Issue 318


By James Vassilopoulos The small funding boost for some health programs in the federal budget will not address the massive cuts that occurred in the Coalition's 1996 budget. Nor will it provide the expansion that is needed in the public health
TWU court victory By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Queensland Industrial Court on May 14 ruled that the Employment Advocate did not have the right to inspect a union's membership register. Justice Glen Williams found that the actions of the EA in
By Kerryn Williams MELBOURNE — More than 100 people attended a debate organised by the Melbourne University Debating Society on May 13, on the issue of whether Victoria should follow the WA path of abortion law reform. The pro-choice team was
Green Left free speech campaign By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — Following attempts to ban Green Left Weekly distribution in Rundle Mall over the past two months and in Central Markets since May 8, GLW sellers and supporters are fighting back. A
By Kathy Pinkusand Kamala Emanuel HOBART — The Tasmanian University administration has announced plans to "amalgamate" two libraries on the Sandy Bay campus during mid-semester break. The Biomed Library will be closed and materials transferred to
50 years of Palestinian catastrophe By Jennifer Thompson SYDNEY — Around 150 people gathered on May 15 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Palestinian dispossession by Israel. The seminar, organised by the University of Technology Friends of
An election budget in Queensland By Bill Mason BRISBANE — “Queensland treasurer Joan Sheldon's budget is a confidence trick aimed at winning votes, while doing nothing for working people”, Democratic Socialist candidates in the state
Budget continues education devastation By Sean Healy Despite the "sighs of relief" attributed to university vice-chancellors by the major dailies, the 1998-99 federal budget continues the privatisation of higher education. True, there are "no new
By Jennifer Thompson Given the government's stated priorities, the federal budget is a major missed opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, according to ATSIC. Of the four priorities constantly emphasised by the
By Chris Latham PERTH — Police are trying to defuse community concern following television news footage of the Tactical Response Group (TRG) kicking and beating people at a birthday party on May 10. The party, attended by 150 people, was raided
ANU axes arts faculty staff By Will Williams CANBERRA — An announcement was made in an ANU arts faculty meeting on May 11 that a further 12 staff would be axed from the faculty. The decision was made by the ANU council despite a student and
Construction workers to rally By Michael Bull The construction unions are aiming at the Howard government's latest anti-worker attacks with a national stoppage on May 20. The government and building employers are attempting to reduce the
By Mathew Chamberlain. Progressive politics were the source of inspiration for 17 Rockhampton residents who met, ate and discussed plans for future Resistance campaigns in the town on May 10. The barbeque officially welcomed Green Left Weekly to
By Ben Reid MELBOURNE — Trade unions have pledged to oppose construction of the Werribee toxic waste dump. The Australian Workers Union, whose members would build and operate the facility, has indicated that it may black-ban the dump. The
Setback for tax office management By Ben Courtice The agreement accepted by executive level two staff in the Australian Taxation Office will not be certified by the Industrial Relations Commission because management made corrections to the
By Sean Martin-Iverson PERTH — WA's prison system is in crisis. There have already been 10 deaths in custody since the beginning of the year. In 1997, 12 died. Deaths are likely to continue to rise as overcrowding intensifies and funding is
By Allen Myers SYDNEY — Well over 200 people crammed into Gleebooks on the evening of May 12 to hear John Pilger read from his new book, Hidden Agendas, and to answer questions posed by ABC journalist Quentin Dempster. The discussion, like the
WA nurses announce 48-hour strike Rina Anticich PERTH — The Australian Nursing Federation has announced a 48-hour strike in all public hospitals in Western Australia from May 19. The Liberal state government is refusing to increase its offer of
Canungra protesters on trial BRISBANE — Protesters arrested last year at the Canungra Land Warfare Centre went on trial at the Brisbane Magistrates Courts on May 12. Sixteen people were arrested for trespass and refusing to obey a lawful
Protesters condemn Turkish government By Arty Titiz MELBOURNE — On May 14, some 100 Kurdish and Turkish people protested against the attempted assassination in Turkey of the Human Rights Association president, Akin Birdal. The attempt on
MUA struggle continues By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Tensions on and off the waterfront continue to simmer here as the Maritime Union of Australia prepares for the next round of its confrontation with the federal government and Patrick. On May 15,
By Arun Pradhan MELBOURNE — More than 1000 people crammed into Chisolm Hall for the Yellowcake Dance Party on May 9. DJs and performers raised more than $5000 for the Jabiluka Action Fund. Posters for the event highlighted the dangers of uranium
Join the campaign against the Indonesian dictatorship! On May 15, emergency pickets were held in many Australian cities to demand that the government cut all ties with the Suharto dictatorship and the Indonesian military, and to show solidarity
By Gemma Doherty SYDNEY — In recent weeks in NSW, both major political parties have been trying to outdo each other in statements to the media about the "law and order" issue. Premier Bob Carr's plan, announced last month, to help police tackle


