July 7 proved to be an excellent day for the Australian business community. Citing the economic downturn as a key factor in his decision, Fair Pay Commissioner Ian Harper announced that there will be no increase the minimum wage.
The modern history of Sri Lanka represents “the wrecking of a country: from the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’, to ‘the killing fields of South Asia’”, Dr Brian Senewiratne told a meeting of the Brisbane city Amnesty International group on July 8.
Street protests and blockades occurred throughout Peru on July 8, in the middle of a three day strike against the neoliberal policies of President Alan Garcia.
Australia’s unemployment rate has risen to a six-year high say Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released on July 9.
The following is an abridged speech given by Judith Le Blanc, a Native American activist and organising coordinator for the US peace group United for Peace and Justice (UPJ). Le Blanc is touring Australia to campaign against the 2009 Talisman Sabre joint US-Australian military war games focusing on a Peace Convergence Weekend on July 10-12, at Rockhampton, central Queensland. She was speaking at a July 7 forum in Brisbane.
Echoing some of the slogans of protesters in Iran, about 80 Iranians from Melbourne and Sydney chanted “Rockets, guns and Basiji [state-run militia] do not scare us anymore” and “Khomeini you are Pinochet, Iran is not Chile” outside the Iranian embassy in Canberra on July 9.
Activists from the Brisbane-based group Justice for Palestine picketed the office of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on July 9. The action marked the five-year anniversary of the International Court of Justice decision declaring Israel's apartheid wall “contrary to international law”.
On July 4, 30 people gathered at Victoria Quay for a vigil against the presence of two nuclear- armed and powered US Navy vessels. The action, Called by the Fremantle Anti-Nuclear Group, was entirely peaceful — except for the extraordinary decision by the police to arrest and charge veteran anti-nuclear campaigner Jo Vallentine.
On July 5, hundreds were killed in the East Turkestan capital, Urumqi, after protests by Uyghurs against racism and discrimination were attacked by Chinese security forces.
Speaking on behalf of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) on July 6, former Venezuelan interior minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin called on United States President Barack Obama to clarify his government’s position on the coup d’etat in Honduras.
Queensland has been thrown into a battle with Premier Anna Bligh, who is pushing through a plan to sell off Queensland’s ports, motorways, forests and non-passenger rail network. The first stage of the battle occurred at the ALP State Conference in June, shortly after Bligh announced her plan.
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