Issue 275

News

By Alex Bainbridge NEWCASTLE — Pauline Hanson's visit here on May 30 is attracting a lot of attention. A call for a peaceful protest demonstration outside Hanson's public meeting was issued on May 17 by the Newcastle Anti-Racist Alliance
Public housing loses tens of millions By Therese Moore A cut of $50 million from the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement adds up to a real cut of almost $140 million, Sally Bryant, director of the Community Housing Federation of Australia,
Queensland teachers' dispute escalates By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Queensland Teachers' Union's rolling strike campaign is set to continue into a third round after strong votes by mass meetings of teachers in the week beginning May 12.
By Pip Hinman "The announcement last week by Queensland Liberal Party president Steve Wilson that his party would direct preferences to Pauline Hanson at the next election reveals the connection between them. Hanson is the Liberals' stalking horse:
By Carla Gorton ADELAIDE — On May 16, five National Action thugs attacked a Resistance anti-racism stall at Central Markets in the city. Emma Webb was the only person staffing the stall at the time because another member had gone to collect
Abstudy, university funding slashed By Sarah Peart The news for students from the federal budget is again bad. The major new attack is a $40 million cut to Abstudy, the allowance paid to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. This
Victorian workers demonstrate over industrial safety By Sue Bolton MELBOURNE — The front page of the Age on May 13 reported on a life-threatening industrial accident in which a young construction worker was buried up to his mouth in heavy
Queensland government land grab The Natural Resources Legislation Bill, tabled in the Queensland parliament on May 6, is a huge setback for the reconciliation process, according to Cam Walker, spokesperson of Friends of the Earth. This
By Geoff Payne NEWCASTLE — Thousands of BHP steelworkers around the country went on strike for the second time on May 15, to answer the Newcastle plant's manager, Bob Kirkby's, challenge that one 24-hour strike would not change BHP's mind.
Pledge to block Hindmarsh Island bridge By Carla Gorton The passing of the Commonwealth Hindmarsh Island Bill by federal parliament on May 12 will not end the controversy over the building of the Hindmarsh Island bridge. The Kumarangk
By Anthony Benbow PERTH — The WA union movement's campaign against the "third wave" moved up another gear over the last two weeks with coordinated industrial action across public and private sectors. The "third wave" bill — designed to make
By James Vassilopoulos Thousands of jobs will be lost as a result of the federal budget. The public service will be savaged, with 16,500 jobs cut. Last year 11,200 public servants jobs were cut. This should put to rest claims by media
WA forest camp set up By John Seed GIBLETT FOREST — Environmentalists have set up a protest/witness camp here in an effort to halt logging. Giblett state forest near Pemberton forms the heart of one of the most beautiful old-growth forest
Rally slams federal budget By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Several hundred unionists, students and others rallied in King George Square here on May 13 to protest against the Howard-Costello budget. The protesters then marched through city
Meetings of Community and Public Sector Union on May 16 voted in favour of a national executive proposal to conduct statewide half-day rolling stoppages in the next few weeks and hold a day of national support on May 23, as part of the campaign for
No fees campaign grows at Melbourne University By Ray Fulcher and Marce Cameron MELBOURNE— Following the successful student day of action on May 8 and the militant occupation of Melbourne University administration, students there have
Picket of Thai consulate SYDNEY — On May 15, 40 Burmese pro-democracy activists and supporters protested outside the Thai consulate against Thai Prime Minister General Chavalit Yong Chai Yud's visit to Burma the next day. Chavalit aims to

