869

On February 14, I went to the seventh "Remember TJ Hickey" rally at Redfern. TJ Hickey was a 17-year-old Aboriginal boy who was killed in a dangerous police pursuit in 2004.

The state government and the NSW police moved to cover up their role in TJ's death. A coronial inquest exonerated the police involved.

But the inquest ignored important evidence, including witness accounts that said police had chased TJ moments before his death.

Below is Jess Moore's speech to the “Stop the sell-off” rally in Wollongong on February 6. Moore is a Socialist Alliance candidate for the Legislative Council in the NSW elections. She addressed the rally on behalf of the Wollongong Climate Action Network (WCAN).

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We all know that privatisation means increased prices, we know that it means less reliable services, we know that it means job cuts to the public sector, and it means disregard for the environment.

Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) is still holding dozens of protesters arrested during and after the January 30 protests against Omar al Bashir’s government. The protests were inspired by the Egyptian revolution.

The protesters are being held without charge. There are reports that many have suffered torture, including electrocution and sleep deprivation. Women detainees have been threatened with rape.

In December last year, Kojonup organic grain farmer Steve Marsh found genetically modified (GM) canola plants from a neighbouring farm had contaminated 293 hectares — 63% — of his property.

The farm in Western Australia’s Great Southern region is Australia’s first known case of GM canola contamination. Marsh has had his organic certification revoked as a result.

The Monsanto Round-Up Ready Canola was being grown on a neighbouring farm after a moratorium on growing GM crops was lifted a year ago by the WA Liberal government.

Disgraced Tunisian foreign minister Ahmed Ounaies resigned on February 13 from the interim government set up after dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali resigned on January 14 in the face of huge protests.

The government has introduced fresh reforms as protests for democracy and economic justice continue in the north African country.

Ounaies, a former diplomat whose appointment to the interim government was announced on January 27, described French foreign minister Michelle Alliot-Marie as “above all a friend of Tunisia”.

A lot of my mates tell me that they're just not that into politics. However, I think what they really mean is that they're not into politicians. And too right, almost all of our politicians are decidedly uninspiring.

But these uninspiring politicians also are condemning, imprisoning and killing innocent people. And they are doing it in our name. This makes politics something we can't afford not to be interested in.

The Egyptian people’s revolution has entered a new phase after the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak on February 11.

The first reaction to Mubarak’s resignation after 18 days of continuous protests was one of celebration.

Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the centre of the uprising, turned into the scene of a giant party for days afterwards in celebration of the exit of Mubarak, who had ruled Egypt for three decades.

Undoubtedly, the widespread feeling was that it was time to begin building a “new Egypt”.

In the lead up to the NSW state elections, several organisations and individuals have joined forces to demand the incoming NSW parliament pass a bill for equal marriage rights.

Activists representing Community Action Against Homophobia, Australian Marriage Equality, the Metropolitan Community Church Crave, Organisation Intersex International, The Greens and the Socialist Alliance gathered for a joint press conference outside state parliament on February 18.

Below is a video of the press conference by Liz Duck-Chong:

Climate change could lead to the disappearance of up to two-thirds of the world’s permafrost by the end of the century, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said on February 16.

Should the Earth’s permafrost (or permanently frozen soil) thaw out to this extent, it would release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — and make climate change even worse.

NSIDC scientist Kevin Schaefer said the carbon released would be “equivalent to half the amount of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere since the dawn of the industrial age”.

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