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Following the December 2 constitutional reform referendum defeat — the first for the forces of the Bolivarian revolution since the election of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 1998 — and facing popular discontent at the problems holding back the advance of the process of change, the pro-revolution forces face a big challenge in securing an overwhelming victory in the November regional elections in order not to lose ground to the US-backed opposition.
Melbourne is drowning in cars and choking on petrol fumes. At the same time, the privatised public transport system is in serious crisis.
Bolivia may have its first-ever indigenous president, but racism is alive and well in this country, as demonstrated by the public humiliation of a group of around 50 indigenous mayors, town councillors and community leaders in the south-central city of Sucre.
Tasmanian Labor Premier Paul Lennon resigned suddenly on May 26, after an opinion poll revealed his popularity had dived to just 17%, and 39% of voters would have preferred Liberal leader Will Hodgman as premier.
Pedro Antonio Marin, better know as Manuel Marulanda and “Tiro Fijo” (Sure Shot), was the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples Army (FARC-EP).
On May 23-25, 160 Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists gathered in Sydney for the Unite and Fight conference, organised by the Sydney Aboriginal Rights Coalition. The conference was intended to update people on the impacts of the ongoing Northern Territory intervention and plan the campaign against it. A key priority coming out of the conference was to build large community rallies around the country on June 21, the anniversary of the announcement of the NT intervention. Natasha Moore and Wayne Collard, two Nyoongar members of the West Australian Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC-WA), attended the conference and caught up with Green Left Weekly’s Annolies Truman, also an ARC-WA member, on their return to Perth.
From the Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network, http://iwsn.org.
Around 300 Melbourne Sudanese community members and supporters took to the streets on May 27 to protest the indiscriminate killings taking place in the disputed oil-rich Abyei territory of Sudan.
A climate emergency rally to be held in Melbourne on July 5 has been endorsed by more than 30 groups and more have indicated they will support it.
“The Venezuelan revolution is slowly going forward, despite problems. President Hugo Chavez hasn’t stopped for a minute in pushing the process ahead, in the face of serious challenges”, Coral Wynter, co-leader of the Australian May Day 2008 solidarity brigade to Venezuela, told a meeting of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network on May 26.

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