Peter Boyle

On December 27, 2006, the Socialist Alliance, along with all other parties without representation in the national parliament, lost its federal electoral registration. If we do not regain registration, the name Socialist Alliance will not appear on ballot papers at the next federal poll.

When the vice-president of the “land of the free” came to Sydney recently, the joke going around was that he brought a “troop surge” to town. A few friends are still sporting bruises from that “surge”, made possible by the NSW Labor government’s generous provision of a large number of bullies in uniform to terrorise the local population.

Seven hundred issues ago the first copy of Green Left Weekly hit the streets in the midst of the first US-led invasion of Iraq. “Just say no” to the war, was the cry on our multi-coloured cover, and the issue was snapped up eagerly at the anti-war protests.

An article by Adele Horin in the February 15 Sydney Morning Herald reported the findings of a world authority on income inequality, Sir Anthony Atkinson, of Oxford University, which he presented at a seminar at the social policy research centre at the University of NSW.

Dita Sari is arguably the most well-known progressive activist in Indonesia today. A former trade union leader and political prisoner under the Suharto regime, she is now the chairperson of the People’s Democratic Party (PRD), which is the leading force in the new, broader National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas). Sari was interviewed in Jakarta by Green Left Weekly’s Peter Boyle after the founding conference of Papernas in January, which selected her as its candidate for the 2009 presidential elections.

Green Left Weekly has received a desperate appeal from Papernas (the National Liberation Party of Unity) in Indonesia for emergency solidarity in the wake of severe floods in Jakarta and surrounding heavily populated areas.

On February 2, I had a heart attack. All of a sudden, I was spun into the emergency health system. Over the next four days I received the most amazing health care from the ambos to the nurses and doctors at the public Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. It was a powerful rebuttal of the narrow-minded idea that society has to be based on material self-interest, profit and greed.

Isn’t it great to begin the new year of struggle with a victory! The January 26 announcement that Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley will be charged with the manslaughter on Palm Island in 2004 of Mulrunji, a young Indigenous man, was a historic victory. This will be the first time in Queensland history (and only the second time in Australian history) that a police officer is to be charged in relation to an Aboriginal death in custody.

Intimidation by armed right-wing thugs and police harassment failed to disperse the January 18-20 founding congress of Indonesia’s new National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) at Kaliurang, near Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

Last Friday, as I sat down to write this, a progress report on the Green Left Weekly fighting fund was emailed in from Will who heads our small but serious finance team. More than $16,000 came in from our supporters the previous week (donations and fund raising events), taking the total raised this year to $203,815.

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