In last months elections in the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), the Workers Rights team took all positions against a ticket led by an alliance between the unions print and vehicle divisions. Some Workers Rights candidates received over 80% of the vote. In the Victorian branch, where most positions were strongly contested, 40% of members voted.
The 10th national Labour History Conference on June 4-6 delved into the labour movements past, but also featured interesting debates about present-day concerns.
Ali Humayun, the queer Pakistani locked up in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, is suing VIDC management and the federal government for negligence of care.
A bill recently pushed through federal parliament has the potential to threaten state moratoriums on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by granting new powers to the federal agriculture minister, a WA anti-GMO activist told Green Left Weekly.
Recent attacks on the organic food industry are about discrediting it to soften up the public to accept genetically modified (GM) crops, Dr Maggie Lilith of the Conservation Council of WA and the Say No to GMO campaign told Green Left Weekly.
Three years after extending its moratorium on the commercial growing of genetically modified (GM) crops, the Victorian ALP government appears poised to remove the ban when it expires in February 2008.
The following is abridged from a letter sent by Dean Mighell, Victorian secretary of the Electrical Trades Union, to ALP leader Kevin Rudd following Mighells forced resignation from the party on May 30.
We mourn our friend and comrade Gail, who lost her valiant battle with cancer on July 2.
On June 25, Russell Miles, a proud member of the International Socialist Tendency and widely-loved community activist, ended his life.
Jasmine Ali was found not guilty on June 26 on charges relating to her involvement in a February 22 protest against US Vice-President Dick Cheney. The same day that she appeared before the court, the NSW government’s APEC Meeting (Policing Powers) Bill passed unamended through the NSW upper house. Ali was the second of two Cheney protesters to win court cases. There are six more trials to take place.
During the last year the global warming debate has reached a turning point. Due to the media hype surrounding Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, followed by a new assessment by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the climate sceptics have suffered a major defeat.
The good news is that Australian politicians and corporations are finally recognising that there is an environmental crisis. The bad news is that the “solutions” being promoted by the establishment define what is realistic for capitalism, so the “need” for big business to remain profitable sets the parameters of what is “possible”.
Two of the world’s worst climate vandals — US President George Bush and PM John Howard — are preparing their lofty green rhetoric in the lead-up to the so-called “climate change” Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney in September.
PM John Howards decision to take control of 60 to 70 Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory began to be implemented on June 27 when the first Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers flew into the Aboriginal township of Mutitjulu, near Uluru. The police officers were met by a large community delegation demanding answers.
Dr Gary MacLennan, a long-time socialist activist and lecturer in creative industries at the Queensland University of Technology, was suspended for six months without pay on June 6. He, along with a colleague, Dr John Hookham, was charged with misconduct following the publication of an article in the Australian that criticised a PhD film project that mocked the disabled. Students and staff launched a support campaign for the two suspended lecturers which has linked up with a struggle against QUT’s decision to close down the school of humanities and human services.
Leaders of the Mutitjulu community have questioned the need for a military occupation of their small community. Below is an abridged version of their June 27 statement.