Issue 308


Unionists discuss strategy for fight back By Michael Bull MELBOURNE — "What strategy and tactics for unions today?" was the title of a timely forum sponsored by Green Left Weekly and the Democratic Socialist Party on February 24. The speakers
WA unionists: MUA support vital By Roberto Jorquera and Iggy Kim PERTH — The Western Australian branch of the Maritime Union of Australia, in conjunction with the WA Trades and Labour Council and various other unions, protested outside the
By Russell Pickering CANBERRA — The Democratic Socialists tripled their 1995 election result in the ACT election on February 21. It was the first time the Democratic Socialist name had appeared on the ballot paper in the ACT. With 80% of the
Anti-war protests continue A small but lively protest was held in Brisbane on February 27 to demand the withdrawal of all Australian and US troops from the Persian Gulf. The protest also called for all sanctions against the Iraqi people to be
Bushfires highlight reactor madness By Jim Green SYDNEY — On December 2, bushfires swept through the Sutherland Shire/Lucas Heights region in Sydney's southern suburbs, burning on three sides of the $500 million nuclear reactor facility
Union threatens stoppage in Illawarra By Andrew Hall WOLLONGONG — Unionists and their supporters have been picketing outside GrainCorp's Pivot fertiliser plant at Port Kembla after workers were sacked without notice on February 1. The long-term
MUA solidarity petition launched By Bruce Marlowe Rank-and-file unionists and concerned community activists have launched a petition demanding that the ACTU and local trades and labour councils seriously boost their solidarity effort with the
By Francesca Davis "Australia has signed the Ottawa treaty to ban landmines, but has yet to ratify the convention and begin the destruction of our own stockpile of landmines. The time has come for Australia to back its words with action." So said
Correction An article in Green Left issue 306 about a Defenders of Native Title (DONT) public meeting in Melbourne stated that Gary Foley and Jacqui Katona were at the meeting. This was not the case. Both Katona and Foley attended a Jabiluka public
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Queensland Coalition's electoral stocks plummeted even further in the week beginning February 23, as rolling power blackouts hit Brisbane and regional centres around the state. The blackouts followed unprecedented


By Norm Dixon Despite grudging acceptance of the agreement between UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Iraq President Saddam Hussein over UN weapons inspections, Washington is continuing its preparations for a massive air strike. President Bill
By James Balowski Responding to hints by President Suharto that B.J. Habibie was his preferred choice for vice-president, the January 22 Sydney Morning Herald ran a background piece on Habibie titled "As 'Dr Strangelove' rises, the rupiah falls
By Eva Cheng Six of the most powerful countries — the US, Germany, France, Britain, Canada and Italy — put more pressure on Japan to take concrete steps to ease Asia's economic crisis when they met on February 21 under the auspices of the Group
By Jim Anderton WELLINGTON — Responsibility for Auckland's power crisis belongs to the government because it made profit, not public service, the sole focus of the power companies. How could the entire central business district of New Zealand's
By Nick Everett BRISBANE — Several thousand trade unionists are expected to rally in Brisbane's King George Square on March 4 in support of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). The rally, to commence at noon, has been called by the Queensland
By David Bacon DAVAO, Philippines — For two months, the banana groves in four of Dole Corporation's principal Philippine plantations have been uncharacteristically silent. Almost 2000 Dole farm workers have refused to cut a single banana for the
New Zealand inspectors find hypocrisy By Keith Locke WELLINGTON— Actions continue here to get New Zealand troops out of the Gulf and the sanctions on Iraq lifted. On February 23, a multinational team, UNWIT (the Universal Women's Inspection
Two political prisoners released By Kylie Moon JAKARTA — Two members of Indonesia's People's Democratic Party (PRD), Ignatius Putut Ariantoko and Victor Da Costa, were released on February 8 after spending 18 months in Cipinang Prison.
Indonesian activists disappear as protests spread By Max Lane Anti-government demonstrations continue in Indonesia despite the military's declaration that it will suppress any protests that take place before the March 6-11 sitting of the People's
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — How much should Russians be made to pay for the armed defence of their country's new capitalism? Among millions of half-fed, seldom paid workers, the figure of zero roubles would no doubt spring to mind. Cutting all
By Sonny Melencio and Reihana Mohideen [This is an abridged version of a statement originally published in Filipino on January 15 and circulated amongst the mass organisations of the broad democratic front Sanlakas.] The scenario of the 1930s


Just Add Jesus Just add Jesus for instant art,to pad that novel, to nail the charts,Christ'll ride tall again and again inthe soapy saddle of pop art pain.Inspiration at an ebb?dust off that bible under your bed,to one teaspoon of sacred heart adda
Faces of Hate: Hate Crime in AustraliaEdited by Chris Cunneen, David Fraser & Stephen TomsenHawkins Press, 1997. 272 pp., $25 (pb) Review by Stuart Russell Australia has witnessed an upsurge in the incidence of hate crime and hate speech,
You You steal their land —you take their children —incarcerate their young menand too many died:You apportion blame.You assault their pride,have you no shame?Now you cut their educationit provides no exultation.You undermine their healthas you
HOWARD JONES is the university research professor and chairperson of the University of Alabama's College of Arts and Sciences (Department of History) at the Tuscaloosa campus. He is author of Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and its
Viva Timor Freedom fighters on dark shadowed island.Righteous men and women confronting theEnemy with courage, tenacity and truth.They face death and incarceration daily.Indonesian justice inflicts seven years gaol forLevelling charges of invasion,
Smoke SmokeCovering thousands of square milesChoking millions of people.The government blames the peasantsThen they blame the timber merchantsThen they blame the weather MeanwhileThe lungs of the planetare pollutedBy governments and loggersBy
Japan's capitalism: creative defeat and beyondBy Shigeto TsuruCambridge University Press, 1993; Canto edition 1996. 277 pp., $18.95 Review by Eva Cheng A vast amount has been published on Japan's spectacular economic recovery from the ruins of
The Seven Steps to MercyIarla O LionairdReal World Records through Festival Review by Barry Healy One of oldest forms of Irish singing is the sean nos (literally "in the old style"), which has severely declined since the great English invasions


The Senate and Wik Parliament resumes sitting this week, so the government's Wik bill, the 10-point plan to undermine and destroy native title rights, will shortly again be before the Senate. The Senate's expected insistence on amending the bill is


By Allen Myers "If you look at the broad sweep ... you see a steady, inexorable strengthening of the foundations of the Australian economy and an economy that is standing up very well to the turmoil that is occurring in our part of the world." The