Thursday, September 30, 2010

RRAN calls refugee rights rally 23 Oct 2010


12:30 pm Saturday October 23 @ Department of Immigration and Citizenship offices
Wellington Central - 836 Wellington St, West Perth
  • Close all detention centres
  • No offshore processing
  • No deportations

We call on the new federal parliament to introduce humane refugee policies and stop using refugees as political footballs. Please bring banners with the key messages of the gathering as well as your own messages.

Was your voice heeded on asylum seekers during this election?

Many of us are worried about the way in which successive governments have treated asylum seekers and refugees. We are tired of seeing asylum seekers used as political footballs where each side of politics scores points by proposing increasingly harsher policies.
We believe it’s time to tell our parliamentarians, “Enough is enough!”
With the entry of the Greens and independents as significant players in government, there is a chance to end this endless round of punitive policy making and to achieve humane policies for refugees. We want to encourage these new players to demand better standards from the parliament on human rights.
We want to call a halt to this race to the bottom on human rights.
The reason we are coming together on this day is to say that we want to be heard. We care about how vulnerable people are treated and we want our politicians to stop using asylum seekers as political footballs.
Enough is enough.

Organised by Refugee Rights Action Network


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Report on Venezuela brigade from Perth Resistance member

Hey folks,

For people I am still to meet, my name is Chris and am a member of the Perth branch of Resistance.

For the last two weeks I have been on a solidarity brigade in Venezuela to be here for the national elections and to get a first hand view of the revolutionary changes taking place across Venezuela.

The brigade itself was organised by the Australian Venezuelan Solidarity Network (AVSN), and consists of political activists and enthusiasts from Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, the UK, Canada and US. Before saying more, I'd thoroughly suggest this experience to anyone interested and with the means available to them.

By way of activities while on brigade, we have visited neighbourhoods, clinics, government offices, news stations, womens groups, land councils, factory committees, communal gardens - any group or place contributing to the process of extending and stregthening democracy in Venezuela. In each case, the folks we talk to all say the same thing - what they have achieved up until now is not socialism, we have not reached a point where political, social and economic decision making rests firmly in the communal hands of the majority.

How they view themselves and the movement generally is a measured progression towards that popular control, towards that democratic inclusion. People reflect on the quality of life experience by most Venezuelans 10, 5, 2 years ago, compare it to today, reflect on the means and nature of that change and see a revolution still in its first stages, though none-the-less real.

Workers committees in factories do not as of yet enjoy ownership of their workplaces, but they are much stronger positions today to prepare for this transition of power, believing in their own strength while being politically supported by the government and the community at large.

Just yesterday, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela won yet another general election, winning 60% of the vote [NB: actually 60% of the seats, the vote was actually very close]. While this fell short of the 75% target set by the party, it nonetheless expresses continued popular support for the government and the initiatives taking the country further down the revolutionary road. What goes from here is naturaly up to the movement of different forces and circimstances, and in Venezuela as in the rest of the world nothing is certain. Such an interesting time to be political!

A quick gist of things here. I'm here for another month. In the meantime, all the best with things back in Perth.

Love your work

Green Left on Venezuelan election results:
Next brigade to Venezuela will likely be for May Day next year. For more information, email or phone Lisa Macdonald 0413 031 108, Jim McIlroy 0423 741 734 or Roberto Jorquera 0425 182 994. 

BELOW: MUA assistant branch secretary reports back on previous Venezuela brigade.

Pro-choice national day of action - Stop the Cairns couple going to jail for abortion


A Cairns couple will face trial on October 12th, 2010 on charges brought under Qld’s Anti-Abortion laws. A woman is facing charges for intent to procure a miscarriage, which faces a penalty of up to seven years in prison. Her partner is facing charges for assisting her, which carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.

Anti-abortion Violence! Soon after the charges were brought against the couple, The Cairns Post published their address. Consequently their house was firebombed by anti-abortion campaigners, forcing the couple to relocate.

The Australian reported on August 8th, that Therese Martin, Qld President of the anti-abortion lobby group ‘Cherished Life’ claimed that they don't support the aggressive tactics adopted by some anti-abortion groups and that they don't confront women outside abortion clinics.

They claimed that they only mount ‘silent protests’. THIS IS A LIE. ‘Cherished Life’ and their collaborators in ‘Protect Life’ regularly confront and harass women outside Brisbane clinics. Therese Martin herself participates in the annual ‘Walk for Little Feet’ which protests outside various clinics in Brisbane, blocking the entrances.

