GLW issue number 864

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.]

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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

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'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:

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.

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.

Socialist Alliance: Christmas Island deaths shows need to end refugees bashing

Socialist Alliance statement

The horrific boatwreck and deaths of more than 30 asylum seekers on December 15 on the rocks of Christmas Island reveals the inhumanity of the Gillard Labor government’s asylum seeker policy.

This tragedy should be the trigger for the complete junking of the government’s current racist refugee policy.

"We need a refugee policy based on human solidarity not one that encourages racism and xenophobia", said Sue Bolton a refugee rights activist and a member of the Socialist Alliance national executive.

Sydney residents rally against coal seam gas mining

Carrying signs such as "Coal seam gas stinks", "Gas mining under Sydney Park - no fracking way!", and "Gutless government giving in to gas", over 400 local residents and supporters rallied on December 19 at Sydney Park to protest the NSW government's secretive approval for exploratory drilling for coal seam gas (CSG) mining in the inner-western suburb of St Peters.

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