Issue 137

Australia

Good votes for Brisbane Greens, socialists

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — The Labor Party under Lord Mayor Jim Soorley was swept back to office in council elections here on March 26, with a swing to it of up to 7%. Soorley won 52% to Liberal

Rail workers picket Goss

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — More than 100 angry rail workers booed Queensland Premier Wayne Goss outside a Labor Party function in Townsville on March 23 over plans to close the Townsville railway workshops by the

Students rally against voluntary unionism

By Emma Bird

MELBOURNE — Around 1000 students marched through the streets on March 23 in opposition to the Kennett government's proposed voluntary student unionism legislation. The legislation

'Revivalist meetings'

Environmental activists George Marshall and Brent Hoare will be whizzing around Australia throughout April to hold "evolutionary revivalist meetings" with as many people as possible who are interested in striving to ensure

Cashing in on chips

By Tom Kelly

In its path from Australia's 130,000 farmers to 17 million consumers, our food passes through around 30 major processing companies, involving 3500 individual factories, to only four supermarket chains. This

By Pip Hinman

The Democrats' budget proposals, launched on March 21, are aimed at encouraging business to invest and employ. According to Democrat leader Senator Cheryl Kernot, the package pushes for a transfer of taxes from business inputs to

Youths held in adult jail

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Queensland Aboriginal and Islanders Legal Service vice-president Sam Watson said on March 22 that the service would appeal to the High Court or even the United Nations to "stop children

By Tom Kelly

Completion of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) has brought agricultural trade into the agreement. This will further integrate Australia's food industry into the world market.

The

Environmental rally

By Anthony Thirlwall

ADELAIDE — Nearly 500 people gathered for a rally outside Parliament House on March 24 to oppose the Hindmarsh Island Bridge project, the Craigburn Farm subdivision and the development of the Mt

Starcke: 'Historic alliance'

By Nick Everett

BRISBANE — One hundred and twenty people attended a March 21 meeting here organised by the Wilderness Society to protest against the proposal by the Goss government to establish a 10,000

By Anthony Benbow
and Anne Pavy

Perth — Community opposition is growing to the WA police "Operation Sweep", which, under the pretence of defending young people "in moral danger", is harassing them on the street at night.

The socialist

Day of action on unemployment

The radical youth organisation Resistance has initiated a petition calling for a national day of action in protest at the federal government's failure to seriously address the unemployment crisis. Following is the

By Tom Kelly

One anomaly of the new trade regime is that it appears to allow the sale of contaminated meat in Australia. The March 24 Financial Review reported that meat from 452 quarters of beef which had been rejected for human consumption by

By Sean Healey

Greens (WA) Senators Dee Margetts and Christabel Chamarette released their submission on the 1994-95 federal budget on March 22.

In their initial response to the government's Draft Fiscal Framework, the WA Greens said that

Success story
"Russia will be a success story, whatever the difficulties." — International Monetary Fund managing director Michel Camdessus after agreeing to provide the Yeltsin government with a US$1.5 billion loan if it implements new taxes and

World

By Robyn Marshall, Robynne Murphy and Margaret Gleeson

SAN SALVADOR — FMLN-Democratic Convergence (CD) presidential candidate Ruben Zamora, achieved a vote of 25.29% in the March 20 elections. With 83.6% of the vote counted, the ruling ARENA's

NINA LANSBURY, who visited Vietnam in December-January, reports on the country's environmental problems and opportunities.

Speaking with a visiting environmental economist from the University of Hong Kong, it was encouraging to hear him talk

Storm over Indonesian arms sales

By Paul Clarke

Britain's Conservative government is facing a growing row over its decision to sell 24 Hawk ground attack planes to Indonesia. Hawks have already been extensively used by Indonesian forces

German Green resurgence

By Steve Walker

Spectacular local election results for Germany's Green Party have thrown calculations about the likely result of the October 1994 general election into turmoil.

In the March 20 elections in the

By Norm Dixon

JOHANNESBURG — The ANC's southern Natal chairperson, Jeff Radebe, flanked by the ANC's candidate for premier of Natal, Jacob Zuma, said here on March 23 that "the time has come for the Transitional Executive Council to take

By Sri Kristianti

JAKARTA — Well-known sociologist and lecturer George Aditjondro has publicly criticised the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. Aditjondro, from the prestigious private Satya Wacana University in Java and a popular columnist

By Norm Dixon

JOHANNESBURG — Following a week of mass protests in South African prisons, the Transitional Executive Council agreed on March 22 that all prisoners will be allowed to vote in this country's first democratic elections.

By Norm Dixon

JOHANNESBURG — The hated military leader of the Ciskei bantustan, Brigadier Oupa Gqozo has been toppled by a revolt by Ciskei public servants and police.

Gqozo is better known here as the "Butcher of Bisho', after his troops

By Pat Brewer

The Brazilian Workers Party (PT) has been tipped by many commentators to become part of a new government in the country's national elections in October. The PT is part of an electoral alliance with a variety of progressive parties,

Challenge to Britain's racist immigration laws

By Paul Clarke

Thirty-five thousand people marched through London on March 19 to oppose racism and fascism. The demonstration, organised by the Trades Union Congress, reflected concern at the

By Renfrey Clarke

MOSCOW — Years ago, it would have been sensational news. The Russian state authorities, President Boris Yeltsin announced on March 9, would not import grain in 1994. The country, he explained, had sufficient reserves to last

By the Native Forest Network

"The James Bay Project is the ultimate arrogance of the engineering mentality in its devastation of the North American continent", says Thomas Berry, the author of Dream of the Earth. What is at stake is the entire

By Renfrey Clarke

MOSCOW — Early in March a parliamentary deputy from Orenburg province in the southern Urals contacted Greenpeace Russia with alarming news.

Shunted up a side track just outside the town of Svetly were 16 open-topped

By Norm Dixon

JOHANNESBURG — The African National Congress has called on the National Party government and its leader, F.W. de Klerk, to come clean about its knowledge of the criminal political activities planned and committed by the most

Editorial

North Korea: don't be confused

"Chaos. Corruption. Civil war. He's back to lay down the law" runs the promo for Hollywood's latest extravaganza of violence, Robocop 3. It just about describes US policy on North Korea.

The US-supported

Culture

The Pelican Brief
With Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington
Reviewed by Arun Pradhan

It sounds like a good idea: rework the familiar Watergate plot, get some big names like Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, chuck in some suspense and

Feast for the eyes, not the brain

The Scent of the Green Papaya
A film by Tran Anh Hung
Mandolin Cinema, Sydney
Reviewed by Peter Boyle

This film won two prizes at Cannes 1993 and has been hailed by many critics as a masterful film of

By Pip Hinman
and Karen Fredericks

Penny Arcade has had her share of romantic traumas, but she has found the antidote. Once, following a particularly nasty break-up with an emotionally crippled boyfriend, she and a 21-year-old gay friend

Philadelphia
Directed by Jonathan Demme
Starring Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Jason Robards
Reviewed by Russell Pink

Since the AIDS pandemic began, more aware or bolder film producers have noticed the potential of the screen for enlarging

Max Shachtman and His Left: A Socialist's Odyssey through the "American Century"
By Peter Drucker
Humanities Press, 1994. 346 pp., $29.95 (pb)
Reviewed by Phil Shannon

"If there is a gram of Marxist blood left in me, it will take a hundred

King Lear
By William Shakespeare
Sydney Theatre Company
Drama Theatre, Opera House, March 24 to April 30
Parramatta Riverside Theatre May 10 to 28
Reviewed by Helen Jarvis

Lear himself undeniably dominates any production of this play,

Disturbing the War: Melbourne Catholics and Vietnam
By Val Noone
Spectrum, 1993
Reviewed by Karl Miller

This account of the Vietnam War and the movement against it targets Melbourne Catholics from around 1960 until Australian troops were

"To me Dili was a really nice place, very peaceful. Everyone was free, living life without much planning for the future", Timorese painter Sebastiao Silva recalls his home, which he left behind in 1984, prior to the Indonesian invasion.

It is

Germinal
Directed by Claude Berri
Reviewed by Dick Nichols

Nobody except, perhaps, students "doing" French literature reads the novels of 19th century French realist Emile Zola any more, and that's not surprising. It would be difficult to