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Protesters followed PM John Howard from the Williamtown RAAF Base to the Hunter Valley Grammar School on April 18, in opposition to his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. Howard was kept safe from confrontation with any dissenters at both invitation-only events.

Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank and formerly US President George Bush’s deputy secretary of defence, doesn’t seem to comprehend why he is in trouble. He has admitted to ordering a US$60,000 pay increase for his lover, a World Bank employee, before seconding her to the US State Department as part of a generous compensation package.

Describing the situation as “unprecedentedly dangerous”, PM John Howard announced on April 19 that no water will be allocated to irrigators in the Murray-Darling basin after June 31, unless there is substantial rainfall and therefore water inflows to the basin in the next six weeks.

Bulldogs winger Hazem El Masri and lawyer Adam Houda were racially harassed on the night of April 12, according to the two men.

Tens of thousands of people joined a march on April 22 against the Howard government’s anti-worker laws, followed by an afternoon “Rockin for your rights” concert. In Melbourne, more than 1500 people gathered at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

It is 20 years since the release of Australia Reconstructed, a policy report that came out of an Australian unionists’ tour of Western Europe in 1986. It is also 25 years since Australia On the Rack was published by the metalworkers’ union (now the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union - AMWU). Back on Track - A Way Forward for Australia is the latest such policy offering.

The Australia-Cuba Friendship Society held its 2007 national consultation in Canberra on April 13-15, attended by some 60 activists from around Australia. The gathering was also attended by Cuba’s consul and consul general in Australia, Nelida Hernandez Carmona and Ifrahim Miranda Leon, as well as representatives of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, vice-president Buenaventura Reyes Acosta and Alicia Corredera Morales.

The federal Coalition government is proposing to bar the entry to Australia of migrants and refugees with HIV, supposedly to contain HIV rates.

Resistance held a NSW activist camp on April 13-15, themed “Confronting war and imperialism, socialism in the 21st century”. The camp was attended by 50 people and included workshops on socialist solutions to the environmental crisis, the Venezuelan revolution, fighting sexism today, racism and imperialism, and the Palestinian struggle.

The short answer to that question is: because we need to be. It is an illusion that women have attained true equality.

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