Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Police harass Sorry Day protest by mothers and grandmothers against the new stolen generation

The video above is from the Sorry Day protest by dozens of Aboriginal people and their supporters against the escalating "removal" of children by the Department of Child Protection (DCP) and similar agencies around the country. The protest was led by mothers and grandmothers who have had their children removed and was part of a national day of action.

After reading a national statement protesters went inside intending to meet with representatives of the DCP. Eventually, the DCP met with a delegation of around eight people which participants described as a successful meeting. While DCP staff would not make calls there and then to discuss with case workers, they promised to make some initial calls promptly and get back to the protesting families.

The protesters then began to sing and dance while waiting for the reply from DCP staff. Instead they were met by "antagonistic" police who shoved people out of the building and then proceeded to make at least one arrest and issue move-on notices.

A short distance away, a tame official Sorry Day event was underway. Nyoongar Tent Embassy were the organisers of the protest at the Perth DCP office.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Perth March to fix our food (against Monsanto)

Photos from the Perth "March to Fix our Food" - part of the international march against Monsanto - held on Sat 24 May. The video is of Farida Iqbal from No Fracking Way speaking on the day.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thousands march in May calling to block the budget

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Perth as part of the "March in May" protest against the Abbott government budget.

The budget represents a major assault on ordinary people.

Over 2000 people marched through the streets of Perth - including filling the whole horseshoe bridge in William St with a strong demand to "block the budget".

Speakers at the rally included Bella Brown and Len Culbung from the Nyoongar Tent Embassy, Elissa Campbell from Doctors Reform Society, Emma Norton from the National Union of Students and Dave Fox and Farida Iqbal from the March in May oranising committee.

In a pleasant contrast to the March in March, the rally was reported by all major media outlets.

Tens of thousands marched around the country including in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Video above by Green Left TV. Videos below by Jon Madd

Monday, May 12, 2014

Politics in the Club: Stop the Freeway Madness - Wed 21 May

Politics in the Club - all welcome

Stopping the Abbott-Barnett Freeway Madness
From High St to Roe 8, what is the alternative?

This forum is the latest Politics in the Club forum. All welcome.

Kathy Anketell (lessons of the Fremantle Eastern Bypass campaign)
Barry Healy (Fremantle Road to Rail)
Nandi Chinna (Save Beeliar Wetlands)
Sam Wainwright (Councillor, City of Fremantle)

Wed 21 May 6:30pm

Fremantle Workers Club, 9 Henry St

Sponsored by: Green Left Weekly

For more info: or 0412 751 508

Friday, May 9, 2014

What would a People's Budget look like?

Public forum - all welcome

What would a People's Budget look like?

This forum will take up the Abbott government budget cuts and what a people's alternative might look like.

Speakers include:
Scott Ludlam (Greens senator)
Helen Whooley (March in May)
Kamala Emanuel (Socialist Alliance)
more speakers to be confirmed

6pm Tues 20 May

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

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638

Attend on Facebook:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Prayer sit-in at Julie Bishop's office

This video from UnderCurrent reports on the prayer sit-in in Julie Bishop's office.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Save the ABC - Perth action

This video is from the Perth handover of GetUp petitions to Save the ABC at the office of Alannah MacTiernan on May 7. Almost 30 people turned out at the Perth action which was one of 61 that took place at electorates across the country. Over 240,000 petitions were signed.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Videos from the Tamil Genocide exhibition launch

Aran Mylvaganam (Tamil Refugee Council)

Scott Ludlam (Greens Senator)

These videos are from the opening night forum to launch the Tamil Genocide exhibition held in Fremanlte on April 30, 2014. Speakers at the forum were: Raj Rajeswaran (Australian Tamil Congress), Melissa Parke (ALP parliamentarian), Scott Ludlam (Greens senator) and Aran Mylvaganam (Tamil Refugee Council). Foreign minister Julie Bishop and Thisara Samarasinghe (Sri Lankan High Commissioner) were invited but did not speak. The forum was organised by Action for Human Rights in Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka and chaired by Fremantle Councillor Sam Wainwright.

[Videos from the other speakers are expected to be published when available.]

Thursday, May 1, 2014

March with Socialist Alliance on May Day

The annual May Day march in on this Sunday:

Sunday 4 May

Fremantle Esplanade

11am Gather
12 noon March
1-4pm Festival

Join Socialist Alliance as we mark this important date of international working class solidarity and justice. See below the Socialist Alliance May Day statement.


[May 1 Statement by the Socialist Alliance]

A casino was a fitting venue to host PM Tony Abbott's keynote address to the 25th birthday dinner of conservative think tank, the Sydney Institute on April 28. Abbott's speech, coming two weeks ahead of the Budget, was full of promises of 'happiness', 'security' and 'a better life', but in reality, Australian workers, pensioners and the poor will be lucky if they're left with much more than the shirt on their backs once the government is done fleecing them.

Abbott's neoliberal argument continued the theme of his 2012 book A Stronger Australia, "We’re striving to achieve a stronger budget because that’s the way to a stronger economy...”, and to “a stronger society” and a “happier people”. He went on, “This budget is about shifting our focus from entitlement to enterprise; from welfare to work; from hand-out to hand-up...” Behind the rhetoric, is the reality that workers, pensioners, and the poor can expect deep cuts in this term of government and more to come in the next.

We are told that we all have to share the pain to solve the budget crisis, but according to The Australia Institute (TAI), a progressive think tank, the government's revenue crisis arose out of the tax cuts given mainly to the rich by the former Howard government. The announcement of a temporary 'debt levy' is an attempt by the government to demonstrate that high income earners will carry some of the 'budget burden'(at least for a short while), but the substantial budget measures will involve cuts to health, education, pensions, other welfare support as well as deregulation, privatisation and further corporatisation of the public sector, including schools.