The Bligh government and the corporate media have continually LIED about the facts of the case!

The Cairns case is putting Abortion on Trial in an attempt to set a dangerous new precedent on the abortion laws and set back women’s access to abortion.

It’s time to stand up for women’s Right to control their own bodies.

Speakout: Fri 8 October
5:30pm, Murray St Mall (William Street end)


Green Left: Tested and failed: Emily's List listless when it counts

Green Left: Campaign demands abortion charges be dropped

Safe Climate rally against new coal-fired power stations

2pm Sun 10 October
Perth Cultural Centre, James St mall, Northbridge (near PICA)

Local climate action group Safe Climate has planned a campaign calling on the Western Australian government to reverse approval for five new and refurbished coal-fired power stations.

The campaign will include: an ambitious goal to get 10,000 signatures on a petition opposing the new coal developments before the end of the year; a poster design campaign; and a rally in December.

Safe Climate is also discussing possible civil disobedience actions.

The campaign will be launched at an October 10 action, as part of the 10/10/10 Global Work Party day of action.

Safe Climate activist Kamala Emanuel told Green Left Weekly: “Safe Climate formed in the wake of last year’s climate summit to campaign for 100% renewable energy within 10 years.”

“Stopping these new power stations is the front line of working for a safe climate future — if we can’t stop these now, it’s difficult to see how we can achieve more far-reaching goals.

“One of the aims with the petition campaign — which is ambitious given our relatively small number of activists — is to try to reach out to the large numbers on our supporter list and to others who care about the climate to give them a very specific and helpful role they can play in the campaign.

“And of course the petition campaign is leading up to a big rally in December.”

[Safe Climate can be contacted via or Ph 0417 319 662.]

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The time has come to Stop the War on Afghanistan - Rally 9 October 2010

Stop the War in Afghanistan - Sat 9 Oct - please display images
There is going to be an anti-war rally in Perth on Saturday 9 October.
12noon, Sat 9 October, Wesley Church corner (cnr William & Hay Sts, Perth)

Speakers at the rally will include:
* Jo Vallentine (long time peace activist)
* Scott Ludlam (Greens senator)
* Alex Bainbridge (long time anti-war campaigner)
* Phil Chilton (Refugee Rights Action Network)
* Bill Hinds (Vietnam veteran)
This rally has been organised by a number of individuals who have come together to voice our opposition to the war in Afghanistan on the ninth anniversary of the original invasion.

There are many reasons to oppose this war including:
* The Afghan war is a "war on innocent civilians, not a war on terror" according to Afghan parliamentarian and human rights activist Malalai Joya (known as the "bravest woman in Afghanistan").

* WikiLeaks' Afghan War Diary has detailed civilians being killed and maimed; brutality and lawlessness from the occupying forces and their Afghan puppets; cover-ups; endemic corruption and wide-scale disorganisation in running the occupation effort.

* US and Australian troops are propping up the corrupt and unpopular Harmid Karzai government that is responsible for human rights abuses across the country and that relies on fraudulent elections to maintain power.

* a majority of Austalians (61% according to the Essential Media poll, June 22, 2010) are opposed to the war

* The continuation of the unpopular foreign occupation is leading to increased support for the Taliban

* The war is not isolated to Afghanistan. There are regular US drone attacks on Pakistan which kill civilians there. Despite Obama's publicised withdrawal of "combat troops" from Iraq, there are still 50,000 US troops (not to mention mercenaries) that engage in combat in that country. The drums of war are beating against Iran as well. It is time to stop the madness, not escalate it!

Organisations supporting this rally include:
* Women's International League for Peace and Freedom * Refugee Rights Action Network * Socialist Alliance * Women in Black * Socialist Alternative
We are seeking further endorsements. Please conact Alex 0413 976 638 or Felicity 0413 495 242 if your organisation can support the rally in any way.

Organisations can support this rally by:
* Formally endorsing the rally
* Advertising the rally in newsletters, email lists, etc
* Making a donation towards advertising costs

Individuals can support this rally by:
* Encouraging friends and workmates to come along
* Make a banner or sign to bring to the rally
* Contact us (0413 976 638 or 0413 495 242) if you want more ideas about how you can help

* Check out this information sheet from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

* John Pilger on Why WikiLeaks must be defended

* Malayai Joya speaks to British Stop the War Coalition (44 minutes)

* This anti-war music video clip below is by Perth musician John Novatscou from the band Nakedflame. John is actively promoting the October 9 rally:

* The text below is from the Sydney Stop the War Coalition:

About 150,000 US-NATO troops (including from Australia) and at least 100,000 mercenaries are taking part in a war of terror against the people of Afghanistan and, increasingly Pakistan.  Bipartisan support for the war has meant that there has been no parliamentary debate, and yet a clear majority  (61% according to Essential Poll) now opposes Australia’s involvement. There is now a chance for a national debate on this nine year war with the Greens, and some independents, pressing for one.

