Issue 335

Australia

By Amanda Lawrence CANBERRA — The ACT Carnell Liberal government has announced plans to privatise Canberra's ACTION buses, the only public transport in the city. The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has vowed to take industrial action to prevent the
By James Vassilopoulos SYDNEY — Negotiations for an enterprise agreement between the National Union of Workers and Davids, the wholesale grocer, have stalled according to Gary Cripp, NUW delegate at the Silverwater warehouse. The Federal Court
Rally for women's right to choose By Lara Pullin CANBERRA — Despite rain, 500 protesters gathered in Garema Place at lunchtime on September 23 to call on members of the ACT Legislative Assembly to vote against MLA Paul Osborne's attempt to
Native title under attack in WA By Sean Martin-Iverson PERTH — The WA government is hastily preparing new native title legislation. Only three weeks has been allowed for public discussion of the draft legislation. The state legislation flows
Tas secondary students oppose Hanson By Julia Perkins ROSEBERY, Tasmania — On September 25, 40 high school students walked out of school to take part in a speak-out against racism in the Rosebery Plaza. Students performed satirical street
Hundreds rally against insurance companies By Andrew Hall WOLLONGONG — Angry at insurance companies' refusal to pay for internal and external damage caused by freak storms here on August 17, more than 300 people marched through the city on
By Jo Ellis and Kathy Newnam ADELAIDE — It was a shoulder-padded affair when 400 people gathered at the University of SA on September 17 to hear Glenda Jackson speak on women, power and politics. A former actor, Jackson is now secretary for
By Philippa Stanfield ADELAIDE — On September 24, members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) staged a street theatre action to highlight the impact on customers and workers of staff cuts in Centrelink. Organised by delegates from the
By Vannessa Hearman MELBOURNE — Victorian premier Jeff Kennett has recently returned from a tour of south-east Asia. On September 17, he said that he had offered the Indonesian regime aid to get through the economic crisis. Kennett offered to
The left in the federal election There are six socialist groups contesting the election with a total of 38 candidates. The Democratic Socialists have by far the largest team with 12 Senate candidates covering every state and House of Representative
By Jennifer Long SYDNEY — The aroma of one of the federal election's neglected issues is seeping through the cracks of the Liberal and Labor campaign bunkers: the continuing saga of the Sydney airport. Residents in Sydney's inner-west and eastern
By John Percy SYDNEY — "Bury MAI" was the title of a September 25 public meeting here to discuss the implications of the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment. The MAI, which is being negotiated by countries, including Australia,
ERA office firebombed By Peter Johnston DARWIN — About 2am on September 21, two Molotov cocktails were thrown through an office window of the Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) premises here. Damage was estimated at more than $100,000. Police
By Virginia Brown MELBOURNE — The Reclaim the Night (RTN) collective hosted a "meet the candidates" forum here on September 24. All parties contesting the federal election were invited to speak about what they would do for women if elected. The
By Cass Ilia NEWCASTLE — The first openly socialist campaign in the federal seat of Paterson for many years has been well received by voters. The campaign for the Democratic Socialists' candidate Alison Dellit has focussed on opposition to racism
By Gail Lord SYDNEY — On September 21, the Australian Defence Industries Residents Action Group (ADIRAG) picketed the Mt Druitt office of Labor MHR for Chifley, Roger Price. The group is opposed to a planned 8000-building development by Lend
By James Vassilopoulos The Unity — Say No to Hanson party is barely 10 weeks old yet already it has 3000 members. It is standing 74 candidates in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and WA. In three states, its Senate tickets have a direct preference swap
CPA: 'vote for progressive candidates' ADELAIDE — MICHAEL PERTH is the Communist Party candidate for Port Adelaide. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's JOHN NEBAUER. Perth joined the Communist Party in Ireland in 1968. "My mum had two jobs to support
Opposition to Philippines copper mine MELBOURNE — Pastor Avelino Sichon of the Alliance for Genuine Development in the Philippines addressed meetings in Melbourne on September 18. He also presented a statement to Western Mining Corporation
Speak-out slams racism By Mike Byrne BRISBANE — "We have called this rally to highlight the need to actively campaign against racism as the key issue in this election", Graham Matthews, the Democratic Socialists' candidate for Brisbane, said in

