Sydney

A colourful group of environmental activists gathered on the steps of Australian mining giant Lynas Corporation’s head office on September 20 to protest the company’s move to build a rare earth mineral refinery in Malaysia.

Thousands of Malaysians have joined protests against the Malaysian government and Lynas for their lack of transparency in not disclosing plans to deal with radioactive toxic waste produced by the Lynas Advanced Minerals Plant, near the town of Kuantan.

An Islamophobic YouTube video called “Innocence of Muslims” has been blamed for sparking protests across the world, although the real causes are surely deeper. On September 15, a protest by Muslims in Sydney’s CBD was met with police repression. Since then, there has been widespread mainstream and social media condemnation of the protest, which has been dubbed the “Sydney Riots”.

Refugee advocates rallied in Sydney and Melbourne in a snap response to the first group of 40 refugees flown to Nauru to be held indefinitely on September 14.

Protesters in Sydney rallied outside the department of immigration offices and heard Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer pledge to “stand side by side in solidarity” with refugees.

The Communist Party of Australia's (CPA) Tony Oldfield was elected to Auburn Council in the NSW local government elections on September 8. He became the fourth socialist to be elected as a local councillor around the country. The others are Sam Wainwright (Socialist Alliance, Fremantle Council) and Steve Jolly and Anthony Main (Socialist Party, Yarra City Council, Victoria).

The Sydney Socialist Alliance released the statement below on September 7.

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“Brad Hazzard, minister for planning and infrastructure, is stepping up the state government’s support for coal seam gas approvals”, said Pip Hinman, a Socialist Alliance candidate for Wali (north) ward in Marrickville council.

With the addition of Australian Marriage Equality’s Alex Greenwich to “Team Clover" — led by Mayor Clover Moore — for the City of Sydney council election, it seems that the pink dollar has finally found itself a political party.

The political force of upwardly mobile, affluent lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people has only recently come into its own.

A small but vocal group of people gathered outside the Land and Environment Court in Sydney on August 20 to protest against Rio Tinto’s plans to extend its Mount Thorley Warkworth coalmine near Bulga, in Singleton Shire in the NSW Hunter Valley.

The protesters held banners saying “Don’t bugger Bulga”, “Stop coal and gas destroying NSW” and “Save the Warkworth Sands Woodlands”, while they chanted slogans such as “Rack off Rio Tinto.”

Residents in Sydney’s southwest have slammed AGL’s coal seam gas activity in NSW. AGL has admitted that it failed for three years to meet a requirement to monitor air emissions from its Camden Gas Project.

One hundred and fifty people attended a lively conference held over August 18-19 titled “Fidel in the 21st century: his contribution and ideas for a better world”. The event examined the inspiring life and historic political contribution of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

The conference was organised by the Latin America Social Forum (LASF), the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society, the Cuba Solidarity Committee (Western Suburbs), and the Free the Cuba Five Committee, with the support of the Cuban Embassy and the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).

Greens candidate for Heffron in the August 25 NSW by-election Mehreen Faruqi gave the speech below at a refugee rights rally in Sydney on August 15.

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Seeking asylum is a legal and a human right. But our current government and the Coalition are bent upon stripping these rights and protections from vulnerable people who most need them.

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