Thursday, December 3, 2015

Protest against racism and deaths in custody outside Dhu inquest

Family members and supporters gathered on December 2 outside the inquest into the death in custody of 22-year-old Ms Dhu. The protest was a response to the shocking evidence of neglect and institutionalised racism revealed at the inquest and the fact that the conclusion of the inquest has been delayed so that police testimony won't be heard until at least March 2016.

Speakers pointed out that Aboriginal deaths in custody is an ongoing reality and that the lack of a Custody Notification Service in WA and the failure to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody contributes to these deaths.

The protesters also noted that the hollow promise of premier Colin Barnett in October 2014 to reduce the numbers of Aboriginal people in custody had not been fulfilled.

[This article first appeared in Green Left online.]

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

People's Climate March in Perth

5-8000 people marched from Wellington Square to the Hay Street Mall in the middle of Perth city as part of the international weekend of climate action.

The mobilisation took place in the days after serious bush fires in Esperance. Kevin Jolly of the United Firefighters Union was one of the speakers highlighting that bushfire season is starting earlier.

An Aboriginal contingent lead the march in which chants for "people power" as a means to achieve climate action were popular.

The Socialist Alliance marched behind a banner reading "Capitalism kills the climate: ecosocialism is the alternative".

Check out this video (above) from Perth and this video (below) from Bunbury.

climate chang- Bunbury WA

#climate_change March 2015 - #Bunbury, western Australia

Posted by Rez Nez Film on Monday, November 30, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

All out for the People's Climate Mobilisation on Sunday

As world leaders meet in Paris to discuss how not to save the world, people around the planet will be marching to demand action for a safe climate future.

In Perth, the People's Climate March will be gathering:

1pm Sunday 29 November

Wellington Square, East Perth

Naomi Klein has convincingly argued that we need an alternative to capitalism if we are to avoid a
climate catastrophe.

Ecosocialism is the practical alternative we need so Socialist Alliance is supporting an ecosocialist contingent at the march.

We'd encourage you to march with ecosocialists for a genuine alternative to the
status quo. This contingent has been initiated by Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly and all
who support “system change not climate change” are welcome to take part.

Attend on Facebook:

We'd also encourage your help to distribute Green Left Weekly on the day and holding signs that point towards an ecosocialist future.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Protesters resist test drilling at Beeliar Wetlands

Protesting test drilling at Beeliar Wetlands

Standing up against Roe8

Posted by Green Left Weekly on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A very heavy police presence has greeted protesters who have taken a stand against test drilling in the Beeliar Wetlands at the site of the Roe 8 freeway extension.

"I think the community reaction today was amazing considering it was without an official call out," Socialist Alliance member Seamus Doherty (pictured) told Green Left.

"It started out at 40 people and grew from there to be over 100 people."

Community members and families including Aboriginal people have surrounded where the test drilling has begun, according to Green Left's Zeb Parkes. However police - including mounted police - have been keeping people out.

The protesters have been given permission to protest by Aboriginal elders.

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett stood on the front lines in support of community action. He said that a court case is underway and that the drilling is potentially illegal.

Eventually some test drills were conducted by Main Road personnel surrounded by police. Protesters

Meanwhile, a white elephant - symbolising the uselessness of Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link project - is due to be delivered to state parliament.

The action follows a major rally of several thousand that took place in Bibra Lakes on November 22.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge first appeared in Green Left online 24 November 2015. Photos and video by Zeb Parkes.]

Aboriginal man dies in Western Australian prison

An Aboriginal man has died five days after attempting suicide at Casaurina prison, 35 kilometres south of Perth, just two months after another Aboriginal man killed himself at the same prison.

He was found in his cell on October 28 and was taken to nearby Fiona Stanley Hospital, but died on November 2.

His is the fourth Aboriginal death provisionally put down to be suicide by hanging at the prison since 2013. The families of each of those men are still waiting for the coroner to set the date for their respective inquests.

