A March 28 forum of 150 people, organised by the Refugee Action Collective, was told that a new detention centre being built on Christmas Island will have the capacity to hold 800 people under 24-hour surveillance, and that detainees will have to wear electronic ID tags and be tracked at all times.
After the NSW elections it looks very much like your times up, John Howard.
Parasites' progress "This is the richest year ever in human history. Never in history has there been such a notable advance." — Forbes magazine chief executive Steve Forbes, March 9, commenting on the latest Forbes' annual Billionaires List, the
Greenpeace has revealed that an independent report into safety testing by genetic engineering giant Monsanto was ignored in the lead-up to a vote on whether the company’s new genetically engineered maize would be approved for consumption in the European Union.
Around 120 people rallied outside Liberal MP for Deakin Phil Barresi’s electoral office in Mitcham, Melbourne, on March 27, the anniversary of the proclamation of the federal Coalition government’s unpopular and destructive industrial relations laws. The lunchtime protest and barbecue were organised by the Deakin community and Your Rights at Work campaign group, which has been raising awareness and campaigning in the area against the anti-worker laws.
A hunger strike of 35 detainees in the Villawood immigration detention centre was initiated on March 28, sparked by the actions of Global Solutions Ltd (GSL) guards under the instructions of the immigration department. GSL guards snatched a Chinese woman from her bed in LIMA, the single women’s compound at Villawood. Dressed only in her pyjamas, she was dragged screaming from the compound and was deported only hours later.
The NSW Minerals Council has backed away from legal action against Rising Tide, a community group campaigning against the expansion of the coal export industry in the Hunter region.
On March 23, hundreds of thousands of people from all over India converged in Delhi to express their anger at the killing of peasant protesters on March 14 by police and thugs aligned with the West Bengal Left Front (LF) government. Those killed were resisting eviction from their land in Nandigram. Similar killings also happened on January 7. The mass rally was preceded by two days of cultural protests.
The major parties green credentials were again put to the test on March 22 when Greens Senator Christine Milne introduced Australias first climate change bill. Despite some high profile backing for the bill which attempted to set legally binding targets for cuts to greenhouse gases the major parties refused to support it, giving the lie to their concern about climate change.
Munya Gwisai, a member of the national coordinating committee of the International Socialist Organisation (Zimbabwe) as well as the deputy chairperson of the Zimbabwe Social Forum considers issues facing the democratic movement. He writes in a personal capacity.
To no-one’s surprise, the Beijing-anointed incumbent Donald Tsang was returned in Hong Kong’s March 25 “election” for the territory’s chief executive — the third such election since the territory’s reversion to Chinese rule in 1997. What was surprising was that the rival candidate, lawyer Alan Leong — billed as representing the politically moderate middle-class democratic camp and the first ever challenger in this highly managed ballot — secured a respectable 123 votes compared to Tsang’s 649.