Issue 239


By Rob Cover PERTH — The Queer Collaborations (QC) Conference was held at the University of WA July 1-5. More than 200 local and interstate individuals attended. Seven plenary sessions ranged over subjects from Aboriginality and sexuality to
By Bronwen Blockley FREMANTLE — Residents opposed to massive sand dredging operations and groyne extensions at South Beach have formed Friends of South Beach, a community action group to combat the $3.6 million development plan. The prevailing
By Kath Gelber and Liam Mitchell SYDNEY — Staff from every department of ABC TV and Radio held stop-work meetings here on July 17, after planned budget cuts were announced by the federal communications minister, Senator Richard Alston. The
Several student organisations have come behind the campaign to build the August 25 national day of solidarity with East Timor. Protest actions against the Australian government's lone international recognition of Jakarta's illegal and brutal
By Val Edwards CANBERRA — ACT activists in the Community and Public Sector Union have formed a new group, Public Sector Fightback (CPSU). While supporting the CPSU national executive-proposed 24-hour strike on July 25, Fightback's members are
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge has attacked Century Zinc and its parent corporation RTZ-CRA, after the company reversed its support for state and federal legislation to override native title in order to secure land for
By Rebecca Meckelburg On July 17 a national day of solidarity with East Timor, called for and organised by the Australian Coalition for a Free East Timor, mobilised about 200 people nationally. The protest marked the 20th anniversary of the
By Steve Rossi SYDNEY — Only weeks after signing an enterprise agreement, employees at SBS Radio and Television were told last week that 10% of staff (about 68 people) would shortly be given involuntary redundancy notices. SBS news and current
BRISBANE — In a statement of support for the Artists for East Timor exhibition, at the Metro Arts, independent film maker and author John Pilger called the struggle of the East Timorese one of the most extraordinary and bravest of the 20th century.
Mass meetings of Telstra workers around the country on July 17 sent a message to the Howard government that they oppose the part privatisation of Telstra and are prepared to take further industrial action to fight for their jobs. From Brisbane, Karen
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Queensland government faces a possible $1 billion loss in anticipated income from a bank merger deal aimed at creating a large Queensland-based private bank, according to state financial sources. The new bank would
By Natalie Woodlock HOBART — On July 8, industrial action by the Australian Education Union over a 6.86% pay claim affected around 10% of schools here. The campaign aims to maintain the quality of education and a decent standard of living for
By Jo Williams and Tully Bates MELBOURNE — Fifty angry supporters of the campaign against cuts to apprentice and trainee wages picketed Peter Reith's luncheon with big business at the Grand Hyatt on July 18. The picket, initiated by Resistance,
By Ben Reid and Jeremy Smith MELBOURNE — On July 14, members of Save Albert Park held a demonstration to highlight the lies and broken promises of the Victorian government and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) over the extent of
By Lisa Macdonald On July 5, Michael Anthony Blackman was found hanging in the hospital ward at Lotus Glen Prison in Mareeba, Queensland. He was 26 years old. Blackman's death mirrors the circumstances surrounding the death by hanging two days


