“Taking to the Streets” Exhibition

"Taking to the Streets - two decades that changed Brisbane 1965 - 1985" - Museum of Brisbane Exhibition 2006. The exhibition was opened on 6 April 2006. After an extended season and over 80,000 visitors later the exhibition was closed on Sunday 10 September 2006. Many took advantage of the last days to see the … Continue reading “Taking to the Streets” Exhibition

Something remarkable is happening in Indian country

Editor's Note. Les Malezer has sent this interesting article around and so I reprint it here. I hope the National Geographic Society do not mind, I notify the editor of that magazine and credit the author (Charles Bowden) and photographer (Jack Dykinga) here. This may infringe copyright, I don't know but the force of the … Continue reading Something remarkable is happening in Indian country

No union affiliation with ALP!

Union Members I have just read the online petition about "Community and Public Sector Union Affiliation" at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/cpsu/ The petition says, To:  Stephen Jones, National Secretary, CPSU As members of the CPSU, we request that the National Secretary obtain the opinion of members by plebiscite on the following question: "Do you support the CPSU having … Continue reading No union affiliation with ALP!

Change without a strong Workers Movement?

A recent petition to G8 Summit stated: 'HURRY, only 72 hours to help fight for the end of world poverty'. ‘The standard of health of Aborigines lags almost 100 years behind that of other Australians, according to the World Health Organisation. Some indigenous people still suffer from leprosy, rheumatic heart disease and tuberculosis. A similar … Continue reading Change without a strong Workers Movement?

Pig City: ‘they shut it down, they pulled it down’?

How does the song go? Watch the butcher shine his knives And this town is full of battered wives ……………………………………. They shut it down They pulled it down They shut it down They pulled it downRound and round, up and down Through the streets of your town Everyday I make my way Through the streets … Continue reading Pig City: ‘they shut it down, they pulled it down’?

‘New Labor’ or solidarity?

In 1980 when Howard was Treasurer, the Fraser Government tried to tax mining workers on the benefit they received from subsidised housing in remote Central Queensland. A form of Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) on housing paid by the workers themselves. As a recent article on the Miners Union (CFMEU-mining division) website points out: The Fraser … Continue reading ‘New Labor’ or solidarity?

Philistines no longer at the gates…

Academics, Hookham and MacLennan, threatened with the sack! I have just received a paper from the National Tertiary Education Union [NTEU] about closure of the Humanities and Human Services School at Queensland University of Technology. The letter states: The argument that Creative Industries is the 'new' humanities is spurious – the programmes are important to … Continue reading Philistines no longer at the gates…

Labor’s Industrial Relations Policy — May, 2007

Publisher's Note: The following is a summary of the Industrial Relations (IR) Policy accepted at the National Labor Party Conference in April 2007. It is included here in the interest of clarity and completeness. I have summarised the Labor’s IR policy directly from the ALP policy document ‘Forward with Fairness’[1]. I do not agree with … Continue reading Labor’s Industrial Relations Policy — May, 2007

Unions have lost rights at work — will workers lose all?

In the lead up to the ALP national conference it is claimed that “The ALP is strongly defending workers RIGHTS at WORK” This is not true in any sense. ALP-led unions have resisted actions to defend workers rights at work, they have presided over losses since the 1998 MUA Dispute. ALP governments and ALP-led unions … Continue reading Unions have lost rights at work — will workers lose all?

The Day of the Political Street March

"The Day of the Political Street March is over, don't apply for a permit you won't get one" — Premier of Queensland, Johannes Bjelke-Petersen on 4 September 1977. In response to the ban on political marches, I helped paint the "Ban Bjelke Banner" (shown) with another student in the forum area of the Student Union … Continue reading The Day of the Political Street March

40th anniversary of the victory of the 1967 referendum

  The headlines on Friday, March 23, 2007 read "Four acquitted over Palm Island riot" [The Age], "Not Guilty" [The Courier Mail] and so on. What the papers do not say is that the Queensland Government had been successful in getting longer sentences against other Palm Islanders trying to rid their island of police aggression … Continue reading 40th anniversary of the victory of the 1967 referendum

“He can’t work, he is useless”

The QUT HR spin doctors put out propaganda with slogans like "Real people, Real service" when this institution is about "Real Money and Real Business". But what about the workers, teachers and students at Universities? How many times have you heard management say that one of their staff (admin worker or teacher) are useless? Even … Continue reading “He can’t work, he is useless”

Mulrunji Campaign Strategy

A number of proposals were put to a large community meeting at Jagara Hall in West End on Tuesday, 6 Feb 2007. These proposals were passed unanimously. They included the following: If the police march on Qld parliament a peaceful demonstration be held by the community in support of justice for Mulrunji. Proposed by Sam … Continue reading Mulrunji Campaign Strategy

Vale Phil Perrier

Phil Perrier's send off was held on Friday, the 2nd of February, 2007. Phil was a worker, political activist, artist, brother, partner, father and friend. As a political activist Phil gave all his energy and talent to support the SEQEB workers who were sacked by Bjelke-Petsersen in 1985. He made drawings, cartoons, banners and placards … Continue reading Vale Phil Perrier

Invasion Day 2007 — sounds of silence

"The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.  As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let … Continue reading Invasion Day 2007 — sounds of silence

Beattie and Bush send in more troops!

