Monday, November 25, 2013

Successful GLW Solidarity Celebration (now with videos)

Green Left Weekly hosted a successful end-of-year performance night as a fundraiser for the paper. Performers included Della Rae Morrison with Ros O'Brien, HelChild (as "Baloney Abbott" - see video below), 1000Eyes and WAMDA.

Photos: Della Rae Morrison (left) and clockwise from top left: 1000Eyes, audience, Don Blundell-Wignall & WAMDA (By Alex Bainbridge)

Baloney Abbott wishes 'Merry Christmas' to all good citizens - and gay people

Baloney Abbott on the carbon tax

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Video available from Perth March Against Monsanto (October)

Hundreds of people took part in the March Against Monsanto in Perth on October 12, 2013. This video records the major fraction of most of the speeches to be an historical record of the event.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement: What it is and what to do about it? Wed 27 Nov

Public forum - all welcome

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is a free trade deal being planned for Australia, the USA and a number of other countries is a serious threat to environmental, human rights and labour standards.

It is being negotiated in secret - the text has not even been shown to government legislatures, yet 600 corporate lobbyists are privy to the negotiations.

This forum will discuss the dangers this process represents and what can be done about it.

Scott Ludlam (Greens senator - via Skype)
Janet Grogan (Anti-GM campaign)
Elizabeth Hulm (Communist Party)
Alex Bainbridge (Socialist Alliance)

6pm Wed 27 Nov

Perth Activist Centre
15/5 Aberdeen St, Perth - next to McIver station.

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

Attend on FaceBook:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oppose Tony Abbott's bigotry: Equal Marriage Now - Sat 23 Nov

Join Equal Love WA in our first rally for marriage equality under the new Liberal Government led by Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott has said that he is "threatened" by queer people and that equal marriage rights is only a "fashion of the moment".

Stand up for marriage equality and for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersex and queer people and against the bigotry of Tony Abbott. Stand up to the WA state government - we need anti-discrimination legislation that covers transphobia.

1pm Sat 23 Nov

Stirling Gardens
(cnr Barrack St & St George's Tce, Perth City)

Attend on FaceBook:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Green Left Solidarity Celebration: Sat 23 November

A chance to come together with good company and delicious food to celebrate the ongoing successes of Australia's best progressive, activist newspaper.

Featuring performances from:
Della Rae Morrison, Charley & Ros (awesome singers)
HelChild (comedian/comic poet)
WAMDA (Sudanese musical group)
1000Eyes (progressive rap)
Waveney Yasso (singer/songwriter)
Don Blundell-Wignall (left wing poet and singer)

Greetings from:
Marianne Mackay (Nyoongar Tent Embassy)
Sam Wainwright (newly re-elected Fremantle Councillor)

7pm Sat 23 Nov

Perth Activist Centre
15/5 Aberdeen St, Perth

$20/$10 concession/$50 solidarity (includes delicious food)

Attend on FaceBook:

Organised by Socialist Alliance. Proceeds aid Green Left Weekly fighting fund.

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638

End victim-blaming! SlutWalk Perth

150 people walked through the Perth heat on November 16 to call for an end to blaming victims of sexual assault, in the city's third annual SlutWalk.

Initiated in response to comments made by a Toronto, Canada, police officer that women should avoid looking like sluts if they don't want to be raped, SlutWalk continues to attract global support.

Speakers decried the low conviction rate for offenders, and the high rates of sexual assault, with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men experiencing some kind of sexual assault; and higher rates in trans, bisexual and Aboriginal communities and among people with disability. Rebecca Davies and Bec Leighton from People for Sex Workers' Rights called for measures to facilitate sex workers' safety, particularly decriminalisation of sex work and rejection of the "Swedish model" [to criminalise sex workers' clients], again being threatened for Western Australia.

[This article was written by Kamala Emanuel for Green Left Weekly.]

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Politics in the Pub: Investor rights to sue

[This information is from the Communisty Party of Australia.]

This is short notice but please find attached information we are forwarding to you about a special Politics in the Pub that has been organised to host guest speaker Vidalina Morales.

Vidalina is a small scale farmer, mother of five from El Salvador and a leading voice in the environmental defence movement in El Salvador . She will talk about her experience as part of a community fighting against environmental vandalism by transnational mining company Pacific Rim.

