Issue 24

Australia

To chants of "Save Chaelundi; save Sarawak; stop the logging now", about 100 people marched from Sydney Town Hall and through city streets on August 17. Participants later heard Dean Geoffrey speak about the struggle of the Penan people to save the Sarawak rainforest. A collection was taken up...

By Bruce Marlowe

SYDNEY — In its 1991-92 budget, brought down last month, the Greiner government took aim at 12,500 jobs in the public service. Now that the lists of victims are going up on departmental noticeboards, the New South Wales Labor Council...

Cops turn nasty at protest

By Catherine Gough-Brady

ADELAIDE — Police here surpassed themselves in a display of illegal violence and brutality on August 15.

About 140 protesters had been waiting in the cold at the gates of wharf 20 for about three hours...

By Pat Brewer

SYDNEY — The repeatedly postponed national gathering to discuss a national green party took place on August 18-19. On the agenda were structure and proscription of membership in other political parties. Agreement to some form of proscription was a...

Wallsend closure protested

NEWCASTLE — For the second time, thousands turned out to protest against the proposed closure of Wallsend Hospital, near here. Union banners, hospital flags and solidarity signs were carried by the 10,000 protesters on August 13. Many wore the light blue of...

MELBOURNE — The Industrial Relations Commission has brought forward the next national wage case to September 17 and 18 and asked unions, the government and employers to present submissions on whether centralised wage-fixing should continue. Government and union opposition to the...

By Peter Boyle

The latest national account figures confirm that Australia is still deep in recession. Gross domestic product over the 12 months to June contracted by 0.9%, and unemployment is set to continue at around 10% well into next year. Yet all indications are...

Women march for abortion rights

By Susan Price

BRISBANE — Hundreds lined the streets here on August 17 for the largest pro-choice rally in a decade. Chanting "Goss be nimble, Goss be quick, drop the law, you make us sick!", the march moved from Parliament House...

Liberal wants youth work camps

By Catherine Gough-Brady

ADELAIDE — Peter Lewis, Liberal member for the state seat of Murray-Mallee, is proposing compulsory back-to-nature work camps for unemployed youth. Claiming there has been "a drop in society discipline",...

TAFE teachers denounce award

By Nina Murka

SYDNEY — Mass meetings of TAFE Teachers Association members were held on August 14 across NSW in response to an Industrial Relations Commission award handed down a week earlier.

The award, which has taken almost...

Parliament House staff fight for jobs

By Sue Bolton

CANBERRA — Catering staff at Parliament House have set up a picket in an effort to protect their jobs and working conditions.

Catering services are being privatised. Workers have been told that their...

By Brad Adamson
and Peter Chiltern

BRISBANE — Newstart "agreements" being forced on long-term unemployed people could include references to matters such as medical treatment, dress, appearance and body weight, Social Security Minister Graham Richardson admitted...

By David Brazil

Australia has the opportunity to make an important stand in the fight to save the remaining rainforests of Sarawak and other parts of the world on August 21, when federal parliament considers the Customs (Rainforest Timbers) Amendment Bill.

The...

Democrat referendum

Further moves towards a merger between some greens and the Australian Democrats seem likely following a report in the August 17-18 Australian that Democrat senators are preparing a referendum on the question, and comments by Bob Brown that supporters of the...

Court action moves closer to victory

By David Brazil

Actions against logging in the Chaelundi State Forest continued last week both in the courts and in the forest. With the August 15 granting of a further extension of the injunction against logging by the Land...

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — The Labor-controlled Brisbane City Council has massively increased fines for breaches of the repressive Queen Street Mall Act, introduced by the Bjelke-Petersen government in 1983.

Fines under the act have been raised to $1000. Other...

By Nick Carroll

MELBOURNE — The Rainforest Action Group and the Forest Lands Action Group will stage an action against a ship entering Corio Quay South to pick up a supply of woodchips from the Midway woodchipping company. Supporters are urged to ring the RAG hotline (...

Another protester jailed in Sarawak

By David Brazil

Gold Coast environmental activist Anja Light has joined Australian Nancy Rolfe and six other protesters from four countries in a Malaysian jail after being found guilty of criminal trespass. She was sentenced...

By Pete Malatesta

CHAELUNDI — The Lismore Greens will send a protest to the NSW ombudsman and Amnesty International alleging the use of excessive force and torture by police against Chaelundi protesters.

Peter Smith, the Lismore Greens' liaison at Chaelundi,...

World

Grenada 14 sentences commuted

The government of Grenada has commuted the death sentences on Bernard Coard and 13 others convicted of murdering former prime minister Maurice Bishop.

The 14 have denied responsibility for the killing of Bishop after he was replaced as prime minister...

A German delegation visited Istanbul in mid-July to investigate the deaths of 10 people in a police raid on July 12. The visit was in response to information from relatives of the victims as well as Amnesty International and the Turkish Association for Justice and Freedom (OZGUR DER), which was...

By Patrick Campbell

One of the dirty tricks pulled by the British Special Forces and the loyalist Ulster Defence Association in 1974 will come back to haunt both organisations early next year, when a documentary on the North is aired on television in Britain.

