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As Green Left Weekly approaches its 1000th issue, more than 20 years after it first hit the streets, we will be looking back at some of the campaigns it has covered and its role as an alternative source of news. *** The first editorial of Green Left Weekly, urging the Bob Hawke government to not lift sanctions against South Africa until apartheid was completely dismantled, set the anti-racist tone of the paper.
A 40-year-old library assistant, Sally Kuether, was arrested and charged on January 24 under Queensland’s controversial anti-bikie laws. She has been charged under new laws that prohibit more than two alleged bikies from meeting in public. The mother-of-three met her partner Phillip Palmer and friend Ronald Germain at the Dayboro Hotel, north-west of Brisbane, on December 19. The ABC said they were supposedly “wearing club colours” and were “alleged associates of the Life And Death motorcycle club”.
Friends of the Earth released this statement on January 30. *** A research report by environment group Friends of the Earth shows the financial cost to governments and the community in Victoria from natural disasters was $19.9 billion over a 10-year period, from 2003 to 2013.
NSW Mining has sponsored a radio competition on one of Sydney’s top-rated breakfast shows, in which a listener has the chance to win $1 million if they register to be a “miner”. The promotional poster for the competition, which features hosts Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones wearing miners’ hard hats, carries the slogan: “NSW Mining. Good for jobs. Good for Sydney’s economy.” When registering, participants have the option to receive more information from NSW Mining.
Unions and community groups have strongly criticised a bill that aims to give Victorian police unprecedented power to disband protests and ban individuals from taking part in protest activity. The Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill 2013 will increase powers available to police under “move on” laws.
Sydney’s Botany Bay was named by Captain James Cook while he was investigating this “great Southern continent” for the British empire in 1770. His exploration led to the First Fleet’s settlement in the area on January 26, 1788, and the beginning of 226 years of massacres, dispossession and abuse of the land’s first people. So the graffiti discovered along the western shoreline of the bay reading “Fuck Australia Day, no pride in genocide” and on the front of Captain Cook’s heritage cottage in Melbourne labelling January 26 “Australia’s shame” had a symbolic point to their messages.
Hundreds of residents rallied on January 26 in response to a proposal to build a large residential island between 200 metres and one kilometre off Nightcliff Beach. The proposal, dubbed “Nightcliff Island”, was revealed in Northern Territory parliament in June last year. Approval has only been given for exploration at this point but environmentalists are concerned about the impact on fauna-rich mangroves in the area.
About 7000 people rallied at Cottesloe Beach in Perth on February 1 to protest against the shark cull being carried out under the orders of the Western Australian Liberal government. This follows large protests in January when the plan was first proposed. Similar actions took place in cities around Australia and New Zealand. About 1500 people gathered at Manly Beach in Sydney, and 500 people rallied at the Melbourne State Library and then marched to Flinders Street station. See 'Thousands protest shark cull'.
“Steve's case is really a case about all of us,” renowned Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva said in support of organic farmer Steve Marsh. It is about the right to “have the freedom to eat healthy, safe organic food”. Marsh lives in Kojanup in Western Australia, and is embroiled in a landmark “David v Goliath” legal case about the effects of genetically modified (GM) crops on his farm.
The Socialist Alliance released this statement on January 31. *** The Socialist Alliance condemns the federal government's attempts to use allegations of criminality in the building and construction industry to launch a full-scale attack on the union movement. Fairfax media and the ABC’s 7.30 raised the serious allegations of corruption, which relied on statements from a few individuals in the building industry, including a builder and a former employee of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU).

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