Peter Boyle

NSW Labor lost the March 23 state election with its small-target strategy, its refusal to challenge the privatisation agenda and its sly accommodation to racism.

Workers on the Sydney Harbour ferries that have been privatised went on strike for two hours on March 6. The strike involved workers on the NRMA-owned My Fast Ferry and Fantasea Cruising.  

While the company brought in non-union skippers, all Fast Ferry services between Manly and Circular Quay were stopped by the strike and picket.

“NSW not for sale!” was one of the chants at a Fix NSW rally on March 3, 20 days out from the state election. It expressed a common element in NSW government projects that have sparked resistance from numerous communities and trade unions.

Riot police tried but failed to stop an International Women's Day march in Phnom Penh on March 8.

Aboriginal children are currently being removed at five times the rate they were in 1997, the year when the Bringing Them Home report was brought down by the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families.

As some of the rich and powerful gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum last month, Oxfam International issued a report revealing that the combined fortunes of the world’s billionaires rose by 12% last year as the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11%.

On January 25, Benny Wenda, chairperson of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), handed a petition signed by 1.8 million West Papuans to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. The petition called for the United Nations to “put West Papua back on the Decolonisation Committee agenda and ensure our right to self‐determination denied to us in 1969 is respected by holding an Internationally Supervised Vote”.

The petition handover was facilitated by the government of the South Pacific island state of Vanuatu.

Rex Rumakiek

Rex Rumakiek, a veteran campaigner for independence for his homeland of West Papua, lives in political exile in Australia. He serves as secretary of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). On the eve of West Papua Flag Day, an annual commemoration of the declaration of independence by the Free Papua Movement on December 1, 1961, Rumakiek was part of a group that raised the Morning Star flag over Leichhardt Town Hall in Sydney.

NSW Supreme Court judge Lucy McCallum discharged the jury on December 6 after it failed to agree on a verdict in the trial of Kurdish journalist Renas Lelikan on “foreign fighter” charges under Australia’s draconian “anti-terrorism” laws.

The Big Money Club clearly lives by its own perverse rules.

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