Issue 242

Editorial

Revelations that Labor former prime ministers Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke are on the payroll of billionaire businessman Richard Pratt should come as no surprise. After all, the former Labor government prided itself on its close relationship with the

General

Test ban delegates blockaded
GENEVA — On August 6, the 51st anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, about 100 Greenpeace protesters from Italy, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Germany blocked the exits of the United Nations

How Many People Can the Earth Support?By Joel E. CohenNorton532 pp, $30Reviewed by Chase Madar In 1798, a dour young cleric named Thomas Robert Malthus invented overpopulation. The growing numbers of poor, he wrote in Essay on the Principle of

It's over and done with
There's been a change, hasn't there? With the election of the Howard government, the country's political climate has shifted. Would you agree, Mr. Riley?
— Oh, yes, definitely.
I believe I'm right in saying that you

Hunted activists need support
Activists of the PRD are being hunted down, but the dictatorship's forces have not yet been able to capture any leaders. The only PRD leaders in jail at the moment are those arrested on July 8 at a 20,000-strong

If you are one of the new readers who picked up this newspaper at the August 19 day of action against the Coalition government's attacks on our rights and living standards, then welcome to Green Left Weekly.
This is a special anti-budget issue of

14 = Queensland school cleaners slam privatisation plan
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — The Borbidge state government was facing the biggest industrial campaign since the SEQEB dispute of 1985 over its move to privatise school cleaning and cut 6500

By Jennifer Thompson
On July 18, at the Manufacturing Workers Union national delegates' conference, ACTU secretary Bill Kelty raised an old labour movement standard — a shorter working week to share work around. Australian workers haven't heard

By Stephen Marks
MANAGUA — More than 50,000 people overflowed the Plaza of the Revolution here on July 19. By bicycle, on foot, in buses and trucks, people streamed into the plaza from all directions to mark the 17th anniversary of the Sandinista

By Reihana Mohideen
MANILA — "Philippine Labor Secretary Leonardo Quisumbing wants his term to be remembered as one that fostered industrial peace ... [but] the changing balance of power among trade unions and federations is giving him another

The Port Chicago 50: An Oral History — On July 17, 1944, two merchant marine ships in Port Chicago Munitions Base near San Francisco exploded, killing 320 people. The majority of the casualties were African-Americans who loaded ammunition onto

Challenging the Liberal agenda
By Jorge Jorquera
PERTH — The Perth and Fremantle branches of the Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance are organising a Fight Back Conference for September 14-15 for all those who believe the time has come to

MANILA — "Free Dita Sari", "Suharto, Hitler, dictator, killer — out" were painted on banners and caps as around 100 workers from the socialist workers centre Filipino Workers Solidarity (BMP) picketed the Indonesian embassy here on August 9. This

Hiroshima Day marked
Around 300 people attended the Sydney Hiroshima Day march on August 4, demanding that a treaty be signed by the year 2000 to begin the process of eliminating nuclear weapons. Speakers called on the Australian government to

The following is the abridged text of a speech by high school student and Resistance member Hamish Quinn to Sydney's Hiroshima Day rally on August 4. High school students are concerned deeply about the world we will inherit from a generation unable

Sydney on August 4, around 60,000 people poured into the Domain to protest against government cuts of $65 million to the ABC. Sarah Harris reports that staff, performers and supporters addressed and entertained the five-hour rally, including the

Youth forum
CANBERRA — Thirty people attended a youth forum organised by Resistance and the Young Christian Workers on August 8 to highlight the impact of the Howard government's policies on young people. Speakers from the CFMEU, CPSU, Youth

By Norm Dixon
For the second year in a row, the Zimbabwe government has attempted to ban the participation of a gay and lesbian group in the annual Zimbabwe International Book Fair in Harare. Despite winning a High Court order against the ban, the

Opportunity
"A great opportunity to get everyone to buy the same thing twice." — The head of a graphic design consultancy on why the logo for the Sydney 2000 Olympics is being redesigned.
Radical idea
"The whole idea that public education

RL's DreamBy Walter MosleySerpent's Tail, London, 1995266pp., $19.95Reviewed by Norm Dixon RL's Dream reminded me of the first James Baldwin novel I ever read, Another Country. Certainly Mosley, best known for his terrific noir novels set in black LA

The CrossBy Mandy SayerAngus and Robertson Pyable, 1995296 pp., $14.95 (pb)Reviewed by Tony Smith Don't be deterred by cover notes which hail a "thriller, love story, tale of the city". The Cross is none of these. Rather than hybridise banal

By Tyrion Perkins
Last month two prominent members of the FSLN toured Australia. Alejandro Bendaña and Zoilamerica Ortega, representing the Centre for International Studies, spoke at meetings organised by CISLAC (Committees in Solidarity with

Veteran political activist and environmentalist Marion Studdert died on July 29, following a 13-month battle with complications after an operation for cancer. Marion's political involvement began in 1941 when, aged 18, she joined the Communist Party

