Issue 1238

News

A rally for a Free West Papua was held in Melbourne on September 14.

Pro-choice activists rallied in Sydney on September 14 to call for the decriminalisation of abortion in NSW.

“Any law that places half the population at risk of criminality simply because of their biology is a ridiculous and unsupportable law”, Jane Caro, one of the speakers, said.

The rally came days before a bill was put before parliament.

A small counter-rally by the religious right was drowned out by pro-choice activists.

Extinction Rebellion activists blockaded Princes Bridge in Melbourne’s CBD for several hours on September 14.

Anti-choice state MPs are seeking to add as many caveats as possible to a bill that seeks to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales and which has the support of medical, legal and feminist organisations.

 

In spite of Adani Australia CEO Lucas Dow’s claim last year that the corporate energy giant did not require a cent, the company looks set to sign off on a secret royalty deal with the Queensland government.

Adani will receive a $900-million-seven-year low interest royalty capital subsidy on September 30. This will mean Queensland will not receive a royalty return from Adani’s mine for years.

In what was the largest mobilisation for climate action in Australia's history, an estimated 300,000+ people walked out of school and work across Australia on September 20 as part of the School Strike 4 Climate coordinated Climate Strike.

The national demands of the Australian school strike movement are:

  1. No new coal, oil and gas projects.

  2. 100 renewable energy generation and exports by 2030.

  3. Funding for a just transition and job creation for fossil fuel workers and communities.

The campaigning efforts of local farmers and environmentalists were rewarded on September 18 when the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) rejected South Korean company Kepco’s bid to build a new thermal coalmine in the Bylong Valley, near Mudgee, in central NSW.

Protesters blocked entry to the work site for Adani’s controversial Carmichael coalmine, in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, for several hours on September 18.

Coral Wynter, who had joined the blockade from Sydney, told Green Left Weekly: “We blocked three gates of Adani’s workers’ camp for four hours, preventing several trucks from entering and leaving the site.”

Yamatji First Nation members gathered in front of Geraldton police station on September 18 to vent their outrage and grief over the death of 29-year-old sister Joyce Clark, who was shot dead the night before by a police officer on the outskirts of the town.

Ahead of this Friday’s global climate strikes, the Australian Council of Trade Unions has released a statement of support for students striking from school for climate action. The ACTU joins more than 30 Australian unions that have endorsed the School Strike for Climate movement.

Fifty people rallied outside the Federal Court building on September 18, just before the opening of the appeal by the Tamil family from Biloela, in Queensland, against the government's plan to deport them to Sri Lanka.

Justice for Refugee’s national day of action features in this week’s Activist Report along with the latest XR actions, West Papua solidarity and pro-choice activism.

Sydney, September 14, 2019: This was a different sort of refugee rights march because it was significantly made up of refugees who have been living and working in our society – for up to eight years – without the basic rights most Australians take for granted. The march demanded that refugees be given Permanent Protection Visas not Temporary Protection Visas, which offered them little security and made it difficult for refugee families to resettle in Australia. 

“Any law that places half the population at risk of criminality simply because of their biology is a ridiculous and unsupportable law”, Jane Caro told a pro-choice rally on September 14 in Sydney’s Hyde Park.

Climate activists are planning a mass blockade of the upcoming International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne, with the support of local councils, student unions and the Victorian Greens. 

The Commander of the Inner West Police Area Command apologised to Socialist Alliance members Rachel Evans and Susan Price on September 11 for the “distress and embarrassment” suffered during their arrest in 2017, after the matter was resolved in a confidential settlement.

Analysis

A public debate has erupted over a decision by Moreland council, in Melbourne’s inner-north, to install armrests on benches outside Coburg Library.

Green Left Weekly’s Janet Parker spoke to four progressive candidates running for City of Fremantle and nearby City of Cockburn councils about their views on local government and campaign priorities.

Unsurprisingly, a debate has broken out within the relatively new Extinction Rebellion movement on the role of the police in society and, more specifically, the tactics towards police at protests.

