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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.
In a move reminiscent to the 1947-89 Cold War, on June 15 Washington imposed a series of restrictions on the export to China of high-tech goods, including aircraft engines, high-performance computers and other technologies that might have military applications.
One of the Latrobe Valley’s longest-running industrial protests has ended. Former employees at Mechanical Engineering Corporation’s (MEC) Yallourn workshop left the site on the June 16-17 weekend after a 277 day protest.
Renewed Israeli airstrikes and ground incursion into the densely populated Gaza Strip have resulted in at least 13 Palestinians, including three children, being killed and more than 44 injured.
A snap protest at Parliament House attracted 250 people on June 27 against the federal government’s plan to send police and military into Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. Speakers included Greens Senator Bob Brown, who labelled the plan a “concocted pre-election strategy by a government who for 11 years has done nothing for Aboriginal people”. Sara Maynard from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre suggested that protesters’ anger be directed toward the Tasmanian premier and parliament for going along with the plan, while Aboriginal activist Jimmy Everett pointed out that PM John Howard is fighting one injustice with more injustice. Susan Austin from the Socialist Alliance spoke about the “Justice for Mulrunji” campaign and said more deaths in custody would be likely under Howard’s racist plan.
The good news is that Australian politicians and corporations are finally recognising that there is an environmental crisis. The bad news is that the “solutions” being promoted by the establishment define what is realistic for capitalism, so the “need” for big business to remain profitable sets the parameters of what is “possible”.
Up to 1000 activists descended on the town of Yeppoon on the central Queensland coast for the June 22-24 weekend of action against Operation Talisman Sabre — joint US-Australia war games.
Two of the world’s worst climate vandals — US President George Bush and PM John Howard — are preparing their lofty green rhetoric in the lead-up to the so-called “climate change” Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney in September.
More than 80 people packed out the Aboriginal Cultural Centre on June 23 for a public “people’s trial” of US President George Bush. The meeting, organised by the Wollongong Stop Bush committee, heard testimony from Saeb Ali from Peace for Lebanon, Maritime Union of Australia Port Kembla branch secretary Gary Keane and Walk against Warming initiator and Resistance member Paola Harvey.

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