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Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (Western AAustralia) spokesperson, Marc Newhouse today announced a series of protest actions to be held following the Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision not to lay criminal charges against any of the parties responsible for the death in custody of Mr Ward in 2008.

Mr Ward, an Aboriginal elder, died while being transported hundreds of kilometres across the WA Goldfields in a privately-operated prison van with faulty air conditioning.

A national gathering of Aboriginal community leaders will expose what they describe as the “treachery inherent in government policies targeting the civil and political rights” of their communities.

The New Way Aboriginal Summit, being held in Melbourne from July 1 – 4 to coincide with NAIDOC Week, will host a press conference at 12.40 pm this Friday 2nd July at Trades Hall Council, the main summit venue.

Location: 'I have a dream' mural, King Street, Newtown
When: Friday July 2, 4.30-6pm

Representatives of local community organisations and political parties will take part in a community speak-out against racism on Friday July 2 in Newtown.

They will assemble under the “I have a dream” mural – featuring the legendary anti-racist Black American campaigner Martin Luther King.

Speakers participating include:

More than a year after its victory over the pro-independence Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) continues to hold large areas of land in the predominantly Tamil north and east of Sri Lanka as “high security zones” (HSZ).

Many of the Tamil inhabitants who were evicted from these areas to create the HSZs during the decades-long war are still unable to return to their homes.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa began its final round of 16 on June 26. it came amid the unrelenting drone of vuvuzela horns, the knockout of big teams such as Italy and France, and street protests by local residents angry at the 40 billion rand the government has spent on the corporatised event.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s poor suffer substandard housing and access to basic services.

Football, or “soccer” in Australia, is the “world game”, played by millions of people around the world and watched by hundreds of millions more. But is it truly the “people’s game”?

Professor John Mendoza, head advisor to the federal government on mental health, recently resigned his position, citing frustration at government inaction on one of Australia’s leading causes of death and disability.

The article below is abridged from a letter he sent to members of campaign groups GetUp! explaining his reasons for resigning.

* * *

On June 18, I resigned my position as the head advisor to the government on mental health.

It is with great sadness that Green Left Weekly reports the death of human rights activist Rosemarie Waratah Gillespie, 69, who unexpectedly died in Melbourne on June 21 from a stroke.

An activist for more than 40 years, she was a human rights lawyer, activist, author, filmmaker, anti-capitalist, Indigenous activist and mother.

Waratah lived in Port Kembla and frequently travelled to Sydney to attend meetings at Humanist House, where she was vice president of the Humanist Society. The society was just one of her many passions.

Labour history was made as New Zealand had its first mall workers strike on May 25. Workers in JB Hi-Fi in Albany, organised with the Unite union, went on strike for better pay and against a culture of bullying and intimidation against union members.

Unite had already organised the first strike at a JB Hi Fi store on April 16.

Unite member Jack Lucas said: “Our manager told me that I would never get a pay rise if I stayed
with the collective. There was a lot of pressure put on me to resign.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on June 22 the formation of a three-member panel to advise him on whether Sri Lanka committed crimes during the last months of its war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Reuters said that day.

June 21 marked the third anniversary of the Howard government’s “national emergency” intervention in 73 prescribed Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, the so-called Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER).

In the name of protecting children, the basic liberties of Aboriginal people were suspended and a draconian and paternalistic state project of improvement was launched to “stabilise, normalise and then exit” these communities. Stabilisation was to take one year and normalisation four.

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