Issue 233

Australia

SYDNEY — The largest ever public education conference on East Timor will be held here June 21-24, sponsored by the University of Sydney (School of Asian Studies), University of New South Wales (Centre for Human Rights) and University of Technology,

By Nigel D'Souza
MELBOURNE — The election of the Howard government has had an inauspicious start for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. The recent attacks against Aboriginal organisations under the rubric of

By Sue Bolton
MELBOURNE — Around 150 angry workers, indigenous people and environmentalists delayed CRA's annual general meeting at the Victorian Arts Centre for over an hour on May 22. Representatives from the CFMEU's mining and construction

ADELAIDE — Some 70 people attended the first Jason Porter memorial oration here on May 18. Jason Porter, an activist in Resistance, Community Aid Abroad and Campaign for an Independent East Timor, was killed while travelling through Indonesia in

By Dave Andrews
ROSEBERY — A massive, community-based battle has erupted over the threatened closure of the new hospital here on Tasmania's west coast. The state Department of Community and Health Services (DC&HS) announced on May 13 that it

By Kim Linden
MELBOURNE — A "wringout" for Fairlea Women's Prison at Fairfield on May 19 was a resounding demonstration of solidarity with the women imprisoned there and against the scheduled replacement of Fairlea by a private prison. The

By John Campbell
MELBOURNE — The Victorian state council of the Liberal Party voted overwhelmingly on May 12 against decriminalising marijuana. While the vote is not binding on Liberal MPs, statements by leading parliamentarians, including

By Tim Gooden
CANBERRA — ACT government workers are facing a concerted effort by the Carnell government to divide the work force through agency agreements. This will preparing the way for the sell-off of profitable sections to big business. This

By Jennifer Thompson
SYDNEY — Building workers will strike around Australia on May 29, against cuts by the Howard government affecting their wages and those of apprentices and trainees. In a major slug to building workers' pay, Liberal treasurer

Anti-uranium mining activists around the country held protest actions last week to condemn the Howard government's decision to allow the opening of new uranium mines. From Sydney, Roberto Jorquera reports that more than 1000 people joined a noisy

By Paul Oboohov
CANBERRA — Most workplaces in most federal departments have placed bans on the handling of government business and the administration of cuts, bans on doing the work of vacant positions, processing government revenue and the

World

By Jennifer Thompson
The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in November started the race toward Israel's May 29 elections in earnest. As the elections drew closer, the lines between Labour — the so-called party of peace, which enjoys strong backing

By Norm Dixon
The murder and conspiracy trial of apartheid-era defence minister Magnus Malan and other top military officers in the Durban Supreme Court has heard evidence that the vicious terror campaigns conducted by the "third force" against the

May Day events organised by the Worker-Communist Party of Iraq (WCPI) and other groups, in Iraqi Kurdistan, attracted more than 200,000 people. In one city, Duhok, armed forces belonging to the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) attacked a May 1

By Eva Cheng
Dozens of people in China have been arrested, some receiving long jail sentences, under laws which use a sweeping definition of "state secrets" as an excuse to stifle public scrutiny, according to the Amnesty International. Journalist

By Judy Beishon
The recognition by the British government's own advisory committee of a possible link between BSE ("mad cow disease") and the fatal CJD in humans threw the government into panic and turmoil. For the nine years that BSE was

By Renfrey Clarke
MOSCOW — The 1986 accident at Chernobyl was not the first case in which the Soviet nuclear industry contrived to pour huge quantities of deadly radionuclides into the environment. In terms of total radioactivity released, the

By Renfrey Clarke
MOSCOW — There is nothing so capable of persuading "reformist" Russian President Boris Yeltsin to announce reforms as the prospect of being thrown out of his job. Since campaigning began in earnest for the June 16 election,

Culture

SYDNEY — An international environmental film festival, the Paddy Pallin Wild Spaces, will be held in Newtown on June 1-2. Festival director Gary Caganoff says that the festival is designed to entertain, inform, reflect the concerns of communities,

Vacant PossessionWritten and directed By Margot NashOpens May 23 Melbourne, August 9 HobartReviewed By Kim Linden Vacant Possession intertwines memories, dreams, reality, the past and the present, all culminating in a vivid story about the concept of

A Woman's PlaceBy Edwina CurrieHodder and Stoughton, 1996. 454 pp.$39.95 (hb) (also available in paperback)Reviewed by Tony Smith In this sequel to the steamy A Parliamentary Affair, Elaine Stalker MP climbs the greasy pole of the English ministry.

One in 10: Women Living with Breast CancerBy Diana WardAllen & Unwin, 1996. 274 pp., $16.95Reviewed by Linda Kaucher One in 10 women will develop breast cancer at some stage, hence the title of Di Ward's book.
I met Di Ward at the anarchist

Towards Peace: A Worker's JourneyBy Phil O'BrienSHAPE, 1992. 224 pp., $5 (plus $2 postage)Reviewed by Lisa Macdonald Phil O'Brien was a soldier for six years, a waterside worker and trade unionist for 30 years and an antiwar campaigner almost all

OthelloBy William ShakespeareDirected by Oliver ParkerStarring Kenneth Branagh, Laurence Fishburne, Irene JacobNow screeningReviewed by Natasha Simons Whatever your likes or prejudices regarding Shakespeare, put them away when seeing this 1995 film

A Compilation of Human Rights Abuses Against the People of Bougainville, 1989-1996, Volume 2Compiled by Marilyn Taleo HaviniPublished by the Bougainville Interim Government, Sydney, 1996Available from PO Box 134, Erskineville NSW 2043 (fax/phone 02

ImagoBy Francesca Rendle-ShortSpinifex Press, 1996. 230 pp., $16.95Reviewed by Carla Gorton "To wait ... is in a sense to be powerless. If we grow weary of waiting, we can go on a journey." (Mary Morris, Maiden Voyages).
This epigraph introduces

Inside Burma — Land of FearBy John Pilger and David MunroABC TV, June 5, 8.30pm (8 in SA)Reviewed by Eva Cheng For people who know little of the current political situation in Burma, Pilger and Munro's Land of Fear can provide a quick effective

An Australian mouse squeaks petulantly
at the distant Lion as its bombs insult
the peaceful ocean, degrading both the culture
of origin and the hapless victims
of "collateral" damage, deformed babies
coral reefs and birds, mutant fish