Australia

As part of Palestine Solidarity Week — March 30 to April 3 — renowned Jewish author Antony Loewenstein spoke at campus meetings at La Trobe University, Monash University and the University of Melbourne on April 1. The public lectures were organised by Students for Palestine.

Qantas workers at Sydney Airport struck for four hours on March 30. Workers held a mass delegates’ meeting to respond to plans to outsource jobs at Sydney, Launceston and Hobart airports. Baggage handlers, ramp, fleet and catering staff at airports in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth also took industrial action.

It is with sadness that we inform you that long-time left-wing Alistair Dickinson passed away on March 13. Dick was 75 years old. He had fought hard for some months against cancer.

Members of the Aboriginal community were joined by construction and manufacturing unionists at a 350-strong protest on April 3 to bring an end to deaths of Aboriginal people in custody.

“I’m a huge supporter of the civil society and the internet is the Wild West at the moment”, federal communications minister Stephen Conroy told SBS’s Insight on March 31. Conroy and the Labor Party remain determined to fence the internet in, joining a short list of countries that attempt to censor it.

As capitalism sinks into a growing crisis of war and economic meltdown, people around the world are waking up to the fact that something is drastically wrong with the system that is throwing millions into poverty, wrecking our climate and turning entire countries into battlefields.

The struggle against the privatisation schemes of the NSW government is beginning to revive. On April 2, an angry demonstration of prison officers besieged parliament house, protesting against prison privatisation plans.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown proclaimed at the conclusion of the London G20 summit: “We have resolved that from today we will together manage the process of globalisation … We have agreed that in doing so we will build a more sustainable and more open and fairer global society.”

Leader of the International Socialist Organisation Zimbabwea and former MP for Highfield in Harare, Munya Gwisai, along with two representatives of the external relations committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Le Vinh Thu and Le Gia Kien, are the latest additions to the growing international speaker line-up at the World at a Crossroads conference.

This article is based on a speech given by Jay Nathan, a young Tamil activist, at a rally protesting the Sri Lankan genocide against the people of Tamil Eelam, in Sydney on March 28.

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