Issue 254

News

By Jennifer Thompson Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown has raised the alarm over the so-called exemptions for environmental and consumer actions from being defined as "illegal" under the Coalition-Democrat amendments to the Workplace Relations
'British government to privatise social security' says visiting unionist By Bill Mason BRISBANE — "The privatisation process undertaken by the Conservative government in Britain in the Department of Social Security has been disastrous", Vicki
Western Sydney women reclaim the night By Sarah Harris PARRAMATTA — More than 100 women and children from Sydney's western suburbs participated in a spirited Reclaim the Night march and rally on October 24 under the banner of "Women's and
Doctors impose bans and rolling stoppages By Kamala Emanuel NEWCASTLE — Up to 2000 doctors from NSW's public hospitals walked off the job to attend stop-work meetings on November 6. The meetings were called by the Public Service Association
By Kim Linden MELBOURNE — Workers in the La Trobe Valley took united strike action on November 7 against the state government's decimation of health services. Power station workers, bus drivers, teachers and health staff at both the Moe and
By Marina Cameron Less than two years ago, thousands of people took to the streets around Australia to protest against the Labor government's expansion of the woodchipping export quotas and the granting of licences to woodchip areas of high
Kennett bans taxi magazine MELBOURNE — This month's issue of the main Victorian taxi industry magazine, Taxi Call, has been withdrawn from the streets following disapproval by the Kennett state government. The 2500-copy print run was released a
By Jennifer Thompson At the beginning of October, the former publicly owned Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, now CSL Limited, announced a breakthrough discovery — a therapeutic vaccine against a bacterium which causes peptic ulcers and sometimes
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The vicious smear campaign mounted by the Brisbane Courier-Mail newspaper against respected historian Professor Manning Clark over the past few months has been demolished by revelations from the Russian government that
By John Fraser Imagine a forest scene of such beauty it could be the cover of a fantasy novel. Picture trees so wide that a group of five people standing with their arms stretched and their hands linked could not form a complete circle around the
Support needed for 'people's reconciliation resolution' SYDNEY — The National Aboriginal History and Heritage Council is proposing an alternative "people's reconciliation resolution" to the one which will be put to state parliament by Labor
By Jeremy Smith MELBOURNE — Members of the National Tertiary Education and Industry Union at the University of Melbourne have resolved to resist management's attacks. Emerging out of negotiations with the university on October 25, the NTEU Single
By Natasha Simons SYDNEY — Some 700 students and staff from the St George campus of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), plus members of the local community, attended a spirited rally at Oatley on November 7. Dotted with placards proclaiming
By Liam Hazell Concern is growing over the increasing harassment of Chilean activists Daniel Sanchez San Juan and Lorena Astorga, both members of the Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights in Chile (ODEP). Daniel toured Australia in 1995 to
Union organiser run down on picket line By Tim Gooden CANBERRA — On November 7, at a picket line established outside the government workshops in Fyshwick, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union organiser Geoff McGowan-Lay was run down
Workers' health and safety more at risk On November 6, WA Greens Senator Dee Margetts expressed fear for workers' health and safety after the Democrats and Coalition blocked attempts to have occupational health and safety issues incorporated in the
Women unionists support Indonesia campaign By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — The "Free Dita Sari" campaign has obtained the support of a group of women trade unionists who met on November 4. The group includes representatives of the Community and
By Justin Harman PERTH — On November 8, around 150 people gathered in Murray Street mall to hold a speak-out against racism and intolerance. Organised by the socialist youth organisation Resistance, and co-sponsored by a broad range of other

