Monthly Archives: January 2011

Afghanistan denies deportation deal with Australia

Well it does say

“19. This MoU embodies the understanding of the Participants.

It does not create legally binding obligations, nor create or confer any right, privilege or benefit on any person or Participant.

It is not intended to modify or supersede any national law or international obligations.
In witness whereof, the representatives of the Participants have signed this MoU.

Signed this 17th day of January, 2011″

Which is pretty much how Australia operates. After all we have signed the International conventions on Human Rights but because they are not legally binding, we lock up children which is expressly forbidden in the CROC (Convention on Rights of the Child) and we have Mandatory, Indefinite Detention as a cornerstone of our Migration policy which is “arbitrary detention ” by any other name- also expressly forbidden in the Refugee convention not to mention the Universal declaration of Human rights.

What is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander.

Perhaps Afghanistan is learning the Australian way- sign documents, promise hand on heart and and then deselect observance!!!




Postponed: Amnesty International A&TI forum 19 February

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Ian The Amnesty A&TSI forum that was planned for 19 February has now (in consultation with stakeholders) been postponed till October and will be the first day of a broader 3 day human rights Amnesty forum and will let you … Continue reading


Garners Eureka Australia Day Medal presentation

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Comrades and friends, The previously notified presentation of the Eureka Australia Day Medal award to the Garners was postponed due to the recent floods crisis. It will now be held at the Paddington Community Centre (formerly the Workers Club) 2 … Continue reading


Aboriginal Day of Remembrance: Brisbane Mayor promises to honour Aboriginal warriors

At the remembrance day ceremony on 2 Feb 2011 organised by Brisbane Murris there was a speech given by sister girl, Morning Star, who comes from North Queensland. Morning Star gave her speech  in Post Office square at the site … Continue reading


Public Meetings on revolution in the Middle East

Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen And keep your eyes wide The chance won’t come again Editors Note: Three local marxist groups have organised forums in solidarity with the Revolution in Egypt. Here are the meetings that … Continue reading

Speakout: Solidarity with the Egyptian people’s struggle

Solidarity with the Egyptian people’s struggle

Yesterday Tunisia removed a barbaric dictator. Today is for Egypt, and tomorrow is for all unjust dictators.

Dramatic events are unfolding in the Middle East. On January 25, Egypt was rocked by a wave of nationwide demonstrations demanding the end of the Mubarak regime, which has oppressed the people of Egypt for nearly 30 years. People have continued to take to the streets in the biggest protest movement Egypt has seen for decades. In Cairo and other cities thousands of anti-government protesters demonstrated on the streets and fought with police.

After the overthrow of Tunisia’s US backed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, observers wondered aloud if the dramatic events in the North African nation could provoke similar uprisings against other apparently entrenched Arab regimes. Now they have their answer! The revolutionary flames that have swept through the Arab world from Tunisia have reached Egypt.

As in Tunisia, the demonstrations in Egypt came against a backdrop of growing anger over widespread poverty and unemployment. Nearly half of Egypt’s 80 million people live under or just above the poverty line set by the United Nations at $2 a day. Poor quality education, health care and high unemployment have left large numbers of Egyptians deprived of basic needs.

But the economic discontent is only part of a wider political discontent. There is a deep-seated anger at the injustices, inequalities and corruption of the Mubarak regime. Another source of shame and anger for the Egyptian people has been the pro-USA and pro-Israeli policies of the Mubarak regime. If Mubarak is overthrown, justice and freedom for the suffering people of Palestine will be closer.

The people of Egypt will accept nothing less than a fundamental change and their struggle will have wide-reaching impacts on the struggles of the people in the region and the world.

Show your solidarity!
Join the speakout in Brisbane:
Friday February 4, 5pm
Brisbane Square (top of Queen St mall, outside Casino)

Video of protests:
“Our message today consists of one word: go. We are telling President Mubarak to go. We do not want you. We cannot stand you or your system of government. The Egyptian people no longer want this system. You have closed all the doors to peaceful change. Today we have started a process of changed inspired by the Tunisan protests. Today may not be the end. It could be the start of what I believe will be the final stage”.

