698

In recent years “making poverty history” has become the fashionable cause for ageing rock stars such as Bono and Sir Bob Geldof. As global poverty means that each year 9 million children die of preventable diseases, the need to achieve this goal is undeniable.
A flotilla of waterborne vessels — kayaks, rafts, canoes and even a yellow rubber duckie — joined in the ‘People’s occupation of the world’s biggest coal port’ in Newcastle Harbour on February 10. The protest demanded ‘No new coal mines’, ‘No new coal-fired power stations’ and “No new coal loader’.
The action was in response to threats by federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock to have the governor-general disallow proposed ACT legislation on same-sex civil unions. In June 2006, the federal government disallowed an ACT bill on civil unions because it could have “undermined” the “institution of marriage”.
In his first two months since being elected federal ALP leader on December 4, Kevin Rudd has made subtle, but significant changes to federal Labor policy in its “battle of ideas for Australia’s future”. As if following a dictum not to be “wedged” — politically outflanked from the right by PM John Howard’s Coalition government — Rudd is moving significant sections of Labor policy in a more rightward direction and attempting to position Labor as the defender of “the fabric of Australian family life”.
Seven-hundred people crammed into the Melbourne City Conference Centre on February 8 to hear radical journalist and film-maker John Pilger’s call for mass action against the invasion of Iraq — “the paramount war crime against humanity from which all other war crimes follow”.
According to former French intelligence security chief Alain Chouet, the terrorism-related charges against Willie Brigitte, who is being tried in France, are “weak”. Quoted in the February 5 Australian, he said Brigitte is a “person without importance whom the Australian authorities continue to play on to create fear”.
Due to mistakes introduced during the sub-editing of Lynda Hansen’s obituary for Phil Perrier (GLW #697), he was wrongly described as a “Queensland Aboriginal activist”, rather than a “Queensland Aboriginal rights activist”, and the concluding section of the eulogy made by Sam Watson at the February 2 “Sorry” ceremony were mistakenly attributed to Bernie Neville.
Ecosocialism blog Readers of Green Left Weekly may be interested in Climate and Capitalism, a new blog, edited in Canada, that aims to present Marxist perspectives on climate change, and to provide socialists with the information and analysis they
On February 2, ABC News Online reported the laying off of 110 workers by Melbourne carpet manufacturer Feltex. A spokesperson for Godfrey Hirst, which took over Feltex late last year, said the workers’ jobs would go with the closure of the Feltex factories in Tottenham and Braybrook in Melbourne’s west. This “vindicated” workers and unionists who had resisted attempts by Godfrey Hirst to take away their redundancy entitlements, Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union media officer Tommy Clarke told Green Left Weekly.
It was with much disgust and sadness that I watched the demolition, on February 6, of perfectly good public housing on the Macquarie Fields public housing estate.

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