Issue 247


CPSU NSW branch elections
By Chris Pickering
WOLLONGONG—Elections for the NSW branch of the CPSU (a federation, on paper only, of the national CPSU and state public service unions included in the State Public Services Federation) were conducted

Anger over racism
By Kathy Newnam
BRISBANE — Racist comments made last week by Queensland Liberal Party backbencher Ted Radke have caused anger among students at MacGregor State High School. Radke told school cleaners in his electorate that

Public housing coalition formed
By Sue Brook and Liam Mitchell
MELBOURNE — One thousand people joined a demonstration here on September 11 against the Howard government's plan to decimate public housing. The demonstration was organised by a

By Barry Healy
SYDNEY — The Waterloo incinerator in Sydney's south-east is still operating despite increasing pressure to have it shut down from the state government, the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and other critics. The

Tax management threatens staff
By Chris Slee
MELBOURNE — Management in the Australian Taxation Office is trying to intimidate staff into breaking bans imposed in response to a plan called "ATO Business 2000", which involves job cuts, massive

By Pip Hinman
The Coalition government is attempting to squeeze maximum political mileage from the adoption of a resolution it submitted to the UN General Assembly on September 11. The resolution called for the signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban

Night exams for students
By Kylie Moon
HOBART — Students at the University of Tasmania have been avidly collecting signatures on a petition against a proposal to shorten the exam period from three weeks to two, forcing students to take some

Tasmanian case goes to High Court
By Kath Gelber
On September 10, Tasmanian activists took their campaign to repeal state anti-gay laws to the High Court. The court has been requested to hear a case which will seek to declare the laws invalid on

By Kathy Newnam
BRISBANE — With election fever high at the University of Queensland, there have been a number of discussions about the way forward for the campaign against the Liberals' attacks on education. It is important to unite to fight

Victorian union leaders defend members
By Michael Bull and Sue Bolton
MELBOURNE — A Victorian branch meeting of the construction division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union on September 5 unanimously endorsed a state

By Paul Oboohov
CANBERRA — A series of meetings of Community and Public Sector Union members in the national office of the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs last week discussed the federal government's attack on the

By Anthony Benbow
PERTH — On the afternoon of September 6 Mark Allen, an organiser with the WA Builders Labourers, Painters and Plasterers' Union (WABLPPU), fell to his death on a demolition site in East Perth. Mark was 23 years old. The grief

Hindmarsh Island bridge campaign plans
By Carla Gorton
ADELAIDE — Aboriginal and community activists opposed to the construction of the Hindmarsh Island bridge are planning some high-profile actions for November. A public meeting is scheduled


By Jennifer Thompson
A part of Israel's strategy to make its exclusive control of Jerusalem a fait accompli is the pressure being applied for all Palestinian Authority activity to cease in the city as a precondition to Israeli withdrawal from

By Boris Kagarlitsky
MOSCOW — The dramatic worsening of President Boris Yeltsin's health has caused the crisis of power to intensify. When an autocrat is sick, sharp struggles break out in the ruler's entourage. Every grouping tries to seize and

Sandinistas gain in Nicaraguan poll
The latest poll of Nicaraguan voter intentions by the Costa Rican polling firm CID-Gallup shows former president Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) gaining on the right-wing former

People's Democratic Party (PRD) activists I Gusti Astika Anom and Wilson were captured by the police in Java's third largest city, Semarang, on September 9. Five other PRD activists were caught with them but have since been released. Wilson and Anom

In August 1983, Soviet fighter planes shot down a South Korean civilian airliner which, on a flight from Alaska to Seoul, went hundreds of kilometres off course and passed over restricted Siberian territory. The event was portrayed by the US Reagan

By Barry Sheppard
An important local development in the current election campaign is the decision by a striking Detroit newspaper worker to run as an independent labour candidate for Michigan State Representative from the 32nd District, north of

By Robyn Marshall
A large area around Greenham Common air base in Britain was seriously contaminated by radioactivity at some time before 1961, according to a article in the July 20 New Scientist. Greenham Common was the site of a long occupation

Oil company sued over Burma
The US oil company Unocal is being sued to block construction of a US$1.2 billion pipeline in Burma. The Centre for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, on behalf of the Federation of Burmese Trade Unions, charges the

By Peter Montague
A two-year study of dioxin in the US Great Lakes has concluded that 86% of dioxin sources could be eliminated without economic sacrifice, and possibly with economic gains. The study was conducted by a team of researchers at

By Herbert Jaunch
SWAPO and the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) were close allies during the struggle for liberation. These links date back to the early 1970s, when exiled SWAPO leaders in Tanzania established the Secretariat for Labour.

By Norm Dixon
The hypocrisy of the US government's claim that its cruise missile barrage on Iraq was to protect the rights of the Kurdish people in the US-proclaimed "safe haven" in northern Iraq is more obvious than ever following Washington's


As the Coalition government gears up to push its budget through the Senate, the strategy of the ALP in opposition is becoming clearer. The budget process has allowed an increased public profile for the ALP, attempting to win back some political


The Future Eaters: A First Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and PeoplesBy Dr. Tim FlanneryReed Books, 1994. 421 pp. with illustrations, maps, references, $29.95Reviewed by Connie Frazer Forget the petty tales of kings and dictators. This

If you have attended a left political event around Sydney in the last eight years, you almost certainly have heard PETER HICKS singing his and GEOFF FRANCIS' songs about Bougainville, East Timor, Sydney's airport noise, plus working-class songs which

By Richard Frank Chiffings
The author Jack London is remembered — if he is remembered at all — for his wildlife adventure stories. But there is another dimension to Jack London. I can remember that my mother was greatly affected by his book The

The Cuban Excludables. The Cutting EdgeSBSTuesday, September 24, 8.30pm (8 SA)Previewed by Jill Hickson This is a very moving portrayal of human rights abuses in the United States against Cuban immigrants who were among those in the Mariel boat lift

Dole Coat
They made them wear
their coats of pride,
dyed as mark of "shame",
symbol of
outstretched hand
of poverty and loss.
Worn on fields of death,
splattered with courage's blood
and hardship's grime,
a badge of honour

Coke or Pepsi
It's Coke or Pepsi for government you pick,
One of them's named Michael, the other one's Mic.
No matter who you in the Lodge do stick
It's Coke or Pepsi you get to pick.
Vote for Sprite in the Upper House
Or why don't you

Out of My Mind: From Flower Power to the Third Millennium: the Seventies, the Eighties and the NinetiesBy Richard NevillePenguin, 1996. 216 pp., $16.95 (pb)Reviewed by Phil Shannon Take one ageing hippie from the '60s, add three decades of

Hoop DreamsDirected by Steve JamesProduced by Peter Gilbert and Federick MarxAt Greater Union CinemasReviewed by James Goodman Arthur Agee and William Gates were ordinary black US 12-year-olds when the Hoop Dreams film crew entered their lives.

Plaza Del Chelmsford
In the Plaza del Mayo in Argentina,
The Mothers of the "disappeared" stand
With their white hankies in their hand,
And say: "We want our loved ones
Back as they were." Mary, the mother of Jesus,
Did see her beloved

Body of EvidenceThe One Extra CompanySt George's Hall, 354 King St, NewtownUntil September 29Reviewed by Lisa Macdonald If you, like me, are into good crime fiction, then try to get along to Body of Evidence.
Celebrating 20 years of performance

True Stories: Black Gold, Kindred SpiritsABC TVThursday, September 26, 9.30pm (9SA)Previewed by Jennifer Thompson The ABC is bringing an important slice of working-class political history to lounge rooms in the story of the Wonthaggi coal miners in