Issue 322

Australia

By Natalie Zirngast DARWIN — Members of the NT Pro Choice Collective on June 12 presented local ALP MP Claire Martin with a petition containing almost 1000 signatures supporting the removal of abortion from the NT criminal code. The collective
Protest against Burnie mill closure ROSEBERY — On the morning of June 15, around 1000 people gathered in Civic Square to protest against the proposed closure of the Burnie pulp mill, which will mean up to 280 job losses. The march, led by four
Vigils against N-weapons CANBERRA — The embassies and high commissions of the eight countries that have tested nuclear weapons or are known to possess them have been targeted by vigils here. The vigils are organised by a coalition of local peace
By Shane Bentley and Peter Johnson SYDNEY — Members of the NSW Teachers Federation held two-hour stop-work meetings on June 17 to protest against the Howard government's promotion of private schools over the public school system. Concerned parent
Anti-Jabiluka mine activists take action The campaign to stop Energy Resources of Australia's construction of another uranium mine at Jabiluka is gathering momentum around the country. In Brisbane, reports Sam Wainwright, 100 people gathered
Fight for free speech in Adelaide By Jo Ellis ADELAIDE — Green Left Weekly is under attack here. The city council will not allow GLW to be distributed in the mall without a permit. The permit will cost $10 per week per distributor. The council
Correction In our June 3 issue, a report on a speech by Jose Ramos Horta at the University of NSW on May 25 said that the meeting was organised by the Amnesty club of UNSW. In fact, the meeting was organised by Catholics in Coalition for Justice
WA prison reform 'too little, too late' By Sean Martin-Iverson PERTH — Earlier this month, WA justice minister Peter Foss announced a new suicide prevention strategy, the first acknowledgment by the government that there is a problem in WA's
By Arun Pradhan MELBOURNE — The One Nation party here is attempting to step up its activity and profile. New state convener Robyn Spencer is well qualified for the job, with over a decade's experience campaigning against migrants in the group
Building workers strike against award stripping By Shane Bentley The construction industry was halted by a 24-hour national strike on June 15 to protest against the award stripping provisions of the Workplace Relations Act. The strike went ahead
Abortion rights pamphlet launched By Susan Price MELBOURNE The new Resistance Books pamphlet, Abortion: A woman's right, the case for law repeal, was launched here on June 12 at the Resistance Bookshop. The 50 people who attended heard Lynette
Borbidge seeks deal with Hanson By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The National-Liberal Coalition is desperately seeking to cling to power in Queensland, despite almost universal condemnation from every direction. Even the head of the Queensland
By Tim E. Stewart BRISBANE — A lively public speak-out against the racist and reactionary policies of One Nation was held here on June 19. The Democratic Socialists' action in busy Queen Street Mall was the first community response to the
Doctors' dispute enters second week By Lara Pullin CANBERRA — A dispute involving the ACT's visiting medical officers (VMOs) has entered its second week. The dispute has forced the closure of the two public surgical wards at Calvary Hospital.
NSW public servants win pay deal By Jenny Long On June 17, the Public Service Association executive lifted the bans imposed by statewide stop-works the Friday before, after the government offered to negotiate on a promised 4% pay rise. Two days
ASIET forum CANBERRA — On June 17, 50 people attended a forum organised by Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor at the Australian National University. ASIET national secretary Max Lane, recently returned from Indonesia, spoke on the
Fight to save Mullumbimby hospital By Kathy O'Driscoll MULLUMBIMBY — More than 1000 people attended a public meeting and rally against the closure of the Mullumbimby and District Hospital here on June 18. The meeting was organised by the
More uranium mines for SA By Sam King ADELAIDE — Australia's uranium industry is to be boosted with the planned expansion of the Beverley and Honeymoon "trial" mines in South Australia. Southern Cross Resources (SCR) plans to open a new mine at
'Nationalise the banks', say socialists By Bill Mason BRISBANE — "The answer to Pauline Hanson's right-wing populist policies is not to reaffirm the failed 'economic rationalist' program of the major parties, but to launch a socialist

