Issue 304

News

Watch Committee for Victoria MELBOURNE — Around 50 people attended a January 28 meeting to establish an Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Watch Committee for Victoria. Late last year, five men and one woman died in private prisons. The usual
Throw the Liberals out, urge ACT socialists By Russell Pickering CANBERRA — The Democratic Socialists have called on small parties and independents not to support the formation of another Liberal government after the February 21 ACT
Militant struggles in isolation may be heroic, but only a struggle that gains support from other organised workers and the general public can win its demands. Over the last week, the establishment media have been doing their utmost to ensure that the
Taxation ruling raises cost of studying By Will Williams CANBERRA — The Australian Taxation Office is circulating a draft ruling that would cut students' already meagre incomes. The February 13 closing date for submissions on the draft, titled
Today's tasks: ten-point justice "Our ten points: a long-range policy for Aborigines" was adopted at the 1938 Day of Mourning and Protest held in Australian Hall, and published in the first edition of the Australian Abo Call newspaper in April
Battle against developers continues By Alistair Dickinson and Rupen Savoulian SYDNEY — Craig Knowles, NSW minister for urban affairs and planning, is expected soon to announce the future of the former Australian Defence Industries (ADI) site
Survival day MELBOURNE — Around 200 people snubbed official Australia Day festivities and came to the Invasion Day concert, called Survival '98, at Brunswick Town Hall on January 26. Speakers highlighted Australia Day festivities' denial of the
Telstra workers resist forced transfers By Bill Mason BRISBANE — One hundred and fifty Telstra workers attended a protest meeting on January 30 after the company announced a plan to centralise its faults-recording network in Melbourne, forcing
'Slave labour', say youth By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Howard government's move to extend the compulsory work for the dole scheme is akin to conscription and slave labour, according to a group of young people interviewed in the January 29
ACT restricts democracy in elections By Russell Pickering CANBERRA — The Democratic Socialists, who are standing three candidates for the seat of Molonglo in the February 21 ACT election, are experiencing the difficulties encountered by
Perth protest against Howard By Sarah Stephenand Katie Miles-Barnes PERTH — On January 25, 150 people gathered outside Government House to peacefully protest against an address by John Howard. The rally was opposing the Wik 10-point plan,
Twenty uranium mines threaten WA By Justin Harman PERTH — The federal government's decision to remove restrictions on uranium mining has given a new lease of life to mining giants interested in uranium projects in WA. Already, more than 20
By Alison Dellit NEWCASTLE — A decision by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission on January 29 refused workers at Rio Tinto's Hunter Valley No. 1 mine access to arbitration to resolve the long-running dispute at the mine. The dispute
Howard plan punishes young people By Francesca Davis In his state of the federation address on January 26, Prime Minister John Howard announced a massive expansion of the work for the dole scheme. Originally a pilot scheme involving some 1400
Telstra unfair dismissal case adjourned By Chris Slee MELBOURNE — The Industrial Relations Commission hearing of the unfair dismissal case of Mervyn Vogt has been adjourned to April 14. Vogt, a Community and Public Sector Union delegate at
New WA anti-graffiti laws By Sean Martin-Iverson PERTH — The state Liberal government has moved to make WA's already draconian anti-graffiti laws even harsher. The existing legislation, which allows for penalties of 200 hours of community
NT TLC condemns Labor leader over Jabiluka By Tim E. Stewart DARWIN — Support for the campaign against the proposed uranium mine at Jabiluka has been strengthened after the NT Trades and Labour Council at its January meeting condemned NT Labor
By Jennifer Thompson Four hundred Aboriginal people and their supporters gathered in Sydney on January 26, the 60th anniversary of the 1938 Day of Mourning and Protest by Aboriginal people at the sesquicentenary celebrations of European

