Friday, March 30, 2012

Crisis and Fightback in Europe

European workers enter another year in which national governments and transeuropean banks intend to make the common citizen bail out the banks and big corporate interests.

Across Europe, wages have been cut, essential services are being privatised, the cost of living has soared and millions of people have been thrown out of workplace and home.

Millions of people have responded to these attacks on their standards of living, and in doing so are challenging the continued exploitation and suffering inherent to a system that puts profits over the needs of people and planet.

Learn more about this fightback, and how we in Australia are part of this broad movement for a socially just and demoactic alterative to the mad system that is capitalism.

All are welcome

6:30pm, Wed 4 April
Perth Activist Centre
15/5 Aberdeen St, Perth (next to McIver station)

Hosted by Socialist Alliance and Resistance.

Attend on Facebook:

For more details contact 9218 9608, 0413 976 638.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Defend WikiLeaks: Forum Wednesday; Emergency action if Assange is extradited

1. Stop the War on WikiLeaks
Socialist Alliance and Resistance meeting

Kate Massam
Chris Bonds

6:30pm, Wed 28 March 2012
Perth Activist Centre, 15 / 5 Aberdeen St, Perth (next to McIver station)

2. Stand by alert action for Julian Assange

A decision on Julian Assange's extradition case is possible any time.

Snap actions are being planned across Australia, demanding the Australian government use its power to prevent any effort by the United States government to have Assange sent to the US from Sweden.

Recent exposures by whistleblower website Wikileaks reveal the year long existence of a US sealed indictment order against Assange for his role in publishing diplomatic cables that implicate the US, Australian and other Western governments in war crimes and human rights abuses.

Leading US politicians have called for Assange's assasination and imprisonment.

PROTEST: 5:30pm on THAT DAY if Julian Assange is extradited
Murray Street Mall, Perth City (near Perth Underground Station)

Stand up for Julian Assange and Wikileaks! Defend Bradley Manning! Defend Freedom and Speech!

Please support and spread widely.

For more details contact Chris 0415 922 740

Friday, March 23, 2012

The day police invaded the Nyoongar Tent Embassy

This is what the Nyoongar Tent Embassy looked like before the police invaded. This photo was taken on Thursday March 22 - about one hour before the police arrived. These Embassy representatives were waving at traffic on the Causeway and getting a lot of positive responses from passers by.

It wasn't all waving at cars. This image below also sums up what the Embassy has been like for most of the six weeks of its existence: calm and tranquil and proudly asserting Aboriginal culture and sovereignty.

Matagarup (Heirisson Island), where the Embassy is located, is a beautiful place to be. People at the Embassy have enjoyed watching the birds, dolphins, kangaroos and other wildlife on or near the Island. The Embassy staff have cleaned up the Island significantly - and kept it clean!

Then the police arrived! The day before, police commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said that he was waiting for instructions from Perth City Council to "clean up" the Embassy. Talkback radio shock jocks were egging them on, including, shamefully ABC's Geoff Hutchison!

The police came with horses, dog squad, tasers, guns and large numbers - over sixty police and 15 council rangers.

The Embassy response was completely dignified!

"This is our sanctuary, and you have no rights to come here and even to stand there," one of the activists said to police when they arrived. Police were told calmly and in a dignified way that they were not welcome and had no jurisdiction on sovereign Aboriginal land. Herbert Bropho told the police that the Embassy did not want violence and that any violence was being brought by the police.

Then we marched away from the police to the far end of the Island.  You couldn't get a more powerful proof that the Embassy staff were not looking for a confrontation. This proves that the comments by premier Colin Barnett and others in recent days were lies. Barnett has been invited many times to come to the Island and talk the Embassy representatives. He has refused to come. Other refusing to visit include opposition leader Mark McGowan, police commissioner Karl O'Callaghan and most of the media front people who have falsely vilified the Embassy to the public.

We marched to Yagan's statue. Yagan was a Nyoongar resistance fighter against European colonisation.

At the statue it was revealed: "we have a brand new tent" to put up. The Embassy lives.

