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Jasmine Ali was found not guilty on June 26 on charges relating to her involvement in a February 22 protest against US Vice-President Dick Cheney. The same day that she appeared before the court, the NSW government’s APEC Meeting (Policing Powers) Bill passed unamended through the NSW upper house. Ali was the second of two Cheney protesters to win court cases. There are six more trials to take place.
Ninety people crowded into the Redfern Community Centre on June 25 to hear traditional owners, environmentalists and Aboriginal rights activists explain their concern about federal government plans to set up a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory. It was the last event of the “From the Heart, For the Heartland” national speaking tour.
The Killalea State Recreation Park between Shellharbour and Kiama comprises 250 hectares of Crown land on 8km of coastline renowned for its surf beaches.
On June 26, 50 inner-west film fanatics gathered inside the Petersham Bowling Club to revive another 16mm film print from the National Film and Sound Archives — a place so far immune from attack in the “history wars”.
On June 22, 80 people attended a World Refugee Day forum organised by Project Safecom at the Fremantle Navy club entitled “Why the boats must come”.
She stood out at the table crowded by journalists and onlookers who kept entering the room. Her white hat with an intricate band of weaving shadowed her face as she spoke out in the constituent assembly’s Vision of the Country commission: “I will never forget how they killed our ancestors like Tupac Katari [an indigenous rebel leader], the way indigenous people have been treated like fleas, discriminated, excluded. That is why we are here, to call for profound change. We need a state that is plural, made up of many nations. But you, the slaves of multinationals, want no change at all.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that of the 46 million pregnancies terminated each year, some 19 million occur outside the legal system. Most of these illegal abortions are unsafe — performed by unskilled providers, or in unhygienic conditions, or both. Each year, an estimated 68,000 women die as a consequence of unsafe abortions.
On June 26, federal education minister Julie Bishop announced a new board to draft a new national Australian history curriculum. Among the draftees are conservative historian Geoffrey Blainey and right-wing commentator Gerard Henderson. This is the Howard government enforcing its own racist ideology on history teaching.
The following article is abridged from a speech by Susan Austin, Socialist Alliance Hobart branch convener, to a 250-strong Indigenous rights rally on June 27 organised by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.
Shoalwater Wilderness Awareness Group (SWAG) spokesperson Steve Bishopric expressed concern on June 27 that the small community of Capricorn Coast on Queensland’s central coast faced potential pollution from undisclosed military toxins as a result of the Talisman Sabre 2007 US-Australian war games at Shoalwater Bay.
Dr Gary MacLennan, a long-time socialist activist and lecturer in creative industries at the Queensland University of Technology, was suspended for six months without pay on June 6. He, along with a colleague, Dr John Hookham, was charged with misconduct following the publication of an article in the Australian that criticised a PhD film project that mocked the disabled. Students and staff launched a support campaign for the two suspended lecturers which has linked up with a struggle against QUT’s decision to close down the school of humanities and human services.
Striking workers at the Esselte Australia warehouse in Minto have described as “unrelenting” their employer’s tactics in attempting to force them to sign individual contracts (AWAs).
In a June 25 joint statement issued with his Australians All co-patron and former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) chairperson Lowitja O’Donoghue, former Coalition PM Malcolm Fraser attacked the Howard government’s June 21 announcement that it was taking control of 60 Aboriginal communities in remote areas of the Northern Territory as a “throwback to past paternalism”.
The gay and lesbian community in Cairns is planning the inaugural Tropical Pride Festival, to be launched on September 16 at the Tanks Arts Centre from noon, with music from 5-9pm.
Heard the story about the last capitalist on Earth who sold the rope used to hang the second last capitalist? Well, they will try and make a buck from anything.
Leaders of the Mutitjulu community have questioned the need for a military occupation of their small community. Below is an abridged version of their June 27 statement.

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