Daily Archives: March 31, 2011


The Greens and BDS caught up in Israel’s theatre of the absurd

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[Editor’s Note: BDS = Campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights] by Sonja Karkar Australians for Palestine 1 April 2011 “Extreme” seems to be the catchword of the day … Continue reading

The Battle for Bowen Hills


Starting in 1972, inner-city residents of the city of Brisbane in Australia struggled against the Queensland Government’s plan to build a freeway that would destroy their community. The Government was cold-hearted and dismissive of the community’s concerns, plus the residents were offered inadequate compensation for their properties. As their voice went unheard, the residents decided to change tact and joined together in and effort to make the Government “sit up and take notice” of them.

To highlight their case, the residents and their supporters occupied recently evacuated Main Roads Department houses. The State Government responded with a provocative show of strength. They used the police to carry out evictions. The Government also used scab labour to hurriedly demolish houses right before people’s eyes. The protestors were forced into frightening confrontations with baton-wielding police dramatically captured in this film. When the protestors appealed for justice, they were dismissed by the Minister for Main Roads as “fairies” and “a pain in the neck.”

The residents ultimately won the battle. The freeway was never built. Unfortunately their victory came at a price with the partial dismantling of their community in the process.

This film is about winning and how to win. While highlighting the valiant struggle of the people of Bowen Hills, this is also a universal story that may prove helpful to others facing a similar threat.

Know Your Friends, Know Your Enemies – 1977 Latrobe Valley Strike

There are not many films about Australian strikes. This documentary is one of the very few. It tells the story of the Latrobe Valley Power Workers’ Strike in Victoria in 1977.

The response to the strike by the Government and big business was savage. A State of Emergency was declared. The workers were vilified for ‘holding the State to ransom.’ Military intervention in the strike was threatened.

Despite the forces against the workers and their families, the strike built to a strength where it seemed certain to succeed. It had the overwhelming support of workers and the general community all over Australia. It challenged the arbitration and indexation systems.

After nearly 3 months, the strike suddenly failed. This film examines the reason for this defeat by looking at the roles played by key trade union officials representing the workers. The story is told through the eyes of the striking workers and their wives. They piece together why one of the most important strikes of that decade was defeated.

Friends and Enemies expresses the spirit of working people struggling to improve their conditions, tempered by the bitterness of defeat.

A film by Peter Gray and Garry Lane
Music composed and played by Jim Conway and Janie Conway
Narrated by Max Strong
Location Sound by Lou Chin
Format 16mm film

Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action

[Aboriginal News] 31 March 2011

Consultation Process on UPR Recommendations

The Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (FAIRA) was created in 1977 to pursue rights for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia. It is an organisation controlled by a governing committee consisting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people elected by the organisation’s membership. While the original objective of FAIRA was to address discriminatory laws and practices in the State of Queensland, our charter has no geographical limitation within Australia regarding its membership or functions. Continue reading