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Since beginning its first parliamentary term with the symbolic apology to the Stolen Generations, the Rudd Labor government has promised a shift away from the hostility towards Indigenous Australians shown by the previous Howard government.
The Residents’ Action Movement has been growing rapidly in the last month (with around 100-300 people joining per week) as a result of the popularity of their key campaign — to remove the 12.5% goods and services tax on food.
The battle over the privatisation of NSW electricity continues. A power industry delegates’ meeting on May 15 condemned the state ALP government’s push to privatise the retail electricity providers and generators and reaffirmed its “total rejection” of the government’s plans.
More than 1000 electricity workers, employed by Energex, Ergon Energy and Powerlink, marched through the city on May 14 in an escalation of the combined power unions’ campaign for improved pay and conditions from the three state government-owned corporations.
A new period of uncertainty has opened in Bolivia with the initiation of recall referendums for the president and prefects of Bolivia’s nine departments by the opposition-controlled Senate.
“Here is a government that has given us a guarantee that working Australians all get a look in, not just the big end of town”, said Australian Council of Trade Unions president Sharan Burrow of federal Treasurer Wayne Swan’s first budget.
Karl Marx, born nearly two centuries ago, had in 1867 (in the first volume of Capital) laid bare the “intimate connection between the pangs of hunger of the most industrious layers of the working class, and the extravagant consumption, coarse or refined, of the rich, for which capitalist accumulation is the basis”.
Public school teachers committed to keeping a state-wide centralised model of staffing that guarantees teachers’ transfer rights and delivers equity for students and school communities voted on April 8 for a 24-hour strike on May 22.
Five months into its term the Rudd government delivered on one of its pre-election promises and ended the Temporary Protection Visa program. The TPV program was hatched by the ultra-racist Pauline Hanson and introduced by the Howard government in 1999. It placed successful asylum seekers on three year temporary visas, having to endure the horror of being reviewed and possibly deported after three years.
“Today Israel celebrates its 60th birthday. Today is anything but a celebration for Palestinians. For them it is the 60th anniversary of The Catastrophe (Al Nakba, in Arabic)”, Fay Waddington from the Queensland Palestinian Solidarity Campaign told a speak-out on May 15. The speak-out was organised by the QPSC, Fair Go for Palestine and the Stop the War Collective.
A May 13 statement from the Zimbabwe International Socialist Organisation (ISO) condemned “the arrest and detention of Zimbabwe congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) President Lovemore Matombo and Secretary General Wellington Chibhebhe on the 8th of May”.
Thirty people held a Quaker-initiated vigil at the steps of Newcastle Local Courthouse on May 13 in support of the “Kooragang 16”. The 16 faced charges for trespassing on the construction site of a new coal-loader being built in Newcastle.
The following statement is from the Climate Camp organising committee.
A Sydney protest to mark the International Day Against Homophobia was held outside Gloria Jeans cafe in King Street, Newtown. Gloria Jeans Coffee sponsors activities by the Hillsong Church, which has been criticised for its homophobic positions. The
While we heralded the end of the Howard regime, those of us involved in the many campaigns for social and environmental justice knew the fight had not ended with his demise. We knew the struggle for real and lasting justice would go on, and this is why it is important that we stay inspired and active.
NSW Labor’s proposal to build a dam in the Tillegra Valley will be a waste of $300 million, according to local residents who picketed the offices of Hunter Water in Newcastle on May 16.

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