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A civil trial expected to last eight weeks in the federal court in Melbourne was averted on February 18 by an agreement between the Victoria Police and six African-Australians suing them for racial discrimination and racial profiling. The agreement mandates an enquiry, with submissions from the public, into allegations of police racism in the Flemington-North Melbourne area, which includes culturally diverse Housing Commission estates. The agreement also permits the six complainants to publicly tell their stories using police documents obtained through the court case.
Geert Wilders called off his February 20 public meeting in Perth after the hotel where he was going to speak cancelled his booking. Organisers of Wilders' tour tried to claim that protesters had intimidated the hotel and implied that Wilders' "free speech'' was threatened as people were "denied'' the chance to hear Wilders talk. Wilders' most prominent supporter in the Australian parliament — disgraced Liberal senator Cory Bernardi — also tried to claim that there was "free speech double standard" involved.
Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) activists are marching in Mardi Gras on March 2 under the banner “Generations of Protest”, and are inviting interested people to join their float. Mardi Gras is going to be a lot of fun this year, and already has more floats and more people marching than ever. The event stands in the tradition of the gay liberation protest in 1978 that immediately preceded the state-by-state decriminalisation of sodomy throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s.

In an attempt to avoid anti-racist protesters, the February 18 meeting to launch the Australian speaking tour of Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders, was, at the last moment, moved to a desolate, non-residential part of Somerton on Melbourne’s northern edge. More than 200 anti-racists, however, picketed Wilders’ meeting while another 100 protested in Melbourne CBD, where one of the speakers was Greens Senator Richard Di Natale.

The warnings were clear and now it’s happened: bending over backwards with carbon tax compensation to appease Australia's dirtiest electricity generators, the Gillard government has handed big coal billions in windfall profits, whilst consumers are effectively paying twice for the carbon price.
The hottest show in Sydney has an unusual setting, a hearing room on the seventh floor of 133 Castlereagh Street. This is where the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is investigating affairs involving former Labor state minister Eddie Obeid and his family, and former Labor minister for resources Ian Macdonald. Obeid is accused of benefiting from buying farmland over which MacDonald allegedly approved a coal mine, in return for receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks.
These are stills from film footage shot by Jill Hickson and John Reynolds for Actively Radical TV of the half a million-strong march on February 16, 2003 against the impending US-led invasion of Iraq.


Over the past couple of weeks, Green Left Weekly has been collecting recollections, images, impressions and analyses of the biggest-ever globally coordinated anti-war protest in history: the 30 million-strong February 14-16, 2003, marches against the launching of the US-led invasion of Iraq. It was such a tremendous explosion of popular protest that it prompted New York Times columnist Patrick Tyler to write at the time there were perhaps “two superpowers on the planet — the United States, and worldwide public opinion”.
A professional athlete; a home with an arsenal of firearms; a dead young woman involved in a long-term relationship with her killer. In November, her name was Kasanda Perkins and the man who shot her was Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. Now her name is Reeva Steenkamp, killed by Olympic sprinter and double amputee Oscar “the Blade Runner” Pistorius.

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