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Support WikiLeaks and Assange Coalition released this statement on July 31. *** The conviction of US Private First Class Bradley Manning for 19 offences, including five counts of espionage, is a travesty of justice. Manning is not a spy who betrayed his country, but a courageous whistleblower who acted on his conscience when he leaked US government documents to WikiLeaks. He should have been commended, not prosecuted, for revealing evidence of war crimes, human rights abuses and corruption.

On July 26, radical hip-hop producer Agent of Change released a "beat tape" to mark the 60th anniversary of the start of the Cuban Revolution. Agent of Change, also known as London-based activist and writer Carlos Martinez, said: "The 18 hip-hop instrumentals - with a couple of feature verses from Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela - celebrate Cuban culture, drawing influence and samples from Cuba’s diverse musical heritage."

About 2000 people joined the second march and rally in Sydney on July 28 against prime minister Kevin Rudd's plan to send refugees who arrive in Australia by boat to Papua New Guinea. This was significantly bigger than the previous weekend's protest. Another rally and march will be held on August 4, 2pm at Sydney Town Hall Square. Photos by Pip Hinman and Peter Boyle.
Socialist Alliance released this statement on July 30. *** Newly endorsed Socialist Alliance candidates for the Senate in NSW, Jim McIlroy and Reg Dare, said: "The current hysteria against asylum seekers, pushed by both the Kevin Rudd government and the Liberal opposition, is aimed at drawing public attention away from the real source of economic insecurity in this country — the billionaires and their stolen wealth.
Palestinian teacher and activist Sireen Khudiri, 25, was released from an Israeli prison on July 15 after two months in jail. A court decision was made to release her on bail worth 7000 shekels ($2483). Khudiri is now home with her family. Many people wrote letters and signed petitions to protest Khudiri’s jailing, promoted awareness of her situation or posted or wrote messages of support. It is likely these efforts had an impact in helping free Khudiri.
Millions protesters of were again in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities on July 26, both for and against the former Muslim Brotherhood government. Security forces attacked the pro-Morsi protesters, killing many in a fresh massacre. Ahram Online reported that these were the largest mobilisations since the June 30 protests that brought down the elected, but increasingly unpopular, Muslim Brotherhood-aligned government of President Mohamed Morsi.
There was standing room only at the Collingwood Health Centre as about 200 people met on July 20 to oppose the East-West tunnel and tollway. The road plan threatens to demolish homes, spew fumes onto a primary school and childcare centre, and destroy wetlands and parks in Melbourne’s west. Yarra councillor and Socialist Party member Stephen Jolly said the campaign was not a lost cause, but a long-term fight. He urged people to look at the legal and political options, as well as mass actions and pickets if work went ahead on the project.
The following motion was passed by Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) executive council on July 26. *** “The VTHC believes refugees should not be punished for fleeing war and persecution to seek asylum. This is a right granted to all people under Australian and international law. “There are over 10 million refugees in the world. “Last year, Australia granted 13,759 humanitarian visas. This is less than 0.2% of the world’s refugees. Australia ranks 12th in the world by GDP, yet we rank 71st in taking refugees by GDP. By any measure, we do not do our fair share.
Doug Lorimer, a life-long committed revolutionary, died on July 21 in Sydney after a year of fighting deteriorating ill health and long term hospitalisation. Lorimer was born April 17, 1953 in Dundee in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents Connie and Bill when he was four years old to settle in the South Australian steel town of Whyalla. Lorimer radicalised as a high school student. He first became involved in left politics through the Australian movement against the imperialist war in Vietnam, when he and his mother joined the moratorium marches in Adelaide in 1970.
James Packer’s $1.4 billion Crown Casino development at Barangaroo on Sydney Harbour was approved by the NSW government on July 5. The high-rollers’ casino will reach 70 storeys, with 350 six-star rooms and 80 luxury apartments. It will be designed to attract the so-called whales of the gambling world.

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