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A landmark Federal Court hearing for 96 Western Australian construction workers that begins on October 24 is the most dramatic demonstration yet of the impact of the Howard government’s draconian IR laws.
More than 400 people participated in around 65 workshops and 10 plenary sessions to discuss a myriad of national and international campaigns against imperialism and neoliberalism at the Latin America and Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum held at Victorian Trades Hall and the RMIT on October 11-14. The participants included 33 activists and leaders from people’s movements and political parties in 20 countries, the most diverse left gathering hosted in Australia for years.
Fractures have emerged in Respect — the Unity Coalition, a group formed in January 2004 by an alliance that drew together expelled Labour MP George Galloway (now Respect’s sole MP), the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and anti-war activists. On August 23, Galloway issued a letter to Respect’s National Council titled “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” criticising the group’s lack of organisation and “custom of anathematisation in the organisation which is deeply unhealthy and has been the ruin of many a left-wing group before us”.
Victoria’s nurses are fighting three enemies: the state Labor government, the hospital administrations, and the federal Coalition government.
After winning a stunning 82% of the vote in the April 14 referendum for a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution, Ecuador’s left-wing president Rafael Correa scored his third major victory in a year on September 30 with his party, Country Alliance, winning 70% of the votes for the new assembly.
US President George Bush has opposed US Senate legislation to fund health care for the nuclear-test-affected Marshallese. Sixty-seven US nuclear bombs were detonated in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958.
On October 12, PM John Howard announced his plan to hold a referendum to alter the preamble to the Australian constitution to include an acknowledgment of the original inhabitants of Australia. This is a departure from Howard’s historic position against “symbolic” gestures of reconciliation — a position that in the past has earned him the ire of Indigenous groups, who in 2000 literally turned their backs on Howard when he refused to apologise for previous governments’ complicity in the horrendous policies that led to the Stolen Generations.
Victoria’s nurses are fighting three enemies: the state Labor government, the hospital administrations, and the federal Coalition government.
Ali Beg Humayun was threatened with deportation by the immigration department (DIAC) on October 8. Humayun, a queer Pakistani man, has been locked up for over two-and-a-half years in the Villawood detention centre and is currently appealing a Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) decision not to grant him refugee status.
“You’re only killing a man”, revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara said in a school in La Higuera, before he was shot. Forty years later, in that exact spot, among the fog of the Bolivian forest and darkness of night, flags representing social movements from all over Latin America waved in the wind and their bearers danced together until sunrise. That night of October 7 we remembered Che and the struggles of that time, through speeches and song, and we thought about the future as the continent turns red with the idealism, humanism, rejection of neoliberalism, and collective ownership of resources that Che had talked of and fought for.
Writing in an Age of Silence
By Sara Paretsky
Verso, 2007
138 pages, $39.95 (hb)
The Socialist Alliance’s anti-war campaign coordinator, Pip Hinman, has offered her condolences to the family of trooper David Pearce, recently killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan’s Oruzgan province.