Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rally LOUDER for refugees: Sat 3 Aug

After an excellent turnout at Saturday's rally it was decided to continue the pressure on the government and the Coalition. In the lead-up to the election it is critical that we maintain the momentum and express our outrage through further protests.

The government has increased the vilification of refugees with an advertising blitz worth millions of dollars. They have so much blood on their hands. It was revealed this week that rescue attempts of refugees in distress at sea were deliberately delayed. Meanwhile thousands languish in detention centres until their spirit is crushed. We can't allow this to continue.

Lets ensure that off-loading the worlds most vulnerable people offshore in detention centres in Papua New Guinea - one of the poorest nations in the region and the world is not an option.

Rally again to show your opposition to the current policy and to help win a policy of closing all detention centres and welcoming refugees.

1pm Sat 3 August
Murray Street Mall, Perth City

Organised by Refugee Rights Action Network

Attend on Facebook:

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Following the rally, Socialist Alliance has organised an important forum on the Cuban international medical aid program. It would be good to see you there.

Public forum - all welcome

Australian doctor Katherine Edyvane who has worked alongside Cuban doctors on international aid missions tells a little known story of Cuba's impressive international aid efforts.

3pm Sat 3 August

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

Hosted by Perth Socialist Alliance
Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638

Attend on Facebook:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pot Luck dinner - fundraiser for Socialist Alliance campaign Sat 17 Aug

You are warmly invited to a Socialist Alliance

6.30pm Sat August 17
21A Jarvis Street, O'Connor
(rear block - follow the long winding path)

Bring along your signature winter dish and pay $10
No time or inclination to cook: Pay $25

This is a fundraiser for the Socialist Alliance federal election campaign for the seat of Fremantle.
Drinks available by donation. All enquiries to Janet Parker: 0433 539 639.

Road to Rail presents: Transport and Health public forum

Public forum featuring:
Diesel particulates Dr George Crisp (Doctors for the Environment)

Noise pollution Shane Chambers (Acoustic Physicist UWA)

Road Trauma Barry Healy (Fremantle Road2Rail)

A panel of politicians including Scott Ludlam, Sam Wainwright and Alannah MacTiernan will respond to the speakers

MC: Mayor Brad Pettitt

Sat 17 Aug 4 - 6 pm

Victoria Hall 179 High St – Fremantle

Organised by Fremantle Road2Rail and hosted by the City of Fremantle. Sponsored by Save Beeliar Wetlands, Lynn MacLaren MLC, Simone McGurk MLA, Melissa Parke MP, Senator Scott Ludlum, C.U.S.P. and the Town of East Fremantle.

Contact Annolies or 9433 6946 or Pam 0414 966 489

Increasing truck traffic is costing us our health

Commemoration of Irish hunger strikes

1981 H Block Hunger Strike

Perth commemoration

Special guest: Bridie Higgins

7:30pm, Sat 10 Aug 2013

Intiga/6PR Stadium, cnr Walter Rd & Eighth Ave, Inglewood.

$10 entrance

Proceeds to Irish societies in Perth.

Ph Dean 0415 534 204 to book.

For background, check out: "Bobby Sands MP: they can't break our spirit" and related links

[Information supplied.]

Largest Perth rally for refugee rights since Labor's election

In the largest rally organised by the Refugee Rights Action Network under the Labor government, over 400 people marched through the streets of Perth on July 27.

The rally heard from Greens leader Christine Milne, Fr Chris Bedding and others. Junkadelic also added a musical vibe to the demonstration.

Another rally was called for the following week:

1pm, Sat Aug 3
Murray Street Mall.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Protest for refugee rights: Oppose Rudd's deportation plan

On Saturday July 20, between 200-300 people protested in Perth against Rudd's extreme plan to never again allow refugees arriving by boat to be settled in Australia. The protest was organised with less than 24 hours notice.

(Similar rallies were held in other cities and were well attended too.)

Then on Monday, 45 people attended the biggest meeting ever of the Refugee Rights Action Network to plan further action. We've organised another rally for this coming Saturday:

1pm Sat 27 July

Murray Street Mall, Perth city

An important moment has been reached in the campaign for refugee rights and whether this is your first rally or you've been to many, we need to demonstrate now that we will not allow this abject betrayal of human rights to go unchallenged.

This policy will not stop boats. It will only punish the innocent people who come to Australia seeking our help.

It is important to remember that this policy can be defeated and actions and protests like this coming Saturday are an important part of making that happen.

Check out videos and photos from last Saturday's rally below:

Sam Wainwright: fear and loathing of refugees is a deliberate concoction

Scott Ludlam speaking out against Rudd's PNG plan


Socialist Alliance statement:
Rudd’s extreme refugee plan is a disaster

A Third World country suffering rising violence, rapes, political corruption and plagued by endemic diseases such as cholera and malaria will be the new dumping ground for Australia’s refugee arrivals.

Kevin Rudd’s July 19 announcement that Australia would immediately start sending all new boat arrivals to be detained, assessed and resettled by — or repatriated from — Papua New Guinea will lead to myriad human rights violations.

