Alex Bainbridge

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.

The NSW Labor government has launched a broadside attack against Aboriginal magistrate Pat O’Shane in the lead-up to the March 24 state elections.

The third anniversary of the death of Aboriginal teenager TJ Hickey will be on February 14. TJ was impaled on a metal fence while being chased by Redfern police. Had police followed proper medical practices, it is likely that TJ would have survived.

December 14 marked the 100th day since the unfair dismissal of Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) construction division delegate Barry Hemsworth from his job at Botany Cranes. The managers used the federal government’s new anti-union laws to sack Hemsworth for the purported crime of “insubordination” — in fact because he was defending the occupational health and safety standards at the company.

Protest actions were held around Australia on November 17 as part of the “Chavez not Bush!” international week of solidarity with Venezuela. The actions called opposed US interference in Venezuela’s December 3 presidential election. In Sydney (pictured), 40 people picketing the US consulate were addressed by Keysar Trad from the Islamic Friendship Association, and Kiraz Janicke and Marce Cameron from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. Trad spoke strongly in favour of Venezuela’s right to self-determination and pointed to Iraq and Afghanistan as disastrous examples of the US government’s failure to respect this principle.

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