Issue 288


By Jo Obronschka MELBOURNE — Victorian public sector nurses voted at a mass meeting on August 26 to accept an agreement which includes an 11% wage rise over three years and the creation of 250 extra nursing positions in Victorian hospitals.
1000-strong meeting against Howard's 10-point plan By Ben Courtice and Bridget Riggs MELBOURNE — One thousand people attended an educational meeting organised by Defenders of Native Title (DONT) on August 28. Speakers demystified the
By Jeremy Smith On August 20 the federal Industrial Relations Commission handed down an important decision on tenure and conditions for casual and contract staff working in tertiary education. Since 1995, the National Tertiary Education and
Indonesia, East Timor tour off to great start By Nick Fredman LISMORE — The national tour by Indonesian activist Edwin Gozal, of the People's Democratic Party, and East Timorese activist Naldo Rai got off to a great start here on August
By Margaret Gleeson SYDNEY — There were few surprises for opponents of the Bob Carr/Michael Egan plan to privatise NSW electricity generation and distribution in the committee of inquiry report released on August 28. The committee, chaired by
Straight talk CANBERRA — The ACT government's "Sorry Day" was held here on August 25. María Chichilco, the touring representative of the FMLN of El Salvador, was an invited guest in the Legislative Assembly for the ceremony. Chichilco
By Graham Matthews On August 30, eight activists were arrested in Townsville while trying to prevent the transport of the dredge to be used in the Hinchinbrook Channel for the building of Keith Williams' 1500-room resort, canal estate and marina
By Amanda Lawrence CANBERRA — More than 1000 students attended a vocal rally on August 27 to protest against staff cuts at the Australian National University. The rally was addressed by speakers from the National Tertiary Education and
By Chris Spindler SYDNEY — All Burma Student Democratic Front (ABSDF) representatives Myint Thu and Ye Win addressed a public meeting here attended by 140 people on August 24. They heard from a panel of speakers on the political situation in
By Nick Soudakoff CANBERRA — More than 200 people attended the Strategies Against Racism forum at the Workers Club in Canberra on August 23. The forum, coordinated by the Council for Civil Liberties of the ACT, the Ethnic Communities Council
By Tom Flanagan DARWIN — A strong statement against the racist politics of Pauline Hanson was made here on August 26. Eight hundred people rallied outside a One Nation party recruiting meeting in suburban Nightcliff. This was despite prior
Workers rally against changes to compo By Tim Gooden CANBERRA — Public sector workers responded to a call on August 26 from the ACT Trades and Labour Council to rally against proposed changes to workers' compensation. The lunch-time rally
CANBERRA — Twenty members of the Greenpeace Climate Rescue Team were arrested and charged with trespass on August 20 after disrupting a conference here. They were protesting against the federal government's refusal to join world efforts to cut
Rally against racism motion dumped by NT TLC DARWIN — At its monthly meeting on August 25, the NT Trades and Labour Council refused to endorse a rally against racism, organised for the next day outside a recruiting meeting of Pauline Hanson's


