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Sunday, November 23, 2003

On behalf of the Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group I invite you to participate in a Vigil with the Theme

Season's Greatings for David and Mamdouh.
When: Friday 19 December 2003
Time: 5-7pm
Where: Sydney Town Hall.


The objective is to continue to inform the public; and maintain the issue alive. There will be information on both David and Mamdouh to hand out to the general public. There will also be two Season's Greetings cards for the public to sign which will be presented to Alexander Downer - as Parliament will be on recess by then, I will ask the Fair Go for David Group in South Australia to present these to Downer.

I am of the idea that a Vigil could be held at major cities all around Australia concurrently, i.e., at the same time and day as the one taking place in Sydney. We could issue a media release thus attract media attention. I will be contacting other groups around Australia to see if this is possible.

Terry Hicks contacted me and he is keen on the idea. I also spoke to Stephen Hopper and he thinks that this is fine. He will be contacting Maha to see if she could attend the vigil.

[It would be great to get your support and see if we can get a group which is eager to continue with the campaign for Justice for Hicks and Habib. This group could have members from the various peace groups and could serve as a coordinating/working group on the campaign]

We need to continue to put pressure on the government and demand the repatriation or release of these two Australian men. David and Mamdouh have been turned into the 'sacrificial lambs' of the infamous 'war on terror'. This could happen to any other Australian who happens to be travelling overseas. Furthermore, this could happen to anyone dissenting with government political policies and stand.

Your comments and ideas are welcome. Please support this event and contact me if you would like to get involved in the organisation of this event.

For Justice & Peace,
Marlene Obeid (0401 758 871) mlobeid@hotmail.com
Vigil Coordinator
Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group

Saddam offered terms: 

Over the four months before the coalition forces invaded Iraq, Saddam's government made a series of increasingly desperate offers to the United States. In December, the Iraqi intelligence services approached Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA's former head of counter-terrorism, with an offer to prove that Iraq was not linked to the September 11 attacks, and to permit several thousand US troops to enter the country to look for weapons of mass destruction. If the object was regime change, then Saddam, the agents claimed, was prepared to submit himself to internationally monitored elections within two years. According to Mr Cannistraro, these proposals reached the White House, but were "turned down by the president and vice-president"

Full article by George Monbiot in yesterday’s Guardian:
www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1082250,00.html

Between 22,000 and 55,000 people died in Iraq between 20 March and 20 October. Around 20,000 civilians, between 40,000 and 135,000 Iraqi soldiers, and around 2,000 coalition personnel were injured.
The UK medical charity MedACT issued a report yesterday: Continuing Collateral Damage: the health and environment costs of war on Iraq 2003. The full report and backup papers can be got from
http://www.medact.org/tbx/pages/sub.cfm?id=775

Save Medicare Alliance 

The next meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the Save Medicare Alliance will be held on

10am Monday, 1st December 2003 at Level 10, PSA HOUSE.

Anyone who has any issues that they wish to discuss with the Coordinating Committee is welcome to attend. Any groups who are meeting externally and wish to have their meetings addressed by the Save Medicare Alliance are encouraged to contact the Coordinating Committee C/- CPSA, Level 3, 25 Cooper St, Surry Hills 2010. Ph: 02 9281 3588, Fax: 9281 9716, Email: cpsa@cpsa.org.au

OBJECTIVES

A. The maintenance and extension of the universal and affordable health care system, available to all, including universal access to bulk-billing.

B. Increase of the Medicare levy.

C. Abolish tax incentives (including private health insurance rebates) to high income earners.

D. Rebate for medical practitioners working in rural communities to be higher than for metropolitan medical practitioners.

E. Doctors who bulk-bill should receive an increased and adequate rebate.

F. Dental treatment to be included in Medicare.

G. Australian Commonwealth-State Health Care Agreements should be calculated as a percentage of GNP.

H. The maintenance of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the public hospital system.

I. Centrelink’s Pharmaceutical Allowance to be increased to be the equivalent of one script per week for each Centrelink Pharmaceutical Allowance recipient.

Valuable websites for information and campaign material:

Defend Medicare – www.defendmedicare.cjb.net
LHMU Medicare Campaign – www.lhmu.org.au/lhmu/campaigns/medicare/
National Medicare Alliance – www.nma.org.au
Save Medicare (NSW) – www.labor.net.au
(click on “Campaigns”, then “Save Medicare”)
Save Medicare (QLD) – www.qnu.org.au
Save Medicare (VIC) - www.vmag.org.au

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

AMWU ACTIVIST COMMITTEE FILM NIGHT 

Your invited to the SYDNEY AMWU ACTIVIST COMMITTEE FILM NIGHT. We will be presenting Michael Moore's movie epic Roger & Me.

The movie is Michael Moore's first documentary film, he takes us on tour around his hometown of Flint Michigan in pursuit of Roger Smith the General Motor's (GM) CEO.

Michael Moore's mission is to persuade the CEO of his responsibility to attend to the problems of the unemployed. GM eliminated 40, 000 jobs when the company decided to move it's operations to Mexico in pursuit of cheaper, non-union labour.

Come along and join us and Michael on this hilarious and bizarre journey.

WHEN: Friday 21st November @ 6pm.
WHERE: 136 Chalmer St, Tom Mann Theatre
COST: Donation of $5 for union members, $8 for non-union members.

