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As one who took part in demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, I could hardly believe it when the US “war machine” resurrected itself and began its march on Iraq. Appalled by what appeared to be happening, I was delighted to discover, following a rally in November 2002, that a local peace group had been created. I joined that group and began actively campaigning for peace which I continue to this day.
Britain’s House of Commons voted in favour of equal marriage rights on February 5. France’s lower house approved a bill for equal marriage rights on February 12. If these bills make it the rest of the way through their respective parliaments, Britain and France will join the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Massachusetts, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark in having equal marriage rights.
The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation released this statement on February 13. *** On February 12, Federal Court Justice Neil McKerracher handed down a decision that validated the vote of the Yindjibarndi people to authorise a new and unified applicant group of 12 Yindjibarndi men and women to run the Yindjibarndi #1 claim — this includes the area of vacant crown land where [Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s] Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is developing the Solomon Hub and “Firetail” mine.
In occupied Tibet, the once-isolated “Land of Snow” that has been converted into a hell on Earth for its indigenous inhabitants, the oppressed are literally setting themselves alight in protest against Chinese policies. At least six Tibetans have self-immolated since the start of the year, bringing the total number of such incidents to 100. The first reported case occurred in February 2009, but all other reported burnings have taken place since March 2011. At least 82 of the cases have been fatal. Survivors are subjected to harsh punitive measures by Chinese authorities.
The Sri Lankan army has demolished hundreds of houses inside its “high security zone” (HSZ) at Valikaamam on the Jaffna peninsula in the north of Sri Lanka, a February 11 Tamilnet report said. The houses belonged to Tamils who had been driven from their homes 20 years ago when the HSZ was established.
This is an extract from a zine written by Resistance members. You can pick up a copy from a Resistance stall on campus during Orientation week. *** Like any other day, a female student is on her way to campus. As she rides her bike down the main road, a head pops out a moving car window and yells out to her: “Nice legs!” Later that day she receives a text from one of the men in her group assessment task who she barely knows: “Hey beautiful we should definitely have a beer sometime ;)”.
Guess who thinks the Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) is working well? Sorry, but there's no prize if you guessed right. “The MRRT was designed as a tax on super profits on the mining industry and importantly the tax is actually operating as it was physically designed," mining giant Rio Tinto's new chief executive Sam Walsh told AAP. Err, yes, very well designed — for some — by a Gillard government fresh from the ALP leadership coup, with more than a little help from the biggest mining companies.
Several hundred people attended a night of solidarity with Cuba at the Uruguayan Club in western Sydney on February 9. The event, organised by the Committee in Solidarity with Cuba, Western Sydney, raised funds to help pay for repairs to the widespread damage caused to homes and infrastructure by cyclone Sandy last year. It featured entertainment by a variety of cultural groups from the Latin American community.
According to a report by Europol, hundreds of football matches across Europe have been fixed by betting syndicates, which must surely leave all genuine supporters of the game delighted. Because this is so much fairer than the current method of fixing matches, in which three clubs owned by trillionaires buy all the top players, making it impossible for anyone else to finish even close to them. Bribing a referee and a goalkeeper is much more democratic, as it can be done for a few grand, a fraction of the sum Manchester City spent on buying the Premier League.

Searching for Sugarman Directed by Malik Bendjelloul Starring Rodriguez, Malik Bendjelloul Music by Rodriguez Now showing at selected cinemas Director Mike Malik Bendjelloul’s film Searching for Sugarman, which has been nominated for best documentary film at this year’s Oscars and the British Film and Television Awards, traces the efforts of two South African fans to find out what happened to the mysterious Mexican-American folksinger known as Rodriguez.

More than 500 unionists, mainly Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) members, rallied outside the Brisbane Magistrates Court on February 11 in support of long-term union and community activist, Bob Carnegie.  
Last December, I stood with supporters of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in the bitter cold outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Candles were lit; the faces were young and old and from all over the world. They were there to demonstrate their human solidarity with someone whose guts they admired. They were in no doubt about the importance of what Assange had revealed and achieved, and the grave dangers he now faced. Absent entirely were the lies, spite, jealousy, opportunism and pathetic animus of a few who claim the right to guard the limits of informed public debate.