By Mike Leach As the international gathering "against neo-liberalism and for humanity" called by the Zapatistas (EZLN) convenes in Chiapas, the primary issue of land distribution remains as the unresolved focal point of resistance to Mexico's
MUANG MUANG THAN, a student in 1988, joined a million other Burmese in the pro-democracy uprisings that year which were drowned in blood by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Than then joined 10,000 other students to form a student
By Jill Hickson July 26 is the 43rd anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks by a small group of badly armed young Cuban revolutionaries, an attack which failed in its immediate aim but which is considered the day that launched the
By Norm Dixon "South Africa will emerge more vigorously as an investment destination with a promising return. We are open for business", declared South African deputy president Thabo Mbeki at a meeting of European business leaders in Cannes on June
Sharp debate at left convention By Barry Sheppard Sharp political differences emerged at the second national convention of the Committees of Correspondence (CoC), held in New York over the July 12-14 weekend. The CoC was formed in 1992 by
Nader ballot progress WASHINGT0N, DC — Supporters of Ralph Nader for US president have now secured his place on the November ballot in nine states. Conventions in California and Washington state plus Utah's completion of the statutory petition
By Peter Montague There are about 630 different "active ingredients" in pesticides worldwide. In real-world use, these main ingredients are combined with other chemicals (called "inert ingredients") to make several thousand toxic formulations —
By Norm Dixon Police fired tear gas and several rounds of live ammunition at protesting students in Port Moresby on June 29. Several students were injured when hit by buckshot or tear-gas canisters or trampled in the ensuing panic as police
By Norm Dixon The PNG government has endorsed a defence policy paper — written with the assistance of ANU Professor Paul Dibb, author of the 1987 defence white paper for the Australian government — which argues that the main threat to PNG's
By Norm Dixon Villagers downstream from Porgera gold mine in PNG are to seek compensation for environmental damage and loss of life caused by the dumping of mine tailings into the Strickland River. The villagers, members of the Kulini Strickland
By Doug Lorimer Since the early 1970s, the world capitalist system has been in a long economic downturn, a period of decelerating economic growth tending toward stagnation. Since 1975, in contrast to the preceding 30 years, the downturns in the
By Norm Dixon Following the South African government's June 14 economic policy statement, a key component of which was the call for "wage moderation", ANC labour minister Tito Mboweni has endorsed a proposal for an "Accord for Employment and
By Rebecca Meckelburg On July 8, the Indonesian military violently dispersed two assemblies of 10,000 workers each in Surabaya, Indonesia's second biggest city. Scores of workers were injured and almost 30 detained overnight. The workers were on


Birzeit University web site ( — Birzeit University, in the West Bank, has a long history of involvement with struggle of the Palestinian people. Birzeit University is known worldwide for its commitment to the principles of
FifaAngélique KidjoProduced Jean HebrailMango Records through PolygramReviewed by Pip Hinman Fifa, Angélique Kidjo's latest album, was produced, she says, "in a very special way". Kidjo went back to the land of her birth and much of her
In Defence of PornographyBy Paul WilsonUNSW Press Ltd, 1995. $5Reviewed by Patricia Brien In Defence of Pornography deals with the issues surrounding censorship in relation to pornography. Paul Wilson discusses the difficulties inherent in defining
Towards Restoring Village LifeTold by Meas Nee with Joan Healy as listener and scribe$10 from Overseas Services Bureau, 71 Argyle St, Fitzroy Vic 3065Reviewed by Peter Arfanis Krom Akphiwat Phum (the Group to Develop the Village) is a Cambodian
Solitary AnimalsBy Elaine AcworthSydney Theatre Company, Wharf 2Reviewed by Tony Smith This new, very Australian, play is powerful and confronting, sometimes dense with emotion and occasionally overstretched. It is daring theatre, risking a great
She says she's at peace with the world — with everything in its place, everything as it should be. What if she gets kicked around. That's the normal state of things. Besides, she can do the same to others — and that's normal too. In
Cantata Santa Maria de Iquique and Somos FuertesDirected by Mark DunbarPresented by Bemac Space Yungabar, Brisbane, July 5-14Reviewed by Lynda Hansen After the success of the 1995 epic production of Canto General, musical director Mark Dunbar has
A Lie of the MindBy Sam ShepardDirected by Peter EvansCast: Olivia Brown, Barry Donnelly, Jeff Gane, Bernadette Millar, Avril Peters, George Samuel, Katya Tarnawski and Anthony ThomasNew Theatre, NewtownUntil August 24Reviewed by Allen Myers The New
Hemp, the Illicit MusicalDispensary Cafe, Enmore (Sydney)Uuntil August 10Reviewed by Brendan Doyle The Dispensary Cafe is one of those rare venues in Sydney where you can sit at a table with friends, imbibe a wine and enjoy a range of entertainment,
Desperadoes FlamingoBy Joseph O'ConnorHarper-Collins, 1995, 426 pp., $14.95Reviewed by Tony Smith An indisputable sign of special talent in a writer is the ability to juggle several complex themes simultaneously. On those grounds alone, Desperadoes


'... they would hold their little hands through the wire ...' "... they would hold their little hands through the wire and tell them who they were, who their mothers were, where they'd come from ..." bin ends of a language dusty resting
By Sally Mitchell DARWIN — In April, the Warumpi Band played one Friday night at the Driveway Hotel. A big crowd of black and white fans were singing and shouting all of the lyrics to songs like "Fitzroy Crossing", "Black Fella White Fella"