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PM John Howard’s new “intervention” policy in the Northern Territory has begun with federal and state police storming into Indigenous communities.
In an unexpected backdown, the Queensland University of Technology agreed in the Federal Court on July 12 to continue paying the salaries of the two lecturers who were suspended after they criticised a documentary titled Laughing at the Disabled: Creating Comedy that Confronts, Offends and Entertains, produced by QUT PhD student Michael Noonan.
Internationalism was a strong theme of the 36th Resistance conference held in Sydney over July 5-8. Apart from hearing from Julia Espinoza from Socialist Worker in New Zealand and Gusti Galuh Ratna Sari from the Indonesian National Student League for Democracy, the whole conference took part in a separate one-day forum on July 7 organised by the Venezuelan Embassy.
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) ruled on June 28 that the 2001 conviction of Libyan citizen Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi — sentenced to 27 years’ jail for allegedly bombing Pan Am flight 103, which exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988, killing 270 people — “may have suffered a miscarriage of justice”. The SCCRC referred al Megrahi’s case to Scotland’s appeal court.
Some 80 people packed the Resistance Centre on July 1 for a Latin America solidarity conference organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN), Australia Solidarity with Latin America (ASLA) and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) committee.
My university, the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), has given 22 student and staff records to the Australian Federal Police, the NSW police and the Australian Taxation Office.
Bad Food Britain: How a Nation Ruined its Appetite
By Joanna Blythman
Fourth Estate 2006
318 pages, £7.99
“Governments will only act when they are forced to by social movements”, Dr Mark Diesendorf told around 150 people at the Queensland University of Technology on June 28. “In the USA and Australia, these social movements around climate change are growing, and involving a broader sector of the community.”
In last month’s elections in the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), the Workers’ Rights team took all positions against a ticket led by an alliance between the union’s print and vehicle divisions. Some Workers’ Rights candidates received over 80% of the vote. In the Victorian branch, where most positions were strongly contested, 40% of members voted.
Lucky Miles
Directed by Michael James Rowland
With Kenneth Moraleda, Rodney Afif and Srisacd Sacdpraseuth
In cinemas from July 19
Arumugam Rajeevan, an Australian cirizen of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, was arrested in Sydney on July 10 on terrorism charges. This follows the May 1 arrest of two Tamils in Melbourne on similar charges.
The 10th national Labour History Conference on June 4-6 delved into the labour movement’s past, but also featured interesting debates about present-day concerns.
The annual rally for NAIDOC week on July 13 drew a crowd of 1500-2000 people. While officially a day to celebrate the survival and revival of Indigenous culture and heritage, outrage at PM John Howard’s recent intervention in the Northern Territory was palpable in the crowd. A sea of placards and banners made reference to the importance of protecting land rights, and fears about children being taken away.
Ali Humayun, the queer Pakistani locked up in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, is suing VIDC management and the federal government for negligence of care.
On June 30, 45 people met to prepare the next phase of the Save Ralph’s Bay (SRB) action group’s campaign against a proposed canal housing estate being built by the Walker Corporation, owned by billionaire Lang Walker, inside the publicly owned Ralphs Bay Conservation Area, in the Derwent river estuary.
A bill recently pushed through federal parliament has the potential to threaten state moratoriums on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by granting new powers to the federal agriculture minister, a WA anti-GMO activist told Green Left Weekly.

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