More information:
Kathy: 0400 720 757, Hamish: 0401 586 923

Media contact:
Gary MacLennan: 0400 944 702

**There will be a short organising meeting for the speakout from 6pm-6:30pm on Wednesday February 2 at the TLC Building (2nd floor), 16 Peel St, South Brisbane **


Foco Nuevo in February

Welcome to Foco Nuevo in 2011!


Friday Feb 4
8.00 p.m.
Kurilpa Hall
174 Boundary Street
West End

(Next to the West End Library. Click here for a map)

$10 / $7 concession

Maggie’s delicious cakes, tea and coffee on sale.


We hope that those of you who have suffered damage as a result of the floods are on the road to recovery.

We start the year with two guest acts we’re sure you’ll enjoy;
Yellowbird, and Tania Balil.

Yellow Bird: What bird is that? It has BLUES. Its got some SWING in its tail. Its a little bit COUNTRY. And theres the sounds of slap, cackle and POP. Its Yellow Bird! The combined fun of Francesca Lejeune, Pete Lehmann, Tony (swivel-hips) Moore and Geoff Smith: playing their own brand of locally flavoured music, with some ole timeless numbers. Set against harmonies and the mellow sound of ukulele, Yellow Bird combines stringed, wind and percussive instruments. Fresh from the West End Festivals songs and stories of Boundary St project 2010, their West End song will put you in touch with some of the characters and places of this colourful community.

Tania Balil: Spanish singer Tania Balil comes to share some of her folkloric music from the North East corner of Spain, in Catalonia, where the traditional habaneras sing of reminiscing times of connection between Spain and Cuba. She presents these mellow and passionate Spanish and Catalan songs in an unprecedented arrangement with violin (Moshlo) and percussion (John Rohrig), accompanied by her own guitar.

Jumping Fences the song-writing partnership of Lachlan Hurse and Sue Monk, play a unique mix of original and Latin American songs, bridging the gap between Australian and World music. Their songs, heard from Brisbane factories to concerts in Havana, have evocative lyrics with compelling vocals and rhythm to match. We’ll be playing with Ross Gwyther, James Harper, and Dan Simpson. [website]

Other gigs
Jumping Fences will be playing this Saturday at A Song for Queensland, a flood relief benefit concert being organised by ASLA (Australian Solidarity with Latin America).

January 29 from 4 p.m.
(Jumping Fences is playing at about 6.30 p.m.)
Spanish Centre,
Acacia Ridge Sporting Complex,
244 Mortimer Road, Acacia Ridge

Hope to see you soon,

Lachlan and Sue



Invasion Day 2011

Welcome Song by Raymond Walker Invasion Day 2011 26 January – Invasion Day: ‘Our survival is our revenge’ – G. Foley Invasion Day 2011 in Brisbane demonstrates that the Brisbane Blacks are: getting stronger; aboriginal population is growing here int … Continue reading

South Korea solidarity

Dear All,

We have had a request for solidarity with a strike by South Korean university cleaners.

Could comrades please sign and circulate the petition below (partic to NTEU and union members contacts perhaps) and ask that signatures be sent to the
email address listed (contactcjpark). I am happy to draft a solidarity statement to send to All Together and the strikers.

An ex member, Clive Tillman (who is presently in South Korea) wrote to David, with some background to the dispute:

Clive Tillman 23 January at 20:43

Hi David,

I am just writing because I would like to ask if you can help me out with a campaign I am organising here in South Korea.

The cleaners at Hongik University (one of Korea’s top universities) have all been sacked after forming a union and fighting to get the minimum wage.
There has been a bitter 20+ day struggle and the workers have occupied a campus building and are sleeping in the cold.

