Melbourne

Chanting “Fund the gap or we’ll be back,” more than 200 health workers protested outside Victorian health minister Martin Foley’s office on August 16 to demand the Labor state government restore funding to community mental health services. Services have been severely affected by the state government’s decision to cut $75 million from mental health funding.

Socialist groups and community activists of different stripes have come together under the banner of Victorian Socialists in one of the most ambitious bids in decades to get a socialist elected to state parliament. Green Left Weekly’s Jacob Andrewartha spoke to Stephen Jolly, Victorian Socialists’ lead candidate for the upper house Northern Metropolitan seat, about this initiative.

Residents and workers are fighting to save a little urban oasis.

Nearly 100 workers at Note Printing Australia (NPA) in Craigieburn, which is owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), were locked out by their employer on August 10.

The workers have been campaigning for a wage rise of 3.5%. Their demand is in line with the appeal made by RBA Governor Philip Lowe to federal parliament in February, when he said that a generalised wage rise of 3.5% would help stimulate economic activity.

More than 100 people attended a forum about Indigenous youth incarceration and education on August 8. Discussion focused on the links between the education system and skyrocketing imprisonment rates among young Indigenous people — dubbed the “school-prison pipeline”.

Sky News has been widely condemned for hosting a neo-Nazi on its TV station.

The Institute for Postcolonial Studies hosted a forum on August 1 to discuss the November 4 independence referendum in Kanaky-New Caledonia (KNC).

Kanaky is the indigenous name for the Pacific island country known to its French colonisers as Nouvelle Calèdonie (New Caledonia). The independence movement is proposing that the combined name Kanaky-New Caledonia be used.

A crime wave is sweeping Melbourne caused by “out-of control African gangs”’ if we are to believe Channel 7, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Coalition MPs and even Victorian police minister Lisa Neville, who claimed: “This core group of African youth are causing huge fear.”

An event continuing the open discussion on solutions to gendered violence was held on July 31 at the Resistance Centre in Melbourne.

Guest speakers were Sumaiya Muyeen, PhD in Gender and Cultural studies; Margarita Windisch, feminist activist and Socialist Alliance member; and Pia Cerveri, Women's and Equality Co-lead organiser at Victorian Trades Hall. An open discussion was held afterward.

It has started again.

This week’s statement by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that there is “genuine concern about Sudanese gangs” suggests we have reached the epitome of this ongoing scare campaign. Offering the same rhetoric the Victorian Liberals have has been drumming out for the best part of the past two years, Turnbull unashamedly entered the fray.

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