Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Undercurrent on the Free Speech campaign

This is West TV's Undercurrent report on the Defend Free Speech campaign's Free Speech Festival from July 7. It can be found on YouTube here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Perth solidarity with striking Coles workers

Around 25 people gathered at Belmont Coles on July 18 to show support for the striking Coles warehouse workers at Somerton in Victoria.

The dispute began after Coles outsourced its warehouse operation to Toll who tried to force the same workers doing the same job to work for inferior conditions. The striking workers have continued to stand up for their rights!

The July 18 action in Perth involved members from several unions and members of Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative. We handed out information leaflets about the dispute and copies of the Socialist Alliance statement. In addition, we asked people to sign the pledge not to shop at Coles until the dispute is resolved in the workers' favour.

Solidarity has also been shown in Sydney, Footscray, Somerton, Broadway and heaps of other places!

Get in touch with Socialist Alliance if you want to be involved in further solidarity actions in Perth. (0413 976 638)

You can make donations via the National Union of Workers (NUW). See the NUW site for further information.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Reluctant Rescuers launch in Perth

Former diplomat and refugee rights advocate Tony Kevin will be launching his latest book - Reluctant Rescuers - in Perth:

6pm, Monday 30 July

Defectors Bar
643 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley
(upstairs lounge at the Flying Scotsman Hotel)

CONFIRMED: Palestinian guest speaker in Perth: Thurs 2 Aug


Shamikh Badra
Youth and student co-ordinator, Palestine People's Party

* Life in Gaza
* BDS on ground
* how to win justice for Palestine

6:30pm, Thurs 2 August

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

Read an interview with Shamikh Badra here.

Recommended donation: $10/$5

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Activist summonsed to court for holding banner while City of Perth fines homeless people for holding signs

[The following media release was issued by Defend Free Speech Perth on 11 July 2012.]

Revelations that the City of Perth has been harassing homeless people and issuing fines to people who hold cardboard signs highlights the undemocratic nature of City of Perth by-laws that contradict free speech rights according to the campaign group Defend Free Speech in Perth.

"We are outraged by the behaviour of Perth City Council in this matter," said group spokesperson, Jess McLeod.

"This harassment of Perth's poor really cuts to the heart of the inequality coming out of the mining boom," said McLeod.

"Perth is home to the world’s richest woman and we are all subjected to imposing marketing campaigns by the big corporations that are benefiting from the boom, yet those who are cut out of the boom are penalised when they have to beg to survive."

In a parallel development, Perth activist Kamala Emanuel was yesterday summonsed to court in relation to an April protest against gas fracking in which she was holding a banner.

"This is indicative of the harsh measures used to stifle criticism of the social consequences of environmental destruction related to the mining and resources boom," said Alex Bainbridge, also of Defend Free Speech Perth.

"The Perth City Council involved the WA Police because the activist had the temerity to hold a banner which police tried to seize - a banner that incidentally opposed the social and environmental damage of the gas industry," said Bainbridge.

"This is yet another example of city by-laws and police move-on notices being used to try to silence voices of opposition. We are regularly reminded of the mining and resources boom, but anyone who criticises the priorities of industry or exposes the existing inequality soon finds themselves in trouble in the Perth City Council."

Kamala Emanuel is due to face court on August 9.

"Big companies like BHP can put up expensive signs which pollute the city scape while social and environmental activists and poor people face this kind of petty harassment," said Seamus Doherty of Defend Free Speech Perth.

City of Perth "Signs Local Law 2005" prohibits the "display [of] a hand held sign on ... a public place [without approval]". Defend Free Speech maintains that people do not need the permission of local governments or other authorities to exercise their rights to free speech and political dissent.

Defend Free Speech also condemns the City of Perth for their harassment and intimidation of the poor and homeless.

We call on the City of Perth to amend or rescind any and all local laws that interfere with free speech rights and/ or victimise the poor.

For further information or comment:

Jess McLeod 0416 160 605
Alex Bainbridge 0413 976 638
Seamus Doherty 0407 906 803

See also this video by Zeb Parkes for Green Left TV

Friday, July 6, 2012

Justice for the Congo: Wed 11 July

Socialist Alliance and Resistance meeting

A meeting discussing current developments in Africa, solidarity from Australia and networking among progressive activists here.

Guest Speaker:
Patrice Nyembo
President, Congolese Community Australia

6:30pm, Wed 11 July

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

Hosted by Socialist Alliance and Resistance.

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Photos from the union jobs rally

Photos from the July 4 union rally for "local jobs" involving MUA, CFMEU, AMWU, ETU and other unions.

There were repeated expressions of opposition to racism from the union leaders who spoke on the platform of the rally but the demands were vague and allowed the bosses' media to paint the rally as against "foreign workers".

We need to support all workers whichever their country in just struggles for workers' rights. Unfortunately the rally didn't take a clear position against 457 visas nor "Enterprise Migration Agreements".

Socialist Alliance attended with leaflets and placards calling for: "Compulsory Apprenticeship Ratios - make the bosses pay for training", "Permanent Residency, not 457 Visas - Equal Rights for all workers" and "Put mining and petroleum under public ownership".

For a longer discussion about this issue: Sam Wainwright on 457 Visa and migration to Australia

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Support Green Left TVs July-August fund appeal

Support Green Left TV's $60,000 July-August fund appeal. Already we've had one donation of $5000 from one supporter in Perth. All donations large or small gratefully accepted.