“Taking to the Streets” Exhibition

Uranium Picket at Hamilton Wharf in August 1977 - 2“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 Taking to the Streets exhibition.… Go to Article

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 article begs that it be distributed widely.… Go to Article

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 a policy of no formal affiliations with any political party?”… Go to Article

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

How does the song go?

Pages from Pig City - from the Saints to Savage garden

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 down

Round and round, up and down
Through the streets of your town
Everyday I make my way
Through the streets of your town

Brisbane rock band the Go-Betweens
commentary of Brisbane in the 1970s
.… Go to Article

‘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 Government had first tried to introduce the housing tax in 1978 and again in 1979 but through strike action were successfully rebuked both times.

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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 QUT but are not intended to the breadth and depth of the (humanities degrees) BA & B.Soc

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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. 310623515_683e3bc353.jpg

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 have mounted a failed legal challenge that their own lawyers said would be defeated in the HIGH Court.Go to Article

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 at University of Queensland on the morning of 12 September 1977.… Go to Article

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.

Bruce long - Courier Mail

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 and killing.… Go to Article


In 1976 a group of 31 Chilean families were taken to the Wacol Hostel in Brisbane. This was to be the basis of a story written by one of the refugees, Marcial Parada, in “Vuelo Lan Chile 1131” [Flight from Chile in 1976].


Accommodation at Wacol was poor and expenses were charged to refugees for that accommodation by a private contractor for the Australian Government (Commonwealth Hostels Ltd) in November 1976 (note the charges were based on the then National Wage Case).… Go to Article

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 in support of the workers.… Go to Article

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 me tell you something and don’t you forget it – whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.” 

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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 Mail, 10 Jan 2007)’

Premier Beattie said afterwards “he was prepared to risk regime change in Queensland to protect the interests of Comalco and Rio Tinto”.… Go to Article

Land, Justice, Worker Control

Land, Justice, Worker Controlaboriginal-language-groups.jpg

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 the people of Palm Island in the courts has centred on what form due process should take.Go to Article

No Justice for Mulrunji

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.… Go to Article

Yet another crisis in Lebanon?

As Australia and US prepare to increase troopReuters photo of car of Lebanese Industry Minister 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 left.… Go to Article

Vale Wendy Lowenstein

wendy-lowenstein-and-tom-hills-webpage.jpgI 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.… Go to Article

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 sidebar for article: Black Deaths in custody — what has the Beattie Government ever done?

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

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 down
Kev Carmody


About 150 people rallied in Queens Park and then marched to parliament on 10th October 2006 tp present a petition of 1160 names to the Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie.… Go to Article

Rally for Peace in the Middle East

Atroops-out-s23-13-sep-version-2.jpgbout 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 as a smokescreen for its ‘war on terror’.… Go to Article