Two years ago we were assaulted with the spectacle of Bono and Bob Geldof promising to help “make poverty history”. The two pop stars, both well past their use-by date, played leading roles in organising the 2005 anti-poverty Live 8 concerts and as a result scored a much-reported invite to address the July 2005 G8 summit at Gleneagles, Scotland. That summit adopted a debt-relief and aid plan for Africa hailed by Bono as a “little piece of history”. Geldof declared the summit a “qualified triumph” for the world’s poor. The issue of global warming also featured at the Gleneagles meeting, with the G8 resolving to “act with resolve and urgency” to tackle climate change.
More than 30 delegates from around the world attended the Jerusalem Initiative conference held in occupied East Jerusalem to call for an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The three-day conference from June 2-4 was organised by the Palestinian People’s Party and the Communist Party of Israel and was attended by representatives from European, Scandanvian and Australian socialist parties as well as members of the international peace movement, trade unions and women’s organisations from around the world.
On June 5, thousands of Palestinians and international solidarity activists throughout Palestine marked the 40th anniversary of al Naksa (the calamity), the beginning of the 1967 war and the illegal seizure of the Palestinian territories.
Under pressure to prove his government has answers to the global warming crisis, on June 3 PM John Howard backed the corporate polluter-friendly recommendations of his Task Group on Emissions Trading, set up on December 10.
On June 1, around 150 people, including elders, family members, Noonuccal people of North Stradbroke Island and supporters of Aboriginal rights, gathered at Queensland University of Technology to pay tribute to Oodgeroo Noonuccal. This warrior woman’s life as poet, political activist, artist and educator was honoured with the inaugural public lecture and awarding of scholarships in her name.
Staying the course I “US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday the United States is looking to a long-term military presence in Iraq under a mutually agreed arrangement similar to that it has long had with South Korea … ‘What I’m thinking in terms of is a mutual agreement where some force of Americans […] is present for a protracted period of time’, he said.” — Agence France Presse, May 31. Tens of thousands of US troops have been in South Korea since 1950, still officially at war with North Korea.
LISMORE — On June 6, activists from the Northern Rivers Unionist Network picketed the office of National Party MP Ian Causley and delivered 120 letters of complaint about the federal government’s Work Choices legislation, gathered in a few days. The previous week Causley had claimed to local media that no-one in his electorate was concerned about industrial relations and that he had only received two complaints about the laws.
SYDNEY — Traditional owners from areas threatened with a potential nuclear waste dump are travelling across Australia to explain how a dump would irreversibly damage their land and culture.
One month of campaigning against the inhumane detention of queer Pakistani refugee Ali Humayun has resulted in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) granting him one four-hour home visit on May 31. Humayun spent the time with his partner, Julio Lorenzo.
Nuclear power is a solution to nothing but will create endless problems, Helen Caldicott told a meeting of 60 people on June 4. The revival of the nuclear debate by PM John Howard and Labor leader Kevin Rudd was a false one, she said.


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