Pip Hinman

Hundreds of Tamils turned out in Sydney’s Martin Place on May 18 to mark the first anniversary of the Sri Lankan army’s capture of the last bit of land held by the pro-independence Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the north-east of the country.

In driving rain, families lined up to place petals in front of a statue of a grieving mother. They heard from community speakers, the Greens, the Council for Civil Liberties (CCL) and the Socialist Alliance.

Visiting Pakistani socialist and anti-war activist Ammar Ali Jan and Edmund Rice Centre director Phil Glendenning delivered powerful presentations on why the Afghanistan-Pakistan “war on terror” was a fraud. They spoke at a meeting organised by Stop the War Coalition on April 27.

Ali Jan said the US was facing a checkmate in Afghanistan after failing to find a credible replacement for the corrupt and increasingly weak President Hamid Karzai (also known as “the mayor of Kabul” for his limited political influence).

Over April 17-18, Tamils across Australia voted overwhelmingly in favour of the formation of an independent and sovereign homeland — Tamil Eelam — in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

In what was described by organisers as “the most successful political event for the diaspora in Australia”, 99.38% of participants voted “yes”.

The F Conference, a historic conference given the long gap between such gatherings, drew a diverse, non-separatist, multi-generational crowd . About 500 gathered at NSW Teachers’ Federation over April 10-11 to discuss feminist ideas and campaigns.

The Greens face a choice between taking the Australian Democrats road of balance-of-power politics or becoming a more influential left-wing party, Sylvia Hale, Greens member of the NSW upper house, said in the 10th annual Juanita Neilsen memorial lecture on March 23.

Four years after escaping to Australia in a boat bearing the message “Save our souls”, a group of Melbourne-based West Papuan asylum seekers plan to carry their message about forgotten genocide to New York.Four years after escaping to Australia in a boat bearing the message "Save our souls", a group of Melbourne-based West Papuan asylum seekers plan to carry their message about forgotten genocide to New York.

Frustrated by a lack of progress in enterprise bargaining after eleven months of negotiation, members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at the University of New South Wales launched the first of a series of fortnightly 24-hour strikes on March 18.

Bridget Chappell, an Australian solidarity worker in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, was arrested by occupying Israeli forces on February 7 and threatened with deportation for simply engaging in peaceful protests alongside Palestinians.

Indonesian and Australian activists are preparing to protest US wars in the Middle East and the stepped-up “war on terror” during US President Barack Obama’s visits.Indonesian and Australian activists are preparing to protest US wars in the Middle East and the stepped-up "war on terror" during US President Barack Obama's visits.

United States President Barack Obama’s planned stopover in Australia on March 23 is scheduled to take place around the time of the seventh anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq on March 20.United States President Barack Obama's planned stopover in Australia on March 23 is scheduled to take place around the time of the seventh anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq on March 20.

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