A September 1-3 Newspoll survey commissioned by the progressive lobby GetUp revealed that more than 91% of people in Australia believe Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks deserves a fair trial without delay. Only 24% believe he will receive a fair trial at Guantanamo Bay. Visit ><http://www.getup.org.au>.

The rising tide of enthusiasm for Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution is reaching Australia. This was seen at the Fourth National Latin American Solidarity Conference held in Sydney on September 29, the biggest such solidarity gathering in over a decade.

The third annual national gathering of the Australian Coalition of West Papua Support Groups on September 16-17 affirmed the right of the people of West Papua to self-determination and decolonisation.

MELBOURNE — On October 5, 80 people from a range of trade unions protested outside the new Australian Industrial Relations Commission headquarters in Exhibition Street. The opening was attended by federal workplace relations minister Kevin Andrews. Protest organiser Dave Kerin from Union Solidarity told the rally that workers will fight the Howard government’s unfair laws all the way, and that bad laws needed to be broken.

Fed up with Australia Post’s cuts to country jobs and services, country postal workers and supporters protested outside Australia Post’s Melbourne headquarters on October 6.

Academics may be given limited access to books banned under anti-terrorism laws, federal attorney-general Philip Ruddock said on October 2. His comments came after University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Glyn Davis wrote to Ruddock seeking clarification on the laws.

Members of the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) will have a choice in this month’s union elections. The current leadership is being challenged by the Teachers Alliance.

Despite ALP election commitments to “oppose any new uranium in South Australia”, on September 30 Premier Mike Rann’s Labor government announced final approval for Southern Cross Resources to expand uranium mining operations at the Honeymoon site, 75 kilometres north-west of Broken Hill. The announcement came just three days after the 50th anniversary of the first nuclear bomb test at Maralinga in SA.

Melbourne-based human rights group Civil Union Action! held a snap action on October 6 outside the Victorian ALP headquarters to denounce Premier Steve Bracks' confirmation that the state government opposes civil unions for same-sex couples. The Labor government has ruled out a debate before the November 25 state election on independent MP Andrew Olexander's civil unions bill.

Nelson Davila, Venezuela’s charge d’affaires in Australia, addressed a 100-strong meeting on September 22 organised by the Socialist Alliance and the Lebanese Communist Party in Australia (LCPA), held at the Lebanese Cultural Centre in Brunswick.


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