Isn't it great to begin the new year of struggle with a victory! The January 26 announcement that Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley will be charged with the manslaughter on Palm Island in 2004 of Mulrunji, a young Indigenous man, was a historic victory. This will be the first time in Queensland history (and only the second time in Australian history) that a police officer is to be charged in relation to an Aboriginal death in custody.
And how symbolic to have this victory on what we call "Invasion Day", and John Howard calls "Australia Day".
I heard the news while on a visit with urban-poor activists to a shanty village built in and around a rubbish tip in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The news came in an SMS and I whooped in celebration. When I explained to the comrades what the victory was, they joined the whooping! Solidarity between those struggling against oppressions spans the globe. I want to share this postcard picture from the shanty town.
We have quite a year of struggle ahead of us. So much more has to be fought for before the Indigenous people of this land are accorded the justice and respect they deserve. Fierce battles are ahead of us to roll back the vicious anti-worker laws that the Howard government has enacted — laws that seek to reverse the gains of a hundred years of struggle. There's the struggle to end the wars of imperial occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are the protests against US President George Bush's visit to Australia this September, perhaps a federal election where we may be able to kick out the Howard government, and the list go on.
Green Left Weekly has an essential role in these struggles: informing, networking, inspiring and organising. And the Fighting Fund makes it possible for us to do this.
Last year we raised 93% of our $250,000 target: $130,688 of that was raised from donations and $100,802 through fundraising events organised by our supporters around the country. Thank you very much, readers, for your generous donations and support for these events.
We are going for a similar $250,000 target this year, and despite the holiday season in January we have already raised $13,742.90 or 5.5% of the total.
We'd like to make, or exceed, our target this year and we can only do this with your help.
Please check the calendar of events on page 23, and if you can make it to one of our fundraising events, please do. If you can make a donation to the 2007 Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund you can make a deposit at: Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 901992. Alternatively, send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007, phone it through on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia), or donate online at <http://www.greenleft.org.au/fogl.htm>.