All the money fundraised on the night will contribute towards workers strike funds for campaigns such as the Morris MccMahon.

Help workers organise and prepare for their EBA campaigns by coming along. Your encouraged to bring your work colleagues, delegates and members.

Please display your relevant union card at the door.

For more information please call Monica on 0400 055 081.

Edmund Rice Centre backs Landmines Petition  

http://www.petitiononline.com/mjebsb1/petition.html

The Sydney-based Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education is urging support for an online petition calling on the Australian Senate to renew the country's ten-year commitment to mine action.

In 1995, the Australian Government pledged $100 million for integrated mine action programs, including the care and rehabilitation of landmine survivors, education and mine clearance. The ten-year commitment is due for renewal in 2005, and the petition urges an increase in the amount to $150 in the ten years to 2015.

The Edmund Rice Centre says 20,000 deaths occur annually due to landmines and other unexploded ordinance, material often left over from conflicts long since ended. One death or serious injury is attributed to landmines every 22 minutes.

It says landmines and unexploded ordinance are not only tragic in their consequences for individuals, they impose hardship on families who are forced to care for injured members and they alienate otherwise arable and productive land.

The Edmund Rice Centre is a work of the Christian Brothers. It is best known for exposing alleged corruption in the Australian Department of Immigration. A month ago, the Centre's researchers claimed on ABC TV's Lateline that Australian Government officials encouraged failed asylum seekers to use false passports to enter other countries.

When Church and community groups were active in the landmines campaign in the 1990s, they collectively submitted the second largest petition ever received by the Australian Parliament. The Edmund Rice Centre is urging support for the
online petition.

Worldwide the 1990s campaign led to the Ottawa Treaty banning the production, sale and use of landmines by participating governments.

For more information call Michael Elphick on 02 9764 1330 or email michael@erc.org.au

Edmund Rice Centre backs Landmines Petition - http://www.petitiononline.com/mjebsb1/petition.html

Rally against TAFE Fee Increases 

Tafe Students, Unions and Community Organisations are stepping up the campaign against the TAFE Fee increases by calling a rally outside NSW Parliament House (Macquarie Street) on Wednesday 19th November at 1pm.

This rally will call on the NSW Government to stand by ALP Policy and reduce TAFE fees to a level that is affordable and accessible for all students.

If these fee increases go through, some course fees will increase by up to 300%. This rally gives voice to the widespread community opposition about the Government’s attack on working people’s education.

To support the campaign, download a leaflet from the website and circulate it to friends, workmates (especially people who work in the city), and come to the rally on the day.

http://www.labor.net.au/campaigns/tea/news/tafe3.html

Send an email to the Government protesting the TAFE Fees:

http://labor.net.au/campaigns/tea/protest/protest_form.html

active sydney fair 3 

when : December 8th, 6pm - 10pm
where: UTS Concourse, Broadway, Sydney
info : http://www.active.org.au/sydney/fair/

If you recall, active sydney fair 1 took place in july 2001 hosted by UTS student union. keynote speaker was Naomi Klein - 1200 activists came along and over 60 different activist groups set up their stalls and promoted their work and a great time was had by all!

Then, last year, active sydney fair 2 took us outdoors as we were hosted by the fantastic crew Reclaim The Streets. We partied hard all day and through the evening as about 2000 activists set up about 40 stalls outside sydney town hall. we came to commune, to share and to reclaim what was ours all along - the streets of sydney.

This year we're back to UTS for active sydney fair 3 !! bigger and brighter and more fun than ever. Keynote speaker Starhawk will be taking the stage fresh after her recent protest actions in Cancun to talk about the global justice
movment and our possible future (see website for details).
We'll have vids and stalls and free finger food.

Come along and find out about what's happening in the sydney activist community. Set up a stall to promote your active group or activist campaign. Soak up the soap box rants and have fun with the rest of us. All welcome & Completely free.

If you want to set up your free stall at this years fair, drop an email to active-sydney-fair@lists.cat.org.au so we can organise a table for you. Otherwise just come along and mingle/have fun with the rest of us.

We hope to see you there!

Active Sydney Fair
December 8th, 6pm - 10pm
UTS Concourse
Broadway, Sydney
http://www.active.org.au/sydney/fair/

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Western Sydney Peace Group forum 

"What do Medicare reforms mean for me?"

Monday November 10
7:15pm-9pm
Rooty Hill Uniting Church, 84 Rooty Hill Rd Nth, Rooty Hill

Guest Speaker is the President of the Combined Pensioners and Superannuates Association, Morrie Mifsud.

Morrie is heavily involved in the fight to protect Medicare, and was on Blacktown Council for eight years.

He will cover the federal governments plans to change medicare, what those changes will mean for ordinary Australians, and how you can get involved to protect our health care system for the future.

For more details contact Tim Vollmer on 0404 273313 or email timothy.k.vollmer@uts.edu.au

Dr Hanan Ashrawi visits Australia 

When: Saturday 8 November 2003

Where: Petersham Town Hall
107 Crystal Street
Petersham

Time: 1.30 for 2pm start

Cost: $10

Contact: Sari Kassis on 8080 8125 or email bookings@phrconline.org Bookings essential

Organised by Palestine Human Rights Campaign

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