Issue 317

Australia

On May 3, a 21-year-old man became the 26th person to die while in a NSW prison since July 1, 1997. The apparent suicide by hanging at the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre was the fourth prison death in NSW in the last three weeks. "Members
By Sam King Activists at Flinders University have formed a "Broad Left" ticket to contest the May 19-22 elections for the Student Association Coordinating Group (COG) and National Union of Students (NUS) delegates. The Broad Left's platform
Patrick attempts to thwart High Court decision By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — With most Patrick wharves back in operation, the previously quiet docks in Adelaide were swarming with people who had responded to a call from the Maritime Union for a
Labor-Democrats debate a non-event By Ruth Ratcliffe BRISBANE — On May 5, the University of Queensland ALP and Australian Democrats clubs presented a debate about "Labour, Unionism and Change: Perspectives on Industrial Relations Reform —
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) construction division has called a national strike for May 20 to protest against the government and the building industry bosses' attempt to strip back national building industry awards.
By Nick Everett BRISBANE — "The past eight years have provided Russians with a refresher course in the evils of capitalism", declared Green Left Weekly journalist Renfrey Clarke at a public meeting here on May 6. Clarke was addressing around 60
By Martin Iltis ADELAIDE — On May 6, two speaking engagements by federal industrial relations minister Peter Reith attracted boisterous, noisy crowds of maritime workers and other activists. "Reith, you're past your Dubai date", one placard
'Stop the rot!' SYDNEY — On May 8, as federal health minister Michael Wooldridge arrived at Westmead Hospital in Sydney's west, he was confronted by 100 health workers chanting "Stop the rot! Save our teeth!". The NSW Public Service Association,
Battle to save Kimberley Fitzroy River On April 30, the WA government tabled a memorandum of understanding between the government and Western Agricultural Industries (WAI) regarding a large-scale irrigation scheme in the west Kimberley region.
By Linda Kaucher The news that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will use $10 million from AusAID for a famine relief program in West Papua (Irian Jaya) is welcome. Such an effort has been needed for many months. Ninety defence personnel, three
North coast solidarity with the MUA By Nick Fredman LISMORE — More than 80 people attended a public meeting in solidarity with the Maritime Union of Australia here on May 7. Organised by the Lismore Wharfies Support Group, the meeting was
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Under intense criticism, including from within its own ranks, the Queensland Liberal Party has hesitated over its plan to allocate preferences to Pauline Hanson's racist One Nation party ahead of the ALP. On May 8, the
By Sarah Stephen PERTH — State MP Cheryl Davenport's private member's bill to remove abortion from the WA Criminal Code, which passed through the upper house last month, was finally passed by the lower house on May 7. It remains the Davenport
MUA alleges sabotage BRISBANE — Waterside workers who triumphantly returned to work at Patrick's wharves at Hamilton and Fisherman Island on May 8 have alleged that the non-union work force damaged facilities, including the boom of a
By James Vassilopoulos After a month of mass pickets, wharfies are back at work at the major Patrick operations, following the Maritime Union of Australia's win in the High Court. Mick O'Leary, national organiser of the MUA, told Green Left Weekly
By Ben Reid and Michael Walker MELBOURNE — More than 100,000 people rallied against the Howard government's Workplace Relations Act (WRA) and attack on the maritime workers here on May 6. The rally was part of a day of action adopted by
Biggest Labour Day in 25 years By Chris Dawson As the last of the more than 10,000 Labour Day marchers poured into Albert Park at 11.40am on May 4, Maritime Union national organiser Jim Tannock announced the MUA's High Court victory from the
'A small group of loafers' By James Vassilopoulos In the year to September 30, 1997, one of the directors of Lang Corporation, the parent company of Patrick Stevedores, was paid a salary of more than $800,000. This director achieved world's best
Conservation Council's funding cut By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Queensland Conservation Council chairperson Carol Booth has accused the Coalition state government of campaigning against outspoken conservationists, following natural resources
By Tony Iltis HOBART — Hobart Town Hall was filled to capacity for a meeting organised by the Denison branch of the Tasmanian Greens to oppose the proposed Oceanport retail and residential development at Princes Wharf. The proposed six-story

