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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.
The trial of the “Pine Gap Four” in Alice Springs is continuing with the Crown lawyer arguing that the jury should not be determining the reasonableness of the activists’ actions. Michael Maurice QC argued that, “Engaging in activities to disrupt the implementation of public policy can never be reasonable”.
The Free Aceh Movement (GAM) has officially started the process of forming a local political party following a meeting in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh on June 4, which was attended by GAM leaders, members of the Aceh Transitional Committee (KPA) and activists from the Aceh Referendum Information Centre. KPA Chairperson Muzakir Manaf said that that the idea to form a local party is part of GAM’s political struggle following the Helsinki peace deal signed by GAM and the Indonesian government on August 15, 2005. “Now is the time for us to undertake measures to create an Aceh that is more just and dignified”, he told Acehkita.com on June 5. Aceh is the only province in Indonesia where law permits the formation of local parties not affiliated with an existing nationally based party. Three local parties have already been established — the leftist Acehnese People’s Party, the Acehnese People’s Alliance Party for Women’s Concern and the Gabthat Party.
The Socialist Alliance supports the Stop Bush Coalition’s call for a mass protest when the world’s biggest war criminal, US President George Bush, attends the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Sydney in September. A mass protest is exactly what the John Howard and NSW governments (and the federal Labor opposition) don’t want - and should get.
On June 6, around 20 members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA/MOZA) were arrested while conducting a peaceful, silent march through Bulawayo to launch their “10 Steps to a New Zimbabwe”. Two groups of people began the march from different locations towards the offices of The Chronicle, a government-owned newspaper, but both were stopped and beaten by riot police along the way. Several people required medical attention. The march was organised to highlight the unfairness of current negotiations in Zimbabwe that only involve politicians who, WOZA reports, will “not be addressing issues of social justice — the ‘bread and roses’ Zimbabweans need”. For more information, visit http://www.wozazimbabwe.org.
Global warming, workers’ rights and opposition to the Iraq war are key campaigns this year, a Socialist Alliance state conference on May 19 decided.
In what the superstitious might call nature’s revenge, wild seas caused a coal freighter to run aground in Newcastle on June 8, the day after the NSW Labor government approved the opening of a massive open-cut coalmine at Anvil Hill in the Hunter region.
Algae and coal Zoe Kenny's assertion in GLW #707 that cost-effective "clean coal" technology does not yet exist requires some modification. In recent years, techniques for carbon sequestration using microalgal photobioreactors have advanced
Activists marked World Environment Day (WED) — June 5 — with a protest in Bourke Street Mall that highlighted corporate plunder of the planet.
Green Left Weekly is committed to social justice and environmental sustainability, speaks out against capitalism, and sides with the marginalised and oppressed. But it is silent on the plight of the most oppressed group of all — non-human animals, notably those exploited by the animal agriculture industry.
Former Newcastle lord mayor Greg Heys died on June 5 after a massive heart attack.
Having just visited Cuba — and as a former head of public health for the Perth east metropolitan region and former chairperson of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners — it was obvious to me that the 45-year US trade embargo against the island-state has seriously affected its ability to provide health services to its people.
Tasmanians from all walks of life are up in arms about Gunns’ proposal to build one of the largest pulp mills in the world in the Tamar Valley, near Launceston.
Coming to Terms with Nature: Socialist Register 2007
Edited by Leo Panitch & Colin Leys
Monthly Review Press, 2007
304 pages, US$25
Activists from the Stop Bush Coalition have condemned moves to make NSW into a “police state” during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in September. The government introduced legislation into NSW parliament on June 7 that will give police extraordinary powers for two weeks around the time of the summit.

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