Tuesday, 29 July 2014

What Can You Do For Palestine?

If you're in Australia and looking for a way to make humanitarian donations that you know will reach their destination, then I recommend donating to the APHEDA Gaza appeal. They have supported many different projects in Gaza and the West Bank, including the el-Wafa hospital which was recently bombed by Israel.

Longer term, one of the most useful projects I've been involved with is the Keep Hope Alive olive harvesting program. Travelling to the West Bank and taking part in the harvest was one of the most useful things I feel like I have done; the planting is harder work, but speaking to those who have done it, even more fulfilling.

Keep yourself informed - here in Australia we have a corporate media which, at best, equates the violence of the occupied with that of the occupier, and at worst echoes Tony Abbott's "We Are All Israeli" line. Sites like Electronic Intifada and +972 are great trustworthy sources. This open letter from Gaza is worth reading too.

And then engage in information making, too - share to your networks, whether social media or around your workplace or communities. Update Wikipedia pages so those who are looking for easy answers don't get the wrong ones.

Go beyond your comfort zone. Unfortunately I work weekends and haven't been able to attend many local rallies personally, but if you can, please do. We don't have the strength of institutional bias or resources that defenders of Zionism do, but we have justice on our side, and when we unite in mass action that narrative can win through. The next Sydney rally is on August 3.

Monday, 28 July 2014

devArt

I've been updating my deviantArt account with photography from the last few years; I'll start getting caught up to the present in a few months at this rate! Check it out here.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Freedom and justice For Gaza: Boycott action against 7 complicit companies | BDSmovement.net

Freedom and justice For Gaza: Boycott action against 7 complicit companies | BDSmovement.net



Israel’s
regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is once again
committing heinous massacres on the Palestinian people in Gaza.


Israel enjoys criminal impunity because of the direct support from
governments in the North America and Europe but also from corporations
that are implicated in the Israeli occupation and egregious human rights
violations.


There are dozens of companies that play an active and ongoing role in
facilitating Israeli apartheid. In light of the exceptionally bloody
massacres Israel is currently committing in Gaza, the Palestinian BDS
National Committee (BNC) suggests to BDS activists and every
conscientious person and organization around the world to target the
following 7 companies as a matter of urgency.

- See more at:
http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/freedom-and-justice-for-gaza-boycott-action-against-7-complicit-companies-12386#sthash.ZwAsxIe9.dpuf
Israel's regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is once again committing heinous massacres on the Palestinian people in Gaza.
Israel enjoys criminal impunity because of the direct suppport from governments in North America and Europe but also from corporations that are implicated in the Israeli occupation and egregious human rights violations.



There are dozens of companies that play an active and ongoing role in facilitating Israeli apartheid. In light of the exceptionally bloody massacres Israel is currently committing in Gaza, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) suggests to BDS activists and every conscientious person and organisation around the world to target the following 7 companies as a matter of urgency.


At a time of such horror and such hypocrisy from our leaders here in Australia and elsewhere in the world, the movement for BDS against Israel gives us a way to take the power of solidarity into our own hands and stand up for the Palestinians.



Israel’s
regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is once again
committing heinous massacres on the Palestinian people in Gaza.


Israel enjoys criminal impunity because of the direct support from
governments in the North America and Europe but also from corporations
that are implicated in the Israeli occupation and egregious human rights
violations.


There are dozens of companies that play an active and ongoing role in
facilitating Israeli apartheid. In light of the exceptionally bloody
massacres Israel is currently committing in Gaza, the Palestinian BDS
National Committee (BNC) suggests to BDS activists and every
conscientious person and organization around the world to target the
following 7 companies as a matter of urgency.

- See more at:
http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/freedom-and-justice-for-gaza-boycott-action-against-7-complicit-companies-12386#sthash.ZwAsxIe9.dpuf
regime
of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is once again
committing heinous massacres on the Palestinian people in Gaza.


Israel enjoys criminal impunity because of the direct support from
governments in the North America and Europe but also from corporations
that are implicated in the Israeli occupation and egregious human rights
violations.


There are dozens of companies that play an active and ongoing role in
facilitating Israeli apartheid. In light of the exceptionally bloody
massacres Israel is currently committing in Gaza, the Palestinian BDS
National Committee (BNC) suggests to BDS activists and every
conscientious person and organization around the world to target the
following 7 companies as a matter of urgency.