After the Government of El Salvador suspended their mining license for environmental and public health reasons, Pacific Rim sued the Government using the investor-state dispute settlement clause in a trade agreement

An Australian company, OceanaGold, has a major shareholding in the company. The Abbott Liberal Government has said they are willing to consider the same investor rights to sue in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that is currently under negotiation.

Politics in the Pub * Monday 18th November 2013* 6-8pm

43 Below, 43 Barrack St, Perth

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

National climate rallies: Sun 17 Nov

GetUp has organised a national series of climate rallies. Information below from GetUp:

Let's kick off this summer with some climate action!

On 17th November join thousands of Australians in every capital city and hundreds of regional towns to make it clear that the majority of Australians want climate action.

Summer has come early and bushfires are already burning. But in a few weeks we will come together to turn up the heat and launch a summer of climate action.

PERTH - Russell Square, 11am, Sun 17 Nov

Rallies in other capitals
MELBOURNE - Treasury Place, 11am
SYDNEY - Prince Alfred Park, 11am
CANBERRA - Garema Place, 11am
BRISBANE - Queens Park, 10am
ADELAIDE - Elder Park, 11am
HOBART - Parliament Gardens 12pm
DARWIN - Rapid Creek Footbridge, 8:30am
Plus hundreds of regional events

WHAT TO BRING: Wear hot summer colours (orange, red). Bring friends!

Attend on Facebook:

Upcoming anti-nuclear events

[Information supplied by Conservation Council Anti-Nuclear campaign.]

November is the annual general meeting season for some of our worst nuclear companies, including BHP Billiton, Paladin and Toro Energy. All these meetings are in Perth this year and so we have a series of actions to show our opposition to this industry, to remind shareholders of the industry’s poor economic, social and environmental performance.

Please come along to any or all of these actions. Dress – neat casual for handing out fliers to shareholders. Find out more about thes upcoming actions on Facebook:

Cycle against the Nuclear Cycle and Toxic Toro

*Also this Sunday is a national day of action on climate change – we will be there with banners along the lines of “Don’t nuke the climate” we will be meeting at the Dome cafe on the corner of James St and Lake St in Northbridge and then heading to Russell Square for the main event. Please feel free to join us and fly the anti nuclear flag with us.

Hope to see you all soon.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stop Abbott's human rights abuses: Justice for refugees - Sun 8 Dec

Human Rights Day Action

Stop Abbott's attacks on Human Rights
Justice for Refugees

Since Tony Abbott has taken office, his government have done everything in their power to further trash Australia's human rights obligations towards refugees, whilst attempting to erect an Orwellian wall of silence to hide these abuses from the public.

On Sunday, December 8, the Refugee Rights Action Network will mark Human Rights Day (a celebration of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on 10 December 1948), with a speak out in the Murray St Mall. We aim to build awareness of this shameful treatment of refugees and demonstrate publicly our opposition to it.

Our demands?

* Permanent protection, not temporary protection visas (TPVs).
* No offshore processing.
* End Mandatory Detention.

3pm Sun 8 December

Murray Street Mall (near Perth Underground Station)

Attend on FaceBook:



DOWNLOAD: 4 x A6 flyers

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Vigil for Vietnamese refugees

A large gathering of people from the Vietnamese and Catholic communities - alongside supporters of refugee rights - gathered at the St Mary's Cathedral in Perth on November 8 to highlight the situation of Vietnamese refugees in the Yongah Hill Detention Centre. Around 700 Vietnamese refugees have arrived in Australia in recent years complaining about religious persecution in Vietnam. Further, the Immigration Department has allowed Vietnamese officials into Australian detention centres to interrogate refugees there. This has resulted in further persecution of their relatives and communities back in Vietnam according to the refugees. The vigil was organised by the Refugee Rights Action Network, the Vietnamese community in Perth and the Catholic diocese.

Greens win WA senate recount as new election appears likely

WA Greens senator Scott Ludlam was officially re-elected to the senate on November 4 after an historic recount of WA senate votes from the September federal election. He and the Sports Party's Wayne Dropulich were winners in favour of the ALP's Louise Pratt and the candidate of the Palmer United Party.

