Issue 253

News

Rallies, marches and other activities in the last week of October marked the annual Reclaim the Night events protesting violence against women. From Canberra, Katrina Dean reports that around 350 women and male supporters gathered in Civic on October
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Borbidge government risks a massive blow-out in compensation to Queensland Aborigines after its refusal to give six Palm Island elders $7000 each for under-payment for wages while employed by the state during the
Win at Student Assistance Centre By Jen Crothers SYDNEY — At a time when victories in the pubic service are few and far between, a group of workers at Blacktown Student Assistance Centre have had a win. Since the federal budget, and the loss of
By Graham Matthews and Chris Spindler In response to Pauline Hanson's racist outbursts, and John Howard's tacit support for her views, anti-racism activists have started organising against racial harassment and funding cuts to the Aboriginal and
By Michael Schafe WOLLONGONG — Students from Illawarra high schools walked out of class on October 25 to protest the government's cuts to education funding, Austudy, Abstudy and the dole. As students rallied in the Wollongong mall amphitheatre,
By Chris Martin SYDNEY — Aborigines fighting for the preservation of the historic "Day of Mourning" conference site are urging everyone concerned with justice for indigenous Australians to join their protest outside state parliament on November
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Queensland Coalition government is lurching further into trouble following the resignation on October 29 of Kenneth Carruthers. Carruthers quit as chief of the Criminal Justice Commission probe into an alleged corrupt
Emergency appeal for Cuba On October 17, Cuba was hit by the worst hurricane in 50 years. Hurricane Lilli ripped through the island destroying houses, crops, roads, schools, hospitals and electrical supplies. Many provinces are isolated and without
By Jorge Andres Another three Aboriginal people have died within three days in prisons set up on their land. One wonders if this counts as "un-Australian". On Wednesday, October 23, an Aboriginal woman died at the Townsville Women's Jail, aged 31.
By Maurice Sibelle MELBOURNE — Students at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE won a partial victory in their campaign to restore funding to their Student Union at an Institute Council meeting on October 28. The council, the governing body at
By Marina Cameron University administrations are already planning, and in some cases implementing, measures to make up funding that was cut in the federal budget. This coincides with a new round of enterprise bargaining being undertaken by the
By Kamala Emanuel Interns in the Hunter Area Health Service struck on November 1, and other hospital medical staff around the country participated in symbolic actions to "mourn the death of medical care". The national day of action was called by
Labor looks to modernise By Sean Healy MELBOURNE — Given the defeats suffered by Labor governments over the last 12 months, you would think a conference entitled Social Democracy: Future Directions would attempt to explain why Labor is on the
How important is an independent, progressive newspaper to you? For months now the establishment media has been giving Hanson and her fellow racists almost limitless coverage, reporting each bigoted statement with glee in the knowledge that stirring
By Norrian Rundle Despite promises of no more cuts, the Victorian government has announced another round of attacks on state schools. This time, no dollar value has been attached to the cuts. One hundred and thirteen schools have been targeted for
By Leo Wellin Around the country, Community and Public Service Union members in Telstra are being asked to vote on a draft competency-based pay and training (CBP&T) agreement which unashamedly aims to deliver "commercial outcomes of improved
By Anthony Thirlwall ADELAIDE — The third round of enterprise bargaining has stalled after eight meetings at the Electricity Trust of South Australia (ETSA). On October 18, the unions' single bargaining unit, seeking a 15% wage rise over two
By Kylie Moon and Sonny Witnall HOBART — On October 22 at 5.40pm, four Aboriginal people were arrested in Franklin Square. The excessive violence used against two of those arrested was caught on home video. The footage was distributed to the

