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Photos from refugee rights rally, April 6, 2012 in Darwin. Read the full report here.

Ever since the US-supported coup attempt against President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela failed in April 2002, Washington has been pursuing a variety of strategies to remove the overwhelmingly popular South American head of state from power.

The near-continuous introduction, change and reversal of several federal government policies on asylum seekers arriving by boat have had a severely damaging effect on refugees held in the Northern Immigration Detention Centre in Darwin.

An Iranian man who arrived on Christmas Island just after the government announced it would “swap” 800 asylum seekers in Australia for 4000 refugees from Malaysia, said he was told every day he would be deported. “It was the worst two months of my life.”

About 120 refugee rights activists from multiple Australian cities gathered outside the Northern Territory’s parliament house in Darwin today to protest against mandatory detention and the three detention centres located around the region.

The event kicked off protests that are taking place at the detention facilities over the Easter long weekend for the annual refugee convergence. Each year refugee activists gather at a place in Australia where refugees are held in remote or difficult-to-reach location.

On the first day of the Darwin convergence for refugee rights, activists visited the Darwin Airport Lodge (DAL) after rallying in the city.

The Queensland ALP “snatched disaster from the jaws of defeat,” socialist activist Gary MacLennan told a public forum at the Activist Centre here on April 3. The forum, sponsored by Green Left Weekly, discussed the Liberal National Party’s (LNP) rise to power in Queensland, the crisis in the ALP and what this meant for the labour movement.

MacLennan said: “When the Queensland people said no to the [Anna] Bligh Labor government, they were not saying yes to an LNP government.

1500 Sydney University students and staff rallied on April 4 to protest against management's move to sack 360 staff. Protesters marched through the university, culminating in 100 students occupying the Arts administration building in opposition to the attacks.

The Safe Food Foundation (SFF) released the statement below on April 3.

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Slater & Gordon Solicitors today lodged a claim in the WA Supreme Court on behalf of an organic farmer seeking to recover loss and damage allegedly caused by a genetically modified canola farmer neighbour. Steve Marsh, an organic farmer from Kojonup, Western Australia, suffered contamination by genetically modified (GM) material on his farm in late 2010 leading to the loss of his organic certification and loss of income.

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