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Furious protests have exploded onto Tunisia's streets and a general strike has been called after the assassination of left-wing politician and lawyer Chokri Belaid on February 6. Belaid was head of the far-left Party of Democratic Patriots (PPD). His killing is Tunisia's first reported political assassination since independence.
Ten years ago, the February 14-16, 2003 global protests against the looming US-led invasion of Iraq involved more than 12 million people in 700 cities around the world. A million people marched around Australia — 500,000 of them in a huge protest in Sydney that was so big that most participants could not move (let along march) from Hyde Park. It was the biggest globally coordinated protest ever — certainly the biggest global anti-war protest.
The Labor federal government and the Greens said on January 23 that an 8.6% fall in emissions from the energy sector proved the new carbon price scheme was working. But evidence from Europe suggests Australia’s emissions trading scheme is likely to hinder, not help, emissions cuts.
A report has found that focusing on the treatment and rehabilitation, rather than imprisonment, of Aboriginal people facing drug and alcohol-related charges would save state and territory governments up to $110,000 a year for every person.
The open letter below was released by the Aboriginal Tent Embassies in Canberra and Brisbane of February 8. *** We are disappointed and outraged at the racist message conveyed in the Australian article "Rivers of Grog" on February 6. Those of us gathered at the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra, in preparation for the protest against legislative changes, completely reject the stereotypes being used as wedge politics by the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. 
It was great to see all big health unions in Victoria hold a joint community rally on February 3 to protest against the state and federal governments’ slashing of health funding in Victoria. But any casual observer couldn’t help feeling that a re-elect Labor strategy was lurking. It was true that all of the secretaries from the key health unions roundly condemned the state Coalition and federal Labor governments for the $107 million cut to be implemented by June this year. The cut will result in more than 300 beds closing, elective surgery delays and job losses in many hospitals.
About 100 people gathered outside the Queensland state government’s executive building on February 1 to voice concerns over the coal industry’s destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. The rally was organised under Greenpeace's Save the Reef campaign. It was supported by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Friends of the Earth and Beyond Zero Emissions.
A branch of the James Connolly Association was established in Melbourne in November last year. The Association was formed in Australia in 2011 and is named after the Irish patriot who lived and died in defence of Irish socialist republicanism.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is scheduled to meet the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce in Casula on February 13, but he’s not going to enjoy a quiet lunch. Anti-coal seam gas (CSG) campaigners are planning a protest to show their opposition to CSG mining in the area. Greens activist Suzie Wright and Socialist Alliance Parramatta branch convener Fred Fuentes organised the action with anti-CSG groups.
This statement was released by The Wilderness Society on February 8. *** The Wilderness Society is deeply disappointed that the Tarkine National Heritage listing does not recognise the extraordinary natural values of this iconic region.

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