World

By Norm Dixon The refugee crisis in eastern Zaire follows months of brutal oppression — largely unreported in the mainstream media — against the Banyarwanda and Banyamulenge ethnic groups by the Zaire dictatorship, in league with those
By Renfrey Clarke and Boris Kagarlitsky MOSCOW — Every year in Moscow, despite resistance from the authorities and condemnation from the official press, mass demonstrations take place on November 7. The anniversary of the October revolution
By Eva Cheng On September 15, 12,000 people took to the streets in Hong Kong to protest Tokyo's recent manoeuvres to renew claims over the Diaoyu islands (called Senkaku by Japan). Ownership of these islands, 200 km north-east of Taiwan, has been
Two days of action by labour unions and community activists, supported by hundreds of thousands of people, temporally re-took Toronto from the right-wing political forces that have controlled Ontario since the election of the Conservative government
Canadian auto strike and occupation show the way The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) forced General Motors to accept a favourable contract on October 22 after a three-week strike during which workers took over a plant in Oshawa, Ontario. "Like a
By Stephen Marks MANAGUA — The validity of the Nicaraguan elections held on October 20 is in even more doubt. As a result of the recount process, seven parties — the Renovation Action Movement, Bread and Force, National Conservative Action,
By Allen Myers Do unto others as they do unto others. Especially when the first others are the US government. This is evidently the sound reasoning of two Canadian Liberal MPs, John Godfrey and Peter Milliken. Godfrey and Milliken, like a great
Pickets, vigils, hunger strikes, press conferences, petitions and protest letters were organised around the world on October 28, the International Day of Protest for Human Rights and Democracy in Indonesia called by Action in Solidarity with
AUCKLAND — Greenpeace has released photographs of sea dumping of waste from previous French military operations in French Polynesia, giving credence to reports that waste from France's "clean up" at the Moruroa test site will be dumped at sea. The
By Manuel Kellner GERMANY — On October 24, members of the German metalworkers' union (IG Metall) participated in the most spectacular nationwide mobilisations since June 15 when 350,000 people responded to a call by the trade-union federation DGB
An worldwide network is to be established for trade unions working in the giant minerals multinational RTZ-CRA. The network will be coordinated by the 20-million-strong International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions
By Eva Cheng Some 80 representatives from over 40 organisations from 20 countries met in the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok over October 29-30 for the Alternative ASEAN Meeting on Burma. The meeting denounced both the persistent gross
Inside the Cerra Hueco penitentiary in Mexico, 47 prisoners are in the fifth week of a hunger strike to draw attention to their unjust imprisonment. The penitentiary is located in Chiapas, the state well-known as the source of the Zapatista movement
Workers oppose PNG Telikom deregulation The Papua New Guinea Communications Workers Union will take industrial action to protect PNG's telecommunications utility, Telikom. A bill to remove Telikom's monopoly of telecommunications services and

Culture

SBS Cyberwatch — Throughout November, SBS will screen 10 programs — films and documentaries — relating to the world's advancing technological systems. Cyberwatch will delve into high-tech animation, factual geometry, biotechnology, the science
Poem: Somewhere Somewhere Somewhere, a man woman or child carries a rifle bazooka mortar handgun machine gun gleaming rifle Insaned by death any death is a prize for death Living in fear fear travels in all directions No-one safe, for
Washington BabylonBy Alexander Cockburn and Ken SilversteinVerso, 1996. 316 pp, $24.95 (pb)Reviewed by Phil Shannon The US has the best politicians that money can buy. This is an old joke that never fades but, although certain Australian politicians
By Brendan O'Reilly The Cup sucks. This year I just couldn't get happy about it, being the anniversary of someone's suicide. The most unread, underrated Frank Hardy novel has got to be The Four Legged Lottery. It dealt with what he called
Love from a short distanceVarious artistsShock RecordsReviewed by Nick Fredman The range of artists who contributed to this excellent compilation is an example of the growing support for the East Timorese people's struggle for self determination.
Dating the EnemyWritten and directed by Megan Simpson HubermanReviewed by Afrodity Giannakis Dating the Enemy is a gender-swap comedy in the tradition of many popular movies of the '80s. In this one, the change happens in two ways, with a woman and a
Life of Riley: The importance of being earnest The difference between the value created by a worker and the cost of maintaining him or her is not as constant as the business community would have us believe. Generally, wages must be driven down
DangerCompilationDeath Defying TheatreReviewed by James Vassilopoulos The danger project is a compilation of rap music by musicians and rappers from Sydney's western suburbs. It was developed after the Death Defying Theatre presented Hip Hopera 95.
What Makes Women Sick: Gender and the Political Economy of HealthBy Lesley DoyalMacmillan Press, 1995. 280 pp., $34.95 (pb)Reviewed by Karl Miller Lesley Doyal and her partner Len Doyal have, separately and together, written several books critiquing

Editorial

The Democrats' agreement to support the Howard government's anti-union Workplace Relations Bill (WRB) should be condemned, but the real betrayal was by the Labor Party and the ACTU. While Labor leader Kim Beazley postures about the ALP's "total