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Millions of workers joined a one-day strike in India on February 28 in defence of public ownership and for stronger labour rights. Eleven major trade unions called the action to protest against the United Progressive Alliance government's policy of selling stakes in state-owned companies. They also demanded an amendment to minimum wage laws to keep pace with inflation, pensions for all workers and the registration of trade unions in different industries.
When the early morning fog rises and drifting skeins from wood fires carry the sweet smell of India, the joggers arrive in Lodi Gardens. Past the tomb of Mohammed Shah, the 15th century Mughal ruler, across a landscape manicured in the 1930s by Lady Willingdon, wife of the governor-general, recently acquired trainers stride out from ample figures in smart saris and white cotton dhotis.
It is a truism to say that democracy began with the Greeks ― less so to say that it originated in popular rebellion against debt and debt-bondage. Yet, with the Greek people ensnared once more in the vice-like grip of rich debt-holders, it may be useful to recall that fact. For the only hope today of reclaiming democracy in Greece (and elsewhere) resides in the prospect of a mass uprising against modern debt-bondage that extends the rule of the people into the economic sphere.
There has been a surge in protests and attacks against the US-led occupation forces in Afghanistan since February 20. The catalyst was the discovery by Afghan workers of burnt copies of the Koran at the waste disposal facility of the US military-run Bagram prison. More than 30 unarmed protesters have been shot by occupation and puppet forces since February 20 (or, as the Western media prefer to phrase it, “died in the riots”). Six occupation soldiers have been killed in attacks ― not by insurgents but by members of the Afghan security forces.
Green Washed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way to a Green Planet Kendra Pierre-Louis IG Publishing, 216 pages Radical German poet Hans Magnus Enzenberger once compared mainstream environmentalism to a Sunday sermon that terrifies parishioners with dire warnings of eternal damnation, but concludes weakly by promising salvation to any sinner who performs a simple act of penance. “The horror of the predicted catastrophe,” he wrote, “contrasts sharply with the mildness of the admonition with which we are allowed to escape.”
The release of secret emails from private intelligence company Stratfor by WikiLeaks has opened the door on the world of spying-for-profit. More than 5 million emails between Stratfor employees were stolen by hacker group Anonymous in December last year. The emails were passed on to WikiLeaks, which began releasing them on February 27.
The control measures in the anti-association legislation will limit our rights to freely associate with people by allowing the government to make a declaration on an organisation. This will allow the government to obtain “control orders” over individuals who are members, former members or people involved in the running of a declared organisation. See also: Liberals, Labor join to attack civil liberties in Western Australia This is what you need to know about this law:
Twice daily outside almost every Victorian public hospital there are nurses protesting and waving banners in a spirited display of defiance. They are not being incited by their union. They are walking off the job for four hours at a time, demanding a pay rise and defending the very essence of quality public health. A brief scouring of social media or talkback radio shows that Victorians love nurses, despite government propaganda to the contrary. See also: Vic nurses 'dislike' Baillieu government Facebook gag
Self described “advocate for women and girls” Melinda Tankard Reist recently launched a defamation claim against blogger Jennifer Wilson for saying Reist is a Baptist. Wilson’s article, on her blog No Place for Sheep, criticised Reist’s anti-abortion stance.
How would you feel if you woke up to the breakfast radio news announcing that Green Left Weekly had just published its last issue? The left in Spain had that experience on February 24, when we learned that this would be the last day the progressive daily Publico appeared on the country’s newsstands (the online version continues).
Co-operative housing I agree with nearly everything written by Douglas Jordan in the article Public housing is an issue for the whole community. Housing needs to be affordable, secure and accessible. Public housing is good and should be extended. The part I do not entirely agree with is "in essence social housing is the privatisation of public housing". There are two types of social housing. One is as described by Douglas, the other is co-operatives.
The South Australian government has produced an “anti-binge drinking” ad that targets young women. It features a young woman slumped in a dodgy club toilet while someone else points her finger accusingly. The tagline reads: “Drink too much, you’re asking for trouble.” Journalist Catherine Deveney described the ad on Twitter as amounting to government-funded “slut-shaming”.
Melbourne activists gathered at Federation Square in the city centre on February 28 to voice their support for the All India General Strike. As many as 100 million workers had walked off the job in India to protest against low wages and poor working conditions in what is most likely the largest ever strike in human history. As the crowd unfurled banners and flags, visiting US activist-musician George Mann and friends played unionist songs. The music got the protesters in the mood to hear addresses from members of the various labour organisations.
Dave Kerin from the new community group Enough has helped run a daily picket outside Telstra’s Collins St office in Melbourne for the past three weeks. The picket is a protest against Telstra’s decision to send hundreds of jobs offshore. Kerin is also an activist with the Socialist Alliance. A speech Kerin gave at a 200-strong rally on February 17 appears below. * * *

There is a growing disconnect between the official rosy picture of the Australian economy and mounting public anxiety about job insecurity. The latest official unemployment rate (January 2012) was steady at 5.2% and Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson insists there is no reason to worry. Australians, he said, should shake off their misplaced “boom with gloom” attitude.

Writer and Occupy Melbourne activist Wil Wallace took part in a March 1 protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a new free trade agreement currently under negotiation between nine nations, including Australia and the United States. Wallace’s account of the protest is below. * * *

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