Issue 28


By Dick Nichols

SYDNEY — The long-running campaign by the Australian Chamber of Manufactures to turn the dispute at the Vista Paper Products plant in outer Sydney into a precedent-setting smashing of working conditions is beginning to run out of steam.


By Bruce Marlowe

SYDNEY — Staff, patients and supporters of two of Sydney's oldest hospitals — Sydney and Marrickville — are going into battle to prevent them being either closed (Marrickville) or downgraded to an accident and emergency centre (Sydney).

The cuts...

Campaign against sexual violence begins

By Melanie Sjoberg

MELBOURNE — Action on the issue of sexual violence against women on campuses has stepped up here with demonstrations being held on several campuses on September 12.

A cross-campus women's group...

Students hex the HECS

By Philippa Stanford

BRISBANE — About 200 students attended a "Hex The HECS" (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) rally on Black Friday, September 13. The rally was held in the city's Roma St Forum and was for students of all campuses to...

By Jane Beckmann
and Stephen O'Brien

NEWCASTLE — The head of the Green ticket, John Sutton, appears almost certain to have won a seat in voting for the Newcastle City Council on September 14.

The Greens and progressive independent candidates are swapping...

By Steve Painter

SYDNEY — In a dry run for a federal Liberal government's approach to industrial relations, the Greiner government has prepared the most sweeping attack on union rights in recent Australian history. The 333-page NSW Industrial Relations Bill, introduced...

SYDNEY — In an event organised by Students Against War in Croatia, 1500 people rallied on September 11 and marched to Parliament House, where speakers called for an immediate cease-fire, the withdrawal of the Yugoslav People's Army and Australian government recognition of Croatia. Photo by Anne...

MELBOURNE — The "Jobs for Justice" rally organised by the Victorian Trades Hall Council and the Victorian Council for Social Service on September 10 attracted only about 1000 people, perhaps because it was raining. Union efforts to build the rally were token. Workers were called...

UTS students protest

By Carolyn Minchin

SYDNEY — About 300 students at Sydney's University of Technology stormed and occupied the vice-chancellor's office on September 9 to protest against the allocation of $2 million of university funds for a vice-chancellor's...

By Rohan Gaiswinkler
and Teresa Dowding

HOBART — The first meeting for action to preserve the Tarkine took place here on September 9. Located in the rugged north west of Tasmania, the Tarkine encompasses several national estate areas recommended for World...

By Peter Boyle

MELBOURNE — The flashy venue (the World Trade Centre), the grossly blown-up images of speakers on a large video screen on the stage and the immaculate attention to appearance rather than substance said much about an ACTU congress which announced with joy...

WA Greens meet

By Frank Noakes

PERTH — About 30 members and supporters of the Greens (WA) met at the scenic Lake Leschenaultia Tea Rooms, near Perth, on September 8 to discuss the recent national green party meeting held in Sydney.

Differing assessments...

By Bernie Brian

WOLLONGONG — Wollongong Out of Workers Union (WOWU) convener Nick Southall believes that after 10 years of consistently high unemployment, a renewed spirit of anger is emerging in the community.

WOWU was formed in 1982, when record job losses in...

Men protest against rape

By Jason Cheng
Photo by Kate Butler

MELBOURNE — A rally and march against sexual assaults against women was held here on August 31. Organised as part of a national day of action by Men Against Sexual Assault (MASA), the...

MELBOURNE — A spirited group of 500-700 Aborigines and supporters marched on Parliament House on September 6. The rally commemorated National Aboriginal and Islander Day and welcomed recent moves by the Victorian government to consider land rights legislation, but called for the process to...

Action against dumps

By Mark Cronin

BRISBANE — The Southside Action Group, formed to fight the Rochedale Dump, is organising a "People's Rights Day", with a protest outside the Queensland parliament on Wednesday, October 9.

Opponents of the proposed...


By Norm Dixon

The Republic of Bougainville was accepted as a new members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) at its recent meeting in The Hague. The decision represents a small but important precedent in Bougainville's campaign...

By David Robie

AUCKLAND — Fijian and New Zealand protest groups plan a direct action campaign to halt or disrupt a visit by military coup leader Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka.

Rabuka plans to address the annual conference of the Pacific Islands News Association (...

Caravan for peace

By Milan Nikolic

BELGRADE — A peace movement is finally emerging in Serbia. Several groups have formed in the past two months, including: Citizens for Peace Actions, the Centre for Anti-War Activities, the Helsinki Citizens Assembly for...

Frank Gollan

On a visit to Indonesia, FRANK GOLLAN found widespread stirrings of opposition.

"We are paid 1000 rupiah [less than 70 cents] a day", said a community leader in a village whose land had been flooded by the Kedung Ombo dam in central Java. Their land...

Dutch workers defend social security

By Robert Went

AMSTERDAM — At least a million workers are expected to strike and demonstrate for several hours on September 17, when the government presents its program in the queen's speech from the throne.


By Irina Glushchenko

MOSCOW — Until a few years ago, you could still read about it in the Soviet press: families in the USSR received small but comfortable state or municipal apartments on an egalitarian basis for some of the lowest rents in the world. Electricity, gas...

Forced labour

While people are being transmigrated to East Timor, several hundred young East Timorese workers have been brought to Java with promises of training and good jobs, but found themselves working in factories under appalling conditions. Police were sent after those who tried...

By Norm Dixon

Many South Africans are convinced that the massacre of 23 Inkatha supporters on September 8 was carried out by covert elements of the South African Defence Forces.

They believe the aim was to reignite violence within the black community to take the...

Reward for murder

By Robert Graham

A talk given earlier this year by Noam Chomsky explains how the US government was able to feign outrage at the murder of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador in November 1989, while continuing to fund the government that is...

By Peter Annear

PRAGUE — The Czech-based Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) has come under extreme pressure as a result of the attempted Soviet coup. Divisions within the party, and within the 24-member federal council it forms with the Party of the...

By Sally Low

Capitalist restoration in Poland is demonstrating an inability to coexist with even the formalities of parliamentary democracy. This is the explanation of the struggle between parliament and the executive power in the person of President Lech Walesa.



The Nile bill

[We asked Dr Jean Edwards, a member of the Doctors Reform Society, to prepare a short article on Fred Nile's bill to restrict abortion rights in NSW, and where, if successful, it will lead. It summed up the issue so well that we decided to run it as the week's editorial...


By Leon Harrison

Milestone for Aboriginal theatre

By Richard Walley
State Theatre Company
The Hole in The Wall Theatre
Subiaco, Perth
Reviewed by Leon Harrison

By Norm Dixon

It amazes and frustrates me how commercial radio play lists and record sales charts have for decades been dominated by legions of mediocre, cardboard cut-out "rock" bands and "superstars" while little credit and fewer rewards find their way to the black...

Medical services slammed

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission has criticised medical services for Aboriginal communities in north Queensland as "inadequate and culturally inappropriate", in a report tabled in federal...

The seven day song cycle
Two: Sheila

em = By Tony Smith

Sheila, eyes yellowed from grief,

looked into mine, glassy with shame

"I love you", she said

"I love you, you know."
Her uncle squatting propped

against the tree...

By Norm Dixon

Audiences in three states will have the opportunity to see and hear South Africa's number one reggae and recording star, Lucky Dube, and his 13-piece band, when they tour in late September and early October.

Lucky's performances combine the...

A million miles from commerce

A million miles from commerce

By Monesque

BRISBANE — From out of the bush, or probably more accurately, out from the alternative set of Brisbane and neighbouring regions from Maleny to Nimbin, come two nature-...

Phil Shannon

The Gulf Between Us: The Gulf War And Beyond
Edited by Victoria Brittain
London: Virago. 1991. 186 pp., $17.95 (pb)
Reviewed by Phil Shannon

The English Guardian is the voice...

High tech lays Kevin low

Because of a printer cartridge with a mind of its own, Kevin Healy was unable to send The Week That Was this week. The weekly Week That Was will return next week (technology permitting).

By Roderic Pitty

Soviet Foreign Policy Today: Gorbachev and the new political thinking
By Robert F. Miller
Allen & Unwin. 1991. 210 pp. $24.95 (hc), $17.95 (pb)
Reviewed by Roderic Pitty


By Debra Wirth

The Modern Girls are Strong Diary, 1992 (with Hermoine the Modern Girl)
By Kaz Cooke
Allen & Unwin. $19.95
Reviewed by Debra Wirth

Do you get to January or February (even March)...

Funny work from feminists

Melbourne can enjoy an exhibition by feminist cartoonists until September 22. The "Out of Line" exhibitors include Hermoine the Modern Girl's creator Kaz Cooke, and others. (Why not mention them all? Jane Carafella, Trudy Clutterbok, Bronwyn Halls,...

By Vanessa Hearman

A lot doing on the fringe

By Vannessa Hearman
Photo by Bronwen Beechey

MELBOURNE — The Fringe Arts Festival opened here on September 7 and runs until September 28. Fringe started in 1982, intended as a huge forum for...

Trading in death and destruction

"Australians Trading in Death and Destruction" is the slogan used by the Renegade Activists in their campaign against the military equipment exhibition AIDEX 91. This arms bazaar is to be held in Canberra in November and is the deserving target...