Category Archives: Public meeting

Post that give details of public meetings of interest.


No to Newman. No to uranium mining.

This gallery contains 1 photos.

In 1977 Bjelke-Petersen tried to stop the anti-uranium movement by banning street marches. Unionists and students launched a defiant campaign which gained community support. By August 1979 Petersen was forced to back-down. Public Meeting: How unionists, students and environmentalists beat … Continue reading


A lie called the Truth – Brisbane’s marihuana weirdo raid

This gallery contains 1 photos.


Protected: West Papuan freedom flotilla arrives at the sacred fire!

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:


Though the 17 Group is a secular group with no affiliation to any religious group, it is of course friendly to the born-again Community of Queensland Originists. Not for the first time therefore does it accommodate its loyal members who … Continue reading


Foco: Student Worker Alliance in Brisbane in the late 1960s

This gallery contains 1 photos.

This is a talk given by Peter Cross at a meeting of the 17 Group on 7 May 2013 about the Secretary of the Trades and labour Council, Alexander Macdonald’s role was in building links between the Trades Hall and … Continue reading


Council’s case against Homer reaches new depths

This gallery contains 1 photos.

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” ― Bertolt Brecht [Broadcast PShift Saturday 2 Mar 2013 4zzz fm 102.1 Friday at Noon] Homer was a busy dog this week, court … Continue reading


PShift: Anarchist Summer School – what, where and when?

This discussion with organisers of the Brisbane Anarchist Summer School (BASS) was broadcast on the Paradigm Shift [Fridays at noon  on 4ZZZ fm 102.1] on 21 Dec 2012. What The Brisbane Anarchist Summer School will be held on 12th – … Continue reading


Interesting speakers about the 1972 recognition of China

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Hi friends, Next Saturday 24th November the Australia China Friendship Society is running a seminar and reception (free) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Whitlam Government recognition of China. Speakers include Graham Freudenberg (Gough’s speech writer), Manfred Cross (ex-MLA) … Continue reading


Support the Workers at the Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH) Site

Queensland Children’s Hospital Dispute Leader Bob Carnegie will be Speaking at the Socialist Alternative Public Meeting on Tuesday (11 Sept 2012) The community protest at the Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH) site has lasted for 38 days. The workers are fighting … Continue reading


Yes, Virginia, there are conspiracies

By Humphrey McQueen(Text of speech at Canberra Friends of Wikileaks, Coombs Lecture Theatre, Australian National University, 27 June 2012.) Once more, I have the honour of sharing a platform with Christine Assange. Since we were at the Sydney meeting in … Continue reading


April 4th Meeting of the 17 Group

The next meeting of the 17 group will be held on Wednesday the 4th of April at 7 pm in unit 6 at 20 Drury St, West End. The speaker will be Adrian Skerritt, who will initiate discussion of the … Continue reading


PUBLIC FORUM: Being smuggled to freedom: behind the anti-people smuggling rhetoric

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Dear refugee supporters, This is to inform you of our public forum which will review and analyse the rhetoric surrounding “people smuggling”. We are all influenced by what the media and politicians say about this, and RAC wants to provide … Continue reading


Public Forum — Being smuggled to freedom: Behind the anti-people smuggling rhetoric

On this night like any other night Maybe raining maybe clear In a world exploding is any heart open? Can you hear us, Can you hear? — from article 14 by tony mockeridge Speakers include: Mark Plunkett, Qld barrister representing … Continue reading


Lock the Gate

Hi to all who may be about to come to Drew’s talk to the 17 Group on the 1st of February. Here is a text by Drew that might spark some thoughts with which to prepare for the discussion that … Continue reading


Man on Roof to Challenge Bank Sale of Community Centre

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Friends of Ahimsa House Press Release At 10am on the morning of Wednesday 14th December 2011 Friend of Ahimsa House activist, Bernie Neville, will climb onto the roof of AHIMSA (Peace) House, 26 Horan Street, West End and hang a … Continue reading


Capital against Capitalism: a conference of new Marxist research

Fire Brigade Employees Union, Sydney, 25 June 2011 as reported by Humphrey McQueen In memory of a life-long sparring partner – Bob Gould [This report does not summarise all the twenty-one papers. Instead, I reflect on three themes from the … Continue reading

Public Meeting – Leda development at Ipswich

Continue reading


From Dear SIMO members and friends We must let the State government know urgently there is wide support for national park on North Stradbroke Island and for ending mining. If you have already sent in a submission, we’re asking you … Continue reading

Questions to the candidates in the Federal election 2010


Why do none of the political parties support ‘ecologically sustainable development’?


