Friday, April 27, 2012

Free speech campaign planned as activist fined for displaying sign

Independent film maker and anti-fracking activist Zeb Parkes has been fined $500 by the City of Perth for his participation in a rally against gas fracking on April 21. Parkes intends to defend the matter in court rather than paying the fines.

City of Perth rangers took the controversial step of trying to suppress the whole protest. They seized the stall table erected by the organising group No Fracking WAy, they ripped placards and banners out of people's hands and they called police who issued "move on" notices to two participants.

Kamala Emanuel, who was an organiser of the protest and one of the people to receive a move on notice, told Green Left that the police said they were acting on the council rangers' instructions to "disperse" the protest.

One of the infringement notices received by Parkes, which carries a $100 penalty, was for "displaying a sign without a licence". The City of Perth "signs local law" purports to prohibit the "display [of] a hand held sign on ... a public place". This bylaw is explicitly against free speech and needs to be struck down by the Perth City Council.

The second infringement notice, which carries a $400 penalty, was for "trading without a permit". The stall contained petitions and information leaflets. None of the material on the No Fracking Way stall was for sale.

This begs the question: if council rangers were concerned about "trading without a permit", why did they seize the No Fracking Way stall in the first place? What is the council's objection to people collecting signatures on petitions and handing out information leaflets on important issues like gas fracking in WA?

A second stall - from Socialist Alliance - was also seized by council rangers. The Socialist Alliance stall included a range of political literature - including Green Left Weekly - and a badge display board as well as leaflets and contact lists. In other words, it was the usual kind of stall from a campaign group that you could find at any rally in Perth, not a commercial enterprise. Whatever the pretext, any attempt to seize or disrupt such a stall is a violation of ordinary people's rights to express themselves and to organise for change.

These latest developments have prompted activists from a range of campaigns including No Fracking WAy, Occupy Perth and Refugee Rights Action Network (among others) to make initial plans to establish a free speech campaign in Perth.

[Contact Alex Bainbridge on 0413 976 638 if you want to take part in the Defend Free Speech campaign.]

Material seized (and returned) by Perth Rangers from the April 21, 2012 rally

Monday, April 23, 2012

Can the gas frackers be stopped?

Socialist Alliance and Resistance meeting with Kamala Emanuel.

This discussion will focus on what sort of community campaign will be needed to stop the gas corporations in their tracks. Also, given the Perth City Council attempts to suppress free speech at the recent rally, what role does the struggle for free speech play in this campaign?

6:30pm, Wed 25 April

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

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638.

Hosted by Socialist Alliance and Resistance.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Strong rally against fracking in Perth stands up to harassment by perth city council and police

No Fracking WAy held it’s first rally against fracking and unconventional gas extraction in the state on April 21. The demand was a for a moratorium on unconventional gas until it could be proven safe for human health and environment. 
The environment minister has recently given the go ahead for mining companies to frack the perth basin without the EPA’s assessment or approval. 
The Perth City Council backed up by the WA police tried to shut down the rally. They confiscated placards, stalls, banners, leaflets and event petitions. Going as far as to issue more on notices to people who refused to comply. 
This did not put off the hundred plus strong crowd who continued to protest against fracking in the face of this harassment. The chanted “No fracking in WA, we're going to fight it all the way” as everyone marched through the city. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Support the Malaysian democracy movement

Rally in Perth

2pm Sat 28 April

Gather: Langley Park (cnr Riverside Dve & Victoria St, Perth)
March to: Malaysian Consulate (252 Adelaide Terrace, Perth)

Malaysians residing in Perth will be hosting a rally in support of the main event Bersih 3.0 in Kuala Lumpur on April 28, 2012.

The Perth action will gather at Langley Park first for some songs/chants, poem recital and some words on why we are doing this. Then, a walk uphill to the Malaysian Consulate on Adelaide Terrace for a symbolic sit in, or stand up if you prefer it that way, to register our support for Bersih's demands to be met.

Check out the Bersih global website:

Rallies will be taking place all over Australia and in other parts of the world on that day. Look out for your nearest action.

No gas fracking in the Perth basin

Protest Hydraulic Fracturing
Protest Unconventional Gas

Demand a moratorium on unconventional gas extraction until it is proven safe for human health and the environment.

Environment and Water minister Bill Marmion has given the go-ahead to "fracking" in the Perth Basin without EPA assessment or oversight.

Extraction of unconventional gases like shale, tight gas and coal seam gas has lead to many environmental problems. Drinking water has become contaminated with chemicals, farmland ruined and high amounts of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere.

Rally 1pm Sat 21 April

Murray Street Mall, Perth
(outside the Underground Train Station)

Attend on Facebook:

Organised by No Fracking WAy

Rally details:

Unconventional gas boom: More risks, fewer jobs

Study underestimates emissions, but still finds CSG is worse than coal

Coal Seam Gas: People Power can stop it

Video from Green Left Weekly.

Introduction to socialism seminar

Everything you ever wanted to know about socialism.

Interactive presentation with Fremantle Councillor and Socialist Alliance member Sam Wainwright.

3pm Sat 21 April

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

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Malali Joya: Why Australian Troops should leave Afghanistan

Latest from Green Left TV.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Economic Democracy: 11 April 2012

Socialist Alliance and Resistance meeting

Workers' control, cooperatives & socialist planning

What is economic democracy? How can it be achieved? What are its limits?

Presentations by: Chris Jenkins & Chris Bonds

6:30pm Wed 11 April

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

Presented by Socialist Alliance and Resistance

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638