Issue 260

News

East Timor/Indonesia solidarity in Hobart HOBART — Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET) recently set up a branch here. It emerged from the university-based group Students in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor in an
By Pip Hinman The $7 billion of cuts in last year's federal budget were obviously going to have a worse impact on the poor. A study commissioned by the Australian Council for Social Service (ACOSS) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
Queensland coal miners' victory By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Capricorn Coal management agreed in an Industrial Relations Commission hearing on January 22 to reinstate a sacked union shop steward at the company's central Queensland German Creek
By Barry Healy SYDNEY — Following a police raid on January 14, there has been a flurry of publicity about crime problems in the Aboriginal community centred on Eveleigh Street, Redfern, known as "the Block". Forty police sealed off the area and
By Lara Pullin and Stuart Martin CANBERRA — The February 1 federal by-election in the north Canberra seat of Fraser has become a focus for the "race debate". Of the 11 candidates, six have publicly advocated racist controls on immigration.
Opposition to Sydney expressways By Marina Cameron SYDNEY — Questions have been raised over the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority's plan to build a city-wide "orbital road network". Randwick Green Party councillor Murray Matson said on January 16
By James Balowski SYDNEY — On January 24, around 20 people attended an Indonesian language public meeting entitled "The democratic struggle under new conditions" which was jointly organised by Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor
Student union worker victimised By Maurice Sibelle MELBOURNE — On January 17, a Victoria University of Technology student union employee was sacked. The university administration has refused to renew Bill Deller's contract despite the fact that
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Criminal Justice Commission, under serious attack from the Queensland Coalition government on several fronts, has struck back with the establishment of a public inquiry into allegations of police involvement in
DSS unionists vote on agency campaign By Bill Mason Union members in the Department of Social Security around the country have been holding meetings to discuss the way forward in their campaign to protect public service jobs and conditions in the
Greenpeace to document Antarctic climate change By Pip Hinman In an attempt to pressure governments to set greenhouse targets, Greenpeace has embarked on a four-week expedition to document emerging signs of climate change in the Antarctic. The
Direct actions to halt logging By John Fraser MELBOURNE — One of the most biologically significant forests in the world is being irreparably destroyed this summer. Along with places like the Amazon and Sarawak, the ancient forests of East

World

By Peter Gellert MEXICO CITY — The peace process in the conflict-ridden southern state of Chiapas suffered a major setback over the weekend of January 11-12. In response to President Ernesto Zedillo's modifications to a bill on indigenous rights
By Alicia Cullen A year ago, two East Timorese women, the first East Timorese women to do so, entered the Australian embassy in Jakarta, unsuccessfully seeking asylum in Australia. When Odilia Victor and Maria Sarmento sought refuge, a third
Kurdish refugees' lives at risk The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced on December 21 that the Atrush refugee camp, inside the "safe haven" in northern Iraq, would be closed within a month. The camp houses 15,000 Kurdish
By Barry Sheppard TV reports of two bombings on January 16 of an abortion clinic in Atlanta, Georgia, startled the country. A particularly vicious aspect was that the second bomb was set to explode an hour after the first, which was a so-called
By James D. Thompson Sudan's rebel forces are on the offensive and are reported to have seized large areas in the eastern part of the country. Their success may be due in part to covert backing from the United States government, which has its own
A tribute to Tony Cabardo By Sonny Melencio Tony Cabardo, a long-time political activist and fighter for socialism and democracy in the Philippines, died of cancer in Manila on January 19. He was 43e years old and had spent most of his life in
By Sam Wainwright A minor storm has been created in Germany by seven Green and Social Democratic Party (SPD) members crossing the floor of the Bundestag (the federal parliament) to join Chancellor Kohl's conservative Christian Democrat (CDU)
By Michael Karadjis For weeks on end, hundreds of thousands of people have daily poured into the streets of the Serbian capital Belgrade, demanding that the ruling party of Slobodan Milosevic recognise the victory of the opposition Zajedno
By Gabriel Torres After 37 years of civil war, the Guatemalan people are feeling as optimistic as they did in 1944, during Guatemala's democratic revolution. The general command of the URNG (Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity), the army and
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — In the first referendum of its kind in Russia, residents of an economically hard-hit rural area voted overwhelmingly during December to halt the building of a nuclear power plant. The victory for anti-nuclear
By Adam Hanieh PLO President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu signed a deal on January 15 that agreed on the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank town of Hebron. The original sticking point around withdrawal
Chilean political prisoners rescued By Lara Pullin The mass media in Chile have called it "the escape of the century". On December 30, after a daring helicopter flight by a kidnapped police officer, activists armed with M-16s landed in the
Russian teachers strike for wage pay-out By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — When more than 3 million Russian school pupils ended their annual winter holidays in mid-January, some students did not return to class at all, as teachers who had gone unpaid