I am working with the local socialist group All Together– they are affiliated with the International Socialist and are from the Tony Cliff
tradition- to get as much international support for the workers as possible.

Could you get Solidarity to write up an official support statement? I can then have it translated into Korean and passed onto the workers. It would
do a lot to lift their spirits if they know the international community is on their side.

I have written an account of the struggle for Links journal, you can read it here:

Petition written up by the Korean socialist group All Together:

Urgent Appeal for Solidarity with Hong Ik University Custodial Workers

In the beginning of the year, Hong Ik University, a private university in Seoul, terminated the employment of its 170 custodial and security workers
who are mostly in their 50s and 60s for forming a labor union
. Upon receiving the notices of dismissal the workers marched into the university
president’s office and began the occupation demanding their jobs back and wage increase on January 3, 2011.

Custodial workers at Hong Ik University works 10 hours a day starting from 6 in the morning to clean and maintain the campus for a monthly wage of only 750,000 won (approximately $700). This is less than the legal minimum wage and the wages of unionized custodial workers at other universities.

What is worse is the daily meal stipend given to the workers is mere 300 won (less than 30 cents). Moreover, their employment gets extremely
precarious whenever the cleaning company, the subcontractor, is changed.

The workers’ fight against such ridiculously unjust treatment is heroic.

Their struggle is supported not only by students and faculty members of the university but also by the general public. The struggle became a symbol of
the struggles against low wage and poor working conditions. It is galvanizing support from radicalized young people and students who want to
fight back against the increasing discrimination and inequality.

Currently, the school administration is showing no sign of retreat even after 2 weeks of occupation.

All Together is organizing an international petition drive to support theworkers. We appeal to you to build solidarity with the Hong Ik University
custodial workers fighting against injustice of job termination against unionization and of exploiting elderly people with a wage far below the
legal minimum wage by circulating the appeal as widely as possible and signing the petition below.

Please send the signatures to contactcjpark. It is critical that we urgently build international solidarity because the occupation cannot
continue for long as the workers’ health are deteriorating quickly due to the cold weather and their age.




Dr. Erakat: Statement on the Al Jazeera “Palestine Papers”

Thus, the one core component of the Palestinian state-building project since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, insisted upon by Israelis and Americans alike, has been for the Palestinians to establish full control over radical elements who might … Continue reading

Ruby Blue at Flood Of Relief Concert, West End Brisbane!


this fri Jan 28, Ruby Blue is playing at a Benefit gig to raise funds to support those recovering from the flood. It’s at South Leagues Club, Montague rd West End. Ruby Blue is play

ing at 10pm. See below for details..

Also, tomorrow night, Tues Jan 26 from 6:30pm, I’m performing in a quartet at Lock n Load, 242 Boundary st, West End. The group features Stew Barry on Double bass, Mark Henmann on drums, Kym Ambrose on vibraphone and myself singing and playing trumpet. We’ll be playing some of my original songs and other choice tunes in a jazz n swingin way.


Flood Of Relief – Benefit Concert
Friday 28th January 5pm til late
Souths Leagues Club Davies Park West End
Buy Tickets Now $32.70 +BF

Join the best of Brisbands for a Flood Of Relief and revive your spirits with neighbours, colleages and friends. The venue location was one of the most televised worst effected areas of the Queensland floods.

Flood Of Relief is proof that inner city Brisbane is back. It will raise funds and awareness for the local areas recovery. Don’t miss this chance to share the vibe of survival and rebuilding together with real club house drinks on tap from 5pm, Friday 28th January.

Strictly limited veune capacity, prior purchase of tickets strongly advised now at Ticketek via this link.

Flood Of Relief – Friday 28th Davies Park Club House

Affordizziact, Golden Sound, The view from Madelaines Couch, Ruby Blue, Kafka, Our Ithicca Creek, Michaelangelo, Cheap Fake, Chocolate Strings, Elena B Williams…. more bands to be announced.

