Monday, February 28, 2011

Perth Now video from January 29 WikiLeaks rally

The original link is here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Video of Compassion Caravan to Leonora detention centre

On the 21 January a group of about 30 activists travelled over 800km on the compassion caravan to Leonora detention centre. To protest the the inhumane treatment of refugees, particularly locking up children for years in remote detention centres.

This is the documentary of the journey to a detention centre, the human rights abuses that happen there, the secrets that the government wants to hide from the public and activists who are committed to stopping it happen.

To get involved in refugee activism in perth western Australia.

To come on the next caravan of compassion:

For more films about social justice and political activism:

See this video on YouTube:

After the dictators fall, what next for the Arab world?

Public forum to discuss the popular revolt spreading through the Arab world. All welcome.

Syed Dashlooty (Australia Arab Friendship Society)
Alex Bainbridge (Socialist Alliance convenor & Friends of Palestine activist)
Afeif Ismail & Khalid Hassan (Friends of Sudanese Communist Party)

6pm, Friday 4 March
Reception Room Fremantle Council building (entrance via stairs and patio at rear of building near the playground)

Organised by Socialist Alliance Walyalup-Fremantle branch: or 0412 751 508

Monday, February 21, 2011

Invitation to open CHOGM organising meeting

[Please pass this on to your lists and contacts.]

Dear friends,

We are writing to invite you to get involved in organising a progressive response, including protest activities, at the time of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth in October 2011.

We are planning an open meeting on Thursday 3 March 2011 at 6:30pm and would like to encourage you to come along and get involved.

There are multiple issues/reasons for protesting at the time of CHOGM and we envisage that the first meeting will canvass several of these. Please consider yourself welcome to come along and bring your own ideas to the discussion.

The meeting will be held at the Perth Activist Centre, 15/5 Aberdeen St, East Perth (next to McIver station).

If you are unable to attend at that time but are interested in being involved, please contact one of the signatories to this letter so that you can be kept informed about this campaign.

Yours in solidarity

Alex Bainbridge
Dave Fox
Hsien Harper (WA Greens)
Marcus Roberts
Marianne Mackay
Ray Grenfell
Seamus Doherty

Subscribe here for CHOGM protest email updates:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Next WikiLeaks rally - Sat 26 Feb

Defend WikiLeaks
* Justice for Julian Assange
* Free Bradley Manning
* Defend Freedom of Speech

12 noon Saturday 26 February

Murray Street Mall (near Forrest Place)
DOWNLOAD: 4xA6 Fliers (PDF)

Gerry Conlon and Paddy Hill speak about miscarriages of justice

Paddy Hill & Gerry Conlon
:: British justice exposed!

Paddy Hill and Gerry Conlon each spent over 15 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. Hill was wrongly jailed for being part of the Birmingham Six. He was freed in 1991. Conlon was wrongly convicted in 1974 for being part of the Guildford Four. He was freed in 1989.

Hear about Paddy & Gerry’s lives, their experiences,
the injustices they faced, as well as about current injustices and deaths in custody in WA.

Cost: $10/$8 conc

Sunday, 27 February
3:00pm — 6:00pm

Irish Club of WA
61 Townshend Road, Subiaco

Contact: Seamus Doherty 0407 906 803

This event is a joint fundraiser for the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (WA) and the
Miscarriage of Justice Organisation (MOJO).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Greetings at the Green Left 20th anniversary celebration

Lina El Rakhawy of the Egyptian community in Perth gives greetings

Marianne Mackay of the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee gives greetings

Sam Wainwright, Fremantle City Councillor and Socialist Alliance member, gives greetings

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Celebrate the end of the Egyptian dictatorship tonight at GLW 20th anniversary

The Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak has gone!

Hours after a televised speech in which he defied the mass uprising against him and declared he would remain as Egypt’s dictator, Mubarak stepped down.

This development is a tremendous victory for people's power, even as the struggle for a genuinely democratic and anti-imperialist Egypt is still unfolding.

We will be celebrating this popular victory tonight at the Green Left Weekly 20th anniversary party and we'd love you to come and join us.

Green Left lives for people's power and the toppling of a dictator by the people of Egypt is one of the best birthday presents we could get.

20 years of Green Left Weekly

Celebrating struggles for
locally and around the world

Drinks & BBQ

Greetings from:
Syed Dashlooty (Australia-Arab Friendship Society)
Lina El Rakhawy (Egyptian community)
Marianne Mackay (Aboriginal activist)
Sam Wainwright (Fremantle's Socialist Councillor)

Tonight, Sat 12 February
7pm, Perth Activist Centre
15/5 Aberdeen St, East Perth (next to McIver station)
Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 683

The reaction in Tahrir square when Mubarak's departure was announced:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Strike action heralds ‘Year of the Wharfie’

