686

On September 23, Jayme Magana, a young activist in El Salvador’s Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, addressed a community meeting about the oppressive conditions in El Salvador. A short documentary by Salvador Castro about political struggles in the country was also shown.
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.
Around 250 people gathered on September 23 to voice their anger at the ongoing occupation of Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon by the imperialist “coalition of the killing”. A letter to the crowd on behalf of Jack Thomas’s family said: “If Jack had not been targeted it would be someone else. This is why solidarity with the Muslim community is so important right now.” The rally marched to Trades Hall, where a fundraiser for Doctors for Iraq and Human Appeal International was held later that afternoon.
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.
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 stout, broadly smiling chief editor ushered me into his small office. From the wall, the face of forbidden fruit — stern theoretician, military leader and organiser of the Red Army, “sorcerer” Leon Trotsky — stared defiantly down at me.
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.
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.
On October 4, student anti-war campaigners were threatened by security guards with being kicked off the University of Technology Sydney campus.
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.
“A strong majority of Iraqis want US-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers”, the September 27 Washington Post reported.
Debts owed by students for university fees are growing by about $2 billion a year, according to the federal education department. Reporting the finding, the September 13 Melbourne Age observed that if the debt rise “continues at this rate, the amount owed will double in six years, from $10.2 billion in 2003-04 to more than $20 billion by 2009-10".