Zebedee Parkes

Community groups from across NSW came out to rally against Westconnex and attacks on public transport on February 17.

A man waves over a roughly boarded fence, as a guard walks intimidatingly in front of it. A group of refugee protesters, sweltering in the hot sun in Leonora — a two day drive from Perth into the desert — wave back and yell “azadi”, the Farsi word for freedom.

I am one of the protesters and I am filming the protest.

One week earlier, just before the start of my second year at university, I opened an email from an activist group advertising a “Caravan of Compassion” to Leonora detention centre.

A few days later I was on the bus, barely knowing one other person.

In the first episode of Activist Stories we travel up to Canberra to join activists from around the country protesting against the Adani mega coal mine on the first day of parliament on February 5. We then look back at the campaign, the pressure mounting on Labor to oppose the mine and how you can get involved.

To get involved Stopadani.com Adani’s threat to Australia’s groundwater greenleft.org.au/content/adani-threat-great-artesian-basin

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Photos from the Justice for TJ Hickey rally on February 14.

The rally called for parliament to Re-open the inquiry into TJ Hickey's death.

TJ Hickey was killed in a police chase whilst ridding his bike in Waterloo.

Read more: https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/tj-hickey-14-years-and-still-no-jus...

Four years ago thousands of people lit candles in more than 750 locations across Australia to remember slain 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati and demand an end to Australia’s detention system.

It was the largest post-Howard government mobilisation for refugee rights to date.

At rallies across the country activists who had been in contact with people in Manus Island detention centre exposed the horrors of that night.

On the first day of parliament in 2018 Stop Adani activists protested on the front lawns to send a clear message to Labor and Liberal - Stop Adani.

The Turkish government’s attacks on the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria’s (DFNS) Afrin Canton in northern Syria are an attack on refugees.

The approach of the Kurdish-led forces to the Syrian refugee crisis, in which millions of people have become displaced, should be an inspiration.

Western television cameras have captured footage of people taking the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea seeking safety in Europe. But thousands more are also fleeing to Rojava.

Footage from Sydney's massive invasion day march.

In 2011, in the days leading up to January 26, with Australian flags fluttering off cars and used as capes, accompanied by cartons of beer, sporting excellence as the pinnacle of Australian achievement and politicians lecturing the country on what it means to be a “proud Australian”, I left Perth.

The Manus Island tragedy is the latest in a series of systemic human rights abuses by successive Australian governments in recent decades.

But there is another story: one of courageous resistance in some of the most hostile situations imaginable — a resistance led by several hundred people on Manus Island who are still protesting, still demanding “freedom, nothing less than freedom”.

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