Saturday, November 22, 2014

Perth rally for equal marriage rights

Over 100 people defied police and Perth City Council on November 22 to rally and march in Perth to demand equal marriage rights. The rally began with threats by Perth City Council and WA Police. They claimed the rally had not been granted approval by the Perth City Council despite the fact that no approval is required. Everybody has a common law right to protest in a public area. Police threatened to disallow a march (as has been increasingly common in recent months). Equal Love stood up to the intimidation and the protest and march took place without incident.

Speakers included Greens' Lynn MacLaren, End Queer Lockdown's James Rendell, trans activist Natalia Verne, Socialist Alliance's Farida Iqbal and Miranda Wood from Curtin Guild (and Socialist Alternative).

The rally took place on the same day as the Pride Parade at which the End Queer Lockdown float will be an important activist contribution.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Refugee Rights are Human Rights: protect them or lose them

[Information from Refugee Rights Action Network]

RRAN Human Rights Day forum

A discussion and activist training event organised by the Refugee Rights Action Network to mark international Human Rights Day.

We all know that indefinite mandatory detention violates fundamental human rights. The question is: what can we do about it?

6:30pm, Wed 10 December

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

Attend on facebook:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Abbott and Barnett threaten Aboriginal communities, heritage

Aboriginal activists in WA are gearing up for a rally on November 12 to protect remote communities in the face of Abbott government attacks. This follows a September 16 rally against state government threats to Aboriginal heritage and an October 23 rally against ongoing Black deaths in custody.

The federal government announced on September 24 that it was withdrawing funding for 180 remote Aboriginal communities in WA. $90 million will be granted to the WA government for a two year "transition period".

Federal minister Nigel Scullion said that this was an "historic agreement" while state minister Bill Marmion said "this was not an agreement, it was an ultimatum – we had a gun pointed at our head".

Aboriginal activists believe that this arrangement will mean that communities will lose basic services and be shut down.

Marmion told The West Australian that it is "too early to tell" if any communities will close but that "this may well be an outcome".

"Barnett's plan will inflict more suffering and death on us First People" said a representative of the Swan Valley Nyungar Community (SVNC) in a November 1 email to supporters.

"By closing down communities, this state government is denying us as First People our right to live on our Land the way we want to live, as a community of people, protecting our families, our culture and our sacredness in the land," the statement said.

Already some communities have been destroyed. Oombulgurri in the East Kimberley is one example that was bulldozed last month. The community was forcibly closed in 2011 after a coronial inquiry concluded it was in a state of crisis.

However, according to Amnesty International, some former residents wanted to return to their homeland.

``There's 40 houses, there's a school, there's a clinic, there's a police station, a shop, water tanks, power station – it's not just a couple of houses, it's a whole community,'' human rights lawyer Tammy Solonec told the ABC before the demolition.

She pointed out that people who'd been forced to leave and who don't have adequate housing now were to have their previous houses destroyed.

"People weren't afforded their free and informed consent in regards to the closure of the community, the forced evictions, or the demolition," she said.

The Swan Valley Nyungar Community was also bulldozed this year after a long struggle to reclaim access to their Lockridge site.

"Bulldozing our communities is attempted genocide," the SVNC statement said. "The damage will be felt for generations to come."

The Greens have also expressed concern at the development. State parliamentarian Robin Chapple has pointed out that "we don't go around closing small rural towns half the size of many of these communities, so why shouldn't Aboriginal communities be nurtured on their lands and in their towns?"

These attacks come on top of attempts by the state government to weaken the Aboriginal Heritage Act. While the government claims that proposed changes will result in "greater protection" and "fairness", the reality is that the changes are motivated by a desire to streamline the approval process for mining and construction companies.

In particular the proposed changes would concentrate enormous power in the hands of the CEO of the department of Aboriginal Affairs. In particular, the CEO would have authority to simply make a declaration that "there is no Aboriginal site on [a particular piece of] land".

The Law Society has also criticised the changes. According to senior vice president Matthew Keogh, "the Government has spoken about the idea that the regulations that will go with this legislation will require the CEO to have regard to certain matters, such as consulting with the relevant Aboriginal communities, but it hasn't actually put that into legislation, nor has it actually required that the regulations include that".

"It's also provided in these amendments the capacity to change the criteria that the CEO is to assess against by a regulation," he said. "So its setting up a system which will be weaker and can be made weaker by government decision without having to go back to the Parliament."

[This article by Alex Bainbridge was written for Green Left Weekly #1032. Photos from September 16 rally and October 23 rally.]

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Save Aboriginal Communities from Barnett's Bulldozers: Unity rally 12 Nov

[Information from Swan Valley Nyungar Community]

Oombulgurri, Swan Valley Nyungah Community and Kennedy Hill have already been bulldozed.

What is next? More Prisons?

The Abbott Government is withdrawing funding from 180 communities in Western Australia. The State Government is letting it happen, which means they will lose basic services and be shut down.

“Barnett’s plan will inflict more suffering and death on us the First People”.

By closing down Communities this State government is denying us as First People our right to live on our Land the way we want to live, as a community of people, protecting our Families, our Culture and our Sacredness in the Land.

Bulldozing our Communities is forced assimilation, forced displacement and homelessness, forced sickness and death. The damage will be felt for generations to come.

Article 8 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says “Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture”.

“Our rights as the First People are not being respected”.

SANDY DAVIES (YAMATJI) (to be confirmed)


Please forward and print out and pass this on any way you can and come and join us to save our Homelands, Culture and Way of Life all over Western Australia.

Article 8 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says "Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture".


For more information contact Bella Bropho 0467 329 047 or Herbert Bropho 0475 080 523 or office phone 08 9279 1636.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Photos from Solidarity with Kobane rally

Over 100 Kurds and supporters marched through the streets of Perth on November 1 to express solidarity with the Rojava liberated zone within Syria.

GLW performance night: songs of struggle and comedy for comrades - Fri 21 Nov

Green Left Weekly Performance Night

songs of struggle
poems of passion
& comedy for comrades

Performers include:
Selekt Few - awesome hip hop
Helchild - comedian
Afeif Ismail - poet and playwrite
WAMDA - Sudanese musical group
Ahmedo - Kurdish liberation songs
Kamala Emanuel - song for women of Rojava
Kerry Mulholland - poetry
Until We Return - Sudanese music

Also features:
Tributes to KobanĂȘ - solidarity with the Rojava revolution
Delicious Sudanese finger food

7pm Fri 21 November

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

$10/$5 or $20 solidarity

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638 for more info

Attend on Facebook:

Purchase tickets here: