Jim McIlroy

Protesting journalists in Pakistan were beaten by police on November 21. I travelled to Pakistan earlier this year, and I wish to show my solidarity with the brave struggle for justice being waged against General Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorship.

Brewery workers at the Foster’s Yatala plant, near Beenleigh south of Brisbane, are continuing their campaign for a union collective agreement. The workers — members of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union, the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union — are holding pickets outside the brewery gates from 1-5pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as some night-time pickets.

Supporters of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) gathered in Brisbane Square on November 16 to provide information to passers-by about December’s constitutional referendum in Venezuela, and to demand, “US hands of Venezuela!”

A report in the October 29 Brisbane Courier Mail signalled that the Queensland state Labor government may finally legislate to decriminalise abortion. But not immediately — perhaps in 18 months time, well after the federal elections are over. Labor MP for Aspley, Bonny Barry, has been reported as preparing a private member’s bill to remove abortion from the criminal code. Premier Anna Bligh has said she will support it, but has no intention of introducing a bill.

Launching his new film War on Democracy at the Dendy Theatre on September 24, well-known progressive journalist, author and film-maker John Pilger described it as perhaps “my most optimistic film”.

Ros Kidd, author of a new report detailing the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars from Queensland Aboriginal workers through unpaid wages over many decades, has called for part of the federal budget surplus to be used as compensation. The Hard Labour, Stolen Wages report was launched at the Irish Club on September 5.

On August 25, 500 people braved unseasonal rainstorms to participate in a Walk against Warming rally for urgent action on climate change. The event was sponsored by the Queensland Conservation Council and other environment groups.

Hiroshima Day “is not just a day for commemoration, but a day for action”, Nic Maclellan from the Nuclear Free Independent Pacific told a rally of around 200 people on August 5.

On August 8, 1000 people packed into the Brisbane City Hall for a public forum on “Australia at the Crossroads: A New Direction”. Organised by the Just Peace and the Just Rights groups, the forum was sponsored by a wide variety of peace, environment, social justice and political organisations.

Kevin Rudd: An Unauthorised Political Biography

By Nicholas Stuart

Scribe Publications, 2007

288 pages, $32.95

Pages

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