Issue 139

Australia

Squatters resist eviction By Bill Mason BRISBANE — A group of young unemployed and homeless squatters have barricaded themselves inside an abandoned West End Housing Commission house to prevent the state government evicting them.
1800 teaching jobs in limbo By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — Secrecy and denial surround the claim that the state Liberal government is planning to cut 1800 jobs in education. This would break a pre-election promise that there would be no
By Emma Webb ADELAIDE — "Let's get angry about racism; let's also get angry about the public service cuts and unemployment that cause racism." These were the words of Frank Barbero of the Ethnic Communities Association, speaking to a
Brisbane censors safe sex poster By Susan Price BRISBANE — A poster designed to promote safe sex practices for lesbians was banned from a political posters exhibition here on April 15 by the Brisbane City Council because it "saw no reason
By Jo Obronschka NEWCASTLE — Environmentalists and concerned residents are outraged at a proposal to allow a new township of 17,000 people to be built on a coastal dune area at Fern Bay, 15 kilometres north of here. The council has asked
PSU Campaign established By Ray Fulcher MELBOURNE — A new Public Sector Union rank and file group, PSU Campaign, was officially launched here on April 9. The group's charter is to work for a more democratic, open and involving union, for
National day of action against skyrail By Lynda Hansen BRISBANE — April 11 was a national day of action against the proposed construction of a skyrail from Cairns to Kuranda in Queensland's far north. Activists here from the Queensland
By John Nebauer BRISBANE — Just three days before the release of the Criminal Justice Commission report into the death of Aboriginal dancer Daniel Yock in police custody on November 7, another Aborigine died in police custody here.
Story and photo by Therese Mackay PORT MACQUARIE — NSW health minister Ron Phillips snuck into town on April 8 desperately trying to avoid 60 protesting locals angered by the long waiting lists at the public hospital and plans to privatise
School staff work to rule By Stephen Robson PERTH — School support staff in Western Australia have begun a work-to-rule campaign to pressure the state government to increase the allocation for staff in the next budget. With the
By Tim E. Stewart DARWIN — 150 people attended a twilight public meeting called here by the NT Environment Centre on April 14, to discuss the controversial issue of Darwin Harbour development. Speakers from the Environment Centre and the
WA students start education campaign By Mark Lockett PERTH — Following a successful rally on March 22, students in WA are continuing a campaign against the Court government's voluntary student unionism (VSU) legislation. In the march
By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — The state Liberal government is undertaking an audit of the public sector which promises more cutbacks in jobs and community services. Rumours abound that another 1000 staff are to be cut from the State Bank in
New Tasmanian political party HOBART — "Make more room at the trough — the Extremely Greedy 40% Extra Party is here!", says the first press release of Tasmania's newest political party. The Extremely Greedy 40% Extra Party has 200
Education Department targeted protesters By Alex Cooper MELBOURNE — The senselessly violent tactics used by police against protesters at Richmond Secondary College on December 13 now appear to have an explanation. In the week before the
Increased danger from ultraviolet radiation Leaked research from a top laboratory of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States indicates that sun-screens may not provide protection from excessive ultraviolet radiation (UV-B)
Law and order in the wild west By Stephen Robson PERTH — The Court government faces another embarrassment for its law and order campaign with the revelation that Tactical Response Group officer Dan Donegan has been charged with assault
Greenslopes picket By John Nebauer BRISBANE — About 40 people attended a picket outside the Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital on April 16 to protest against plans to close parts of the facility and privatise the remainder. The picket
By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — The difficulties of life as a performing artist will be highlighted in a South Australia campaign by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). In a submission to the state government's Arts Taskforce, it
Sydney demo on jobs crisis By Michael Tardif SYDNEY — Students, workers and the unemployed will demonstrate on April 28 against the federal government's approach to the unemployment crisis. The Cross Campus Education Network, which

World

As President Donald Trump delivered his expected announcement in June 1 of withdrawing the United States from Paris climate agreement, environmental group 350.org laid out steps for an energised people's movement that could “rise up like never before” and stop the anti-science White House from destroying the planet.

