Pacific region

West Papua: Indonesian police beat high school students for leafleting

Demonstration in solidarity with West Papua. Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Indonesian police beat two West Papuan students in Yahukimo, Papua Province, on September 16 for handing out leaflets about the Pacific Islands Forum.

No joke: Pacific outrage at climate inaction

The tasteless joking between immigration minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Tony Abbott about the threat of rising sea levels to Pacific Islands — caught on a microphone after the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) meeting — sums up the Australian government's attitude to the victims of its climate inaction.

The 46th PIF leaders' meeting in Port Moresby ended without reaching agreement on a united position to take to the Paris climate summit later this year. Pacific Island leaders could not convince Australia and New Zealand to agree on more ambitious targets.

Kiribati president: ‘Phase out coal now’

President Anote Tong from the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati does not mince words on the urgent need to phase out coal. He cannot afford to — his country is literally disappearing as a result of global warming.

Tong released a statement on August 13 calling on countries to commit to phasing out coal before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris in December where more than 190 countries are expected to attend.

“A global moratorium on new coal mines [is] an essential initial step in our collective global action against climate change,” he said.

SDA making life harder for young workers

A new enterprise bargaining agreement reached by the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) is set to leave thousands of low-paid workers worse off, according to detailed analysis conducted by union official Josh Cullinan, the May 24 Sydney Morning Herald said.

“Cullinan, who works for the National Tertiary Education Union, did the analysis in a personal capacity, estimated Coles could be saving more than $20 million a year in wages by underpaying its staff.

Solidarity with seafearers in Devonport

Members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and supporters rallied outside the Caltex Kurnell oil depot on July 20 to support the seafarers on the tanker Alexander Spirit in Devonport Harbour who are campaigning to protect their jobs and conditions.

MUA Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer, MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin, Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon and representatives of the international transport union addressed the protest.

Protest at Abbott's sham constitutional recognition ‘consultation’

About sixty Aboriginal activists and supporters protested outside the federal government’s “Recognition” meeting at Kirribilli House on July 6.

PM Tony Abbott invited a selection of 40 Aboriginal "leaders", and opposition leader Bill Shorten, to discuss his proposal for a referendum on including a new clause in the Australian constitution to recognise prior Aboriginal occupation.

West Papua wins Melanesian Spearhead Group breakthrough

Marchers in Honiara in support of West Papua’s bid to join the MSG, June 19.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) granted the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) observer membership during a summit meeting in Honiara on June 26. It also upgraded Indonesia’s membership from observer to associate.

[PHOTOS] Sydney: March against forced closures of Aboriginal communities

About 800 people rallied at Sydney Town Hall Square on June 28 as part of the third #SOSBlakAustralia global mobilisation against the threatened forced closures of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia and elsewhere. Protest actions also took place in other cities around the country, and in some cities overseas, over the same weekend.

[PHOTO STORY] Still no justice for family of Eddie Murray 34 years after death in a police cell

A rally for justice for Eddie Murray, a young Aboriginal man who was killed by "persons unknown" while detained in Wee Waa police station in north-western NSW on June 12, 1981. Anna Murray, Eddie's younger sister recalled answering the door to the police who came to arrest her brother 34 years ago. She was the last member of the family to see Eddie alive. She added that there had never been a protest in Wee Waa over her brother's death and she proposed that one be held there this time next year.

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