By Paul Howes
[Paul Howes is a year 10 student at Blaxland High in Sydney's west and a member of the socialist youth organisation, Resistance. The following speech was given to the 10,000-strong rally against education cuts in Sydney on August 7.]

uth = By Marina Cameron
In an apparent bid to allow some venting of public anger before budget night, the federal government released details of planned cuts to the higher education sector on August 9. More than 30,000 had rallied on August 7 in a

100,000 cases of tuberculosis in Brazil
In the 1980s, registered cases of tuberculosis were declining 4% per year in Brazil. Between 1990 and 1993 the registered decrease came to a standstill and since 1993 numbers have again begun to increase.

By Dick Nichols
The Sydney Morning Herald calls it the "return of the rally", the wave of anti-Howard actions that have convulsed politics over the last three months. But while the Herald writers look for clever explanations for this "sea-change in

US government agencies and research groups conducted experiments with high dosages of the Edmonston-Zagreb (EZ) measles vaccine from 1987 to 1991 on thousands of babies in Haiti, Mexico, Senegal, Guinea Bissau and African-American and Latino

14 = Resistance Centre celebrates 10th birthday
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — The Brisbane Resistance Centre celebrated its 10th anniversary with a lively night on August 10. Some 100 people packed in to hear Ant McKenna, Isis, and Chris Anderson

Civil liberties
What do gun control and Russell Cooper's proposal for "Youth Curfews" have in common? Gross violations of Civil Liberties. Add to this gross interference with the right to Trial by Jury and the Freedom of Information Act; Gareth

Abolition 2000
PERTH — A new campaign, Abolition 2000, was launched on August 6 by WA Greens Senator Dee Margetts and People for Nuclear Disarmament campaigner Jo Vallentine. Speakers included Bill Ethel from the CFMEU, Peter Holland and Fiona

By Toby Hawker and Nikki Ulasowski
As part of the campaign against cuts to education funding by the Howard government, Resistance at Wollongong University initiated a meeting of all left activists interested in running in the SRC elections. The

'Reforming' children into hunger
By Barry Sheppard
By stating his willingness to sign the welfare "reform" bill passed with support from both Democrats and Republicans, President Clinton stepped into the vanguard of world leaders spearheading

Victorian Labor Party leader John Brumby has touched off a minor controversy and media comment with his recent proposals to shift the party even further to the right — to the "middle ground". Green Left Weekly's KIM LINDEN spoke to DAVID SPRATT, a

By Pip Hinman
While China has said it will undertake a nuclear testing moratorium from July 30, nuclear disarmament campaigners in Australia warned that the July 29 nuclear test at Lop Nor may not be China's last and called on all nuclear weapons

By Iggy Kim
HOBART — In the face of a continuing decline in profits, bosses in Tasmania have sounded a strong warning to the state government. An end of June survey of employers by the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) and the

By Sandra Wallace and Neville Spencer
MEXICO CITY — From July 27 to August 3, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) hosted the first Intercontinental Meeting for Humanity and Against Neo-liberalism in the jungles of Chiapas in southern

By Dave Regan and James Hutchings
ARIA (the Australian Record Industry Association) has recently brought in new guidelines which restrict the sale of many CDs and completely ban others. The guidelines are a harsher version of the system of

Oh where, oh where has Labor's heartland gone?
By Dave Wright
SYDNEY — One hundred people gathered at the Balmain Leagues Club on August 3 to consider the question: Has Labor lost its heartland forever? The meeting was organised by the Balmain

By Renfrey Clarke
MOSCOW — Coal miners are pressing ahead in a battle to force the government and coal companies to hand over wages that have gone unpaid from as far back as February. During the first week of August, more than 50,000 workers in

By Kamala Emanuel and Melanie Sjoberg
Some 250 people attended a Who Cares About Child-care? rally in Newcastle on August 4 organised by Central Coast-Hunter Regional Family Day Care (FDC) to protest against the federal government's proposed

"Sometimes irony can be so socially constructive, as well as instructive, that it rises above even the highest court in the land." — Irving Elmer Bell
For the sake of irony here, try to imagine a Ku Klux Klansman who takes great pleasure in

Fearful Suharto lashes out
By Max Lane
"At the present time, I think there's a strong interest in seeing an orderly transition of power there [Indonesia] that will recognise the pluralism that should exist in a country of that magnitude and

By Barry Densley
As consumers, we implicitly trust food manufacturers and government to maintain appropriate safeguards to prevent food contamination. Australian health officials recently ordered an investigation of locally manufactured baby

By Norm Dixon
South African clothing and textile workers have won a 9% pay increase after an eight-day national strike. The workers, members of the 83,000-strong SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union, returned to work on August 5. They had been

