Issue 263

News

By Carla Gorton The defeat of the federal government's Hindmarsh Island bridge bill in the Senate on February 10 has, for the moment, prevented it from overriding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act. The Kumarangk
Log of claims on Viking By Nick Markin SYDNEY — On February 14, members of the National Union of Workers served a log of claims on the Viking Office Products warehouse in Rydalmere. The main claim is for a guarantee that all NUW members will be
Edna Ryan Edna Ryan, feminist social reformer, political activist and author passed away in Canberra in the early hours of Monday morning, February 10. Edna was born in 1904, the 10th of 12 children in the working class Sydney suburb of Pyrmont.
Rail line closure for freeway construction By Sean Lennon MELBOURNE — Victoria's new transport minister, Robin Cooper, caused outrage in the northern suburbs on February 4, when he announced that the Upfield line, long a battleground between
Resistance sets down plans By Lana Halpin BRISBANE — Robby Hartono, from the People's Democratic Party of Indonesia, spoke at a Resistance branch meeting on February 8, discussing the different conditions that Australian and Indonesian
Young people protest work for dole Ruth Ratcliffe reports from Brisbane that a speak-out against the Howard government's "work for the dole" scheme was held on February 14 in the City Mall, sponsored by the socialist youth organisation Resistance.
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Democratic Socialists are running two candidates in the March 15 election for the Brisbane City Council — Kathy Newnam for the ward of Central and Coral Wynter for the ward of Dutton Park. The DS election manifesto
Government bungles Austudy means test By Marina Cameron Changes to Austudy passed through the Senate last December have been estimated to have lowered or cancelled the payments of 60,000 students (a third of those who received the allowance last
By Ben Courtice HOBART — The Tasmanian branch of the Australian Education Union, having spent more than a year campaigning for a wage rise, has restarted negotiations under the new federal industrial relations legislation for a 22.26% rise.
An alliance of Australian environment organisations has warned governments and industry leaders that extensive environmental damage across Australia's rangelands would follow the freeholding of pastoral leases, in addition to extinguishing native
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Early next month, antiwar protesters are planning to converge on the Shoalwater Bay military training area near Rockhampton in Queensland to protest "Operation Tandem Thrust", a joint US-Australian war game involving
Strip mine in Tarkine By Ben Courtice HOBART — A mining lease has been granted for five hectares of land in the Tarkine wilderness in Tasmania's north-west, fulfilling environmentalists' predictions that the Tarkine road would open up the area
@columhead = Career plans "In future I will work in the areas I know well. In business I believe I can contribute particularly in property and resources." — Alan Bond, planning his future after being sentenced to four years in prison for stealing
By Margaret Perrott NSW — State-wide meetings of registrars, resident medical officers (RMOs) and interns were held on February 11 to decide on future campaigns and strike action to fight the Health Insurance Amendment Bill (No. 2, 1996). The
By Martin Iltis and Russel Pickering Indonesian solidarity campaigners in Canberra, Wollongong and Sydney heard Robbie Hartono from the Indonesian People's Democratic Party (PRD) speak at public meetings between February 11-15. The meetings were
Picket calls for end to war on Bougainville By Jo Brown SYDNEY — More than 20 people staged a picket on February 13 outside the Papua New Guinean consulate to protest against the ongoing war on Bougainville. The picket also demanded the removal
By Helen Jarvis SYDNEY — Members of the National Tertiary Education and Industry Union (NTEU) at two universities in Sydney this week indicated that they are not willing to lose conditions and will fight to achieve pay increases. Their colleagues
Victorian teachers to strike By Norrian Rundle MELBOURNE — The Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union has called a mass stop-work on February 27 as part of a campaign to win back funding for public education. The campaign started

