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.
Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Greg Combet expressed great pride in the role played by trade unions and union members in achieving justice for the victims of James Hardies asbestos products.
On February 2, I had a heart attack. All of a sudden, I was spun into the emergency health system. Over the next four days I received the most amazing health care from the ambos to the nurses and doctors at the public Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. It was a powerful rebuttal of the narrow-minded idea that society has to be based on material self-interest, profit and greed.
Seven-hundred people crammed into the Melbourne City Conference Centre on February 8 to hear radical journalist and film-maker John Pilgers call for mass action against the invasion of Iraq the paramount war crime against humanity from which all other war crimes follow.
Since his January 15 inauguration, President Rafael Correa has set about implementing his plan for changing Ecuadorian society, centred on a “citizens’ revolution” to refound the country and begin the construction of a “socialism of the 21st century” by investing economic wealth in social spending on health, education, housing and the environment.
When US President George Bush visits Australia in September for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, thousands are expected to hit the streets in opposition to the man perhaps most known for his extensive war crimes and suspect election “victories”.
The January 27 demonstration in Washington DC was the largest anti-war protest in the US since September 2005.
The announcement that charges have been laid against 31-year-old Australian man David Hicks, who has now been held in US military custody in Guantanamo Bay for more than five years, has been welcomed by the Howard government, which is unable to charge Hicks with any crime under Australian law.
A man released without charge after a week in detention as one of the latest batch of police “terror suspects” has branded Britain as “a police state for Muslims”. Abu Bakr, one of nine men arrested in high-profile raids in Birmingham on January 31, made the comment on the BBC Newsnight program following his release on February 7. One other man was released along with Bakr; another seven are still being held in police custody.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the referendum that acknowledged Aboriginal people as citizens in their own country. Forty years seems like a long time so how much has really changed?
Prime Minister John Howard created a stir in late November when, in Vietnam for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, he publicly defended the Australian role in the Vietnam War. Howard said, “I supported our involvement at the time and I don’t intend to recant that … I supported the reasons for Australia’s involvement and nothing has altered my view that, at the time, on the assessments that were made then, I took that view and I took that view properly.”
Following years of a sustained campaign by the ruling elite to vilify Islam, the 2007 federal election is shaping up to be a Muslim election, with the two major parties trying to out-do each other with racist slurs against Arabs and Muslims.