Issue 325


By Alex Bainbridge HOBART — Premier Tony Rundle has ended months of speculation by calling an early state election for August 29, accompanied by a partial dismantling of Tasmania's proportional Hare-Clark voting system. Rundle is campaigning on a
By Tony Iltis HOBART — More than 600 students and activists gathered at the Students and Sustainability Conference (S&S), held at the University of Tasmania and the Lea Scout Camp, July 6-10. The conference is an annual forum of student
Tax staff support bad agreement By Ben Courtice MELBOURNE — The Australian Tax Office management's draft enterprise agreement was accepted by 79.6% of staff who voted in a ballot taken between July 13 and 15. Fifty-six per cent of
By Tim Gooden CANBERRA — On July 1, the Community and Public Sector Union joint national secretary, Wendy Caird, and national assistant secretary, Doug Lilly, travelled to Canberra to inform the ACT branch secretary, Jennifer Eccles, that at
Warehouse workers fight casualisation By Gail Lord SYDNEY — Members of the National Union of Workers (NUW) have been on strike for over a week to stop attempts by Davids Ltd to increase casualisation and working hours for its warehouse staff.
By Nick Everett BRISBANE — Around 30 union members walked off the job in Brisbane's Centrelink Call Centre at 2.45pm on July 10, frustrated by continuous computer system problems. Before the walkout, 53 Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)
Residents rally to save green belt By Alistair Dickinson SYDNEY — The Australian Defence Industries (ADI) Residents Action Group is hoping for a big turnout for a march and rally starting at 11am at the ADI gates in St Marys on July 26. The
By Kim Bullimore CANBERRA — Aboriginal elder Wadjularbinna Nulyarimma from the Gungalidda people and three other Aboriginal applicants have filed a motion with the ACT Supreme Court asking that John Howard, Tim Fischer, Pauline Hanson and Brian
Trade union leader reports on Indonesia By Bayardo Rodriegas MELBOURNE — At a reception for Victorian Trades Hall secretary Leigh Hubbard on July 17, participants heard about the growth and prospects of Indonesia's fledgling independent trade
West Enders to march against Hanson By Bill Mason BRISBANE — A march and rally against racism, called by the Democratic Socialists and Resistance, is set to liven up the streets of West End on July 25. The theme is: "Hanson has no solutions!
By Andrew Hall WOLLONGONG — Almost 300 people rallied in the main street of Kiama on July 17 to protest against Pauline Hanson's first visit to the Illawarra. There were many young people and unionists, particularly maritime workers, in the
'Voting' against racism By Amelia Jones and Mathew Munro HOBART — When Hanson visited Hobart last year, more than 5000 people protested outside her public meeting against racism and bigotry. The details of her latest visit to Hobart, however,
By Martin Iltis and Tony Iltis MELBOURNE — Around 200 people rallied in the Bourke Street Mall at lunchtime on July 14 to protest against uranium mining at Jabiluka. Speakers pointed out that the government's pro-mining policies show no regard
Transport workers rally against industrial laws By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Members of the Transport Workers Union rallied here on July 17 to protest against the federal government's repressive industrial laws and warn of further action if
By Rebecca Meckelburg and Jim Green Non-violent actions to stop the Jabiluka uranium mine have led to hundreds of arrests at the blockade in recent weeks. Protesters have endured police violence and appalling conditions in the police lock-up, and
Victorian art students reject fees By Kylie Moon MELBOURNE — Students from the Victorian College of the Arts returned to campus on July 13 to discover that a subcommittee of the college council had voted narrowly in favour of recommending full


