Sue Bolton

A planned strike set for September 22 was cancelled when the tram and bus division of the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) struck a deal with Yarra Trams.

Workers had to take industrial action to win an agreement — they had non-uniform days, they banned short-running on tram routes and they had two four-hour strikes. They were about to go on strike again for four hours when the negotiations reached a resolution.

About 300 anti-racism protesters rallied in Bendigo on October 10 as part of the Bendigo Action Coalition's Say no to racism and fascism campaign.

Local residents and activists from across Victoria mobilised at the Bendigo Town Hall to oppose the far-right United Patriots Front (UPF) who paraded in Rosalind Park opposing the construction of a mosque in town.

The UPF had called a national mobilisation in Bendigo on October 10, with members coming from Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. About 400 attended the racist protest.

Moreland councilors voted on October 26 to elect Sam Ratnam as the first Green mayor. Left Labor councilor Lita Gillies was voted in as her deputy. I voted for the Green mayor to break the stranglehold of the two big-business parties, Liberal and Labor. The Labor Party has controlled the Moreland council for many years.

However I was surprised that, immediately after electing the mayor, the Greens councillors voted for Liberal Party councillor Rob Thompson to be her deputy.

Not for some years has there been so much justifiable outrage over bipartisan cruelty towards refugees and asylum seekers in Australia.

The groundswell of community organising to keep the 267 asylum seekers, being threatened with deportation to Nauru and Manus Island, is a bright spot on an otherwise bleak horizon.

More than a hundred people attended a public meeting in Coburg on March 10 to oppose the construction of residential towers, including a 19-storey tower, on the Pentridge prison site. Save Coburg organised the meeting.

A number of resolutions were passed at the meeting, including one to set up a community campaign group. This is a vital step as state government and local council have proved themselves incapable of defending the rights of the community on this issue and have allowed developers' greed to rule.

The Socialist Alliance has selected a Victorian Senate team of Lalitha Chelliah and Tim Gooden, and candidates Zane Alcorn for the seat of Wills and Sue Bull for the seat of Corio.

The “Say NO to Racism in Moreland” rally on May 28 was originally conceived early this year and organising for it started back in February.

We wanted to offer residents and communities an opportunity to take a public stand on the racist policies of the major parties: their Islamophobia, xenophobia and fear mongering. We also wanted to stand in solidarity with First Nations peoples, who are on the receiving end of institutionalised racism.

About 200 people rallied on June 26 demanding people charged under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 be freed and allowed to stay in Australia.

More than 190 people, mostly New Zealanders, have been ripped away from their families and put in prison on Christmas Island, 380 kilometres south of Java and 2650 kilometres north-west of Perth, pending deportation. The numbers are set to increase.

Carlton and United Brewery (CUB) is trying to impose a 65% pay cut on its maintenance workforce.

The 54 electricians and fitters were called to a meeting in a pub on June 10 and told their jobs were terminated. They were then told they could reapply for their jobs with a company called Catalyst Recruitment which is part of the Programmed/Skilled Group.

Five apprentices have been left in limbo with no jobs and no trade qualifications.

There is ample evidence of the criminality of the prison officers, their bosses and the Northern Territory government ministers for charges to be laid over the horror inflicted on Aboriginal kids in custody at the Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre.

It's not just a question of proper "training"and "processes" for the prison guards.

The horror we saw in the ABC's Four Corner's program on July 25 is the outcome of the law and order agenda of "lock em' up and throw away the key".


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