Climate action rally in Sydney


Ecopella, an a capella music group with a focus on environmental issues, performing outside Sydney Town Hall at the climate action rally.


Young protesters at the climate action rally.


Protesters at the climate action rally.


Nadeena Dixon, a Wiradjuri, Yuin & Gadigal woman & Indigenous activist, addressing the crowd at the climate action rally.


Protesters at the climate action rally.


A protester at the climate action rally.


A protester at the climate action rally.


Protesters march through the city streets as a part of the climate action rally.


Protesters march through the city streets as a part of the climate action rally.


A protester at the climate action rally.


A protester at the climate action rally.


A protester at the climate action rally.


Signing a banner petition at the climate action rally.

Action on Climate Change Rally in Double Bay

Approximately 2000 rallyers gathered in Steyne Park at Double Bay in Sydney’s east to demand definitive action on climate change by Australia’s major political parties.

In Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth — and just around the headland from the PM’s own private residence in Point Piper — those assembled heard from a number of speakers who gave their own impressions on the effects of climate change generally, but also with a particular focus to the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland.

The most recent El Nino weather pattern to hit Australia has resulted in about 22% of the reef being bleached white due to high water temperatures.

All speakers urged for bipartisan action on climate change, saying the stakes were too great for politics to get in the way of action now urgently needed.


Former Liberal Party leader Dr John Hewson saying it’s time the major parties took a bipartisan approach to the climate change crisis.


Dr Michael Borgus, a scientist working for the CSIRO, talks about funding cuts and staff shrinkages at the organisation.


Dr Kate Charlesworth speaking about many of the dangers to society and individual health as a result of climate change.


Dive operator Tony Fontes speaks about the effect of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.


The assembled crowd holding coloured coral cutouts to simulate the Great Barrier Reef.


The crowd displays the white side of their coral cutouts to show the effects of coral bleaching, exacerbated by climate change.


Amy Gordon, an activist with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, speaking on what the public can do to bring about policy change on environmental matters.

A Greenpeace boat passes the crowd on the foreshore of Double Bay.

A Greenpeace boat passes the crowd on the foreshore of Double Bay.

March In August, Sydney

As Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s popularity continues to fall, thousands took to the streets in numerous cities and towns around the country today to protest against many of the Liberal/National policies which have been announced so far.

Hyde Park in Sydney was the venue for that city’s March In August event.










March In May, Sydney

Following on from the successful March In March rally held across Australia, people gathered in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane to once again voice their anger at the Abbott government.

This time, though, there was the annual budget to consider. After Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey announced a swathe of cuts to spending in order to try bringing the budget back into surplus, the government has been suffering a vocal backlash.

A large crowd gathered in Belmore Park in downtown Sydney today to hear from speakers who detailed what these spending cuts could mean to students, retirees, the unemployed, disabled people, and Aboriginal people.






Following the speeches, protesters marched along Broadway towards Victoria Park.








At Railway Square near Central Station, students held a spontaneous sit-down demonstration to highlight their disagreement with proposed cuts to education and deregulation of university fees. Some students were forcibly removed by police before a “stand-off” which lasted about half an hour.




Cambodia’s opposition party threatens more protests

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – It’s been just over a week since Cambodians cast their vote in the national election, and a definitive result remains elusive.

Both the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) have claimed victory, and both parties have said that they welcome an investigation into allegations of irregularities at polling stations such as people not able to find their names on the electoral roll, or being told that they had already voted.

While the CPP says it is happy for an investigation to take place, it is refusing to go along with the CNRP’s insistence that the United Nations be a part of the investigative process.

Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng has said that involving the UN would be a violation of Cambodian law.

Meanwhile, the CNRP held a rally in Freedom Park in Phnom Penh on Tuesday to thank its supporters and let them know the party will continue to fight for change in Cambodia. Despite rumours of a police crackdown, several thousand people gathered to hear CNRP president Sam Rainsy and party deputy leader Kem Sokha speak. Police presence was very small, and the rally remained incident-free.


A Cambodian National Rescue Party supporter showing cards printed with the party’s logo and photograph of Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy.


One of thousands of CNRP supporters in Freedom Park.


CNRP president Sam Rainsy addressing the crowd in Freedom Park.


CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha takes to the microphone at the Freedom Park rally.


Part of the thousands-strong crowd gathered in Freedom Park.


CNRP MP Mu Sochua greeting the crowd towards the end of the rally.


A CNRP supporter in high spirits during the rally.


Cambodia Votes

The below photos first appeared on New Matilda in the article ‘Cambodia Hits The Polls’. The article was also written by me.

Voters waiting to check their names on the electoral register in Phnom Penh.

Voters waiting to check their names on the electoral register in Phnom Penh.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy at a polling station in Phnom Penh.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy at a polling station in Phnom Penh.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy at a polling station in Phnom Penh.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy at a polling station in Phnom Penh.


An election official helping a voter to find her name on the register at the polling station in Wat Botum temple.


A moto-taxi driver outside the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh showing his ink-stained finger, showing that he has cast his vote.




Cambodian government and opposition rallies in Phnom Penh

Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sohka of the Cambodian National Rescue Party arrived in Phnom Penh on Friday and held a rally in Freedom Park.