- See more at:
http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/freedom-and-justice-for-gaza-boycott-action-against-7-complicit-companies-12386#sthash.ZwAsxIe9.dpuf
Israel’s
regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is once again
committing heinous massacres on the Palestinian people in Gaza.


Israel enjoys criminal impunity because of the direct support from
governments in the North America and Europe but also from corporations
that are implicated in the Israeli occupation and egregious human rights
violations.


There are dozens of companies that play an active and ongoing role in
facilitating Israeli apartheid. In light of the exceptionally bloody
massacres Israel is currently committing in Gaza, the Palestinian BDS
National Committee (BNC) suggests to BDS activists and every
conscientious person and organization around the world to target the
following 7 companies as a matter of urgency.

- See more at:
http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/freedom-and-justice-for-gaza-boycott-action-against-7-complicit-companies-12386#sthash.ZwAsxIe9.dpuf
Israel’s
regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is once again
committing heinous massacres on the Palestinian people in Gaza.


Israel enjoys criminal impunity because of the direct support from
governments in the North America and Europe but also from corporations
that are implicated in the Israeli occupation and egregious human rights
violations.


There are dozens of companies that play an active and ongoing role in
facilitating Israeli apartheid. In light of the exceptionally bloody
massacres Israel is currently committing in Gaza, the Palestinian BDS
National Committee (BNC) suggests to BDS activists and every
conscientious person and organization around the world to target the
following 7 companies as a matter of urgency.

- See more at:
http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/freedom-and-justice-for-gaza-boycott-action-against-7-complicit-companies-12386#sthash.ZwAsxIe9.dpuf
Israel’s
regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is once again
committing heinous massacres on the Palestinian people in Gaza.


Israel enjoys criminal impunity because of the direct support from
governments in the North America and Europe but also from corporations
that are implicated in the Israeli occupation and egregious human rights
violations.


There are dozens of companies that play an active and ongoing role in
facilitating Israeli apartheid. In light of the exceptionally bloody
massacres Israel is currently committing in Gaza, the Palestinian BDS
National Committee (BNC) suggests to BDS activists and every
conscientious person and organization around the world to target the
following 7 companies as a matter of urgency.

- See more at:
http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/freedom-and-justice-for-gaza-boycott-action-against-7-complicit-companies-12386#sthash.ZwAsxIe9.dpuf
Israel’s
regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is once again
committing heinous massacres on the Palestinian people in Gaza.


Israel enjoys criminal impunity because of the direct support from
governments in the North America and Europe but also from corporations
that are implicated in the Israeli occupation and egregious human rights
violations.


There are dozens of companies that play an active and ongoing role in
facilitating Israeli apartheid. In light of the exceptionally bloody
massacres Israel is currently committing in Gaza, the Palestinian BDS
National Committee (BNC) suggests to BDS activists and every
conscientious person and organization around the world to target the
following 7 companies as a matter of urgency.

- See more at:
http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/freedom-and-justice-for-gaza-boycott-action-against-7-complicit-companies-12386#sthash.ZwAsxIe9.dpuf
Israel’s
regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is once again
committing heinous massacres on the Palestinian people in Gaza.


Israel enjoys criminal impunity because of the direct support from
governments in the North America and Europe but also from corporations
that are implicated in the Israeli occupation and egregious human rights
violations.


There are dozens of companies that play an active and ongoing role in
facilitating Israeli apartheid. In light of the exceptionally bloody
massacres Israel is currently committing in Gaza, the Palestinian BDS
National Committee (BNC) suggests to BDS activists and every
conscientious person and organization around the world to target the
following 7 companies as a matter of urgency.

- See more at:
http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/freedom-and-justice-for-gaza-boycott-action-against-7-complicit-companies-12386#sthash.ZwAsxIe9.dpuf

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Alliance Voices: Rebuilding Socialist Alliance

Alliance Voices: Rebuilding Socialist Alliance



This is probably the best, most honest and clear-sighted contribution to Alliance Voices I have read since I became a member of the Alliance. Ewan clearly lays out all of the problems which have crept into organisational practices in recent years and identifies ways that we can go about breaking them down. Although the conference is presently taking place I'm not sure if this perspective will gain any traction; however, it has already informed some amendments to the party-building resolution, some of which have been adopted already. More on that later.