This is not a war for Australia’s “national security”.  Australia is in Afghanistan because the US are in Afghanistan, to maintain the American alliance.  The US is not there to fight “terrorism”; it is protecting its interests in Central Asia vis-a-vis Russia and China, with the prize being - access to the region’s oil.

This war is not about “stopping terrorism”. Hostility to the corrupt Kabul regime and to the brutality of the occupation is driving the local population to use any means available to force the foreigners to leave. This is not terrorism: it is legitimate resistance to foreign occupation. If terrorist acts spread internationally, the cause is rooted in the occupation.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of civilian Afghans and Pakistanis and more than 2000 US-NATO troops – including 21 Australians - have been killed and billions of dollars are being spent. The Australian 2010 defence budget earmarked $1.2 billion to be spent on 1550+ troops in Afghanistan. The US has spent an unimaginable US$1.6 trillion on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These trillions should have been spent on social needs, given the havoc caused by the global financial crisis, and addressing global warming.

Afghanistan is becoming more dangerous. The UN has been forced to withdraw its operating staff from Afghanistan. Violence against women continues and ethnic minorities, like the Hazaras, are increasingly targets for murder. Refugees are fleeing the country while the Australian government pretends it is safe to send them home and refuses to process their applications for asylum.

This war cannot be “won” by military force. Afghan MP Malalai Joya told Australians last year that Afghans want the foreign troops out. A political solution is what’s required, she said.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friends of Palestine to host Anna Baltzer

Who: ANNA BALTZER, Jewish American former Fulbright scholar, award-winning lecturer, granddaughter of Holocaust refugees, and recent guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart with her book, Witness in Palestine.

What: First-hand reports on the conflict and the exciting nonviolence movement, followed by ways people can contribute to a just peace.

Why: To share information difficult to obtain through the mainstream media.

Date: Thurs 21st October

Time: 5:30 for 6pm start

Venue: University of WA, Austen Lecture Theatre (Arts
Faculty, next to Reid Library)

Entry: By donation

For more info: Ph 0449 028 894 Email:

Copies of Witness in Palestine will be available on the night.




Activists push for justice for Mr Ward at parliamentary hearing

Monday, September 20, 2010

Public Forum: The Fight for Aboriginal Rights in the NT

The Northern Territory Intervention, the NT government’s policy of withdrawing resources from Aboriginal homelands and bans on education in Aboriginal languages all form part of a savage assimilation agenda in the NT. Racist legislation is fueling apartheid style conditions in urban centres like Alice Springs. An explosion in uranium exploration and the push for an NT nuclear waste dump are also increasing pressure on communities.

These attacks are being met with strong resistance from a growing protest movement. And in the recent federal election, anti-Intervention Greens candidates outpolled both Labor and Liberal across Central Australia. Come along, participate in discussion and hear analysis and updates from Aboriginal rights activists based in Alice Springs.

Nat Wasley (Beyond Nuclear Initiative)
Paddy Gibson (Intervention Rollback Action Group)

Monday 27 Sept
6:30pm Earthwise (315 Bagot Road, Subiaco)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps - GLW Fundraiser 24 Sept 2010

Come to see Oliver Stone's
Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps
with Green Left Weekly

6:30pm, Fri 24 Sept
Windsor Cinema
98 Stirling Highway, Nedlands

Pre-purchase tickets essential
$15 or $20 solidarity

You can purchase or make a booking by phone (9218 9608, 0413 976 638) or email (

(fundraiser for Green Left Weekly)

This is the official trailer on YouTube here:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two Aboriginal Rights events

1. Protest Action

On Wednesday 22nd September 2010 at 10am, the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee and Ms Daisy Ward will be appearing before the Parliamentary Committee Hearing on the Transportation of Detained Persons Inquiry.  A protest action will be held outside the Hearing (18-32 parliament Place, West Perth) calling on the government to: 
a) Return the sole responsibility for the management and delivery of all custodial transport to the Department of Corrective Services;
b) Immediately terminate the contract between the Department of Corrective Services and G4S for the transportation of detained persons; and
c)  End to the privatisation of prisons and custodial services.

