Thursday, August 28, 2014

Successful protest at launch of Israeli Film Festival

Around 100 people joined a spirited and lively protest outside the Perth launch of the Israeli Film Festival on August 28. The festival was sponsored by the Israeli state opened by the Israeli ambassador.

Police began proceedings by issuing at least one move-on notice to someone who they falsely claimed was blocking the footpath.

After the film began, the protest marched to the Perth Cultural Centre.

March Australia protest on front page in Gosnells

Activist Jacqui Haskayne has been profiled on the front page of the local Gosnells paper urging people to come along to the March in August protest on Saturday.

"JACQUI Haskayne wants her Gosnells neighbours to fight against the Federal Budget, which she says will damage a community already stretched," the paper reported.

"Ms Haskayne said Budget measures such as GP co-payments, welfare changes and fuel price increases would harm those already disadvantaged."

The main message was to encourage readers to attend the demonstration which will be held:

1pm, Sat 30 August at Russell Square, Northbridge.

The article can be found online here.

All out against 'Team Abbott' this Saturday

The Socialist Alliance is proudly supporting the protests against "Team Abbott" on this weekend that have been organised by March Australia.

Over $40 billion in budget measures are currently held up in the senate with opposition parties indicating that they will not be supported. The government is feeling the pressure and offering some token compromises in order to get their main agenda items through.

In this context, community opposition remains critical to defend health care, education and welfare rights among other things. For this reason, we are strongly urging our supporters to attend these demonstrations if you can (details below).

It is also important that we build an ongoing opposition movement to the pro-corporate agenda which Abbott serves no matter which government is pushing it at any point in time. One invaluable way of doing this is to take out a subscription to Green Left Weekly as an information source and as a meaningful act of solidarity in our efforts to build a better world.

Perth protest:
1pm, Sat 30 August

Russell Square, Northbridge

Attend on Facebook:

Click here for details about protests in other places.

Geraldton details:
2pm, Sun 31 August, Edith Cowan Square (Opposite the Court House)
March in March Geraldton WA 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Students and revolution: 6pm Wed 27 Aug

An educational discussion hosted by Socialist Alliance

Students and young people have always been at the forefront of movements for social change and have even sparked off revolutions. Yet students can't change the world by ourselves. This session will discuss why we need revolutionary change, what role students can play and how what we do today makes a difference

6pm Wed 27 Aug

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

Ph Zeb 9218 9608, 0405 179 113 or Alex 0413 976 638

Attend on FaceBook:

[Note: our regular Tuesday meeting has been shifted to the Wednesday to allow people to attend the BDS forum at Curtin Uni on Tuesday night.]

Israel/Palestine and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign

The Centre for Human Rights Education (Curtin Uni), Friends of Palestine WA and Students for Palestine invite you to a forum to explore the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) global campaign.

BDS calls for an end to the Israeli occupation and colonisation of Arab land, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel and the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

The forum comes in the wake of the current conflict which has seen more than 1,800 Palestinians and 67 Israelis killed. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has said that the recent deaths and destruction in Gaza have “shocked and shamed the world.” The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has called the current crisis “a symptom of our collective failure” to address the underlying causes of the conflict.

Join our panellists Professor Stuart Rees, Sameeha Elwan and Dr Sue Hoffman to reflect on these events and explore the prospects of campaigns such as the BDS in bringing about peace and justice in Israel/Palestine.

6:30pm Tues 26 August

Curtin University

Book your free ticket here.

Professor Stuart Rees is Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation, a former Director of the Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies and Professor of Social Work at the University of Sydney. He is the author of eleven books and has worked in community development and social work in Britain and Canada, in the War on Poverty program in the USA and with Save the Children in India and Sri Lanka.

Sameeha Elwan is an English literature graduate from the Islamic University of Gaza. She has a Masters Degree in Culture and Difference from Durham University and is currently a PhD candidate at Murdoch University. She was born and raised in Gaza City, Palestine, and started blogging in 2010 after the Israeli military attack on Gaza known as Operation Cast Lead. Her writings have been published on Mondoweiss, openDemocracy and the Electronic Intifada.

