Perth

Shamikh Badra, youth leader of the Palestine People's Party, speaking at a forum in Perth. Badra is touring Australia thanks to socialist youth group Resistance. Film by Zeb Parkes for Green Left TV.
This video shows the reasons for and some of the actions in Perth's largely successful campaign for free speech. See more videos by Green Left TV.
A community protest of up to 30 people was held outside a global shale industry conference in Perth on June 28. Campaign group No Fracking WAy organised the protest. The two-day conference on global shale gas development put on by the Electric Utility Consultants, Inc (EUCI) at the Seasons of Perth Hotel, 37 Pier St, Perth. The protesters held up banners, sang anti-fracking songs and heard from several speakers about the problems with the shale gas industry, which is expanding rapidly in Western Australia.

The prosecution of two activists dubbed the “Christmas Carol Criminals” collapsed when a Perth magistrate dismissed all charges on June 29. Alex Bainbridge and Miranda Wood from the group Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA) had been charged with trespassing during a December protest outside Israeli cosmetics company Seacret. Seacret benefits from the illegal occupation of Palestine by stealing minerals and resources from the Dead Sea to use in its products.

Unconventional gas fracking is set to go ahead in WA, after the state's upper house voted down a motion calling for a moratorium on the controversial gas extraction process on June 20. The motion had been put to the state's upper house by Greens MLC Alison Xamon. The Liberal, National and Labor parties voted against it and it was lost. The motion called for a moratorium on the emerging industry until a comprehensive and transparent regulatory framework could be developed. “It is highly concerning that this motion has been dismissed by parliament,” Xamon said.
A vigorous exchange of views took place at the Socialist Alliance and Resistance-sponsored forum, “Women’s Rights today” at the Perth Activist Centre on May 30. The audience heard from a panel of Bec Copestake, who spoke about the Western Australian government’s prostitution bill, Kamala Emanuel, who spoke about reproductive rights, Zoe Bush, who discussed the rape culture on campus at the University of Western Australia (UWA), and Sanna Andrew, who spoke about the victory of the Australian Service Union’s equal pay campaign and the steps taken to achieve it.

The 'scoop' behind two pro-Palestine activists facing court in Perth, Australia. Miranda Wood and Alex Bainbridge were charged with trespass for singing modified Christmas carols in December 2011.

Despite bleak weather, about 50 people took part in a May 31 protest to call on the Australian government to “bring Julian Assange home”. The protest took part the day after the British supreme court ruled that Assange, WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, had to be extradited to Sweden. Rally chairperson Chris Jenkins said the protest was important because “Sweden has not ruled out handing Julian Assange over to the US” where he faces danger due to a sealed indictment with unspecified allegations.
Feminists caused a stir at the University of Western Australia (UWA) when posters and stickers appeared around the campus on May 31. Declaring “rape jokes are hate speech”, the posters and stickers were hard to miss. A sign with the same message appeared on a statue in the Swan River close to the campus. The same day, the main social club on campus was to hold a party to “celebrate and commemorate the contemporary culture of our fair university/city (As seen on PerthNow)”.
Activists expected that a new “anti-association” law would be passed by the Western Australian parliament on May 1. Instead, the law has been debated inside and outside parliament since then. The new law would give power to a judge to declare an organisation to be a “criminal association”. Members of declared organisations can be given “control orders” restricting their contacts with other people and could even prohibit their use of telephones or email.

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