The City of Sydney Council wants to limit the distribution of printed material, something that Cameron Murphy, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCLL), believes may violate the constitutionally implied right to freedom of political communication.
On the June 2-3 weekend, hundreds of people from around NSW will gather at the site of the proposed Anvil Hill mega-coalmine in the Upper Hunter Valley to protest their opposition to the state government and coal companies push to expand the coal industry. Its expected that NSW planning minister Frank Sartor will decide whether to approve the mine very soon.
Organising is underway for demonstrations during the APEC summit, which PM John Howard is hosting in Sydney on September 8-9 and which US President George Bush and other world leaders will be attending. The Stop Bush collective is organising a convergence for September 8, aiming to draw people onto the streets to protest against the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. The protest will also call for urgent action to stop environmental destruction and for the defence of workers rights.
Two hundred young people attended a protest on May 19 to demand that the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay be closed. The action, organised by the combined schools Amnesty International group, heard from a range of speakers, including high school students, ALP state MP Lisa Sing and Greens state MP Nick McKim.
After the Supreme Court on May 16 banned the Basque party Abertzale Sozialisten Batasuna (ASB) from contesting the May 27 local and regional elections, more than 82,000 Basques signed petitions for the creation of new electoral lists. However hundreds of pro-independence and left candidates in the Basque Country have also been banned on the basis of suspected links to Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA Basque Homeland and Freedom). Some 133 candidate lists of the legal party Accion Nacionalista Vasca (ANV Basque Nationalist Action), which formed in 1931, have also been banned. A statement on May 23 signed by 17 members of the European Parliament described the bans as a serious attack against the most basic civil and political rights in Europe and called for a political, peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Basque Country.
On May 21, Cuban President Fidel Castro condemned the British Navys purchase of a new nuclear attack submarine, saying it illustrates the sophisticated weaponry being used to maintain the unsustainable order developed by the imperial system of the United States. According to British military officials, the HMS Astute which will be launched on June 8 and two further submarines to be purchased, will each cost US$7.2 billion. The most surprising thing is that with that sum, 75,000 doctors could be trained to attend to 150 million people, Castro noted.
A new weekly left newspaper, antidot, has been launched in the German speaking part of Switzerland. The first issue appeared on May 1. The paper is published by a collective, the antidot Verein, comprising a broad spectrum of individuals and organisations, including a branch of the Greens, a branch of the Workers Party (PdA), the Socialist Alternative (SolidariteS), ATTAC Switzerland, anarchist organisations and others. The newspaper aims to provide an antidote to mainstream media and a forum for discussion among the social, environmental and political movements and groups on the left in the German speaking part of Switzerland. Visit <http://antidot.ch>.
There are two big issues in this dispute: the right of academics to free speech and the question of QUT [Queensland University of Technology] conducting unethical research, left-wing academic Dr Gary MacLennan told Green Left Weekly on May 24.
LISMORE Officials and local activists from the National Tertiary Education Union and Community and Public Sector Union urged the 60 participants in a May 23 speak-out at Southern Cross University to step up the campaign against the federal government's Work Choices legislation and other anti-union legislation aimed at higher education workers. Pictured second and third from front right are NTEU national president Carolyn Allport and CPSU secretary David Carey.