DJ’s Katch, Sarah Howles (JJJ Roots Show), Rude Kat, Ben Osbourne & Ravi, more acts to be announced

Flood Of Relief is presented by Browndog and produced by the Pineapple Lounge (Woodford). Spread the word, buy tickets for yourself and mates now!


Concern Sri lankan diplomat is a war criminal

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As you read the story below, let us not forget the Tamils locked up in camps around Australia right now as the Government uses evidence from the Sri lankan Government to deny refugee status. The people, both men and women … Continue reading


Songs for Gaza and Palestine

[Attachment(s) from Mervyn Langford included below] At the friday night celebration for Khalil we sang a couple of my songs. As a result of some of the conversations I subsequently have had, I thought I’d email those + 2 others … Continue reading

7th anniversary of the death of tj hickey

we are fast approaching the 7th anniversary of the death of tj hickey arising from a police chase on st. valentines day, 2004.

after a torrent of police lies, collaborative statements by the 4+ police involved, a severely restricted coronial inquest, witnesses and evidence not allowed by the coroner to be entered and the government-appointed legal team for the hickey family that sat on its hands, there is no great surprise that the redfern police were exonerated by then state coroner, john abernethey, now retired.

apropos to the call for justice for tj and the hickey family over the previous 6 years, and calling for it a seventh time, we have expanded our demands for this year to include a death in custody monument to be incorporated into the pemulwuy plan of the aboriginal housing company at the block. further, that such monument include the tj plaque as presented by the aboriginal students association of uts, sydney, some years ago.

a letter from isja on behalf of the hickey family stating this call has been hand-delivered, by myself, to mick mundine of the ahc on tuesday 18th 2011. to date we have not heard from mick on this matter.

personally, i can see no problems with the nub of the letter given to mick. the block is aboriginal land owned by the ahc. the ahc plan to rebuild the block as per the accepted plan. i can see no good reason why our call for an aboriginal monument to all nsw death in custody should not be acceptable to the ahc, the community and all nsw death in custody families.

an aboriginal monument on aboriginal land! who can deny the right that this be done!

for 7 years the hickey family have been denied by the redfern police, the nsw dept. of housing and the nsw government to place the plaque on or near the taurunga units fence line.

now we have rhe right to erect the monument on our own land, the block. we anxiously await the decision of the ahc and mick mundine.

another call has been for several nsw politicians to attend the march/rally this year and to speak in support of the call for justice and for support of the monument. of those invited, one has said no due to a busy calendar. that was the shadow minister for aboriginal affairs, national’s kevin humphries.

two upper house members have said yes, greens david shoebridge and ian cohen. we honour their humanity and welcome their acceptance.

we will gather at the taurunga units fence line, cnr george and philips streets,waterloo, opposite the centre of excellence, at 10.30 am. on 14th february, 2011.

there will be speakers, followed by a two minute silence at 11.17 am, further speakers, if required, thence a march to the redfern police station via pitt and redfern streets. a further silence will be held and speakers again, if required.

then cross to the block for another silence and again speakers, if required.

we urge all to attend if possible and for notices of support if you cannot. these can be sent to isja01

please also print out and distribute to your networks.

7 years for justice is too long.


ray jackson
indigenous social justice association

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tj14 feb 2011 front3.pdf

TJ 14 feb 2011 back3.pdf

tj14 feb 2011 front poster.pdf


The curious trial of J Le Singe

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10 days in Sweden The curious trial of J Le Singe This Saturday is the demonstration in support of Wikileaks, and Socialist Alternative will be hosting a forum afterwards. Below are the details of both events. PUBLIC RALLY AND MARCH … Continue reading


Khalil’s return

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Khalil’s Return to Palestine In February 2011, Khalil is returning to Palestine. As part of his trip, he is going to visit a refugee camp in Nablus where his family and many of the people from his village, Al Jammasin, … Continue reading

Police Siege on Rapa Nui

[Aboriginal News]

14 January 2011


A strong police contingent, under the orders of Chilean Attorney General, has surrounded the Hanga Roa Hotel on Easter Island and are
blocking anyone from leaving or entering.

