Issue 270


SA public servants reject pay deal By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — One thousand public servants crammed into the Art Theatre here on April 9 for a stop-work meeting to protest against the state Liberal government's new wages policy, which
By June McKay CANBERRA — Electioneering by national officer incumbents in Australia's largest union, the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), shifted into full swing in early April. In addition to finally preparing a response to national
CJC probes police violence in Ipswich By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Queensland Criminal Justice Commission has begun investigations into allegations of police violence against Aboriginal youth during arrests made outside a nightclub in the
By Sarah Peart On March 24, seven East Timorese youth were shot dead and 42 wounded, four severely, during a peaceful demonstration inside the Mahkota Hotel in Dili. The 200-strong rally of students from the University of East Timor had been
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — "We need united action against racism and the other attacks on the poor in our community — that's the answer for Aborigines, for migrants, and for workers", Jorge Rodriguez, coordinator of the Migrant Workers'
By Anthony Benbow PERTH — Flickering lights normally cause most word processor users to break into a sweat, fearing imminent loss of power and their document. However, it was a source of hope for this correspondent last week — an indication
By Amanda Sully and Mat Hines HOBART — The environment movement has deplored the rafting company Peregrine Adventures' use of the Mt McCall track in Tasmania's west. Contradicting the world heritage management plan, the federal government has
Trade unions break with the ALP By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — Disillusionment with the policies and actions of the Labor Party has been growing amongst ordinary workers since the years of the Accord exposed the true allegiances of ALP
Library campaign: three rallies and a partial victory By Alex Bainbridge and Rebecca Hensley NEWCASTLE — On April 11, Newcastle University Council agreed to review its decision to close the Huxley Library, after hundreds of students
Residents fight to save park SYDNEY — Around 150 Marrickville residents packed into a public meeting in Herb Greedy Hall on April 7, outraged by a Marrickville Council proposal to hand over a public park and sports fields to a private
By Daniel Kelly DARWIN — On April 5, the Northern Territory branch conference of the Community and Public Sector Union voted to call for action by the CPSU national executive to back up negotiations with the federal government for an
By Tessha Mearing and Nikki Ulasowski WOLLONGONG — The federal government's work-for-the-dole scheme is targeted at unemployed people aged between 15 and 24 years. Under the scheme, those 15-21 will work for 20 hours per week, and 21-24-year
By Andy Gianniotis SYDNEY — The University of Sydney Senate met on April 7 to decide whether to introduce up-front fees for undergraduate places from 1998. Within hours of university reconvening from the Easter break, more than 500 students
CPSU union activists run candidate By Ben Courtice Members First, an independent group of activists in the Tax Office section of the Community and Public Sector Union, is standing a candidate on the CPSU Challenge ticket in the union's
Anti-militarism conference MELBOURNE — The Asia Pacific Anti-Militarism Conference, held from March 28 to April 1, attracted around 150 people. The conference heard a detailed and inspiring report from Bougainville activist Lillian Crofts on
By Ben Reid and Jo Williams MELBOURNE — Members of the National Tertiary Education and Industry Union (NTEU) at Melbourne University on April 9 voted by a narrow margin to accept an administration offer in the current round of enterprise
Sydney rally agains racism SYDNEY — Up to 1500 people attended a rally against racism at Hyde Park on April 12. Protesters came from as far afield as Cabramatta and Bankstown to demand an end to the government's racist attacks on migrants and
Ipswich protest spoils Hanson's party By Bill Mason IPSWICH — Some 300 protesters, chanting "Hi, ho, hi, ho, Pauline Hanson's got to go" and waving anti-racist placards and banners, on April 12 picketed a dinner launching independent