The “Regional Resettlement Arrangement” between Rudd and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill would be in place for at least the next 12 months, and there is no cap on the number of refugees Australia can send.

Those found to be genuine refugees would still be barred from resettlement in Australia, and new assessment processes would deport more people with less right to appeal and due process.

In exchange, Australia would fund so-called health and education reforms, in addition to a recent pledge to send 50 Australian police to PNG to “tackle crime” after armed soldiers attacked a hospital.

Rudd has also started an international campaign to weaken the refugee convention, which makes up a large part of the moral and humanitarian backbone of the refugee rights movements globally.

The plan goes further than anything an Australian government has carried out since boatloads of refugees fleeing imperialist global conflict began arriving. It promises the displaced and brutalised people of the world that: “If you come here by boat without a visa, you won’t be settled in Australia.”

Violating the Refugee Convention — that forbids discrimination against refugees on the basis of how they arrive — and expelling them to a nation that is also subject to Australia’s colonial power is a move that exposes the barbaric core of imperialism.

Australia is part of the rich-world fortress, which forces most of the world’s people to live in poverty and subject to exploitation and military terror. Most of the global conflict underway today is the result of this system, and so is the relatively small number of people that resort to take risky vessels to Australia.

No amount of promises to resettle “refugees that have been languishing in camps for years” can reconcile Rudd with any notion of upholding human rights. It is essentially a move to try to beat Liberal leader Tony Abbott at his own filthy political game.

One thing Rudd said was right. The refugee crisis is growing worse globally and more people are being forced into seeking asylum by any means necessary.

First World countries like Australia are growing increasingly reluctant to shoulder humanity’s calamity because it is a direct result of capitalism’s systematic exploitation and brutalisation of the world.

The numbers making it to Australia are still tiny compared with the rest of the world. But the government is now, in effect, bribing a neighbouring poor country to accept the legal, moral and humane obligations that are categorically Australia’s. PNG has no chance of providing a safe new home for refugees, and the move will lead to disaster.

Seeking asylum by boat is not a crime. People have a human right to seek asylum and be resettled in Australia. There are policies that can be implemented straight away that would reverse this spiralling descent to the bottom.

All refugee supporters need to stand up and show their outrage at what Rudd is doing because other countries are watching Australia to see if they can get away with it as well.

The Socialist Alliance supports:

• Ending Australian support for and participation in all imperial wars and occupations.

• Implementing a foreign, trade and aid policy that puts people’s needs before corporate greed. An example is what is being done in Latin America through ALBA.

• Ending Australia's rogue climate nation status (which contributes to global warming and the subsequent displacement of millions of people) and begin the phasing out of coal and other fossil fuels. The technology exists, it is affordable and will create useful jobs.

• Closing the offshore and onshore asylum seeker detention camps, ending mandatory detention and using the billions paid to Serco (the multinational security firm that runs these camps) to fly in the desperate refugees in Indonesia and Malaysia who are trying to get on the boats. Also stepping up efforts to resettle refugees from UNHCR camps around the world.

• Fully respecting and implementing Australia's obligations under the UN Refugee Convention.

[This is a statement released by the Socialist Alliance on July 20.]

See also the Green Left Report on protest response:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Forum: Cuban International Medical Aid: an eyewitness account

Public forum - all welcome

Australian doctor Katherine Edyvane who has worked alongside Cuban doctors on international aid missions tells a little known story of Cuba's impressive international aid efforts.

3pm Sat 3 August

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

Hosted by Perth Socialist Alliance
Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638

Australia-Cuba Friendship Society organises Santiago de Cuba carnival - Sat 27 July

[Information supplied by Austalia-Cuba Friendship Society]

Public invitation:

We invite everyone to celebrate with the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society, "ACFS Perth" our annual fundraiser on Saturday 27th July 2013 8pm til late.

This year we are raising funds for a project to remove barriers for people with disabilities.
Featuring local Latin band LATIN FUSION.

Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Mobile number: 0419812872

Winter Wetland Fiesta - Sat 27 July

Save Beeliar Wetlands Winter Wetland Fiesta is on Saturday July 27 at 6pm at the Hilton Bowling Club, Shepherd Street Hilton. Warm the cockles of your heart in an evening of celebration of our wonderful Beeliar Wetlands with bands, dj’s, poetry, raffles, soup, cake and chai. Bands include Sugar Child, The Damsel Flies West, Isabella Jennings and Isabella’ Garden, the Kiss List, and Lady Luck, with Beats from DJ Checkers.

The evening is a fundraiser to help us continue with the work of protecting North and Bibra Lakes from the proposed Roe 8 highway extension. The cost is only $15 which includes soup and bread!

For bookings or enquiries please contact Danna on 0457 120 676 or by email

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rally today: Restore the refugee convention - Say 'no' to Rudd's lurch to the right on refugees

[This media release was sent on Saturday 20 July.]

