GLW issue number 864

Rallies defend Wikileaks and the ‘right to know’

Further rallies and meetings

More than 1000 people rallied at Sydney’s Town Hall at 1pm on December 10 to show their support for Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange. Rallies also occurred in Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth.

The rally, held to coincide with International Human Rights Day, highlighted the importance of freedom of information and the need for transparency in government.

Protests for Wikileaks, Sydney marchers defy police harassment

Supporters of whistleblowing website Wikileaks rallied in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide on December 14, as Wikileaks editor-in chief Julian Assange faced a bail hearing at Westminster magistrates court in London that day. Protesters opposed attempts by governments and corporations to shut down and harrass the site.

About 800 people gathered in Sydney to call for Assange to be granted a fair trial and to defend Wikileaks. About 1000 marched in Melbourne and 300 in Adelaide.

Why feminists and the left must defend Julian Assange

When it comes to rape, the left “still doesn’t get it”, so says Katha Pollitt writing recently in the London Guardian on the defence of Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who is currently being held in Britain facing allegations of sex crimes in Sweden.

Wikileaks rally speech: 'This is about us and them'

[The following speech was delivered at the Sydney rally in defence of Wikileaks on December 14 by rally co-organiser and Socialist Alliance activst Kiraz Janicke. Footage of the other speaks at the rally can be seen here.]

* * *

People ask me why, as a feminist, are you coming out in support of Julian Assange who is facing rape allegations in Sweden?

But this rally is not about that.

Bring troops home from Afghanistan to help with Qld flood crisis

The statement below was released by the Brisbane Socialist Alliance branch on January 11. See www.socialist-alliance.org for more information. Below the statement, there are also details of the Maritime Union of Australia's

* * *

'Money for flood relief, not for war'

Pay parity for early childhood teachers needed

Laurel Walker and Vanna Lockwood, teachers at St Peters Community Preschool, are involved in the Independent Education Union's campaign for pay parity for early childhood teachers.

Lockwood told Green Left Weekly: "Current scientific research on the development of the brain advocates the importance of a child's early years. Four-year university trained teachers are choosing not to work in early childhood because of the low pay and low status of the profession.

Local council to boycott Israel

On December 14 Marrickville Council adopted a resolution moved by Greens councillor Cathy Peters to become the first Australian local government to join the international boycott against Israeli apartheid. The inner west Sydney community has had a sister city relationship with the Palestinian city of Bethlehem since 2007.

The resolution, supported by Greens, Labor and independent councillors, committed the council to:

Letters to the editor

Bandt Afghan contribution too weak

Perth Safe Climate rally

Over 8000 signatures on a petition calling for no new coal in WA were presented to the WA government at a climate rally on December 11. ALP member for Gosnells Chris Tallentire accepted the petitions from Safe Climate Perrth representative Kamala Emanuel and Greens parliamentarian Robin Chapple also spoke in favour of strong climate action.

One particular focus was opposition to the proposed coal mine at Margaret River which was reflected in colourful signs at the rally. Luke Petersen from the Margaret River Climate Action Group also spoke at the rally.

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