During the period (1960s — 2000s) mining companies, Queensland State Governments, and the Queensland Police Department have turned Aurukun into a war zone for the Wik people of Far North Queensland. Labor Premier Beattie rang President Bush to 'ask for US marines to be sent to Aurukun as a peace keeping force this week (Courier … Continue reading Beattie and Bush send in more troops!

Land, Justice, Worker Control

Land, Justice, Worker Control The Queensland Labor Government is mired in secrecy and guilt over its treatment of Aboriginal people on Palm Island. Even in its own terms of reform, it has forfeited its right to govern. The debate around the killing of Mulrunji by a Queensland Police officer and the subsequent actions taken against … Continue reading Land, Justice, Worker Control

No Justice for Mulrunji: no rational explanation from Premier for DPP decision

In a cynical move before Christmas, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) released a media statement on 14 December 2006 to say the death of Mulrunji was an accident. Leanne Claire fails to explain why she adopted this view except to say her legal responsibilities are different to those of the coroner. Coroner Clements found … Continue reading No Justice for Mulrunji: no rational explanation from Premier for DPP decision

More Murris in Jail — killer cop runs free

Mulrunji’s killing by Queensland police officer Chris Hurley rates only a footnote in the annals of justice. Footnote number seven (7) in the twenty (20) page judgement of the Court of Appeal reads: Inquest into the death of Mulrunji, Coroner's Court, Cor 2857/04(9), 27 September 2006, Clements M (Acting State Coroner). On 8th December 2006 … Continue reading More Murris in Jail — killer cop runs free

WorkChoices: an analysis of union legal and parliamentary strategies

Union Membership 1911 - 2005. The graph above shows the rise and fall of union membership in Australia over the past 100 years. Historic milestones have been added. To view the graph in detail click on the image and then click again to enlarge to see the detail. The recent decline in the union movement … Continue reading WorkChoices: an analysis of union legal and parliamentary strategies

Yet another crisis in Lebanon?

As Australia and US prepare to increase troop numbers in Iraq…the Lebanese Industry Minister, Pierre Gemayel, was assassinated this morning (22nd November 2006). It was the assassination of his uncle (Bashir Gemeyal) in the early 1980's after the Israeli invasion was used  as a pretext to take over Beirut after the Palestinian  resistance forces had … Continue reading Yet another crisis in Lebanon?

Antonioni’s films “The Night” and “The Eclipse”

If you are worried about a new US government starting to bomb Iran or Korea perhaps you may wish to see Antonioni's "The Eclipse" which is the final film of the trilogy, "The Adventure" and "The Night" set in Italy in the 1960s when industrialisation, alienation and the threat of nuclear war were on many … Continue reading Antonioni’s films “The Night” and “The Eclipse”

Where to, the anti-war movement?

US election poll on Iraq war The day before the recent mid-term elections in the US, I asked two American graduate students studying at the University of Queensland in Brisbane what their view of that election was, would they vote, and if so, how? I asked what their view of the Iraq war was. One, … Continue reading Where to, the anti-war movement?

Not Guilty

People often criticise me for living in the 1970s. Perhaps I do dwell on the past, but that is where I was and where I come from, the 1970s. I learnt my politics in that time and in this place, Queensland. Having said that, I would like to describe one aspect of what happened in … Continue reading Not Guilty

Vale Wendy Lowenstein

I met Wendy Lowenstein a few times and corresponded with her occasionally about publishing workers literature. Wendy displayed the qualities of old communists in Australia whose roots lay in the depression in the 1930s— committment to workers struggle and organisation. In person Wendy was warm and intelligent; her words were not marred by rhetoric. I … Continue reading Vale Wendy Lowenstein

Palm Petition

A Meeting was held on Friday 6 October 2006 AT THE JAGARA HALL MUSGRAVE PARK to organise the ongoing campaign for Justice for Aboriginees in Brisbane and Queensland Murrinyi Doomadgee, 36, died in the Palm Island watchhouse on November 19, 2004, just hours after his arrest after he had said words critical of police (see … Continue reading Palm Petition

Black Deaths in Custody — what have Australian governments ever done?

RIVER OF TEARS There's a cold rain on the Autumn wind A brother murdered in Sydney Town Marrickville brother under supposed legal cover In his home they gunned him down We say oh oh oh oh oh ooooooh Gunned him down Sad river of tears Two hundred years in the river of fear Gunned him … Continue reading Black Deaths in Custody — what have Australian governments ever done?

Rally for Peace in the Middle East

About 100 people attended this rally to hear speakers like Les Thomas, Ian Rintoul (Solidarity), Halim Rane (Fair Go for Palestine) and the Greens candidate in Mount Cootha, Juanita Wheeler, who polled well in the recent state elections. Les Thomas spoke in support of his brother Jack and condemned the government for using his brother … Continue reading Rally for Peace in the Middle East