youth rights

Job agencies found to be as useless as everyone says

In the past three years, the Australian government has recovered more than $41 million that had been fraudulently claimed by private employment agencies.

These for-profit employment agencies were found to have submitted forged and doctored records and lodged inflated fee claims. One source, a former agency employee, told ABC’s Four Corners that they had seen “thousands” of jobseeker records modified by the agency to support suspicious claims against the taxpayer.

Free Palestinian political prisoner Lina Khattab!

Palestinian student Lina Khattab, 18, a first-year media student at Birzeit University, was sentenced by an Israeli military court to six months imprisonment, a NIS6000 (US$1500) fine and three years probation on February 17.

She is also a folkloric dancer with the world-renowned El-Funoun Popular Palestinian Dance Troupe and is active in other cultural and political student activities at the university.

Support the messenger

On February 11, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) report The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention, was tabled in parliament. The report looked at the effect on children of being locked up in detention centres in Australia and Christmas Island but not Nauru.

The report reveals that 34% of the children have mental health disorders so severe they need psychiatric support. This compares to 2% in the general population.

Students locked in elevator at Abbott's office

Ten student activists from the NSW Education Action Network were trapped in the small elevator at prime minister Tony Abbott's Manly office on February 9 for more than half an hour. They were told by police and firefighters that the elevator had being switched off while they were inside it.

Students were midway through a protest of the Coalition government's attempts to push university fee deregulation through the Senate again.

Sydney police gave no warning before pepper spraying students

Police attacked students with pepper spray during a protest against university fee deregulation in Sydney on February 13.

About 30 students gathered to protest against education minister Christopher Pyne, who was giving the Inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture at the Sydney Masonic Centre. He planned to “outline the Australian government’s achievements in schools since coming to office”.

Police sprayed students to stop them entering the lecture to take part in an advertised Q&A with Pyne.

We kid you not

KENYAN POLICE FIRE TEAR GAS AT CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUND

The ABC reported that Kenyan police fired tear gas into a crowd of schoolchildren in Nairobi as the children protested against what they call an illegal confiscation of a playground.

Around 40 armed police, accompanied by dogs, confronted the children, most of whom were aged between eight and 13.

Protests reclaim King’s real legacy

This year’s celebrations of civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King, a national holiday on January 19, were quite different from the staid affairs in recent decades.

Tens of thousands of protesters across the country held more than 50 actions, marches and civil disobedience, reclaiming his radical legacy and condemning the police killings of unarmed African Americans.

Ways to get active this week

Protest camp – the Bat Attack
Join a 6-day mass convergence on Gomeroi country to say NO to further bulldozing of the Leard State Forest. Skillshares, music, art, workshops an dcommunity-led civil disobedience. Saturday February 14 to Wednesday February 18 at Maules Creek.
RSVP to frontlineaction.org/bat-attack.

Support the sit-in
Join First Nations elders from around the country as they converge on Canberra for a sit-in, vowing not to leave until a resolution is reached. Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra until February 14.

Queensland elections: a recipe for instability

As the Queensland election campaign enters its final days, a Labor victory seems unlikely.

Labor and the Liberal-National Party (LNP) say they will not do deals with minor parties. Recent opinion polls indicate the LNP will be re-elected with a clear majority.

However, Campbell Newman could still be replaced as premier. Opinion polls are predicting between 10% and 11% swings to Labor. It needs a swing of 5.4% to unseat Newman in his electorate of Ashgrove.

Liberal-National victory would devastate Queensland

The Socialist Alliance released this statement on January 23 on the Queensland election.

* * *

The re-election of the Liberal-National Party (LNP) for a second term on January 31 — with or without Premier Campbell Newman — would be devastating. A re-elected LNP would claim a mandate to complete the sale of public assets, begun by the previous Labor government and extended during the first three years of LNP.

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