Jim McIlroy

BRISBANE — To mark US and Venezuela independence days, on July 4 and 5 respectively, a speak-out sponsored by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society and Australia Solidarity with Latin America was held on
Brisbane’s very successful Green Left Weekly Winter Fiesta on June 14 helped take our 2008 Fighting Fund to $101,936. Since the last issue $7921 has been collected in the form of donations and proceeds from events like the Brisbane Winter Fiesta. Proceeds from fundraising events in Newcastle and Melbourne also made a significant contribution.
“Employers win in IR overhaul”, was the front-page headline of the June 17 Australian Financial Review, reporting the outcome of the Rudd Labor government’s new National Employment Standards (NES), released on June 15.
Opponents of the proposed Traveston Crossing Dam on the Mary River, inland from the Sunshine Coast, are preparing for a mass protest march to the Queensland ALP state conference on June 21.
Despite the longstanding water supply crisis in Queensland, big business continues to guzzle water.
Around 200 people joined a “Walk for Peace and Unity in Zimbabwe” on June 8, organised by the group Australians Supporting Zimbabwe. Gathering at the Peace Pagoda at South Bank, they walked along the Brisbane River bank to Davies Park for an information session and BBQ.
“Under the jackboot of Howard’s Northern Territory intervention, the great majority of Aboriginal people supported Rudd in the last election. Now they feel betrayed by the Rudd Labor government”, commented Sam Watson, the Socialist Alliance’s national Indigenous affairs spokesperson, at its Queensland state conference on May 31.
“The Venezuelan revolution is slowly going forward, despite problems. President Hugo Chavez hasn’t stopped for a minute in pushing the process ahead, in the face of serious challenges”, Coral Wynter, co-leader of the Australian May Day 2008 solidarity brigade to Venezuela, told a meeting of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network on May 26.
@9point non = BRISBANE — “Get on the phone to all your relatives, friends and those you know in El Salvador to urge them to vote for the FMLN in the elections in 2009\", Jorge Shafik Handal Junior, a leader of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, told a 60-strong audience of mainly El Salvadoran migrants at a public meeting on May 17. He also called on Australian supporters to visit El Salvador next year as international observers, to limit the right-wing ARENA government’s attempts to use fraud to prevent an FMLN victory in the January parliamentary elections and the March presidential election.
A rally against a ban by the Gold Coast City Council on demonstrations in the city’s parks is being held on May 26 outside the Gold Coast council chambers in Surfers Paradise.

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