Issue 226

Australia

By Vannessa Hearman

MELBOURNE — Following the passing of the Helms-Burton bill in the United States, which tightens the US embargo against Cuba, Latin American solidarity activists here held the first meeting of the End the Embargo campaign on

By Jennifer Thompson

The peak groups representing Aboriginal people affected by the proposed Century mine and the expansion of the Weipa bauxite operation in far north Queensland have begun consultation with the major trade union representing

By Ray Fulcher

MELBOURNE — On March 14, students attempting to establish a Macedonian club at Melbourne University were harassed and forced to pack up their stall by members of the Hellenic club. The three women staffing the Macedonian stall

Some 2500 students rallied and marched in opposition to the Victorian government's Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) legislation on March 28. The rally was part of a national day of action demanding student control of student affairs. Victoria and WA

By Jennifer Thompson

Workers in the CRA-owned Novacoal's Vickery mine have been on strike since August over the company's attempt to try to force the introduction of 12-hour shifts into an already dangerous industry. Novacoal has been pressing

By Chris Martin and Lisa Macdonald

An Amnesty International delegation, in Australia until March 30, found that "the overall human rights situation" for Aboriginal people in this country "remains serious, particularly regarding the

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Chanting "Save the rainforest, end logging now!", some 100 demonstrators picketed the Heritage Hotel, where Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir was meeting Australian PM John Howard on March 29. Several protesters

By Kim Linden

MELBOURNE — At a stop-work meeting of State Public Service Federation of Victoria members here on March 29, child protection workers who had been on strike since March 8 voted to return to work so that the Employee Relations

The following is a message sent by Canadian students to students in Australia and New Zealand struggling against attacks on education. The message was received through Bruce Cronin from the New Zealand University Students Association. The Communist

By Geoff Spencer

GEELONG — After four weeks on strike, the morale of workers at EP Robinson, a wool scouring plant here, is still high. According to Shearers and Rural Workers Union (SRWU) Assistant General Secretary, John Morgan, the

By Sue Bull

CANBERRA — When the Carnell Liberal government came to power in the February 1995 ACT elections, its main stated goal was to make the health system more "efficient" and "effective". It has now been revealed that there has been an

By Jennifer Thompson

Award workers at CRA-owned Comalco's Weipa bauxite mine and kaolin plant went on strike again on March 27 over the company's insistence that they individually sign an enterprise agreement. Unionists won the right in February

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — The Queensland Coalition government has threatened to scrap a 12-week paid maternity leave agreement for state public servants, claiming the deal would blow a $50 million hole in the state budget. Implementation of the

By Fiona Carnes

HOBART — More than 50 forest activists held a meeting here on March 21 to launch the campaign to save the remaining south-west Tasmanian wilderness from woodchipping. Tasmanian Greens' parliamentarian Peg Putt and Geoff Law

By Chris Slee and Dave Holmes

MELBOURNE — As expected, the March 30 state election returned Jeff Kennett's Coalition government with a slightly reduced majority. The ALP gained a very modest two-party preferred swing of 2.4%. However, fuelled

By Jim Green

WOLLONGONG — In the latest episode in a dispute over management of stormwater from the Illawarra escarpment north of here, NSW transport minister Brian Langton has allegedly threatened to close the south coast railway line because

World

The Indian Election Commission recently set April 27, May 2, 7 and 21 as the dates for holding parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir. India's direct rule over this area, imposed six years ago, is due to end in April and the Indian

By Norm Dixon

The alliance between the African National Congress, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party is under pressure, National Union of Mineworkers president James Motlatsi indicated on March 15.

On March 7, the California legislature approved a bill overturning a scheduled state ban on the widely used and highly toxic pesticide methyl bromide. Methyl bromide was to be banned in California at the end of March; however, Governor Pete Wilson

By Vivienne Porzsolt

Uri Avnery, well-known Israeli writer and representative of Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc), described how, over lunch with the president of the Palestinian National Authority, Yasser Arafat, he saw an Israeli gunboat blockading

By Renfrey Clarke

MOSCOW — As Russian agriculture continues to collapse, President Boris Yeltsin has tried to salvage rural support by ordering drastic changes in the country's land tenure system. A decree of March 7 sets in place a new Land

By David Robie in Port Moresby

Tonga: The deputy editor of the weekly Taimi 'o Tonga is detained for 26 hours and two pro-democracy letter writers jailed for even longer without charge. Eventually the editor is charged with "threatening" a civil

By Eva Cheng

Over the last few weeks, several peaceful demonstrations and solidarity actions in Nepal and Thailand against human rights violations in China were broken up by police, and demonstrators were arrested. According to Amnesty

WASHINGTON — Greenpeace on March 13 called on US President Bill Clinton to immediately halt planned NATO exercises, including weapons testing, off the coast of Florida in light of evidence connecting the US Navy to the killing of up to five

By James Balowski

On the morning of March 27, more than 4000 workers from the Barindo, Daimaster and Nesiyo companies, joined by students from the People's Democratic Union (PRD), marched to the Jatim local parliament in East Java. They were

By Norm Dixon

The African National Congress-led government of national unity (GNU) signalled that there will be no significant change in post-apartheid South Africa's economic direction when it announced its third budget on March 13. The budget

By Paul Oriol

Assimilation, French style, continues to function. Under the citizenship code, 100,000 foreigners each year disappear from the statistics. Mixed marriages, social mobility and cultural integration mean that assimilation occurs, as

By Sujatha Fernandes

On March 9, the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA), the mass women's organisation of the Communist Party of India — Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML), held a rally in Delhi to mark International Women's Day. This

The following declaration, "Against Neo-liberalism and for Humanity", was issued from the indigenous community of La Realidad in Chiapas by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The Democratic Socialism '96 conference in Sydney April 5-6

In its article "In the Land of the Sugar Loaf Mountain: Filth-belchers become paragons", the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) published a song of praise to the German multinational concerns, which, allegedly, are just as environment-conscious in

By Elizabeth Price

In a recently published environmental survey of the Jerusalem area, Jad Ishak, general director of the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem, analysed the Israeli strategy of land appropriation and expressed his concerns about

The second All Inclusive East Timorese Dialogue, conducted under the auspices of the United Nations concluded in Austria last week. Following are excerpts from a statement issued by the National Council for Maubere Resistance on March 26. The meeting

By Eva Cheng

Since March 11, two of South Korea's six postwar presidents, Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, have been on trial on mutiny and sedition charges. Under sharp focus is their role in the brutal massacre of thousands (officially 191)

Editorial

The establishment media in Australia are unanimous in portraying the presidential election in Taiwan as a "rebuff" for Chinese government attempts to intimidate "democracy" on the island. In this context, the US decision to send two carrier battle

Culture

China: No one is safe — Political repression and abuse of power in the 1990sPublished by Amnesty InternationalMarch 1996, 121pp, $12Reviewed by Eva Cheng No one is safe provides considerable information on how bad the human rights situation is in

Broken ArrowStarring John Travolta, Christian Slater and Samantha MathisDirected by John WooReviewed by Norm Dixon The scuttlebutt is that the United States Air Force refused all cooperation in the making of Broken Arrow. A good sign I thought, given

The State of HumanityJulian L. Simon (ed.)Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 1995Distributed in Australia by Allen & Unwin608 pp., $49.95 (pb)Reviewed by Peter Montague The recent outpouring of hefty "feel good" books has not let up.

Chomsky's PoliticsBy Milan RaiVerso, 1995. 225 pp., $95 (hb), $34.95 (pb)Reviewed by Alex Bainbridge Noam Chomsky is one of the most popular figures to whom a broad range of radicals look for contemporary political analysis. Large audiences at his

Shanghai TriadStarring Gong Li, Li Baotian, Wang XiaoxiaoDirected by Zhang YimouScreens from April 4 at Dendy (Sydney & Brisbane), Kino, Longford (Melbourne), Luna (Perth)Reviewed by Eva Cheng Contrary to what the name suggests, Shanghai Triad is not

To Sappho, My Sister: Lesbian Sisters Write About Their LivesEdited by Lee FlemingSpinifex, 1995. 243 pp., $22.95Reviewed by Jen Crothers This collection from around the world, predominantly Canada and the US, documents the lives of lesbian sisters.

FlyBidngi BirdsReviewed by Trish Corcoran Fly is the debut album of the Bidngi Birds. The songs reflect the writers' awareness of and concern for the world around them. Issues are raised in the 14 tracks include women's rights, the environment,

Nelly & Mr ArnaudDirected by Claude SautetStarring Emmanuelle Beart, Michel Serrault and Jean-Hugues AngladeOpens April 4Reviewed by Margaret Allan Nelly & Mr Arnaud is an engrossing French movie which draws the viewer into the developing

Daintree Web page (http:/ /www.ece.jcu.edu.au/ece/misc/capetrib/rescue.html) — Daintree in north Queensland is an amazing biological treasure that, despite having been declared a World Heritage Area, may soon be threatened. There is talk of a

HereticBy David WilliamsonDirected by Wayne HarrisonSydney Theatre CompanyDrama Theatre, Opera HouseReviewed by Allen Myers The story of Derek Freeman and Margaret Mead is the very stuff of drama. Research which has dominated a scientific discipline