Issue 205

Australia

By Sue Bolton

MELBOURNE — The new president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Jennie George, told delegates to the congress held here September 27-29 that one of the main challenges she would be confronting would be reversing the

Five leaders of the Tahitian trade union movement, A Tia I Mua, including general secretary Hirohiti Tefaarere, remain in detention in Papeete. Tefaarere is facing charges that could keep him in jail for up to 20 years. An international campaign

Mordechai Vanunu on hunger strikeMordechai Vanunu, an Israeli sentenced to 18 years' prison in 1986 for publicising the existence of Israel's nuclear weapons industry, began a hunger strike on September 28 in protest against his nine years in

By Lisa Macdonald

In an exercise aimed at defusing anticipated anger from both the environment movement and timber corporations over the 1996-97 woodchip export licences, the federal cabinet released the first draft of its national forest

Bass Strait dispute continues MELBOURNE — Despite Esso's peace overtures to Bass Strait oil rig workers, agreeing to re-implement pre-dispute conditions and standards and even to pay an outstanding 8% pay rise, P&O remains adamant that the night

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Senior Queensland government minister Bob Gibbs will stand down as state Labor Party president, probably next year, in a deal brokered by Premier Wayne Goss, as part of a move to quiet factional conflict in the party

By Jeremy Smith

MELBOURNE — September 21 should have been an ordinary working day for David Mizon, an activist in the Save Albert Park (SAP) campaign and the Democratic Socialist Party, but it wasn't. Mizon was arrested at his workplace,

By Chris Slee

MELBOURNE — The Industrial Relations Court has overturned the results of the election for the Victorian branch executive of the Public Sector Union held in early 1994. A new election has been ordered, though the timing remains

By Jolyon Campbell

MELBOURNE — As Green Left goes to press it appears construction workers have been successful in their bid for a 15% cross-industry pay rise, with 12 national building companies and 118 smaller employers signed up to grant

By April Bragg and David Mizon

MELBOURNE — On September 21 and 22, a community picket was set up in the Braybrook public housing estate to stop the eviction of a Somali family. The Farah family of five children, their mother and her

By Rachel Evans

MELBOURNE — Some male members of Deakin University, Warrnambool campus, are campaigning for the inclusion of a new "men's officer" position in the university's constitution. Feminist groups, many students and Men Against Sexual

By Leon Harrison

PERTH — The Court government refuses to negotiate with WA nurses on a wages campaign despite them being among the lowest paid in the country. In 1991 nurses in all other states received a pay increase of 8-14% following

By Lisa Macdonald

Two months ago, Australian Democrats Senator John Coulter presented a bill to prohibit "the exportation of uranium-bearing ore or uranium ore concentrates, the immediate or final destination of which is, or is intended to be,

By Natasha Izatt

MELBOURNE — Over 30 delegates from 14 TAFE colleges discussed the major issues affecting TAFE student organisations at the Victorian TAFE Students and Apprentices Conference on September 23-24. VTSAN coordinator Maurice

By Geoff Spencer

MELBOURNE — After 11 days of 24-hour picketing, workers at the Geelong factory of rope manufacturer Kinnears Pty Ltd have won a victory. Most of the 80 workers were earning $8.97 an hour, with a small bonus on top of that.

By Dave Mizon

MELBOURNE — Garbage collectors, members of the Australian Services Union employed by Melbourne City Council (MCC), have been on strike here for over a week, due to the compulsory competitive tendering process which forces them to

'Queer as Hell' exhibitionBy Leon Harrison

PERTH The Queer as Hell gay and lesbian art exhibition is to go ahead despite being banned from the WA Museum. The local lesbian and gay art association, That Way Inclined, is displaying a variety of

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — An "epidemic of gay-bashing" has hit Queensland, but many homosexuals are afraid to report assaults, a crime conference was told on September 28. Nick Ward, spokesperson for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender

Indonesian anti-censorship protestSolo, INDONESIA Students led a rally of 100 young artists in this central Java city on September 26. The students demanded the abolition of the government institute which authorises art and cultural exhibitions,

By Tony Iltis and Sue Bull

CANBERRA — A fightback against the ACT Carnell minority Liberal government's budget cuts is heating up. There have been several disputes, protests and rallies and public service workers may soon apply bans on the

World

Amnesty International is demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Antonio Batisda De Macedo — a rubber tappers' leader arrested on September 20 and the first prisoner of conscience adopted in Brazil for over a decade. "Antonio Macedo's

By Eva Cheng

The alleged rape of a 12-year-old Japanese girl by three US soldiers on September 4 in Okinawa has produced a public outcry against US bases in Japan. Three US soldiers were reported to have arrest warrants issued against them on

By Assaf Adiv

You always see them in groups. At the end of the day, silent, holding nylon bags containing their suppers — usually a loaf of cheap bread. After a day's work, they gather around local stores drinking bottles of beer, their only

The US government has given vital assistance to the French government so that the current round of nuclear tests in the South Pacific can go ahead, according to a report in the New Scientist. Despite vague statements critical of the tests, the US has

By Barbara Meyer

Mumia Abu-Jamal, an African American journalist imprisoned on death row in Pennsylvania since 1982, was denied a retrial at the conclusion of a Post-Conviction Relief Appeal (PCRA) hearing on September 14 by Judge Albert Sabo,

By Sujatha Fernandes

Twenty-five schoolchildren and 15 other people were killed when Sri Lankan Pucara planes bombed the Nagerkoil Central School in the Jaffna peninsula on Friday, September 22. Nearly 100 others were injured, most of them

The generals' elections in Russia By Boris Kagarlitsky

MOSCOW — Every time Russian television announces the formation of a new candidates' slate for the December parliamentary elections, viewers find themselves wondering: which well-known

French commandos seized the Greenpeace yacht Vega with 21 of the original inhabitants of Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls — the sites of the current round of French nuclear weapons tests — as it attempted to land on Moruroa to demand the return of

Chiapas: the end of 'the end of history' Australian MIKE LEACH visited Mexico and Chiapas earlier this year. He reports on the ongoing struggle. A crowd of 500 Mexican protesters faces the federal army in the remote tropical jungle of southern

By Max Lane

In Indonesia during June and July, polemics raged between supporters and opponents of the country's most famous and widely read novelist, Pramoedya Ananta Toer. The polemic was sparked by the announcement that the Philippines-based

Editorial

The decision, on September 18, by signatories to the 1992 the Basle Convention to further regulate the trade in toxic waste is a limited step forward.

The Geneva meeting was convened to decide whether to add an amendment, the "ban decision", to

Culture

Actively Radical TV — Community television's progressive current affairs program tackles the hard issues from the activist's point of view. CTS Sydney (UHF 31), every Friday, 10.30pm, and Saturday, 2.30am.

Programs of interest on Sydney

The Serge-Trotsky Papers: Correspondence and Other Writings between Victor Serge and Leon TrotskyEdited by David CotterillPluto Press, 1994. 275 pp., $44.95 (pb)Reviewed by Phil Shannon Victor Serge and Leon Trotsky, two of the most outstanding and

By Bronwen Beechey

Over the next two weeks Sydney and Melbourne will host the White Gloves National Film Festival, the only silent black and white shoot-to-show film festival in the world. First held in 1989 to mark the centenary of the

Holy TerrorThe Last PoetsBlack Arc/Ryko through FestivalReviewed by Sujatha Fernandes "When the moment hatches in time's wombThere will be no art talk:The only poem you will hearwill be the spear point pivotedin the punctured marrow of the

By Adam Hanieh

ADELAIDE — One of the most exciting musical projects to be launched here in recent times is Live on the Dial. It aims to recreate the traditional atmosphere of live-to-air radio and takes the form of a cabaret that combines live

AfterglowDr JohnBlue Thumb Records through GRP/MCAReviewed by Norm Dixon Dr John, born Malcolm John Rebennack Jr in 1941, personifies the musical and cultural treasure trove that is New Orleans. The unique melting pot of disparate influences —

The Last BattleBy John PilgerABC TVThursday, October 12, 8.30pm (8 SA)Previewed by Allen Myers This documentary was made for the 20th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in April, and it contains a good dose of the real history of the war —

Munna Point, Wednesday

Dear Green Lefties,

Thanks for the assignment. Since arriving here, I haven't let the Pacific Ocean out of my sight for so much as a moment — but it is bigger than you led me to believe. I've watched numerous waves

A

You walk into uni

faced with angry posters

calling on subdued students to rally.

"No fees for degrees

in overcrowded

underfunded universities."

"Fees are bad for all

— worse for women."

In the lift

— packed to capacity —

no one is smiling.

You jerk as someone steps on you.

You are suffocating.

You drop off those books

and go back down again.

Same story with the lift.