Melbourne

The Victorian government has backed down on its plan to transfer Aboriginal teenagers from a youth detention centre to a maximum-security prison.

The government had planned to transfer 40 children in youth custody to a segregated wing of Barwon prison while the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre at Parkville was being repaired.

Irene Bolger was branch secretary of the Victorian branch of the Royal Australian Nursing Federation (RANF) when 20,000 nurses went on strike for 50 days in 1986. It was one of the longest strikes in Australian history and it was led by women.

Now, flipping through a stack of trade union and history books, Bolger says: “Lengthy on an international scale, it was 50 days of rage. But still I can't seem to find any reference to one of the most significant strikes in Australian history. The sexism continues."

A rally outside Victoria’s Parliament House on November 20 organised by far right racist groups United Patriots Front (UFP) and True Blue Crew to celebrate the election of US president-elect Donald Trump attracted about 25 people, far short of the 1000 hoped for by the organisers.

The racists were outnumbered more than 10 to one by 300 anti-Trump protesters and more than six to one by police who kept the two groups apart.

Dickensian children in factories and coal mines; Karl Marx debunks Capitalism; revolutions and war grip Europe; and inequality casts a gloomy smog over Europe. Ships depart with slaves, convicts and political dissidents bound for the New Worlds, of which Australia is one.

It is the 19th century, the century of capital — a time that will dialectically reverberate shockwaves towards the greatest revolutions, the greatest economic collapse and the greatest bombs.

Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale expressed his strong support for the embattled Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey at a Kurdish solidarity meeting at the Victorian Trades Hall on November 17.

The left-wing party has a strong base among Australia's oppressed Kurdish community. Di Natale condemned the current crackdown by the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The HDP’s joint leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, have been arrested along with a number of the party’s MPs.

Hundreds of Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) members disrupted the Victorian State Labor Conference on November 12 to protest against plans by the Daniel Andrews government to privatise public disability services.

Delegates walked off the conference floor to meet HACSU members, people with disabilities and their friends and families at the Moonee Valley Racecourse where they heard the message loud and clear: No to the privatisation of public disability.

Up to 40 teenage prisoners from Victoria’s youth justice centre at Parkville will be sent to a segregated wing of the maximum security Barwon adult prison after it was gazetted as a youth remand centre and a youth justice custodial centre on November 17.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said an adult prison was the “most appropriate facility” for those responsible for allegedly rioting at the Parkville Justice Centre the previous weekend.

He said the prisoners, all over 16, would be moved to Barwon prison “for a number of months” while the Parkville centre is “fortified”.

Palestinians and their supporters gathered on November 15 at Federation Square in Melbourne to celebrate the Palestinian National Day. The Palestinian flag was raised for the first time ever in Melbourne and stood next to seven other Palestinian flags.

Jasmine Pilbrow, a refugee rights activist who tried to stop the deportation of a Tamil asylum seeker, was sentenced on November 11 to a two-year good behaviour bond. No conviction was recorded.

In February last year, Pilbrow was among a group of activists trying to prevent the deportation of asylum seeker Puvaneethan.

She bought a ticket on his flight and once on board distributed flyers and refused to sit down unless he was allowed off the flight.

She was arrested by AFP officers and later charged with interfering with a cabin crew member and found guilty.

Monash University plans to remove one-third of its counsellors and replace them with contractor or private practice psychologists.

It says this will improve access to counselling services.

But Monash Student Association spokesperson Kim Stern said: “Students are extremely angry. It’s a known thing at Monash that the services are minimal, to put it nicely.

"It’s very hard at the moment to get a counsellor and it’s a slap in the face that there’s now moves to cut counsellors and limit their role on campus.”

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