World

By Eva Cheng On May 15, some 1000 protesters marched from the city centre of Okinawa to the Kadena Air Base to demand the US reduce its military bases in Okinawa. About 75% of US bases in Japan are in Okinawa. The Okinawans' main demand is to
Sinn Féin welcomes election On May 15, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams welcomed the end to months of speculation about the general election in the 26 counties, saying "Sinn Féin looks forward to contesting this election and
By Danny Mack Cold War defence contracts have been replaced by Crime War prison contracts. The US needs an enemy, and with the worldwide fall of communism we have turned our anger and aggression inward, declaring war on our own people. With 1.6
Victorious rebels condemn western interference By Norm Dixon On May 17, less than 24 hours after Zaire dictator Mobutu Sese Seko fled the capital leaving his newly appointed parliamentary speaker in charge, the young fighters of the
By Norm Dixon The PNG government is continuing its attacks on the country's activist and non-government organisations in retaliation for their role in the defeat of the Chan government's plan to deploy apartheid-linked mercenaries on
By Butch Umengan MANILA — Progressive trade unions commemorated international labour day on May 1 with protests across the Philippines against the ill effects of globalisation. While the pro-government Trade Union Congress of the Philippines
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — If you're going to Ukraine this summer, be sure to take a change of lead underwear. To judge by recent developments in the country's nuclear power industry, you might well need it. Not only have negotiations with
Turkish troops raid Kurdistan The Turkish foreign ministry admitted that Turkish troops, backed by tanks and artillery, crossed the border into northern Iraq — supposedly a US-backed "safe haven" for Kurds — on May 14. According to Turkish
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — When Russians these days hear promises of "reform", they often grit their teeth and brace themselves for something thoroughly unpleasant. One of the latest such shocks befell residents of St Petersburg in the last
Internationalism highlighted at Labor Notes Conference By Barry Sheppard DETROIT — Worker fights back against the neo-liberal capitalist offensive were a major theme at the ninth biennial conference of Labor Notes, held over the
Ken Saro-Wiwa Ken Saro-Wiwa "We all stand before history. I am a man of peace, of ideas. I have devoted my intellectual and material resources, my very life, to a cause in which I have total belief and from which I cannot be blackmailed or
BRITISH COLUMBIA — The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has nominated Shell Oil to receive the minister's environmental award for 1997. Shell was one of four oil companies that WWF nominated because the companies gave up their marine exploration rights in
By Adam Hanieh Through the south of Lebanon, you can see large sprawling buildings known as the "camps" which house Palestinian refugees. These areas have been bombed by the Israelis, Syrians and Lebanese, but they remain a focus for resistance
By Jon Lamb As the Indonesian elections draw near, army units, police and security forces are out in force to intimidate pro-democracy activists campaigning for free and fair elections, democratisation and an end to military rule. In East Timor,

Culture

Contemporary dance highlights escapist myth By Fiona Carnes and Kevin L'Huillier HOBART — Tasmania was treated to a contemporary dance double bill between May 7 and 10 in the Peacock Theatre. Looking for Flowers opened the show by
A short story by Craig Cormick I had just reached the outskirts of Canberra when I saw the hitchhiker. Standing by the side of the Federal Highway. Thumb out. I had a quick look at him, ready to look away again. But he held my interest. He
Socialism and the struggle for the rights of lesbians and gay menNew Course, 1997. 47 pp., $5. Review by Rebecca Meckelburg The release of this pamphlet, containing a resolution from the 1995 national conference of the Democratic Socialist
The Governor's FamilyBy Beatrix ChristianDirected by Neil ArmfieldCast: Aaron Blabey, Arthur Dignam, David Field, Gillian Jones, Jacqueline McKenzie, Urshula YovichCompany B, at the Belvoir Street Theatre, Sydney, until June 15. Review by Allen
Review by Eva Cheng Buddha Bless AmericaStarring Lin Cheng-sheng, Chiang Shu-na, Yang Tzong-hsien and Lee Hsin-tzongDirected and written by Wu Nien-jenSydney Film Festival, June 6-20, State Theatre and Pitt Centre Buddha Bless America,
By Al McCall Given a chance, it's a patient on ER I'd be. The opportunity to be wheeled from out of the Chicago cold into the healing hands of Drs Greene, Ross, Benton or Carter is my idea of a good day out. With Nurse Hathaway in charge, I'd
Wild BlueEileen IversGreen Linnet through Festival Review by Morgan O'Keefe In the fanatical circles of Irish traditional music buffs "innovation" is a very controversial topic. Fans of every style of "roots" music are fiercely protective of its

Editorial

Savings rebate: a bigger swindle than first appears @box text intro = The Howard government has been badly embarrassed by the fiasco of its tax rebate for savings plan, announced in the budget on May 13. For somewhat different reasons, the ALP