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The corporate owned- and controlled-media’s accounts of recent events in Venezuela give the impression that a new student movement is fighting for their democratic rights against an increasingly autocratic government. This is testimony to the way the corporate media turns reality on its head — making the victim look like the aggressor and vice versa.
Australians all, let us rejoiceFor we are girt by seaWhich makes it very difficultFor would-be refugees,If any of them make it here and it's not a lot We lock them upAnd send them offSomewhere that's very hotWe lock them upAnd send them offSomewhere
World Refugee Day will be marked in Melbourne by a rally and march to demand justice for all refugees and the scrapping of the horrific new detention centre being built on Christmas Island.
The ALP deserves to be re-badged the “Anti-Labour Party” as historian Humphrey McQueen suggests, and the ALP’s public dressing down and forced resignation of Victorian Electrical Trade Union (ETU) secretary Dean Mighell reinforces this view.
The Socialist Alliance has decided to run long-time socialist activist Jim McIlroy in Labor leader Kevin Rudd’s seat of Griffith in Brisbane’s central-south in the federal election. Its nationwide election campaign themes are “People before profits!” and “Planet before profits!”
Cuban newspaper Granma reported on June 6 that Venezuela’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez, had called for an expansion of ALBA — the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, a solidarity-based alternative to US-backed bilateral “free trade” agreements and the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Chavez made the call during the closing of the first meeting of ALBA’s Council of Ministers in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.
Since federal ALP leader Kevin Rudd outlined Labor’s “Work Choices lite” on April 17 — promising that a Labor government would maintain the Coalition’s ban on strikes outside of bargaining periods and secret ballots — Labor’s full-scale retreat on industrial relations has continued.
When the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest national accounts last week it was revealed that the corporate profit share of all Australian income had risen to 28.1%, well above the long-term average of 20%.
The Australian government has recently come under fire for the inefficiency of its overseas aid programs, particularly in the Asia Pacific. The June 4 Sydney Morning Herald reported that more and more aid destined for the region was being lost in administrative costs or dished out to private corporations in the name of “development”.
At midnight on June 4, around 2800 kitchen staff, orderlies and hospital cleaners were set to be locked out of their workplaces by four contracting companies — Spotless, OCS, ISS and Compass — in hospitals across New Zealand. However, last-minute negotiations between the Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota (SFWU) and the District Health Board averted the lockout.
There is little mystery behind Iraqis' tenacious resistance to US President George Bush's war of occupation: over four years of war have left the country devastated and resulted in the deaths of over half a million Iraqis, according to a study published in the influential British medical journal The Lancet.
More than 1 million public servants across South Africa have embarked on the largest public sector industrial campaign in the country’s history. On June 1, more than 700,000 workers downed pens and clipboards for an indefinite stoppage, while another 300,000 “essential workers”, who are prohibited from striking, joined huge nationwide marches, pickets and other protest actions. While the immediate demand is for a significant pay increase, an important undercurrent of the mass action is working-class and poor people’s growing dissatisfaction with the pro-rich policies of the African National Congress (ANC) government.
On June 5, the Iraqi parliament approved a law giving itself the formal authority to block the extension beyond December of the UN Security Council mandate under which US and allied foreign troops are deployed in Iraq.
As several hundred people gathered in front of the Australian embassy in Jakarta on May 30 screaming “Fuck you Australia” and the mainstream media denounced Australia as “arrogant”, after Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso was asked to testify at the NSW coronial inquiry into the 1975 Balibo killings in East Timor, rights groups expressed a somewhat different view. At a joint press conference in Jakarta on May 31, Indonesia’s NGO Coalition for International Human Rights Advocacy (Koalisi LSM) said that Sutiyoso should have been arrested for refusing the summons. According to deputy NSW state coroner Dorelle Pinch, Sutiyoso was allegedly part of Team Susi, one of the Indonesian military units in Balibo when the five Australian-based journalists were murdered. United Nations police, who in 2000 began a formal investigation into the killings, believe that Sutiyoso was one of several officers involved in the attack and other clandestine operations against Portuguese East Timor in 1975. In October of that year, Sutiyoso led an assault on the sleepy coastal town of Batugade in Timor, the first time that Jakarta had occupied and held a foreign town and the precursor to the full-scale invasion two months later.
Some 55,000 people demonstrated in Hong Kong on June 4 — the 18th anniversary of the Chinese army’s bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy student protesters at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
On June 5, Labour Party Pakistan general secretary Farooq Tariq was arrested from his home by a large contingent of police without a warrant. His detention is part of a recent wave of repression by the military regime of President Pervez Musharraf, in which hundreds of activists have been arrested. The LPP, which is pursuing legal action and organising protests against Tariq’s detention, believes he was arrested due to his role in the lawyers’ pro-democracy movement and in activities against the Pakistan electronic Media Regulatory Authority, and because of the LPP’s announcement that it would hold a Free Media Conference on June 6. Tariq had also been arrested on May 4 and detained for three days to prevent his participation in the public reception for suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

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