Australian News

Kurdish activists accuse Turkish government over Suruc massacre

At a protest outside the Turkish Consulate in Sydney on July 23, Kurdish activists and their supporters accused the Turkish government of complicity in the massacre in Suruc of 32 young socialists on their way to help rebuild Kobane, in the liberated area of Rojava in northern Syria.

Perth solidarity with Suruç

45 people gathered in Perth on July 24 to express solidarity with a group of young people who were victims of an Islamic State suicide bombing in the Kurdish town of Suruç on July 20.

Protest against Bandyup Women’s Prison overcrowding

The Bandyup Action Group (BAG) held its most recent speak out on July 18 to protest against conditions in Bandyup Women's Prison.

There has been a dramatic rise in incarceration rates, particularly for non-violent acts such as non-payment of fines. About 30% of women detained at Bandyup are there because of unpaid fines; 30% have existing and severe mental health problems; and 90% have been physically and/or sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.

Caltex charts new waters in sacking workers

The crew of Caltex oil tanker the Alexander Spirit have ended a three-week industrial dispute that began on July 2. They have set sail from Tasmania to Singapore, where the company intends to replace the Australian crew with seafarers on drastically reduced pay and working conditions.

The Alexander Spirit is the fifth tanker that primarily circuits the Australian coastline to have its crew replaced in 12 months.

Medics doused with pepper spray while treating casualties

The Melbourne Street Medic Collective released this statement on July 19.

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On July 18, first aiders and medical professionals working as part of the Melbourne Street Medic Collective provided medical support to anti-racist/fascist protesters at the Rally Against Racism near the Victorian Parliament.

During the course of this rally, officers from Victoria Police deployed chemical weapons in the form of OC (pepper) spray against the crowd. As a result several people required urgent medical attention and eventually hospitalisation, directly as a result of exposure to the spray.

How anti-racists beat back the racists

On the weekend of July 18 and 19 rallies were held around Australia to counter the racist rallies organised by Reclaim Australia and the fascist United Patriots Front.

Following is a roundup of some of the rallies.

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Melbourne
A planned show of strength by racists and neo-Nazis in Melbourne backfired when once again far-right protesters were outnumbered 20 to one on July 18.

Asylum seekers speak of their ordeal

Sixty people listened as refugees gave harrowing accounts of what had led them to seek asylum in Australia at a forum in Parramatta on July 15 organised by People Just Like Us.

Shokufa Tahiri and Ezatullah Salar spoke about the long history of oppression of the Hazara minority in Afghanistan.

In 1890, Abdur Rahman Khan exterminated 63% of the minority group and until the 1930s Hazaras were systematically driven out of cities, and deprived of citizenship and education. Under the Taliban, it became a crime to be Hazara, Turkic or Shia.

Union opposition to Australia/China Free Trade Agreement

The union movement’s opposition to the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has ratcheted up since the agreement was signed in Canberra on June 17.

ChAFTA allows for 95% of Australian exports to China to be tariff free. These will include many agricultural products, including beef and dairy. In addition, there will be liberalisation of market access for the Australia's services sector, and investments by private companies from China under A$1.078 billion will not be subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

What's on Green Left TV

Perth protests against Reclaim Australia

Between 300 and 400 anti-racist activists faced off against racist and Islamophobic "Reclaim Australia" demonstrators in Perth on July 19. This was part of a national weekend of counter-rallies against those called by the far right group “Reclaim Australia”.

Refugee activists protest Labor conference

Protests against coal, for real action on climate change, for the rights of refugees and for a binding vote in support of equal marriage rights took place outside the ALP conference in Melbourne on July 25.

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