710

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.
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.
On May 2, at the Barrick Gold shareholder meeting in Toronto, Protest Barrick — which includes aboriginal communities from Australia, the US, Latin America and Asia — served the company an eviction notice. The previous day, writer and film-maker Naomi Klein opened a film night in Toronto, at which films from Chile, Nevada, the US and Australia were screened. Shareholders at the meeting were given leaflets by representatives of Australia’s Wiradjuri people and Nevada’s Western Shoshone explaining the cyanide contamination of their land and depletion of water supplies as a result of Barrick’s operations. Some protesters used proxy ballots to argue their case inside the meeting. Lake Cowal, the sacred heartland of the Wiradjuri, is being desecrated by Barrick’s cyanide leaching gold mine. Access to the lake for traditional ceremonies has been restricted because of the mine. Wiradjuri traditional owner Neville “Chappy” Williams, who announced the serving of the eviction notice to the meeting, was later approached by some shareholders who said they were now considering selling their shares.
Less than two days after its launch, more than 100 people had signed an “online pledge” to take part in peaceful direct action against the construction of a third coal export terminal at Newcastle’s port. The pledge notes that the terminal would increase Newcastle’s coal exports by “66 million tonnes per annum, producing 160 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution”.
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.
On May 29, an unpredictable drama will begin. Attorney-General Philip Ruddock will try to overcome a series of embarrassing blunders by the entire Australian chain of command at the joint Australia-US Pine Gap spy base in the Northern Territory, and four activists will face trial in Alice Springs for entering a prohibited site.