Issue 164


SA public sector conditions threatened

By Trish Corcoran and Melanie Sjoberg

ADELAIDE — Attacks on workers in the state public sector have been unrelenting since the election of the Brown Liberal government last December.

KATH GELBER discusses the issues raised in a controversial new book, Women as Wombs: Reproductive Technologies and the battle over Women's Freedom, by Janice G. Raymond. The book is published by Spinifex Press, at a recommended retail price of

DSS dispute escalates

By Ray Fulcher

MELBOURNE — Community and Public Sector Union members in the Department of Social Security voted on October 19 to escalate industrial action in a dispute over staffing and resources.

By Angela Matheson

As a clothing machinist in Manila unable to feed and house her small son, Susie accepted a job offer of sex work in Sydney. "I am here", she says, "to work hard, and in six months I will go home and buy a house and have

Dope conviction in Darwin

By Rob Wesley-Smith

DARWIN — In a court here on October 17 Magistrate McGregor imposed a 12-month good behaviour bond on a man convicted of possessing about a kilo of dope.

The "offence"

Memorial lecture well attended

By Lisa Macdonald

SYDNEY — Eighty people braved unusually cold and rainy weather to attend the 1994 Jim Percy Memorial Lecture here on October 18. The lecture, given by Dick Nichols from the

By Stephen Robson

Greens (WA) senators Christabel Chamarette and Dee Margetts are pressing the Labor government to amend its Indigenous Land Corporation and Land Acquisition bill. They have indicated that if substantial amendments are not

Agency bargaining revived in HSH

By Phil Shannon

CANBERRA — Agency bargaining in the Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health (HSH) has been resurrected from near death by the national officials of the Community

SA teachers fight cuts

By Adam Hanieh

ADELAIDE — The South Australian Institute of Teachers has promised to continue industrial action over the state government's $22 million education cuts.

Teachers in South

On October 15, Resistance organised a National Day of Action for freedom in East Timor. Across Australia people rallied around the demands "Indonesia out of East Timor" and " Australia out of the Timor Gap". The day mobilised thousands of people and

Moura inquiry: warning signs existed

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Coal miners at the Moura No 2 mine, which suffered an explosion on August 7 killing 11 workers, have given evidence to the mining warden's inquiry at Gladstone that

Rallies for marijuana legalisation

By Nick Everett and Anne Pavy

BRISBANE — 1000 people marched here on October 21 to demand the legalisation of marijuana in Queensland.

Speakers included representatives from HEMP

Chris Hani tour in Perth

By Stephen Robson

PERTH — The final leg of the Chris Hani Memorial tour included a number of successful functions. A memorial dinner attended by 190 people on October 5 heard both John Gomomo,

Ti-tree forests 'vandalised'

The world's worst destruction of a single old growth species, Melaleuca alternafoli, Australia's unique ti-tree, is almost complete according to a two-month survey by the North Coast Chemical Coalition.

By Pip Hunter

SYDNEY — The damp but determined Fast for the Forest team announced on October 23 that they had collected 16,000 signatures calling for a moratorium on the logging and woodchipping of old growth forests.


Police to be charged over abductions

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Six police officers here face charges of deprivation of liberty after they admitted dumping three Aboriginal children at Pinkenba, on the city's outskirts, as


By Renfrey Clarke

MOSCOW — In Russian workplaces, the era of "social partnership" is ending. The period opening up will be one of sackings, lockouts and union-breaking, as bosses force workers to pay the costs of capitalist "reform".

By Norm Dixon

AMSTERDAM — The besieged people of Tuzla, a large industrial and mining town in Bosnia surrounded by Serbian forces, recently welcomed the 14th convoy of trucks bringing much-needed food aid and political solidarity. The

By Chow Wei-Cheng

LONDON — As support for the Tory government continues to dwindle, Tony Blair, the new, young leader of the British Labour Party, made his debut at the Labour Party's annual conference in Blackpool.

Blair and

By Brian Rohan

As is almost always the case, when you come expecting fire, you usually get smoke.

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey was expected to come from Tyrone with plenty of fire, and a bit of brimstone too, but her appearances

By Jennifer Thompson

Following the October 19 suicide bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv by Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin made it clear the attack would be used as a pretext to move further toward his

By Chow Wei-Cheng

LONDON — Some 100,000 people marched from Westminster to Hyde Park on October 9 in opposition to the repressive Criminal Justice Bill. The bill is a sharp attack on civil rights and will especially affect young people

By Chow Wei-Cheng

Germany has been plunged into political instability by the outcome of the general elections held on October 16. The 60 million voters gave Kohl's party its worst election result (41.5%) since 1949.


Arafat writes to prisoners

President Yasser Arafat sent a letter dated September 27 to the Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails, in reply to the many letters he has received.

In his letter, Arafat said, "I have read your

By Mustafa Al-Haj

Jneid Prison — Palestinian prisoners chose to sacrifice their freedom in their quest to fulfil the Palestinian dream. Such hope added fuel to the burning fires of the Intifada.

Dialogue, understanding and

Washington announces arrangements on migration of Cubans

The United States has announced a plan to grant 20,000 entry visas a year to Cubans requesting residence in the US, in compliance with the accord signed with Cuba on September 9 in

By Boris Kagarlitsky

MOSCOW — Despite a great deal of selfless work and a steady increase in their political authority, non-communist leftists in Russia have until now failed to establish a mass political organisation.

This is


A look into privatisation

A glimpse of the wonders of privatisation was provided on October 17 when a report tabled in the NSW parliament by the auditor-general, Tony Harris, dredged up the scandal of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and similar


Bridging Two Worlds: Aboriginal English and Crosscultural Understanding

By Jean Harkins

University of Queensland Press, 1994

Reviewed by Nina Murka

This is a scholarly yet readable book. It is motivated by Jean Harkins'

By Chris Slee

MELBOURNE — About 60 people attended the launching here on October 14 of Macedonia: Its Disputed History, by Neil Simpson.

The book provides a brief overview of Macedonia's complex history, giving a background to

By Norm Dixon

MADRID — Among the thousands of activists attending the recent Alternative Forum: The Other Voices of the Planet conference here was writer Darrin Wood. Wood recently visited Chiapas, Mexico, with a team of committed film

By Kest Courtice

Distorted, crunching, chainsaw-like guitars, drums like a jackhammer and vocals from hell. Someone once likened it to holding an electric drill against your forehead. Thrash music, hardcore, speed metal, call it what you

Graham Greene: The Man Within

By Michael Shelden

Heinemann, 1994. 537 pp., $45 (hb)

Reviewed by Phil Shannon

The left has got Graham Greene entirely wrong. According to Shelden's biography, Greene was no friend of


By Geoffrey Atherden

Starring Ruth Cracknell and Garry McDonald

Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

Until December 10

Reviewed by Frank Noakes

Freddy Brown (Garry McDonald) enters stage left, quietly ushering



Reviewed by Neville Spencer

"In the late summer of 1948, Ronald P. Vincent decided that survival had become intolerable, that absolute anguish had become less fearful than suppression. Six months earlier, his wife

The Chatto Book of Dissent

By Michael Rosen and David Widgery

Chatto and Windus. 457 pp., $19.95

Reviewed by Dave Riley

"Nothing is harder and takes more character than to stand in open opposition to one's time and loudly


By Peter Ackroyd

Mandarin, 1994. 608 pp., $16.95 (pb)

Reviewed by Phil Shannon

Dickens was one heck of a writer. Only the rich and unfeeling do not cry with pity for the hard lot of his heroes, laugh at the pomposity