Hobart

Vigil protests were held on May 25, in Hobart and Melbourne, to mark 100 days of peaceful occupation of the wildlife-rich forests of Tasmania’s Tarkine. The vigil, organised by the Bob Brown Foundation and Save the Tarkine, urged members of the Legislative Council to reject the Hodgman government's proposed destructive forests legislation and to provide National Park protection for the Tarkine.

Every day, people’s human rights are violated. In detention centres like those on Nauru and Manus Island, such violations are not just allowed but enforced by the Australian government. However, last month people stood together for nine hours to tell the Australian government that they would not accept it any longer. 

The vigil was held in the Hobart CBD from 10am to 7pm. People took turns reading to onlookers from the Nauru case files that were recently leaked by the Guardian. Others held placards and banners with messages of solidarity for the people in detention centres at Manus and Nauru. 

Tasmanian Police have discontinued their prosecution of former Greens leader Bob Brown, who was arrested earlier this year under controversial anti-protest laws which he went on to challenge in the High Court.

Brown was arrested in January for standing in the way of bulldozers primed to clear forest at Lapoinya, in north west Tasmania.

He was one of the first to be charged under the Workplaces (Protection from Protestors) Act 2014.

The law is part of a controversial series of legislation, which aims at deterring protests that interrupt businesses' activities.

Fossil Free UTas began a sit-in on October 14 outside the office of University of Tasmania's vice-chancellor, Peter Rathjen. The sit-in lasted a marathon 15 days.

The University of Tasmania has not yet committed to divesting from fossil fuels, but negotiations between the university and Fossil Free UTas are now underway.

The sit-in gained community awareness and support for the campaign. The students received national and international media attention, and their actions sparked similar campaigns in other parts of the country.

Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance (RYSA) released the following statement on October 27 in support of the Fossil Free UTas occupation.

The following day Fossil Free UTas announced that they were ending the occupation and restarting negotiations after two days of productive meetings with the university management.

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A student occupation demanding that the University of Tasmania (UTAS) divest its $300 million portfolio from the fossil fuel industry has entered its second week.

The sit-in outside the university vice-chancellor's office began on October 14, and is part of a nationwide campaign calling on other universities to do the same.

Fossil Free UTAS released a statement on October 19 saying: “We are here to demand that the university gets off fossil fuels because it will save students' money today and because it is the morally right thing to do.”

A United Patriots Front (UPF) rally of about 20 people was met by 200 Say No to Racism protesters and about 25 police in Hobart on July 19.

The UPF rally moved from Franklin Square, through the Elizabeth Street Mall to the ABC building and concluded at the Domain Rose Gardens.

Say No to Racism protesters included Greens, Socialist Alliance, anarchists, local musicians, and people who had "never been to a rally before".

Say No to Racism protesters disrupted the UPF rally at each stopping point and as they marched on the street.

Frack Free Tasmania held a public meeting on February 18 at Sustainable Living Tasmania to warn about possible exploration for shale oil and gas in the island state. The current moratorium on fracking in Tasmania is due to end on March 31.

The government put out an issues paper which received 157 submissions, 90% of which were opposed to fracking being allowed in the state. The government responded to the review on February 26 by extending the moratorium until 2020.

Several hundred Aboriginal community members and their supporters gathered on Hobart parliament house lawns to mark Invasion Day on January 26. There was a one minute silence observed whilst a wreath was slowly walked down two rows of those who gathered and placed on the steps to parliament house.

People were welcomed to country and reminded that the Aboriginal people do not recognise today as Australia Day, that they do not celebrate this day, and that their land was stolen, that they will never give up and will never go away.

Public sector unions in Tasmania held a two-hour strike across the state on November 27 to protest against the job cuts planned by the state Liberal government.

About 10,000 workers from 11 unions attended stop-work rallies at 18 sites. This included about 5000 people who rallied at Parliament House in Hobart and 2000 who gathered at the Inveresk Tramsheds in Launceston.

The rally in Burnie had to move out of the Arts and Function Centre to accommodate all the striking workers.

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