By Helen Jarvis PHNOM PENH — All the old players are back in town as the Cambodian elections draw close. Contrary to the expectations, and perhaps hopes, of many who deny the present government legitimacy, the elections appear likely to go ahead
By Afrodity Giannakis A dispute between teachers and the government dominated the Greek political scene for some days in June. The trigger was the government's decision to replace the system of teacher placement with one based on an exam.
By César Ayala GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico Thousands of demonstrators on 150 picket lines across Puerto Rico have popularised the slogan "Puerto Rico no se vende" — "Puerto Rico is not for sale", or "Puerto Rico does not sell out". The slogan
By Doug Lorimer Just three years after Mexico's financial disaster, the second great financial crisis of the 1990s exploded in south-east Asia and South Korea. The same imperialist institutions that only a year ago held up the Asian "dragons" and
July 26 is Cuba's national day, marking the beginning in 1956 of the struggle that led in 1959 to the overthrow of the US-backed Batista dictatorship and the opening of the first socialist revolution in the Americas. Despite four decades of US
By James Balowski Encouraged by the student demonstrations in May which led to the resignation of President Suharto and the political concessions this forced on the new Habibie government, hundreds of pro-independence protesters have been
Campaign launched for legalisation of PRD By James Balowski On July 14, Indonesian democracy activists launched a campaign demanding a lifting of the ban on the People's Democratic Party (PRD) and the freeing of all PRD and other political
US groups urge methyl bromide ban On June 10, the US House of Representatives Agriculture Committee held a hearing on the deadly, ozone-depleting pesticide methyl bromide. Critics charge that the hearing was biased and the committee prevented
European left discusses globalisation By Margaret Allan COPENHAGEN — The 14th meeting of the New European Left Forum was held here June 19-21. Those attending came from 17 countries in Europe, including the Party of Democratic Socialism
Terrorist identifies backers of Cuba bombings In a front-page article on July 12, the New York Times described an admission by Cuban-born right-winger Luis Posada Carriles that he received funding from the late Cuban-American leader Jorge Mas
By David Bacon On June 15, a week after the death of Nigeria's military strongman, General Sani Abacha, Frank Kokori and Milton Dabibi walked into the sunlight after years behind bars. Their imprisonment had become a global symbol of trade union
By Eva Cheng Led by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, about 121,000 workers on July 14-15 to struck against the bosses and government's escalating push to cut jobs. The strikers' ranks grew from the 55,000 on the first day despite the
SACP reaffirms commitment to ANC alliance By Stan Thompson JOHANNESBURG — The 10th congress of the South African Communist Party (SACP), held here July 1-5 and dedicated to the memory of slain party leader Chris Hani, reaffirmed its commitment
By Norm Dixon The sudden death of Moshood Abiola, the imprisoned winner of Nigeria's 1993 presidential election, has thrown into disarray the west's efforts to rehabilitate the brutal and corrupt military dictatorship. From June 8, when dictator
Hong Kong protests By Eva Cheng Three groups of activists marched and rallied for democracy and human rights in Hong Kong on July 1, the first anniversary of the territory's return to China. Under the banner of the Human Rights Alliance, more
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — On Russia's labour scene, July traditionally has been a quiet month. Workers by mid-summer have been ready to set off on holiday, or to spend the warm, twilit evenings relaxing on their garden allotments. True, a
Melsol supports West Papua Melsol (Melanesian Solidarity) has condemned PNG Prime Minister Bill Skate for his support for Indonesian occupation of West Papua. Powes Parkop, general secretary of Melsol, said that millions of Papua New Guineans
By John Baker in Maebashi, Japan, and Eva Cheng Japanese voters expressed disillusionment with Japan's long-standing governing party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Senate elections on July 12. The big gainers were the Japan Communist Party


A Delicate BalanceBy Edward AlbeeSydney Theatre CompanyOpera House Drama Theatre By Mark Stoyich Edward Albee became one of the US's most famous postwar playwrights almost entirely on the basis of one play; but what a play! Who's Afraid of Virginia
Speaking out about refugees By John Gauci SYDNEY — Paulo Corsino, born in Dili 19 years ago, is the eldest of three children. He grew up in an environment of fear and oppression under the occupying Indonesian army, and fled to Australia in
Chile, Obstinate MemoryDirected by Patricio Guzmán Review by James Vassilopoulos September 11, 1973, is a date chiselled into the consciousness of the Chilean people. It was the day of the coup d'etat by General Augusto Pinochet against the
Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His LifeBy D.M. ThomasLittle, Brown and Company, 1998. 583 pp., $45.00 (hb) Review by Phil Shannon February 9, 1945, was the turning point in the life of Captain Alexander Solzhenitsyn. An officer in the Red
A voice for East Timorese youth SYDNEY — Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta recently cancelled an appearance on Channel 9's Midday show to appear on the Freedom Chants radio show, inspiring East Timorese youth to continue the struggle


Editorial: Stop privatisation of Telstra Mal Colston, the ex-ALP senator, with the words “on balance ... at this stage”, derailed the Coalition's first attempt to fully privatise Telstra. Prime Minister John Howard, however, has not given up