The controversial introduction of income management to Playford in northern Adelaide was the subject of a thought-provoking and at times emotional community meeting hosted by Socialist Alliance on June 13. A sizeable turnout of locals, including individuals from Anglicare, Uniting Care and the Playford City Council, discussed how this policy, to be “trialled” from July 1, will impact on the wellbeing of those on Centrelink payments and the broader community, and how people should respond.
In what was an important milestone for the anti-capitalist community in Adelaide, Left Unity held its inaugural AGM on May 26. The group collected membership fees, elected an executive and established working groups. It also chose a new logo. The AGM culminates several months of careful discussion towards consolidating the organisation. Left Unity formed in May 2010. Its goal was to unite class-conscious radical left forces through common struggles against the ecological and social evils of our increasingly brutal and irrational economic and political system.
Thirty people attended a May 15 rally on the steps of South Australia’s Parliament House to protest the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Registration of Still-Births) Amendment Bill, also known as Jayden’s Law, introduced by Family First MP Robert Brokenshire, which was to be voted upon the next day. However, in the face of community concerns regarding the intentions and wording of the amendment and a campaign organised by the South Australian Feminist Collective (SAFC), Brokenshire has delayed the vote for several weeks.
In South Australia, where abortion is still legally considered a crime under the Criminal Act, women do not have the legal right to make their own reproductive choices. What we have now is tenuous and limited access to abortions through an underfunded healthcare system. Now, this access is under attack. Family First MP Robert Brokenshire has introduced into the SA upper house the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Registration of Still-Births) Amendment Bill (also known as Jayden’s Law), which will be put to a vote on May 16.
May Day was celebrated in Adelaide on Saturday May 5 with a march through the city streets. A sizable Left Unity block marched down together from the Adelaide Activist Centre. They marched under a Left Unity banner, but also carried individual banners representing the participating groups. The Left Unity contingent included Socialist Alliance, Resistance, the Communist Party of Australia (CPA), the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) Adelaide branch, along with other independent members of the left.
If you are thinking of challenging a mining development in the courts, be prepared to go through the financial wringer. You might think you have an open-and-shut case, that the federal government has shirked its responsibilities under environmental legislation. But if the finding goes against you, the government and the mining industry will see you bankrupt.
Whatever BHP Billiton wants to expand operations at its huge Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mine, Australian authorities are almost frantic to give it. Clear violations of environment laws are not even being allowed to stand in the way. But where governments have shirked their responsibilities, eco-activists have stepped up to defend the environment. On April 3 and 4 a federal court in Adelaide heard a challenge to the mine expansion. A ruling is expected in coming weeks.
A high-energy, loud and prominent rally marched through Adelaide’s central shopping mall on March 31 to show support for victims of extreme climate-change related weather events and demand real climate action. The event was Adelaide’s second annual “March for Survival”. The march ended with a mock arrest of the state energy minister Tom Koutsantonis for “climate crimes”. The charges included ignoring the urgency of the climate science and failing to support plans for solar thermal technology in Port Augusta.
Activists delivered an early birthday present for Rupert Murdoch to The Advertiser building in Adelaide on March 9. Occupy Murdoch delivered a yellow “uranium” cake, along with demands for media reform, to the office of the News Ltd tabloid. Activist Tamara Otello baked the cake, which she explained was intended “for The Advertiser staff”. She said: “It hasn’t been laced with anything nasty ... unlike The Advertiser. It’s actually a chocolate mudcake.”
Adelaide has a new social movement in town, yet with a familiar name: Occupy. The Occupy movement has been criticised for its lack of focus and demands, yet in Adelaide there is a clear focus for direct action: Rupert Murdoch. Hence the name: Occupy Murdoch. Occupy Murdoch specifically focuses on corporate controlled media, especially News Corporation. Adelaide's daily tabloid The Advertiser is a Murdoch paper that publishes rubbish dressed up as “news” to distract people and supports specific political interests.
Inequalities are not only unjust: they literally make us sick. This was the conclusion reached by the sizeable turnout at Left Unity’s January 31 forum: “Inequality, Health, And Wellbeing: Why Inequality Is Bad For Us.” Much of Adelaide’s progressive community came together — Resistance and the Socialist Alliance, the Communist Party of Australia, the Adelaide Anti-Capitalist Forum, Occupy Adelaide, anarchists, and current and former members of the Greens — to hear why inequality has increased dramatically throughout the world over the past few decades.