704

Workers from across Melbourne have thrown their support behind National Union of Workers (NUW) members who are on strike at Preston Motors in Campbellfield.
The deputy commander of Fiji’s military has threatened public sector unions — including the Fiji Public Service Association, the Fiji Teachers Union and the Fiji Nurses Association — that it will intervene to stop a planned strike against a 5% pay cut and reduction in the retirement age from 60 to 55. According to Fijilive.com on March 17, Teleni said that it will enforce the Public Emergency Regulations, which restrict strikes and public gatherings. He also declared that workers would lose their jobs if they joined the strike. The March 23 Fijionline.com quoted Fiji Nurses Association general secretary Kuini Lutua as saying her union would continue to fight until the government withdraws the proposed pay cut. “Currently I have 98 per cent of support from members of the association and when we plan to go on strike nothing will stop us.”
Scenes of joy and relief erupted outside the Brisbane courts complex on March 21 after a Supreme Court jury cleared four Palm Islanders of charges of rioting causing destruction.
Survival International reported on March 19 that the government of Botswana has banned Bushmen in the Kalahari Game Reserve from using their own water. The government refused the Bushmen’s request to install, at their own expense, a pump at a borehole on their land. The government justified its decision by arguing that the land is owned by the government. In December, Botswana’s High Court ruled that the 2002 eviction of the Bushmen from their land was illegal and that they had a right to live there. According to Jumanda Gakelebone of the Bushman organisation First People of the Kalahari, “The court said we could go back to our land, but now we see that the government is doing everything it can to stop us. Why else would it stop us using a borehole that nobody else is using? Without water we cannot live in the Kalahari.” For more information, visit <http://www.survival-international.org>.
“Nuclear fools’ day” protests will mark Palm Sunday — April 1. The protests are in response to the most significant push for expanded uranium mining in Australia since the Hawke Labor government’s 1983 decision to defy public opinion and allow uranium mining to continue at Rio Tinto’s Ranger mine in the Northern Territory, and to be developed at Australia’s two other largest uranium deposits — BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam (Roxby Downs) mine in South Australia, opened in 1988, and Rio Tinto’s Beverley mine (also in SA) in 2001.
“We refuse to be subtle in our outcry against this war, we refuse to do nothing and be silent while people are killed in our name for profit for the rich and we refuse to be sent overseas in a war for oil.”
An Esperance Port Authority (EPA) safety worker has been sacked for “asking too many questions” and a blood specialist has been dispatched to the area as WA authorities scramble to cope with a widening heavy-metal contamination crisis.
On March 22, World Water Day, more than 40 people were arrested in New Delhi while protesting against water theft by Coca-Cola and Pepsico. The India Resource Centre reports that more than 300 people marched to the planning commission’s offices to demand action from the government over the soft-drink companies’ creation of severe water shortages and contamination of soil and groundwater. An organiser of the march and one of those detained, Nandlal Master from Lok Samiti and the National Alliance of People’s Movements, said the protest was aimed at “one of the world’s worst abusers of water, the Coca-Cola company”, which has “destroyed the lives of thousands of people in India as a result of its thirst for water”. For more information, visit <http://www.indiaresource.org>.
#147;In the US, we are living on borrowed time in terms of a nuclear accident”, Kevin Kamps from the US-based non-government Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) told a March 21 public forum organised by The Wilderness Society.
Jewish Voices I I am an activist of Jewish descent and read with interest the interview in GLW #703 with Antony Loewenstein on the setting up of Independent Australian Jewish Voices. The IAJV statement follows a similar initiative from British

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