Pip Hinman

Deputy PM Julia Gillard’s outspoken support for Israel’s attack on Gaza earlier this year prompted angry criticism from many, including from inside her own party.
Such is the outrage caused by Israel’s latest attack on Gaza in December-January that even some local governments in New South Wales have passed, or are considering, motions condemning the attack and calling on the Australian government to ban the sale of any military material to Israel.
On February 13, Australian troops killed five children and injured at least two other adult civilians in a night-time “operation” in Afghanistan’s southern Oruzgan province.
The news, on February 3, that South African dock workers in Durban had decided not to unload an Israeli ship due in on February 8 was welcomed by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), a section of which wants the union to join the international campaign of sanctions against apartheid Israel.
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On Armistice Day, November 11, anti-war protesters marked the end of the war that was supposed to end all wars with “troops out” banners and placards outside the US consulate. Sydney Stop the War Coalition (STWC) is campaigning for all Australian troops to leave Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pat Dodson, a Yawuru man from Broome, Western Australia, used his Sydney Peace Prize acceptance speech on November 5 to slam the Northern Territory intervention. He described it as a “crude, racist and poorly considered policy”.
The Sydney Stop the War Coalition has described the US people’s rejection of President George Bush’s war policies and the election of Barack Obama as “historic”.
While the war in Afghanistan has dropped off the front pages, seven years on, 56% of Australians say the 1000 Australian troops there should be brought home. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s talk about reconstructing the country haven’t fooled many.
Two hundred teachers rallied outside New South Wales parliament on October 23 to demand that education minister Verity Firth renegotiate the teacher transfer system.

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