Issue 236

News

By Anthony Benbow PERTH — "Governments talk of the benefits of micro-economic reform, but nobody talks about the effects of unemployment, which cost society far more than what we get in return. In Australia now the top 10% of the population have
Rob Cover PERTH — An estimated 500 people gathered in poor weather on June 15 as a display of rejection of the Court Liberal government's Northbridge Tunnel. Prominent local figures and politicians to address the Cities for People Campaign rally
By Francesca Davidson FREMANTLE — The Democratic Socialist Party is launching its new branch here on June 28, and as DSP member Michael Bramwell puts it, "The party is very excited about the possibilities of interesting more people in socialist
By Simon Frew and Andrew Hall WOLLONGONG — On June 18 some 500 Skillshare employees, students and supporters rallied at the Town Hall in protest at the Howard government's funding cuts. Some courses will be cut by a third and others completely.
By Jon Lamb ADELAIDE — Chemical sampling results released by Greenpeace on June 17 show that the waters surrounding BHP's Whyalla steelworks have levels of zinc and ammonia up to 320 times above Environment Protection Authority licence
By Sue Bolton MELBOURNE — A broad range of trade unionists met on June 19 to discuss Howard's industrial relations bill and how to fight it. The meeting was organised by the Democratic Socialist Party and Militant. Luke Van der Muelen, from the
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — On June 19, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission held mediation talks between the Townsville City Council and Aborigines who live in the town's Hanrahan Park, known as the "park people". The Aborigines,
By Janet Parker SYDNEY — On May 14, abortion clinic worker Dianne Unger won an unprecedented victory for pro-choice forces. On this day she took her most vociferous "pro-life" opponent — Carolyn O'Loughlin — to court and succeeded in
By Alex Bainbridge HUNTER VALLEY — The NSW Labor government has announced its intention to legislate to protect a polluting industry, this time the proposed Bengalla coal mine near Muswellbrook. The State Environmental Planning (Permissible
By Adam Hanieh ADELAIDE — Western Mining Corporation is in the process of doubling the size of its mine at Olympic Dam in northern South Australia. Green Left Weekly spoke to Steve Baker from Friends of the Earth about the mine, the potential
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Striking unionists at the Dalrymple Bay coal loading terminal near Mackay voted on June 21 to return to work from June 23, to allow a hearing by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to proceed on their demand to
By Chris Slee MELBOURNE — Victorian members of the Community and Public Sector Union working in the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs will attend stop-work meetings on June 25 to consider a motion to strike on June
By Carla Gorton The Howard government's plans to shift the cost of social spending from government to individuals will bring about a major increase in the personal indebtedness of low income earners. Students got a taste of this user-pays approach
By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — The Industrial Relations Commission issued orders on June 4 that wages and workload negotiations between the South Australian Institute of Teachers (SAIT) and government were to be confidential to enable the parties

