A national survey conducted last year by the University of Melbourne’s Centre for the Study of Higher Education for the Australia Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (AVCC) has revealed that most of Australia’s 700,000 university students have become financially worse off over the past five years.
In 1989, 39 pharmaceutical giants sued the government of AIDS-stricken South Africa, seeking to stop it from implementing a law to improve the poors access to life-saving AIDS drugs. That aggression sparked a public outcry within South Africa and elsewhere, leading to an international campaign that only ended in 2001 when the 39 companies dropped their case.
The AC Neilson poll published in the March 12 Sydney Morning Herald had the federal Labor opposition in a commanding lead over the Coalition, with 61% of the two party-preferred vote. ALP leader Kevin Rudd was the preferred prime minister of 53% of respondents. Green Left Weekly asked a number of trade unionists how much of Labor’s rise in the polls can be attributed to the union movement’s campaign against Work Choices and how they believe these unjust laws can be defeated.
As US President George Bush was preparing for his recent "We care" trip to Latin America — during which massive demonstrations of Latin Americans responded by saying "No you fucking don't" and "Get the hell out of here" — he was briefed by
More than 500 people from 35 countries have been incarcerated in the Guantanamo Bay prison complex since 2002. Since becoming the detention centre for prisoners captured in US President George Bushs unending global war on terror, it has been the source of numerous allegations of physical and psychological abuse. It is a legal black hole in which detainees have waited for up to half a decade without charges being laid.
A March 7-11 poll by the New York Times and CBS News found that just 15% of respondents believed the US government should engage in regime change operations overseas. The poll asked: Should the United States try to change a dictatorship to a democracy where it can, or should the United States stay out of other countries affairs? Supporters of regime change operations fell 12 points from 27% in 2004 and those who believe the US should stay out increased from 59% in 2004 to 69% in the March poll. The poll also found that a mere 10% of those polled support military action against Iran. Only 14% believed the US government was telling the whole truth when it claimed Iran is supplying Iraqi insurgents with weapons to use against US forces occupying Iraq.
On March 14, 80 international students from Central Queensland University's Melbourne campus protested against the failing of a big majority of students in the final subject of their accounting course. Of the 180 students who did the subject, 56 were
The small Andean nation of Ecuador is facing a political crisis as the Congress and the courts turn on each other over new president Rafael Correa’s plans for a Constituent Assembly and a “citizens’ revolution” to build “21st century socialism” in the poverty-stricken country.
The Swedish government is proposing new legislation to allow far-reaching surveillance aimed at protecting national security, including monitoring phone calls and emails. In the debate around the unpopular bill, deputy prime minister Maud Olofsson admitted that the government has already been tapping citizens phones for decades and that the law would simply formalise existing practice. Critics of the bill range from the left to the Swedish intelligence agency Sapo. The Local reported that Sapos chief legal counsel Lars-Ake Johansson said the proposal may lead to drastic violations of personal integrity.
March 14 was Black Bashing Day on Tim Blair’s blog
. Most other days are Muslim-bashing days, but on this day his red-neck cyber-mates decided to pick on Jakalene X, Aboriginal activist, rap artist and the lead candidate on the Socialist Alliance upper house ticket for the March 24 NSW election.
US President George Bush has been touring Latin American countries this March with two goals in mind: keep the continent divided and keep it subservient to US imperialist interests. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has also been visiting his neighbours. His goals are the opposite: to unite the countries of Latin America and to encourage and support the continent’s independence from US imperialism.
On March 8, 300 people protested the Israeli military invasion of Nablus at the Huwwara checkpoint. Organised by a wide coalition of groups including the Popular Committee Against the Closure of Nablus and the General Women's Union, demonstrators chanted and carried Palestinian flags, signs, and photographs of loved ones who have been killed and arrested by Israeli occupation forces. Once at the checkpoint, several women leaders made speeches condemning the Israeli invasion of Nablus. The protest tried to pass through the checkpoint but was confronted by soldiers and border police. Demonstrators resisted when the Israeli soldiers and police created a barricade and prevented demonstrators from getting through the checkpoint. The Huwwara checkpoint was closed for one-and-a-half hours.