But then police moved in. Not content with watching the whole Embassy literally walk away from any prospect of violence, the cops moved in deliberately to provoke arrests, confrontation and to try to take away from the positive image that would otherwise have been on the media.

That's when the three arrests happened. (A fourth arrest took place later.)

Cops pushed three good people down onto the ground, treated them roughly, for no good reason.

Then one of the worst incidents of the day took place. This is Shilo Harrison shortly before she was rushed by a police horse. You can see that she is carrying a baby, outraged by the actions of police in front of her but doing nothing that would warrant being charged by a mounted cop.

This photo gets across the horror on Shilo's face as she suddenly realises that she is in danger while she is trying to protect a very young baby (not her own). I think everyone who saw that incident can appreciate the horror of the situation.

This is an uncropped version of the same photo which shows the people on the left reacting to the situation.

The same picture is clear from this image taken moments later.

Video interview with Shilo Harrison just after the police attack

Yes, it was you cops who came in and provoked this confrontation.

The Embassy regrouped. They never left the Island.

You can't kill the spirit which is strong.

Eventually the cops marched off, with three arrests, a bunch of equipment seized, but they didn't manage to break the Embassy and they didn't manage to break the spirit.

With actions like these, it is no wonder that signs like these have been making an appearance around the Embassy site in recent weeks!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nyoongar Tent Embassy plans protest, celebrates win

UPDATE, Wednesday, 21 March 2012: Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has called for the Nyoongar Tent Embassy to be "cleaned up" permanently. Solidarity is needed there now and in coming days. 

In addition, an important march will be taking place next Wednesday, 28 March 2012 gathering 11am, Cnr Riverside Drive & Victoria Avenue.

[The article below is from Green Left Weekly #915.]

Nyoongar Tent Embassy plans protest, celebrates win

An Aboriginal protest march is being planned for March 28 to take up issues such as the government’s miserly stolen wages offer and the proposed deal that would extinguish Nyoongar native title in south west Western Australia.

The WA government made an offer on March 6 to pay up to $2000 to Aboriginal people who were forced to work for rations in previous decades. It is an insulting offer that has been slammed by Aboriginal organisations.

The WA offer is inferior to offers already made in NSW and Queensland and will apply only to people still alive, not their descendants.

The other issue to be taken up at the protest is the government’s proposed deal with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) to extinguish Nyoongar native title in return for a $600 million “future fund” and packages of largely unused land.

Protest against this deal has helped inspire the establishment of the Nyoongar Tent Embassy at Matagarup (Heirrison Island), which began on February 12.

The rally will start at the corner of Riverside Drive and Victoria Avenue at 11am and will march to Parliament house. Speakers will include Robert Eggington, Iva Hayward-Jackson, Leonard Ogilvie and Bella Bropho.

The embassy is also celebrating as a victory the court decision drop to bail conditions on embassy representative Len Colbung.

Colbung faced court on March 15 after he was arrested for protecting the embassy’s sacred fire on February 23. The February 23 incident was the second time police tried to close down the embassy.

Even though there were about half a dozen camp fires on the island at the time, police targeted the symbolic “sacred fire” that marked the centre of the embassy’s meeting circle and put it out.

Colbung had a bail condition preventing him from returning to the island, but this condition was dropped by the magistrate on March 15. He immediately returned to the embassy to make camp and celebrate.

The embassy now has a website. Visit to join the embassy’s mailing list and to get other updates.

The video below shows Len Colbung's return to the Tent Embassy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

URGENT ACTION: For Zimbabwe political prisoners

Munyaradzi Gwisai
Dear comrades and friends,
Last night (March 19) Zimbabwe ISO leader Munyaradzi Gwisai and his five comrades were found guilty by the Zimbabwean state of “inciting public disorder”, after they organised a film showing and discussion at the Labour Centre in Harare about the Egyptian uprising last year.The conviction gives the brutal security apparatus in Zimbabwe a green light to persecute and prosecute ordinary people for watching a film or daring to discuss events unfolding in another country.
The ISO activists will be sentenced in the next 24 hours and face up to 10 years' imprisonment (in Zimbabwe's jails, this can be a death sentence).

