Pip Hinman

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.

People power came to Gunnedah in north-west NSW on September 15 as more than 300 farmers and their supporters rallied outside the Gunnedah Basin Coal Conference. They were protesting against a coalmining project in the agriculturally rich Liverpool Plains that was given state government approval in 2006.

The Greens and independents appear to be the main beneficiaries of a large swing away from Labor in the September 13 NSW council elections.

An arrogant ALP state government, with only the approval of cabinet, announced on August 28 it would start selling off NSW energy retailers as well as public land to energy corporations for future power stations.

Farmers in Liverpool Plains, south of Tamworth, are taking on BHP Billiton’s drive for black gold.

Activists have asked the Federal Court to rule that the recently gazetted NSW regulation declaring that people can be fined $5500 for “annoying” behaviour during July, but especially during the pope’s World Youth Day (WYD) visit, be declared invalid. The case was heard on July 11.

In Sydney, for the month of July, you can be arrested and charged $5500 for causing “annoyance” or “inconvenience” to others (but mainly to the pope, or his supporters) in more than 600 places across Sydney — including railway stations, schools and tourist icons, such as the Harbour Bridge.

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