Issue 244


Students occupy Howard's office By Marcus Greville SYDNEY — On August 21, 60 students occupied John Howard's electoral office in Gladesville to protest against the budget's attacks on education. After entering, the students escorted most staff
By Natalie Woodlock HOBART — The minority Rundle Liberal government's first budget, which advocates deep cuts to public services, has been passed with the support of the Greens. Labor voted against it and pushed for amendments, though stating it
By Kerryn Williams CANBERRA — A recent Education Department review recommends the relocation of the School without Walls (SWOW) to Dickson College. On August 14, a public meeting at SWOW to discuss the proposal was attended by more than 80
Beyond their blood-curdling accounts of the angry scenes at the doors of Parliament House, the establishment media studiously avoided reporting the depth of feeling of participants at the anti-Howard rally on August 19. From a safe distance inside
[The following is a joint statement by the Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance on the August 19 events at Parliament House.] The media chorus of condemnation of the August 19 incident at Parliament House is absolutely hypocritical. The
HOBART — More than 1000 people protested on August 23 outside the Liberal Party state conference dinner at Wrest Point Casino, where Prime Minister John Howard spoke. Several union contingents, students, East Timor solidarity activists, Sexual
Actions in solidarity with East Timor were held around the country over the weekend of August 23-25. Tim E. Stewart reports from Darwin that with plainclothes and uniformed police outnumbering activists two to one, 18 people marked the national day
Union campaign forces school cleaning review By Bill Mason BRISBANE — A concerted campaign by Queensland school cleaners has forced the Education Department to review privatisation plans which would lay off 6500 permanent and casual workers.
By Pip Hinman Welfare rights groups have criticised the budget, saying that more than 30% of the expenditure cuts unfairly target people on low incomes. Michael Raper, director of the NSW Welfare Rights Centre, described the new social security
By Mick Barclay and Vannessa Hearman CANBERRA — Some 350 officials, job delegates and rank and file members from around the country attended the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's (CFMEU) August 17-18 information seminar on the
By Graham Carter I have just got back from Canberra where I attended the rally. The media have reacted completely inappropriately to the events on the day. I witnessed much which conflicts with what was reported: 1. The rally was not violent. You
Indigenous resistance rally By Jonathan Strauss SYDNEY — A quickly organised Indigenous Resistance Rally attracted more than 1000 people to Hyde Park on August 18. The rally called for a strong and unified stand against the Howard government's
The following is abridged from a speech by Tom Hagan on behalf of TAFE Students Against Slave Wages to the August 19 trade union protest in Perth. Hagan is a member of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the socialist youth organisation
By Jennifer Thompson Changes to the Medicare and pharmaceutical benefits schemes and other changes to health funding introduced in the Coalition's August 20 budget have been promoted as a start to the process of restraining government expenditure
ACTCOSS cans the budget By Sue Bull CANBERRA — Lyn Morgaine from the ACT Council of Social Service told a meeting of 40 people on August 21, "Many of the measures outlined in the budget will have a harsh impact on the most disadvantaged people
Hinchinbrook faces protest blockade By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Conservationists from north Queensland plan demonstrations and a blockade of the Hinchinbrook site of developer Keith Williams' resort project, finally approved by the federal
In the largest outpouring of unionist opposition to government attacks since the SEQEB dispute, and the biggest workers' rally in Brisbane for decades, Bill Mason reports, some 10,000 people crowded into the King George Square on August 19 and later
On August 23, members of the Community and Public Sector Union participated in nationwide stop-work meetings to decide the next steps in the union's campaign against the federal government's cuts to the public service. A motion put by the union's
By Mick Barclay and Vannessa Hearman CANBERRA — Nico Warouw, the international representative of the Indonesian People's Democratic Party (PRD), urged CFMEU seminar participants to support the release of all political prisoners and the growing


