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.
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’.
HARARE — On May 15, members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police bashed vendors in the Eastgate area and arrested leaders of the Progressive Youth Movement and the Zimbabwe Youth Movement, charging them with inciting vendors to resist arrest. Some 60-80 Harare vendors have been rounded up and arrested by the state police for illegal selling of products on the black market. Massive inflation and more than 80% unemployment have created harsh conditions for those in the informal sector to make a living. The youth were charged with assaulting police and are in custody with the vendors at the central police station. The Free-Zim Youth Movement called on President Thabo Mbeki to comply with human rights legislation and demanded that the Pan African Parliament send a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe immediately.
Holding placards stating “Save the pool” and “Uniting Care doesn’t care”, hydrotherapy patients, many of them elderly people and in wheelchairs, gathered outside Uniting Care Health in Rosalie on May 17 to oppose the proposed closure of the Wesley Hydrotherapy Centre.
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.
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.
Survival International reported on May 15 that Brazilian Indians were angered when Pope Benedict XVI, during his recent visit to Brazil, claimed that their ancestors had been “silently longing” to become Christians when Brazil was colonised five centuries ago. According to the BBC, the Pope also claimed that the imposition of Christianity on the region “had not involved an alienation of the pre-Colombian cultures”. Jecinaldo Satere Mawe, from the Amazonian Satere Mawe tribe, said the Pope’s comments were “arrogant and disrespectful”. The Catholic Church’s Indian advocacy group in Brazil called the Pope’s statement “wrong and indefensible”. Brazil’s indigenous population is today less than 7% of what it was in 1500, and of 1000 distinct tribes, only around 220 remain. For more information visit < http://www.survival-A HREF="mailto:international.org"><international.org>.
On May 12, 60 people marked the anniversary of the deaths in 1981 of 10 Irish republican hunger strikers in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh prison in Northern Ireland, who were fighting for their right to be recognised and treated as political prisoners. The commemoration, held at the Gaelic Club, was organised by the Sydney Cairde (Friends of) Sinn Fein group.