World

This is the abridged text of a speech by Shumei Ikehara, the general secretary of the Antiwar Landowners Association of Okinawa, at a May 25 public meeting in Tokyo. The Japanese government's plan to expropriate our land is facing many problems. In
South African gays scored a coup when their country became the first to guarantee their rights in its constitution. Now they are gearing for a bigger fight: to change conservative attitudes. South Africa scored a world first by adopting a
By Norm Dixon The Papua New Guinea government is openly preparing a major military offensive against strongholds of the pro-independence Bougainville Revolutionary Army in the island's central and southern regions. Port Moresby has told villagers
Japan and US military strategy By Reihana Mohideen OSAKA — The post-Cold War US military strategy shifted sharply from one aimed at the Soviet Union to one focusing on regional conflicts. This strategy of the Bush administration (which was
By Norm Dixon The long-running legal battle between BHP, majority owner of the Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) gold and copper mine in PNG's remote western highlands, and local land-holders, whose livelihoods have been severely affected by the 100,000
The 65-year-old US Plant Patent Act (PPA) has not succeeded in its purported aims of encouraging plant breeding or contributing to genetic diversity, according to a report by the Rural Advancement Fund International. RAFI felt that an examination of
By Reihana Mohideen OSAKA — At midnight on March 31, the lease on a piece of land inside a US base in Okinawa expired, making the Japanese government an illegal occupant of the plot on the Sobe Communication Site (a radar installation commonly
By Sujatha Fernandes in India A secular "United Front" government has been installed following inconclusive national elections last month. No one party received a majority in the elections to the eleventh Lok Sabha (parliament). The right-wing
Unionists form Labor Party [This week's Letter from the US is a guest column by Caroline Lund, who attended the founding convention of the Labor Party. She is a member of the United Autoworkers union and of the socialist organisation
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Boris Yeltsin might with justice claim to have pulled off the near-impossible when he took first place in the presidential elections on June 16. Granted, he went nowhere near matching his easy first-round victory of
Suharto dictatorship 'entering political crisis' By James Balowski and Peter Boyle SYDNEY — According to Astika Anom, one of several Indonesian democratic activists attending the June 21-24 "East Timor: Its Future in the Asia Pacific"
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — One of the ugliest attacks on human rights in recent Russian history took an ominous turn on June 10, when imprisoned anti-nuclear campaigner Alexander Nikitin was denied bail, and his trial was handed over from a
By Jennifer Thompson A May 25 announcement by the Netherlands Justice Ministry of a plan to arbitrarily deport more than 4000 Iranian asylum seekers by declaring Iran a "safe" country has received an angry response from the Council of Iranian

On June 4, 1989, troops, armoured personnel carriers and tanks of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) forced their way through human and constructed barricades into central Beijing, taking control of Tiananmen Square. In the process, according to an estimate by Amnesty International soon afterwards, approximately 1000 unarmed protesters were gunned down or otherwise killed.

Numerous eyewitness accounts confirmed the extent of the massacre.

Culture

Pink TriangleBy Miranda MorrisUniversity of NSW Press, $26.95Reviewed by Fiona Carnes "Damned in the eyes of the world" was the headline on the front page of the Hobart Mercury following the decision of the United Nations Human Rights Committee that
HeavyDirected by James MangoldOpens June 27, George St Cinemas, St Kilda, Melbourne;July 4, Verona Cinema, Paddington, SydneyReviewed by Margaret Allan If you're a fan of the action flick, with the obligatory car chase, you may find this film
Age and Guile (beat youth, innocence and a bad haircut): 25 Years of P.J. O'RourkeBy P.J.O'RourkePicador (pb), $14.95Reviewed by Dave Riley All you classical scholars out there will know that satire has been around for quite some time. What with
Evil EmpireRage Against the MachineSony MusicReviewed by Michael Bramwell "Che Guevara's Guerrilla Warfare", "The Marx-Engels Reader", "Women in the Transition to Socialism", "The Indian Uprising in Chiapas". Not titles one would expect to be
The Last SupperStars Cameron Diaz, Ron Eldard, Annabeth GishDirected by Stacy TitleReviewed by Natasha Simons The Last Supper is an engaging black comedy and political satire targeting aspects of contemporary US society — the extreme right wing and
The Responsibility of Intellectuals: Selected Essays on Marxist Traditions in Cultural CommitmentBy Alan M. WaldHumanities Press, 1995. 250 pp., $29.00 (pb)Reviewed by Phil Shannon In these times of post-modernist malaise, the notion of the
christ's wandering vagina is now on his right lower under-rib, it breathes waterish blood, bloody water, christ is ashamed of his vagina and his head hangs down, why me? why me? the thorns have sprung the seizures of his skull and gaps
Novel Without a NameBy Duong Thu HuongTranslated by Phan Huy Duong and Nina McPhersonPicador, 1995. 289 pp., $16.95Reviewed by Brendan Doyle Author Duong Thu Huong was 21 when she led a Communist Youth Brigade to the most heavily bombarded front of
Women's Work, a six-part documentary series produced by Victorian women community radio workers, will go to air this month on radio 3CR in Melbourne and nationally through the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia satellite (COMRADSAT). The

Editorial

Given the Coalition's attacks on Aborigines' and migrants' rights, and the formation of new extreme right parties such as Australia First, the results of a June 14-16 national poll on immigration provide further evidence of the progress being made by