Issue 293


Lenin Lives! The Lenin Cult in Soviet RussiaBy Nina TumarkinHarvard University Press, 1997337 pp., $31.95 (pb) Review by Phil Shannon Cults come in all shapes and sizes. The Elvis cult is tacky but harmless. The Princess Diana cult is schmalzy
Corruption For years I've been trying to get some disgruntled pollie or public servant to blow the whistle on the corruption and criminal activity within Government. Now even Blind Freddy can see what duds our present system is full of. It would
By Marina Cameron Before being sacked from the federal Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs portfolio, Senator Amanda Vanstone released a graph to the media which was supposed to show that the government had not cut funding to
By Peter Robson and Nick Everett BRISBANE — Around 1000 people rallied against the Pauline Hanson One Nation party's "Prosper Australia" meeting in Festival Hall on October 4. The protesters were peaceful. The same cannot be said for the
By Norm Dixon Leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo have angrily denied claims by the United Nations and western governments that investigations into rumours of human rights violations (during the uprising that deposed the Mobutu
detail = Sprout Wings and FlyBy John McCutcheonRounder Records, 1997 detail = Nothing to LoseBy John McCutcheonRounder Records, 1995 Review by Alex Bainbridge John McCutcheon is a progressive songwriter with an enduring ability to make
Eddie's Country Eddie, where are you?Are you walkabout out westwith your brother the snake;shedding scales on the rockswhere your blood runs to the sea? Oh Eddie, where can you be?Are you dancing with spiritsin gleaming desert sands?Are
The Absurd Machine: A Cartoon History of the WorldBy Bruce PettyPenguin, 1997, $29.95 (pb) Review by Phil Shannon Global 2000 is in trouble. About to enter the next millennium with five billion passengers on board, it crashes, breaking off its
Comment by Ray Fulcher (File No 890124) MELBOURNE — Revelations that Victoria has a "secret police" unit that spies on community and political groups should come as no surprise to activists or students of history. The Kennett government and
Chiapas rebels declare autonomous county Unwilling to await the outcome of negotiations with the Mexican government, Zapatista rebels on September 28 declared an autonomous county in southern Chiapas. The government opposes the traditional
By Sarah Stephen HOBART — Almost 1300 out of 9000 students voted in student elections at the University of Tasmania two weeks ago. Most of the positions were won by members of two tickets — Zest and Impact. Zest included a number of current
Trade in poisons By Barry Healy According to the United Nations, 98% of the worlds toxic waste is generated by the 24 countries of the OECD. These rich countries are running out of ways to deal with this waste, and disposal costs are
NZ students arrested outside parliament By Francesca Alice WELLINGTON — Baton-wielding police arrested 74 students on September 25 at a peaceful protest outside parliament. The protest, organised by the Victoria University of Wellington
By Jo Brown SYDNEY — The election of right-wing candidate Adair Durie as the new president of the University of Sydney Student Representative Council two weeks ago ended 10 years of left-wing presidents. Adair "the Bear" Durie ran on a ticket
Actively Radical TV — Sydney community television's progressive current affairs producers tackle the hard issues from the activist's point of view. CTS Sydney (UHF 31), every Thursday, 10pm and Saturday, 7pm. Access News — Melbourne
People's Declaration on Global Warming By Paul Petit The Australian Greens have recently launched the Australian People's Declaration on Global Warming, a petition opposing the Howard government's arrogant refusal to adopt binding
Hanson protest planned in Adelaide ADELAIDE — The "secret venue" of Pauline Hanson's next appearance here on October 18 has been leaked to Campaign Against Racism. The One National fundraising dinner will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, on
Thousands protest Puerto Rico telephone sale On October 1, more than 100,000 people came from all over Puerto Rico to a protest in San Juan to demand that the government cancel its plans to sell the Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC). The
By Bronwen Beechey MELBOURNE — Community radio station 3CR recently celebrated 21 years on air, a considerable achievement for a station that receives no government funding, corporate sponsorship or advertising revenue. But the station is
ANU staff keep up the fight By David Gosling CANBERRA — National Tertiary Education and Industry Union members in the Faculty of Arts at the Australian National University held a stop-work meeting on October 8 and voted unanimously to
When computers die By Barry Healy What happens to old computers when they die? Is there a sort of "elephants' graveyard" where they all disappear? Yes, in a way. It's called the Third World. The technological revolution has created a
Migrant services slashed PERTH — In reaction to government cuts to migrant services, around 200 people attended a public meeting on October 7 at the North Perth Town Hall organised by the Coalition for Multicultural Interests. The
Indonesian government bans the PRD By James Balowski On September 29, Indonesia's Ministry of Home Affairs announced that the People's Democratic Party (PRD) and all its affiliated mass organisations had been banned. This includes Student