Dr Sue Hoffman is an honorary research associate at Murdoch University. Her research has examined refugee journeys from Iraq to Australia and she has spent time in Indonesia, Syria and Jordan with refugee communities. Sue is a board member of ASeTTS and has been advocating for refugees and asylum seekers for over ten years. Sue is also Jewish. Although brought up in England, her mother, sister and other relatives now live in Israel.

Friday, August 22, 2014

No deportations: 'We are with you Muhammad'

Two dozen people stood in the rain to hold a candle light vigil to protest the impending deportation of Muhammad on August 21. The vigil took place outside the Perth Immigration Detention Centre.

"We are not strong enough to stop this deportation this time, but our aim is to build a movement than can stop deporations like this one" said Victoria Martin-Iverson of the Refugee Rights Action Network.

A petition can be signed here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Socialist club censored at UWA

The Socialist Alternative club at the University of Western Australia has had their "club privileges" suspended on August 13. In effect this amounts to a suspension of their club's affiliation which could be a prelude to complete disaffiliation.

The issues seems to have flared over posters produced for a campus forum on the topic "Why Israel is a terrorist state". After initially approving the posters, and allowing them to be displayed in Guild areas on campus, the Guild sent an email to the club on the day of the forum saying that all the posters had been removed.

Prior to that, Guild representatives had asked the club to change the title of the forum.

In enforcing this "suspension" of "club privileges", the Guild has brought up a number of other issues about the club's conduct which appear to be hastily cobbled together to justify the move. These include complaints about "F*** Tony Abbott" t-shirts and "general reports of confrontational and aggressive behaviour".

Whatever the rights or wrongs of these accusations – some of which date back 18 months and are generally vague – they should not be used to prevent any political club presenting its views to the broader student body.

Further, Socialist Alternative argues that the process of suspending the club is in violation of the Guild's own regulations.

Green Left Weekly has attempted to contact the Guild for comment but has not received a reply.

Socialist Alliance – which is not in any way affiliated with Socialist Alternative – opposes the censorship of political student groups and is supporting the campaign to get "club privileges" reinstated.

Socialist Alternative has been circulating a petition online calling for the Guild to reverse it's decision.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge was first published in Green Left Weekly #1022.]

WA plumbers support BDS

The WA branch of the Plumbers Union has passed a motion in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Apartheid Israel.

The August 11 meeting passed the resolution which condemned Israel's "genocidal" assault on the people of Gaza. The motion declared union support for the BDS campaign and called on union members to do likewise.

Plumbers union president Seamus Doherty spoke at the Friends of Palestine rally on August 16 to express the union's support. He told the rally that the BDS campaign was effective around the world.

"Divestment is about changing business [practices] to not invest in Israel. We call on people: do not have anything to do with Israel."

He called on the Australian government "to introduce sanctions against Israel for committing genocide and war crimes against the Palestinian people."

"The plumbers union is calling on all other unions and Unions WA to support the BDS campaign. We need your assistance. If you're a member of a union, ask your union to support the BDS campaign. If you're not a member of a union, you should join."

Doherty, who is also a member of Socialist Alliance, told Green Left that his union would be raising this issue within Unions WA and the union movement more broadly. He also said that he would be asking his union nationally to raise divestment from Israeli companies with the industry's Cbus superannuation fund.

Meanwhile, Friends of Palestine WA has organised a protest outside the August 28 opening of the Israeli Film Festival in Northbridge as the next action in support of the people of Gaza.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge was written for Green Left Weekly. Photo above: Seamus Doherty by James Rendell and, below, the August 16 Friends of Palestine rally by Zeb Parkes. Video below by James Rendell.]

