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.
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.
ADELAIDE — With just two days' notice, 80 people gathered on October 7 to voice their opposition to federal environment minister Malcolm Turnbull's approval of the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania's Tamar Valley. The rally, called by the Greens, was addressed by Sarah Hanson Young, the Greens' lead Senate candidate in South Australia. Greens MLC Mark Parnell also spoke, condemning the South Australian Rann Labor government for its failure to perform an environmental impact study for a new pulp mill at Penola in the state's south-east. Kris Hanna, independent MLC, and Ruth Russell of the Democrats also spoke. Socialist Alliance activist Ruth Ratcliffe called on those present to continue the campaign against the pulp mill and for a massive turnout at the Walk Against Warming protests.
GLW #727 reported that 120 people marched in Cairns in solidarity with Burma on October 3. The protest took place on October 4.
Despite China’s spectacular GDP growth of nearly 10% per year since 1978 — and despite Beijing’s claim that the country remains on a socialist course — in the eight years to 2005, workers’ wages as a proportion of GDP plunged from 53% to 41.4%.
Claims by immigration minister Kevin Andrews that African refugees are less capable of resettling in Australia than other migrant groups have been met with widespread condemnation by welfare, community and human rights organisations.
On October 3 Caribbean Net News reported that the South American nation Guyana, which borders Venezuela to its west, will soon benefit from a US$12.5 million debt write-off by Venezuela under an agreement expected to be finalised in the near future.
Across the board, the right made gains in Greater Auckland’s council elections at the expense of both the political centre (Labour-aligned tickets) and the grassroots left (notably RAM — the Residents Action Movement).


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