Monday, March 30, 2009

Two Palestine solidarity events Thurs 2 April

There will be two Palestine solidarity events organised by the Friends of Palestine on this coming Thursday 2 April.

PROTEST -- 11am

Protest the "signature event of the year" of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce
Assemble 11.00am Thursday April 2nd
outside the grand ballroom
Burswood entertainment complex
Great Eastern Highway, Burswood

From the Friends of Palestine:
This Thursday April 2nd, the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce will be holding what its own website describes as its 'signature event of the year'. The guest speaker will be David Bussau, a microfinance guru whom the AICC calls "an inspiring social entrepreneur who has been hailed for his innovative approach to world poverty." Strange then that Mr Bussau chooses to address a business lobby group whose very reason for being is to promote economic relations with a state that systematically terrorises and impoverishes its indigenous population. Presumably Mr Bussau is unaware of the fact the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip is somewhere in the region of 90% and that its GDP per capita is lower than that obtaining in Mozambique? Or that the agricultural economy of Palestine is literally being destroyed root and branch?


"Boycott Divestment & Sanctions" campaign launch by Friends of Palestine WA
6.00pm Thursday April 2nd
Great Southern Room, Alexander Library
PICA complex, Perth city
Entry by donation

Visit for information about Friends of Palestine

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Stop black deaths in custody - Justice for Mr Ward: protest 3 Apr 09

Stop Black deaths in custody
Justice for Mr Ward

Public protest: Fri 3 April
12noon Stirling Gardens

Join with family members of the late Mr Ward and the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (WA) in a public protest and call for justice for Mr Ward. A list of demands will be presented to the Attorney General & Minister for Corrective Services.

Contact: Marc Newhouse 0415 074 602 or Craig Collinson 0428 810 445 or 9444 1930

Join the call for:
* An end to deaths in custody.
* The GSL security guards to be stood down, and for those responsible to be charged.
* Compensation for the family of Mr Ward.
* The use of air transport or video conferencing instead of long road journeys.
* Health checks for detainees by medical practitioners prior to transportation.
* Immediate upgrades to and regular checks of detainee transport vehicles.
* A review of bail terms to avoid unnecessary detention.
* Accountability (who takes responsibility for a death in custody when it happens in a private contractor’s care?)
* An end to privatization of custodial services.

On January 27, Mr. Ward, a respected Aboriginal elder from Warburton, was being transported 470km in the back of a van in 42 degree heat with no working air"conditioning.

Mr Ward was only given a 600ml bottle of water and a pie for the journey – a journey in which the Global Solutions Ltd (GSL) officers responsible for transporting Mr Ward from Laverton to Kalgoorlie did not pause for a rest stop… until they heard a ‘thump’.

This ‘thump’ was Mr Ward collapsing in the back of the van as it neared Kalgoorlie. He died soon afterwards at the Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital.

Why was Mr Ward in custody at all? As a drink driver? Has a white drink driver ever been sent 4 hours in the back of a van in 42 degree heat to be held in custody?

Cuban Ambassador speaking in Perth

Cuban Ambassador speaking in Perth Thurs 2 April Enable images to see pictureYou are invited to a public forum with guest speaker
His Excellency, Abelardo Curbelo, the first resident Cuban Ambassador to Australia.

Thurs 2 April 2009
6-8pm (for 6.30pm start)
UWA Fox Lecture Theater, Arts Building,
(Entrance carpark 3)

He will be introduced by Eric Riper, leader of the State Opposition.

Feel free to circulate this message to all your contact lists and networks.

Organised by the Unions WA. Supported by Australia-Cuba Friendship Society.

Ph Vinnie 0419 812 872

[Note also details about the ACFS national consultation here.]

Monday, March 23, 2009

Switch OFF the CPRS - Switch ON renewables!

Picket Stephen Smith's office

8.30am, Fri 27 March

953A Beaufort Street, Inglewood.

Join the national day of action to let the ALP know the CPRS is not acceptable!

With a weak emissions reduction target, free permits for the biggest polluters, compensation to the big polluters if the emissions cap changes, scope for polluters to "offset" their pollution overseas and numerous other problems, the CPRS should be scrapped.