Boycott and protest the Israeli film festival

Boycott Israeli Apartheid! Protest the Israeli Film Festival

The Australia Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE) and Palace Cinemas are co-presenting the 2014 Israeli Film Festival which screens nationally in August and September. The film festival is directly supported by the Israeli government (see about and sponsors) and represents the Israeli government's efforts to whitewash apartheid and colonisation.

Friends of Palestine WA call on Luna Palace Cinemas to withdraw its sponsorship of the AICE Israeli Film Festival. If the festival goes ahead, we pledge to boycott the festival and to protest at the festival opening on August 28.

Our protest is a part of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, which calls on Israeli to:

* End the siege and blockade of Gaza;
* End the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem;
* Remove the illegal settlements and separation barrier;
* End its apartheid-like policies towards Palestinians; and
* Accept the right of return to all Palestinian refugees.

Join us on:

August 28, at 5.30pm

Paradiso Cinema, 164 James Street, Northbridge.

Attend on Facebook:

VIDEO: Aili Labañino: "Free the Cuban Five"

Aili Labañino (daughter of Ramón Labañino who is one of the Cuban Five) speaking in Perth on 12 August 2014.

The Perth event was organised by the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society as part of a national tour.

The meeting was addressed by Joe McDonald of the CFMEU and Christie Cain of the Maritime Union of Australia.

Translation by Jorge Trujillo of the Cuban Embassy in Australia.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Politics in the Club: Sri Lanka - safe to return? Wed 20 August

Politics in the Club:
Sri Lanka: Safe to return? Fact vs Fiction

Tony Abbott, Scott Morrisson and Bob Carr all claim that Sri Lanka is “at peace”. What’s the real situation?

Dr Brian Senewiratne (Sinhalese human rights campaigner)

Sarah Ross (Refugee Rights Action Network activist)

Garry Holliday (Socialist Alliance & Tamil rights activist)

(Plus launch of Dr Senewiratne’s new book: Rape of Tamil Civilians in the North and East by the Sri Lankan armed forces and their collaborators)

Wednesday 20 August 6:30pm

Fremantle Workers Club, 9 Henry St, Fremantle

Sponsored by: Green Left Weekly

For more info: or 0415 922740

Join the student protests against the budget: Wed 20 August

Stand up against the Liberals' vicious attacks on students and higher education by joining the National Union of Students in protest on Aug 20. Along with students from all around the country, we will be demanding that Abbott, Pyne and their ilk drop their attacks on universities and reverse the entire budget:

* No to deregulation!
* No to Fee Hikes!
* No to the US-Style model of education!

The attacks in the budget are not limited to changes to the University funding structure, but permeate healthcare and welfare, threatening the livelihoods of workers, students, the unemployed, the poor and the most vulnerable sections of society.


2pm, Wed 20 August
Murray Street Mall, Perth City

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sixth Perth rally for Gaza

A month after Israel launched Operation "Protective Edge", on July 8, more than 1900 Palestinian have been killed in Gaza, including at least 440 children. Palestinians are demanding an end to the siege of Gaza, the release of Palestinian political prisoners and the reconstruction of Gaza.

Meanwhile 240,000 (more than one in eight) Palestinians are living in UN shelters. Mosques, schools, hospitals, homes and ambulances have been targets of the Israeli military assault.

We call on supporters of justice and peace in Palestine to join us to rally again on:

Sat August 16
Murray Street Mall, Perth City

to demand the Australian government:
* condemn Israeli war crimes;
* impose diplomatic and trade sanctions on Israel; and
* support the international call for an arms embargo on Israel.

Furthermore, we call for support for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to end Israeli apartheid and colonisation.

Attend on Facebook:

[This rally will be followed by a rally for Equal Marriage Rights and then a Celebration of Ten Years of Campaigning for Equal Marriage Rights.]