Socialist Alliance candidate for Fremantle Sam Wainwright will attend and speak at an emergency rally called for today in response to Kevin Rudd's announcement that refugees would no longer be able to be resettled in Australia.

The rally will be held in the Murray Street Mall near Forrest Place at 12 noon on Saturday 20 July.

"Rudd's announcement is in practice a further abandonment of the 1951 Refugee Convention and a betrayal of human rights in Australia," Wainwright said.

"This policy will not 'stop the boats' as the people coming to Australia are genuine refugees who have no other choices," said Wainwright.

"Recent comments by ALP leaders that people arriving by boat are 'economic migrants' are just cynical attempts to justify the inhumane policies that Labor is now advancing," said Wainwright.

"This policy will not save lives at sea because people still need to get on a boat to get whatever limited protections this policy affords," said Wainwright.

"A better approach - that would genuinely save lives - would be to fly refugees from Indonesia and Malaysia to Australia in large numbers with permanent protection visas and full citizenship rights."

"Australia should also stop supporting wars - like in Afghanistan - and repressive governments such as the violent Rajapaksa regime in Sri Lanka whose policies amount to genocide. These policies create more refugees in the world."

Wainwright who is also a founder of Action for Human Rights in Tamil Eelam & Sri Lanka said, "While Canada is not attending the upcoming meeting of CHOGM, Senator Bob Carr has dismissed the boycott and Australia is giving aid to the Sri Lankan Navy. If he wants to 'stop the boats' the best thing he and Kevin Rudd could do would be to stop supporting genocide."

"This would be in the interests of ordinary people in Australia who gain nothing from demonising refugees."

"The bipartisan attacks on refugees are a deliberate policy to distract people from the causes of the problems in their lives and the unprecedented greed of the mining companies and the super rich. Bashing refugees won't create jobs or improve social services."

Friday, July 19, 2013

David Rovics live in Perth

Progressive US singer/songwriter David Rovics will be performing a special gig in Perth on August 28 as a fundraiser for Refugee Rights Action Network and Green Left Weekly.

7pm Wed 28 August

Fremantle Workers' Club
5-9 Henry St, Fremantle

Support act: SugarChild

$25/$20 conc/$40 solidarity

Book your ticket online now!

David has been playing "songs of social significance" for more than two decades including a very strong focus of supporting anti-racist causes. He is a fierce critic of Western governments throwing their weight around the world and is a strong supporter of liberation for Palestine.

This video is of a song about the wall Israel is building to divide Palestine applied to the wall being built along the US-Mexican border to keep Latin American's out of the US. He also wrote the song "No One Is Illegal" which features in the video about RRAN's Northam convergence this year.

Sugarchild are the bastard children of Gillian Welch and the Counting Crows, playing sad yet foot-tapping songs about life, love and society.

Last time David was in Perth:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Barnett makes weak native title offer

The Nyoongar Tent Embassy has rejected an updated offer by the state government to extinguish native title, reiterating that recognition of Aboriginal sovereignty is the goal of their campaign.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) and the state government had negotiated a $1 billion package. Premier Colin Barnett upped the offer to a $1.3 billion package on July 5.

The updated offer would include an indexed payment of $50 million a year for 12 years into a trust fund managed by SWALSC. The balance would be composed of land parcels that would be transferred into joint management by the government and Nyoongar representatives.

In exchange, Nyoongar people would be expected to renounce all claims to native title over land in the south-west of Western Australia.

Supporters of the plan say native title — which falls far short of genuine land rights — provides only limited rights to Aboriginal title holders. Pursuing native title through the courts would devour considerable resources with no certain outcome. They say the land and cash package would provide “benefits” to Aboriginal people.

Opponents say the value of the package is trivial when divided among the more than 35,000 Nyoongars.

“If what monies this deal offers were made available to every Nyoongar there would only be a few thousand to each Nyoongar,” Len Collard told The Stringer.

“As simplistic as this sounds, it goes to the heart of compensation. How can this address the myriad traumas from dispossession and oppression against our peoples, and the damage left today for us still to address?'”

More importantly, the extinguishing of native title would almost certainly be used by the government as an excuse to wash its hands of responsibility for dealing with Aboriginal issues.

SWALSC representatives have made much of the “more than 300” consultation sessions held about the deal. Gerry Georgatos wrote for The Stringer: “Reporting for the National Indigenous Times, I attended one of these meetings but no-one turned up other than SWALSC and myself.''

Nyoongar Tent Embassy’s Marianne Mackay told Georgatos the SWALSC was a sham. “They do not represent our people, they don’t consult with us, they did not send a delegation to meet with Nyoongar Tent Embassy.

“They are a great disappointment and this is reflected in the fact that Nyoongar people did not turn up to many of their public meetings. Some of their meetings had only zero or a couple of Noongars turn up to them. I know, I went to several of them.”

Tent Embassy representatives held an action on July 12 to oppose the plan.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge appeared in Green Left Weekly #973. Photos by Alex Bainbridge from Nyoongar Tent Embassy action on 12 July 2013 to oppose the SWALSC-Barnett deal.]