Issue 19

Australia

Story and photo by Steve Painter

SYDNEY — Paddler for peace Sharon Gibson spent an anxious hour trapped between a French warship and the pier at Garden Island dockyard on June 24.

Sharon exchanged friendly banter with the crew after her kayak...

CANBERRA — Welfare rights groups here hope to throw a spanner in the works of the Newstart scheme.

The scheme requires unemployed people who have been on benefits for 12 months to sign agreements which CES officers decide are reasonable. If people don't sign the...

SYDNEY — The Road Traffic Authority is planning to make changes to the current traffic rules for King Street, Newtown, which increase the volume and speed of traffic and kill the small businesses and atmosphere of the area. More than 100 people attended a...

Brisbane Pride rally

By Philippa Stanford

BRISBANE — "We're here, we're queer, get used to it" was one of the chants that filled the Brisbane city mall on June 28 as 500 people attended Brisbane's second Pride rally for lesbian and gay rights....

By Peter Boyle and Dave Mizon

They couldn't even get their rhetoric straight. Prime Minister Bob Hawke ended the ALP national conference with a call for the Industrial Relations Commission to reopen the national wage case while ACTU secretary Bill Kelty...

Rally against dole scheme

By Rex McLeod

MELBOURNE — Some 400-500 building workers and activists from the Unemployed Workers Union demonstrated here on June 25 outside the Southern Cross Hotel, where the Newstart scheme was being launched by...

MELBOURNE — In another round of union action against draconian job cuts promised by the Kirner Labor government, members of the Victorian Secondary Teachers Association working in the state's school support centres struck for one day on June 27. At least $100 million will be cut...

Adelaide trains at a standstill

By Theresa Dowding

ADELAIDE — Restructuring plans by the State Transit Authority have brought the city's rail service to a halt.

An indefinite strike began on June 10. The dispute concerns STA plans to...

NSW education jobs cut

By Rose McCann

SYDNEY — The Greiner government has announced that 800 jobs will be axed from the Department of School Education head office.

This is two-thirds of all jobs in the department. The government is...

By Steve Painter

SYDNEY — After a campaign that almost resulted in his election to the NSW upper house, Ian Cohen is optimistic about the future of the green electoral movement. "I feel quite confident at the next state election we'll get someone up",...

By Tom Flanagan and Steve Painter

HOBART — While the ALP national conference marked no turn away from the Hawke government's disastrous social and economic policies, Victorian left delegate Lindsay Tanner is "reasonably confident that you will see a...

Stonewall Day WA

By Leon Harrison

PERTH — One hundred and fifty gays and lesbians celebrated Stonewall Day June 29 with a vocal and lively march.

Chants included "We're queer, we're here, and we're not going shopping!". The rally ended...

World

By Norm Dixon

The Papua New Guinea government has attempted to smash the class boycott by university students demanding a fresh general election. Police entered the University of PNG campus on June 19 and arrested at least four leaders of the Student...

Peter Annear

The sudden collapse of the Czechoslovak Communist government in November 1989 was prepared by decades of Stalinism. In the second of a series of reports, PETER ANNEAR writes from Prague on how sections of the old Communist Party are attempting to come to...

Not everyone loved the parade

By Scott Braley

SAN FRANCISCO — From a jingoist's viewpoint, the Armed Forces Day Victory Parade here in May was a disaster. The Chamber of Commerce had organised a splashy event to "welcome home the troops" and...

By Helen Jarvis

PHNOM PENH — A more confident and optimistic mood prevails here compared to six months ago, when I last visited Cambodia. The government managed to hold firm against the opposition forces during their 1990-1991 dry season offensive....

End Kuwait trials — Amnesty

Amnesty International has called for a halt to trials of "collaborators" in Kuwait, and for the commutation of death sentences already passed.

An "urgent action" statement from the human rights group notes in part:

"Of the hundreds of people...

By Ian Powell

The New Zealand National government's Employment Contracts Act, which removed legal recognition from unions, became law on 15 May. From Wellington, IAN POWELL describes how workers are faring in the new situation.

Prior to the Employment Contracts...

Muhammad Quneitah is the head of the Federation of Palestinian Labour Unions in the Gaza Strip. The following interview with him is abridged from the Jerusalem Palestinian weekly, Al-Fajr.

Reports from the occupied territories say that Palestinian...

Blake escape pair free

A British jury has acquitted veteran peace activists Michael Randall and Patrick Pottle on charges arising from their role in the escape of double agent George Blake from jail. Randall and Pottle told the court they acted on humanitarian grounds in springing Blake...

A commission of inquiry sponsored by the three main organisations in the French peace movement (Appeal of the 75, Peace Now, and Forum for a Just Peace in the Middle East) visited Iraq in mid-May. The independent commission of 15 was supported by members of the Socialist Party left, the Green...

'Make the union irrelevant'

By Keith Locke

AUCKLAND — Australians should be worried about New Zealand's anti-union legislation crossing the Tasman.

The first company to conduct a national campaign against unions under the Employment...

By Norm Dixon

The Melbourne-based Philippines Resource Centre (PRC) has called on the Australian government to direct emergency aid for victims of the Mt Pinatubo volcano eruption through Community Aid Abroad to the non-government, volunteer-based...

By Tom Jordan

According to the new South African newspaper The Objector, Douglas Torr, a conscientious objector to military service, had his jail sentence set aside in the Rand Supreme Court on May 20 and will now only have to do...

By Craig Cormick

In the wake of the recent disastrous cyclone and flooding, Bangladesh self-help organisations have been busily providing local assistance to hundreds of thousands of victims still struggling to survive and re-establish their lives.

One of the...

By Helen Jarvis

PATTAYA, Thailand — This raunchy seaside resort south of Bangkok seems an unlikely location for a breakthrough in the drawn-out negotiations between the government of the State of Cambodia and the resistance forces. But on the hill away...

By Norm Dixon

The Australian government will continue to give Papua New Guinea over $50 million annually in military aid despite admissions that this assistance has been used in atrocities committed against civilians.

The commander of PNG armed forces on...

Editorial

The media and the ALP conference

After it was all over, the Financial Review spoke its mind on last week's ALP national conference: "The most striking image of this conference was that of a vacuum, of weariness, of a political party too long in government, just drifting". In...

Culture

By Tom Jordan

Life is sweet
UK 1990
Written and directed by Mike Leigh
Seen at the Sydney Film Festival
Reviewed by Tom Jordan

One of the few things I remember from four years of Slough...

By Dave Riley

What an odd miscellany The Big Gig (CH2) is. Resting on busking and theatre restaurants, it is a transposed exercise in the giggles. Take one BG each Tuesday, and if the melancholy persists, it is...

Pictures of Belfast

SYDNEY — An exhibition of photographs from war-torn Belfast by freelance photographer Frankie Quinn is on display at the Bondi Pavilion June 26-July 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Frankie Quinn grew up in a community ravaged by violence. From the age of 14 he...

By wendy Robertson and Elle Morell

East Timor — Keeping the Flame Alive
Canberra: Australian Council for Overseas Aid
1991
33 pp. $3.00
Reviewed by Wendy Robertson and Elle Morrell

Since...

By Rose McCann

Burn Marks
By Sara Paretsky
Virago, 1991. 340 pp. $12.95
Reviewed by Rose McCann

Great stuff. A new Sara Paretsky crime novel is always a real treat. In this, her sixth novel...

The new parliament house

em = By Subhash Jaireth

em = (translated from the Hindi)

First

the hill was cut

with explosives

bulldozers

and perforators.

Then

her brown wound was stuffed

...

By Rod Webb

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart might have felt flattered by Thomas Beecham's comment that "If I were a dictator I should make it compulsory for every member of the population between the ages of four and 80 to listen to Mozart for at least one-quarter of an hour...