Marc Newhouse (pictured) from the Death in Custody Watch Committee in WA said it was particularly concerning to see another case of hanging. Reducing the risk of death by hanging was one of the key recommendations of the 1991 report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
[This article first appeared in Green Left Weekly online 21 November 2015.]

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Video from rally against "Reclaim Australia" - Perth Nov 22

Rallying against the racism and islamophobia of reclaim australia

Video of the rally in perth against the racism and islamophobia of reclaim australia

Posted by Green Left Weekly on Sunday, November 22, 2015

If the video doesn't appear or won't play, try this link.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

It's not too late to stop Roe 8: Rally Sun 22 Nov

Its not too late to stop Roe 8! Join us at Bibra Lake to show the Govt how we feel about this beautiful place and our community. 9am-11am. If you're a local please walk or ride your bikes to ease traffic!

Stalls - Speakers - Sizzle - Music

9am Sunday 22 November

Progress Dve, Bibra Lake (Parking in Adventure World carpark)

Attend on Facebook:

Rally against the racism of Reclaim Australia: Sun 22 Nov

On Sunday November 22, the right-wing, racist and Islamophobic outfit Reclaim Australia will be holding their third major rally in Perth. In addition, on this occasion, the outright fascist United Patriots Front is threatening to have a national mobilisation to Perth.

It is crucial now - more than ever - we stand up against the violent extremism of Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front. There is no room for racism in WA.

Join us in rallying for hope and solidarity. Stand against the hate and fear peddled by these groups.

Sunday 22 November

11am, Parliament Place (Solidarity Park)

Attend on Facebook: here and/or here.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Health professionals call for children out of detention

Over 100 doctors, nurses and other health professionals gathered outside the Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth on November 13 to support the nationwide mobilisations of health workers against detention of children.

The movement has gathered under the banners of #DetentionHarmsChildren and #KidsOut when doctors in Melbourne announced in early October that they would not discharge children back into immigration detention.

Since then, health professionals and students all around the country - including Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin - have taken action to call for children to be released from detention.

Dr Andrew Martin addressed the Perth rally saying that "no period of time in detention is safe".

"Health staff regularly witness the breaches of children's rights and the widespread detrimental effects of detention on health and well being," he said. (See full statement below)

Paediatrics registrar Kristen Lindsay told the crowd that "children are precious" and "need to be protected no matter what".

She read a poem from a Somali refugee: "No one leaves home, unless home is the mouth of a shark/ You only run for the border when you see your whole city running as well/ You have to understand that no one puts children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land."

The Princess Margaret Hospital administration made a statement supporting "clinicians' right to advocate for the wellbeing of children in detention".

Acting executive Dr Gervase Chaney said "this action is consistent with our health service's values of compassion, respect, equity, integrity and excellence; and its commitment to improving health outcomes for all children and young people in WA".

Statement by Dr Andrew Martin

I think that the number of WA health professionals here today clearly demonstrates the agreed position that detention harms children, adolescents and their families.

The wars in Syria and Afghanistan have brought renewed global focus to the plight of millions seeking asylum.

No period of time in detention is safe.

Specialist colleges and international bodies including the United Nations Human Rights Commission continue to oppose detaining children and families.

Health staff regularly witness the breaches of children's rights and the widespread detrimental effects of detention on health and well being.

This is compounded by witnessed violence, a lack of stable education or appropriate peer interaction, and negative impacts on parental mental health and family stability.

Children and adolescents commonly present with bed-wetting, nightmares, psychological distress including anxiety and depression, developmental regression, self harm, anorexia and headaches.

All of these outcomes are a direct result of the children's detention experiences and cannot be rectified within a detention environment.

Mandatory detention is destroying children's lives and families with effects continuing years after their release.

As child health professionals and experts, we support the national call for compassionate legislative change to end their suffering.

No child or adolescent should be held in detention here or offshore. Detention is harmful and this should not be tolerated for children.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge first appeared in Green Left online.]

WA health services under attack

Health services are under serious attack in WA, with the Health Department asking hospitals to finalise “budget management strategies” by the end of January.

Amid claims of massive cuts to funding, hospitals in Perth are bracing for staff cuts. The Health Services Union (HSU) expects about 500 jobs to be shed at Royal Perth Hospital and similar numbers at Fiona Stanley Hospital. The union says its previous predictions of about 1000 job cuts “across the board” now appeared “conservative” and job uncertainty is causing widespread stress.

HSU state secretary Dan Hill said a recent survey showed 60% of staff experienced work-related stress that adversely affected their mental health. “The government and the department need to come clean as quickly as possible and remove the uncertainty,” he said.

A department spokesperson said the South Metropolitan Health Service, covering Fiona Stanley, Fremantle and Royal Perth hospitals, would “try to ensure permanent staff can be accommodated in the revised workforce”.

“RPH, Fiona Stanley and Fremantle Hospital are overstaffed for their activity levels and exceeding their budget,” the spokesperson said, adding “It is possible to maintain the highest possible standards using lower staffing levels than currently in place.”

WA Health director general Dr David Russell-Weisz said he could not put an absolute figure on job cuts within the health department. “We know we are over-staffed and over budget at some of our hospitals,” he said.

“We have to look at how we can be more efficient and that's not just about job cuts it is about simple things like rostering, over time, the use of agencies and casuals and where there are too many staff it may be looking at some fixed term appointments, but it is not all about job cuts.”

Meanwhile $1.6 billion has been earmarked for the controversial Perth Freight Link, and money has been made available for an artificial wave stadium. Clearly it is not a question of the availability of funds, but how they are allocated.

[This article by Kerry Smith first appeared in Green Left online.]

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Forum: Climate action needs System change - Thurs 19 Nov

Politics in the Pub
Climate action needs System change

Planet & people at risk - Jaime Farrant,
Freeway madness- Sam Wainwright, Freo Road2Rail
Is system change possible - Kamala, Socialist Alliance

6pm Thurs 19 November
Curragh Room, Rosie O’Gradys
23 William St (near Fremantle Town Hall)

For more info: or 0415 922 740

Attend on Facebook:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

RRAN forum: Why stopping boats does not save lives - Mon 9 Nov

No Way Forward

Why 'stopping the boats' does NOT save lives at sea

Join the Refugee Rights Action Network for a public forum discussing some of the common misconceptions around 'stopping the boats' and what this really means.

6:30pm Mon 9 November

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

Organised by Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN)

Attend on Facebook:

Join health workers calling for children out of detention

Join the wave of demonstrations by senior doctors across Australia...

ALL WA HEALTH WORKERS WELCOME! (share the invitation)

In the words of Professor Karen Zwi from Sydney Children’s Hospital: “Already traumatised and fleeing persecution, we compound that by putting them in indefinite detention. Anxiety, bed-wetting, nightmares and poor sleep are common among the more than 200 children still in immigration detention.In the extreme cases, children are self harming and attempting suicide”

“We want to increase the pressure.We will make noise until the detention of children ends” – Professor David Issacs, Westmead Children’s Hospital

12:30pm Fri 13 November

Meet at the Thomas Street entrance, above the underpass stairs, outside the PMH daycare carpark for photos at 12:30pm.

#KidsOut #DetentionHarmsChildren

Download the PLACARDS used in other Australian demonstrations to bring along:

Download the event POSTER here:

[For the information of health workers and others who wish to support their endeavours. Information from the Facebook Event.]

Friday, October 30, 2015

Join us for the Fremantle Festival Parade on Sunday

The Fremantle Festival Parade is happening this Sunday (November 1), and we're asking for everyone's help in making the Rethink Perth Freight Link and Refugee Rights Action Network contingents as large as possible.

This parade is expected to be the biggest in years and it's a great opportunity to build these two campaigns among the crowd.

Sunday 1 November

Assemble 3pm at the Essex St car park (cnr Marine Pde) for a 4pm start.

To join the RRAN contingent wear your refugee rights t-shirt and bring your signs. For more info contact Janet from Fremantle RRAN on 0433 539 639

Attend on Facebook:

To join the Fremantle Road to Rail contingent wear orange and bring your signs. For more information contact Sam from Fremantle Road to Rail on 0412 751 508

Attend on Facebook:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Zero Tolerance" for begging and street drinking sends the wrong message

The following post was made by Socialist Alliance councillor Sam Wainwright at Sam's Freo Report on October 29.

[At its October meeting the council considered a number of measures proposed as part of the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan 2016-2020. Included were proposals to promote a "Zero Tolerance" approach to begging and drinking in public places. I voted against these measures. My reasons for this are explained below, based on a statement I wrote in response to a question from the Fremantle Herald about the matter - Sam Wainwright.]

I am concerned that talk about "Zero Tolerance" pushes us down the path of criminalizing and stigmatizing poverty without dealing with the underlying causes.

I accept that there have been cases of aggressive or intimidating behaviour by people drinking in public or begging. However threatening, intimidating and menacing behaviour in public is already illegal. The police don't require the City of Fremantle to make declarations about "Zero Tolerance" in order to enforce the law.

On the question of begging it's my understanding that this activity by itself is not illegal, so it's not entirely clear to me what the policy will achieve apart from putting up signs declaring "Zero Tolerance".

The policy also proposes to establish charity donation points to allow people to give to those in need while discouraging "opportunistic" begging. Whether this will work or not I don't know.

In my view neither giving to beggars nor charitable donations are a substitute for proper government policy to address the housing affordability crisis, homelessness, mental illness, family and domestic violence, and drug addiction. All areas that are woefully underfunded by our state and federal governments.

While the City of Fremantle is not in a position to substitute for the federal and state governments in these areas, it should play its part. However it's a fact that the City now does less to support people facing homelessness as a result of relinquishing both the Youth Crisis Accommodation Service (2010) and the Warrawee Women's Refuge (2015), both steps that I strongly opposed.

While these services were funded by state government grants, the City used to put in extra funding to top them up. As a result the City is now contributing around $500,000 less per year to directly help such people in need.

Furthermore I've always been uncomfortable with the laws in Australia that criminalize drinking in public places. The problem is twofold.

Firstly such laws disproportionally affect those who can't afford to drink in a licenced premises, which in our society means youth and Aboriginal people among others. I can't stand the hypocrisy which criminalizes drinking in a public place even if no harm is being done, while only meters away on the same footpath someone else can be drinking in an al fresco dining area.

Secondly the laws which prohibit drinking in public places are not applied in a universal manner, reinforcing their tendency towards "racial profiling". We all know that "respectable" people enjoying a glass of wine with their picnic at South Beach are very unlikely to be asked to tip out their drinks, much less prosecuted. On the other hand someone drinking on a bench in the CBD can expect "Zero Tolerance" regardless of whether they are disturbing other people or not.

In debate some of my fellow councillors acknowledged my criticisms, but they feel that cracking down on begging and public drinking is the only tool available to the City to deal with certain forms of anti-social behaviour in the CBD.

Once again, I'm all in favour of the police and City rangers intervening to stop intimidating, abusive or threatening behaviour by anyone, regardless of whether or not the perpetrators are engaged in begging or public drinking.

While I sympathize with the frustrations of inner city traders, I don't support adopting a punitive approach to those in poverty or dealing with significant life challenges. Our CBD is a public place and we must not go down the path of treating it like we are the managers of a private shopping mall.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Murdoch climate action

Murdoch Students Showing Support for the Fossil Free UTas occupation and protests demanding the university divest from fossil fuels.

Also building the Murdoch contingent for the world wide people's climate marches happening at the end of November. You can come and help us paint a banner and leaflet for this on our stall next Thursday the 29 October from around 11am.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WA police side with foreign fascist against anti-racist protesters

Around eight anti-racist protesters drowned out the media conference of Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders outside WA parliament house on October 21. We chanted: "Say it loud, say it clear, racism's not welcome here!"

WA police sided with the Wilders brigade at every key point in the demonstration.

When anti-racist activists arrived, police asked them to move their vehicles.

"You can't park here with a shirt like that," one police officer said to Socialist Alliance member Seamus Doherty. His shirt had a Palestine solidarity message on it.

State security officers then moved to harass anarchist activist Al Hogge demanding his name and other details but refusing to show his badge for more than an instant.

When the media conference began (with heavy private security but without Wilders), activists did not try to prevent it from taking place but loudly shouted anti-racist slogans which had a big impact on the event.

When Wilders arrived, police officers stood directly in front of the anti-racist activists even though the Dutch fascist was the one promoting intolerance and hate.

As Wilders left, it was WA police who physically prevented activists, including this author, from holding anti-racist signs in the media's view near his departure route.

Premier Colin Barnett publicly said that Wilders would not be allowed to use any state government venue yet nothing was done about Wilders' private security guards pushing around members of the public in parliament house grounds.

When Doherty tried to sit down on one of the steps (after Wilders had left), a private security guard wouldn't allow him to sit.

"What authority do you have?" Doherty asked. "Are you a police officer?"

Wilders' security thug refused to answer the question and just said "you're not passing".

When police arrived, they backed up the private security - who had no authority at that location - falsely claiming that they were parliament house security and that they had authority to prevent Doherty from sitting on the step.

"Wilders' attacks on Islam rehash the centuries-old Western Islamophobic slogans," according to Monash professor Gary Bouma. "Wilders cites the Qur'an by singling out passages without examining their context and their history of interpretation."

Wilders and the new right wing party he is supporting are dangerous because the bigotry and racism they promote echo the mainstream racism of Liberal and Labor governments.

The recent spate of far right activities in Australia are building on the stench of a concerted government war against refugees and other racist policies like the attempted closure of remote Aboriginal communities.

The far right needs to be confronted as part of a wider movement against government and media racism in this country.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge first appeared in Green Left online on October 21.]

Videos from senate hearing into Perth Freight Link

Sam Wainwright's opening comments to senate hearing

Barry Healy talking about traffic demand management for Fremantle Port

Sam Wainwright answering Senator Joe Bullock's questions about cost of moving freight by rail

Barry Healy explaining why the Perth Freight Link will not improve freight transport efficiency

Barry Healy responding to questioning from Senator Linda Reynolds

Sam Wainwright telling Senator Linda Reynolds the time of day about the Perth Freight Link

Sam Wainwright explaining to Senator Linda Reynolds what happened to the 30% target

Barry Healy responding to questioning from Senator Scott Ludlam on utilising rail freight

Respectful dialogue between Senator Scott Ludlam and Aboriginal elder Rev Sealin Garlet

Barry Healy explaining about bush offsets

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Exhibition displays intense relationship of Martu people to their heritage

Artist Doreen Chapman at the opening night of ‘We Call It Home’.

We Call It Home
Spinifex Hill Artists exhibition, FORM gallery, Perth
September 3 to November 30

Many of the Martu people of Western Australia’s Pilbara region, extending out into the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts, only ceased living a pujiman (entirely traditional) life as late as the 1960s. Many also took part in the huge Aboriginal stock workers strike of the late ’40s.

The artworks on display in the We Call It Home exhibition convey the significance of ongoing relationship to birthplaces, sacred areas and family stories — as well as political memories.

Many patterns and designs derive from traditional body painting and ceremonial sand drawing. Other pictorial representations, such as Winnie Sampi’s Country no longer the same where my old people once walked, comment on the effects of mining on the landscape.

As a group exhibition there is no one style on show, canvases are as varied as the artists who paint them.

Selena Brown’s Marble Bar, My Country is an exquisite combination of horizontal, brightly painted, dotted lines, bisected by central vertical lines. The colours leap off the wall at the viewer, expressing joy and familiarity with her homeland.

Brown’s practice is painstaking, but Doreen Chapman’s canvases demonstrate a robust, fast application of paint. Her abstract, geometric images immediately grab attention.

Most of the works are connected to stories, which are recorded in the catalogue. In one, Biddy Thomas says of his Top End of Moolyella: “Don McLeod was helping us with the foods, and he got put in jail in Hedland for that. We not allowed to Broome, not allowed to another place. We was blocked, you know?

“Don McLeod helped us with that too, but he went to prison for that. All the black people went marching out to the jail to get him out.”

Don McLeod was the white Communist Party activist who was jailed for his support of the Aboriginal farm workers strike that lasted from 1946 to 1949 — the longest strike in Australian history.

FORM is a not-for-profit group that works with the Port Hedland-based Spinifex Hill Artists, among other Aboriginal arts collectives in WA. Most of the profits from sales go back to the artists.

The Port Hedland group paints for self-expression and also to educate the youth. “When you lose your Country, you lose your identity, language and culture,” says artist Natasha Nelson. “If you don’t know where you’re from, you don’t know your family ties and kinship.”

This exhibition beautifully displays an intense relationship to heritage and culture.

[This article by Barry Healy first appeared in Green Left Weekly #1070.]

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Green Left Weekly Quiz Night - Sat 14 Nov

Help support Australia's best progressive weekly. You are invited to a good fun night in support of a good cause.

7pm Sat 14 Nov

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

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638

$15/$10 ($60/table of six)

Book tickets online:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Anti-racists outnumber bigots in Perth demonstration

Standing up Against Racism and Bigotry

Clips from the protest where Anti-racist activists outnumbered the far right Islamophobic protesters in a counter rally in Perth as part of counter demo’s around the country (and in America) to rallies that are pushing xenophobic views.

Posted by Green Left Weekly on Saturday, October 10, 2015

Clips from the protest where Anti-racist activists outnumbered the far right Islamophobic protesters in a counter rally in Perth on October 10. This was part of counter demonstrations around the country (and in America) to rallies that are pushing xenophobic views.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Stand up against bigotry and racism in Perth on Saturday

The "Global Rally for Humanity" - who are holding an Islamophobic event in Perth on Saturday - is a movement that is using progressive language to hide its xenophobic views. Join us on Saturday 10 October to take a stand against bigotry and racism. Bring your placards and banners and show that bigotry is not welcome here or anywhere.

Saturday 10 October

Meet at 10 am at the Perth "Cactus" (Forrest Place).

Check out the Facebook event for updates:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Rally for refugees: Close Nauru & Manus detention centres! (Sun 11 Oct)

Murder, rape, systemic child abuse...The three years of Nauru and Manus Island detention centres being back in operation has produced a grotesque system of abuse resulting in a list of human rights violations too long to name.

Join the rally and "tour of shame" through Perth to help call for the immediate closure of Nauru and Manus detention centres:

1pm Sun 11 October

Gather at the:
Tourist info booth, Murray Street Mall, Perth City

Attend on Facebook:

*       *       *

All people seeking asylum, whether currently detained off-shore or arriving by boat, must be brought to Australia and offered permanent protection.

With the Labor Party committing itself to following Liberal-National policy of forced turn-backs of people at sea the Government believes itself to be free to promote racism and the abuse of refugees without opposition.

The political leadership fighting for refugee rights exists within the Australian community in solidarity with the resistance of people in detention
Despite years of relentless abuse refugees in detention continue to protest and resist attacks by policies of deterrence. Despite decades of lies, fear and demonisation people in the community continue to act in solidarity with asylum seekers and resist the racist, anti-refugee politics.

On Sunday October 11th be a voice for refugee rights.
Join with your church, your union, classmates, and community to demand an end to the abuse of refugees and the closure of Nauru and Manus IDCs

Be part of the political opposition which states clearly that the only lasting solution for people seeking asylum in Australia and living as refugees around the world is to

Let them land,
Let them stay,

[Information from the Refugee Rights Action Network.]

Friday, October 2, 2015

Liberation and war in Syria and Turkey - Thurs 15 Oct

Public forum - all welcome

Liberation & War in Syria & Turkey

* the Kurdish liberation struggle
* the Rojava revolution & the Syrian civil war
* democracy and the threat of civil war in Turkey
* stop bombing Syria and Iraq

Speakers include:
a representative of the Kurdish Association
Kamala Emanuel (Socialist Alliance)

Thurs 15 Oct
6 for 6:30pm

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

Ph 0417 319 662 or 0413 976 638

Attend on Facebook:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Pride" film screening - Fri 9 Oct

Come and see this inspiring story about lesbian and gay activists in Britain who supported the year long miners' strike in 1984-85. It is a story of struggle and solidarity that left a lasting legacy.

6:30pm Friday 9 October

16 Jackson St (Pearce St access)
North Fremantle

Dinner will be available by donation from 6:30, for a 7:00 start for the film showing.

If you are interested in having dinner, please send us a confirmation to 0415 922 740. Our thanks to Karen and FERN for making us delicious food!

Organised by Green Left Weekly

Attend on Facebook:

ALBA versus BRICS on "Opinionated"

Socialist Alliance member Alex Bainbridge on West TV's Opinionated show first broadcast on September 23.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chris Jenkins on Opinionated: Break the power of the corporations

This episode of "Opinionated" features a video interview with Socialist Alliance member Chris Jenkins.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Video from Refugee protest

Video from Rez Nez about the September 12 "From Europe to Australia: Free the refugees" protest.

Video from Rethink the Link bridge protest

Video from Rez Nez of the September 13 bridge protest against Perth Freight Link.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

From Europe to Australia: Free the refugees - Sat 12 Sept

From Europe to Australia: Free the refugees
12 noon, Sat 12 Sept, Murray Street Mall, Perth

Join us 12pm this Saturday (Murray St Mall, Perth) at our speak-out for refugees. Following the action we will hold an informal forum and discussion for people wanting to get involved in the campaign.

We will also be building a participatory art installation. People who wish to participate in the installation are asked: what would you take with you if you were a refugee? Please bring this item with you at 11:30 am for the building of the installation.

Perth, Melbourne and Sydney will join in solidarity with actions across Europe and UK in an international day of action calling for an end to policies of deterrence which turn refugees away at the border.

In Australia this means:
-closing down Nauru & Manus Island detention centres,
-ending detention completely,
-ending the forced tow-back of boats at sea and
-reinstating permanent protection visas for refugees.

Increasing the allocation of resettlement numbers for Syrian refugees is welcome but it will not address the dangers facing people forced to flee persecution if fences, walls and deterrence policies remain intact at the borders.


Attend on Facebook:

[Information from Refugee Rights Action Network]

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#LightTheDark vigil in Perth: Deterrent policies don't save lives

"Boat turn backs, mandatory detention, offshore processing and indefinite limbo do not save lives."

This was the comment made by Refugee Rights Action Network activist Michelle Bui before the 1000-strong #LightTheDark vigil for refugees in Perth on September 7.

"You have to understand," she said that "no one puts their child on a boat unless the water is safer than the land."

"Therein lies the flawed logic of Australia's supposed deterrent policies."

Bui said that if Aylan Kurdi had made it to Australia, the government would have shifted him to suffer the torture of the Nauru detention centre.

"We were all shocked and horrified to see that photo of Aylan's tiny lifeless body washed upon the shore," she said.

"What is equally horrifying but something much more difficult to encapsulate in one image is the reality of the indefinite mandatory detention system."

This sentiment was echoed by Hazara refugee Ashraf Mohammad.

"You can't even imagine the impact of the government policies on asylum seekers," he said.

"The agony of life as a refugee is one that is never-ending."

"It is heart-breaking when I see grown up men sitting in a corner sobbing because of the devastating situation they are in as a result of this government's policies."

Other speakers included Marilyn Beech and Jarrod McKenna.

The rally chairperson said that the rally demonstrates that " we choose unity, we choose love and we choose solidarity".

[This story and photos by Alex Bainbridge first appeared in Green Left online on 7 September 2015.]

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sudanese protest: Omar Al-Bashir to ICC

Members of Perth's Sudanese community (and supporters including Socialist Alliance members) protested against the participation of Sudanese government representatives at the "Africa Down Under" conference 2-4 Sept 2015 in Perth. A leaflet was handed out to participants based on the text below (taken from the Facebook event).

* * * * * *

Amongst the arrivals for The Africa Down Under conference taking place in Perth from 2-4 September 2015 is a delegation from the Sudanese Ministry of Mines, a branch of the Islamic Dictatorial Sudanese government that came to power through a military coup in 1989.

The Sudanese president and upper ministry, including members of the cabinet, are wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the Sudanese people in Darfur.
The Ministry of Mines is part of a corrupt system used to rob Sudanese people of their resources. The profits from these ventures finance militant organisations and support terrorist activity worldwide.

The Bashir regime’s attempts to participate in a global conference is a desperate attempt to end its international and economic isolation, that has resulted fits many violations of human rights and crimes against the Sudanese people.
Cooperation with, and inclusion of, the fascist Bashir regime can be seen as supporting the on-going suppression of the Sudanese people, including their lack of access to health and education and the continuation of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Darfur, The Nuba Mountains and The Blue Nile.

· We call upon the Australian Government to Boycott Bashir’s Bloody Regime and cease all forms of cooperation and support with their representatives.

· We call on human rights organisation and political parties in Australia to stand in Solidarity with the Sudanese People.

· We call upon the Sudanese Community in Perth and Surrounding Areas to protest during this conference.

· We call on the wider community to stand in solidarity with the Sudanese people and protest the exploitation of the African Nations

The protest will be outside the Pan Pacific Perth Hotel

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Murdoch Uni Forum: From Adam Goodes to Reclaim Australia and Refugee Scapegoating - Wed 9 Sept

This public forum will look at where racism comes from and how we can defeat.

Hosted by the Murdoch Resistance Club.

Time: 1:30pm
Date: Wed 9 Sept.
Location: Amenities Building 2.020 (Murdoch Uni)

Attend on Facebook:

Monday, August 31, 2015

Record attendance for Bersih 4.0 protest in Perth

Well over 1000 people attended the Bersih 4.0 rally in Perth on August 29. This was more than double the number who attended Bersih 3.0 in Perth in 2012.

Organiser and rally chairperson Jordan Williams explained that the Malaysian government initially tried to dismiss the Bersih movement. Then when the movement grew they made some concessions but that the demands they gave in to were just "cosmetic ones, not the structural changes which were needed".

One issue he highlighted is the gerrymandering which means that a vote in Kampung is worth five times that of a vote in the city.

Since then, he said, the government response has been one of intimidation and repression.

The dramatic response to the latest Bersih mobilisation has been fueled by the scandal of a 2.6 billion ringgit (approx $870 million) deposit into the account of Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak.

"Prosecute Najib" was one of the popular signs at the Perth rally and student activist Zafri Zulkeffeli summed up the mood with a joke: "If you drive a car in Malaysia without a licence and you give the police 50 ringgit, we call that 'corruption'. If you buy a submarine and you get 500 million, we call that 'commission'. And if you get 2.6 billion in your bank account, we call that 'donation'!"

Socialist Alliance councillor Sam Wainwright addressed the rally and paid tribute to the hundreds of thousands who had the courage to stand up and protest inside Malaysia. He described the Bersih movement as a movement for "genuine democracy and equality for all people across ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds".

He said that Australian politicians present Malaysia as a "happy democracy" whereas the job of Australian supporters of the movement is to tell the truth about Malaysian "vote rigging, gerrymander, bribes, bullying, denial of right to protest and sedition laws" to the Australian community.

After speeches, the protest marched to the Malaysian consulate in the rain to drive the message that a large and growing number of Malaysian people in Perth support the Bersih movement.

The Perth rally was one of 74 rallies held around the world in solidarity with 36 hour Bersih 4 rally in 3 cities in Malaysia that started the same day. Hundreds of thousands converged at Dataran Merdeka (Independece Square) in Kuala Lumpur despite numerous police roadblocks stopping incoming busloads of protesters.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge first appeared in Green Left Weekly online 30 August 2015.]