World

By Norm Dixon Anti-government rebels in eastern Zaire have taken control of large areas of the provinces of South Kivu and North Kivu. Contrary to the mainstream media's simplistic description of the revolt as a "tribal conflict", it is becoming
Turkish military kills Iraqi refugees Thirty Iraqi refugees from the fighting in Iraqi Kurdistan were killed by Turkish security forces north of the Turkish border with Iraq in the last week of October, according to the International Federation of
The following is abridged from a letter written by three political prisoners in Leavenworth Federal Prison, Kansas, USA. FBI director Louis Freeh [has] urged members of Congress to hold hearings concerning ways to further limit the already restricted
By Max Lane On November 9, the second Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor (APCET II) opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in defiance of calls by the Malaysian government not to proceed. On November 7, the government took its first action to prevent
An Israeli company has unloaded arms and military surveillance equipment on Bougainville for the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, the Bougainville Interim Government reports. On October 29, the BIG said bombs and other armaments were shipped on the
ZANU-PF drops Marxism Zimbabwe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) has formally dropped allegiance to Marxism-Leninism from its constitution, the party's newspaper announced on October 26. Party spokesperson Eddison
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — In one of the largest political gatherings in the Russian capital since the late 1980s, tens of thousands of workers demonstrated near Red Square on November 5 in a trade union-organised rally "For Work, Wages and
By Peter Montague In 1953 US President Dwight Eisenhower announced plans for the "peaceful atom". The shining star of this program was to be thousands of nuclear-powered electricity-generating plants, worldwide, making electricity "too cheap to
Elections herald cuts in social wage The stock markets of New York, Tokyo, Paris and London surged ahead in celebration of the re-election of President Clinton, and well they should from the point of view of the super-rich. Stability and
By Jubin Goodarzi The Taliban's capture of Kabul in September has sent shock waves throughout Central Asia. Fearing the prospect of the Afghan civil war spilling over into the former Soviet south, Russia and the governments of four Central Asian
By Norm Dixon The South African parliament has overwhelmingly passed a new law that entrenches the right of women to free, safe abortion. The Termination of Pregnancy Bill has been hailed as one of the best reproductive rights laws in the world.
By Stephen Marks MANAGUA — Nicaragua has lived a form of virtual reality since the national elections held on October 20. Widespread accusations of fraud have delayed the final declaration of the results and the "virtual" victory of Arnoldo
By Eva Cheng On November 4, president of the "illegal" Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Kwon Young-kil, began an indefinite hunger strike in protest at recent manoeuvres by the government and employer groups to finalise a year-long industrial

Culture

Rebels Against the Future: The Luddites and their War on the Industrial RevolutionBy Kirkpatrick SaleQuartet, 1996. 320 pp., $21.95 (pb)Reviewed by Phil Shannon "Luddite" is used these days to deride anyone who resists the march of technology. Those
Poem: Prolific Plantings Prolific Plantings These carefully sown crops selectively planted in welcoming settings to blossom like fireworks bursting from receptive mother earth instant blossoms of blood red hue spattered with flesh and
intro = For the Common Good: CSIRO and Public Sector Research and DevelopmentEdited by Peter EwerPluto Press, 1996. 102 pp., $19.95 (pb)Reviewed by Dot Tumney The CSIRO division of the Community and Public Sector Union sponsored this monograph on
Radio MaliAli Farka ToureWorld Circuit through FestivalReviewed by Norm Dixon When Ali Farka Toure's sublime music first became widely available outside his west African homeland of Mali, in the late 1980s, it created quite a stir among blues freaks.
Second SkinGhostwritersPolygramReviewed by Marcus Greville The Ghostwriters have produced a very strong album, incorporating brooding vocals with a large variety of instrumental depth and melody within each track. Unfortunately, the depth of musical
State of BewildermentBased on the work of Michael LeunigPerformed by Trestle Theatre CompanyDrama Theatre, Sydney Opera HouseFrom November 7Reviewed by Brendan Doyle An angel flits above the noisy, dusty city. Vasco Pyjama rows across the stage in an
No Safe PlaceMary-Rose MacCollAllen and Unwin, 1996. 173pp., $14.95Reviewed by Tony Smith It is an understatement to say that Adele Lanois has a problem. She has lots. Her mother appears in daytime visions. Her father worries about her, advises her,
Pathways to AsiaEdited by Richard RobisonAllen and Unwin, 1996, $24.95Reviewed by James Goodman Beginning in the mid-1980s, "looking north to Asia" emerged as the official Australian answer to intensified globalisation. Australian living standards

Editorial

Federal cabinet decided on November 8 to deny Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams the right of entry only recently granted to him by the United States, the UK and Canada. By Australian government standards, Adams is not considered of "good
The defeat of the Bill Ethel leadership in the elections of the Western Australian branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union is a blow to the already too small left wing in the union officialdom. The prize goes to the Labor Party,