Alex Bainbridge

Fifty people demonstrated outside the defence plaza on June 15 to protest the beginning of the Talisman Sabre military exercises at Shoalwater Bay.

Socialist Alliance hosted a discussion on June 12 about standing up to the “police state” laws introduced into the NSW parliament for the period of the September APEC summit. One person arrested in connection with the G20 protests in Melbourne last November told the meeting that police had directed him not to attend the APEC protests. He urged participants not to be intimidated by such tactics.

Forty protesters were met by hundreds of police — including members of the riot squad and mounted police — as they gathered to picket PM John Howard’s attendance at a $250-a-head Asia Society function on June 6.

The presence of heavily armed SAS troops could complement extraordinary powers for NSW police during the September 7-9 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney, which will be attended by 21 international leaders including US President George Bush.

On May 8, 150 unionists rallied outside the NSW parliament to protest against the move by the John Holland construction company to abandon the NSW workers’ compensation scheme in favour of the federal government’s Comcare.

“Kevin Rudd made a point of letting everyone know which side the Labor Party is on when he went and had a friendly meeting with war criminal Dick Cheney while slandering the peaceful protesters outside as ‘violent ferals’”, student anti-war activist Simon Cunich told Green Left Weekly.

Anti-war campaigners around Australia are preparing for large protest rallies on March 17, the fourth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Chanting “ALP’s hands are black, we want our future back”, members of the Rising Tide environment group protested outside the ALP’s NSW head office on February 27 against a proposed new coal export terminal in Newcastle.

The Socialist Alliance will launch its campaign for the NSW election with a rally and concert on February 24.

When former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib announced last week that he would contest the March 24 NSW state election, the corporate media in Sydney cranked up a campaign of vilification against him. Habib was held in the US prison at Guantanamo Bay for more than three years before being released in January 2005 without charge.

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