On March 27, climate activists around the country will be protesting the government's wholly inadequate emissions trading scheme. Join us outside the foreign minister's office to tell the government to come up with a plan to effectively reduce Australia's greenhouse pollution and do our share to restore a safe climate.

Bring banners, placards, noise-makers, props and lots of determination to make your point peacefully and effectively!

Organised by the Coalition for a Safe Climate. Ph 0417 319 662, 9339 0803. Visit

[NB: The CPRS stands for Rudd's "Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme" but as Greenpeace has pointed out, it should more accurately be described as a "Pollution Scheme"!]

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Socialist Alliance condemns mandatory sentencing push

Mandatory sentencing push condemned

By Alex Bainbridge, Perth (21 March 2009)

The Western Australian Liberal government and sections of the corporate media have responded to the March 12 acquittal of three people charged with assaulting police, by mounting a populist campaign for mandatory sentencing of people convicted of assaulting police.

This campaign included advertising for, and favourable coverage of, a March 18 rally, which reportedly attracted several thousand police, other emergency workers and “members of the public”.

A mobile phone video of one of the accused head-butting a police officer has been widely played on television news and is available on media websites. This video appears to portray an unprovoked assault from behind, but it covers only a small part of the events in question.

The alleged attackers — two brothers and their father — ran a defence argument that their actions constituted legitimate self-defence. The fact that this defence was successful and the three were acquitted implies the cops were very violent towards the three men.

The March 18 Sydney Morning Herald reported that the government’s bill to legislate the mandatory sentences passed the lower house on that day. The bill had originally included only police, but has been broadened to include ambulance officers and prison and transit guards. It has not yet passed through the upper house.

Socialist Alliance WA convenor Sam Wainwright told Green Left Weekly there were three main problems with the “disgusting” mandatory sentencing laws being advanced by the government.

“Firstly, an assault against a cop is treated as more serious than an assault against any other citizen”, Wainwright said. “Why should cops have a privileged position above other occupations and other citizens?”

The Labor opposition — while joining the government’s right-wing law-and-order push — tried to move amendments to extend the laws to other occupations such as nurses and firefighters, and to allow judges more flexibility in sentencing. The government rejected these amendments.

“Secondly”, Wainwright said, “mandatory sentencing is itself an attack on civil liberties and will simply result in longer sentences — not a reduction in the crime rate.

“Thirdly, had these laws been in place it would have made absolutely no difference to the outcome. The point is that the three people in question were acquitted; they are not guilty.”

Instead of attacking “democratic rights such as the jury system,” he said, the government should be trying to “tackle the causes of violence in society; poverty and dis-empowerment foremost among them”.

[Republished from Green Left Weekly #788.]

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What does a climate emergency look like?

David Spratt forum 6pm Sat 20 March Social Sciences Lecture Theatre UWAWhat does a climate emergency look like?

Public forum with David Spratt
(co-author Climate Code Red)

6pm, Fri 20 March 2009
Social Sciences Lecture Theatre, University of Western Australia

Organised by Coalition for a Safe Climate
Sponsored by UWA Institute of Advanced Studies

Ph: Kamala 0417 319 662, Del 9339 0803

David Spratt is the co-author of Climate Code Red: the case for emergency action published by Scribe in July 2008. In this address, David Spratt proposes that global warming is already dangerous, as significant tipping points have already been crossed. He proposes a national mobilisation on climate not dissimilar in character to responses to other emergencies including war and catastrophic natural events.

Monday, March 2, 2009

ACFS national consultation in Perth 4-5 April

Photos from the consultation:

Australia/NZ-Cuba Friendship Association
15th National Consultation

4-5 April 2009, Perth WA

In the year of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, the ACFS Perth invites you to attend the 15th National Consultation & celebrate 50 years of revolution in Cuba and the 15th anniversary of ACFS in Perth.

Venue: State School Teachers Union (SSTU)
150-152 Adelaide Terrace, Perth

Full consultation: Sat 4th & Sun 5th April 9am-5pm - $50 WA participants
(includes workshops, dinner & Latin Party)
No charge for interstate & overseas visitors.

Workshops & Party (Sat 4th April 1.30-4.30pm, Party 8pm) - $20/$25

Latin Party Only (Sat 4th April til late) - $15/$20

More info call ACFS 0421 113 343 or 0419 812 872 or email

See also: