Prosecutors have dropped all charges against Queensland based rank and file unionist and community activist Bob Carnegie. Writing on Facebook, Bob said:
“Just to let everyone know that I was advised by my lawyer tonight that AbiGroup has dropped all outstanding charges against me.
“This brings to conclusion a 15 month nightmare and an end to the legal assault against myself and my family.
“To all the thousands of working class people everywhere who stood by me during this very difficult time, my sincerest thanks.
“To Melissa goes my love.
“In the words of Joe Hill ‘It's the life of the Rebel I chose to live and it’s the life of the Rebel that I will die’.
“Together we conquered Goliath!
“I will see you all where ever workers struggle for a better life. Thanks.”
Bob had 54 charges of contempt of court brought against him for his leadership of the community protest accompanying the successful nine-week strike by 650 workers at the Queensland Children’s Hospital construction site late last year.
Bob was singled out by construction company AbiGroup, owned by Lend Lease, as part of a vindictive pay-back for his role in that dispute. The 54 charges of contempt was the largest number ever brought against a single individual.
Rather than backing down in the face of this legal onslaught, Bob has stuck to his guns. He did not stand alone. The Defend Bob Carnegie campaign involved activists, socialists and unionists. Bob received the support of union branches around the country, as well as international solidarity.
There has been a vigorous argument over the direction of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) industrial campaign at Sydney University this year. Most recently, those who have been reluctant to argue and organise seriously for frequent enough and long enough strikes are now leading the charge for a “smarter” strategy of administration bans.
In late August, around 50 union members at Knauf plasterboard held a meeting in their Melbourne factory to discuss recent EBA negotiations, which had begun a few months earlier. A new HR manager insisted on attending the meeting and wasted people’s time explaining the wonderful job that company management had done taking care of the workers, in particular their recent and significant safety concerns. As he spoke, one after another the workers turned their backs on him. Soon, they began challenging the manager about a worker who had just been sacked.
Minoo Jalali was among those who resisted Ayatollah Khomeini’s rise to power in Iran. In the early months of 1979, she joined a mass women’s protest against the compulsory wearing of the hijab in public. “That revolution was inevitable”, Jalali recounted 40 years later in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “Nobody could have really stopped the force of it. We hoped that we could steer it [but] we were wrong. And the clergy hijacked it ... and deceived many people.”
Protests and riots have spread across Iran after a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, was murdered by the morality police. Amini was visiting the capital, Tehran, on 13 September when she was arrested for allegedly breaking mandatory veiling laws. Police beat her into a coma and she died three days later. Amini was buried in her hometown of Saqqez.
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