If the ALP and the federal Labor government support clean energy why is coal going gangbusters here in Queensland?

Climate Change

Do the candidates think that climate changes can be fixed under capitalism?

War and Higher Education

Why have political parties done so little to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why were political parties so gullible on WMDs in Iraq?

Background: When I was at the University of Queensland 40 years ago the biggest issue was peace — or more specifically opposition to the Vietnam war. If political candidates came on campus at UQ he would be harangued and harassed about this.

An ambassador from South Vietnam, Mr Quang, was even held up at the relaxation block while students debated with him his support for the war and Australia’s involvement in it.

There was an incident outside and police were called and a fire truck were called and some of students (opposed to the war) were hosed by water cannon.

Now my question coming to 2010 why is it that politicians and or candidates and other who have said little to about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan or have done little to oppose it visit campus without a word said. Why?


Do the candidates support collective bargaining between unions and bosses? (eg at the University of Qld and the National Tertiary Education Union?)

If Universities continues to refuse such an agreement what will the candidates supportstrike action to force bosses to  live up to their obligation to bargain with the union?

Questions arose out of an NTEU Candidates forum at UQ

Present at the forum:

Steve Miles (ALP) candidate for Ryan.

Sandra Bayley (Greens) candidate for Ryan

Andrew Bonnell, chairperson

Neither Jane Prentice (Lib) not Michael Johnson (Ind) turned up

About 30 members of University of Queensland students and staff


Liberals Shun forum on Higher Education Both the sitting Liberal (now independent) Michael Johnson and the new Liberal candidate for Ryan, Jane Prentice did not take part in the policy forum on Higher Education. The president of the National Tertiary … Continue reading

Notes on Tibet in the Contemporary World

Professor Colin Mackerras spoke at a lunch organised by the Australia-China friendship Society at Adam’s Oriental Restaurant South Brisbane on Sunday 1st August 2010.

Prof. Mackerras is a Chinese speaker and frequent visitor to our northern neighbour.

He spoke mainly about Tibet and specifically about a visit to Dharamsala in India in April 2010. Dharamsala is the seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile.

A group of nine people (including Prof Mackerras) attending a conference on Tibetan studies held in Delhi met the Dalai Lama.  The Dalai Lama (DL)  is the Tibetans’ leading political figure in exile. Mackerras said that the DL is revered by Tibetans as being god-like. The group met the Dalai Lama talking with him for over an hour.

Mackerras said that he found the Dalai Lama to be a sincere and genial man,  politically naive  surrounded by a group of minders. Mackerras described the influence of these he called the ‘Dahlai Lama clique’ as being ‘evil’. Mackerras said that Tibet is seen from the West predominantly as a country that has been invaded by China and from China as a country that has fallen under the spell of the Dahlai Lama clique. He spoke about the pressure applied by the French President Sarkosy at the time of the Beijing olympics for the Chinese government to negotiate with the Dahlai Lama.

Mackerras analysed the proposals put forward by what he calls the DL clique.



Prof Mackerras (top right) shows slide of tourists in Dharamsala to guests of the Australia-China Friendship Society at Adam's Oriental Restaurant.

He voiced concern about the Norwegian groups like Human Rights House, the Norwegian Tibet Committee and Worldview Rights that are giving financial support to the DL.

He said that the proposals from the DL clique can be found on the Dahlai Lama’s website.

The proposals I found were called a peace plan and is at It is slightly different to the one that Colin Mackerras referred to at the talk.

Over the years there have been many 5 point peace plans put forward by the DL.

Mackerras stressed that the demands are getting bigger all the time.

The proposals I found on the DL’s website were:

  1. Transformation of the whole of Tibet, including the eastern provinces of Kham and Amdo, into a zone of Ahimsa (nonviolence);
  2. Abandonment of China’s population transfer policy;
  3. Respect for the Tibetan people’s fundamental rights and democratic freedoms;
  4. Restoration and protection of Tibet’s natural environment; and
  5. Commencement of earnest negotiations on the future status of Tibet and of relations between the Tibetan and Chinese people.


