Issue 343

Australia

Malaysians demonstrate for democracy SYDNEY — Supporters of democracy in Malaysia held a picket outside the Malaysian Airlines office here on November 28. The demonstration was organised by the newly formed Malaysians for Democracy.
'Newcastle needs a working-class alternative' 'Newcastle needs a working-class alternative' By Stephen O'Brien NEWCASTLE — Following the November 21 federal Newcastle by-election, the Democratic Socialists have announced that they will
By Elena Jeffreysand John Curran PERTH — Western Australia's attorney general, Peter Foss, has commended the Surveillance Devices Bill 1997 to the upper house. The government of Premier Richard Court would like it passed there before Christmas.
MUA ranks launch campaign to revive union By Dick Nichols PERTH — On November 25, Western Australian wharfies and seafarers determined to revive their union, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), met in Fibber McGees Irish pub in Leederville.
Democratic Socialists to contest NSW elections Democratic Socialists to contest NSW elections By Tom Flanagan The Democratic Socialists have announced four candidates for the NSW elections scheduled for March 27. Standing in Port Jackson is
By Bronwen Beechey ADELAIDE — On November 20, 500 people rallied in Victoria Square to protest the SA government's budget cuts to mental health services. Mental health workers and clients, along with members of the Australian Nurses Federation
By Pat Brewer CANBERRA — After a 17-hour sitting, the ACT Legislative Assembly imposed new restrictions on women's access to abortion on November 25. In a compromise, amendments moved by independent MP and health minister Michael Moore eliminated
By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — More than 1000 members of the Public Service Association rallied on the steps of Parliament House on November 23 to protest the state government's lousy wages offer. PSA general secretary Jan McMahon said that with
Native title win in Kimberley PERTH — In the first successful native title claim on the mainland, the Federal Court has recognised the Miriuwung-Gajerrong people's right to their land in the east Kimberley. The traditional owners won the right
ACT government workers ready to fight By Stuart Martin CANBERRA — In a strong show of opposition to the ACT government's attacks on public servants, and in defiance of intimidation by management, Community and Public Sector Union members

World

Cuba updates Hurricane relief While the developed countries failed to provide adequate assistance to hurricane-devastated Nicaragua and Honduras, Cuba has more than obliged. Cuba sent medical brigades to Nicaragua, made up of general
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — The scene might have appeared mundane, scarcely news at all: lying inert in a St Petersburg stairwell on November 20, killed by a shot to the base of her skull, was a 52-year-old woman. The fact that the victim was
By Mouin Rabbani On October 4, 1992, El Al cargo flight LY1862, which originated at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, took off from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport for Tel Aviv. Approximately 10 minutes later, the Boeing 747-200 ploughed into the
By Rick Mercier KUALA LUMPUR — Representatives of non-government organisations met in Malaysia's capital for the fourth annual Asia Pacific People's Assembly at the time of the APEC summit. Assembly delegates harshly criticised the neo-liberal
Workers jeer PNG PM over budget By Norm Dixon On November 24 in Port Moresby, 2000 angry trade unionists jeered Papua New Guinea's prime minister, Bill Skate, when he appeared to accept a petition from protest organisers. The workers, mobilised
Malaysian democracy activist arrested By Khatijah Abdullah KUALA LUMPUR — Tian Chua was at a thankyou party for volunteers of the Asia Pacific People's Assembly on November 21 when news reached the gathering that a pro-reform demonstration had
Students protest killings in East Timor By Jon Land Thousands of East Timorese students occupied the provincial parliament in Dili on November 23, angered by a brutal crackdown by Indonesian soldiers. The crackdown has killed up to 50 East
Blair attacks asylum seekers LONDON — On November 24, the Tony Blair Labour government in Britain announced plans to introduce new asylum and immigration legislation in the current parliamentary sitting. The key proposals in the legislation,
By Aziz Choudry CHRISTCHURCH — The New Zealand government is the chair of APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) for 1999. We are now entering a period of hard sell for the government and business leaders who support APEC's goal of a "free"
'Costa Rica has been invaded by mining companies' GABRIEL RIVAS DUCCA, from Costa Rica, has been supporting local communities in their fight against open-cut mining. He was in Australia to participate in conferences hosted by Friends of the Earth.
By Anna Weekes JOHANNESBURG — The British Labour government has become involved in the privatisation of South African water. Just weeks before a water privatisation contract with British transnational Biwater was to be sealed, British trade and

Resistance!

