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Workers and concerned community members are continuing to hold rolling protests outside Preston Motors sites across Melbourne after the company’s refusal to negotiate a wage increase for its warehouse employees.
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.
Pope Benedict XVI is travelling to Brazil in May for an important bishops’ meeting. To prepare the way the Vatican has slapped down Jesuit Father Jon Sobrino, one of Latin America’s major theologians and a survivor of the 1980s Salvadoran death squad war.
(in response to Gunns withdrawing its pulp mill from the independent assessment process and Tasmanian premier Paul Lennon planning to approve it anyway)
george bush, the war criminal says he's only killed about 30,000 Iraqis, more or less he's also killed more than 3000 US soldiers but that's the price you must pay for oil-ocracy, unleaded liberty, kerosene coalition benzene
Hanan Aruri, a Palestinian woman from Ramallah, became involved in the fight against the Israeli occupation as a teenager during the 1987 intifada (uprising). Today she is an activist in the international campaign to boycott Israel, and is also involved in campaigns for women’s rights. She was a guest at the Socialist Alternative’s March 30-April 1 Marxism Today conference. Aruri spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Emma Clancy about the current dynamics in Palestinian politics and the struggle against the Israeli occupation.
The two-month-old government of leftist Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and the popular movements that back him have emerged triumphant in their first battle with the oligarchy and the traditional political parties that have historically dominated the country. Correa in his inaugural address in January called for an opening to a “new socialism of the 21st century” and declared that Ecuador has to end “the perverse system that has destroyed our democracy, our economy and our society”.
Many workers and unions in Australia and other imperialist countries have been involved in campaigns to stop jobs from being sent offshore to Third World countries. Unions in the rich countries usually think that this is an issue that only affects them, but the off-shoring of jobs to other countries, or to “free trade zones”, heavily impacts on workers in Third World countries, as capitalists try to drive workers’ wages and conditions ever lower.
In front of more than 2000 “promoters” for the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) on March 24, President Hugo Chavez called for all the political parties that support him to unite behind the new party. These “promoters” will carry out the first stage in the formation of a united pro-government party by the end of the year. Chavez emphasised that a united party is vital for the success of the Bolivarian revolutionary process.
Around 5000 lawyers protesting on March 21 vowed not to rest until they succeed in removing General Pervez Musharraf from office, forcing the withdrawal of the reference against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and gaining assurance of a full independent judiciary capable of protecting the constitution. They called for the establishment of a truly democratic government through free and fair elections. The dispute was sparked on March 9 when Musharraf suspended Chaudhry.
Sixteen landed estates will be expropriated for Venezuela’s land reform program, announced President Hugo Chavez on March 25, during his television program Alo Presidente. The total area of land that will thus become available for redistribution to peasants and agricultural cooperatives will exceed 330,000 hectares in the states of Apure, Anzoategui, Barinas, Guarico, Portuguesa and Aragua.
“Today was a victory for democratic forces, not only for the Labour Party Pakistan, but for all the other parties who were able to go onto the streets in support of democratic rights”, LPP general secretary Farooq Tariq told Green Left Weekly’s Jim McIlroy in Lahore on March 26, following a round of demonstrations.
East Timor’s presidential election campaign is now officially underway. Voting will be held on April 9. Max Lane spoke by phone with presidential candidate Avelino Coelho, secretary-general of the Socialist Party of Timor (PST).
Zalmay Khalilzad, the departing US ambassador to Iraq, told journalists in Baghdad on March 26 that US embassy and military officials had met several times with representatives of Iraqi groups that have ties to the anti-occupation resistance movement.
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.
On March 25, Iran announced it would limit inspections of its nuclear activities by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency to its legally binding requirements under the country’s 1974 nuclear safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

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