Lisa Macdonald

Jackie Kriz, an Australian Nurses Federation delegate from Geelong, will be the special guest speaker at Sydney’s annual Green Left Weekly May Day dinner, where she will share her experiences of the Victorian nurses’ remarkable victorious campaign and some of the lessons we can learn from it.
Six Zimbabwean socialist activists were convicted on March 19 for “conspiracy to commit public violence”. Their “crime” was to watch a video in February last year about the anti-dictatorship uprising in Egypt. But the activists won a partial victory two days later when they were given suspended jail sentences of two years. The six were also ordered to each do 420 hours of community service and pay a fine of US$500 (A$478). The six had faced up to 10 years’ in jail, a sentence demanded by the state prosecutor, Edmore Nyazamba.
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on March 8. * * * This International Women’s Day, on March 8, falls at a time when the environmental and economic crises of global capitalism are making life even harder for most women and the communities they live and work in.
The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples is inviting all friends of Cuba to join the sixth International Brigade of Volunteer Work and Solidarity with Cuba this May Day. The brigade runs from April 22 to May 6 this year. It aims to provide a wider understanding of Cuban reality and carry out volunteer work to support agricultural development in Cuba. The 15-day program includes visits to historical, economic, cultural and social places in Havana and the provinces of Artemisa and Pinar del Rio.
More than 100 people filled Leichhardt’s Palace Cinema on November 24 for the Sydney premiere screening of Growing Change: A Journey Inside Venezuela’s Food Revolution. The documentary, made by filmmaker and solidarity activist Simon Cunich, examines the global food crisis that leaves hundreds of millions of people in hunger and is rapidly depleting the soil fertility on which long-term food security depends.
It can sometimes feel like we’re losing a race against time to avoid environmental catastrophe and social collapse. Climate change is already extinguishing species, destroying essential food production and forcing thousands of people to flee their island homes. People are directly affected by more wars than ever before in history. While the underlying causes of the recent global financial crisis remain, governments are imposing vicious austerity policies on the majority of people in the Global North and South to pay for the capitalists’ greed.
Six activists arrested in Harare, along with 39 others, were finally granted bail on March 16 after a month in jail. The activists were arrested for attending a video screening of footage from the people’s uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. However, the six need to raise US$12,000 to pay their bail — far more than they can afford. An appeal is being launched internationally to raise the funds needed to pay the activists’ bail (see below for details). The bail conditions require the six to surrender passports and travelling documents. They must report three times a week to the police.
On March 8, women’s rights campaigners around the world will celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day (IWD). There could be no more fitting testament to the meaning of IWD than the words of one of the thousands of Egyptian women who joined the democracy protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo last month. The people’s struggle to be rid of dictator Hosni Mubarak, she said, is also a struggle for women’s rights: "[Before] we had nothing, now I guess we will take everything." IWD was born in a time of great social turbulence and huge struggles by ordinary people for a better life.
Friends of Cuba in Australia are invited to take part in the sixth International Brigade of Volunteer Work and Solidarity with Cuba, which will run from April 25 to May 7, 2011. The tour, which is organised by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), will coincide with the 50th anniversary of Cuba’s defeat of the US invasion at the Bay of Pigs (Playa Giron) in the Matanzas province.
In 2005, the people of Bolivia, the poorest country in Latin America, elected the poor nation’s first Indigenous president: Evo Morales from the Movement for Socialism (MAS). Since then, the people’s struggles to end multinational corporations’ plunder of Bolivia’s natural resources, and for forms of development and democracy that meet the needs of the majority, have captured the attention of oppressed people around the world.

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