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Like Australia, Israel was established by settlers on the myth of an empty land. However, unlike here, expulsion rather than genocide has been the preferred method of removing the previous inhabitants.
Palestinian community leader and activist Shaher Hussein El-Mashni (Abu Nasser) died on March 1 in Melbourne. His memorial service, on March 18, was attended by more than 200 people, including representatives of Australian Palestinian groups and the Palestinian head of delegation to Australia, Izzat Abdul Hadi, who gave condolences on behalf of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
Late February three wealthy business leaders with close Liberal Party connections — Robert de Crespigny, Ron Walker and Hugh Morgan — announced the formation of Australian Nuclear Energy to develop nuclear power generation. Prime Minister John Howard praised the initiative as “a great idea”.
In an effort to attract investment, the Left Front (LF) government in the state of West Bengal has tried to drive thousands of petty landowners, poor cultivators and wage labourers out of their homes and off their fields, despite this depriving many of them of any means of livelihood. When they resisted, it sent in gun-toting police, killing more than 20 people on January 7 and March 14.
Beijing’s drive since the early 1990s to pursue the restoration of capitalism in China received a boost on March 16, with the introduction of the controversial Property Law. Ironically, the law will take effect on October 1 — exactly 58 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The law will safeguard the property of China’s burgeoning capitalist class, giving private property the same protection as state-owned assets. This includes the large number of formerly state-owned assets converted to private property in sleazy and underhand deals.
Build it Now: Socialism for the Twenty-first Century
By Michael A Lebowitz
Monthly Review Press, 2006
US$14.95, 127 pages
The Mack
Written by Sam Watson
Directed by Ian Brown
Judith Wright Centre for the Performing Arts, Brisbane
Until March 31
For tickets & information phone (07) 3872 9000
On his Alo Presidente radio program on March 5, Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez reiterated his call for the creation of a united party of all those who support the Bolivarian revolution that his government is leading — a process that is struggling to transform Venezuela to overcome underdevelopment and poverty.
Deriding the likely technical efficacy of the USA’s ballistic National Missile Defense (NMD) system (a key element of which is already stationed in Britain at the Fylingdales radar base), Ming Campbell, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, asked Prime Minister Tony Blair on February 28: “Do you accept that the system proposed is largely untried, indeed it has been described as firing a bullet in order to hit a bullet?”

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