Map of the provinces of China showing Tibet in the south

Regarding point (1) Mackerras said that the DL clique wish to claim 1/4 of China as Tibet. He said that they want Qinghai, parts of Sichuan and Yunnan.

In contrast it was Mackerras’s view that Tibet had been part of China for many years. He said Tibet is recognised internationally as part of China. He said that the DL clique is undemocratic and their demands are unreasonable and politically impossible.

Mackerras advocated negotiations take place on lesser proposals around culture, religion, and the environment. He doubted the wisdom of giving the DL control of the education system because Mackerras said it would be used to turn Tibetans against the Chinese government. He said that the demand for withdrawal of Chinese troops should not be left solely to the DL and his clique.

When asked what was the difference between US troops being in Afghanistan and Chinese troops in Tibet Mackerras said that the difference was that Tibet is part of China. A follow up question was put to the professor asking what gave the Communist Party of China the right to stop Tibetans from choosing a return to feudalism. Mackerras said that China should not allow modernization of Tibet to be stalled. He said that it would lay the Chinese government open to the charge that it held back education and development of the Tibetan people.

The talk by Prof Mackerras was interesting because you do not often hear an academic express such a strong point of view. A debate of the more contentious aspects of his talk would be well worthwhile.

Report by Ian Curr, August 2010


“Democratic Imperialism”: Tibet, China, and the National Endowment for Democracy” by Michael Barker


20th Anniversary of Melbourne Tramways dispute

by Peter Riley and Margaret Creagh

On the night (Saturday 30th January 2010) I brought along some memorabilia: photos, documents, clippings from news media from the time (of the dispute).

We showed these at Camp Eureka site of Community & Union Solidarity event over the Easter weekend last year; and prior to that at a Workers Control conference in Sydney several years ago.

These “artifacts” from the ‘primitive past’ prompted a few recollections and some laughter.

Some who were present would have been interviewed for radio broadcast but I did not bring along recorder as I was not focussed; mixed emotions clash evening for me, nor am I up to date tech savy enough to do interviews on the spot alas.

Continue reading

A ‘two-state solution’ to the Israel-Palestine conflict?


Map of Palestine.   Labels show 2009 borders. (click to magnify – makes for a very good topographical map)

The following is a report of an ALP/Union Forum titled A two state solution to the Israel Palestine conflict held at Qld parliament on Remembrance Day, 11th November 2009.

The forum was well attended by about 100 people from unions and by ALP members and people from the community.

There were current and former ALP MLAs and councillors and union officials present. The forum was sponsored by various unions including the Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU), Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), Communications Electrical Plumbing Union, Qld Branch (CEPU) and the Plumbers Union.

There were several community and other groups and associations represented including the Qld Palestinian Association (QPA), Just Peace, Justice for Palestine. Members of the National Union of Students and people from the Jewish community and the Foreign Affairs editor of the Courier Mail were also present.

This report was prepared from notes written by the author at the forum. I made a written request well in advance of the forum to record it (on film) but this was refused on the basis that it was a private meeting of ALP and Union members.

I noticed that the foreign editor of the Courier Mail was present and took notes (but not as many as I did). I have tried to faithfully document what was said at the forum. I take responsibility for errors, omissions or misunderstandings. I ask that anyone who has evidence of error to please let me know and I will try to correct them.

The forum discussion was on the following set issues:

• What do we mean by a two state solution?

• How best to achieve it and what are the obstacles?

• What are the consequences if a two state solution fails? Continue reading

QRail not for sale!


A few weeks ago the State Government announced it wants to privatise Queensland Rail (other than passenger services), Queensland Motorways, the Port of Brisbane, Forestry Plantations Queensland and the Abbot Point Coal Terminal.

If it gets away with selling these assets, what will be next – the electricity industry, our water supply? Many Queenslanders oppose such a fire sale of our public assets.

So does the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and we are sponsoring a Statewide community campaign – the Light on the Hill campaign – to try and stop the sale.

Queenslanders concerned about the State Government’s proposal are invited to attend the following campaign activities in their area.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is sponsoring a Statewide community campaign against the sale of public assets, including most of Queensland Rail, by the Bligh Labor Government.