We urge you to help prevent these courageous comrades from being jailed by immediately texting a  message demanding that the six activists be freed without penalty to the following  numbers:

Zimbabwe Security Minister Didymus Mutasa  +263 0712 200 532
Zimbabwe Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri +263 712 808 290
Zimbabwe Police Minister Kembo Mohadi  +263 712 605 424

Protests actions will also be held on Tuesday 20 March as follows:

SOUTH AFRICA - 12 noon Zimbabwe consulate, 13 Boeing Street West, Bedfordview, Johannesburg
BRITAIN - Embassy of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe House, 429 Strand, London, WC2R 0QE. Phone 020 7379 1167, email
AUSTRALIA - Melbourne solidarity action with Zimbabwe activists facing years in jail, Tuesday March 20, 5.15pm, GPO, City, Corner Bourke and Elizabeth St
USA – Details at:
AUSTRIA: protest in front of the embassy of Zimbabwe in Vienna on Tuesday, March 20th at 11:00.
The convicted comrades are: Munya Gwisai, Antoneta Choto (36), Tatenda Mombeyarara (29), Edson Chakuma (38), Hopewell Gumbo (32) and Welcome Zimuto (25).

In solidarity,
Lisa Macdonald
Socialist Alliance (Australia)


Monday, March 19, 2012

Help Socialist Alliance get registered for next year's state election

Socialist Alliance WA is currently in the process of getting registered to be able to contest WA state elections with our name on the ballot paper.

We are already registered at a federal level and in several states, however, this will be the first time that we will be registered in Western Australia.

In order to be successful, we need to be able to provide a list of 500 members to the WA electoral commission. To be considered, people need to be on the electoral roll and live in WA.

We need your help to achieve this goal.

In order to assist, simply download this form, fill it in and return it to Socialist Alliance WA, PO Box 204, Northbridge WA 6865.

Please encourage your friends and family to assist as well.

If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Ph Alex 0413 976 638 or Sam 0412 751 508.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a member to help out?
When you sign the form you become a member of Socialist Alliance WA.

Do I have to pay money to join?
Membership in “Socialist Alliance WA” is free.

We would encourage you to take the optional step of becoming a financial member in the national organisation “Socialist Alliance”. (We also accept donations.)

Do I have to be on the Electoral roll?
The names we hand over to the Electoral Commission need to be for people on the Electoral Roll. If you are eligible to be on the Electoral Roll but not currently on we can help you enroll.

What if the address where I live is different to my address on the Electoral Roll?
Please update your details with the Electoral Commission or give us both addresses.

Will my information be private?
The names and other details of members will be private to the Socialist Alliance WA and the WA Electoral Commission.

Will the Electoral Commission contact me?
The Electoral Commission will contact a portion of the people on our registration list and ask them to confirm that they are members of Socialist Alliance WA. It is important that if you are contacted, you say “yes”.

How can I help sign up other people?
You can help sign up friends, family and others. Forms are available for download from our website: or by phoning 9218 9608 or 0413 976 638.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Full Marriage Equality rally

Rally to mark the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO)

1pm Sat 12 May 2012
Stirling Gardens (aka Supreme Court Gardens)
Perth City

Attend on Facebook:

Organised by Equal Love

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sunday Session at FERN

Annie Allgood and Brett Percy
The Dream Tree Collective
Cyclone Tess

Other performers include: Chris Bonds (hip hop) and Farida Iqbal. Hear also about community campaigns.

$10 entry. Refreshments and vegan food available for purchase.

4:30 til 7pm, Sunday 25 March
Fremantle Environment Resource Network (FERN)
Cnr Montreal & High Sts, Fremantle.

All money raised will help the Fremantle Activist Centre

Monday, March 12, 2012

Public Forum: Iran, Syria, Kony: Can Western Intervention Bring Democracy and Justice?

