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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.
Prime Minister John Howard’s January 25 announcement of plans to deal with the water crisis in the Murray-Darling Basin contains some measures that are small steps in the right direction, such as the replacement of open irrigation channels with covered pipes to reduce evaporation.
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.
Annette Peardon was nine years old when she and her brother were forcibly removed from their family on Cape Barren Island. They spent their youth in a series of foster homes and institutions around Tasmania. Last November, Tasmania’s parliament passed the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal Children Bill 2006, the country’s first compensation law. Green Left Weekly’s Susan Austin spoke with Peardon about the significance of this law, and her struggle for justice.
“The goal of socialism is alive; we have seen the future in revolutionary Venezuela”, Australian activists Coral Wynter and Jim McIlroy told a public meeting on January 26. The two have recently returned from a year in the capital, Caracas, reporting on events for Green Left Weekly.
Debra and Jon Cooley met at the Blundstone boot factory, where they have worked most of their lives. They had just taken out a loan for their dream home when Blundstone announced, on January 16, that it was closing up shop. Three hundred and thirty staff like the Cooleys, and Jade Archer and his partner, who are too old to start apprenticeships, now face an uncertain future as their skills are made redundant.
An anti-nuclear Peace Parade and Festival is being planned for Palm Sunday in Melbourne.
Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth has helped dramatise the enormity of the global environmental crisis. The scale of the threat posed by industrially induced global warming, and the short time in which to take meaningful action to prevent catastrophic consequences, makes the question of how to combat global warming arguably the most urgent one facing humanity.
A “freedom ride” from Sydney to Canberra will be held on March 25 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Howard government’s overturning of the Northern Territory’s voluntary euthanasia law, the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act (ROTI).

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