Kerry Smith

“Activists are calling for Sydneysiders to stay in the city during the APEC summit in September to protest against climate change and war, despite the NSW government urging people to go away for the weekend to ease expected congestion”, Australian Associated Press reported on May 3.
On May 2, the Socialist Alliance announced that two candidates from the Gold Coast will stand in the next federal election. Amelia Taylor will run on the alliance’s Senate ticket in Queensland, alongside Aboriginal activist Sam Watson. Tim Kirchler will stand for the seat of Moncrieff, currently held by Liberal MP Steven Ciobo.
Joe Collins from the Australia West Papua Association said on April 19 that Australia should have no ties with the Indonesian military (TNI) until it is proven to have reformed. TNI commander Marshal Djoko Suyanto was visiting Canberra at the time to strengthen Australia-Indonesia military relations.
The 2007 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras award for “Most outstanding political comment” was awarded to the “Bring David Hicks home” float.
Forty-nine workers at Coghlan and Russell, a car components factory in Geelong, have been stood down after the company called in receivers. On April 5, the workers discovered that their superannuation had not been paid for more than eight months. When the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) confronted management, it was told that the company had a plan and would talk to the union in a couple of days.
On April 13, the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) reported that Yuan Hui Min had been taken from Villawood detention centre to hospital. She is one of ten detainees on hunger strike in protest at the “unjust situation of detention”. The hunger strikers are calling for an end to forcible deportations, a maximum detention period of six months and for the immediate release of two detainees being held incommunicado.
On April 8, police arrested 14 protesters at the Lake Cowal Gold Mine, 47 kilometres from West Wyalong in central-western NSW. Activists had locked themselves to mining machinery and entered the offices of the mine, in support of demands by the Wiradjuri traditional landowners that the mine cease operations. Some 100 Aboriginal and environmental protesters participated in the action.
On April 6, notorious Cuban-born terrorist Luis Posada Carriles was granted freedom on bail in the El Paso Federal Court, which will allow him to return home to his family in Miami after the payment of US$250,000. Posada, a former CIA operative, was the mastermind of the deadly bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976, and has been involved in other terrorist acts and violent campaigns against popular movements in Latin America. Washington has denied requests to extradite him to Venezuela, where he had been imprisoned until he escaped in 1985.
The Gippsland Trades and Labour Council (GTLC) has expressed outrage at the refusal of power companies and the Victorian government to discuss health and safety in the power industry following two workplace deaths and a serious injury in the La Trobe Valley late in 2006.
The Greens are calling for state-of-the-art mobile medical clinics as a means of extending city-based services to rural and remote areas of NSW. The call is part of the Greens’ NSW election policy for health, launched by MP Sylvia Hale on March 16.


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