Rally for Equal Marriage Rights: Sat 16 August

Rally for Equal Marriage Rights

1pm Sat 16 August

Murray Street Mall, Perth City

Join the Ten Years Anniversary Rally:

This rally will be followed by a celebration of ten years of campaigning for Equal Marriage Rights:

Murdoch Students wish Pyne an UnHappy Birthday

Murdoch students preparing for next Wednesday's protest against Pyne's education cuts

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Celebrate ten years of campaigning for marriage equality: Sat 16 August

The Howard government (with the support of the ALP) banned same-sex marriage in August 2004. This month we celebrate ten years of impassioned campaigning for equal marriage rights.

Come back to the Perth Activist Centre after the Equal Marriage rally (1pm, Sat 16 Aug, Murray St Mall) for:

* food and drinks
* entertainment from Baloney Abbott
* Greetings from Farida Iqbal, Bec Leighton and others to be announced
* Video footage from ten years of the campaign

The celebration will begin:

3pm, Sat 16 August
(or straight after the rally)

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

Come along and help celebrate history

Attend on Facebook:

Hosted by Green Left Weekly

[Please note: this celebration will be preceded by a Rally for Gaza at 11am in the Murray Street Mall and then a Rally for Equal Marriage Rights at 1pm in the Murray Street Mall. We would encourage you to support all three events.]

Perth rally on international day for Gaza: Sat 9 August

International day of rage and mourning:
Stop Israeli Aggression! Free Palestine!

Sat 9 August
11am, Murray Street Mall

Over a three week period, from July 7 until a cease-fire on August 5, the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza has been subjected to an intense bombardment and invasion by the Israeli Defence Force. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 1813 Palestinians have been killed, including nearly 400 children and 9370 injured.

In one of the deadliest sustained campaigns against Palestinians in recent history, Israeli targets have included homes, mosques, schools, hospitals, medical centres, ambulances and power and water treatment plants. Three UN-run school was targeted, killing dozens of women and children who had sought refuge.

This Saturday, August 9, we will rally again to stand with the people of Gaza in an international day of rage and mourning!

We call on the Australian government to: condemn Israel's attack on Gaza and impose diplomatic and trade sanctions on Israel. We call for support for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

For more info, see

Attend on Facebook:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Nine News interview about offensive "bomb Gaza" game

Monday, August 4, 2014

Perth Gaza rally marches to Dept Foreign Affairs

The fourth Gaza solidarity protest in Perth during the current Israeli assault took place on August 2. Over 600 people attended - making this one of the largest Palestine solidarity rallies in Perth in recent years.

The rally marched to the Department of Foreign Affairs where speakers denounced the Australian government support for Israel's bombing and invasion of Gaza.

This speech (posted above) was given by a nine year old boy was one of the highlights of the rally.

More photos of the rally can be found here and here.

The rally was organised by Friends of Palestine WA. Another rally will be held next Saturday at 11am, Sat 9 August in the Murray Street Mall.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Omar - a Palestinian love story - Fri 8 August

"An incredible love story" * "A masterpiece"

Omar is accustomed to dodging surveillance bullets to cross the separation wall to visit his secret love Nadia. But occupied Palestine knows neither simple love nor clear-cut war. On the other side of the wall, the sensitive young baker Omar becomes a freedom fighter who must face painful choices about life and manhood. When Omar is captured after a deadly act of resistance, he falls into a cat-and-mouse game with the military police. Suspicion and betrayal jeopardize his longtime trust with accomplices and childhood friends Amjad and Tarek, Nadia's militant brother. Omar's feelings quickly become as torn apart as the Palestinian landscape. But it's soon evident that everything he does is for his love of Nadia.

Fri 8 August

6pm dinner, 6:30pm film and discussion

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

Proceeds to the Gaza People's Power Appeal and Green Left Weekly

Attend on FaceBook:

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fagmedia video from last Gaza rally

Freedom For Gaza Rally Perth WA 2014 from Perth Gay News on Vimeo.

This is footage captured at the Free Palestine Rally held in Perth, Western Australia on the 26 July 2014 which was organised by the Friends of Palestine WA.