Issue 180

News

Indonesian activist speaks By Anthony Benbow PERTH — Dita Sari, general secretary of the Indonesian Centre for Working Class Struggle (PPBI) was here last week as a guest of the International Women's Day Collective. "Women of the
Fight continues over agency bargaining By Phil Shannon CANBERRA — Community and Public Sector Union delegates and members in the Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health (HSH) in the ACT are opposing certification of the
By Dave Wright Polls indicate that Labor and Liberals are running neck and neck in the New South Wales election on March 25. Minor party preferences could decide the outcome, in particular in key marginal seats and the upper house. For this
Rallies protest against marijuana laws By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Some 500 people rallied in King George Square for a "pot-nic" on March 18 as part of a national day of action called by HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition). Speakers
ADELAIDE — Miscellaneous Workers Union members have lifted bans imposed on public hospitals after four weeks of industrial action. Workers have been fighting for a $20 wage increase and a further $48 over the next two years. After threatening a
Journalists arrested in Jakarta Ahmad Taufik, chairperson of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), another member, Liston P. Siregar, and the outspokenly critical member of parliament, Sri Bintang Pamungkas, were arrested during a
UNSW staff vote to support student strike By Helen Jarvis The academic staff union at UNSW has voted to support the National Day of Action on March 23, by cancelling classes and holding a stop-work meeting. A well-attended meeting of
Criticism of Pasminco expansion inquiry By Kamala Emanuel and Shane Bentley NEWCASTLE — A commission of inquiry, into a proposed $47 million upgrade of the Boolaroo Pasminco smelter, heard criticism on March 16 of a blood-lead survey
Tarkine campaign continues By Carol Mitchell and Ben Courtice HOBART — On March 11, around 200 people attended a sleep-out/vigil in support of the Tarkine Wilderness direct action blockade, which is occurring in the north-west of
Fight continues against school closure By Adam Hanieh ADELAIDE — More than 100 angry people packed the school hall of Port Adelaide Girls High on March 15 to hear education minister Rob Lucas attempt to justify the closure of the school.
A closed meeting of government officials and invitees will shortly make policy decisions to introduce herbicide-tolerant crops, pastures and trees into Australia. Critics and the public are excluded. The decision will follow a March 15-16
By Tony Iltis CANBERRA — Following elections which gave a parliamentary majority to neither major party, ACT Liberal leader Kate Carnell has formed a minority government. The Liberals won seven of the 17 seats in the ACT Legislative
Protest for East Timor By Jon Lamb ADELAIDE — A noisy and vibrant crowd protested against military aid to Indonesia outside the Australian Defence Force Recruiting office here on March 17. The action was organised by Resistance, Aksi —
By Margaret Gleeson ADELAIDE — An amendment to the Metal Trades Federation of Unions' (MTFU) national executive recommendation, which would have set a minimum of 15% for wage increases sought in enterprise agreements, was narrowly defeated at
ACT Greens in federal by-election By Gosta Lynga CANBERRA — The ACT Greens are standing James Warden, environmentalist, historian of politics and writer, as their candidate in the March 25 by-election for the seat of Canberra, formerly
A teachers' campaign targets minister ADELAIDE — As the SA public school system fights to protect its future, the South Australian Institute of Teachers has called upon education minister Rob Lucas to remember his pre-election promise.

World

Sinn Fein condemns embargo Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican party, passed the following resolution at its February 25-26 national conference (Ard Fheis). "That This Ard Fheis unreservedly condemns as a disgrace the Dublin government's
Human rights body criticises embargo The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a legal tribunal within the Organisation of American States, is urging the US government to end restrictions on the shipment of medicine and basic foods to
JIM O'DONNELL is a member of the Democratic Left (DL) in Ireland and an organiser of the New European Left Forum. He was interviewed for Green Left Weekly in Brussels by SARAH STEPHEN and CHOW WEI CHENG. Can you describe how the New European
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — March 11 marked three months since federal Russian forces pushed into the rebellious republic of Chechnya in the north Caucasus region. At the time, Russian defence minister General Pavel Grachev boasted that a
by Max Lane Fifteen members of a police security unit from the central Jakarta police command raided the offices of the PIJAR Foundation on March 9. PIJAR (Information Centre and Action Network for Reform) is an organisation of students and
In January and February, JO BROWN travelled in Java and met activists in the Indonesian students' and workers' movements. Here she describes visiting the slum areas around Jakarta that are home to the new urban working class. The contrasts and
By Malik Miah The FBI asks us to believe the following story: Last [northern] summer Qubilah Bahiyah Shabazz, Malcolm X's second oldest daughter, seeks out an old high school friend she hasn't seen in 16 years to carry out an assassination. Her
Canadian first nation wins forest protection By Cam Walker The Haisla Nation of central western British Columbia have won a major victory in having a vast area of their traditional homeland permanently protected. The Haisla are the
Buka figure disappears A prominent leader and pro-secessionist on the northern Bougainville island of Buka, Dennis Sareke, has disappeared. Great fears are held for his safety. The news of Sareke's disappearance was bought to the attention
By Antonio Paneque Brizuelas RAMSEY CLARK entered the Cuban Red Cross building in Havana, where a shipment of insulin from the US company Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals was handed over in a modest ceremony. The first question put to him when we sat
By Liang Guosheng "We have advanced technology as well as experienced construction teams. The difficulty is how to resettle over 1.2 million evacuees." So runs a remark attributed to Chinese Premier Li Peng, published in the Chinese Daily

Culture

Don't believe the hype! do you want more?!!!??! The Roots MCA/Geffen Reviewed by Sean Moysey I can see the value in what The Roots are trying to do: that is, mix "traditional" jazz sounds and instruments with hip hop/rap lyrics.
The Contract State: Public Management and the Kennett Government Edited by John Alford and Deirdre O'Neill Deakin University Press: 1994 Reviewed by Chris Slee "Two years after being elected, the Kennett government has already begun to
The Porcupine By Julian Barnes Picador. 138 pp., $11.95 (pb) Reviewed by Dave Riley Just when I thought I'd give up novels for the telly and stick to periodicals rather than something more literary, Julian Barnes came my way. I view him as
Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences By James R. Mellow Hodder & Stoughton, 1994. 704 pp., $29.95 (pb) Reviewed by Phil Shannon Ernest Hemingway: a splendid storyteller, but a pity about the politics. After reading Mellow's biography of
By Norm Dixon As in many other places in the world, the left in the United States has gone through a lean period in recent times. Left publications have suffered and in some cases closed down. Socialist organisations, some very longstanding like
Paul Keating em = By Denis Kevans You bignoted on Mabo I thought you were sincere, But what do I find when I peer in your mind At the turning of the year? A little mechanical masterpiece, With insects striking the gong,
The Truth (Ny Marina) The Justin Vali Trio Realworld through Larrikin Entertainment Reviewed by Norm Dixon By most accounts, the Justin Vali Trio were the surprise hit of the recent Womadelaide festival. Their new album tells you why. This
By Bronwen Beechey MELBOURNE — Despite the Kennett government's recent surprise decision to cut its funding by $20,000, one of Melbourne's oldest alternative theatre companies refuses to give up. In announcing its 1995 season, Melbourne

Editorial

Beyond the elections At a time of rising anger against the two major parties, in particular the Labor Party, many people are looking around for a progressive alternative. The many Labor betrayals on so many important issues will, we hope, result