Issue 313


By Angela Luvera PERTH — Deceptive media reports following last week's debate in WA parliament left many people convinced that women should be celebrating the repeal of laws restricting abortion in WA. The West Australian proclaimed "Abortion on
Wik and the politics of compromise By Jennifer Thompson Secretive negotiations between the Coalition government, Labor opposition and independent Senator Brian Harradine have been taking place over the passage of the government's Wik bill.
By Chris Latham The speech and hearing faculty at Curtin University has approached the vice-chancellor for permission to charge up-front fees for domestic undergraduate students. The threat of up-front fees is not new at Curtin. In 1997, the
By Justin Harman PERTH — Private schools in WA have been playing an active role in spreading the message of the anti-abortion lobby. Students at Perth's largest — mostly Catholic — private schools were urged by their principals to attend a
London protest for Aboriginal rights LONDON — In a March 26 "Sorry Book" protest outside the Australian High Commission, a group of Australians, including celebrities Mark Little, Kathy Lette, Jonathon Coleman and Peter Tatchell, and British
Opposition to Kumarangk bridge strong despite ruling By Martin Iltis ADELAIDE — On April 2, the day after the High Court decision which effectively allows construction of the Kumarangk (Hindmarsh Island) bridge, 50 Ngarrindjeri women and their
By Kamala Emanuel LAUNCESTON — Seven hundred protestors braved the rain on March 28 to demonstrate their opposition to logging of old growth forest in Kooparoona Niara/Great Western Tiers. The rally followed a picnic of 1000 people at the
Picket calls for Burma boycott By Liam Mitchell SYDNEY — A picket by 20 Burmese activists and their supporters on March 25 asked Australians not to travel to Burma to protest the Burmese junta's poor human rights record. The picket, called by
By Sue Bull CANBERRA — On April 3, representatives from ACT universities and the National Tertiary Education and Industry Union joined Sutarji, a student leader from Indonesia recently arrived in Australia, to condemn the arrest and disappearance
By Sarah Peart Student organisations and activist groups in Australia have responded to the recent crackdown on student activists in Indonesia by calling a national day of protest on April 24. The feature of the protests will be a national
By Lisa Macdonald In a cynical attempt to woo the migrant vote, Labor leader Kim Beazley told the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia annual conference in Sydney on March 28 that the ALP unequivocally supported multiculturalism
By Rina Anticich PERTH — Registered nurses in WA's public hospitals have taken further industrial action in their fight for a 15% pay increase. Nurses have received few pay increases over the last decade, yet their workload has increased
Bradbury promotes alternative media By Adam Leeman NEWCASTLE — More than 100 people turned out to celebrate alternative media and hear David Bradbury speak about his films Jabiluka and Loggerheads on March 29. The event was organised by
Patrick 'to sack all maritime workers' By James Vassilopoulos There is growing evidence that Patrick Stevedores, the company on the offensive against the Maritime Union of Australia, plans to sack its entire work force in Brisbane, Sydney and
Anti-choice antics backfire By Sarah Stephen PERTH — The tactics of the anti-choice movement, led by the religious right, have backfired. On March 30, when state parliament resumed, an anti-choice rally was held outside Parliament House. A


