Paul Benedek

The Socialist Alliance has decided to run long-time socialist activist Jim McIlroy in Labor leader Kevin Rudd’s seat of Griffith in Brisbane’s central-south in the federal election. Its nationwide election campaign themes are “People before profits!” and “Planet before profits!”
Holding placards stating “Save the pool” and “Uniting Care doesn’t care”, hydrotherapy patients, many of them elderly people and in wheelchairs, gathered outside Uniting Care Health in Rosalie on May 17 to oppose the proposed closure of the Wesley Hydrotherapy Centre.
Activists from climate-action groups, environment collectives at the University of Queensland and Griffith University, Friends of the Earth, the Queensland Nuclear Free Alliance, Resistance and the Socialist Alliance are coming together to organise a “Stop Global Warming” rally in the week of World Environment Day (June 5).
On May 2, 200 students and staff rallied at the Carseldine campus of the Queensland University of Technology to demand that vice-chancellor Peter Coaldrake’s foreshadowed closure of the QUT humanities and human services school be withdrawn.
Sixty students and staff rallied in the Queensland University of Technology Kelvin Grove amphitheatre on March 15 to protest against the recent arrest of four QUT students for “unauthorised” political activity on campus.
Around 400 people also rallied and marched in Brisbane, calling for troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and the release of David Hicks. Margaret McPherson from the Stop the War Coalition, which organised the rally, urged support for the April 21 national day of action to free Hicks. Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett and Greens member Willy Bach also addressed the rally, which was part of a global weekend of action.
“We have just spent the most exciting year of our lives residing in Venezuela. It’s the heartland of the most important radical political upheaval of our time, and centre of the project for socialism in the 21st century”, enthused Jim McIlroy who, along with Coral Wynter, spent 2006 in Caracas reporting on the Bolivarian revolution for Green Left Weekly.
“The goal of socialism is alive; we have seen the future in revolutionary Venezuela”, Australian activists Coral Wynter and Jim McIlroy told a public meeting on January 26. The two have recently returned from a year in the capital, Caracas, reporting on events for Green Left Weekly.
The struggle for justice for Palm Island man Mulrunji — who died on November 19, 2004, in a police watch-house from horrific injuries within one hour of being arrested — is growing.
More than 200 Aboriginal activists and other supporters of justice for Indigenous people marched through Brisbane to commemorate the second anniversary of the death in custody of Palm Islander Mulrunji. A coroner’s report found that Mulrunji was killed by Queensland police sergeant Chris Hurley.
On November 3, 450 people packed the Brisbane Convention Centre to hear a lunchtime address from US Marine Corps Major Michael Mori, the US military-appointed lawyer for Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks.
November 18 will be the second anniversary of the police killing of Mulrunji in Palm Island’s watchhouse. On that day, members of Queensland’s Aboriginal community and their supporters will rally in Brisbane to demand an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody.
Around 50 people — including the brother of Mulrunji, who died at the hands of police in the Palm Island watch-house in November 2004, many other Murris and representatives from Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation, the Greens, the Democrats and the Socialist Alliance — gathered on October 5 at Jagera Hall to plan a march on state parliament on October 10 to demand justice for Mulrunji.

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