By James Vassilopoulos Coal & Allied, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, has begun its attempt before the NSW Supreme Court to severely limit the right to picket in the strike against the Hunter Valley No 1 mine. The case began in the courts on
'Kakadu belongs to all of us! Stop Jabiluka! By Wendy Robertson "It is not the government's decision to make, it is up to us. Kakadu belongs to all of us. It is world heritage. It belongs to the world, not to a bunch of grubby men in
My holiday Felicity insisted on meeting me at Tullamarine. I said that I didn't mind catching a cab, but you know what the Kennetts are like: can't do enough for you. Anyway, it was a thrill to see her again. She's still the same old
By Marcel Cameron MELBOURNE — Activists are celebrating an encouraging turnout of students and staff for the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) referendum on up-front fees. More than 10,000 students and staff voted on whether they
By Sibylle Kaczorek DARWIN — The federal government decision to give the green light to uranium mining at Jabiluka was met with a 150-strong protest in Darwin on October 9. Called at short notice by the Coalition Against Uranium Mining, the
Howard attracts protesters in Hobart By Matt Bloor HOBART — The signing of Tasmania's Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) was delayed yet again after unresolved discussions between PM John Howard and Premier Tony Rundle in Launceston on
By Cam Walker After more than two years of campaigning, one of Costa Rica's largest environmental and social struggles is reaching a crisis point. Local communities have been resisting efforts by close to 30 transnational mining companies which
By Tim E. Stewart At stop-work meetings on October 8, more than 3000 Telstra members of the Community and Public Sector Union voted overwhelmingly in favour of a national 24-hour strike on October 17. The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing
Ericsson's Burma connection By Nicola Lester and Mary O'Kane Supporters of democracy in Burma will be demonstrating in Melbourne on October 13 as part of an international campaign against Ericsson, the Swedish-based multinational
Ogoni people's struggle honoured The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has received the Chico Mendes Award for its defence of the environment in the Niger River delta in Nigeria. The award, named after the murdered Brazilian
Native title rally SYDNEY — Up to 5000 unionists marched on October 1 to protest against the Liberal government's attacks on trade union rights. Thousands of CFMEU building workers walked off sites across Sydney, and a large contingent of coal
Action urgent on greenhouse Despite the acknowledged reality of global warming and the urgent need for action, the federal government last week reaffirmed its opposition to binding targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, which are
Pope in Brazil and politics On September 29, some 30 Brazilian homosexual activists demonstrated in central Rio de Janeiro, handing out leaflets in front of the Candelaria church, then burning posters depicting Pope John Paul II. They were
The HostageBy Brendan BehanNIDA Final Year Students' ProductionParade Theatre, Sydney Review by Brendan Doyle Written in 1958, this is the play in which Pat, ex-hero of the Republican cause and now Dublin brothel-keeper, says: "The IRA and the
SKA TV Activist Awards By Bridget Riggs MELBOURNE — The 1997 Access News/SKA TV Activist Awards were held on October 9 at RMIT. The night symbolised the number and diversity of actions held in Melbourne over the last year and brought
Christian rightists rally in Washington By Barry Sheppard Hundreds of thousands of evangelical men demonstrated in front of Congress to promote the agenda of the Christian right on October 4. The crowd was overwhelmingly white. The
By Alana Kerr SYDNEY — The Children (Protection and Parental Responsibility) Act 1997 passed in NSW in August gives police extra powers to take young people from public spaces. The law, which contravenes international human rights conventions,
By Gerry Harant The Melbourne Age has exposed police continuing the spying previously done by the Victoria Police Special Branch, supposedly disbanded by the Cain Labor government in 1983. The revelations caused outrage as well as some amusement
By Boris Kagarlitsky MOSCOW — In December, Moscow will elect its city duma. In essence, these will be the first real elections for the representative power in the Russian capital since President Boris Yeltsin forcibly disbanded the Moscow City
By David Bacon OAKLAND — After sitting like a beached whale for four days at the Yusen Terminal in the Port of Oakland, the Neptune Jade finally sailed out of San Francisco Bay early on the morning of Wednesday, October 1. Every one of the
Foreign MoonDirected by Zhang ZemingStarring Vicky Chen Hsiao-hsuen, Harrison Liu and Chen DamingOpens nationally at Dendy Cinemas on October 23 Review by Eva Cheng According to an old Chinese saying, the moon in foreign countries is
By Justin Harman When Pauline Hanson wants something done, the Howard government is usually soon there doing it for her. Cuts to ATSIC, the immigration intake: all her wishes are being fulfilled — all, according to a recent New Idea article,
Just when it seemed that a bail-out by the International Monetary Fund was becoming the fashionable thing to do in the Asia-Pacific region, we at Green Left Weekly came to a startling realisation. We realised that we are not in a position to