Time: 6.30pm. Wed 14 March

Location: Perth Activist Centre, 15/5 Aberdeen St (next to McIver train station)

In recent weeks campaigns surrounding KONY 2012 have been calling for a Western military intervention into Uganda to arrest the leader of the brutal LRA leader Joseph Kony. This is occurring alongside escalating threats by the (nuclear powers) United States and Israel to attack Iran, and suggestions foreign powers should intervene militarily into the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Join us for this critical discussion on the West's claim to bring democracy through foreign military interference.

Organised by Resistance Socialist Youth and Socialist Alliance.

For more details contact 9218 9608, 0413 976 638

Attend on Facebook:

For more information, see also these recent articles from Green Left Weekly.

Kony campaign won't help Uganda

Who is KONY 2012 to start a war?

Behind Kony 2012 and Ugandan war criminals

Syria: Amid violent repression, pro-US regimes no friends of the people

Mark Steel: Iraq was so much fun, let's do it to Iran

United States: Drone warfare fuelling profiteering, spying

Friday, March 9, 2012

Serco protest in Perth

Over 50 people rallied outside the Perth Headquarters of British multinational corporation Serco on March 9 to protest against the company's ongoing record of support for privatisation of public services. Serco runs Australia’s immigration detention centres and is responsible for implementing the oppressive government policy of mandatory detention.

In addition, the company has contracts to run prisons and hospitals and other public services. The protest was calling for all of these privatised enterprises to be returned to public hands.

The protest was organised by Occupy Perth and was supported by Serco Watch, Refugee Rights Action Network, the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (DICWC) and unions including United Voice.

Dave Hume, from the Save Fiona Stanley Hospital campaign, spoke about how when public Hospital service had previously been privatised in Western Australia in the mid 1990’s it led to an outbreak of disease and germs and decline in services which cost the taxpayer $2.7 million to clean up. The cleaning contracts had to be returned to public hands.

Sarah Ross from RRAN denounced the mistreatment of Refugees in inside Serco run detention centres, noting that Serco staff were under-trained and unequipped for dealing with mental health issues. She also pointed out that since the company took over the detention centres in 2009, people had committed suicide, noting the case of a Fijian man Josepha Rauli, who jumped to his death from the roof of the Villawood detention centre in September 2010. Ross said that SERCO had the blood of those 7 men on their hands.

Colin Penter from Serco Watch, denounced Serco’s lobbying of the Barnett Coalition government who have awarded three contracts to Serco, including the Acacia youth detention facility. This was despite the fact that it was in a Serco-run Juvenile prison in the United Kingdom in 2004, that 14 year Adam Brinkwood committed suicide after being assaulted by Serco guards, making him the youngest death in custody.

The crowd also heard from Paul Kaplan of the DICWC, before marching around the building chanting "Serco: Blood on your hands". At the end of the protest Police and Perth City Council Rangers confiscated some barbed wire being used as a prop for the protest but showed no interest in arresting any of the Serco executives for their crimes.

[Article by Alex Salmon for Green Left Weekly #914.]

Video by Zeb Parkes

Photos by Zeb Parkes

The action also attracted reports in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Herald Sun and The ABC.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

VIDEO: Who is the real Bob Carr?

Easter Monday: Free the refugees

Refugee Rights National Day of Action

Monday 9 April 2012
2:30pm, Perth Immigration Detention Centre
(next to Perth Domestic Airport)

End Mandatory Detention
Free the Refugees

Organised by Refugee Rights Action Network *

This action is part of a national day of action for refugee rights which includes the convergence in Darwin over the whole Easter weekend.



Monday, March 5, 2012

Tent embassy: sovereignty on the agenda

Around fifty people attended a forum addressed by Michael Anderson at the Curtin Uni Aboriginal Studies Centre on March 5. Anderson is a Gamilaroi man, one of the original 4 founders of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972.

The forum was organised by the Nyoongah Tent Embassy and followed a well-attended address Anderson had given at the embassy two days beforehand.

