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Some 250 people heard from Terry Hicks, father of former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, at a May 19 public meeting organised by the Stop the War Coalition. The meeting was also addressed by academic Tim Anderson, Omar Merhi (brother of one of the Muslim men being held in Barwon Prison accused of being terrorists) and STWC’s Anna Samson. Responding to a suggestion at a media conference before the meeting that one of Australia’s ‘most notorious criminals’ would soon be coming home from Guantanamo, Terry Hicks commented that one of Australia’s most notorious criminals would soon be ‘dis-elected’.

On May 17, a candlelight vigil was held in in Taylor Square to mark International Day Against Homophobia. The vigil was organised by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) Network of Amnesty International and Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) and called for the immediate release of Ali Humayun, a gay refugee from Pakistan who has been held in the Villawood immigration detention centre for more than two years.

The Victorian Labor Party has gone on a propaganda offensive against the Greens, accusing them of selling out on nuclear issues and taking away Victorians’ right to protest against nuclear reactors. Large posters have been put up and pamphlets will be sent to households in the four lower-house seats where the Greens pose the most direct challenge to the ALP.
Australia’s highest-paid boss, Macquarie Bank chief executive officer Allan Moss, has pocketed a 57% pay rise, now taking home more than double an average worker’s yearly wage for one day at the office. In a day, he earns more than most workers get in a year.
May 27 marks the 40th anniversary of the overwhelming victory of the 1967 referendum, in which almost 91% of the Australian people voted to give the federal government the constitutional power to override the brutal, degrading racist laws of the states under which Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders were tormented. The federal government now had the power to make specific laws in respect to the Indigenous people. The Australian people had sent a clear signal that it was time for Canberra to make laws, introduce programs and provide the necessary resources to end the racial oppression of Indigenous Australians.
The 1967 referendum on Aboriginal rights — in which more than 90% voted in favour of including Aboriginal people in the census and giving the federal government the power to override racist state laws and legislate for Aboriginal people — has “enormous importance for Aboriginal people and our struggle”, Queensland Indigenous leader Sam Watson told Green Left Weekly.
The following letter was sent by Green Left Weekly on May 16 to the editor of the Australia/Israel Review, the journal of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council.
A young woman working in a juice bar is fired and rehired at a casual rate significantly less than her former wage. She is forced to sign an AWA (Australian Workplace Agreement — individual contract) to get her job back. A young man, aged 13, is fired after retaliating against his manager who assaulted him in a South Australian fast food business.
If watching the ABC TV’s drama Bastard Boys is the only information that you have about the Maritime Union of Australia lockout of 1998, then you would probably conclude that the dispute was won by the brilliant tactical skills of Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) secretary Greg Combet and former Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) national secretary John Coombes, and the legal talents of union lawyers.
The Original Australians
By Josephine Flood
Allen and Unwin, 2006
306 pages, $39.95
The Peace Convergence 2007 will be a gathering of activists who oppose the Talisman Sabre war games and the testing of depleted uranium munitions. The long-term dangers of depleted uranium, mainly from weapons, are now a concern throughout the world.
On May 2, protesters at Chullora blockaded trucks transporting cyanide to Barrick goldmine at Lake Cowal in central western NSW. Protest organiser Graeme Dunstan said the action was a success, with no cyanide-laden trucks getting past on the day.
In 1974 hundreds of people crowded into a room in the Carlton Pram Factory and hatched a plan to build a media outlet that would tell the stories of those neglected, marginalised and ignored by the mainstream media of the day. Two years later 3CR began transmitting the voices of trade unions, the working class, the Indigenous community, youth and students, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, peace and social justice activists, greenies, socialists, anarchists, lovers of jazz and nostalgia music, feminists, queers and people with disabilities.
The shambles of the Airline Partners Australia (APA) private equity takeover attempt for Qantas demonstrates the greed and rapaciousness of this rotten capitalist system. All parties involved in the grubby business have shown up the irrationality of capitalism.
Since the ALP national conference in April, the big companies have had the ear of the Liberal and Labor parties about what sort of changes should be made to Australia’s industrial relations laws. The voice of workers and their unions have not been heard.
Representatives of the Australia Cuba Friendship Society, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network and the FMLN Australia, along with members of the Greens, the Socialist Alliance and the ALP, gathered at the US embassy at lunchtime on May 15 to present a statement criticising the release by the US government of convicted terrorist and mass murderer Luis Posada Carriles and demanding his extradition from the US to Venezuela (see article on page 14). The protest, part of a global day of action in solidarity with Posada’s victims, was addressed by Luisa Espino from the ACFS, ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey and AVSN national coordinator Lara Pullin.

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