KWON YOUNG-KIL, leader of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), is standing in South Korea's presidential election in December. HAN DONG-MIN looks at the background. The decision by the trade union federations and the National Alliance for
By Michael Karadjis TUZLA — The recent municipal elections throughout Bosnia-Hercegovina reveal a polarisation between the three ethnic-based parties on the one hand, and multi-ethnic or anti-nationalist forces on the other. The victories of
Democratic rights at stake in Basque trial On October 6, Spain's Supreme Court postponed the start of the trial of 23 national executive members of the legal Basque pro-independence party, Herri Batasuna. Defence lawyers asked that one of the
By Jim McIlroy BRISBANE — The campaign by Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in Centrelink, the federal government's new "one-stop shop" services delivery agency, for improvements in a draft agency agreement, is coming to a
By James Balowski On September 16, President Suharto publicly apologised to Indonesia's neighbours for the fires which have blanketed large parts of Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines in choking smog. But those who hoped that this was
By Jennifer Thompson The headlines about an increase of just under 75,000 people in work in Australia last month were welcomed by government leaders. But the news came just a couple of weeks too late for former employment minister, Amanda
By Graham Matthews On October 5, 250 people marched along the Cardwell foreshore to protest the destruction caused by the Port Hinchinbrook development in north Queensland. At a similar protest on September 14, protesters were assaulted by
Rallies for native title Australians for Native Title held a "Rally for coexistence and for native title" in Perth on September 28. More than 60 people heard a range of speakers address the implications of Howard's 10-point plan and what people
Reclaiming the night By Rachel Evans MELBOURNE — Supporters of the Reclaim the Night collective here packed out Cinema Nova to watch Career Girls on October 2. The screening, attended by 220 people, raised much-needed funds and publicised
Tax office campaign falters By Ben Courtice MELBOURNE — The Community and Public Sector Union's Tax Section has stepped back from its campaign against staff sackings in Victoria. While the CPSU has promised to strike the moment any member
Green politics in 'grey times' By Ben Reid MELBOURNE — About 150 people attended the 11th Eco-Politics conference held at the University of Melbourne on October 4 and 5. Scholars and activists presented a range of papers and workshops on
By Margaret Gleeson SYDNEY — Amid unprecedented scenes of booing and heckling of a premier, delegates at the NSW ALP annual conference in Sydney on October 4 gave the thumbs down to the plan of Bob Carr and treasurer Michael Egan to sell off
Under the bed "I understand the old Comm trick of staggering 20 people among 800 to cause a distraction." — NSW Premier Bob Carr, on being booed and heckled at the ALP state conference when he advocated privatisation of the electricity
By Paul Glenning EMERALD — Miners have entered their second week of picketing the giant underground Gordonstone coalmine in central Queensland. US mining company ARCO has closed the mine and issued dismissal notices to 312 mining and
Practising on me By Brandon Astor Jones [Editor's note: On September 23, Brandon Astor Jones' resentencing trial in Georgia ended with him being condemned to death. Here he comments on an aspect of the trial. Further information is
By Barry Healy A Greenpeace protest in Hong Kong Harbour in September stymied an attempt to export illegally Australian toxic computer scrap. Early on September 22, 10 Greenpeace activists occupied the freighter Zim Sydney in Hong Kong Harbour
By Jill Hickson SYDNEY — Political activists and leaders from progressive and socialist parties from the Asia and Pacific will meet at a regional solidarity conference here April 9-13. "This is going to be one of the most exciting and
This article is excerpted from Chapter 4 of a new book by Australian environmentalist SHARON BEDER titled Global Spin: the corporate assault on environmentalism. Every year, thousands of Americans are sued for speaking out against governments and
By Norm Dixon A section of the Azanian Peoples Organisation (Azapo), followers of murdered Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, announced on September 14 it would form a socialist party to contest the 1999 elections. The decision followed a
Cancel Congo's debt "My country, whose foreign debt amounts to $14 billion, calls upon the major donors to demonstrate greater solidarity and a more responsible and consistent approach to possible solutions", Congo's foreign minister, Bizima
Telstra dismisses union delegate By Leo Wellin In a test case against unlawful dismissal, union militant Mervyn Vogt is appealing to the Federal Court against Telstra's sacking of him for producing a rank and file newsletter. Vogt, a
Opposition to Honeymoon uranium plan The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and Friends of the Earth (FoE) will oppose the federal government's plans to push ahead with a new uranium mine at Honeymoon in South Australia. The proposal is a
By Iggy Kim The Fight Racism National Conference held in Sydney September 27-28 was an important step forward in clarifying the nature of the current racist offensive in Australia and consolidating a national activist leadership for the campaign