This siege started on 13 January 2011.

Currently there is no judge assigned to hear the case of usurpation which was filed by the Hotel investors, led by Jeanette Schiess.

The Schiess are desperate to criminally charge the Hitorangi clan and commence evictions by 14 January.

Claims have been made about “other offenses” but these are not specified.

Oscar Vargas, attorney for the Hitorangi clan, said the siege is a result of an order made without authority .

He denounced the Police Chief’s order to enter the hotel, evict and arrest every member of the Hitorangi clan, including women and children.

“The alleged offenses are non-violent and under Chilean law are punishable only by a fine,” he said.

“And in this case, by virtue of the Law of Easter Island, the natural owners of the disputed land cannot be charged.

“They are trying to criminalize the Hitorangi clan so they will be forbidden to return to their ancestral land.

“With this absurd measure of duress, this a drastic infringement of the human rights of Rapa Nui including their right to life, by
preventing food and substance, and to mental integrity,” said Vargas.

Surrounded by the police, the Hitorangi Clan members are in distress.

The siege is reminiscent of the tragic events of 3 and 29 December 2010.

Both parents of two-year old twins are located inside the hotel and are being kept separate from their babies.

These actions came a day after the judge on the island, Bernado Toro, was forced to disqualify himself under claims of corruption and

The deputy judge, Jacobo Hey, also disqualified himself because of his friendly relationship with the Hitorangi clan.

The legal team of Rapa Nui managed to obtain habeas corpus protection for the family in the Court of Appeals of Valparaiso at 12:16 A.M. on
14 January.

The violence and repression on Rapa Nui are known throughout the international community, and has already drawn a statement by the UN
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya.

Marisol Hito, a spokeswoman for the Hitorangi clan, made an urgent appeal to the international community to pressure the Chilean
government to stop abuses against the people of Rapa Nui.

Marisol Hito: 90709947
Oscar Vargas: 76629310
Rodrigo Gómez 94960475
Santi Hito 8455965403 (English)


Aboriginal languages in NSW

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an interesting article by jim belshaw who studies our histories and languages from an academic view. but don’t let that put you off, he is easily readable. here he looks at the nsw language groups (map included) and how and … Continue reading


The Flood hits community and unions in South Brisbane and West End

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Have been getting queries about flood affected areas in West End and South Brisbane. In short, it is 1974 all over again. Only this time there are more people living and working in these areas. Apartment buildings near the river … Continue reading

Australia’s strategic approach to aid in Sri Lanka

The word Tamil appears once in this document.

[Editor’s note: The Australian government may wish to ignore the Tamils, but Sri Lanka cannott.]


Wikileaks, Wikileaks – a song.

Tune: Robin Hood – as per the English TV series of the 1960’s. Tune liberated by the “Freedom & Democracy Singers”, Brisbane. 08.01.11 CHORUS: Wikileaks, Wikileaks – Joinin up the dots. Wikileaks, Wikileaks – Pass them all you’ve got. Cuttin … Continue reading


Khalil’s Send-off

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Dear Friends, In February 2011, Khalil Hamden is going to Palestine. As part of his trip, he is going to visit a refugee camp in Nablus where his family and many of the people from his village fled in 1948. … Continue reading


A human rights approach to empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Queensland

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Refugees: Open letter to Editor of Australian

Dear Editor


Edge of darkness: will flooding in Qld cause load shedding at power stations?

Floods and Coal Supply to Queensland Power Stations Yes – coal supply is being affected by the floods at least to Stanwell and Gladstone Power Stations, and Stanwell has decreased its output to extend the life of its coal stockpile. But … Continue reading

Another Mudginberri?

