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.

According to a 2008 report by UN agencies UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation, an estimated 1.9 million people were newly infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in 2007, bringing the number of people living with HIV in the region to 22 million.

The article below is by Brian Senewiratne, who is from Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese ethnic majority and a long-time Tamil rights activist. For his uncompromising stance against the long-term oppression, and current brutal military offensive, against the Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority by the Sinhalese chauvinist regime, he was recently barred from entering Malaysia and was singled out and victimised by Canadian and Australian immigration officials.

Omar Hassan is the Education (public affairs) officer for Monash University’s student union. He is also a member of Students for Palestine. On March 31, the Monash Student Council (MSC) sanctioned Hassan for his involvement in the group.

Workers and the community will march on May Day this year under the banner “Put jobs before profits”.

It has become common practice for many bosses to tell potential employees they must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) to secure a job.

The Dump Connex campaign was launched on March 30, Palestinian Land Day. It was initiated by the Coalition of Palestine Support Organisations, which organised the Melbourne protests against the Israeli assault on Gaza in January and February.

A group of community activists marked Earth Hour with an occupation of the Hazelwood Power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley on March 28.

The Socialist Alliance has announced Sam Wainwright as its candidate for the May 16 Fremantle by-election. Wainwright, aged 38, is a wharfie, member of the Maritime Union of Australia and activist in the Fremantle Community Solidarity group.

On April 3, in its second major symbolic act in the area of Indigenous affairs, the federal Labor government officially endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


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