While estimates of the size of the Climate Strike in Australia vary, one thing is certain: many generations want real action to deal with climate change — and they want it now.

A newly-formed refugee and asylum seeker-led organisation — Justice for Refugees — coordinated national protests on September 14 to demand an end to the discrimination they face under Australia's onshore asylum seeker policy.

September 20, the date of the school student-initiated Climate Strike, also marks the 47th anniversary of Australia's first national secondary student strike, when 80,000 students took to the streets. Greg Adamson, a convenor of the 1972 strike, reflects on the lessons of almost half a century of student activism for today’s young climate rebels.

The most farcical side of the parliamentary banter between the Coalition and Labor regarding politicians’ ties to Chinese billionaires and government “agents of foreign influence” is not the pot-calling-the-kettle-black nature of their posture. It is that both studiously avoid mentioning the elephant in the room — the deeply entrenched corporate corruption of parliament and the state apparatus, writes Peter Boyle.

Tanya Louise Day was a strong Yorta Yorta woman who stood up for Aboriginal families whose loved ones had died in prison or police custody. She died from head injuries sustained in Castlemaine police station, in regional Victoria, on December 22, 2017.

The science has long been in on the climate emergency, yet despite this governments have signed off on Adani’s coalmine in Central Queensland, with five or six more set to follow if it goes ahead.

This immediate threat has led Queensland to become a flashpoint for climate activism in recent months. 

World

 


This blog, compiled by Green Left Weekly's European correspondent Dick Nichols, based in Barcelona, follows the trial in the Spanish Supreme Court of the 12 Catalan social and political leaders, who face up to 25 years jail for alleged offences of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds. It is updated regularly.

Anti-fascist campaigner and Australian citizen Jock Palfreeman was unexpectedly granted parole on September 19 after serving 11 years of a 20-year sentence on trumped-up charges. He was last denied parole on July 17.

Occupying the Plaça d’Espanya and surrounding streets on September 11, 600,000 people came out in Barcelona to celebrate Catalan National Day (the Diada).

The vast crowd demanded the acquittal of jailed Catalan social movement and political leaders, presently awaiting a Spanish Supreme Court verdict on charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement.

Following weeks of negotiations, Italy’s 5 Star Movement (M5S) and the Democratic Party (PD) have agreed to form a new coalition government, which will put Matteo Salvini’s far-right Lega (League) into a corner — at least for now, writes Daniele Fulvi.

“At the moment we’re looking at a people lacking the control that allows them to function as a society — water, the freedom to travel, the basic right to safety,” said Martin Sundram, delegate for the Artists’ Union of England (AUE) at the annual congress of the British trade union movement.

The news that a solid gold toilet has been stolen from Winston Churchill's former home of Blenheim Palace seems symptomatic of the present British condition. The British ruling class are not merely having their bathroom fittings taken but they seem assailed by chaos on every side, writes Derek Wall.

The decades-long struggle of the West Papuan people for self-determination has intensified in recent months — and Australia’s role in aiding and abetting the Indonesian occupation is once again being brought under international scrutiny.

A global day of action on September 14 drew attention to the Turkish government’s controversial Ilisu dam project on the Tigris River in Turkish Kurdistan. The dam is already being filled and if completed would flood the 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf, 199 villages and 136km of the Tigris River valley.

Union leader Esmail Bakhshi, student and civil rights activist, Sepideh Gholian, and four activist journalists were sentenced to long prison sentences by the Iranian regime on September 7.

Culture

"Are we seriously going to wait until there is no North Pole before we step on the brakes?" 

Check out When Our Turn Comes' debut single "Climate Strike".

Is there a progressive case for restricting immigration into the United States? After reading Phillip Cafaro’s book, my answer is still no — but I readily concede that there are too many intellectual hacks who use progressive-sounding rhetoric to advocate anti-immigrant positions

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at five new books that belong on an ecosocialist bookshelf.

Black is the New White is a hilarious farce that throws everything at the audience to get a laugh. There is physical clowning, outrageous nudity, family feuding and piss-takes of innumerable sacred cows.