By Boris Kagarlitsky MOSCOW — In February the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) celebrated its fifth anniversary. In their commentaries on this event, Moscow's right-wing newspapers showed a striking unanimity: all were full of
By James Balowski On March 28, Andi Arief, the chairperson of Student Solidarity for Indonesian Democracy (SMID), was abducted at gunpoint from his brother's home in Lampung, South Sumatra. He has not been seen or heard from since. Arief was taken
Fiji ANZ workers fight for jobs By Norm Dixon Workers in Fiji employed by Australian banking giant ANZ have gone on strike to protect their jobs. More than 80% of the bank's 700 staff, members of the Fiji Bank Employees Union, have walked out.
By Norm Dixon The Bougainville Freedom Movement is concerned at the New Zealand government's announced intention to scale back its role in the truce monitoring group (TMG) on Bougainville, and offer Australia leadership of the force. Under the
By Jon Land The people of East Timor and supporters of its struggle for freedom have been saddened by the tragic news of the death of Nino Konis Santana. Resistance sources announced on March 30 that Santana, commander of Falintil (the armed wing
PNG moves to prop up timber industry rejected Greenpeace has accused the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority and the World Bank of short-sighted and naive policies to prop up PNG's export log industry. Greenpeace said on March 17 it had obtained a
Hong Kong protest against unemployment HONG KONG — Hong Kong Voice of Democracy has reported that about 15 activists staged a courageous protest in mid-March against Beijing's arrest of Chinese workers who were organising against unemployment and
By Eva Cheng Under orders from the International Monetary Fund, the Chuan Leekpai government is busy preparing the sale of some of Thailand's most important public assets: Thai Airways International, the Electricity Generating Authority of
By Reihana Mohideen "In our experience, the newspaper is an instrument ... [which] serves as a mechanism to unite the people and to become a spark for collective action ... Progresibo is an attempt to open a forum for discussion of progressive
By James Balowski In the midst of mass arrests, and the disappearance and killing of scores of pro-democracy activists in Indonesia, anti-Suharto demonstrations continue to escalate. Ignoring threats by the military — who have also pleaded for
By Norm Dixon US "peacekeepers" in Somalia in 1993 massacred more than 1000 people, including civilians and children, in a single afternoon. While western media reports focused on the deaths of 18 US soldiers, broadcasting shocking pictures of a
Skate puts Bougainville peace at risk By Norm Dixon Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Bill Skate, speaking on Australian television on March 31, has placed the Bougainville peace process at risk. Skate told the SBS Dateline program that
Fears for captured Timorese fighter By John Martinkus Amnesty International has called for urgent international action pressing the Indonesian government to confirm the whereabouts of East Timorese freedom fighter Jose Antonio Belo, who it
By Eva Cheng Unemployment has tripled, wages are increasingly not paid and workers are facing new attacks on their rights in South Korea since the International Monetary Fund's austerity program was forced on the country in December. From 556,000
Kim Dae-jung's selective amnesty By Eva Cheng Rather than heralding progressive reform, President Kim Dae-jung's "amnesty" last month for more than 5.5 million people reveals continuing repression in South Korea. Many political prisoners jailed


Left on-line Free Speech TV: Shell on Earth — This episode of the British activist series Undercurrents documents the collaboration of Shell Petroleum with the dictatorship of Nigeria in oppressing — and slaughtering — the Ogoni people. Visit
Mutual obligation Fees for beds in nursing homes,Schemes for working for the dole,Price hikes for child-care services and universities ... Cuts to hospitals and schools,Are really good for one and all,Once you understand our government's
The ten point scam The racist scum are on the bumthey need our help againto protect the interests ofour rich and famous men. Working folk are on their arsetreated as if second classit's not for the likes of you or methat he's promising
Review by Al McCall Kings in Grass Castles has been and gone from our TV screens without so much as a hoot or bother. Neither promoted vigorously by Channel 7 nor noted by industry or government as worthy of much to-do, the four-hour miniseries
Abortion rallies Public actions were held around the country on April 3 and 4 to demand the repeal of all abortion laws. The actions were in solidarity with the pro-choice movement in WA, where parliament is debating legislation to change the legal
100 years of Bertolt Brecht By Eric Singh BERLIN — Germany is going through a Bertolt Brecht "epidemic". Old Brecht would have laughed his guts out if he had seen all the activities sweeping throughout this country to mark his 100th birthday on
Here's to culture, not money Amy's viewBy David HareOpera House Drama TheatreUntil April 18 Review by Mark Stoyich What a joy to see a conventionally structured, naturalistic drama in a traditional theatre after sitting through a week of
Dita Sari Truly free theserighteous captives.Pathfinders of freedom,peaceful warriors,held hostageby a tyrant State. Democracy of thedungeonSocialism of thecells. Friends of libertyfighting onbehind the wire,the bars, the chains.Leading
Jack London: A LifeBy Alex KershawHarperCollins, 1997. 335 pp., $45 (hb) Review by Phil Shannon Leon Trotsky praised him as a revolutionary artist. Lenin was moved by his stories. Could this be the same author who wrote popular novels about the


Editorial: Racism and the Hindmarsh decision In its decision in the Kumarangk (Hindmarsh Island) case, announced on April 1, the High Court found a way to evade the central issue. This was the government's claim that it has power, under the