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Security giant Group 4 Securicor has sacked 40 of its workers after they protested the transfer of hundreds of workers to a different corporate entity, which resulted in many long-term workers losing benefits. Last year, Group 4 Securicor attempted similar attacks on its workers in Jakarta, but after security guards who were illegally sacked camped outside the company’s headquarters and thousands of people around the world sent messages of protest, Group 4 Securicor was forced to rehire the workers. Demand justice for the Panama workers — visit < http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-A HREF="mailto:bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=182"><bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=182> to send your protest letter to Group 4 Securicor.
On January 15, Pedro Zamora, the general-secretary of the dock workers’ union STPEQ was murdered by armed assassins, who sprayed more than 100 bullets at his car. Zamora had been leading a campaign against the privatisation of the Quetzal port. Zamora’s 3-year-old son was injured in the attack. In a January 17 statement issued by the International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC general secretary Guy Ryder said: “This gruesome killing recalls the darkest days of Guatemala’s decades of civil conflict, and the country’s reputation will continue to suffer unless action is taken to root out and punish those who commission and perpetrate intimidation and murder. This murder was planned and premeditated, and appears designed to send a message to those who dare to stand up for fundamental rights.” For information on the ITUC’s international campaign to demand justice, visit < http://www.ituc-A HREF="mailto:csi.org"><csi.org>.
On January 18, the Australian ran a story on a leaked report commissioned by the Peter Beattie Labor state government on the shocking living conditions for Aborigines in Queensland (see accompanying article). Green Left Weekly asked Sam Watson, Murri leader and member of the Socialist Alliance, about this and the ongoing struggle for justice for Indigenous people in Australia.
A confidential report titled Partnerships Queensland was drafted last year by the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy. The report — which found there was an urgent need to improve the standard of living for Indigenous people and take “immediate and sustained action” — was withheld from public release before the September state election. Premier Peter Beattie’s government abolished the department after Labor’s re-election.
The decision by a full bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) on appeal to deny a Victorian cinema manager access to unfair dismissal laws because he was sacked for “genuine operational reasons” is another blow to attempts to hold unfair employers to account.
Testifying to a January 12 US Senate hearing on President George Bush’s new Iraq war strategy, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Nuri al Maliki, Washington’s puppet Iraqi prime minister, that he was “living on borrowed time”.
Around 200 pick-up trucks and cars comprised the long snake of a protest caravan making its way along Jakarta’s main thoroughfare, Jalan Thamrin, after a rally outside the Presidential Palace, where speakers called on the people to “withdraw the mandate” of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The occasion for the protest was the anniversary of the mass protests and riots against the Suharto government that took place on January 15, 1974.
The Bush administration’s decision to send more troops to Iraq in the face of rising opposition among ruling-class politicians and pundits, and against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the US people, represents a desperate gamble.
When supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez rallied in the Teresa Carrena theatre in Caracas on December 15 to celebrate their presidential election victory, “there were cheers in the back half of the theatre”, wrote Caracas-based Marxist writer Michael Lebowitz in Venezuelanalysis.com, “but few in the high-priced seats”.
“Venezuela’s Leap Backwards” was the headline verdict of the January 10 Washington Post editorial, which attempted to throw doubt on the legitimacy of the December 3 presidential election in Venezuela that returned socialist President Hugo Chavez to office with a record 7.3 million votes (63% of the total vote cast)."Venezuela's Leap Backwards" was the headline verdict of the January 10 Washington Post editorial, which attempted to throw doubt on the legitimacy of the December 3 presidential election in Venezuela that returned socialist President Hugo Chavez to
On December 29, 2006, the 176-member standing committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC — China’s law-making body) lent its support to the draft of the proposed Property Law. Many fear this controversial law will help launder the enormous state wealth already appropriated illegitimately by corrupt Communist Party officials and their hangers-on, as well as encourage more such activities.
As Used on the Famous Mandela: Underground Adventures in the Arms and Torture Trade
By Mark Thomas
Ebury Press, 2006
339 pages, $35 (pb)
Rumpole and the reign of terror
By John Mortimer
Penguin/Viking, 2006
184 pages, $39.95 (hb)
Late last year, Green Left Weekly’s Kerryn Williams spoke to the assistant secretary of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), Suleman Hamid El Haj, in Khartoum about political developments in Sudan since the January 2005 signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The CPA ended the two-decade-long war between Sudan’s central government in Khartoum and the south.
One-time Hunter & Collector, and now solo performer, MARK SEYMOUR has often taken part in political rallies, as well as performed on the stages of Australia’s premier rock venues. At times his music and ideological stance have seemed as one. Recently he spoke to Green Left Weekly’s MIRIAM GRAVINO.
Science: A War on Science — The debate over "intelligent design" versus evolution, and a court case which puts it to the legal test. SBS, Sunday, January 28, 8.30pm. Drug Trials: The Dark Side — Poor and illiterate patients in India are being

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