Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Noisy SA reception for Howard

Students from Glenunga High School belonging to the Student Activist Alliance organised a noisy “welcome” for John Howard when he arrived at the Adelaide Festival Centre last Saturday. The PM was attending the opening of the Liberal Party’s state conference at which he eventually went on to lavish praise on the record of his government.

Protestors outside were not of the same view. They had gathered to express their outrage at the numerous pieces of anti-people legislation enacted and proposed by the Howard government. Chief among them were the industrial relations changes set to come before the parliament. The protest was supported by SA Unions.

Event MC Sarah Hanson-Young recalled her own unsatisfactory experiences at fast-food outlet Subway before introducing recently sacked student Siobhan George. Siobhan explained that the 17th and last reason for dismissal given on the Subway Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) was “any other reason”. Natural justice was denied when she was sacked without investigation when $200 from a float went missing.

Retired union official Luke Heffernen told protestors “I’m here because I’m union”. He sympathised with the young workers being affected by the deteriorating industrial relations environment and called on all workers to resist the new IR push.

Student Jake Wishart accepted that we Australians have “an obligation to defend our rights” for ourselves and the generations of workers to come. He paid tribute to the achievements of the labour movement but noted that for young people “the time has come for our own struggle”.

The protest was marred by security arrangements. Immigration Minister Amanda provocatively walked unescorted to the venue’s door obliging police to rush to head off protestors wanting to give her a piece of their minds. Minor scuffles ensued when police enforced demands for demonstrators to move further and further away from the entrance. Edwin Kemp, a Glenunga student who had been taking part in the protest wearing a paper mache mask of Howard, was later taken into custody by police for allegedly getting too close to the actual PM when he entered the Centre complex. He was released without charge.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bolivarian Venezuela: A First Hand Report from Jon Moore - 5th September at the Sempahore Workers Club 7.30pm

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is an advocate for the poor and working
people, enjoying the votes of over half of his countrymen and women in
every election. This infuriates the wealthy and powerful in Caracas and Washington DC, as does his friendship with Cuban President Fidel

In one of the most remarkable events of the new millennium, Chavez
supporters among the poor, the working classes and the military overturned a carefully planned and internationally-supported counter-revolution. Within 48 hours, Chavez was returned to power in April 2002.

But the counter-revolutionaries were not through. The Venezuelan upper classes, alongwith some corrupt elements of the labour movement, closed businesses in a lockout/strike, including in the decisively important oil industry. They were convinced that the masses, largely darker skinned people of African and Indigenous origin, were incapable of organising and sustaining economic life.

Three years on and the "Bolivarian Revolution" stands stronger than ever, serving as a beacon to the leftist trends in Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador and as a bulwark against the manoeuvres of US imperialism and reaction in Colombia.

Join us at the Semaphore Workers Club, 7.30pm on the 5th of September as we hear from Jon Moore, a recently returned participant of the International Solidarity Brigade. Jon will give a first hand account of his experiences in Venezuela where the Bolivarian Revolution is showing the way for Latin America. Click here to read more on the revolution.

Revolution & Roses...

Last week in Adelaide a new anthology of the poems of Juan Garrido-Salgado was launched. Many of the poet’s friends and comrades gathered in the upstairs rooms of the Adelaide Writers Centre to hear fellow poets tell of Juan’s commitment to his art and the struggle for social justice reflected in it. Click here to read more....

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hiroshima Day Adelaide 2005

Hiroshima Day events in Adelaide last Saturday focused on the South Australian connection to the international trade in nuclear fuel and its expanding role in supply of the raw materials needed for nuclear weapons. This year's march from Victoria Square to Tandanya national Aboriginal cultural institute took place against a backdrop of growing international tensions and increased pressure from mining interests for more uranium mines and the building of nuclear power plants in Australia. Read more

Monday, August 01, 2005

ID Card Back on the Table....

When John Howard recently discussed introducing a compulsory Australian ID card, some commentators said he wasn’t serious, and that he was just trying to deflect public attention from political disasters such as the government’s immigration policy. Click here to read more...