742

International Women’s Day, observed on March 8, is a testimony to women struggling to better their lives.
A Western Australian campaign group formed over the January 27 death in custody of an Indigenous elder has vowed to continue to fight for justice after being disappointed at the state government’s response.
Five days after the November 24 federal election, outgoing industrial relations minister Joe Hockey admitted, in a rare moment of political honesty, that Work Choices contributed to the Coalition government’s defeat. He declared that the new Labor government was given a mandate by the people to abolish the Work Choices legislation.
Aboriginal activist Natasha Moore has responded to the release of the Western Australian Coroner’s report into Indigenous deaths in the Kimberley by arguing only self-determination can make a fundamental difference to people’s lives.
Following the announcement by Fidel Castro on February 19 that he would not stand in the election by Cuba’s National Assembly (AN) for the position of president, the Western media coverage has ranged from grudging acknowledgement of Cuba’s social gains in the face of 50 years of US aggression, to outrageous claims of “dictatorship” and US government plans for a “transition” in Cuba.
Less than 12 months after its re-election, the NSW Labor government is in a poll slump — Premier Morris Iemma has a public approval rating of just 34%, according to a Nielsen poll released on February 26 (the Coalition’s Barry O’Farrell managed just 27%). The government has been rocked by scandals involving dodgy deals with developers, new hospitals unfit for patients, and faulty equipment delaying the opening of new rail lines.
“Turkish fighter jets, helicopters and hundreds of commandos streamed across the border into northern Iraq Wednesday despite Iraqi and American calls to swiftly end an operation to root out Kurdish insurgents”, Associated Press reported on February 27.
In the article “Anti-pulp mill campaigner: ’We can’t afford to lose’” in GLW #741, a quote was wrongly attributed. The article quoted a press release saying that “peaceful community protest at the construction site is a last resort and we hope it will never be needed. However, we respect the growing feeling in the community that people wish to express their distress at the failure of successive government processes to properly and transparently consider a wide range of concerns about the mill by peacefully protesting”. This press release was issued by Vica Bailey from the Wilderness society, not Bob McMahon from Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill.
The Reuters news agency reported on February 22 that the “UN nuclear watchdog said on Friday it confronted Iran for the first time with Western intelligence reports showing work linked to making atomic bombs and that Tehran had failed to provide satisfactory answers”.
Victoria’s Labor premier, John Brumby, and education minister Lyn Kosky have refused to meet with the Australian Education Union (AEU) to resolve a deadlock in negotiations over a new enterprise bargaining agreement for teachers.
Below is a statement from Solidarity Committee with Iranian Workers — Australia
On February 29, 40 people attended a protest organised by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre over the continuation of laws related to the Northern Territory intervention. The demonstration was intended to send a message to federal Indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin, who was at Hobart’s Clarence TAFE campus. “End the intervention, human rights for all”, participants chanted.
This article originally appeared in the February edition of Progressive Magazine. Since it was published, the “anonymous” US student in Bolivia on a Fulbright scholarship has gone public about being asked by the US Embassy in Bolivia to spy on Cuban and Venezuelan doctors, causing a major scandal. It has been revealed that US Peace Corp participants (who volunteer overseas) were also asked by the embassy to provide information while in Bolivia. This breach of Bolivian law has caused major embarrassment to the US, whose ambassador was hauled in by the Bolivian government, which demanded an explanation. * * *
On February 28, thousands of members of State School Teachers Union of the Western Australia (SSTUWA) defied an order by the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) to attend stop-work meetings. The meetings were part of the union’s campaign to win a new public schools enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).
Franz Chavez is a noted Bolivian journalist who helped found La Prensa and La Razon — two of Bolivia´s most widely read news sources. Chavez currently works for Inter Press Service as part of their Latin American bureau.
On February 25, 100 people attended a forum at the Redfern Community Centre called “After sorry — where to for Aboriginal rights?”.

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