Ruth Coleman, veteran ALP senator and feisty leftist died peacefully of cancer in her home in Bassendean, Perth, on March 27. She was the last of a generation of left-wing ALP members whose example shames the current neoliberal crop of Laborites.
In an obvious attempt to silence political dissent, on April 14, 10 G20 protesters who had pleaded guilty to charges of common law riot, criminal damage and recklessly causing injury received severe sentences in Melbourne’s Magistrates court.
This April is the 10th anniversary of the mass sacking of hundreds of waterside workers around Australia by the giant Patrick Stevedores. The drama surrounding this event stirred fierce passions, generated mass protests and polarised society on a scale seldom witnessed.
Green Left Weekly caught up with some of the Climate Change — Social Change conference participants. Here’s what they had to say.
The detail of the federal Labor government’s plan for its new industrial relations system, to come into force in January 2010, is beginning to come to light. On April 9, the Australian Financial Review reported that it had obtained a copy of a letter sent by workplace relations minister Julia Gillard to a range of unions and businesses. It canvassed their opinion on issues including the scope of allowable content in workplace agreements, the scope of individual “flexibility” clauses to be mandatory in all awards and enterprise agreements and regulation of industrial action during a bargaining period for a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).
Where in the world could a jury find in favour of someone, only to have a judge deliver a decision opposite to the jury’s finding? Well, this has happened in NSW and the victim is Mamdouh Habib, best known for being imprisoned by the US military without charges at its Guantanamo Bay naval base, before being released and flown home to Australia in January 2005.
In 2007, the 90th anniversary of the New South Wales general strike was ignored by mainstream politicians and media sources — a silence that contrasted markedly with the extensive coverage allotted to the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing in 2005.
Overwhelmed by the greenhouse debate? Bamboozled by all the competing claims that renewable energy sources cannot supply 24-hours-a-day power (“base load”)? Depressed by the unending vastness of “the literature” on global warming and renewables?
At 11pm on April 7, 1998, Patrick Stevedores locked 2000 waterside workers out of their jobs. Following months of speculation, the “leasing” of Webb dock in Melbourne to the National Farmers Federation in late January and the abortive “Dubai affair” — where former soldiers were trained in secret in Dubai as strike-breaking scabs — Patrick opted for a frontal assault on the workers and their union.