The Light on the Hill campaign gives ETU members and their fellow Queenslanders a chance to speak out against the privatisation of State Government assets. Continue reading

St. Mary’s in Exile at the TLC [Queensland Council of Unions building]

The July Meeting of the 17 Group –

Peter Kennedy & John Battersby

Wednesday the 1st of July at 7pm in

Unit 6 at 20 Drury St, West End.

The topic: “ St. Mary’s in Exile at the TLC [Queensland Council of Unions building]”. The speakers will be the two priests who were deprived of their former roles as the administrators and celebrants at St Mary’s church, namely Peter Kennedy and Terry Fitzpatrick.

Peter and Terry will, mainly in question and answer form, address the issues, religious, philosophical, cultural and social, raised by the series of recent events culminating in their dismissal by the Bishop.

For background on the issues involved go to the St Mary’s Community website at

Mt Marys in South Brisbane (with the land rights flag taken down)

Mt Mary's in South Brisbane (with the land rights flag taken down)

Letters from Archbishop of Brisbane suspending Fr Peter Kennedy

· Letters from the Archbishop

Submitted by Editorial Team on Fri, 05/06/2009

·  Notice of Penalty of Suspension

· Notice of revocation of faculties to hear confessions, preach and assist validly at marriages (These documents are pdf files and require the free Adobe Reader)

· Media reports Saturday June 6

Trotsky contented himself with saying about this one “ Not in my area ” and muttering something as he left the room that sounded like “ opium of the people ” and “ sigh of the oppressed creature ”.  So again he probably won’t be there.  But the usual convivial crowd will be, eating and drinking and talking into the night.  All are welcome, orthodox and heretical, lapsed and unlapsed, anyone who believes in anything.

Sri Lanka, Stop shelling hospitals – Peaceful Protest in Brisbane

Sri Lanka, Stop shelling hospitals – Peaceful Protest in Brisbane

Monday the 18th May at 12noon- 2pm

Starting at the area in front of Queensland state parliament

Sunday, 10 May: “More than 2,000 innocent civilians have been killed in the last 24 hours. The wholesale bombardment by Sri Lankan planes and shelling on a densely populated, non combatant civilian safe zone is state terrorism and a war crime,” said S. Pathmanathan, the LTTE head of international relations on Sunday.

“The Tamil people are dismayed that the United Nations and the International Community have failed in their obligations to protect the endangered civilians. […] We only ask for an impartial relief effort similar to those extended to other international conflict zones by the UN and the international community in the recent past,” he further said.


Group of 17: Obama – yes, we can?

The April Meeting of the 17 Group on Wednesday the 1st of April at 7pm in unit 6 at 20 Drury St, West End will be addressed by Merv Partridge, who is not long back from the United States where he closely observed and recorded on videotape the recent election campaign of Barack Obama.

His talk, illustrated by original video footage, will centre on political dilemmas facing the Obama administration.

Dan O’Neill

Merv’s summary:

Tasting: Obama Koolaid 2008

I made two trips to the United States during 2008 to take care of animals and to observe the primaries and the election.  I had contact with the Obama campaign as well as third party and alternative groups.

Dan has asked me to lead a discussion on the 2008 election and its implications.  Oral (as in video) history is one of my pastimes and I have material that I have just begun processing.

During this session I would like to show some excerpts from Obama’s last speech before the election.  He made the speech at the Fair Grounds in Manassas, Virginia – a site chosen for its historic echoes and because Virginia was considered a litmus test for the election.  A southern slave State in the civil war Virginia has been Republican for decades.  It has been moving Democrat in the last few years and it was widely said that if Obama could carry Virginia he was likely to win the country. Continue reading

EcoCentre Forum – Creating a Sustainable Future

Please feel welcome to pass this invitation on to your friends and networks. Continue reading


Violence done to aboriginal persons has been condoned by at least two juries now. Once in the Hurley Trial and now in the Lex Wotton trial.

Police came on to the island with high powered rifles, glock pistols, troop carriers, Tasers, to do violence against the community on Palm. They raid houses and arrest 23 people taking them off the island charging them without any evidence. Among them is Lex Wotton, his Mum is even charged. They manufacture the evidence with the aid of dope dealers and police informants. They threatened people with jail terms if they do not cooperate, they prey on the weak. Continue reading

WorkLife Forum: trade unions in 21st century


Continue reading