Australia

Disability rights activists rallied in Sydney on February 24. Advocates protested the NSW government’s refusal to properly fund disability services.

Protesters gathered outside the Sydney office of the Australian arms manufacturer EOS (Electro Optic Systems) on February 21 to oppose the sale of high-tech military equipment to Saudi Arabia, which is waging a genocidal war against the people of Yemen.

“Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her Coalition state government are getting desperate as the election campaign heats up,” according to Socialist Alliance candidate Rachel Evans. “As more and more of its crimes and misdemeanours are exposed, the government is coming under increasing fire from so many directions.”

Evans, who is heading up the party’s NSW Legislative Council ticket for the March 23 election, said: “The government’s neoliberal agenda has been an absolute disaster for the people of New South Wales.

Hospo Voice members and supporters who have been organising to combat wage theft were happy to hear on February 28 that the Fair Work Ombudsman had decided to investigate Le Bon Ton to ensure it is complying with Fair Work regulations.

After 18 months of enterprise negotiations and strike action in December and February, Brisbane ferry workers have won significant improvements in pay and conditions. A new agreement was accepted in principle at a union mass meeting on February 27.

The management of the public ferry service has been in the hands of private company TransDev. For years, the company has used aggressive tactics against the workers to drive down wages and conditions.

I had the privilege of attending the Pascoe Vale Football Club's February 22 celebration of Hakeem Al-Araibi's homecoming after he spent about two and a half months in a Thai jail for no crime other than being a refugee and human rights advocate.

School students striking for climate action won’t be bullied by conservative media and politicians telling us not to strike from school on March 15 as part of the Global #ClimateStrike.

Thousands of people, many under 30, rallied in Sydney’s Hyde Park to save live music in NSW on February 21.

La Trobe University Latin American studies lecturer Ralph Newmark told a meeting of 80 people on February 20 that the English-speaking media misrepresents the causes of the crisis in Venezuela.

The meeting was organised by the newly-formed Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.

Newmark said the crisis is being caused by external pressure from the United States and internally by the Venezuelan middle and upper class who oppose the government’s pro-poor measures.

“We’re mad as hell and we’re not taking it anymore!” Mary Court, secretary of the Penrith Valley Combined Unions (PVCU) and No M4 Toll, told the Don’t Mess With the West rally on February 16.

“Western Sydney will rise up; we’re not a dumping ground for Sydney’s problems”, Court said. “The ‘toll tax’ on the M4 Motorway is an assault … We are being forced to pay this M4 toll until 2060, increasing at a rate much higher than inflation, to pay for the Coalition state government’s cost blow-outs elsewhere.

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