World

By Norm Dixon The Danish parliament voted on May 7 to impose a settlement to bring the country's private sector general strike, which began on April 27, to an end. Social Democrat prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen said the strike for a shorter
By Peter Montagu A new study concludes that this has been the warmest century in 600 years, and that the hottest years during this century have been 1990, 1995 and 1997 (New York Times, April 28; Nature, April 23). This is further evidence that
By Jon Land The Timorese National Convention, held on April 23-27 in the Portuguese town of Peniche, has been hailed by participants as an overwhelming success. The 218 delegates, representing the main East Timorese political and cultural
German solidarity against Jabiluka uranium mine The following "Declaration of Solidarity" was adopted at an April 17-19 conference of the German anti-nuclear movement attended by activists from more than 40 cities. The Nationwide Conference of the
Strike leader to challenge Hoffa Jr in Teamster election By Barry Sheppard Ken Hall was a key leader, along with former Teamster president Ron Carey, of the victorious strike the Teamsters Union waged against the United Parcel Service (UPS)
By Peter Gellert MEXICO CITY — May Day was marked here with three mass demonstrations, reflecting divisions and new trends in the country's labour movement. The official, pro-government labour movement, organised in the Congress of Labour (CT),
Communist Party's vision to change Japan KIMITOSHI MORIHARA, vice-head of the Japanese Communist Party's international department, took part in the Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference in Sydney over Easter. He outlined the JCP's analysis
May Day has been a day of celebration of working-class struggles and victories, and of protest against the ongoing exploitation of working people, for 112 years. This year it was marked amidst an economic crisis across Asia, general strikes in
Burmese dictatorship targets students By Jon Land The military dictatorship in Burma announced on April 29 that it had sentenced six student activists to death. A statement released by the ruling State Peace and Development Council claimed that
Maori march against MAI By Robert Jones AUCKLAND — A Maori protest hikoi (march) against the Multilateral Agreement on Investment is sending shock waves through official circles in New Zealand. The 40-strong hikoi has slammed the
By Norm Dixon Nigerian riot police killed at least seven people protesting against dictator General Sani Abacha on May 1 in the Oyo state capital of Ibadan. In the days following the shootings, prominent opposition politicians, including a former

Editorial

Editorial: Big Brother is watching How times change. Eleven years ago, John Howard and the Liberal Party were leading big demonstrations against the Hawke Labor government's attempt to introduce an ID card, called the Australia Card. Howard

Culture

The Peace Arch Concerts and Freedom Train and the Welsh Transatlantic ConcertsPaul RobesonFolk Era RecordsSend US$20 each to 705 South Washington St, Naperville, Illinois 60540, USA Reviewed by Barry Healy In 1925, a young black man in New York
Left on-line Voice of Guatemala — An interview with Josi Solis Jordan who has been charged by the US government with "conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States" and faces 25 years in a federal prison if convicted. At
Emile Habibi: I stayed in HaifaSBS, Wednesday, May 20, 8pm (7.30pm in SA) Preview by Jennifer Thompson Ironically, the life and work of Arab Israeli and Palestinian writer Emile Habibi is not well known in the English-speaking world precisely
An apt ALP hero for the times Nice TryBy Shane MaloneyText Publishing, 1998. 312 pp., $19.95 (pb) Review by Phil Shannon Murray Whelan, senior adviser to the Labor minister for water supply and the arts, is in more trouble than Mandrake again.
Chosen by the listeners 4ZZZ Hot 100Through Shock Records Review by Mike Byrne and Lynda Hansen BRISBANE — Community radio 4ZZZ was born 23 years ago, the first FM station in Queensland. Stations like 4ZZZ were set up from funding from the
Who's Afraid of the Working Class?Written by Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius, Christos Tsiolkas and Melissa ReevesPerformed by Melbourne Workers Theatre, featuring David Adamson, Daniella Farinacci, Eugenia Fragos, Bruce Morgan, Glenn Shea and
Palestine: Story of a landThree-part documentary seriesPart 1, SBS, Monday, May 18, 8pm (7.30pm in SA) Preview by Jennifer Thompson In a sea of versions of the Arab-Israeli conflict, timed for Israel's 50th year, this collection of rare pictures
17th Doll at New Theatre Ray Lawler's Australian classic, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, has opened at the New Theatre in Newtown. The story of two Queensland cane cutters and their seasonal romance with two Melbourne bar maids is directed by