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A Socialist Alliance statement on the ‘Tasmanian Forests Statement of Principles’

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Since its inception in 2001, the Socialist Alliance has been actively involved in campaigns to protect high conservation native forests from being logged and we support an end to the forestry conflict in Tasmania.

Haiti's November 28 election was marred by widespread fraud. Despite the call of all the leading candidates but one to cancel the exercise, officials with the UN Security Council mission as well as the United States, Canada and Europe are voicing satisfaction with the result and urging the country’s electoral commission to press ahead with a second-round runoff vote in January.

Sombat Boonngamanong is a long-time NGO activist in Thailand and has been of great help to renewing public Red Shirt activity following the bloody April-May military crackdown.

Lee Yu Kyung spoke to him about the prospects for the democracy movement in Thailand.

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The streets of Ayala, the old financial capital of Manila, were taken over by about 5000 people on November 25 in a protest against the growing use of contract labour. Philippine Airlines, owned by the Philippines second richest man, is the latest company to sack its workforce and rehire them as contract workers – with lower wages and without the benefits and security guaranteed to formal, permanent workers.

Mulrunji Doomadgee died in police custody on Palm Island in November 2004. Despite reviewing findings highly critical of police by coroner Brian Hine at the third Coronial Inquest in May, on November 23 the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission (CMC) found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the officers involved.

About 150 members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University have been stood down after taking part in lawful and protected industrial action.

The union put a ban on the transmission of student results after more than two years of negotiations failed to make progress on improving job security, pay and other conditions for staff. A key sticking point in the negotiations is management’s unregulated use of fixed-term contracts and casual employment.

The sixth plenum of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist — UCPN(M)) began on November 20 in Gorka District. It was the largest meeting in the party’s history; more then 7000 local members are taking part in discussions.

The Nepalese revolution is in a state of limbo. The current government resigned in May, but continues in a caretaker fashion, as no alternative has come forward.

"You can't come in”, Friends of the Earth (FOE) organiser Drew Hutton told mining companies on behalf of a coalition of farming groups from South-West Queensland, outside State Parliament on November 22.

The farmers launched the campaign in opposition to mining companies’ plans for up to 40,000 coal seam gas wells and massive new coal mines on the farming land of the Darling Downs.

"All the laws are weighted in favour of the mining interests and against farmers”, Hutton said.

The Independent Education Union (IEU) has launched a campaign for pay equity for early childhood teachers. In the months leading up to the NSW elections in March 2011, the campaign will include rallies, postcards and an email bombardment of the Labor and Liberal parties.

Early childhood teachers working in community-based preschools and childcare centres earn up to 20% less than teachers working in state government preschools and independent and Catholic primary schools.

A full-time early childhood teacher can earn $14,000 a year less than other teachers.

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