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Picket of workers at Toll Coles Distribution warehouse begins

A picket by workers at Toll warehouse in Somerton in Melbourne began on July 10th. The workers are paying parity of conditions and pay as workers in other Coles warehouses. Workers at Toll are paid significantly less, do not receive RDO's, are forced to work on public holidays and suffer from poor health and safety. A Community Assembly has been called to back the NUW led strike. Differences in terms of tactics exist with many leftist groups urging support for the NUW leadership of the strike whilst the Socialist Equality Party is calling on workers to break free from the NUW and form independent strike committees.
Related: Coverage in The Age -- Analysis from the Socialist Equality Party -- Photos on Flikr -- Solidarity protest at Coles stores -- Workers Solidarity Network fliers -- Updates on strike from Socialist Alternative

Melbourne solidarity for Julian Assange

Around 200 people turned out in the Melbourne rain to show solidarity for Julian Assange (1st July 2012) at a rally organized by Wikileaks Australian Citizens Alliance/ The crowd heard from a range of speakers including Greens MP Adam Bandt, SEP Melbourne by-election candidate Patrick O’Connor, Wikileaks co-founder Da

Videos: Rally against Baillieu new coal plans and HRL coal power station

June 28, 2012: Up to 300 People gathered on the steps of the Victorian Parliament house to show opposition to new coal projects which would destroy prime farmland and triple Victoria's contribution to greenhouse pollution.

Residents from Bacchus Marsh and south Gippsland attended to show their opposition to new coal mining projects and plans to use an experimental drying technology by Exergen to open up further mining and the export of brown coal.

Related: Latrobe Valley Coal Power and Climate Change | Carbon capture and storage and the Melbourne earthquake | No coal mine in Bacchus Marsh - locals and activists halt exploratory drilling | Photoset on Flickr

Country regions right behind the renters rights revolution – now a national movement

Gerry Georgatos
Renters Alliance (RA) WA coordinator Lea Keenan said that every week now Blackwood residents, renters and some who are home owners, are joining the movement and "are motivated for a united pursuance for legislation to make life fair for everyone."

Rally – August 15 – WA State Parliament – Rallies Australia-wide – October 16 – every capital city and many towns.
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/05/29/renters-rights-rally-wa-august-15-nat...

Renters rights rally - WA - August 15, & national day of renters rights rallies - October 16

Gerry Georgatos
The Renters Alliance (RA) started only several months ago in Western Australia with a number of its original members from Bridgetown and the Blackwood region. The RA spokesperson Lea Keenan said the renters rights movement has spread Australia-wide after the RA was swamped with emails and calls from distressed renters.

To get involved write to rentersalliance@humanrightsalliance.org

or phone 0430 657 309 or 0412 833 733

http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/news/audio/2012/may/22/national-renters-allianc...

UK Supreme Court to rule on Julian Assange extradition - National rallies occurring

The judgment in WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange’s final appeal against extradition to Sweden was handed down by the UK Supreme Court on Wednesday 30 May.

Breaking news: Julian has lost his appeal.

Assange now faces being sent to Sweden by force within 10 days. From Sweden, he could be sent immediately to the US where he faces prosecution for publishing information just like any other journalist.

Rallies on the 31st May: Details on Wikileaks Central

Cultural imperialism jailed Indonesian children in Australian adult prisons - and the prime minister's deaf ears

Gerry Georgatos
Ali Jasmin was 13 years old when the Commonwealth of Australia locked him up in an adult prison for being a deckhand on a boat of Asylum Seekers, and hence for assisting people in the safe passage of Asylum to our shores. International maritime laws and the various United Conventions and protocols asserting the rights of those seeking Asylum would cast this young boy as a hero, and rightfully so however not the Australian government and its institutions.

Baillieu government funds new prisons while slashing public TAFE education

Angry TAFE teachers and students attended a rally today to protest the massive cuts to TAFE vocational education and training in the Victorian Budget handed down on May 1, 2012. The implications of massive defunding is a softening up of the public TAFE institutes for privatisation. The budget cuts will mean substantial redundancies of teachers, especially in smaller regional TAFE institutes, a major increase in course fees, and loss of subsidiary student services such as study skills assistance, library services and counselling.

Flickr Photos: Takver, NTEUvic, Thomas Lim | TAFE4All Facebook Album | Tafe4all
Youtube Videos: Mary Bluett, Colin Long, Brian Boyd, student perspective

The Australian prison system has failed; warehouses of illness & death. Bring on Bastoy for starters

Gerry Georgatos
If you want to know the hearts and minds of a nation, of its consciousness, of its legislators, then day and night look into our prisons.

The two century old modern day prison experiment is failing, that is if we look at the spiralling incarceration rates, adult and youth, and if we look at re-offending rates, the recidivism.

My PhD research argues that people who enter the prison experience, who are incarcerated for relatively short or long terms leave the prison experience worse than they came in.

A very anarchist Melbourne May Day

May Day - an international day of workers protests and celebration - came to Melbourne today in a small but anarchic way. May Day in Australia is not what it once was but is still carried forward by elements of the trade union movement and the broad left including anarchists.