MELBOURNE — Chanting ‘No nukes! No war! This is what we’re fighting for!’, more than 3000 people, including representatives of 80 different organisations, took part in the Palm Sunday peace parade on April 1. Dubbed Nuclear Fools Day, it was a protest against the expansion of uranium mining and proposals for nuclear energy. It also sent a strong message to the ALP, which looks set to scrap its ‘no new mines’ policy at its national conference later this month. Speakers included Cam Walker from Friends of the Earth, Bill Williams from the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation, Democrat Senator Lyn Allison and Greens Senator Bob Brown.
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The 19th Arab League (AL) summit, held in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on March 28-29, voted to re-affirm support for the “Arab peace initiative” proposed by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah five years ago.
Work Choices The first anniversary of Work Choices is marked by another employer exploiting the Howard government's feudal IR laws to reduce workers' pay and conditions National retail chain Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops expects its 1509 casual
In Papua New Guinea, 97% customary land ownership by the Indigenous people is recognised by the constitution. However, a powerful coalition is seeking to overturn this. At a forum hosted by AidWatch and supported by the Research Initiative on International Activism UTS, Sylvia Mulung and Howard Sindana, community organisers from the Bismarck Ramu Group in Madang province, explained the struggle being organised against the privatisation of land.
On April 6, notorious Cuban-born terrorist Luis Posada Carriles was granted freedom on bail in the El Paso Federal Court, which will allow him to return home to his family in Miami after the payment of US$250,000. Posada, a former CIA operative, was the mastermind of the deadly bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976, and has been involved in other terrorist acts and violent campaigns against popular movements in Latin America. Washington has denied requests to extradite him to Venezuela, where he had been imprisoned until he escaped in 1985.
Last week, right-wing Sydney Radio 2GB “shock jock” Alan Jones was let off with a ticking-off from Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for inciting on air the infamous anti-Lebanese bashing spree in Cronulla in 2005.
In his first two articles in the Cuban Communist Party’s newspaper, Granma, since becoming ill last year, President Fidel Castro lashed out at the recently signed ethanol deal between Brazil and the US. In an April 3 article he described it as “the internationalisation of genocide”.
Supporters of the Venezuelan and Cuban revolutions assembled on April 11 at the Iberoamerican square to commemorate the failure of the April 2002 US-backed coup against the government of Venezuela’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez.
Declaring that there “is the distinct possibility of casualties and that should be understood and prepared for by the Australian public”, PM John Howard announced on April 10 that an Australian military task force spearheaded by 300 Special Air Services troops would be deployed to Afghanistan’s south-central Oruzgan province.
A year after the Howard government introduced Work Choices, the legislation’s negative impact on workers’ wages and conditions and unions’ ability to defend their members’ interests is clear for all to see.
More than 50 people protested on April 12 against the Australian government’s decision to send 300 extra troops to Afghanistan. The speakout was called at short notice by the Stop the War Coalition. Activists pointed out that the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan are part of the same “war on terror”, are both motivated by lies, and are both wars of occupation in which innocent people are being killed for US corporate interests.
“The PST has increased its vote slightly on its results in 2000", Avelino Coelho da Silva, secretary-general of the Socialist Party of Timor, told Green Left Weekly by telephone from Dili. Coelho was the PST’s candidate in the country’s April 9 presidential election, the final results of which will be officially announced by the National Election Commission (CNE) on April 16.
Preliminary arguments have started in the retrial of Jack Thomas at the Supreme Court. The case demonstrates that the Howard government’s “anti-terror” laws can be used to criminalise non-terrorists.
At this year’s national ALP conference, to be held in Sydney from April 27, delegates will determine whether or not to ditch Labor’s current policy of not supporting any new uranium mines (adopted in 1998). The current policy will almost certainly be overturned.
According to a report by the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens Rights, between September 2000 (the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada) and July 2006, 68 pregnant women were forced to give birth at Israeli checkpoints in the Occupied Territories after Israeli soldiers barred them from crossing the road blocks to access hospitals and medical centres. Thirty-four infants and four pregnant women died at these checkpoints.


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