Australian News

GLW Issue 782

New South Wales teachers held meetings across the state on February 6 to consider a settlement on salaries and staffing negotiated by the NSW Teachers Federation.

We live in peculiar, troubling times, where the world’s climate scientists are all but screaming from the rooftops for governments to listen and take urgent action to avert climate change.

On February 3, 200 people rallied against the Victorian Labor government’s unsustainable water plans.

On February 3, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, the alleged leader of a “terrorist organisation”, was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. His six “followers” were sentenced to between four and seven-and-a-half years for being members of a terrorist organisation.

Canberra was the site of an historic four days of Aboriginal rights activism in Australia.

Five thousand people, predominately from the Sydney Tamil community, gathered in Martin Place on February 4 to draw attention to the genocide being waged against the Tamil people in northern Sri Lanka. The same day, 150 people from the Tamil community and supporters of Tamil rights marched in Brisbane.

GLW Issue 781

More than 40 people packed into the Kuril Dhangun room in the State Library on January 29 to hear from Rhonda Brim and Andrew Duffin, residents from the Mona Mona Aboriginal community in Far North Queensland, a community under threat from the Queensland government.

Nine young Tamil activists staged a hunger strike in Sydney’s CBD from January 28. They urged the Australian government to support calls for a ceasefire between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lankan military.

International interest and participation is growing rapidly in what will be the most important gathering of activists to discuss socialist solutions to capitalism’s crisis in Australia this year.

Immigration minister Chris Evans is facing increasing criticism as refugee advocates voice concern for 20 unaccompanied children who are being detained on Christmas Island.

On January 27, a Western Australian delegates’ meeting of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) passed a significant motion of support for Palestine, denouncing Israel’s recent aggression and calling on the federal government to cut all ties with Israel.

Four hundred people rallied in Sydney outside Town Hall on January 31 to protest against the criminal blockade and attacks on the people of Gaza.

Three hundred people rallied for Aboriginal rights on Invasion Day in Hobart. Protesters pointed out that Aboriginal people remember January 26 as the date that their land was first invaded, their ancestors massacred and their rights trampled.

Reminding us once again why the Venezuela revolution has captured the hearts and minds of millions around the world, Venezuela’s foreign minister last week responded to Israel’s decision to expel the Venezuelan ambassador by declaring: “The response of the state of Israel is weak, late, and in any case for us it’s an honor. We’re proud that the state of Israel that exists today, led by these criminals, made this decision.”

GLW Issue 780

An independent review into the notorious Vellar mansions in Wollongong has confirmed what residents have known for some time: construction of the buildings was illegal and a deliberate cover up took place.

Federal environment minister Peter Garrett says he will grant resource giant Xstrata permission to expand its zinc mine in the Northern Territory. The move will mean a six kilometre diversion of the McArthur River, causing significant environmental impacts and the violation of Aboriginal sacred sites.

In an example of the serious disadvantage caused by income quarantining, a technical fault in Centrelink’s Basics Card system on January 16 rendered the cards useless for more than 12 hours.

After a year-long industrial dispute, the New South Wales Teachers Federation (NSWTF) has reached an agreement for a new award with the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET).

MELBOURNE — A public meeting took place on January 22 to discuss the background of the Israeli invasion of Gaza and the focus for solidarity.

MELBOURNE — Israel’s massacre of the Gazan people has resulted in the biggest demonstrations in support of the Palestinians in decades.

BRISBANE — Cynthia Merchant, an activist with the Queensland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, kicked off the discussion at a Socialist Alliance meeting on the slaughter in Gaza on January 22.

The future of St Marys Church, which for many years has served as a beacon of hope for many in need in the South Brisbane district, will soon be decided by the Roman Catholic archbishop, John Bathersby.

On January 21, BHP-Billiton announced the sacking of 3400 workers across Australia.

Forestry Tasmania has pushed more than three kilometres of road through the old growth forests of the Upper Florentine Valley, sparking weeks of intense protest.

Four hundred people rallied on January 17 demanding an end to Israel’s massacres in Gaza and calling for the Australian government to cut ties with Israel.

GLW Issue 779

Protests against the Israel’s ongoing military assault and siege on Gaza have continued across Australia as the Palestinian death toll mounts.

Activists from the National Union of Students, University of Western Sydney, University of NSW, University of Technology, Ultimo TAFE and University of Sydney have established a cross-campus collective to oppose Israel’s attack on Gaza.

Environmental activists and climate action groups from across Australia are joining together for a Climate Action Summit in Canberra from January 31 to February 3.

The incumbent ALP faction has scraped back in to retain control of the 43,000-strong NSW Public Service Association (PSA) after elections held on December 5.

The following is abridged from a call for a convergence in Canberra on the opening day of federal parliament, February 3, to say ‘no’ to racism and demand justice for Aboriginal Australia.