Issue 225


By Lisa Macdonald Socialists and other progressive activists from around Australia will be gathering in all capital cities (including Darwin and Canberra) on or around the Easter long weekend to participate in a political feast. The "Democratic
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Australian Conservation Foundation has accused Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge of using "scare tactics" to frighten people into believing the controversial Tully Millstream hydro-electric power scheme should go
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Democratic Socialism '96 conferences are shaping up as "lively discussions of the key issues facing the progressive movement", according to Brisbane conference organiser John Nebauer. Guest speakers at the Brisbane
By Iggy Kim In the face of a propaganda offensive by the major parties, the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the establishment media for the election of a "stable" government, the Tasmanian Greens lost of one of their five seats
By Afrodity Giannakis SYDNEY — The March 20 half-day strike by members of the NSW Teachers Federation was well received by large sections of the community. About 300 associations across the state lobbied politicians in support of the teachers'
By Kim Linden MELBOURNE — The first "Wring out" of Fairlea Women's Prison was held in 1988. This describes the encircling of the prison and putting the squeeze on the Department of Corrections. The aim is to get people to come to the prison
By Sue Bull CANBERRA — In the last two weeks, unions involved in the ACT public sector pay claim dispute have begun to negotiate separate agreements with the Carnell minority Liberal government. The picket on the Legislative Assembly has been
By Tom Flanagan Mining of the Jabiluka uranium deposit appears set to gain federal government approval following meetings last week between Energy Resources Australia (ERA) boss Phillip Shirvington and the new federal Minister for Resources and
By Lisa Macdonald Almost three weeks after the federal election, the last Senate position has finally been decided, won by the Australian Greens' Tasmanian candidate, Bob Brown. On March 20, Democrat candidate Robert Bell conceded defeat even
By Ben Courtice HOBART — On March 22, a 23-year-old man died in a police cell here. The death made headlines when, the next day, a "street gang" (his friends) went on what the local media described as a "rampage through city streets",
By Robert Houghton ADELAIDE — The Public Transport Union (PTU) held a 24-hour combined bus, tram and train strike here on March 20. The action followed minister for transport Diana Laidlaw's refusal to discuss the impact of competitive
By Sarah Harris SYDNEY — Eighty delegates of the NSW Department of Social Security sector of the Community and Public Service Union (CPSU) attended the sector's annual meeting here on March 7-8. Union organisers warned the meeting of impending
By Justin Randell PERTH — On March 21, Metrobus drivers here refused to collect fares in protest against the Court government's unfair treatment of the public carrier in the competitive tendering process for the metropolitan bus service.
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — After months of negotiations with the Bundaberg Cab Company, cab drivers struck on March 14 in protest at victimisation and discrimination faced by union members. Transport Workers Union drivers later returned to work,
By Kim Linden MELBOURNE — On March 22, child protection workers and their supporters in the state public service struck for 24 hours and held one of the most spirited rallies since the big anti-Kennett demonstrations in 1992. The action was


A March 8 meeting of thousands of men and women celebrating International Women's Day at a hall in the city of Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, was attacked by armed Islamist groups. In addition to the harassing and assaulting of large numbers of women's
By Norm Dixon On March 21, the prime minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Julius Chan, made plain his intention to escalate the war against the pro-independence Bougainville Interim Government (BIG) and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA). In
By Roberto Jorquera Whilst the United States escalates its economic blockade of Cuba, the Cuban government's national budget for 1996 continues to prioritise the needs of the population. Though 1995 was another extremely difficult year for
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Since supporters of President Boris Yeltsin were routed in parliamentary elections in December, Russians have been faced with the prospect that their next president may be Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the
Justice still eludes victims of the Bhopal gas disaster, according to the Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, a coalition of health, human rights, environmental and economic justice organisations founded in the wake of the Bhopal disaster. In 1984, a
By Bla Liptk As the melting snow runs down the slopes of the Alps, it is collected into the mighty Danube. As the river reaches the Hungarian plains, it slows down, spreads out into hundreds of rivulets and deposits its detrital material into
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) based in Chiapas, Mexico, has issued a call for an international conference from July 27 to August 3, the "First Intercontinental Gathering For Humanity and Against Neo-liberalism". It has also
By Michel Fiant [This editorial, from the weekly newspaper of Alternative Rouge et Verte, follows a spate of round-ups and expulsions of North Africans in France. Translation for Green Left Weekly by Brendan Doyle.) The government informs us
Jose Gil Olmos, writer, Elio Hernandez, correspondent San Cristobal de las Casas, March 8 — In one of the largest concentrations of indigenous women ever in the state, nearly 5000 Zapatistas from the jungle, the highlands and the border area
By Dirk Hartford JOHANNESBURG — It was reminiscent of the heady mass struggles of the '80s. For four hours on January 28, several hundred trade unionists listened to fiery speeches from workers and trade union leaders denouncing the government
By Peter Montague New evidence of dioxin's ability to cause cancer in humans has come to light just as environmental justice activists across the US are planning a major campaign to attack dioxin at its sources. The dioxin campaign puts the
By Norm Dixon Women attempting to celebrate International Women's Day in Labasa, on the smaller of Fiji's two main islands, Vanua Levu, had their permission to march revoked by the district officer. The Labasa Women's Forum (LWF), had earlier
A crowd estimated at 120,000 rallied in the streets of Hamilton, a steel town near Toronto, against the conservative provincial government of Ontario on February 24. The Tory government plans to slash public spending and social services. The
By Peter Montague The US food industry went ballistic in January when Food & Water, Inc, a grassroots advocacy group in Walden, Vermont, and Environmental Research Foundation in Annapolis, Maryland, published an ad in Supermarket News comparing
By Norm Dixon The giant US car maker General Motors has been forced virtually to cease production after workers at GM's parts plants in Ohio began strike action to protect jobs from "outsourcing". Twenty-four out of GM's 29 assembly plants in


The Indian in the CupboardStarring Litefoot and Hal ScardinoAt Hoyts cinemas from AprilReviewed by Natasha Simons Politically progressive children's films are hard to come by, in particular ones produced by the Hollywood film industry. In this
This Year in JerusalemBy Mordecai RichlerNew York: Knopf, 1994. $25Reviewed by Vivienne Porzsolt Canadian Jewish writer Mordecai Richler's rich account interweaves his boyhood in Montreal in the 1930s and '40s — poor, orthodox Jewish, filled with
Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the WestBy David RieffVintage, 1995. 240pp., $17.95Reviewed by Rob Graham Part of the rapidly growing body of literature on the former Yugoslavia, this is a liberal journalist's largely first-hand account of
From Sand to CelluloidA collection of new works from indigenous film makers screening nationallyReviewed by Grant Gilbert This powerful collection of six short films takes you on an emotional journey through life from the Aboriginal perspective. The
The Boy on the RoofBy Allan MackayDirected by Bryan CuttsDispensary Cafe, 84 Enmore Rd, Newtown (Sydney)Until April 20Reviewed by Brendan Doyle If you haven't yet visited Newtown's newest and friendliest performance cafe, the Dispensary, then this
Never Truly LostBy Paddy PallinUNSW Press, 1996. 224pp., $19.95Reviewed by Flora Graham "Paddymade" light-weight camping gear and equipment for walkers is known and used worldwide, and Paddy Pallin himself was well known and respected by bushwalkers
By Jen Crothers Once again the Wild Pumpkins at Midnight are off to Europe, leaving Australian fans with a snatch of gigs and a new album. According to Dan Tuffy, singer, writer and bassist for the band, the Pumpkins feel lucky to be able to
The Water You Drink: how safe is it?By John ArcherPure Water Press41 Cornelian Road, Pearl Beach NSW 2256120 pp., $13.50Reviewed by Dot Tumney No, don't cringe; just trade in your coffee machine for a water filter. Archer provides a useful
Hysterical Women: A collection of 100 Australian feminist cartoonsEdited by Annie Goldflam, Denise Morgan and Ruth GrebleWomen's Electoral Lobby (WA), 1993Reviewed by Jenny Long This collection, put together by WEL (WA) with the support of other
The Rhonda Movement in DrumheadDirected by Sue GilesApril 3-20, Wed-Sat at 9.30pmBudinski's Theatre, Lygon St, CarltonReviewed by Kim Linden The Rhonda Movement, a sassy female trio, will be performing Drumhead as part of the 10th Melbourne
NixonDirected by Oliver StoneStarring Anthony HopkinsReviewed by Russell Pink Oliver Stone is not your average Hollywood "molestation and mayhem" director pursuing an easy Oscar. He an important, complex, if sometimes annoying creator of films about
SYDNEY — The Chauvel Cinema, in association with the Australian Film Institute, is presenting the second of the 1996 Oz shorts programs — The Shorts Gig. It will screen twice only, on Wednesday, March 27, and Sunday, March 31. This selection


It didn't take long for new treasurer Peter Costello to sound the lament, as every incoming government now does, about the cupboard being bare. We've been told by the treasurer that there is an underlying deficit of $7.6 billion. Not that this