Australian journalists to strike against Australasian job cuts

August 29, 2008

After the announcement that 550 jobs would be cut by Fairfax Media in Australia and New Zealand on August 26th, journalists at The Age (Melbourne, Australia) and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers have decided to go on strike until Monday. A Fairfax spokeswoman announced that both papers would come out on Friday, but refused to comment on whether weekend papers would be affected.

Fairfax, which owns many of the highest circulation newspapers in both countries, increased its profit by 46.8% in the year to June 2008, to AU$386.9 million, but is claiming it needs to reduce costs to increase profits even further. Of the jobs to go, 160 have been announced for New Zealand (100 further redundancies, and non-replacement of 60 staff who had recently left or been made redundant) with the rest across the Australian Fairfax stable.

“This was a motion that arose spontaneously from the floor of the meeting because people are angry at the way the company has treated them both in terms of Enterprise Agreement negotiations and also the redundancy announcements,” said Michael Bachelard, a senior journalist at The Age.

“Age staff are passionate about their masthead and their readers, and are disappointed that the managers of the company appear willing to sacrifice quality journalism for the sake of the bottom line.”

An email to all Fairfax staff from the CEO announcing the job cuts and restructuring was leaked to The Australian, a competitor to the Fairfax papers.

Brief update (Fri 29th):

The NZ Herald is reporting that

Wearing t-shirts reading “Fair Go Fairfax” and “Don’t Discount Journalism”, about 80 Fairfax journalists picketed the offices at Pyrmont in central Sydney.Additional security surrounded the building, a move some picketers jokingly dubbed Fairfax’s “ring of steel”.

Also:

Earlier today, prominent columnist Mike Carlton was sacked after refusing to cross the picket line to write his weekly column for the Herald’s Saturday edition.


More photos from my trip

August 20, 2008

Here’s a bunch more shots from various parts of my trip :)

First up, a nice sunset (it looked better in person, but oh well) from Stepney Green in London, where I stayed for most of the time I was there. A couple of days before I left, I realised that one street over from where I was staying was Jubilee St, where, in the early 1900s, the Jewish anarchists in London (plus Rudolf Rocker) had a club where they held meetings, social events etc. Also within a few minutes walk was Cable St, site of the anti-fascist demonstration in 1936. The whole area I stayed in was surrounded by endless bits of radical history, which was fucking cool.

Next up, a bunch of shots from my day trip to the Acropolis in Athens. Once again, the history geek in me was loving it!

Next, a bit of graffiti that made me smile from Tel Aviv, Israel.

The following few photos were taken at an old crusader fortress (and surrounding village) in Herzliyya, in Israel. The site had been used prior to the crusaders by others including Persians. There was still quite a bit standing, or which had been excavated, was quite interesting (and stunning views up and down the coast).

In the following photo from the fortress itself, the left foreground was the ovens, the right foreground the kitchen basins (with plaster inlay) and the dome-topped thing in the middle of the background was storage for grain.

I don’t really know why, but I found the following sign absolutely hilarious, and had to take a photo…

Next up, 3 bits of graffiti (not all the most intelligent work!) from the walls of South Tel Aviv (very near to Salon Mazal, the anarchist infoshop/cafe).

Last of all, a crazy fucking bug. Oddly, the first thing I thought when I saw it (other than “I have to get a photo of this”) was “Holy shit, that reminds me of a V advertisment!”.


Some photos from my trip – London, Athens and Tel Aviv

August 15, 2008

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to posting, things have been somewhat hectic recently. Anyway, here’s a bunch of photos I’ve taken so far during my trip, on my brand new second hand cellphone’s camera. Sweet.

This one (and the next 3 closeups) is from an outside wall of Freedom, in London. The home of Freedom Bookshop, Freedom Press and, of course, Freedom the newspaper. The project was in collaboration with the art gallery next store, and consists of images of a whole bunch of anarchists (and proto-anarchists) from history. Following that is a pic of the door to Freedom itself, including a stencil of Wildcat, an anarchist comic character. I interviewed Donald Rooum, the creator of the cartoon, for over an hour while in London :)

Next up, some photos from Athens. These were all taken on the walk from Monastiraki up towards the Acropolis (photos of that will be uploaded in the next few days). It was fucking hot, but the view from the top was definately worth it. Anyway, as with everywhere I went in Athens, there was plenty of political graffiti. Some of it was fairly ugly, just tagging etc, and lots of it I didn’t understand (as I don’t speak Greek), but some I liked and took photos of :)

Lastly, the night that I flew out of Athens, I spent a few hours in Exarchia, which is a “reclaimed neighbourhood” – a bunch of streets where heaps of anarchists and other lefties live, and cops aren’t welcome. The walls were coated thickly with graffiti and posters for demos, soli work for prisoners etc etc, was pretty cool. Then when I left to go catch a bus to the airport, I noticed that at the edges of Exarchia, there were young (some looked like 15, but must’ve been older) cops in full riot gear at every corner – apparently, thats normal, to ensure that Exarchia doesn’t spread, and also for training the young cops – the older ones go to the demos/riots, but the young ones learn the trade at the borders…bizarre! The following photos are from the doors in the toilets in a bar I went to, where I was served by an anarchist bartender.

Lastly, off to Israel, where I currently am. While in Tel Aviv, I took a few photos of bits of graffiti/stencil art there.

This one is a stencil of the founder of political Zionism, Theodore Herzl. The Hebrew text below translates to “Don’t want, don’t need…” This is a piece of slang in Hebrew that is said when someone offers you something you don’t want – in the case of this stencil, referring to the Israeli state itself.

This stencil is about Ahmed Mousa, a 10 year old child murdered recently in the West Bank town of Ni’ilin by the Israeli army during a demonstration by Palestinians, Israelis and internationals against the separation wall. More info about Ahmed and the demo (inc photos) can be found on the Anarchists Against The Wall website.

A slightly older stencil to finish it off, this one is from last year, the 40th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights. It says “occupation” in Hebrew, Arabic and English below the number 40, followed by an unreadable date (I think?) and website.


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