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On January 26, more than 500 people marched through Melbourne to mark Invasion Day and to call for an end to black deaths in custody and for justice for Mulrunji, who died in the Palm Island police station in November, 2004. Rally chair Brianna Pike announced at the protest that Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley would be charged with Mulrunji’s manslaughter.
“Celebrate what’s great” was the official theme of this year’s Australia Day, January 26. But for Aboriginal Australians, what was worth celebrating on the day that marks the brutal British invasion of their land was the decision to charge the police officer Chris Hurley with the manslaughter of Mulrunji Doomadgee.
Them A-rab folks all look the same to me "Last night I talked about a new strategy for Iraq ... In spite of the remarkable progress, 2006 turned out differently than I had anticipated. And it did because there's an enemy there that recognises that
MELBOURNE — On January 21, Melbourne held its 12th Pride March. Despite rainy weather, 3000 people marched in the parade, with 87 groups represented. Issues raised included calls to repeal the ban on same-sex marriage, to stop violence against
When the NSW police minister condemned magistrate Pat O’Shane two weeks ago for throwing out a case involving spitting at traffic cops, her response was: “There is an election coming up”. The same answer could well be given for the bipartisan barrage of Muslim-bashing from senior NSW politicians in the countdown to the March state election.
Despite right-wing intimidation, the founding congress of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) successfully concluded on January 20. A leadership was elected, which has already had its first meeting, preparing for a year of “all out” political campaigning.
Prime Minister John Howard is to face trial in the NSW town of Bellingen on February 10. He is charged with offences including wilful and malicious damage to our national and international interests, aggravated indecent assault upon the working class and conspiring to pervert the course of democracy.
On January 24, water activists at the World Social Forum in Nairobi announced the formation of the African Water Network, to campaign against water privatisation. Hundreds of activists from groups and campaigns in more than 40 African countries committed to the new initiative. According to Ghanaian activist Al hassan Adam, “The launch of this network should put the water privateers, governments and international financial institutions on notice that Africans will resist privatisation. We demand governments provide access to clean water through efficient public delivery.” The network pledged to: fight against water privatisation; ensure participatory public control and management of water resources; oppose all forms of pre-paid water metres; ensure that water is enshrined in national constitutions as a human right; and ensure that the provision of water is a national project solely in the public domain.
Greens MP Lee Rhiannon slammed the police operation at the Big Day Out, saying that the use of sniffer dogs against recreational drug users had put people’s health in danger.
A report released on January 22 by the Society for Threatened Peoples International (GfbV) showed a sizeable increase in human rights violations in Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. The report showed that 685 people who had peacefully protested the Moroccan occupation in 2006 were arrested; and there have been regular incidents of torture and arrests of children. According to GfbV representative Ulrich Delius, “Morocco’s brutal actions against the civilian population in the West Sahara are aimed at intimidating the people and wiping out from the start any criticism of Morocco’s arbitrary rule”. To view the report, visit .
On January 21, Prime Minister John Howard condemned the organisers of the Big Day Out (BDO) music festival in Sydney for asking those planning to attend not to display Australian flags at the events as an “insult to the freedom it represents”.
PERTH — Protests were held outside Woodside Petroleum’s office on January 22 and 25 against Woodside’s Pluto gas project on the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Protesters highlighted that if work proceeds on the unique heritage site, it will result in the destruction of a large number of Aboriginal rock carvings. The protests were called by the recently initiated Friends of Australian Rock Art.
Thousands of Canadian students and their supporters are expected to protest tuition fee hikes at a national day of action on February 7.
Activists will descend on parliament house in Canberra on February 6 to demand that politicians do more to secure David Hicks’ release from the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.
A major victory has been won by the Aboriginal movement in Australia. The Queensland attorney-general’s department has decided that Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley will be charged with manslaughter over the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee. Mulrunji, an Aboriginal man, died in police custody on Palm Island in 2004.
At a meeting in Brazil on April 26, 2006, plans moved ahead between Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil for a major transcontinental oil pipeline. The pipeline would be 10,000 kilometres long and would link the four countries plus Paraguay and Uruguay.

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