Issue 219

News

By Iggy Kim HOBART — The Democratic Socialist candidate for the seat of Denison, Sarah Stephen, speaking at her campaign launch on February 10, attacked the Labor Party for giving young people no future to look forward to. "We wondered whether
By Sarah Stephen HOBART — Six hundred people crowded into the Town Hall on February 7 to hear Greens candidates speak about their campaign for the House of Assembly and their vision for Tasmania. Polls are predicting that the Greens may win another
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Wayne Goss was unanimously re-elected leader of the Queensland ALP on February 8, but his government is on the verge of oblivion. Even while describing his re-election as "a great honour", Goss is set merely to keep the
By Paul Howes SYDNEY — On February 22 a statewide teachers' stop-work meeting will be held to discuss a 12% pay rise and teachers' rights to lodge grievances about school management without the fear of harassment. The latter dispute is centred on
By Lisa Macdonald Prison officers at Castlemaine's Loddon prison have begun a campaign of harassment and intimidation against a socialist inmate who has been writing articles for Green Left Weekly which are critical of prison services and the profit
By Bronwyn Powell SYDNEY With the resumption of school for this year, several thousand students across NSW found themselves having to walk to and from school, or to fork out money each day for a bus fare, because of the state Labor government's cut
By Tim Gooden CANBERRA — Frustration and anger at the Carnell minority government's approach to industrial relations has led to thousands of union members walking off the job throughout the public sector. Hundreds of students and white collar and
By Alison Thorne MELBOURNE — A memorial meeting celebrating the life of Gloria Martin, author, civil rights activist and women's movement leader, will be held on February 25. Martin died of cancer in Seattle, USA, on November 22. A working mother
By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — The Department for Education and Children's Services (DECS) has been prevented from using young people as cheap labour by the combined action of the Public Service Association (PSA) and the South Australian Institute
By Barry Healy SYDNEY — Fierce debate has erupted within the Aboriginal community centred in Eveleigh Street, Redfern, locally known as the Block, over the community's continued existence. The Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC), which owns the land,

World

By Jennifer Thompson In early January the British government rejected an application for asylum by Saudi dissident Mohammed al-Mas'ari. Home Office minister Ann Widdecombe acknowledged that the decision to deport al-Mas'ari to the Dominican Republic
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — For large numbers of Russians who grew up during the 1970s, the tunnel at Severomuysk, east of Lake Baikal in Siberia, remains an icon of their youth. The Severomuysk project was vigorously propagandised during the later
Can British socialists get together? Since breaking with the British Labour Party in 1992, Militant Labour has rapidly gained an independent profile and is perhaps the most influential socialist group in Britain today. This was reflected in its role
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Emboldened by President Boris Yeltsin's open shift to authoritarian-nationalist positions, Russia's security services are resurrecting an ugly practice — arresting and prosecuting dissidents under vague catch-all
By Eva Cheng China's Prime Minister Li Peng warned on January 30 that Beijing would "use force" against Taiwan if it declared independence or was "encouraged by anti-China forces to do so". The warning came shortly after the New York Times reported
In an article to be published in the February 26 issue of the US left/liberal weekly The Nation, investigative reporter Allan Nairn charges that the US Central Intelligence Agency has placed agents inside the newly created Haitian National Police.
February 15 is the 30th anniversary of the death in combat of the Colombian priest and revolutionary, Camilo Torres. LUIS AUGUSTO GARCIA GUERERO of the Camilista Union — National Liberation Army (UCELN) remembers Torres' life and work, and reflects
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — From late January, a powerful strike wave has swept across Russia, involving close to three-quarters of a million workers. A massive stoppage by teachers has been followed by an exceptionally large and well-coordinated
On January 31, radioactive steam was released through a reactor valve in an experimental fast breeder reactor in Dimitrovgrad's Scientific Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR). The reactor was shut down after the alarm system turned on. The
By Norm Dixon The Shell oil company has been forced to admit that it imported weapons to help Nigerian police "protect" its oil installations in Ogoniland after the Nigerian press revealed the company had called for tenders from arms suppliers. The
By Norm Dixon Swaziland's trade unions called of their general strike for democracy on January 29. The strike, which began on January 22, was the longest in the small, landlocked kingdom's history and paralysed the country. It is estimated to have

Culture

700 positionsA solo performance by Celia WhiteDirected by Gail KellyState Theatre 2, SydneyUntil February 17Reviewed by Kath Gelber 700 positions is a contemporary exploration of lesbian sexual practices, identities, behaviours, desires and
A View from the BridgeBy Arthur MillerDirected by Adam CookBelvoir Street Theatre, SydneyUntil March 3Reviewed by Pip Hinman Arthur Miller described the story which became A View from the Bridge as a Greek tragedy. It's a story about compulsive,
They wanted everything, so they took it: the leaves from the trees ... and the trees; movement and stillness and the light from the sun ... and from where I stand on the filthy beach outside the yacht-club, even the surface of the water. We are
By Jon Singer Although news of the "death of Communism" is greatly exaggerated (only Stalinism is on the skids), there has been a crisis of confidence in socialism among many on the left. Among the many temporarily debilitating results has been the
Front UpSBS, TuesdaysReviewed by Dave Riley Where would television be without its regular fodder of talking heads? In any given day, the console is visited by a fresh batch of chatty craniums. Generally, such company is warranted by reputation alone.
BacklashRagewarCybercore through Shock RecordsReviewed by Jen Crothers Ragewar is a band highly influenced by the insane society in which we all live. The nine songs on this debut release all pack a political message. The song titles reveal all:
Prevailing Winds MagazineCenter for Preservation of Modern HistoryPO Box 23511, Santa Barbara, CA 93121, USAAnnual subscription is US$32Reviewed by Jane Howarth Prevailing Winds is a new magazine with an ambitious agenda. Originally a catalogue, it
William Morris: A Life For Our TimeBy Fiona MacCarthyFaber and Faber, 1995. 780 pp., $29.95 (pb)Reviewed by Phil Shannon One reason for the continued interest in William Morris 100 years after his death is the relevance this great 19th century artist
Shinjuku BoysMardi Gras Film FestivalReviewed by Jen Crothers Shinjuku Boys is a revealing look into the lives of women who live as men in Tokyo. The women work in the New Marilyn nightclub, where they host their (presumably) heterosexual, female
Kissing Angels on the Eve of RevolutionBy Robin DavidsonBoris Books, PO Box 1388, Woden ACT 2606$9.95 Reviewed by Craig Cormick Robin Davidson wears many masks. He has been a performer, writer, clown, activist and poet. The poems collected in this
When you first begin to feel The disquiet you can't explain Discontent or sorrow; Anger — subversive inclinations; The thirst for some kind of justice! Personal, legal SOCIAL? — Heed it. Take note, Encourage it And let it grow — It is power.
La Haine (Hate)Directed by Mathieu KassovitzReviewed by Vannessa Hearman "I hate people who only mind their own business", says 25-year-old director Mathieu Kassovitz. His La Haine won the 1995 Best Young European Film of the Year Award for its
Peace SignWarARG Records through BMGReviewed by Norm Dixon There was a time when soul music provided some very political and socially aware music. Like today's hip hop, and like most earlier styles of African American music, soul reflected the

Editorial

When the people of Australia go to the polls on March 2 they will be deciding between a Labour or a Liberal government. Whether or not any "third force" wins sufficient votes to hold the balance of power, Australian parliaments, state and federal,