The Social Worker
Years ago in Glasgow
callow youth
from troubled folk
and folks in trouble
I made my crust.
As Canutian agent
I turned no tides but
sometimes struck
a chord.
I recall a twelve year
young car rustler,
an

PNG forests face renewed assault
By Scott Atkinson and Petrina Lin
Foreign timber companies have refused to pay a PNG government-mandated increase in timber royalties to land-holders. Currently, land-holders receive approximately 4-5 kina [A$4-5]

By Stuart Russell
EDINBURGH — Coalition-building on the left has been sporadic at best and rarely successful or enduring. But in Scotland, a fresh and exciting attempt to build left unity has emerged, which has the potential to reshape Scottish

Women workers under fire
By Lisa Macdonald
The federal sex discrimination commissioner, Sue Walpole, last month announced new "codes of practice" for employers on sex bias in the workplace. Walpole will carry out nationwide, random audits of

National day of action on education
spite grey skies and sporadic downpours, 4000 protested in Adelaide on August 7. Sidney Bay reports that buses arrived from suburban campuses and the Adelaide University contingent came into Victoria Square with

France blocks ban on toxic waste export
On July 28, Greenpeace announced that France is blocking a regional agreement that would ban the export of toxic and nuclear waste from OECD states in the Mediterranean to non-European Union countries of the

Car Maintenance, Explosives and LoveWritten and performed by Donna JacksonDirected by Andrea LemonLonsdale Street Power Station, MelbourneTues-Sat 7pm, Sun 5 pm, until August 25Reviewed by Bronwen Beechey The connection between the different

By Neila Seciov
Whether buying or renting, the cost of housing eats up a considerable percentage of one's earnings. Housing costs have a vital effect on people's standard of living and yet receive remarkably little attention from politicians. While

Hotel Suharto
Who put the durian in the air conditioning system?
What is that fetid odour in Hotel Suharto?
Are you sure it's a durian?
It smells like decomposing flesh.
Could it be the stench of death?
What does it represent?
The

Actively Radical TV — Sydney community television's progressive current affairs producers tackle the hard issues from the activist's point of view. CTS Sydney (UHF 31), every Thursday, 7pm.
Access News — Melbourne community TV, Channel 31,

uth = By Marina Cameron
People who see Sweet Honey in the Rock live dont forget the experience. The mixture of voices and mastery of musical styles, the strength and passion of the performance are spine tingling. Each Sweet Honey performance is

18 = Critical stage in ACI dispute
By Dave Mizon
MELBOURNE — A lot has occurred at the BTR/ACI Spotswood picket line, where 137 maintenance workers are fighting 59 forced redundancies. The dispute is now at a critical stage, with the company

Einstein: A LifeBy Denis BrianWiley, 1996. 509 pp., $49.95 (hb)Reviewed by Phil Shannon Albert Einstein is the name most associated with science, at its intellectual best (probing the deepest mysteries of the cosmic and subatomic worlds) and its

Massive cuts and outsourcing planned for CES
By Paul Oboohov
CANBERRA — Massive cuts to the CES are planned by the government, according to the July 24 Canberra Times and Financial Review. They quoted an interdepartmental committee report and a

A-Z of chemicals in the homeCompiled by the Total Environment CentreChoice Books, 1996. 168pp., $15Reviewed by Dot Tumney This book aims to address the wider understanding of toxicity as a concept and to discuss the characteristics of materials in

By Stephen Marks
MANAGUA — Support for FSLN presidential candidate Daniel Ortega has climbed 10 points to 30%, according to a poll released on July 30. The main right-wing candidate, Arnoldo Alemán of the Liberal Alliance, remains steady

By Natalie Woodlock and Iggy Kim
On August 6, Tasmania's Liberal premier, Tony Rundle, warned that the August 15 state budget is not negotiable. Any attempts to change it, he said, would result in a new election. The next day, the Tasmanian Greens

By Leo Wellin
Faced with implementing cuts of around one in three Telstra jobs, managers have begun implementing an assessment test allowing them to target individuals for redundancy. The quaintly named "resource rebalancing" process is based on

SA public servants take to the streets
By Melanie Sjoberg
ADELAIDE — Public Service Association (PSA) members across the state held a two-hour stoppage on August 5 in protest at the state government's inaction over their 15% pay claim and to

According to DAVE HOLMES, Melbourne secretary of the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP), Victorian ALP leader John Brumby's bid to be that state's Tony Blair represents no big shift in political perspective. In assessing what all this means, we should

By Jill Hickson
In moving to slash Australia's$1.5 billion foreign aid budget, foreign minister Alexander Downer made his first target the Development Import Finance Facility (DIFF), with its funding of $124 million. Strong complaints from

By Lara Pullen
CANBERRA — A rally on August 8 outside the Burmese embassy commemorated the eighth anniversary of the popular democratic uprising in which thousands were killed by the Burmese military. Three hundred

Protest commemorates 8-8-88

By Lara Pullen