A comrade suggested that this dispute ( NUW members in Melbourne’s west battling the World’s biggest multi-national meat monopoly for decent wages and conditions) is akin to Mudginberri – well here is a description of the Mudginberri dispute:

The Mudginberri Dispute from After the Waterfront by LeftPress

Place: Mudginberri (NT)

Union: Australasian Meatworkers Union (AMIEU)

Summary: Meatworkers Union made bankrupt through secondary boycott legislation. An abattoir owner backed by the National Farmers Federation sued for damages under s45D of the Trade Practices Act. The AMIEU was bankrupted by the court order for damages and costs.

Year: 1986 Continue reading

Support NUW workers in Melbourne’s west battling multi-national corporation for decent EBA

NUW members in Melbourne’s west battling the world’s biggest multi-national meat monopoly for decent wages and conditions

140 NUW members at Swift Australia, a subsidiary of JBS, the world’s largest multinational meat conglomerate with head offices in Brazil and USA, have been locked out for more than 5 weeks because they refused to accept an EBA that increases working hours up to 12 hours a day, wipes out shift and overtime penalties and delivers a measly 2% annual wage rise.

The lowly paid workers want a modest annual 4% wage increase, protection of their present working conditions, penalties, overtime rates and living standards.

The workers have been locked out since early December 2010 when they decided to take legally protected strike action during EBA negotiations.

So much for workers’ rights during protected industrial action under Fair Work.

Locked out workers have been holding 24 hour, seven day a week peaceful picket/protest outside the Brooklyn plant for 5 weeks.

Multi-national JBS has flown in workers from its Queensland plants and bringing in casuals to do the work of locked out workers.

Locked out NUW members include workers from South Korea, New Zealand, Yugoslavia, Macedonia and refugees from North-East Africa.

After 5 long weeks of being locked out and holding up the picket, all are in financial hardships. Some have fallen behind with rent and have been threatened with imminent evictions. Many are unable to keep up with mortgage repayments. Some have pawned family goods, including a lap top.

They are not entitled to unemployment benefits, because they are deemed “in employment”!

The dispute is reaching a critical point over next couple of days.

The locked out workers and the union have received strong support from the local community, other workers and unionists. But a much wider support from the union movement and the community is needed.

A community support fund is being set up to raise money for the locked out workers on the picket. Unions, community groups and individuals are urged to contribute.

JBS multi-national’s action is only a glimpse of the big corporations’ globalisation agenda to slash working peoples rights and conditions in Australia. It’s no secret big corporations want to cut workers’ wages and working conditions in Australia to make bigger profits for their head offices overseas.

They want to gut Australia’s union movement and weaken the collective power of workers and unions. The likes of JBS are demanding that workers’ wages and conditions in Australia are lowered to the standards of workers they employ in the harshly exploited developing countries. NUW members at JBS in Brooklyn are fighting for workers’ rights and conditions of all working people and should be strongly supported.

If you can give support to JBS NUW members please contact Western Suburbs Community and Unions Coalition, 0417 456 001, or email

In solidarity
Shirley Winton
Western Suburbs Community and Unions Coalition




Police violence in Rapa Nui ( Easter Island)

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Friday, 21/12/10 Ten people were wounded and three of them are in a serious condition as a result of the police violence against to a group of Rapa Nui people who demonstrated at Government Square, Hanga Roa Centre and they … Continue reading


Eureka Award for Grahame and Esme Garner

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Dear Friends At the recent Eureka Day in Ballarat, Grahame and Esme Garner were honoured for their lifelong devotion to political activity for workers self management and industrial democracy with an EAM (Eureka Australia Day Award). A presentation to award … Continue reading


Not Quite White – a review

“The day was changed, which once had been flat as a pastry board. Now it was full of talk, and laughing, and the whining of the Syrian’s mangy dog, and the jingled harness of his old blue horse. Now there … Continue reading