MUA picket. Henderson, January 29. Photo: Michael Parker
Wharfies employed by stevedoring company Patrick at four different ports across Australia took strike action in the last week of January in pursuit of a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).
It was the most significant industrial action on the wharves since the 1998 Patrick lockout.
In recent ballots organised by Fairwork Australia, workers at the strike-affected ports voted (by margins of 94% to 100%) to take a range of different forms of industrial action to press their claim.
The workers, employed at Patrick’s bulk and general division (which deals with non-containerised cargo), took between three and six days strike action at the ports of Fremantle, Albany, Melbourne and Geelong.
Among the key demands of the Patrick workers are pay rises of 10% a year, more permanent jobs, a 25% casual leave loading, and full leave and long-service entitlements for permanent part-time workers.
The workers have rejected the company's initial offer of a 2.6% yearly pay rise.
The industrial action in Western Australia culminated on January 29 with a rally of more than 300 Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members at the front gates of the Australian Maritime Complex at Henderson, south of Fremantle.
The rally included seafarers, port authority workers and wharfies from other sites who came out to support the Patrick workers.
The EBA campaign is especially important because enterprise agreements at most stevedoring companies also expire this year.
The Patrick container terminal agreement has already expired and the MUA has lodged a ballot application so that workers there can also take industrial action in support of their claims.
The agreement at DP World, the other half of the container stevedoring duopoly in Australia, expires mid-year.
The Western Australian branch of the MUA has led the charge in the campaign. The front page of its newspaperRank & File Voice declared that 2011 would be the “Year of the Wharfie”.
In 2010, the MUA won big improvements for seafarers employed in the offshore oil and gas industry. WA MUA branch secretary Chris Cain has vowed that this year his members on the waterfront will make their biggest gains since 1998.
[This article by Sam Wainwright was first published in Green Left Weekly, 6 February 2011. Photo by Michael Parker.]

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sam Wainwright speaks out for democracy in Egypt

Fremantle City Councillor and Socialist Alliance member Sam Wainwright speaking at Perth rally in support of the Egyptian revolution February 5, 2011.

Brendan O'Connell: Jailing won't help fight racism

Perth man Brendan O’Connell was sentenced to three years jail under WA’s racial vilification laws on January 31. He was found guilty of six counts of vilification relating to anti-Semitic comments he posted on a YouTube video in 2009.

His jailing, and the length of the sentence, has opened up a certain controversy.

Conservative columnist Paul Murray pointed out in the February 2 West Australian that a person convicted of glassing someone in a pub could expect to receive an 18-month sentence, whereas O’Connell received three years for an “essentially political [speech]”.

It should be noted that several media reports, including Murray’s, have falsely described O’Connell as a member of Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA).

In fact, he is not and never has been a member of FOPWA. The group has categorically condemned his actions.

There are two main issues for progressive people in this case.

First, it is undeniable that O’Connell is an odiously offensive anti-Semite. There is nothing progressive in his political outlook: he is a representative of the far right.

This is obvious for someone who described Judaism as a “satanic death cult” and a “racist, homicidal” religion.

Nevertheless, his professed support for Palestine has confused some people.

We should be clear that anti-Semites are no friends of the Palestinian people. The Zionist state of Israel has waged a continuous war against Palestinian human rights for more than 60 years. However, many Jewish people have distanced themselves from that — or even actively campaign against it.

Judaism — a religion — is not responsible for the actions of the Israeli state.

Zionists use anti-Semitism as a cynical justification for Israel’s human rights abuses. Anti-Semites hinder the Palestinian struggle against Israel’s illegal occupation.

Second, while anti-vilification laws can seem like a progressive step forward, they are at best a double-edged sword.

Jailing far right figures for expressing their views — no matter how odious — is not an effective way to marginalise racist ideas.

O’Connell’s anti-Semitism has received far more publicity than it would were he not prosecuted. The far right will now try to turn him into a martyr.

The most effective way to combat far-right ideas is to organise a strong, anti-racist political response whenever they emerge.

More worryingly, O’Connell’s jailing sets a precedent that could extend beyond the far right and target racial minorities and the left.

For example, an Aboriginal teenager who allegedly vilified a white person in 2006 was the first person charged under Western Australia’s anti-vilification laws. The charges in that case were eventually dropped.

[This comment piece first appeared in Green Left Weekly #867. Add your comments and thoughts here.]

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Celebrate 20 years of Green Left Weekly

20 years of Green Left Weekly

Celebrating struggles for
locally and around the world

Drinks & BBQ

Sat 12 February
7pm, Perth Activist Centre
15/5 Aberdeen St, East Perth (next to McIver station)
Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 683

The 20th anniversary edition of Green Left Weekly will come out in a weeks time dated February 16.

To celebrate past milestones, Green Left Weekly has published messages of solidarity and congratulations from supporters around the country and around the world.

We want to do the same for GLW's 20th birthday in an even bigger way — but we need your help to do it.

We want to publish as many short messages of congratulations as possible from subscribers, community campaigners, trade unionists, Socialist Alliance members, radical academics and political activists from Australia and internationally.

If you value the work of Green Left Weekly over the last 20 years, please write a short message to share your thoughts.

You can send messages  to <> and cc your message to <>.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Perth WikiLeaks Rally 29 January 2011

Perth WikiLeaks Rally, 29 January 2011. Video by Zeb Parkes.

Fred Fuentes on Bolivia

Fred Fuentes speaking on Bolivia at the Perth Activist Centre hosted by Socialist Alliance 31 January 2011. Original YouTube video: