Issue 228

Australia

By Dick Nichols
Industrial relations minister Peter Reith is refusing to talk numbers, but the Coalition government is clearly planning massive redundancies in the public service. The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) believes that at least

While the Indonesian military regularly massacres dissidents in West Papua, East Timor and Aceh, and the PNG military is fighting a war against the people of Bougainville to defend the interests of Australian capital, Australian policy is to support

By Geoff Spencer
GEELONG — Wool scourers at E.P. Robinson are entering their eighth week on strike with no resolution to the dispute in sight. An unfair dismissal case in the Industrial Relations Commission on April 18 was inconclusive and

By Sue Bull
CANBERRA — As Kate Carnell, chief minister of the ACT, begged the Legislative Assembly for an extra $14.2 million to fix the hole in the 1995-96 ACT budget, unions considered whether to reimpose industrial action. During the last few

By Lisa Macdonald
On April 17, ACT Green MLA Kerrie Tucker moved in the ACT Legislative Assembly to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 in the ACT. The Greens' move, the first attempt in Australia to introduce such legislation, is supported by

By Tom Flanagan
Four major environment organisations have called for an inquiry into uranium mining in Kakadu National Park. The Australian Conservation, the Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth and the Environment Centre of the Northern

By Chris Slee
MELBOURNE — The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has announced plans to close all but two of its regional offices. Regional offices are smaller offices located mainly in rural areas. Staff in these offices have been given the choice of

By Anthony Benbow
PERTH — Passenger and freight rail services came to a halt on April 15 as train control and support staff covered by the Australian Services Union (ASU) walked off the job for 24 hours. The action was triggered by the state

By James Vassilopoulos and Nick Fredman
SYDNEY — In a historic united action, NSW teachers from state schools, TAFE colleges, independent schools and Catholic schools are set to strike on April 23. The central demand of the strike is for a 12%

By Cherry Winters
MELBOURNE — Workers at the Campbellfield Nestle factory remain on the picket line after 12 weeks of being locked out. The workers belong to the confectioners division of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU). Workers

By Norm Dixon
A representative of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in Australia, Otto Ondawame, has called for the withdrawal of all Indonesian troops from West Papua (called Irian Jaya by Indonesia). He also criticised the Australian government for

By Vaarurfika Dharmapala
PERTH — For the first time since its inception in 1987, the Network of Women Students of Australia's annual conference will be held here this year. The conference will be held at Edith Cowan University (Mt Lawley campus)

By Dave Wright
SYDNEY — Ten thousand people demonstrated on April 20 against the renewed bombing and continued occupation of southern Lebanon by the Israeli government. The rally was organised by the Lebanese Australian Solidarity Committee with

By Adam Hanieh
ADELAIDE — The former federal Labor government's agenda of developing closer links between industry and education has been consummated in a deal between a South Australian high school and AWA Defence Industries. The $30,000 deal

By Mark Cronin
BRISBANE — About 50 people attended a picket against racism outside the office of the federal minister for Aboriginal Affairs on April 16. The picket was called by members of the Community and Public Sector Union and endorsed by 20

By Melanie Sjoberg
ADELAIDE — The South Australian parliament may take a step towards public accountability following a decision by the upper house to view details of contracts related to outsourcing. Last year, in a deal worth $700 million,

By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — The decision to place the "Pinkenba Six" police officers on probation after an internal inquiry into their dumping of three Aboriginal boys at Pinkenba in May 1994 has been denounced by civil libertarians and the

World

Workers join forces with Timor activists
By Barry Sheppard
Readers of Green Left Weekly have followed the struggle against the Indonesian military's occupation of East Timor for many years. But here in the US, this important struggle is not

By Sujatha Fernandes
NEW DELHI — "Gulamiya ab ham nahi bajai bo, aazadiya hamra ki bhave le" — We won't be slaves any more. We've come to like freedom. Drumming vigorously on the back of the truck and singing this Bhojpuri peasant song, 15

VIENNA — Cancer rates are up to 200 times higher than average in areas contaminated by radiation from the 1986 explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Ukraine, according to a Greenpeace report titled Chernobyl: 10 years after, the

By Renfrey Clarke
MOSCOW — Back in 1990 and 1991, the suggestion would have seemed absurd. Five years into the future, politicians wanting to rise to high office would no longer be proclaiming themselves "democrats" and pronouncing anathemas on

ISTANBUL — The multinational oil company Shell has systematically polluted a huge underground reserve of drinkable water in an aquifer near the city of Diyarbakir in south-east Turkey, where up to 2 million people live, Greenpeace revealed at a

Olfat Mahmoud, Director of the Women's Humanitarian Organisation in the Burj el Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in the southern outskirts of Beirut has reported repeated attacks on the heavily populated southern suburbs of Beirut, adjacent to the

By Norm Dixon
At midnight on April 14, a force of Papua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers and members of the pro-PNG Bougainville resistance crossed into the Solomon Islands and raided the village of Kariki, according to reports reaching the

Alliance offers New Zealanders a choice
A national conference of the New Zealand Alliance was held at Easter in Wellington. Here we reprint major excerpts from Alliance leader JIM ANDERTON's speech to the conference. We joined the Alliance to

By Reihana Mohideen
MANILA — A March 27 meeting here of 301 factory-based union presidents, representing 76,634 union members, launched a campaign to increase the take-home pay of workers by demanding the scrapping of income tax on workers. The

Editorial

As poverty, wars and systematic human rights abuses around the world continue to create thousands of new refugees every day, over the last few weeks the Coalition federal government has signalled moves to significantly restrict Australia's refugee

General

By Stephen Marks
The mural along the back wall of the national office of the Dominican Communist Party is painted by prominent artist Silvano Lora. It depicts the people's history of the Dominican Republic. It starts with a portrait of the former

By Stephen Marks
SANTO DOMINGO — Four left-wing parties in the Dominican Republic united to form a new party called the Revolutionary Forces (FR) on February 27. Revolutionary politics have a strong tradition in the Dominican Republic. This unity

By Stephen Marks
Communists in the Dominican Republic have won respect for being incorruptible in a society where politics and principles are bought and sold. This respect is shown in the most surprising ways. We were on our way to the closing

By Jackie Coleman
SANTO DOMINGO — November 25 is observed in many Latin American countries as International Day Against Violence Towards Women. The date marks the anniversary of the assassination of the three "Butterflies": Minerva, Maria Teresa

By Stephen Marks
The Dominican Revolutionary Forces (FR) and the Camaa&241;ista Revolutionary Union are calling for a boycott of the national elections in May. The current president, Joaquín Balaguer, has been in power for 22 of the last 30

Culture

Chairman Mao — the Last EmperorDirected and produced by Jeremy BennettABC TV, Wednesday, May 1, 8.30pm (8 in SA)Reviewed by Eva Cheng Jeremy Bennett believes that a monstrous tyrant controlled China single-handedly for 27 years following the 1949

Higglety Biggledy CabaretBy ThrottleDispensary Cafe, 84 Enmore Rd, EnmoreWednesday nights at 8pm until May 8Reviewed by Brendan Doyle After performing at the '95 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the recent Adelaide Fringe, Throttle returns to Sydney for

Taxi DriverDirected by Martin ScorseseFeaturing Robert de Niro, Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel and Cybill ShepherdDendy Cinema, Brisbane, from April 18Reviewed by Giovanna Castellani This year is the 20th anniversary of one of Martin Scorsese's greatest

ALICE WALKER, the African-American writer, sent a letter regarding Cuba to US President Bill Clinton on March 13. It is reprinted here abridged. Dear President Clinton:
Thank you very much for the invitation to the White House while I was in

The good fight of Elvis and Marilyn in cyberspace
A short story by Craig Cormick
She altered my life. And when she found me, I was sitting alone in my room in my underpants, with a large file before me, hacking at my profile. It's true. It's all