2. John Pat Memorial Day

Invitation to participate in the annual John Pat Memorial Day.  It is 27 years since the death of John Pat.  Join with us to hear guest speakers to remember all those that have died in custody and to renew our commitment to bring about fundamental changes.

Fri 8 Oct, 11:00am
Fremantle Prison, The Terrace, Fremantle.

[This information above is from the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee. Ph 0415 074 602.]

Monday, September 13, 2010

Perth rally to free the Cuban Five

12 September 2010: Around 25 gathered at the Wesley Church corner in Perth city to mark the 12th anniversary of the unjust incarceration of the Cuban Five. Shoppers were told about the 3,400 people who have been brutally murdered by the actions of terrorist groups based in Miami.

Speakers spoke about the injustice against these 5 Cuban Heroes who harmed no one but were imprisoned after giving information they had collected about these terrorist groups operating against Cuba from U.S. soil to the U.S. government, hoping the U.S. would live up to its rhetoric against terrorism and intervene to jail the terrorists. Many shoppers stopped to find out more and to sign a petition for the freedom of the Five.

Following speeches the rally marched through the Hay Street Mall handing out leaflets to interested shoppers, calling for Obama to exercise his power to rectify the grave injustice of this politically motivated attack on Five brave men who were fighting against terrorism.

Written by Elizabeth Hulm. Photos by Alex Bainbridge. Video by Zeb Parkes.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Campaign against Margaret River coal grows

An important campaign is emerging against the proposal to establish a coalmine in the iconic tourist and wine-making region of Margaret River in south-west Western Australia.

The campaign has attracted support in the local community, reflected in a pre-election Walk Against Warming rally attended by many hundreds of people and several successful community organising meetings.

NSW-based anti-coal campaigner Sharon Munro spoke at a packed public meeting near Margaret River on August 28. Many of these activities have been organised by a new campaign group called No COAL!ition, formed to campaign against the proposal.

The Margaret River Shire has come out in opposition to the mine, along with the Winemakers Association, the Tourism Association, the Conservation Council and Safe Climate Perth.

Recently, the pressure against the mine has been felt at the state level. The August 29 Sunday Times carried a two-page spread by 60 Minutes journalist Liam Bartlett titled “Why a Margaret River mine is madness”.

After resisting even reporting the issue for weeks, the West Australian editorialised against the mine on August 30.

State local member and scandal-prone former Liberal treasurer Troy Buswell came out strongly against the mine on August 31.

On September 6, Premier Colin Barnett said the “state government does have concerns about a proposal for a coal mine in Margaret River” and it would consider legislation to protect the region.

This raised the hopes of local campaigners that a quick victory was possible. They pushed for a clear statement of opposition from the state government.

However, on September 9, in reply to a grievance motion by independent parliamentarian Adele Carles, Barnett refused to stop the company from making its mine proposal.

He said the government would still consider protection laws, but said even if this was introduced, there was no guarantee it would cover the area proposed for the mine.

There is a widespread view that current state mining laws and inadequate powers of the Environmental Protection Authority would not be enough to prevent the mine from proceeding.

WA Labor parliamentarian Adele Farina said on September 9: “If the community do not take up the fight and expend tens of thousands of dollars in challenging the project every step of the way, the coalmine is certain to be approved, with the likelihood of inadequate conditions to protect the Margaret River area.”

Local landowners have said mining company LD Operations has started seeking land valuations with a view to buying land near the mine site.

Campaigners say this is an attempt to counter opposition to the mine. They say the state government should act now to stop the proposal rather than allowing the approval process to proceed.

If the current mine proposal is approved, it would potentially open the door to other mines in the region.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge first appeared in Green Left Weekly.]

Kimberley land grab faces mounting opposition

Opposition has grown to the Western Australian state government’s compulsory seizure of James Price Point, 60km north of Broome, for a $30 billion gas processing project in the Browse Basin. The Kimberly Land Council (KLC), the Greens and the Wilderness Society have all spoken out against the move.

Frank Parriman, the co-chair of the KLC Traditional Owners negotiating committee accused Woodside, the company that plans to build the project, of orchestrating the takeover.

According to the September 9 West Australian, Parriman said: “I believe a lot of this stuff was orchestrated by Woodside — my anger is at Woodside, more than the Premier. They want this project and are prepared to do anything to get it¨.

But Parriman didn’t let Premier Colin Barnett off the hook. He said Barnett “should have had enough courage to stand up to Woodside and say ‘you do the right thing by Aboriginal people and we’ll be right’”.

