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Kristina Keneally.

Below is the resignation letter of two former members of the Labor party in NSW, Jairo Quintero and Edgar Pena (both formerly of the ALP Parramatta branch). This follows the February 17 resignations of Luis Ernesto Almario and Rosendo Duran.

"Women's rights are human rights!" was the theme of a rally and march held in Brisbane on March 5 to celebrate 100 years of International Women's Day (IWD). About 100 people rallied in Brisbane Square and later marched through city streets to Emma Miller Place for a concert. The rally also called for an end to mandatory detention of refugees, an end to the Northern Territory intervention, equal pay, equal marriage rights and the repeal of all anti-abortion laws.
The pro-democracy protests in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have the potential to have a huge impact on world politics. The stakes are very high. In Bahrain, Saudi Arabia’s tiny island neighbour, protesters have mobilised in their hundreds of thousands for weeks to demand the Khalifah royal family be removed from power. Bahrain is of great strategic importance for the West. It hosts the US Navy's fifth fleet and a US airbase. This helps ensure US control of the oil-rich Persian Gulf region and the ability to maintain a constant threat against Iran.
Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi announced on March 7 the dissolution of the country’s secret police arm, the British Guardian said that day. This step toward democracy is the most important taken by any Arab country for decades. Tunisia’s interim government also abolished the Ministry of Information, which had been in charge of censorship, allowing a free press to flourish, GlobalPost.com said on March 7.
International Women'™s Day rally, Sydney, March 12.

About 2000 people attended the March 12 International Women’s Day rally in Sydney. The rally demanded equal pay for women workers — specifically better pay for community sector workers.

The March 8 demonstrations commemorating 100 years of International Women’s Day in Cairo, Egypt — flowing on from the inspirational revolution that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak on February 11 — have highlighted the ongoing struggle for women’s rights around the world. One hundred years ago, more than one million people in four European countries attended the first IWD protest. It was organised in support of the right to vote and equal pay for women.
The government in Yemen is becoming more desperate amid continuing protests across the country calling for the removal of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Tensions came to a head when security forces fired on protesters at a university in the capital Sana'a, killing one person and wounding many others, AlJazeera.net said on March 9. Security forces also gassed the crowd with what is alleged to be nerve gas, SMH.com said on March 10. Despite the attack, thousands of protesters defied police and continued occupying the university square, AlJazeera.net said.
Saif al-Islam, the billionaire son of Muammar Gaddafi who was the neoliberal darling of Western governments until only recently, boasted in a March 10 interview with Reuters that forces loyal to his family were now on the offensive against rebel forces. NATO, for its part, has decided against military intervention — for the time being. However, France became the first government to recognise the rebel Interim Transitional National Council (ITNC) set up in Benghazi on March 5. AFP reported that French President Nicolas Sarkozy has also proposed “targeted air strikes” on Libya.
The six-year campaign against Gunns’ proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill in northern Tasmania is entering a critical stage. Federal environment minister Tony Burke approved the three outstanding modules of the mill’s environmental management plan on March 10. However, pulp mill opponents remain staunchly against the project in whatever form and have vowed to organise ongoing protests and blockades to stop it going ahead. A mass protest has been called on the site for March 20.
About 10,000 people marched on the Philippines Congress on March 8 to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) and demand passage of the Reproductive Health Bill before Congress. The bill would allow greater access to modern contraceptives and sex education. The bill proposes more maternal health services, raising the number of midwives to one for every 150 deliveries. Contraceptives would also be funded for poor women and would be included in the standard supplies of medicine in hospitals. Modern family planning methods would be provided in all accredited health facilities.
A cable from the US embassy in Buenos Aires, released by WikiLeaks, reveals pressure from the US government to halt a serious criminal investigation in Argentina. The US pressured an Argentine prosecutor to halt investigations into former Argentine president Carlos Menem and a number of other officials suspected of being involved in a cover-up over the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994, Argentine daily Pagina/12 reported on February 27.
Squatters have taken over a mansion in London owned by the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, AFP said on March 8. The eight-bedroom house in Hampstead, north London, is owned by Seif al-Islam Gaddafi. The article said: “Members of a campaign group called ‘Topple the Tyrants’ said they had occupied the mansion and wanted it transferred to the people of Libya.” “The plush home, in a secluded, leafy close surrounded by some of Britain’s most expensive residential streets, boasts an indoor swimming pool, a sauna room and a cinema room.”