Meanwhile, supporters of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party were near Independence Monument, conducting a rally/street party of their own.


Cambodian National Rescue Party campaigns in Battambang

BATTAMBANG, CAMBODIA – the main opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party, has been campaigning vigorously since party leader Sam Rainsy returned from a four-year self-imposed exile last Friday.


Cambodian National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy addressing supporters at a rally in Battambang.


Kem Sokha, Sam Rainsy and Mu Sochua


A section of the huge crowd gathered near Psar Nath to hear Sam Rainsy speak.


CNRP supporters listening to Sam Rainsy.


Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy



Young CNRP supporters on the roadside in provincial Battambang.


Young CNRP supporters who were part of the rally.


Young CNRP supporters who were part of the rally.


Young CNRP supporters who were part of the rally.


Young CNRP supporters who were part of the rally.

Mr Rainsy along with high-level party members Mr Kem Sokha and Ms Mu Sochua, have embarked on a rapid journey through many of Cambodia’s provincial centres before the election this Sunday.

On July 23, the convoy stopped in Battambang and drew a large crowd.

After Mr Rainsy spoke to the supporters massed outside Psar Nath, the convoy travelled through the countryside to spread its message of change for Cambodia.

Mr Rainsy left Cambodia in 2009 after being found guilty of charges brought against him by the Prime Minister, Mr Hun Sen. The charges, connected with the moving of border markers between Cambodia and Vietnam, are believed by many to be politically motivated.

Last July, the Human Rights Party led by Kem Sokha merged with the Sam Rainsy Party to form the Cambodian National Rescue Party.

Earlier this month, Mr Hun Sen petitioned for a royal pardon to be issued for Mr Rainsy so he could return to Cambodia and campaign for his party.

Because he was found guilty of criminal charges, Mr Rainsy was made ineligible to contest a seat in the election. Despite petitions to have Mr Rainsy’s name reinstated, he will not be permitted to run for his own party.

The ruling party, the Cambodian People’s Party, headed by Mr Hun Sen, is expected to win the polls on Sunday. The party has been in government since 1985.

Cambodian opposition MP starts election campaign

BATTAMBANG, CAMBODIA – Cambodian opposition party Member of Parliament Mu Sochua commenced her campaign in Battambang in the run-up to the commune elections to be held early next month.

Mu Sochua, Sam Rainsy Party Member of Parliament

Mu Sochua meets the public in Battambang.

Mu Sochua meets the public in Battambang.

Mu Sochua leading supporters in a song outside a market in Battambang.

Sam Rainsy Party MP Mu Sochua

Supporters of Mu Sochua riding through Battambang.

Mu Sochua in her campaign vehicle on the way to a rally at a temple on the outskirts of Battambang.

Sam Rainsy Party supporters carry the party flag.

The campaign convoy started near Psar Nath, one of Battambang’s main markets, and wound its way through the streets. Mu Sochua stopped a few times at other streetside markets to give speeches and meet with local people before moving to a temple several kilometres from town for a refreshment break.

Supporters wearing white t-shirts and caps printed with the Sam Rainsy Party logo took part in the convoy, riding motor scooters, cars and trucks through the outskirts of Battambang to the temple in Ek Phnom district

After the break, the convoy resumed its trip through the province.

In 1972, when Mu Sochua was 18 years old, she was sent to live in Paris by her mother. The war in Vietnam was spilling over the border into Cambodia, causing many people to flee the country.

Two years after leaving her homeland, Sochua moved to San Francisco to pursue an education at the Berkeley campus of the University of California as well as San Francisco State University.

The Cambodian capital Phnom Penh fell to the control of the Khmer Rouge the following year, 1975.

When the Vietnamese removed the Khmer Rouge from power in early 1979, Cambodian refugees poured out of the region, with many settling in the United States. While studying in California Sochua was doing work with refugees from all over the world, and says that she spent many days at San Francisco Airport in the hope that one day she would she her family step off the plane.

That wish was never granted. Sochua never saw her family again.

After finishing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a masters in Social Work, Sochua returned to Cambodia in 1990 to assist in the rebuilding of her country, a task she describes as “paying (her) dues”.

Mu Sochua was a member of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party until January of 2004 when she left to join the opposition Sam Rainsy Party. While in the Cambodian People’s Party, Mu Sochua was Minister for Womens’ Affairs, a post she held from 1998 until her resignation from the government party.

During that time, she fought extensively for women’s rights in rural Cambodia and battled human trafficking. She is a renowned advocate for human rights, and this is the platform upon which her political campaign is built.

Australian Immigration Minister Accosted by Pro-refugee Protesters

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Australian Federal Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Bowen was accosted by pro-refugee activists today while giving a press conference in Smithfield.

Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen with members of the press.

A pro-refugee activist makes her feelings known to Minister Bowen.

Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen

Pro-refugee activists marching through Fairfield.

Pro-refugee activists marching through Fairfield.

Pro-refugee activists marching through Fairfield.

A bystander watches as pro-refugee activists march through the streets of Fairfield.

Pro-refugee activists marching through Fairfield.

Pro-refugee activists gathering outside the electoral office of Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.

The protesters had gathered outside his electoral office in nearby Fairfield when word got out that the minister was speaking to the press a short distance away.

More details and images at my Demotix site.