Peter Boyle

March 14 was Black Bashing Day on Tim Blair’s blog . Most other days are Muslim-bashing days, but on this day his red-neck cyber-mates decided to pick on Jakalene X, Aboriginal activist, rap artist and the lead candidate on the Socialist Alliance upper house ticket for the March 24 NSW election.

The Blue Team appeared to regain some advantage after the leader of the (mislabeled) Red Team was forced to admit he’d made an “error of judgement” in meeting up three times last year with convicted fraud and former WA premier Brian Burke (now a professional lobbyist).

On March 4, hundreds of armed right-wing militia, calling themselves the Indonesian Anti-Communist Front (FAKI), attacked the East Java regional conference of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) at Hotel Selekta in Batu City. The same militia group attacked Papernas’s founding national conference in January.

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.

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