While Abbott told the Sydney Institute that "the age pension won’t be less tomorrow than it is today and that people turning 65 tomorrow are certainly not going to have to wait five years to retire," he also added that “there should be changes to indexation arrangements and eligibility thresholds in three years’ time."

This followed Treasurer Joe Hockey's earlier public warning that “tighter means testing and clawing back indexing would be rolled out across just about every area of income support provided by the government”, including “pensions, family payments and other forms of income support or welfare”.

Our rights have already been gradually eroded thanks to four decades of the global neoliberal offensive, and the willingness by the ALP as well as the Coalition to make workers pay. In Australia, the wages' share of the national wealth has already decreased to levels not seen for the last 50 years.

Australia today is a harsher, more unequal society. The richest 20% own 62% of the household wealth while the poorest 20% own only 1%. Only 60% of workers are in full or part time ongoing employment – leaving 40% in insecure jobs, and over 2 million Australian workers are casual employees.

Unemployment in Australia is now at levels seen during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Youth unemployment is more than double that and growing rapidly, with the number of 18 to 20-year-olds forced to live on Newstart allowance up almost 30 per cent in two years. The number of employed workers wanting to work more hours remains at its highest level in the past decade.

This is partly a reflection of a weakened labour movement -- a legacy of the 1980s Accord years – when a tripartite agreement was struck between business, unions and government. The Accord promised prosperity to workers by strengthening Australian capitalism's global competitiveness, but actually delivered losses in real wages and a serious demobilisation of the union movement.

Bosses' organisations like the Australian Industry Group (AIG) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) have made their case for how workers should suffer to fund Australian economic growth, as the resources boom slows. In its “10 point plan” the AIG calls for the prohibition of industry-wide pattern agreements for workers, the winding back of the GEERS/FEG scheme which guarantees workers their redundancy entitlements, the right of employers to terminate enterprise agreements after they expire (leaving workers on award conditions), the right of employers to propose changes to an enterprise agreement while it is in force, the right of companies to restructure and outsource and avoid paying employee's entitlements or saving jobs, and reducing the number of permitted bargaining claims and general protections for workers. The ACCI is pushing for an attack on penalty rates and for a undermining of the (already weak) Fair Work Act.

Add to that Abbott's anti-union Royal Commission -- a witch-hunt with widespread and potentially disastrous implications for the union movement, well beyond the unions it has targeted.

The Abbott government's agenda is to seriously weaken or crush militant and effective unions, and to take control of union funds, particularly fighting funds raised for legitimate industrial and political struggles. What the Royal Commission won't do is reveal the scale of corruption by industry bosses, and the depth of the political and financial links between corporate interests and both major parties.

Corrupt and undemocratic unions undermine their effectiveness in protecting their members' interests, and allow the state the pretext to interfere in their affairs and to disarm them. But the way to root out corruption is not via a Royal Commission, but by building democratic unions, where the leadership is held to account and recallable. It also means union members having the right to decide on the key question of political affiliation.

Abbott's answer to the growing youth unemployment is to introduce "earn or learn" for school leavers, denying them access to welfare for the first six months after leaving school.

Under the guise of "empowering choice" and “increasing everyone's ability to participate in the economy” pensioners, people with disabilities and women with young children will be expected to find work.

The Australia Institute (TAI), has suggested four targets for immediate revenue raising of $40 billion: ending the $4.5 billion in subsidies to the mining industry; ending the $9 billion in superannuation tax concessions to the top 5% of income earners; ending the $11 billion in investor subsidies; and reversing the $15.8 billion in income tax cuts to the top 10% of income earners. None of these measures got an airing in Abbott's Sydney Institute speech – for obvious reasons.

Abbott concluded his speech stating "I don’t expect the government to be more popular the day after the budget".

He's absolutely right about that. But the challenge now is to mobilise that anti-government sentiment in the streets.

On May Day we remember the sacrifice of those men and women who came before us to fight and win the rights and entitlements we enjoy today. May Day marches will be happening this weekend around Australia. These are important mobilisations not just for historical reasons but because we need to fight for our rights today and so that humanity and the planet have a future.

After May Day, Sunday, May 18 is the March in May, occurring in all major cities, except Melbourne. This will be followed by national mobilisations in all capital cities on August 31. Socialist Alliance will be doing all it can to build those nationwide protests as big and as broad as possible.

Ultimately, however, we need to build a political alternative to the agenda of neoliberalism -- one that stands for meeting human need, for protection of our environment and that is based on real democracy, not the sham we have today. Such an alternative can be built when working people -- farmers, city-based workers, the unemployed, united with pensioners, students, environmentalists and others organise to defend their rights and their communities.

Long live May Day! Long live the struggles of working people and the oppressed!

Susan Price and Peter Boyle
Socialist Alliance National Co-Convenors

VIDEO: Boots Riley - 'Why we need a revolution'

March in May against Abbott's budget cuts

March Australia presents:

March in May

* No confidence in the Abbott government

* Protest the budget

12 noon, Sun 18 May

Russell Square, Northbridge

* Stop Murdoch's tax breaks, not ABC funding
* Cut mining subsidies to fund renewables
* Stop corporate welfare not single parents
* Public health funding not Medicare cuts
* Cut politicians pay, not penalty rates
* Defend the disability pension
* No increase in pension age
* Fund education not war
* Fund the NBN

Attend on Facebook: