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On February 2, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib launched his NSW state election campaign in the western Sydney seat of Auburn. The seat is currently held by the ALP’s Barbara Perry.

One-hundred people gathered at Brisbane’s Riverside Centre on January 27 to discuss Indigenous self-determination and the United Nation’s draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is expected to be ratified this year.

When questioned by the media about opposition in the US Congress to the George Bush administration’s “surge” of troops to Iraq, Vice-President Dick Cheney kept his message simple: “It won’t stop us.” In the January 24 interview with CNN, Cheney added, “We have to have the stomach to finish the task”.

Tim Zammit, a young worker at Woolworths in Hackham, South Australia, wrote the following letter to his union — the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) — in response to the recent employment agreement negotiated by the SDA.

Queensland Aboriginal activist Phil Perrier died on January 26 after struggling with cancer for several months. A ceremony for Phil was held on February 2 at Sorry Place on Jagara nation tribal land in Brisbane’s West End.

This May-June, 12,000 Australian soldiers and nearly l4,000 US troops and sailors will bombard our shores and fragile landscape, storm our beaches gunning down “terrorists” in the newly-built urban guerrilla warfare training centre, and test their latest laser-guided missiles and “smart” bombs in some of the most pristine wilderness on this planet.

The Socialist Alliance will launch its campaign for the NSW election with a rally and concert on February 24.

Private train operator Connex is under fire after tests revealed its fleet of new Siemens trains were unable to brake if soapy water was on the tracks.

Petersham TAFE in inner-western Sydney, like most TAFE campuses in NSW, is experiencing the beginnings of a mass exodus of teachers into retirement, precipitating a drastic skills shortage that will start to bite in the next few years.

Oliver Ressler, an Austrian artist and co-director (with Dario Azzellini) of Five Factories — Worker Control in Venezuela, hosted special screenings of his film in Melbourne and Sydney. Ressler’s presentations were part of the “If You See Something, Say Something” exhibition and were sponsored by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN), LASNET and the Melbourne Bolivarian Circle.

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