By Sam Wainwright PARIS — It is certainly not exaggeration or scaremongering to call the National Front (FN) fascist. Of course, given France's experience of Nazi occupation, the FN hotly rejects the label. But its leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen,
McCops On March 21, the Detroit Police Department opened "community work stations" inside 30 of the city's McDonald's fast food joints. A Detroit PD spokesperson described the arrangement as "a partnership of sorts" and said that cops will be
By Norm Dixon "We're advancing, we're heading for Kinshasa. That is our objective ... this is the time for Mobutu to go", declared rebel leader Laurent Kabila on April 8 before a crowd of 50,000 cheering supporters in Mbuji-Mayi, the capital of
Moving protest in Indonesian courtroom On April 7, members of the Struggle Alliance for Democracy and Human Rights (APDHAM) entered the courtroom where Dita Sari and Coen Pontoh were being tried. It was the day on which they would read their
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — During 1996, the head of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Viktor Samsonov, told journalists recently, about 500 of the country's military officers committed suicide. As recently as 1991, the
Whaling foe faces extradition Paul Watson, president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and long-time proponent of direct-action environmentalism, was seized on April 2 by Netherlands police acting on behalf of the Norwegian government.
By Sam Wainwright PARIS — The shock of seeing Jean-Marie Le Pen's fascist National Front (FN) win the mayoral elections in the town of Vitrolles, the fourth town to fall under its control, has sparked widespread concern and debate about the
General secretary Vickramabahu "Bahu" Karunarathne and two other members of the New Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) have been detained by police in connection with an arms cache police claim to have discovered in a building housing the Health Workers Trade
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Millions of workers across Russia struck and demonstrated on March 27 in one of the greatest outpourings of labour protest in the country's history. The key demand was for the prompt payment of spiralling wage debts.
By Barry Sheppard SAN FRANCISCO — On March 25, at the beginning of what turned out to be my last shift as an operator at the Unocal oil refinery in northern California, the forewoman told my crew to collect our personal belongings at the end
China plans to shrink state sector further The leaders of the Communist Party of China have arrived at a "unified view" on further reducing the weight of the state sector in the economy, according to Fan Hengshan, a senior official of China's
Beijing curbs Hong Kong rights By Eva Cheng The Beijing-appointed chief executive of Hong Kong after the British withdrawal on July 1, Tung Chee-hwa, on April 9 announced plans to curtail basic democratic rights. Under the sweeping cover of
By Eva Cheng In an act of defiance towards Beijing, Taipei test-fired two US-made surface-to-sea missiles on April 1, two days after China's President Jiang Zeming offered Taipei leaders a vice-presidential position in exchange for their


By Al McCall Sometimes I wonder why I bother to visit the lounge room. Each week when I sit down with my local TV guide, there's less and less that takes my fancy. Days may go by without a program item worth circling in biro or the remote
By Sean Magill and Maureen Baker Juan Garrido, a dedicated and talented poet and political activist, has released his first collection of poetry in Australia, Twenty Years on the Rollcall of the Marginalised, in celebration of his 20 years of
Devil's OwnDirected by Alan PakulaWith Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, Margaret Colin, Treat Williams Review by Sean Healy When I first saw the shorts for this film, I thought, "Oh no, another Hollywood anti-republican film" and was sharpening my pen
Behind the LinesBy Stephen JollyGlobal Books, 1996. 296 pp. $20 Review by Sean Lennon Shortly after coming to office in Victoria in 1992, the Kennett government announced a range of cuts to public services, which included closing 55 schools. One
Society give funk a lift ElevatorSocietyTo order phone (02) 9363 9417 Review by Norm Dixon This spunky little collection of remixes of Society's new single "Elevator" is just a taste of what lies in store for funk fans around November, when
Analytical Marxism: A CritiqueBy Marcus RobertsVerso, 1996. 268 pp., $39.95 Review by Neville Spencer Probably most Marxists would barely have heard of Analytical Marxism. However, within those academic circles which still maintain some
Mutiny on air! Sydney community radio 2SER-FM has launched a new radio program called Mutiny. Each week it will examine protest and rebellion, here and abroad. A team of program makers interested in an in-depth analysis of how change is achieved
Op-Center: Acts Of WarBy Tom Clancy and Steve PieczenikHarper Collins. US$13.95 Review by Kani Xulam Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik's newest novel is surging up the best seller lists. It introduces a new set of bad guys to the already prodigious
Every Secret Thing: My Family, My CountryBy Gillian SlovoLittle, Brown & Company, 1997282 pp., $35 (hb) Review by Phil Shannon Gillian Slovo, born the daughter of Communist parents Ruth First and Joe Slovo in 1952 in South Africa, always felt
Towards a Peaceful Solution in East TimorBy Jose Ramos HortaProduced by the East Timor Relief AssociationPO Box 23, Fairfield NSW 216567 pp. Review by Jon Lamb This booklet aims to improve awareness of and international support for the peace