Issue 243

Australia

By Natal Banks
HOBART — The destruction of old growth, wilderness and high conservation value forest for woodchips continues despite public outrage. Multinational company Boral Ltd. plays a major part in obliterating these forests. On June 27,

By Jennifer Thompson
SYDNEY — Three hundred supporters of Telstra's public ownership gathered in Lower Town Hall on August 15 for the launch of the Keep Telstra Public campaign. Speakers included Democrat Senator Cheryl Kernot; national president

By Janet Parker
SYDNEY — Plans for a campaign against the military crackdown in Indonesia were mapped out at an emergency meeting here on August 16. Called by Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor, the meeting was attended by a broad

By Nikki Ulasowski
WOLLONGONG — Nico Warouw, Indonesian pro-democracy activist and international officer for the People's Democratic Party (PRD), visited the Illawarra district on August 13 and 14 as a part of a speaking tour of NSW organised by

By Marina Cameron and Sally Mitchell
The federal budget cuts to ATSIC will disproportionately affect young people, with 40% of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders being under 15 years old, and 60% under 25. Programs for youth support, employment

Community acts over bike lanes
By Gus Gulson
SYDNEY — On the morning of August 14, three men dressed in overalls and orange safety vests, and carrying paint, brushes, witches hats and road safety barriers, started work on Abercrombie Street in

Shell workers strike
By Dave Mizon
GEELONG — Workers at Shell's refinery are striking in response to a push for multi-skilling at the refinery. In negotiations over an enterprise agreement, workers have been pushing for a 12% pay rise over two

By John McGill and Sheila Suttner
PERTH — Aboriginal activist and Vietnam veteran Lenny Culbong died on June 18, aged only 48. His exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam was a major factor in his early death. Despite increasingly bad health, Lenny

Royal Women's Hospital under threat
By Kim Linden
MELBOURNE — Around 100 people took part in the Royal Women's Hospital 140th birthday celebration and rally on August 11, as part of the campaign to stop the relocation of some of the hospital's

Tax workers suspend bans
By Chris Slee
Community and Public Sector Union members employed by the Australian Taxation Office have voted in favour of the tax division executive's proposal to suspend the bans campaign and to resume it on September

Youth groups attack harsh anti-graffiti laws
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Youth and civil liberties groups here have criticised proposals for a maximum penalty of 10 years' jail for graffiti offences in the Queensland government's draft revision of

By Pip Hinman and Sally Mitchell
The government's decision to slash the budget of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) is petty and racist. In national monetary terms, the government's "saving" of $400 million over the next

By Jeremy Smith
MELBOURNE — Workers at the ACI Spotswood plant, who have staged a month-long picket, were charged and bashed by mounted police with batons on August 16. The dispute started when ACI-BTR revealed plans to retrench 59 workers,

Sand mining operations opposed
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Conservationists rallied on North Stradbroke Island on August 18 to call for an end to sand mining operations, in the face of allegations that the company involved, Consolidated Rutile

US government's 'environmental racism'
On August 6, Greenpeace activists chained themselves to the entrance of the US embassy in Mexico City to protest against the construction of a low-level radioactive waste dump in Sierra Blanca, Texas, 32

More than 500 protesters greeted guests arriving at the Indonesian consulate in Melbourne for the Indonesian independence day celebrations on August 17. The demonstration, organised by the Australia-East Timor Association, was addressed by speakers

World

By Jennifer Thompson
According to the August 9 Palestine Report, at least nine Palestinians have been killed by Palestinian Authority police officers since their arrival in the Gaza Strip and West Bank over two years ago. In late July, two West

In a Liverpool court on July 30, four members of the British Ploughshares organisation were cleared of criminal damage after the jury accepted their claim to have had a lawful excuse to disarm a Hawk jet fighter to prevent its use by the Indonesians

Argentine general strike
At least a dozen people were injured and about 100 arrested in Argentina on August 8 during a national general strike against the government's economic policy. Observance of the strike ranged from 70% to 100%, and was

By Agnes Bertrand
The word "globalisation" was given currency by US mass marketing strategists who, from the 1980s onwards, talked nothing but "global products" and "global communication". According to their logic, a product should be able to use

By Brian Kelly
It is twilight. I am sitting in an outdoor restaurant in Becora, Dili, with several East Timorese youths, listening to local songs played by one of the teenage boys. The neighbouring children sit cross-legged in the grass around us,

By Trish Corcoran and Chris Spindler
CHICAGO — Solidarity, a socialist and feminist organisation, held its summer school and convention here August 5-11. With members centrally involved in unions and other social and political campaigns

Cuban rightist: US could have saved plane
Jose Basulto, leader of the right-wing Miami-based organisation "Brothers to the Rescue", gave a press conference at the US House of Representatives on July 31 and handed over documents suggesting that US

In July, Tom Sherman's preliminary evaluation of evidence about the deaths of five journalists at Balibo in East Timor in October 1975 was presented to the Australian government. It concluded that the Indonesian military was probably responsible for

By Pip Hinman
With negotiations over the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty stalemated, India is being made out as the major obstacle to the world ridding itself of nuclear weapons. It would be far more accurate to blame the biggest nuclear power, the

Cambodian PM calls for ceiling on logging
Cambodian Second Prime Minister Hun Sen called on July 30 for removal of logging licences from companies which have not yet begun harvesting. Dozens of foreign companies have been granted massive logging

Nikitin still in custody
August 6 marked six months that Alexander Nikitin has been held in custody in the Russian security police (FSB) prison in St Petersburg. He was arrested on February 6 on charges of espionage for his work as a co-author of a

French unions to mobilise
French trade unions are preparing action against the latest phase of government austerity. September may experience an explosion of strikes and protests similar to last year's.
The government has pledged to cut the

Culture

The End of Work: The decline of the global labour force and the dawn of the post-market eraBy Jeremy Rifkin Tarcher/Putnam, June 1996350pp., $26.95Reviewed by Dick Nichols This is a fascinating and maddening book, chock-full of contradictions.

The Winds of GodBy Masayuki Imai. Directed by Yoko NarahashiTwelfth Night Theatre, Brisbane, August 26-31Reviewed by Brendan Doyle In October 1944, Japan's military high command, in a final desperate bid to avoid crushing defeat by the US navy, set

Bad Girls and Dirty Pictures: The Challenge to Reclaim FeminismEdited by Alison Assiter and Avedon CarolPluto Press, 1993. $32.95Reviewed by Patricia Brien Bad Girls and Dirty Pictures is a collection of essays by women about pornography. The essays

Thanks for nothing
The frost lies heavily on the lawns of the Lodge
the morning after the Budget is brought down.
The ABC drones on attempting to achieve balance
by broadcasting the clichéd statements of experts.
Economic

A fantastic line-up of artists with a diversity of talent will make this year's Wollombi Folk Festival "the best yet", organisers say. Some 100 artists will be performing over the weekend of August 30-September 1 in the scenic village of Wollombi,

The White BalloonDirected by Jafar PanahiScreenplay by Abbas KiarostamiOpening at Dendy cinemas August 29Reviewed by Jennifer Thompson The delight of this feature film from Tehran is the way it takes a very simple story — the trepidations of a

By Brandon Astor Jones
This is an open letter to my grand-daughters. I feel it is both my duty and a privilege to be able to write and leave letters like this one, for all of you. As the subtitle suggests, the basic message here will be music, but

East Timorese
Kissing with
their wounds
the only
protest
left to them
Denis Kevans