Tom Fawthrop PHNOM PENH — Kim Bophana is bitter about the failure of US plans to capture Pol Pot and deliver him to an international tribunal. Bophana lost 38 relatives during the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge rule. "The US had the power to arrest Pol Pot
By Jim Green On May 11 and May 13, five nuclear weapons tests were carried out in India's Rajasthan desert, the site of India's only previous nuclear weapons test, in 1974. The Indian government says the planned series of tests is now complete. The
Pakistani working class begins to stir By Farooq Sulehria On May 5 Pakistani workers observed a two-hour strike at the call of the Pakistan Workers Confederation, which groups eight major federations. The call was given by PWC under immense
Travels in East Timor Peter Williamson visited East Timor last year, around the time of the installation of the first bishop of Baucau. Here he describes what he saw.   Arriving in Dili on a domestic flight from Bali, I am
By Reihana Mohideen MANILA — A split in the Communist Party of the Philippines has recently been made public by the circulation of several statements. The split revolves around directives issued by the CPP leadership faction around Wilma Tiamzon
Lively May Day in Lisbon By Margarita Windisch LISBON — Around 30,000 enthusiastic people marched on a gloriously sunny May 1 to show their strength as workers, activists and dedicated union members. Contingents of unions, political parties and
By Dave Riley The New York-based Irish Echo spoke for many critics of the peace deal Sinn Féin has decided to endorse when it pointed out that the party had agreed to something it had told its supporters it would never accept — partition.
By Jon Land The United States Department of Defence announced on May 8 that it was suspending the Joint Combined Exchange and Training (JCET) exercises held with the Indonesian armed forces. A department spokesperson said the suspension was not
By Süren Sündergaard COPENHAGEN — After 36 hours of debate, the Danish parliament on May 7 passed a law to end to the 11-day private sector general strike. The minority government led by the Social Democratic Prime Minister Poul Nyrup
South African anti-homosexual laws struck down The South African High Court in Johannesburg on May 3 declared the common law crimes of sodomy, unnatural sexual offences and section 20A of the Sexual Offences Act unconstitutional, legalising
By Peter Gellert MEXICO CITY — The government is stepping up attacks on Zapatista-led autonomous municipalities in Chiapas and is intensifying its war in the mass media against foreign observers. In the early hours of May 1, a national holiday in
By Norm Dixon In 1994, the United Nations was warned of the Rwandan Hutu chauvinist government's impending genocide against the Tutsi minority and anti-tribalist Hutus three months before it began in April — yet ordered its "peacekeepers" in the


Compelling outcasts The ThiefDirected by Pavel ChukhraiWinner of the Venice Film FestivalShowing at Dendy and Cremorne cinemas from May 21 Review by Francesca Davis Set in 1952 and seen through the eyes of six-year-old Sanya, The Thief is a
Pete Seeger: fighting back with music By Tom Bridges “I had a beautiful long-necked banjo, the 'Pete Seeger' model ... and I played it constantly. I had a sweetheart too, who gave me a Pete Seeger album for my birthday ... At last
Summer of the Seventeenth DollBy Ray LawlerNew Theatre542 King St, NewtownUntil June 27 Review by Helen Jarvis The New Theatre has revived this Australian classic in a pacey production directed by Elaine Hudson. Ray Lawler's 1953 script retains its
A tale in two cities Reviews by Conrad Barrett Two films dealing with working-class alienation and its symptoms have just been released in major cinemas. One set in London, the other in suburban Australia, both deal with drugs, crime and violence
Portraying the stolen generations In the interest of BennelongGovernment House, Macquarie Street, SydneyMay 26-June 4, 10am-4pm This display of photographs, text and indigenous art evoking the issues affecting the stolen generations and their
Bothy CultureMartyn BennettRykodisc through FestivalThis Strange PlaceWolfstoneGreen Linnett Records through Festival Reviews by Barry Healy From Bob Dylan's amphetaminecharged '60s ballads and the Beatles' and Jimi Hendrix's LSD-drenched anthems,