Culture

The Herbal BedBy Peter WhelanDirected by Marion PottsSydney Theatre CompanyWharf Theatre until March 8 Review by Helen Jarvis Using fragments from the historical record, British playwright Peter Whelan has woven a well-crafted tale of moral dilemma
St Kilda Writers FestivalFebruary 1 - 16 at various locations Preview by Bronwen Beechey MELBOURNE— "Beyond Writing" is the theme of the 10th annual St Kilda Writers Festival. The theme is addressed in a number of events that look at writing and
Half-life: The NDP: Peace, protest and party politicsBy Gillian FisherState Library of NSW Press, 1995. 154pp., $14.95Reviewed by Margaret Gleeson The decision by the federal ALP government, in its first year in office, to give the go-ahead for the
DIY FeminismEdited by Kathy BailAllen & Unwin, 1996. 211 pp., $19.95 (pb)Reviewed by Carla Gorton DIY Feminism follows the 'zine style of bite-sized articles interspersed with computer-scanned and hand-drawn graphics. Most of the content is less
The Struggle for Democracy in Indonesia: Introducing the People's Democratic PartyPublished by Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor in cooperation with the People's Democratic Party (PRD)46pp (large format), $6 Review by Mel Bull "I
On Earth UndeadCD features Cryogenic, Tatoo Blue, Deadspawn and Ken MitchellVideo produced by Art ResistanceAvailable through South Western Sydney Area Health Service, PO Box 39, Liverpool NSW 2170 Reviewed by Norm Dixon Drug and alcohol education
Sparring PartnerWritten and Directed by Bogdan KocaPlaying until February 2, Pilgrim Theatre, Sydney as part of the Sydney Festival Review by Anne O'Callaghan Sparring Partner, says writer and director Bogdan Koca, "exists within its own structures
Pick of Adelaide's music crop FruitFruitproduced by Tony Nesci and FruitReviewed by Melanie Sjoberg The 1995 Victor Harbour Folk Festival was dominated by the exciting sound of a new band called Fruit. The marquee was packed and encores demanded.
The Quest Old questions, faced down the ages, by each generation and each man and woman in their own way and in their own time. Questions, simple yet profound. Do we accept: Each against all? Survival of the fittest? Go for the
Taking Our Time: Remaking the Temporal OrderBy Mike DonaldsonUniversity of Western Australia Press, 1996. 206 pp., $26.95Reviewed by Phil Shannon Any passing extraterrestrial from an advanced civilisation would be scratching their two heads with
New albums RiveresqueWeddings, Parties, AnythingMushroom RecordsWhirligigThings of Stone and WoodShockReviewed by Marcus Greville Weddings, Parties, Anything have, in traditional Weddos style, produced another strong folky album full of emotion and

Editorial

A shorter working week Since its election, the Howard government has repeatedly claimed job creation as its first priority (just in case anyone got confused by cuts to labour market programs, mass lay-offs in the public service and its "cross your