Alliance Voices: Rebuilding Socialist Alliance Youth Work

Alliance Voices: Rebuilding Socialist Alliance Youth Work



This piece of PCD for the Socialist Alliance's 10th national conference is some interesting reading on the new direction Resistance will be taking. I argued strongly against making Resistance the youth of the Socialist Alliance two years ago in Adelaide; however, the situation in the party has changed considerably since then, and I think this has driven the need to regroup youth leadership moreso than "objective conditions".



Monday, 2 June 2014

Equal pay ruling boost for young workers

Originally published in Green Left Weekly issue 1004


 

The campaign to win equal wages for young workers made a big gain last month, when the Fair Work Commission ruled that 20-year-old retail workers must be paid full wages.

The ruling applies to workers with more than six months experience who are employed under the General Retail Industry Award and will be gradually implemented over the next financial year. It comes after a public campaign by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), which represents more than 200,000 retail workers.

The 100% Pay at 18+ campaign aimed to bring workers over 18 to the full adult wage. It was launched a year ago at a convergence in Canberra and has more than 40,000 supporters on its website.

Campaign tactics have included petitions, television ads, stalls at university Orientation weeks and a series of creative videos produced by young workers around Australia showing what full pay would mean for them. It is one of the most prominent campaigns the SDA has organised in years.

SDA national secretary Joe de Bruyn said: “This is a real credit to our witnesses and the thousands of workers who have thrown their support behind the 100% Pay at 18+ campaign. There’s been overwhelming support from the community for fair pay for our younger workers."

The next step, according to de Bruyn, is to fight to bring 19-year-old workers in line with the adult wage.

The SDA rarely, if ever, organises industrial actions to pursue the interests of its workers. In fact, during industrial action by workers at the Woolworths Brisbane Liquor Distribution Centre in Stapylton in December, management tried to shut out the National Union of Workers (NUW) and bring in the SDA to sign a new agreement more to its liking.

In an interview with Crikey's The Power Index, de Bruyn defended his industrial tactics when dealing with retail heavyweights like McDonalds, Woolworths and Myer. “By going about our job in a sensible way we’ve been able to exert a remarkable influence over companies."

"We do not trade wages or conditions for access and we never have. The one thing we don’t do is go to employers and threaten their business. I think that by working behind the scenes and talking to the key decision makers in the company we’re more likely to get a change of heart and a higher wages offer than by going public and bagging the company.”

Under his reign, the union has taken an equally "behind the scenes" approach to influencing social policy in the Labor party. A staunch Catholic, de Bruyn has advocated against abortion and queer rights — most notably leading the push against the equal marriage campaign in recent years.
Rank-and-file members have led protests against the leadership's social stance — forming the group "SDA for Equal Marriage" in 2010.

SDA member Duncan Hart said: "We've made it our mission to try to show that the SDA leaders who act like they speak on behalf of their members, the 250,000 members of the SDA, do not represent the members."

The union has refused calls to de Bruyn will be stepping down as secretary after more than 30 years gives some small hope for change within the union.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

One Year Ago

One year ago, I stopped being a full-time activist.

One year ago, exhaustion and anxiety reached saturation point. I couldn't sleep and I couldn't get out of bed.

There were several events which occured in the weeks leading up to this which I've written about here and here, but they weren't the final straw.

The EduFactory conference took place over a long weekend, and I spent my time at the conference involved in a variety of workshops almost exclusively attended by the usual suspects of the Sydney student left. The Alliance didn't have much impact on the discussion which formed a network of student activists, where our criticisms were certainly in the minority. In the end, I realised I'd felt exhausted from day one, underprepared and like we were going through the motions.

Over the course of the last year (and a bit), I've taken time to think about what I need to do to take care of myself mentally and physically, and assess what I want to do with my life.

So, what have I been doing?

I've been writing again, in fits and starts. It still feels like the most useful thing I can do with myself, but it's harder to make space than it was when I was studying it, so I'm working on ways to improve that.

I've been selling Green Left every other week, and occasionally writing an article - there's one which haven't made it up here yet, look forward to that soon.

I've been playing a lot of Eve Online. And other games like Minecraft and Borderlands. But mostly Eve. It's addictive, yo...

I've been enjoying some good football and some great memories

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts for the first time since 2006. Politically - Democracy Now, ABC Big Ideas TV, Jadaliyya's Jad for Reel. Otherwise - Soccer Stoppage Time, High Drag Eve Online, Welcome to Nightvale.

And I've been preparing to go travelling again, this time with my partner. More on this as it develops.