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Hanan Aruri, a Palestinian woman from Ramallah, became involved in the fight against the Israeli occupation as a teenager in the 1987 intifada. Today she is an activist in the international campaign to boycott Israel, and is also involved in campaigns for women’s rights. She is a guest at the Marxism Today conference, organised by Socialist Alternative, being held in Melbourne from March 30-April 1. Aruri spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Emma Clancy about the current dynamics in Palestinian politics and the struggle against the Israeli occupation. [This interview will be published in GLW #705.]

The week before the March 24 NSW state election, the Socialist Alliance launched an initiative for a three-month trial of free public transport. Alliance members and supporters mass leafleted bus terminals and railway stations across Sydney on March 20, calling on the incoming government to undertake the trial and weigh up the cost and the environmental health benefits.

Easter has become synonymous with protests for refugees’ rights. Woomera, Baxter and Villawood detention centres have each been the target of Easter convergences that have shone the national and international spotlight on the Howard government’s blatant disregard of human rights.

Ten years ago, Australia led the world in voluntary euthanasia legislation. On September 22, 1996, Bob Dent became the first person in the world to receive a legal, lethal, voluntary injection. His peaceful and dignified death occurred under the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act (ROTI) of the Northern Territory.

Human Cargo — Looks at the world of refugees and the people who sacrifice their lives to help them, as well as those who work to exploit them. SBS, Monday, April 2, 12.30am.

Message Stick: Ripples from Wave Hill — The story of Australia's

Communism: A Love Story

By Jeff Sparrow

Melbourne University Press 2007

336 pages, $26.95

When former naval officer and NSW opposition leader Peter Debnam began his campaign to overthrow the NSW Labor government there were hopes in the Liberal camp that the scene was set for a repeat on March 24 of the party’s last win — Nick Greiner’s 1988 walloping of the Barrie Unsworth administration.

On March 21, in a speech to mark the fourth anniversary of Australian troops being dispatched to Iraq as part of an illegal US invasion responsible for the deaths of more than half a million Iraqis, Prime Minister John Howard conceded that despite the “surge” in the occupiers’ troop numbers “success is by no means assured”.

Build it Now: Socialism for the Twenty-first Century

Monthly Review Press, 2006

US$14.95, 127 pages

Tanya Reinhart, the Israeli linguistics professor and champion of Palestinian rights, died of a stroke in her sleep on March 17 in New York at the age of 63. Palestinian organisations issued a statement from Gaza on March 19, describing Reinhart as “a great indefatigable activist against the policy of the Zionist government of apartheid Israel towards us Palestinians”.

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