Issue 256


By Chris Latham PERTH — Police in Western Australia are to receive increased power to detain mentally ill individuals and seize their possessions as part of the Mental Health Act 1996, which had its second reading in the Legislative Council on
Campaign to admit Gerry Adams By Bill Mason BRISBANE — "The Australian government decision to bar Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams takes away not primarily his rights, but most importantly the democratic rights of all Australians to hear the
UNSW academic staff vote for bans By Helen Jarvis SYDNEY — A general meeting of NTEU members at UNSW on November 19 voted to impose bans on submitting assessment results. This was one of a number of motions expressing anger at the restructuring
Call for ban on mutant soybeans The Australian GeneEthics Network has called for a ban on US soybean imports contaminated with genetically engineered beans and herbicide residues. US multinationals Monsanto and Cargill want to import soya beans
By Paul Oboohov and Bill Mason Community and Public Sector Union members in the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs/Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) and Department of Social Security (DSS) offices around the country
By Anne O'Callaghan PERTH — "Racism No!", a ticket running two candidates for the upper house in the South Metropolitan Area in the December 14 state election, was officially launched on the national day of action against racism, November 23.
By Mary Merkenich and Norrian Rundle MELBOURNE — Four thousand angry teachers defeated the Australian Education Union leadership's attempt to exclude industrial action from a campaign to stop school closures at a stop-work meeting on November 21.
By Val Edwards CANBERRA — A Community and Public Sector Union national bulletin authorised by the joint national secretary Wendy Caird in September heralded the new package of personal/carer's leave for Australian Public Service (APS) employees
By Carla Gorton Liberal and Labor politicians who have backed private developers Tom and Wendy Chapman's project to build a bridge to Kumarangk (Hindmarsh Island) should think twice after a capacity crowd filled the Maughan Church in Adelaide on
By Neil Gray PERTH — Queer Radicals — a new lesbian and gay activist group which started as a way to get a left-wing political presence into the Perth Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade in November, decided after its first meeting to become an
Tax Management announces closures By Chris Slee Australian Taxation Office management has announced plans to close the Chatswood office in 1997, and the Bankstown and Cheltenham offices in 1998, with more closures likely to follow. The closures
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The joint office of the federal and state Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission here is to close on December 9, following a funding dispute between the Howard and Borbidge governments. HREOC offices in
On November 23, thousands of people took to the streets around the country to protest against the racist ideas and policies of the Howard government and the likes of independent MP for Oxley Pauline Hanson. Graham Matthews told Green Left Weekly that
By Lisa Macdonald On November 19, the Australian Democrats gave up all pretence of being a progressive alternative in Australian parliaments by voting with the Howard government to allow the passage of the draconian Workplace Relations Bill.
Tjandumurra O'Shane Appeal Tjandumurra O'Shane, the six-year-old boy doused with petrol and burned at his primary school in Cairns, is undergoing treatment in Brisbane and will be hospitalised there for a long time to come. A fund has been


By Asger Strodl Afghanistan has been at war with itself for over six years now. The internal conflict has destroyed much of what was left after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. More than a million civilians have been killed since 1978. More than 5
Korean workers rally On November 10, tens of thousands of Korean workers took to the street of Seoul at the call of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). They marched to demand reforms to the country's repressive labour laws,
By Norm Dixon The genocidal former rulers of Rwanda and their vicious Interahamwe death squads murdered more than 500,000 people in the space of three months in 1994. The west stood by as this massacre unfolded. Only as the regime was being
Villagers ban 'outsiders' from oil project Land-holders of the Gobe oil fields in PNG's Southern Highlands on October 24 banned "outsiders" from entering the area and threatened to "attack" anyone who did. It is proposed that oil deposits on the
On November 12, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany upheld convictions and sentences against three former officials of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The decision appears to violate both the German constitution and the treaty
By Jennifer Thompson Recent rulings by the Israeli High Court have explicitly allowed Israeli secret police (GSS or Shin Bet) to continue to use torture during interrogation of Palestinian detainees. On November 15, the court approved increasing
Palestinian students on hunger strike By Jennifer Thompson Students from Birzeit University protested in front of the Palestinian Legislative Council headquarters in Ramallah on November 13, demanding the release of five hunger strikers in
By Chris Beale In Thailand's November 17 election the military, briefly sidelined by the May 1992 people's power uprising, was returned to power. Thailand has suffered 17 coups since 1932, when a weak, city-based bourgeois uprising to overthrow the
On November 12, the United Nations General Assembly approved for the fifth consecutive year a resolution condemning the US embargo against Cuba. The resolution was approved with 138 votes in favour, three opposed and 24 abstentions. Voting against
Half a million votes for Nader By Barry Sheppard Ralph Nader, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket, received more than half a million votes, with more than 200,000 in California. This represented the most votes cast for a
By Neil Murray Currently the opinion polls put Labour 18 points above the Tories. With the Tories beset by allegations of corruption and deeply divided over Europe, it is difficult to see them being able to turn this situation around by the time of
By Norm Dixon Just weeks after the release from prison of pro-democracy campaigner and popular parliamentarian 'Akilisi Pohiva and deputy editor of the Times of Tonga Filokalafi 'Akau'ola, Tonga's government has again detained the two as well as
Intervention 'over our dead bodies', say Zaire rebels By Norm Dixon While the western powers were busy attempting to cobble together a military force to serve their contradictory interests in Africa, anti-Mobutu rebels in one fell swoop removed
By Sonny Melencio Arrests and harassment of anti-APEC activists continue in Manila as the summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on November 25 approaches. Media report puts at 43 the number of Filipinos and foreigners harassed or
Zimbabwe health workers' strike enters fourth week By Norm Dixon A strike by Zimbabwe's nurses and junior doctors entered its fourth week on November 18. More than 10,000 health workers are demanding a pay increase of 30%, the restoration of the


ThumbulWritten by Tom E. Lewis and Mac GudgeonPerformed by Tom E. LewisDirected by John BoltonGasworks Theatre, Melbourne, until November 30Reviewed by Bronwen Beechey Outside the theatre it was an unseasonably cold and wet night, with howling wind
Union is strength: Songs for the Weipa heroesVarious artistsConstruction, Forestry, Mining and Energy UnionReviewed by Jennifer Thompson The spark for this album — a tribute to the 75 Weipa unionists who stood up for their right to be in a union
By Carla Gorton Where do you find a Symphony Orchestra member and a Save our School campaign activist side by side in a training course? These are just some of the broad range of students involved in the new graduate diploma in Community Cultural
By Bronwen Beechey MELBOURNE — 1996 is the 30th anniversary of the Victorian College of the Arts' School of Film and Television (formerly Swinburne film school). Many of Australia's best known film-makers received their training at VCA/Swinburne,
Before the DawnBy Gerry AdamsLondon: Heinemann, 1996. 347 pp., $39.95Reviewed by Bernie Brian There is an incident towards the end of Gerry Adams' very readable autobiography that symbolises the depth of the spirit of Irish freedom fighters. It is
The Pedagogy of the OppressedBy Paulo FreirePenguin, (revised ed.) 1996. $16.95 (pb)Reviewed by Dave Riley The thought and work of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire have revived education as a subversive force. His pedagogical methods figure


The previous Labor federal government labelled its Aboriginal Affairs policy direction "self-determination". The new minister for Aboriginal affairs, Senator John Herron, has announced that the catchphrase for his regime will be "self-empowerment