“Instead, he’s happy to knock down Aboriginal people and he knows he’s going to get public support, because it’s easy to knock the old Blackfella down.

“He’s prepared to take land from us — he’s not prepared to stand up to the company.”

Barnett has said the process of taking the land could take 18 months. If the traditional owners, Woodside and the government can’t produce an Indigenous Land Use Agreement, the matter will go to the Native Title Tribuna.

The state government will need federal approval of the en environmental and heritage impact assessments.
The Greens have said it will “make life difficult for Barnett”, in federal parliament, said the September 6 West Australian.

“We don’t like it”, said Greens Senator Rachel Siewert. “We will be raising it federally in terms of … whether the government is giving it tacit support.”

[This article by Alex Salmon was first published in Green Left Weekly.]

Monday, September 6, 2010

Socialist Ideas Seminar: Introduction to Marxism

Socialist Ideas Seminar:
An introduction to Marxism

This seminar is for activists and for people who want to make the world a better place.
It will introduce some of the basic ideas of socialism and Marxism in an accessible way and discuss their relevance and feasibility in today's world.

Presented by:
Tarryn Lawton, Alex Bainbridge & Sanna Andrew.

Sunday 19 Sept 2010
12noon (bruch available)
Perth Activist Centre
15/5 Aberdeen St, East Perth (next to McIver station)

Free entry.

This is the first in a series of seminars that will include the Global Financial Crisis (Oct 24) & the Philosophy of Social Change (Nov 21).

Presented by Socialist Alliance and Resistance

WA government siezes Aboriginal land

On September 2, Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett began the takeover of land at James Price Point in the Kimberley so the company Woodside can build a gas-processing hub.

Barnett claims this is necessary, after two years of negotiating with the local Aboriginal community and the Kimberley Land Council (KLC). He said any further delays in the project will lose $30 billion after the $15 billion taxpayers have already spent.

Barnett said in the September 3 West Australian: “I have a responsibility to ensure that major investment projects such as liquefied natural gas are not lost to this State, not only the investment but literally the hundreds of jobs that they create for decades to come.”

This move has sparked opposition from local Aboriginal groups, the KLC, the Wilderness Society and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).

KLC chief executive Wayne Bergman said the decision was a betrayal of local Aboriginal people and senior representatives of the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr people are making a native title claim over the land.

On September 3, AMWU state secretary Steve McCartney opposed the compulsory acquisition and called on the government to negotiate with the local Aboriginal people and the KLC in good faith. He said that, until such an agreement was, reached the AMWU would not support the project.

The AMWU will convene a meeting of fellow construction unions and the KLC in coming weeks to discuss how the union movement will support the traditional owners in the Kimberley. “We will not stand idly by while the state government steals this land from its rightful owners”, McCartney said.

“The AMWU will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Kimberley indigenous people to ensure the gas hub delivers good, secure and safe jobs and greater employment and training opportunities for all people.”

The proposed development was also criticised by Michael Hughes of the Curtin Sustainable Tourism Centre. A recently released Kimberley Whale Coast Tourism report released last week concluded that that “industrial development, particularly Woodside’s planned James Price Point gas hub, would create visual, air and noise pollution”.

Alex Bainbridge from the Socialist Alliance told Green Left Weekly: “Stealing Aboriginal land is an injustice that should never be tolerated. The injustice is compounded by using the stolen land to create a mammoth greenhouse polluting development — that is a crime against everyone.

“The new and proposed gas developments in north west WA are the major contributors to the expected 75% increase in greenhouse emissions in this state.”

In Broome, the decision sparked a spontaneous street protest. Peter Tucker, chairman of the Save the Kimberley group, said in the September 3 West Australian: “It’s obviously going to galvanise the community … from what I’ve been hearing round the traps in the last 24 hours most people are disgusted, absolutely disgusted that Barnett can come out and do and say what he is doing.”

[This article by Alex Salmon was first published in Green Left Weekly. To find out more about the Save the Kimberley group, email]

Murdoch Resistance forum: The future of progressive politics Wed 8 Sept

The future of progressive politics

The August election resulted in a hung parliament and a big
increase in Green representation.

Is the two party system on the way out? How much can the
greens achieve? What is the role socialist movement?

This forum will discuss the campaigns for climate justice,
same-sex marriage and ending war and racism in this new

Guest speaker: Alex Bainbridge
(Socialist Alliance candidate for Perth in the recent election)

12:30pm Wed 8 Sept
@ the Tav (Murdoch Uni)

Ph Ben 0400 878 322