Taxi drivers jailed for carrying foreigners GERMANY — It sounds like a bitter joke on the racist German juridical system, but it actually happened. Two taxi-drivers have been sentenced to 16 month's and 22 months' jail for transporting
By Adam Hanieh RAMALLAH — Fighting has escalated in the last week in areas of southern Lebanon occupied by the Israeli army. Since August 20, Israel has launched four air strikes against forces fighting the occupation. This brings the number
MARIA NAVARETTE, better known as MARIA CHICHILCO, representing the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), has just finished a national speaking tour organised by the Salvadoran community and the Committees in Solidarity with Latin
By Eva Cheng On August 22 in the village of Beixiang, Guangdong province, more than 1000 angry farmers assaulted the local party secretary, destroyed several police vehicles and rampaged through the local government offices after officials
By Param Paramanathan In Sri Lanka's north, the Tamils are suffering because of the government's greed for more land, whereas in the south, the Sinhalese workers are suffering because of the multinationals' greed for more and more profit.
By Rupen Savoulian The secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the international representative of a coalition of exiled Iranian political organisations, reported rioting in the cities of Nayriz and Abadeh in Fars province,
Government seeks to discredit Teamsters' president By Barry Sheppard Ron Carey, president of the Teamsters' Union, which just won a historic strike against United Parcel Service, has won increased respect among teamsters and the
Chinese dissidents denied rights By Eva Cheng Jailed dissident Wang Dan is suffering from severe pain, which doctors suspect is caused by a brain tumour, but officials have turned down Wang's repeated requests for a test. Wang is in weak
Number of executions doubles By Eva Cheng The number of people executed in China last year to at least 4367, according to Amnesty International. Most were killed with a single gun shot to the back of the head, after staged mass rallies and
By Barry Healy Greenpeace has stepped up its international campaign on global warming by targeting attempts to drill for oil on the Atlantic frontier (the Arctic fringe of the Atlantic Ocean). As a result, it has been subjected to extraordinary
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Since the days of perestroika, the US government, working through quasi-independent aid bodies and the main US labour federation, the AFL-CIO, has spent millions of dollars trying to fashion a new Russian labour
By Russell Norman WELLINGTON — Auckland has two great monuments to government: the Obelisk, commemorating Michael Joseph Savage, and the Skytower Casino, commemorating Roger Douglas. Savage was prime minister of the first Labour government,


Not much change in the world The Way of the WorldBy William CongrevePerformed by the Victorian College of the Arts School of DramaDirected by Robert DraffinGrant Street Theatre, VCA, MelbourneUntil September 6 Review by Bronwen Beechey For
Debate: Voices from the South African LeftIssue 3, 1997 Review by Ben Courtice Debate is an impressive new publication — first printed in 1996 — devoted to questions of socialist analysis and strategy, centred on the South African left
The Black AdderChannel 7, Thursdays 11.05pm Review by Al McCall It's back from the video vaults, resurrected on rewind — Black Adder has returned. "Black Adder, Black Adder, with many a cunning plan. Black Adder, Black Adder, you horrid little
Keyboard SkillsBy Lesley BruceEnsemble Theatre, SydneyUntil September 20 Honourby Joanna Murray-SmithThe Wharf, Sydney Review by Mark Stoyich Two plays in Sydney at the moment show what some women think of some men. Interestingly, although the
By Bronwen Beechey As a labour researcher with the metalworkers' union, Peter Ewer went to the Latrobe Valley in 1988 to run shop stewards' training courses and "convince workers of the merits of award restructuring and the benefits of higher
Rock Against Racism By Paul Howes SYDNEY — Four hundred rockers crowded into the Harbourside Brassiere on August 28 to protest against racism and to listen to 13 of Australia's best known bands. The bands performing at Rock Against Racism
Wall Street — How It Works and for WhomBy Doug HenwoodVerso, 1997, 372 pp. Review by Eva Cheng The US-based progressive periodical Left Business Observer has for years been a valuable source of information and sharp analysis of the US economy
By Penny Glass BRISBANE — Teatro de los Elementos (Theatre of the Elements), founded in 1991, is a community theatre company that works in central Cuba at Cumanayagua in Cienfuegos province. Through its work, communities isolated from urban
By Shane Hopkinson Earlier this month a groundbreaking exhibition opened at Newcastle Regional Museum. "Hunter Pride: A Celebration of the Lives and Loves of the Hunter Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Community" is the first community sponsored,


Equalise the age of consent The NSW Wood Royal Commission recommendation that age of consent laws in the state be set at 16 years for both heterosexual and homosexual sex has flushed out many a conservative moralist and homophobe. Justice
Fight to preserve Jabiluka As expected, the federal government has given Energy Resources of Australia the go-ahead to mine uranium at Jabiluka in Kakadu. It is a short-sighted, stupid and potentially dangerous decision. In making the