Anderson argued that Aboriginal people had never given up their sovereignty - that there had never been a defeat in declared war, that the land hadn't been ceded, and that the British crown hadn't asserted sovereignty over Aboriginal people. He gave illustrations from case law, letters and legislation going back to colonial times, to indicate that Aboriginal people were not British subjects, nor were they considered such, and described recent legal efforts to have Australia's constitutional court examine whether or not Australian courts have jurisdiction over Aboriginal people.

Anderson invited Aboriginal people of WA to take part in the formation of an interim Aboriginal government of national unity, which so far includes representatives of more than 40 Aboriginal nations from eastern Australia. He described plans to seek to have Aboriginal people recognised as a non-self-governing people by the UN, as well as a raft of legal initiatives, including a writ of Mandamus to get the British parliament to protect Aboriginal sovereignty, genocide proceedings against Britain in the EU, and compensation and restitution claims with respect to mineral and petroleum exploitation.

His words were enthusiastically received, with a lot of agreement with his view that “it's not about the money” and the importance of not accepting the Barnett government's “deal” over the southwest of WA - a deal that would stamp out all native title claims over the region.

[Photo by Desire Mallet from Embassy gathering 3 March 2012. Article by Kamala Emanuel 5 March 2012.]

Photos below by Desire Mallet

Say no to the Liberal-Labor anti-association laws

The Mark McGowan-led Western Australian ALP opposition has promised it will support the Colin Barnett government’s controversial anti-association laws. The laws were debated in parliament on February 28.

Barnett has said the law will “crack down on outlaw bikie gangs”. However, the words “bikie”, “motorcycle” or “gang” do not appear once in the bill.

See also: Ten things you should know about Barnett's anti-association law

Instead, Pearl Lim of civil liberties group Search For Your Rights said these laws would give a “single, unaccountable judge the power to criminalise any association that he or she likes”.

This means that environmental or activist groups could potentially be targeted if they were deemed “criminal organisations”.

Forest Rescue activists are particularly worried that members of their group will become victims of these laws. Members of the group boarded the Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru No 2 in January, receiving widespread publicity. They have taken part in other actions, including forest campaigns and the campaign against the James Price Point gas hub, near Broome.

Forest Rescue members sometimes make use of “non-violent direct action” tactics, including “locking on” to equipment used by environmental vandals.

Many activists have been arrested while taking peaceful direct action during the James Price Point campaign. But their actions have made an impact. The proposed development is widely unpopular. It would lead to environmental degradation and a huge rise in greenhouse pollution.

Woodside, the corporation leading the development, is suffering financial and legal difficulties due in large part to the protests and associated controversy.

Simon Peterffy from Forest Rescue told Green Left Weekly that he believes the government will use these laws to outlaw any similar campaign that proves effective.

Forest Rescue members have already suffered police attempts to use draconian bail conditions to outlaw association between group members.

Peterffy spoke of one case in which an activist was prevented from taking part in any protest action. In another case, two housemates were given bail conditions preventing them from associating with each other. In a third, two activists in a long-term relationship were given bail conditions preventing them from associating with each other.

Some of these bail conditions have been overturned in the courts, but they give an indication of the sorts of draconian measures that police could use if these laws pass.
Search For Your Rights emphasised that the proposed bill outlaws association instead of criminal actions. That is, a person can be punished for the actions of a friend or associate rather than their own actions.

Penalties include prison sentences of up to five years for: associating with another controlled person; recruiting a person to a declared organisation; or even allowing a declared group to use your premises.

Labor opposition figures have said they agree with “90%” of the bill. They intend to move amendments, not to protect the civil liberties of the people, but to prevent a successful High Court challenge to the bill. Similar laws in NSW and South Australia have been overturned by the high court.

Labor has also said its members plan to vote for the laws even if, as is likely, their amendments are not supported by the parliament.

Socialist Alliance Fremantle co-convener Sam Wainwright told GLW that Barnett’s bill is an overbearing attack on democratic rights. He called on Labor to reverse its support for the bill and oppose it outright.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge was written for Green Left Weekly #913.]