World

By James Balowski On February 6, People's Democratic Party (PRD) activists Ken Budha Kusumandaru, Victor Da Costa and Ignatius Putut Arintoko, who are being tried in Jakarta for subversion, presented a protest letter to court. Signed by PRD
The Bhopal case seems to portend a bleak future for poor communities. In a "free trade" world order, multinational corporations can do whatever feels good for them, and after they've had their way with a community, they wash their hands and move
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — In late January in Russia, the economic figures from the previous year are released. Supporters of the government have done their best to put a favourable gloss on the latest numbers, but the truth cannot be concealed
FMLN prepares for Salvadoran elections By Jenny Francis On March 16, Salvadorans go to the polls to elect a new 84-member Legislative Assembly and 262 local councils. The Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN)
By Shane Hopkinson Last August, President Abdala Bucaram netted 54% of the vote. In office, the populist president recorded an album and gave concerts, auctioned his moustache in a benefit for the poor and launched a subsidised powdered milk
European EMU under attack By Sonja Klein In preparation for the June 1997 Amsterdam summit, at which a treaty will be signed members of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the 15 states have begun negotiations on revising the
Indonesian military admits hundreds killed in West Kalimantan By James Balowski Recent reports on the death toll following more than a month of unrest in West Kalimantan suggest that many more have been killed that the authorities first admitted.
Chatting with Jakarta taxi drivers By Edmund Thompson JAKARTA — "This traffic jam is caused by the stupidity and corruption of the government! They can't even do simple things like fix up the traffic, let alone respond to the people's
More East Timorese killed Many East Timorese people are believed to have been arbitrarily arrested, and up to four people shot, following days of unrest in the Uatulari subdistrict in Viqueque February 7-11. According to the East Timor Human Rights
Indonesian nuclear project stalled By James Balowski Minister of research and technology B.J. Habibie's determination to develop Indonesia's nuclear power industry hit another snag on December 12. Instead of being "rubber-stamped", a bill to give
By Eva Cheng South Korean President Kim Young-sam justifies the ongoing attacks on the democratic rights of the country's workers on the basis that they must make sacrifices to bolster the "competitiveness" of South Korean products. He suggests
Support for the French neo-fascist organisation National Front (FN), headed by Jean-Marie Le Pen, has increased dramatically over the past few years. The election, on February 9, of FN Mayor Catherine Megret in the southern French city of Vitrolles
Doublethink from Clinton and Greenspan By Barry Sheppard Every year, the president gives a "state of the union" address to Congress. It is held in the House of Representatives. The House members enter first, and then stand to applaud the
By Norm Dixon Swaziland police have arrested trade union and opposition leaders in an attempt to intimidate the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) into calling off an indefinite general strike which began on February 3. Police opened fire
By Norm Dixon Television viewers around the world on February 6 may have thought they had accidentally tuned into a program of archival footage from South Africa's apartheid days: florid, bull-necked cops hidden behind menacing yellow armoured

Culture

By Hec Kavanagh PORT LINCOLN — Queued up waiting to get into the Yothu Yindi concert at Centennial Oval on January 23 there were so many cops around you might have expected a convoy of uranium trucks to come roaring down New West Road headed for
Save Our SonsSBS TV, February 27, 8.30pm (8 in SA) Preview by Lisa Macdonald This film, written and directed by Rebecca McLean, daughter of former Victorian ALP parliamentarian Jean McLean, is a long overdue documentation of a little known chapter
Let us Rise On Lygon Street a building stands a house of dreams, each stone a vision. A little tattered and worse, or should I say, better for wear this Parliament of workers. But solid, dignified and proud. I climb the steps so
GuwanyiRedfern Aboriginal Community ExhibitionMuseum of SydneyUntil May 4 Review by Kellee Nolan Guwanyi is Aboriginal for "to tell". The exhibition tells the positive side of the Redfern story and reaches into the daily lives, expressions and
A Black Armbanded History Roll Up! Roll up and see the show, armbanded historians in a row, spreading revisionism as they go, weaving distortion to and fro. Saying Robert Menzies was the greatest — greatest liar: that he never set the
Prints and drawings of the Weimar Republic, Germany 1918-1933RMIT Gallery, Storey Hall, 344 Swanston St, City until March 1Art Gallery of South Australia, March 14-April 27Queensland Art Gallery, June 4-July 20Percy Tucker Gallery, Townsville, August
The Regeneration Trilogy: Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, The Ghost RoadBy Pat BarkerViking, 1996. 592 pp., $24.95 (pb) Reviewed by Phil Shannon It is almost 80 years since the first world war finished, but the horrors live on. In the murderous
Idiot BoxDirected by David CaesarProduced by Glenys RoweNational release on February 20 Preview by Marina Cameron Director David Caesar describes the purpose of his dark comedy as taking the audience on a roller coaster, and that's certainly how it
A People's Tragedy: The Russian revolution 1891-1924By Orlando FigesCape, 1996Review By Phil Hearse This year is the 80th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, and among the liberal intelligentsia it's going to be open season on the October

Editorial

How to create real jobs Howard's youth work-for-the-dole scheme won't make a dent in the 30% youth unemployment rate. But that is not its real purpose, which is to whip up public hysteria about "dole bludgers" once again. The blatant politics of