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The Venezuelan revolution, led by socialist President Hugo Chavez, has captured the imagination of millions of people around the world with its increasingly successful challenge to US imperialism and US-backed neoliberal policies that have caused widespread impoverishment across Latin America. Since Chavez’s re-election in December on an explicitly socialist platform, there has been a struggle to significantly “deepen” the revolutionary process towards creating a “socialism of the 21st century”.
Around 50 workers from the Fosters brewery at Yatala, south of Brisbane, and their supporters rallied outside the Carlton United Brewery (CUB) head office in Fortitude Valley on July 27 in support of their campaign for a union agreement. The protesters held up placards and waved to passing traffic, who honked their support.
Three-hundred people packed Griffith University’s Multi-Faith Centre on July 22 for an emergency community forum in support of Mohamed Haneef and democratic rights.
A mass anti-Howard rally is being planned for Melbourne in September. The rally will be in opposition to the Howard government’s Work Choices laws as well as other abuses carried out by the government, such as the unjust imprisonment of Dr Mohamed Haneef under “anti-terrorism” laws.
On July 21 the East/Hills branch of the Socialist Alliance pre-selected Annolies Truman to run for the seat of Pearce in the up-coming federal election.
Pharmaceutical giants have put profits before lives when it comes to Third World people’s access to HIV medications, Andrew Hewett, executive director of Oxfam Australia, said.
The July 26 premiere of Tasmania’s Clean, Green Future: Too Precious to Pulp at the State Theatre was packed out, with many would-be viewers missing out. Heidi Douglas created this short film to expose the true effect on Tasmania of the pulp mill proposed by Gunns Ltd. Douglas is one of the “Gunns 20", who have faced legal action for speaking out against the mill. Also shown was Roger Scholes’ Franklin River Blockade.
Personnel in the Australian navy have broken down and cried while carrying out duties that include repelling refugees from Australian waters, according to documents released under Freedom of Information laws and reported on by the July 22 Sun-Herald.
“Seven of the most important Sunni-led insurgent organisations fighting the US occupation in Iraq have agreed to form a public political alliance with the aim of preparing for negotiations in advance of an American withdrawal”, the July 19 British Guardian reported it was told by leaders of the groups.
Shortly after midnight on July 29, Indian Muslim doctor Mohamed Haneef boarded a flight in Brisbane to be reunited with his wife in Bangalore and meet his newly born daughter for the first time, as he was trying to do at the time of his arrest at Brisbane Airport on July 2. The previous evening, he had been released from jail, after federal Director of Public Prosecutions Damien Bugg announced he was dropping all charges, conceding that the “anti-terrorism” case against the Gold Coast Hospital registrar had collapsed. “On my view of this matter a mistake has been made”, Bugg told a media conference.
On July 26, around 200 angry students and staff from the University of Melbourne (MU) arts faculty and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) protested the university’s butchering of its arts courses. The protest was in response to the university’s decision to ram through the “Melbourne Model”, an elitist, US-style graduate system aimed at reducing student/staff numbers and subject choices, which would create a two-tiered education system.
The following is abridged from a speech given by Paola Harvey to a people’s trial of US President George Bush, organised by the Stop Bush committee in Wollongong on June 23. Harvey is a Resistance member and helped initiate last year’s Walk against Warming rally in Wollongong.