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Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s April 17 speech to the Council of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute was widely reported in the global media as announcing an early withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan. But the April 20 Australian Financial Review said government ministers had reassured Australia’s allies in the US-led multinational occupation of Afghanistan that the speech did no such thing.

On the eve of Julian Assange's 500th day under house arrest, Kaz from the WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance sat down with Australian Lawyers Alliance President Greg Barns to talk about Julian Assange, Wikileaks and the state of our democracy.

The Brisbane branch of the socialist youth group Resistance has linked up with Occupy Brisbane and Stop CSG Brisbane to pull off two successful fundraising gigs. Dominic Hale and Alice Jenkins, from Resistance's cultural committee, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Hannah Reardon-Smith about political gigs. * * * What was the idea behind your approach to these Resistance gigs?

The Aotearoa Is Not For Sale hikoi drew an estimated 3000 people as it passed through Auckland on April 29 on its two-week journey from Cape Reinga to Wellington. Protesters are opposed to the planned sale of up to 49 per cent shares in the state owned energy companies: Mighty River, Genesis Power, Meridian Energy and Solid Energy. A statement from organisers said today's hikoi would also highlight plans to mine sand on the West Coast.

People seem to know about May Day everywhere except where it began, here in the United States of America. That’s because those in power have done everything they can to erase its real meaning. For example, Ronald Reagan designated what he called, “Law Day” — a day of jingoist fanaticism, like an extra twist of the knife in the labour movement. Today, there is a renewed awareness, energised by the Occupy movement’s organising, around May Day, and its relevance for reform and perhaps eventual revolution.
People take part in the Sydney Bersih 3.0 rally.

About 500 people took part in the Sydney part of the Global Bersih 3.0 actions, which were held in 85 cities outside Malaysia to coincide with a 250,000-300,000-strong mass mobilisation for free and fair elections in Malaysia on April 28.

On April 28, up to 8000 people marched in Auckland against the threatened sell-off of public assets by New Zealand National Party Prime Minister John Key. A few days earlier, a Hikoi (walk) began from Cape Reinga in the far north of New Zealand's north island, headed for the capital, Wellington. Arriving in Auckland in time to coincide with the event, participants in the Hikoi marched from Victoria Park to Britomart, where they met up with the assembling protest. The crowd then made its way up Queen Street to Aotearoa Square.
A mass rally in support of the Left Front, April 5, Toulouse.

The results of the first round of the French presidential elections on April 22 shone a powerful spotlight on a society polarised by economic crisis and the austerity regime of president Nicolas Sarkozy and his ruling Union for a Popular Movement government.

Members of the Tamil community and Socialist Alliance joined Geelong Trades Hall secretary, Tim Gooden, in raising the Tamil Eelam flag over the Trades Hall on April 20. This was the first official raising of the flag in the southern hemisphere outside of Tamil Eelam. Spokesperson for the Tamil community, Sabsh Sanmugam, described how the flag has come to represent the aspirations of many Tamils around the world in their desire to break free of oppression.
The Lock the Gate Alliance released the statement below on April 29. * * * The Lock the Gate Alliance has warned the New South Wales Coalition that it risks losing the support of much of the rural vote it received at the last election if it continued to pursue its current policies on mining and coal seam gas.
The annual Green Left Weekly Twilight River Cruise set sail successfully on the Brisbane River on April 29. More than 60 people came aboard for an evening of sumptuous food, drinks, live entertainment and guest speakers, all while enjoying spectacular views along the river. Flautist Hannah Reardon-Smith, singer-guitarist Carrie (from Carrie and the Cut Snakes), and bass player Dom Hale provided music on the night. Speakers included Socialist Alliance co-convenors Ewan Saunders and Jim McIlroy, and SA candidate for Sandgate in the recent Queensland elections Mike Crook.