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If the uprisings of last year have proved anything, it is that progressive change is not out of reach, even in the most unlikely of circumstances. In the face of overwhelming odds, the Arab Spring has brought changes in the region that were unthinkable 18 months ago.

However, it is still common for people advocating radical change to be sneered at, regarded as naive fools or dangerous loonies.

But when you take an honest look at the state of the world today, it is those who think things should not change are the ones that start to look foolish or crazy.

German President Christian Wulff resigned on February 17 after prosecutors applied to have his presidential immunity stripped in a corruption scandal.

Wulff has been accused of having received kickbacks from businessmen, including a home loan of 500,000 euros (paid via an anonymous bank cheque) in 2008.

When German tabloid Bild threatened to publish the allegations, Wulff left voice messages on the editor's phone threatening "war".

Ten thousand people mobilised in Dresden on February 18 to stop an annual march of European neo-Nazis.

A broad coalition of political parties, church groups, trade unions and other anti-fascist groups formed a united front campaign to stop the planned neo-Nazi march through peaceful, mass blockades.

Six days earlier, a group of more than 1000 neo-Nazis gathered in Dresden for a march supposedly to commemorate the innocent deaths caused by the 1945 bombing of Dresden by the Allied forces.

The abridged statement below was initiated by the British Coalition of Resistance and signed by dozens of groups and individuals around the world ― including Australia's Socialist Alliance. See Coailiast of Resistancefor the list of signatories and to add your name.

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Public housing in Victoria (and elsewhere around Australia) is in a state of crisis. For at least the last two decades, successive state governments have failed to meet the challenge of providing public housing to all who need it.

Instead, they have relied on the free market to provide “affordable housing” as a means of avoiding their responsibilities. The result has been a disaster, with nearly 40,000 people on waiting lists.

Last year, students of Political Economy at the University of Sydney stood up to threats to merge their department into either a politics or straight economics department.

They protested because they believed in the value of learning alternative economics, refused to accept cuts in staff or subjects and believed students have the right to have a say in the institution at which they choose to study.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said marriage equality was "inevitable" when she met with three same-sex couples on February 21 during a dinner organised by GetUp! The admission came despite her own opposition to equal marriage.

A snap rally was held outside NSW parliament house on February 22 to protest a bill proposed by Premier Barry O’Farrell to lift the 26-year moratorium on uranium exploration in NSW. The Nature Conservation Council and Beyond Nuclear Initiative organised the rally.

The moratorium on nuclear exploration in NSW began as a bipartisan agreement between Liberal and Labor parties after an investigation found that the effects of mining would be too dangerous.

In the early hours of February 17, about 1000 police and National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) officers conducted a violent raid of Khartoum University’s student dormitories, arresting more than 300 students.

Most were released later that day. Two students are missing, suspected kidnapped by the NISS. Some of the arrested students told a Sudan Human Rights Monitor press conference that police had used racist verbal abuse against students and many were beaten.

Immigration minister Chris Bowen has decided to close the Pontville refugee detention centre in Tasmania by March 1. The move is in keeping with the government’s original plan to operate the centre for only six months.

Last month, about 150 asylum seekers held in Pontville started a hunger strike to demand they be released into the community. At least three were hospitalised.

On February 16, Unions Tasmania secretary Kevin Harkins released a statement calling on Tasmanian’s to rally on February 25 to keep the detention centre open.

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