World

FLORIDA — Communities, farms and schools face serious health risks from exposure to the pesticide methyl bromide, according to a new report by Friends of the Earth. Reaping Havoc — The True Cost of Using Methyl Bromide on Florida's Tomatoes
Indonesia: More foreign debt not the answer International donors pledged $7.9 billion in aid to Indonesia at the annual Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) meeting in July, 50% more than last year. But the package will not provide long-term
Voters punish Swedish Social Democrats By Peter Lindgren STOCKHOLM — The result of the general election on September 20 reflected the growing polarisation in Swedish society. The ruling Social Democrats suffered a defeat of historic dimensions.
Students help flood victims By Sean Healy DHAKA, Bangladesh — The people of Bangladesh face a new threat — devastating floods which affect 70% of the country and are getting worse. Flying into Dhaka (ground transport is now closed) is a
By Eva Cheng South Korea's Federation of Bank and Financial Labour Unions (KFBU) has called on its 110,000 members to join an unlimited strike to start on September 29. The strike aims to save the jobs of nearly 28,700 members. The KFBU is
Clinton: 'high crimes and misdemeanours' By Barry Sheppard The release of independent council Kenneth Starr's report outlining 11 charges against US President Bill Clinton, which Starr says "may" represent impeachable offenses, has set off a
By Peter Gellert MEXICO CITY — Severe floods in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas have left more than a 250,000 homeless and have taken the lives of between 500 and 3000 people. Torrential rains began on September 7 and have continued since.
By Rex Rumakiek Suharto's military dictatorship may have ended in Java but in West Papua (Irian Jaya) it is business as usual. Human rights violations that became synonymous with Suharto have continued since he stepped down in May. In June, while
Spanish government rejects Basque nationalists' cease-fire The Basque resistance organisation Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA — Basque Homeland and Freedom) announced an open-ended cease-fire, the Basque daily Euskadi Informacion reported on September
Student movement discusses education and globalisation By Sean Healy DHAKA, Bangladesh — Representatives of more than 30 organisations in the Asia-Pacific met on September 4-8 to discuss ways to combat anti-student policies being forced on
By Dr Syed Husin Ali PETALING JAYA — Malaysia's deputy prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, was removed from his posts on September 2. A day later he was sacked as deputy president of United Malays National Organisation
Russian government sacrifices wages to save oligarchs By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — After weeks of being a "certainty", there will be no crash of Russia's speculative, mafia-infested banking system — not yet, anyway. Instead, the crash is likely

Culture

The secret word on Groucho By Jon Wiener No, they didn't confuse him with Karl. In 1953 the FBI really did want to know if Groucho Marx was a member of the Communist Party. Apparently the bureau was not familiar with Groucho's famous motto, "I
Pantsdown: political protest through satire By James Smith "On October 3, Pauline Hanson will be out of office. After that I'm more than happy to fade into obscurity, returning in 10 years time to tour the RSL club circuit, doing my Hits of the
RadianceDirected by Rachel PerkinsWith Rachael Maza, Deborah Mailman and Trisha Morton-ThomasDistributed by PolyGramScreening nationally from October 8 Review by Francesca Davis An isolated house in rural Queensland is haunted by the ghosts of the
My lover is an activista revolutionary socialist.He's mastered the art of dialectica well trained comrade, life is hectic.He chooses words with venomwith the accuracy of LeninI do enjoy our polemicsthough the pace is somewhat franticand he can be
Ethnicity, class and sexuality collide head on Head OnDirected by Ana KokkinosWith Alex Dimitriades, Paul Capsis, Elena Mandalis and Maria MercedisAdapted from the book Loaded by Christos Tsiolkas By Conrad Barnettand Natalie Wood Ari (Alex
Another outstanding Brecht production The Caucasian Chalk CircleBy Bertolt BrechtDirected by Michael KantorBelvoir St Theatre, SydneyUntil October 25 Review by Brendan Doyle In this centenary year of his birth, commentators have cast doubts on