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On the grass outside an abattoir on the Western Plains of New South Wales, in the dark, cool air, a few workers are forming the late-night shift of a picket. Some journalists are hanging around, talking to them. It is less than a week after the federal government’s new industrial relations legislation, known as Work Choices, has taken effect. The men are outside the Cowra abattoir, not inside, because they have received termination notices. Twenty-nine have been sacked from their jobs for “operational reasons”.
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.
Launching the second phase of La Otra Campana (The Other Campaign) on March 25, Subcomandante Marcos, the best-known spokesperson for the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), denounced “the current stage of capitalism” as a “new war of conquest”. He argued that “another world is possible, but only on top of the corpse of capitalism, the dominant system”.
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.
For the fourth time during his 14-month government, Bolivian President Evo Morales swore in a new president to run state petroleum company YPFB on March 23. This followed the eruption of a scandal that has cast doubts on the government’s most popular measure to date — the nationalisation of the country’s gas resources.
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).
The Chaser's War on Everything — Australian political satire. ABC, Friday, April 6, 10.15pm. The Murder of Emmett Till — In the United States in August 1955, Till's murder and trial horrified the nation and lit a spark that helped mobilise the