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June 1 emergency protest in Melbourne against Israel's attack on the unarmed Gaza aid flotilla. Photos by Sue Bolton.

UPDATED JUNE 4 - International outrage has been expressed through ongoing mass protests around the world, condemnation of Israel's actions by most governments (apart from the US), and calls for the immediate lifting of Israel's blockade of Gaza. Nicaragua has suspended diplomatic ties with Israel and Sweden, Spain, Turkey and South Africa have recalled their envoys. Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia had already cut their diplomatic ties with Israel.
Condemn Israel's attack on the Gaza flotilla Socialist Alliance statement June 3, 2010. Socialist Alliance condemns the completely unwarranted and murderous attack by Israeli armed forces on the civilian flotilla carrying aid to Gaza. Not since the French Secret Service blew up the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour in 1985 has there been such a brazen act of international piracy by a sovereign state.

Adelaide: Friday June 4, 3.30pm, Victoria Square, protest organised by Action for Palestine. Bring placards, banners, your friends and your outrage! Brisbane: Friday June 4, 5pm, Brisbane Sq, Cnr Queen and George Sts. Canberra: Thursday June 3, 4pm rally at Garema Place organised by AJPP and UnionsACT. Hobart: Friday June 11, 5pm. Corner of Murray and Macquarie St. Melbourne: Saturday June 5, 2pm, outside State Library, City.

* * Update: On May 31 heavily-armed Israeli commandos attacked the unarmed Freedom Flotilla. Israeli forces have fired on activists in at least one of the boats, with media reports of up to 10 people killed and many more injured.
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs Caracas, May 31, 2010 The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Commander Hugo Chavez, emphatically condemns the brutal massacre perpetrated by the State of Israel against the members of the Liberty Flotilla, as a result of the war action started by the Israeli Army against defenseless civilians, who tried to carry humanitarian aid supplies to the Palestine people of the Gaza Strip, who are victim of the criminal blockage imposed by the State of Israel.
On May 18, during proceedings in Fair Work Australia, negotiations ended between Ford and the Electrical Trades Union and Australian Metal Workers Metals Division over the “Ford Australia Enterprise Agreement 2009 (Skilled Trades)”. The content of the agreement has been the subject of a dispute that has involved two 24-hour strikes.
One hundred pensioners rallied outside Victorian Parliament House on May 27 to demand a raise in the aged pension. The rally was organised by the Fair Go for Pensioners Coalition (FGPC), which had previously organised nationwide protests in November 2008. Frank Cherry, national coordinator of the coalition, told the crowd: “We’re rallying today to highlight the plight of pensioners, both to the state and federal government, and to begin the second stage of our campaign to increase the pension.”
Mal Tulloch, assistant NSW secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union, took part in a study tour to Palestine in March, organised by APHEDA, the aid organisation of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The CFMEU has supported APHEDA since it was established in 1987. As soon as Tulloch arrived in Palestine, he realised it was not going to be a holiday. He shares his impressions below. * * * It was like a visit to a war zone, while also a great opportunity to witness what the Palestinian struggle has been about for the past 62 years.

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