PM John Howard’s new “intervention” policy in the Northern Territory has begun with federal and state police storming into Indigenous communities.
I am sure readers would agree that the real swindlers were exposed in the discussion after the much-watched screening of Martin Durkin’s Great Global Warming Swindle on ABC TV last week.
Money for nothing "The 11th annual study of 71 countries by investment bank Merrill Lynch and consultancy firm, Capgemini found that buoyant economic growth across the world pushed the riches of 'high net worth individuals' (HNWI) up by a hefty
In the two weeks following the Sharm el Sheikh Summit on June 25, at which Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised to release 250 Fatah-affiliated prisoners from Israeli jails, Israel abducted more than 300 members of Fatah in the West Bank.
Thousands of people rallied on July 13 and 14 around Australia during NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week. Around 400 people gathered in Brisbane on July 14. Speakers from as far away as the Torres Strait Islands spoke out against Howard’s invasion of the Northern Territory, Aboriginal deaths in custody, inequality in health and housing, and the Beattie government’s plans to forcibly amalgamate councils. New Zealand activist Julia Espinoza spoke about Maori solidarity with Aboriginal people.
In a judgment against the police that was describing as “scathing” by Sydney Morning Herald journalist David Marr, magistrate David Heilpern dismissed all charges against the two “tranny cops” who were violently arrested at a protest against US Vice-President Dick Cheney on February 23. This brings to four the number of Cheney protesters who were charged and acquitted.
“We’ve tried to enter Palestine by land. We’ve tried to arrive by air. Now we’re getting serious. We’re taking a ship”.
On July 14, Gold Coast doctor Mohamed Haneef was charged with “providing support to a terrorist organisation” after 12 days in detention without any charge. His detention without charges or a trial shows the danger to civil liberties posed by federal and state “anti-terror” laws.
A gathering of 150 unionists and political activists stood outside the Queensland ALP conference held at Brisbane’s Exhibition and Convention Centre on June 30. Organised by the state branches of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and the Electrical Trades Union, the protest called on the ALP to maintain the promise made at the ALP national conference to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). After the national conference, Labor’s industrial relations spokesperson Julia Gillard announced that a Labor government would keep the ABCC until 2010.
“Nearly five months into a security strategy that involves thousands of additional US and Iraqi troops patrolling Baghdad, the number of unidentified bodies found on the streets of the capital was 41% higher in June than in January, according to unofficial health ministry statistics”, the July 4 Washington Post reported.
“Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson has admitted that securing oil supplies is a key factor behind the presence of Australian troops in Iraq.” This was how the BBC reported Nelson’s July 5 comments to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on the release of a review of Australia’s “defence strategy”.
July 5 marked 196 years since Venezuela declared its independence following a long struggle led by the country’s Indigenous people and a black slave revolt. To mark Independence Day, the embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela hosted a public conference in Sydney on July 7.
The June 30 election has resulted in neither of the two main contenders — the ruling party Fretilin and the recently formed CNRT (National Congress for Timorese Reconctruction) — gaining an outright majority for a new parliament. Fretilin secured 29% of the vote, followed by CNRT with 24%. After the result was announced by the National Election Commission on July 9, a process of wrangling ensued within the East Timorese elite over how the government shall be composed and who shall lead it.
Fifteen of the 20 workers at the Esselte site in Minto, in Sydney’s south-west, have been on strike for four weeks. The stationary company has been trying to force its employees onto Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs — individual contracts) for two years.
“I completely agree with New Zealand Maori Party MP Hone Harawira that Prime Minister John Howard, by attacking marginalised Aboriginal communities, is a ‘racist bastard’”, Aboriginal leader and Socialist Alliance Indigenous spokesperson Sam Watson said in response to Harawira’s July 9 comments.
On June 27, Tony Blair finally stepped down as prime minister, exiting Downing Street to the sound of loud jeers from anti-war protesters and families of soldiers killed in Iraq. His successor, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, gave a brief speech at the door of Number 10 in which he used the word “change” no less than eight times. Many British trade union leaders have been hoping that Blair’s departure and Brown’s ascendency may signal a move away from the neoliberal agenda pursued by three successive Blair governments. This was always a vain hope, as Brown was Blair’s treasurer for the entire 10 years of his reign and architect of many of New Labour’s most reactionary policies, including the infamous Private Finance Initiatives that have brought many National Health Service trusts to the brink of bankruptcy.


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