By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — If you talk to a young person serving in one of the commercial kiosks that line the main streets of Russian cities, the chances are rather high that he or she will turn out to be a student in a local university or
By Boris Kagarlitsky MOSCOW — Every day, there are fewer people in Russia. The country has been seized by an unprecedented demographic decline. For the first time since the second world war, the number of deaths substantially exceeds the
By Victor Amaya SAN SALVADOR — With some reluctance, the right-wing ARENA party has been forced to concede there will be a second round in the election. The technical fraud denounced by the FMLN has been recognised by the world. The two
Response to Timor film The screening of John Pilger's film Death of A Nation on national television in New Zealand on April 10 brought a flood of phone calls to the East Timor Independence Committee's action line. The Auckland-based group
A summit of New Guinea Islands premiers held in the West New Britain capital of Kimbe on April 7 to discuss greater autonomy from the Papua New Guinean government ended with no definite resolution on the question of secession. The meeting did decide
By Norm Dixon JOHANNESBURG — Angry public servants in what is left of South Africa's discredited system of ethnic "homelands" are continuing to press their demands militantly. Workers in the health services of KwaZulu, Transkei, Lebowa and
By Paul Walker Two NATO air strikes on April 11 and 12 failed to halt the drive by Serb forces against the besieged Bosnian enclave of Gorazde. The two US-led air strikes did no more than destroy a few tanks and troop transports, and seemed more
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Many people in the international left and labour movements were impressed last year to see and read a new English-language publication from Moscow — Russian Labour Review. Sponsored by the Labour Information Centre
Louis O'Carroll is a freelance journalist specialising in travel writing. He is 64 years old and partially disabled from injuries sustained in a road accident. In a statement to the media, O'Carroll says that in December 1992, he decided to
By Norm Dixon JOHANNESBURG — The leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Chief Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, has surely drained the last drop of patience from those here who wanted to believe he could be convinced to accept a peaceful settlement.
The mass left split in the Philippines Communist Party (CPP) which has rejected the CPP leadership's Maoist program and declared itself a democratic socialist tendency, has shaken up the entire Philippines left. Supporters of hardline Maoist and CPP
Observer describes Salvadoran election By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Fraud on a massive scale disrupted the recent elections in El Salvador, Dr Coral Wynter, a member of an independent delegation of Australian observers, told a fundraising
By Stephen Marks MANAGUA — District Six in Managua's eastern section is a working-class area and a strong base for the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Recently I was invited to a meeting in the district where representatives of
By Norm Dixon JOHANNESBURG — Scores of thousands of South Africans gathered at rallies, meetings, ceremonies and church services to pay tribute to Chris Hani, the murdered South African Communist Party and ANC leader, on April 10, the

Editorial

A deadly document The Uruguay round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), signed into existence on April 15 by trade ministers from some 120 countries, is a deadly document. It condemns the world's poorest nations to deeper

Culture

Robocop 3 Starring Robert Burke and Nancy Allen Reviewed by Arun Pradhan It's Fred Nile's dream come true: clean, safe, crime-free "Delta city". The advert for Delta city rings joyfully across the cinema with images of Mummy and Daddy, their
Ambushing the media By Chris Spindler ADELAIDE —"... exciting ... innovative ... raw ... pulsing with political debate", states the fresh press release for Ambush street theatre's latest production That Was, The Week, That Was or TW3.
Earthforce!: An Earth Warrior's Guide to Strategy By Captain Paul Watson Reviewed by Jon Sumby Books about direct action are rare, and when ecodefence author and Earthfirst!er Dave Foreman describes the author as a "strategic genius of
Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War By Rick Atkinson Harper Collins, 1994. 504 pp. $39.95 Reviewed by Paul Hemphill In the disturbing documentary The Panama Deception, one of the very few instances of wry humour related to
Martin Hayes Martin Hayes Green Linnet Records through GLD Music Reviewed by Gail Lord Its superb clarity makes this self-titled CD easy on the ears, but after albums and concerts of robust Irish music I had to listen to it three times to
Kurt Cobain By Sean Healy On April 9, Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the rock group Nirvana, killed himself with a shotgun. A suicide note, found next to his body, said, "It's better to burn out than to fade away". Cobain had only just
By Norm Dixon DURBAN — Mbongeni Ngema's latest musical extravaganza, Magic at 4am, packed the Natal Playhouse here night after night for weeks until the final matinee performance on April 10. By the time the young cast had swarmed on to the
King Lear Directed by David Ritchie New Theatre, King St, Newtown Reviewed by Helen Jarvis Sydney's New Theatre continues its long tradition of good performances of classics to complement its contemporary, Australian and progressive