Beating back the bigots

Jessica Lenehan “Abortion is homicide” read the shirt of one anti-choice protestor approaching us this morning. He was just one of the hundreds attending the annual March for Babies organised by Victorian Liberal Party state politician Bernie Finn. Finn is a self-identified “pro-lifer” who supports the death penalty. You might be forgiven for thinking this festival of anti-choice bigotry was driven by anti-woman contempt....CONTINUE READING

A victory at Monash University

Con Karavias The left has achieved its biggest victory in several years in the Monash Student Association elections. Left Hook – a ticket convened by members of Socialist Alternative and independent campaigners for education rights, refugee rights and a host of other progressive issues – won the offices of Environment and Social Justice and Education (Public Affairs). This is the first inroad to be made by an activist t...CONTINUE READING

Student elections at Sydney Uni

Ridah Hassan In 1979 Tony Abbott was the president of the Sydney University Student Representative Council. In the most recent SRC elections at Sydney Uni, the broad left Grassroots ticket kept this fact in our minds as we campaigned tirelessly for the three week election period for an SRC where right wingers have minimal influence. Our efforts paid off. The broad left now occupies 10 out of 33 positions on the SRC. Our...CONTINUE READING

Tecoma takes fight to Chicago

Jeremy Gibson The residents of Tecoma, in the Dandenong Ranges, are still fighting against an attempt by McDonald’s to open an outlet in their suburb. In recent weeks, they have taken serious steps forward in their David vs. Goliath struggle against the global hamburger giant. Representatives of the campaign travelled to Chicago to visit the McDonald’s corporate headquarters and present a petition demanding that the comp...CONTINUE READING

‘No sale’, aged care residents tell council

Eric LeRoy On Tuesday 24 September, hundreds of elderly pensioners, their families and unionists joined in a lively protest at the Monash Council Chambers in the Melbourne suburb of Glen Waverley. The rally was the latest successful action in a campaign that began in early July, when the sale of Monash Gardens and Elizabeth Gardens aged care facilities was first floated by council. Protesters again took their oppositi...CONTINUE READING

Still no justice for John Pat

Cathy Lewis and Robert Callan After 30 years of fighting for justice, the family of murdered Aboriginal teenager John Pat will finally receive an apology from the WA government. The 16-year-old was beaten to death by five off-duty police officers in Roebourne who later were cleared of any culpability and returned to active duty. On 25 September, the WA shadow Indigenous affairs minister moved a motion in parliament calling for an apolog...CONTINUE READING

An exercise in ‘procedural fairness’

Victoria Martin Perth, 25 September : Today broke my heart a little. I sat in court watching a friend try to conduct his own judicial review of his asylum application. Sat and watched his hands shake when the answer to his question, “Is that my lawyer?” was, “No, that is the lawyer for the government”, and he realised he was there alone. To plead for his life. To convince a judge, in a language not his own, in a system com...CONTINUE READING

Freeway fights

Since 24 September a daily community picket has dogged test drilling sites for the Victorian government’s controversial East-West road tunnel project. If completed, the toll road will link the existing Eastern Freeway to Melbourne’s western suburbs at a cost of some $8 billion. At a morning picket in the inner north suburb of Collingwood, Red Flag spoke with Tony Murphy about campaigning for public transpor...CONTINUE READING

Sydney Uni staff fight off attack

Delegates from the National Tertiary and Education Union met at a National Council meeting in Melbourne over the weekend of 4-5 October. Alex McAuley spoke with Alma Torlakovic, a member of the Sydney University branch committee, about the enterprise bargaining agreement that branch has recently secured. What has the Sydney University branch gained? We have won some significant improvements in our condition...CONTINUE READING