World

TB spreads in Russia as government chops health funds By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — At about 2.5% of GDP, health spending in Russia last year compared poorly with western European levels of 7-8%. That was before the cost-cutters lopped another
By James Vassilopoulos In a court case with big implications for democratic rights, organisations and individuals in the United States are being sued for a picket in solidarity with the Liverpool dockers. Last September, labour and community
Suharto's business empire By George J. Aditjondro Seeking an "official" mandate for his seventh term through the puppet Congress (MPR) on March 11, Indonesian President Suharto is currently facing the strongest opposition from within his own
Bomb charges rejected By Karina Marlon JAKARTA — The dictatorship is trying to blame the People's Democratic Party (PRD) and the National Democratic Struggle Committee (KNPD) for the January 18 explosion of a bomb in an apartment in Tanah
The pope in Cuba: 'Everyone's a winner but the US' By Karen Lee Wald HAVANA — While the pope's visit to Cuba was officially billed as a "pastoral visit" to Catholics at the invitation of their bishops, the world's attention was nevertheless
Ramos Horta on the 'winds of change in Asia' By Rohan Gaiswinkler DARWIN — 250 people heard Jose Ramos Horta, international representative of the East Timor independence movement, give a public lecture entitled "The winds of change in eastern
Sex scandal diverts attention from threat to Iraq By Barry Sheppard For the past two weeks, the allegations that President Bill Clinton had an affair with a young woman working in the White House has drowned out other major news. The scandal
By Jon Land Recent reports from East Timor indicate that unless long-awaited monsoon rains arrive soon to break the drought, there may be a severe famine within the next few months. Speaking in Darwin on January 24, East Timorese resistance
By Karina Marlon JAKARTA — The opposition to the Suharto dictatorship is growing, fuelled by the economic crisis. The drop in the value of the rupiah and the slumping economy have brought a severe loss in confidence in the regime. People are
Russian miners die as government delays payments By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Another horrific coal mine disaster has shocked the Russian public and angered coal industry workers. Early on January 18, an explosion and fire in the Tsentralnaya

Culture

Graphic evidence of East Timor's plight Review by Jon Land Human Rights Violations in East Timor, a magazine-style booklet produced by the East Timor International Support Centre, contains photographic evidence of torture and murder by the
A Dangerous Man [A tribute to Siegfried Sassoon — antiwar poet. ] Sassoon was a man,A dangerous man,Sassoon was a dangerous man.He went off to a warAnd went back for moreSassoon, what a dangerous man! And after this warHe settled his
Jazz Against Racism By John Gauci SYDNEY — What better way to protest against racism than through an art form whose roots are historically grounded in the struggle of an oppressed people? Jazz literally means "wildly active" or "lively". On
Isaac Newton, God and the new science Isaac Newton: The Last SorcererBy Michael WhiteFourth Estate, 1997. 402 pp., $45 (hb) Review by Phil Shannon Once upon a time, way back in the 17th century, Sir Isaac Newton saw an apple fall and in a
Tasmanian Waffle Waffle Tall StoriesSunday, February 8, 7.30pmCinema After Dark, HobartWednesday, February 11, 8.30pmCafe Who$8.50/$6 concession (slightly more at the door) Review by Kathy Pinkus HOBART — Waffle Tall Stories are back. There are
Socialism — the way forwardBy John PercyResistance Books, 199730pp., $3.50Available at all Resistance Bookshops Review by Pip Hinman While the early 1990s was marked by a propaganda offensive about the end of "socialism", as we near the end of
Telling it like it is: Land rights and the pastoral industry Bludgers in Grass Castles: Native title and the unpaid debts of the pastoral industryBy Martin TaylorResistance Books, 1998$3.95 from Resistance Bookshops (addresses page 2) or send
Return of a reggae pioneer Wash Over GoldWinston Grennan and Ska Rocks BandSwegway RecordsSend US$20 to 2400 Poplar Drive, Baltimore, MD 21207, USA Review by Norm Dixon Winston Grennan is not a household name among reggae enthusiasts, but he

Editorial

Hands off Iraq! The government of the United States is openly planning still another military attack on the people of Iraq. Once again, the most powerful military machine in history is to be turned against helpless civilians, whose murder will be
Selecting a president Despite the Howard government's attempt to rig the constitutional convention by appointing half of its membership, the large vote for republican candidates in last year's postal vote has given a strong momentum to the push for