Meeting with lawyers On August 21, lawyers were finally able to meet Budiman Sujatmiko. Following the meeting, Jakarta lawyer Johnson Panjaitan announced that a team of 33 lawyers had been formed to defend Budiman and other PRD members detained in
Activist tortured The student organisation PIJAR on August 17 released a letter smuggled out of jail written by student activist Hendrik Sirait. Sirait was arrested during a peaceful demonstration in support of Megawati Sukarnoputri. The letter
By Peter Montague For the past 25 years, bad news has been reported again and again by the scientific community worldwide. Ozone depletion. Global warming. Certain cancers increasing. Dioxin and PCBs from industrial sources now found everywhere,
'Tricontinental' needs help Tricontinental magazine, put out by the African, Asian and Latin American Peoples' Solidarity Organisation (OSPAAAL), is being revived. The magazine was an idea proposed by Che Guevara for the movements in those three
The Republicans' two conventions By Barry Sheppard The convention of the Republican Party was really two conventions: one for the party's extreme right wing, and the other a carefully orchestrated television event to launch Bob Dole's
By Brian Kelly In Kupang, West Timor, I noticed a huge crowd of Timorese-looking people staying in a losmen in the city. They appeared to be villager types — not the sort you would normally see at a hotel — and had an air of transience about
Emergency appeal Having seen reports and television coverage of the events of the past weeks in Jakarta, we call on the Indonesian government to: release all people detained following the military assault on the headquarters of the Indonesia
Porgera shut by protests Angry villagers succeeded in closing the Porgera gold mine in PNG's western highlands on August 16. Members of the Porgera River Alluvial Miners Association burned seven vehicles. The villagers were demanding greater
Suharto's prisoners There are now 20 members of the People's Democratic Party (PRD) in prison, as well as Muchtar Pakpahan from the SBSI union federation and Hendrik Sirait, an activist with PIJAR (Information Centre for Reform and Action). Most
By Deepa Fernandes BOLIVIA — This is a country of rich natural resources. Tin, silver, gold, bismuth, zinc and iron occur abundantly. Yet Bolivia is also a country of extreme poverty. Over the years, massive exploitation of these resources, and


A short story Craig Cormick Booom! The magpie on the electricity line simply explodes. Bloodied black and white feathers flutter down into my yard like reddened ash and snow. I carefully put down my garden shovel and look up. I have to shade my
Secrets and LiesDirected and written by Mike LeighOpens nationally on September 5Reviewed by Peter Boyle Every family has its secrets and lies, but imagine the shock of Hortense, a young black optometrist, when she discovers that her biological
Last Chance Australia Fair Australians all let us lament For we are on the slide. We've soils of salt, our wealth's not ours, Our seas have nearly died. Our land abounds in drugs and crime, The Libs support the rich; In history's page
Highways to a WarBy Christopher J. KochMinerva, 1995. 452 pp., $15.95Reviewed by Brendan Doyle Those who have read this Tasmanian writer's earlier novel The Year of Living Dangerously, set in Jakarta in 1965 and made into a successful film, will
No, we haven't got any, but we thought that would get your attention. But don't go away: we do hope to have some jobs for you soon. We can see the way things are going, especially after the budget. It is clear that the government is planning a
Wings of Death: Nuclear Pollution and Human HealthBy Chris BusbyGreen Audit Books, Green Audit (Wales) Ltd, 1995340pp., £10.99Reviewed by Dot Tumney This book provides valuable ammunition for attacking the nuclear apologist on several fronts.
NEWCASTLE — "We used to have friends over for tea. I always loved and dreaded it too. Great to see friends, but inevitably I would say something 'wrong' — not that I saw it at the time — and she just stopped talking to me for days. Then there
SYDNEY — Broken Glass, the 1995 Olivier Award-winning play by US dramatist Arthur Miller, is now being presented by the Sydney Theatre Company. Set in New York in 1938, it is a psychological and family drama which meshes with events on the world
SYDNEY — The NSW Writers' Centre will host its annual literary festival, Spring Writing, on September 7-8. This year the festival will welcome international guests, Balmain writers, regional Australian writers, writers from non-English backgrounds
Economics as a Social Science: Readings in Political EconomyGeorge Argyrous and Frank Stilwell (eds)Sydney: Pluto Press, 1996. $39.95Reviewed by Peter Harkness The book contains 56 short articles divided into four categories: "Economics as a Social
Message from HomePharoah SandersVerve through PolygramReviewed by Norm Dixon This album shows Pharoah Sanders — Coltrane's cosmic, Afrocentric fellow traveller — is at 57 as cool and relevant as ever. Message from Home places Sanders squarely in


Adding to the burgeoning list of lies that have accompanied the Coalition government, the bosses' media have been working overtime to sell Treasurer Costello's first budget as a "fair go" which "shares around the pain". The budget's vicious attacks