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Palestinian resistance fighter and founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), George Habash, died on January 26 from a heart attack, aged 81.
A snap vigil in Martin Place on January 31 was called by the General Union of Palestinian Workers and others in the Palestinian community to demand an end to the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Forty people attended the vigil, held near the US consulate. They held candles in solidarity with Gaza’s 1.5 million residents, deprived of basic living necessities, including electricity, by the siege.
On February 1, 100 people gathered outside the State Library of Victoria to protest the Israeli siege of Gaza. The protest was initiated by the Melbourne Palestine Solidarity Network and organised by a wide range of groups including Australians for Palestine, Women for Palestine, Melbourne Stop the War Coalition, Federation of Muslim Students and Youth, Socialist Alliance and Resistance.
At 6am on January 29, environmental activists from the Bellarine Seastar — an arm of the Blue Wedges Coalition — crammed onto the Point Lonsdale pier, on the western side of the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, to protest the arrival in the bay of the giant Dutch dredging ship, the Queen of the Netherlands.
On January 28, 40 people gathered at Latin America Plaza, outside Central Station, to mark the 155th anniversary of the birth of Cuba’s national hero, Jose Marti.
Labour rights groups around the world are calling for the immediate release of Mehedi Hasan, a Bangladeshi field investigator for the US-based Workers Rights Consortium.
“We lack everything” Frances Buitrago, a small shopkeeper in the city of Merida, commented to Green Left Weekly. “There isn’t any milk, rice, mayonnaise, oil, wheat, or butter.”
On January 20, 8.4 million Cubans — 95% of those eligible — voted to elect their People Power National Assembly (NA), according to a January 21 Inter Press Services (IPS) article. The election comes amid an unprecedentedly widespread and open public discussion of the countries challenges and way forward.
Demanding, impatient, spoiled, bad at communicating — allegedly these are the character traits of “Generation Y”. Originally used in 1993 to describe children born between 1980 and 2000, the label has been featured in the media quite a lot lately.
The following is an abridged from a January 29 International Trade Union Confederation statement. Visit <http://www.ituc-csi.org> for more details.
An October 17 National Union of Students (NUS) report on the impact of the Howard government’s “voluntary student unionism” legislation argued that VSU has failed to deliver “self-sustaining student organisations just able to survive off voluntary memberships, investments and trading operations”. It documented a series of job losses and closures of student associations’ campaigning departments as a result of VSU robbing them of funding.
When the armed customs boat, the Triton, docked at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf on January 27, nine of the ship’s crew refused to disembark.
A key aspect of PM Kevin Rudd’s IR agenda is the creation of a national industrial relations system that would cover all private sector employees.
Confronting Power & Sex in the Catholic Church, Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus
By Bishop Geoffrey Robinson
John Garratt Publishing 2007
307 pages, $34.95
As employers continue to push individual Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs), some union leaders have urged the labour movement to press the new Labor government of PM Kevin Rudd to move more quickly and decisively against the former government’s Work Choices policy.
Although the corporate media present an image of Venezuelans suffering under would-be dictator President Hugo Chavez, whose supposedly irresponsible and populist policies are ruining the country, a new poll released by non-profit NGO Latinobarometro reveals that Venezuelans have the most positive view in Latin America about the state of their country and the direction it’s heading in.

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