehand, I said: “Some bastards are going to win this one, you wait and see.” I was right. I even tried to put some money on some bastards winning, but no bookies would give me odds.
The fight to defend public education is shaping up to be a key campaign against the cutback agenda of the Colin Barnett government in Western Australia. Thousands of teachers and education assistants rallied outside state parliament on September 3 in two separate mobilisations and further industrial action is planned. The government claimed it has not cut education funding. However, the central issue is not about overall funding but the cuts to staffing levels. In August, the government announced they were planning to cut 500 education assistants and other support workers.
The NSW firefighters union has slammed the Barry O’Farrell state government for recent budget cuts that left five fire stations closed as more than 60 bushfires raged across the state on September 10.
Socialist Alliance members in Geelong have been victims of a vicious, post-election smear campaign. Federal police are investigating a Facebook page that called for the assassination of PM-elect Tony Abbott. The creator of the page has not been identified, but they claimed an association with the Geelong branch of the Socialist Alliance and appeared to be posting from Geelong Trades Hall, where Socialist Alliance has its office.
Australia’s recent federal election should be remembered as the election that forgot about climate change. Serious action to address climate change was a non-issue for the two big parties and the mainstream media, despite the country experiencing its second-warmest August, second-warmest winter and warmest 12-month period on record.
September 11 marked 40 years since a brutal military coup brought down the left-wing government of President Salvador Allende in Chile. The "Other September 11" represented the state terrorist actions of the US government and the CIA in subverting and overthrowing a democratically elected progressive government — one of many such right-wing coups sponsored by the US in Latin America over the past century.
Aboriginal Australians awoke on Sunday morning to find they had a new “Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs”, a pledge Tony Abbott delivered during the 2013 election campaign. One problem — noone, including within the media, ever stopped to ask Aboriginal people if they actually wanted a “Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs”, and in particular whether they wanted Abbott. As it turns out, they apparently don’t.
Since the election of Tony Abbott’s Coalition government, Green Left Weekly has had a rush of new subscribers and many renewals. These people recognise the critical role Green Left Weekly will play in the trying period ahead. One regular subscriber bought a subscription for her daughter. "She needs to know what is going on under this terrible man, Tony Abbott," the subscriber said when I took her call. Her trepidation is shared by many — with good reason.
Are you sick of elections that primarily involve a choice between two pro-capitalist parties? Well, here's your chance to experience an election involving a mass mobilisation of revolutionary-minded people determined to bring about socialism of the 21st century in their country. The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) will host its 14th solidarity brigade to Venezuela over December 4-13. The registration closing date has now been extended to October 1.