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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.
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.
On July 5, anti-war activist Peter McGregor confronted Attorney-General Philip Ruddock at a University of NSW symposium and served him with a warrant for war crimes. Police arrested McGregor, a retired academic from Newcastle, and charged him with “unlawful entry on inclosed lands”. The warrant charged Ruddock, along with PM John Howard, foreign minister Alexander Downer and defence minister Brendan Nelson with crimes including “Planning, preparing, initiation or waging a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances”.
Recent attacks on the organic food industry are about discrediting it to soften up the public to accept genetically modified (GM) crops, Dr Maggie Lilith of the Conservation Council of WA and the Say No to GMO campaign told Green Left Weekly.
Pressure from unions over the exploitation of foreign workers employed under the 457 visa scheme for temporary workers has forced the Howard government to tighten some of the regulations.

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