Prior to the recount, a 14 vote difference between Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers Party led to a preference flow that supported Pratt. After the recount, a 12 vote margin favoured Ludlam. The call for the recount was vindicated by the fact that hundreds of votes changed hands in the process.

The recount has been marred, however, by the loss by the Australian Electoral Commission of almost 1400 votes which may have changed the result. Most commentators believe that a new election will be the only way to resolve the matter.

A new election would be significant because it would test the levels of support for the Labor Party (which won only one seat) and the Liberal Party (which won three senate positions) after the early attacks of the Abbott government become known. It will also impact on whether the Greens or Palmer United Party have more influence in the senate balance of power after July.

Another feature of a new election would be a likely increased involvement by so-called ``micro parties'' who have been emboldened by the wins by Dropulich and other newcomers. Already it has been reported [ ] the ``preference whisperer'' Glenn Druery is planning another micro party preference swap explicitly designed to elect small right wing parties instead of Greens.

The Socialist Alliance – which has welcomed Ludlam's re-election – has called a WA state conference for December 7 with the intention of fielding candidates in any new poll. Socialist Alliance WA co-convenor Sam Wainwright has made clear that the party will maintain its principled preference policy of supporting the Greens and other progressive candidates before Labor and then Liberals.

``Being a small party is not in itself a virtue,'' Wainwright told Green Left. ``If we are unsuccessful, we'd prefer that our preferences help to re-elect a Green senator than to support a right wing party.''

[This article by Alex Bainbridge was written for Green Left Weekly #988. Photo: Scott Ludlam speaking at refugee rights rally 20 July 2013.]

March with Freo Road to Rail in Fremantle Parade

March with Fremantle Road to Rail campaign in the Fremantle Parade, Sunday November 10.

The campaign to force a shift in WA state freight transport policy is coming to a head. A decision will soon be made about building a truck freeway through Fremantle to the Port.

That would be the kiss of death to the option of getting freight onto rail and would create a massive carbon polluting truck sewer through the suburb. It would also link to the proposed Roe 8 extension through the Beeliar Wetland.

So, join the Fremantle Road to Rail contingent in the Fremantle Parade. It will be preceded by the Save Beeliar Wetlands contingent and will be supported by the MUA and the Fremantle Environmental Resource Network (FERN).

Gather at the Round House end of High Street, Fremantle at 3:00 pm (the march begins at 4:00 pm). Be sure to wear a hat, carry water and orange is the colour to signify support for Road to Rail.

For more information call 9433 6946.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Community candlelight vigil for recently arrived Vietnamese refugees

Recent Catholic Asylum Seekers from Vietnam

[Information supplied by the Refugee Rights Action Network]

Please join the solidarity vigil:

6:15pm, Fri 8 Nov

St Mary's Cathedral,
17 Victoria Square, Perth

There are currently around 300 Catholic asylum seekers detained in the Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre just outside Northam, and hundreds more detained in detention centres throughout Australia. These people are fleeing religious persecution from the Vietnamese government predominantly in the town of Vinh.

These attacks include large groups of police, army, militiamen, and thugs who assault priests and the faithful.

Recently governmetn forces seized the chapel Con Cuong, desecrated the Eucharit Host, and smashed a statue of the Virgin Mary. Fleeing this ongoing persecution, hundreds of people have resorted to taking the perilous boat journey from Vietnam to Australia to seek asylum.

Of particular concern to refugee advocates is taht the Australian Department of Immigration are allowing a branch of the Vietnamese pollice to enter the detention centres and interrogate these asylum seekers. Following these interrogations, some have been so frightened that they have taken desperate measures such as selfharm, attempted suicide and escape. Additionally, families of the people interviewed, still in Vietnam, have faced increased persecution including harassment and arrest.

Another significant area of concern is that the Australian Department of Immigration is using the so-called "screening out" process to refuse large numbers of Vietnamese asylum seekers to enter teh refugee determination process. This means their claim for asylum will not be hear and that they will be deported to danger in Vietnam.

One of the basic tenets of the UN Refugee Convention is the protection of those who are persecuted for their religious beliefs. We hope to join with the Australian Catholic community to call upon our government to live up to its responsibilities. They must refuse to allow the persecutors of Vietnamese asylum seekers to interrogate them in Australian facilities. They must hear their claims for asylum and judge them on their merits.