World

By Norm Dixon Biwater, the huge British-owned corporation that has been named the "preferred bidder" for the Nelspruit's water and waste services, in South Africa's Mpumalanga province, is threatening legal action against opponents of privatisation
East Timor protests June 2 — 1500 students take part in a free-speech assembly at the University of East Timor, despite attempts by the university rector to prevent it. June 3 — 253 prisoners in Becora Jail in Dili begin an indefinite hunger
We were tortured, democracy activist reports By James Balowski On June 13, three leaders of Indonesia's outlawed People's Democratic Party (PRD) were released from custody. They were Mugianto (who visited Australia in 1996 under the name Robby
By Doug Lorimer Speaking in Belfast shortly before the Labour Party won the UK general election last year, Tony Blair declared, "I believe in the United Kingdom. I value the union" between Britain and Northern Ireland. Within this framework, on
By Norm Dixon Oil workers' union leaders Milton Dabibi and Frank Kokori were among nine prominent political prisoners ordered released by the new Nigerian military strongman, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, on June 16. Others to be released include
OAU votes to ease sanctions on Libya Despite criticism by the United Nations, the 34th summit of the Organisation of African Unity, meeting in the Burkina Faso capital, Ougadougou, decided on June 10 to lift partially the UN-imposed economic
By Michael Karadjis Serbian troops in the occupied region of Kosovo are carrying out ethnic cleansing on a scale not seen since the war in Bosnia. Villages have been bombed by helicopters, fighter planes and heavy artillery or completely burnt,
A dream come true The following is abridged from a piece by Melbourne-based East Timorese writer ELIZEBETE LIM GOMES, which she read at an Indonesian cultural night in Melbourne on June 12. "Reformasi!", the Indonesian students chanted in the
By Phil Stanford and Stan Thompson RAMALLAH — An international conference in Jerusalem on June 7-10 commemorated 50 years of dispossession of the Palestinian people. The conference overwhelmingly rejected the Oslo accords and discussed the
Following the election of a record number of radical left and ultra-right candidates in the March regional elections in France, Green Left Weekly's LISA MACDONALD spoke to PIERRE ROUSSET, a veteran socialist activist and editor of Rouge, the
Eight governments issue nuclear declaration An initiative on nuclear disarmament was launched jointly on June 9 by the governments of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden. The joint declaration, titled
Auto workers take on GM By Barry Sheppard On June 5, the United Auto Workers (UAW) struck in a General Motors factory in Flint, Michigan. The factory stamps sheet metal into car and truck body parts used in GM assembly plants. Six days later,

Culture

Benefit gig for Indonesian prisoners BRISBANE — The fall of Suharto and his replacement by B.J. Habibie, while not representing fundamental democratic change in Indonesia, have led to the release of a small number of political prisoners. Despite
Waiting for the BarbariansBy Lewis LaphamVerso, 1997, 230 pp., $39.95 (hb) Review by Phil Shannon "Satire is humour sent on a moral errand." So writes Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper's Magazine, whose new collection of essays is a welcome revelation
The JourneyMaryam MursalReal World through Festival Review by Norm Dixon With this album, Maryam Mursal takes her place amongst the great contemporary women singers from Africa, such as Miriam Makeba, Angelique Kidjo and Oumou Sangare. Mursal, who
The Dark Side of CamelotBy Seymour HershHarperCollins, 1998. 498 pp., $22.95 (pb) Review by Phil Shannon On the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, a CIA officer was handing a poisoned pen to a Cuban exile in Paris to
Cultural Battles: the meaning of the Viet Nam-USA warBy Peter McGregorScam Publications — 1998, 214 pp., $16.95 (pb) Review by Brendan Doyle As a contemporary of Peter McGregor who, like him, was first politicised by the Vietnam War, I welcome
Coward's Way Your demands for justicefall to the ground at my feetMy ears are deaf to your criesfor profit must come before people— it's a simple factof my political life!I will not utter an apology— to do so would admit to guiltfor although I
Double DisillusionWritten and performed by Rod QuantockMelbourne Trades Hall — Wednesday to Saturday, 8pm, until at least July 11 Review by Bronwen Beechey Recently, comedian Rod Quantock was interviewed for the Australian newspaper. At the end
Rory all over Lullabies for Big BabiesRory McLeodCooking Vinyl (through Festival) Review by Alex Bainbridge Rory McLeod is a British folk singer/songwriter who seems to have tried his hand at just about every form of live entertainment around.
A child's question about abolishing native title What did you do Daddy to assist John Howard's ethnic cleansing? Did you just go around: donging dagos bashing boongs wacking wogs and slashing slopes? Mr. Brown was a Storm Trooper
Folk that gives hope Freddie's DaughterMargaret BradfordSend $20 (CD) or $10 (cassette) to 12 Naranga Ave, Engadine NSW 2233Ph (02) 9520 6180 Review by Barry Healy Plain speaking can often be the best way of communicating your thoughts and