The...

By Will Firth

BERLIN — Debate has flared in the German media about compulsory military service. The weekly Der Spiegel reported last month that the Ministry of Defence was planning to abolish conscription. This was promptly denied by a...

Cholera expected to kill 4000 in Panama

PANAMA CITY — The local representative of the Pan-American Health Organisation, Oscar Falla, said on August 7 that 4000 Panamanians may be killed by the cholera epidemic which is sweeping parts of Latin America.

The epidemic, first reported...

By Ndungi Wa Mungai

Kenya is experiencing "disturbances" in universities and schools, which have led to several deaths, a year after the Saba Saba — pro-democracy demonstrations — that rocked Nairobi and outlying towns in July 1990.

President Daniel arap Moi's...

By Stephen Robson

The National Assembly of Vietnam in the first week of August elected Vo Van Kiet prime minister. Kiet takes over the position from Do Muoi, elected general secretary of the Communist Party at the Seventh National Congress at the end of June.

Vo...

By Bryan R. Thomas

BONN — Doubts are beginning to be aroused about the intentions of the German government since reunification just over one year ago.

At that time many critics expressed fears that a united Germany might revert to the nationalistic and...

By Irina Glushchenko

MOSCOW — "If only there were a free press in the Soviet Union!" That was the dream of generations of the Soviet intelligentsia. Somewhat more than a year ago, the dream came true: the last elements of state censorship were abolished.

But the...

By Pip Hinman

Against a backdrop of increasing economic and political instability, Nicaragua's largest party, the Sandinista National Liberation Front, held its first congress in Managua beginning on July 19.

The three-day congress (sessions of which continued...

By Peter Annear

PRAGUE — The Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) government has opened a serious attack on the country's new trade unions, which have grown in strength since last October's taxi and transport workers' blockade.

Parliament passed legislation on July...

By Peter Annear

PRAGUE — A sea change may be occurring in popular sentiments among the national groups locked into Yugoslavia's low-intensity civil war.

British journalist Laura Silber recently visited the village of Ivanovci in the central Serbian region of...

Profits in pollution

Pork bellies, soybeans, wheat futures — and now sulphur dioxide allowances. The Chicago Board of Trade voted on July 16 to add sulphur dioxide emission allowances to the list of commodities in which it trades.

Under 1990 amendments to the US Clean Air Act,...

By Peter Annear

PRAGUE — When the 35 member governments of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) met here on August 8-9 to draft an appeal for a cease-fire in the bloody conflict in Yugoslavia, they must have suspected Serbian President Slobodan...

Editorial

Privatising the pension

As wage rises have proven very difficult to get under the Accord, the union movement has been offered something of an alternative in superannuation. The proportion of the workforce covered by super has probably doubled since the mid-'80s. It's worth asking why...

Culture

South African artists must consolidate the gains made through the liberation struggle by means of a Bill of Rights, according to African National Congress constitutional lawyer Albie Sachs.

At the recent Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Sachs argued that culture should be "a highway to...

SYDNEY — Federal Labor MP Jeanette McHugh on August 17 launched a new edition of the popular resource booklet Uranium Mining in Australia.

McHugh said the booklet, first published in 1984 by the Movement Against Uranium Mining (MAUM), is expected to again...

By Steve Painter

Humour-lock

Gridlock
By Ben Elton
Macdonald. $29.95 (hb)
Reviewed by Steve Painter

At its best, Gridlock is a very funny novel about the ultimate traffic...

Working people in paint

SYDNEY — A unique exhibition of 35 painters who either identified with working people or depicted their living and working conditions is showing at the Campbelltown City Art Gallery until August 25.

The exhibition includes the work of Ray Dalgarno...

Mindless entertainment for the boys in the reformatory school choir in Freedom is Paradise, another offering from the Soviet film festival.

By Tracy Sorenson

Raspad
Directed by Mikhail Belikov
Showing at the second festival of new cinema from the Soviet Union
At the Academy Twin and Walker cinemas, Sydney
Until August 29
Reviewed by Tracy...

By Tracy Sorenson

Poetry of a social activist

In Times of Pestilence
By Kevin Baker
Five Islands Press. 64 pp. $9.95
Reviewed by Tracy Sorensen

War, famine, ecological destruction...

By Norm Dixon

The Fountain
Directed by Yuri Mamin
Screenplay by Vladimir Vardunis
Produced by Lenfilms, USSR, 1988
With Asankul Kuttubayev, Sergi Dreiden, Zhana Karimtayeve and Victor Mikhailov
Soon at...

By Ulrike Erhadt

Defending Your Life
Written and directed by Albert Brooks
Starring Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn, Lee Grant and Buck Henry
Reviewed by Ulrike Erhadt

Don't bother Defending Your Life...

the new clerks

em = By Phil McManus

having sworn their silent allegiance

to maintain that which exists,

there is a future

of freeway parking lots

at peak hour,

a caffeine-fix at the office,

cafeteria lunch,

a...