By Amanda Lawrence In a recent edition of Triple J's Morning Show, presenter Sarah Macdonald introduced a new series on "The A-Z of Political Activism", Triple J's attempt to "find new ways to protest". According to Triple J, we are living in the
By Belinda Selke and Jess Howell Women's right to control their reproductive lives through access to abortion is under attack in the ACT, and Resistance is involved in a major campaign to defend it. A bill, first put up by right-wing Catholic ACT
SYDNEY — On Sunday, December 20, Central Sydney Resistance branch is planning a day of Marxism on the Beach at Manly Youth Centre. Resistance activist Aaron Benedek said, "It will be a great opportunity to revisit some of the more contentious
Women and revolution By Lisa Frankland and Emma Murphy In Australia today women are told (and many believe) that we have achieved full equality. Oh yeah? Why, then, are women still paid an average of 67% of the male wage, and why are our looks
The ugly side of 'beauty' By Trisha Reimers Selling "beauty" is big business. It's profitable and it's everywhere. But the whole idea that there is such a thing as an ideal beauty standard, let alone that women should try to live up to this
By Sean Healy The Malaysian government has taken a further repressive step with the arrest, on November 21, of Tian Chua, the chairperson of the Coalition of People's Democracy and a member of the human rights group SUARAM. Tian Chua was dragged
By Erin Killion and Wendy Robertson On November 21, National Union of Students delegates, office bearers and observers gathered in Campbelltown for the 1998 NSW branch conference. "It was a joke" said Alison Dellit, a Resistance member and delegate
Around the country, Resistance members are helping to kick off organising meetings for next year's International Women's Day marches, rallies and festivals. International Women's Day is the biggest, most radical annual feminist event in Australia.

Culture

Castro: the making of a Marxist Review by Neville Spencer The Making of a Revolutionary. My Early YearsBy Fidel Castro — Edited by Deborah Shnookal and Pedro Álvaro TabíoOcean Press, 1998141 pp., $19.95 (pb) In the capitalist
By Julia Perkins ROSEBERY — A $10,000 Arts Council grant has been awarded to the "Rosebery Miners and Axemen's Bush and Blarney Festival" for a community theatre project based on Marie E.J. Pitt's poem "The Keening". Pitt, who lived in Rosebery
An inspiring tale from Australia's radical past Green Bans, Red Union: Environmental Activism and the NSW Builders Labourers' FederationBy Meredith Burgmann and Verity BurgmannUNSW Press, 1998. 352 pp. $29.95 (pb) Review by Phil Shannon When the
Somebody's Daughter Theatre is hoping to tour NSW in 1999. SDT is a unique Australian ensemble made up of women who have a history of imprisonment or are still in the prison system. Their productions are acclaimed for their balance of passion, guts
Combined Unions Choir song book launched BRISBANE — Two hundred people packed into Paddington Workers Club for the Queensland Combined Unions Choir's 10th anniversary concert on November 7. Highlights of the performance included the hilarious
Behind the 'gumboot dance' Rishile Gumboot Dancers of SowetoRishile Gumboot Dancers of SowetoLarrikin/Festival Review by Norm Dixon Within hours of touching down at Johannesburg airport, tourists on package tours to South Africa find themselves
The Keening We are the women and childrenOf the men that mined for goldHeavy are we with sorrowHeavy as heart can holdGalled are we with injusticeSick to the soul of loss — Husbands and sons and brothersSlain for the yellow dross! We are the