WA's planned 'foetal homicide' law is wrong, say feminists

This issue will be discussed at a forum
in the Perth Activist Centre on Wed
7 March 2012.
Perth-based women's health doctor Kamala Emanuel has hit out at the "dangerous implications" of a "foetal homicide" law proposed by the WA state government.

The law if passed would, for the first time, recognise an "unborn baby" as a human life.

The stated intent of the law would be to be create legal sanctions against people who assault a pregnant woman.

People could face life imprisonment under these laws -- "the same as a murder charge" – if an "unborn baby" dies. The law would also apply in situations where a foetus was hurt due to negligent driving.

"The state government's proposed laws reflect our view that any act of violence against a mother-to-be is an especially serious offence," attorney general Christian Porter said on February 26.

"Where an offender causes serious injury or death of an unborn child, the law must properly reflect the extreme emotional trauma such a loss can cause to the mother."

Emanuel, who is also a member of the Socialist Alliance, told Green Left Weekly that the government was taking a "completely wrong approach" to the issue.

"Women in violent relationships typically experience more violence while pregnant," she said. "We do need to provide social and legal protection for pregnant women, but not in a way that paves the way to deny women their rights in other contexts.

"This law is all about creating legal rights for foetuses."

Even though the government said that abortion rights were not being challenged, one of the first groups to announce its support for the proposed law was the anti-choice "Right to Life" organisation.

"More insidious," said Emanuel, "but just as dangerous" was the reaction of the local branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

AMA WA president Dave Mountain told the February 26 West Australian that the state government should consider criminal penalties for cases where "extreme" homebirths or drug or alcohol consumption by pregnant women harmed a baby.

Emanuel said Mountain's position was "outrageous".

She said: "Ordinarily, no woman would intentionally harm her baby. In the situations referred to by Dr Mountain, women require social or medical assistance, not criminal sanctions."

Several US states have legal rights for foetuses – in some cases unborn foetuses have more legal rights than a live child. This has resulted in dangerous attacks on women's rights including the removal of newborn babies from their mother because of "junk food" consumption during pregnancy, forced caesarean section operations against the will of the woman and criminal charges for having sex during pregnancy against a doctor's advice.

Emanuel told GLW that the language used to describe the proposed law revealed its anti-woman character.

"It is a complete misnomer to even talk about an 'unborn child' – if it is not yet born, it is not yet a child," she said.

"The language of 'foetal homicide' should be a wake up call for feminists who should rightly view this as the thin edge of the wedge against abortion rights."

Prominent feminist activist Leslie Cannold told Fairfax media that she does not support the proposed law.

"It's a bad idea, it's unnecessary, it is a precursor to restricting abortions," she said.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge was written for Green Left Weekly #913. This issue will be discussed at a forum in the Perth Activist Centre on Wednesday 7 March 2012.]

Blues in the Afternoon

* Annie Allgood and Brett Percy

* The Dream Tree Collective

* Cyclone Tess

Also featuring hip hop artist Chris Bonds and Farida Iqbal.

Hear also about local community campaigns

$10 entry. Beer, cider, soft drinks and vegan food available

4.30 til 7pm, Sun 25 March

FERN, Cnr Monteal St & High St, Fremantle

All proceeds aid the Fremantle Activist Centre

Friday, March 2, 2012

Homebirthing, foetal homicide laws and women's rights

An International Women's Day forum

Home birthing, Foetal homicide laws and women's rights

The WA state government is proposing new "foetal homicide laws" to increase the penalty for harming or causing the death of an "unborn child". But does this set the stage for criminalising abortion or home births; or other attacks on women's rights? Join us for this discussion.

Wednesday 7 March 2012
6:30pm, Perth Activist Centre,
15/5 Aberdeen St Perth (next to McIver station)

Presented by Resistance and the Socialist Alliance

Ph 9218 9608, 0417 319 662. Email: wacontact [at]

Attend on Facebook:

READ MORE: WA's planned 'foetal homicide' law is wrong, say feminists