Issue 345

News

By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — Premier John Olsen and the state Liberal government are squirming with embarrassment over their handling of state public sector workers' wages and conditions in recent weeks. Prior to the end of the 1998 school year,
Gas commission highlights safety problems By Chris Spindler MELBOURNE — Witnesses at the royal commission to investigate the Longford gas disaster, in which two workers were killed and eight injured, have reported maintenance delays, poor
Activists create 'JAILS' By Jim Green In 1998, about 500 people were arrested at the Jabiluka uranium mine blockade in the Northern Territory. Many are to face court in coming months. JAILS (Jabiluka Arrestees Information and Legal Support) has
Mass picket supports locked-out workers By Michael Bull MELBOURNE — More than 600 people heeded a call to attend the picket line at the Australian Dyeing Company (ADC) on January 13. The ranks of the picket again swelled by more than 50 people
Historic houses threatened By Emma Murphy MELBOURNE — The planners for Melbourne University Private — an annexe of Melbourne University reserved the rich — have announced the demolition of 18 National Trust-listed terrace houses in Carlton.
ERA denies Jabiluka postponement rumours By Justin Randell Rumours that the Jabiluka mine has been postponed have been denied by Energy Resources of Australia. The rumours originated from a press conference for resource journalists in which ERA
Casino workers continue campaign By Bronwen Beechey ADELAIDE — Workers at the Adelaide Casino are continuing their campaign for a collective workplace agreement, despite harassment and intimidation from management. The workers, members of the
IWD Collective meetings begin By Lynda Hansen BRISBANE — The International Women's Day Collective has resumed meetings to organise this year's IWD activities on March 6. With continuing cuts to child-care and women's health services, recent
Public servants strike for job security By Stuart Martin CANBERRA — On December 17, 2000 members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) employed in the ACT public service went on strike for 24 hours in protest against the Liberal
Emergency call centre cuts By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Telstra has been widely criticised over moves to close its 000 emergency call centre at Ipswich and divert all crisis calls to Sydney and Melbourne. The closure, planned for April, will cost
Brisbane River 'a sewer pipe' By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Brisbane River, and the Bremer River flowing into it from Ipswich, have become "sewer pipes", funnelling pollution, effluent and sediment into Moreton Bay, a report has revealed. The
Resistance condemns racist jailings By Andy Gianniotis BRISBANE — Resistance, the socialist youth group, has spoken out against the jailing of a 14-year-old Aboriginal woman in the Mackay watch-house. The woman is the sister of an 11-year-old
Opposition grows in MUA By Dick Nichols A mood of anger and revolt is sweeping the ranks of the Maritime Union of Australia. The impact of the MUA-Patrick deal (set to be extended to P&O Ports) and the loss of the industry roster for
Hotel approved despite protests By Justin Randell WOLLONGONG — The controversial $25 million Cliff Road hotel is one step closer to reality after Wollongong Council voted to approve the development application on November 30. The application
Australia asked to 'please explain' By Kim Bullimore Australia will be the first western country asked to "please explain" its policies on race to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Australia, a
Optimistic plans set by DSP congress By Margaret Allum SYDNEY — Indonesian political prisoners Budiman Sujatmiko and Dita Sari from the People's Democratic Party (PRD) were honorary members of the presidium of the 18th congress of the

World

Following is a letter to the Chinese government from XU JIN, daughter of arrested pro-democracy activist XU WENLI. JANUARY 5 — On Monday, November 30th, you jailed my father, Xu Wenli, yet again. This time you accuse him of "subverting the
The myth of the pink dollar in the US Is there an economic dividing line in the United States based on sexual orientation? In a report released late last year, Dr Lee Badgett establishes that gay, lesbian and bisexual people are not richer than
Calls for trial as Khmer Rouge surrender By Allen Myers In late December, two of the three remaining top leaders of the Khmer Rouge announced their defection to the Cambodian government and were welcomed in the capital, Phnom Penh. The surrender
By Ebrahim Afshar The murdered bodies of two active members of the Iranian Writers Association(IWA) were found on the outskirts of Tehran in December. Later, it was disclosed that the two, who were kidnapped a week apart, were immediately strangled
Hunger strikes for democracy in China By Eva Cheng Beijing has shifted its repressive machine into higher gear since late November, arresting and interrogating some 30 pro-democracy activists, and sentencing three to jail terms of 11 to 13 years.
'I will always strive to engineer a better society' By Sue Boland The Indian revolutionary movement has suffered a double blow with the deaths of Vinod Mishra, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) on December 18,
WELLINGTON — New Zealand Prime Minister Jenny Shipley has indicated that the law will be changed to allow the Security Intelligence Service to break and enter people's houses. The moves came in early December after the NZ Court of Appeal ruled
By Kim Bullimore More than 100 screenings of a controversial documentary on the British "McLibel" case occurred around the world on January 12, to coincide with the beginning of the McLibel court appeal in Britain. The film was screened in
Hamba kahle (farewell) Simon Nkoli By Ken Davis On November 30, Simon Tseko Nkoli, one of Africa's most prominent gay and AIDS activists, died in hospital in Johannesburg. His death was front-page news, among the feature stories on World AIDS
As schools decay, Russian teachers protest By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — When Russian authorities learned on December 15 that striking teachers had blocked an important rail line, it may finally have dawned on them that the situation in the
By Jon Land Foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer announced on January 12 that the federal government now recognises that East Timor has the right to self-determination. In a media release titled "Australian government historic policy shift on
Vietnam launches action plan for women By Reihana Mohideen The women of Vietnam have been described as showing a greater sense of independence than women in other south-east Asian countries. During the war of national liberation, first against
Shell head office occupied LONDON — On January 4, environmental and human rights protesters began occupying Shell-Mex House in the Strand. The activists barricaded themselves into the offices in solidarity with indigenous resistance to oil giant
A report released last month by the Canadian firm Hatfield Consultants calls for urgent international attention to problems created by United States spraying of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The study found that the spraying has resulted in
Organising workers in Indonesia By Wahyu JAKARTA — After consolidating itself theoretically and organisationally in the beginning of the 1990s, the People's Democratic Party (PRD) began organising with workers. The fruit of this was the birth
Two leaders of the New Left Front in Sri Lanka were brutally assaulted on January 13 while campaigning in provincial council elections. Dr Vicramabahu Karunaratne, the general secretary of the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP), Patrick Fernando, the NLF
CANADA — Canada has topped the United Nations' Human Development Index for the past five years. However, a new report, released by the UN on December 4, condemns Canada's federal and provincial governments for exacerbating poverty and homelessness

Culture

When paranoia makes sense Enemy of the StateDirected by Tony Scott and produced by Jerry BruckheimerWith Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet and Regina King Review by Norm Dixon The big business newspaper smartypants all shouted in
The world produces enough grain to provide every human being on the planet with 3500 calories a day, according to a new book by the Institute for Food and Development Policy (also known as Food First). This estimate does not take into account many
'History happened to people' Review by Phil Shannon Eleanor Dark: a writer's lifeBy Barbara BrooksMacmillan, 1998 — 504 pp., $39.95 (pb) In 1947, Eleanor Dark was denounced in Australia's parliament as an "underground worker for the
FredBy Beatrix ChristianSydney Theatre CompanyAt the Wharf Theatre, Sydney Review by Mark Stoyich Beatrix Christian's Fred is a long play. Actually it's two plays — or possibly three. What begins as a brittle, fairly funny murder mystery turns
WOMAD returns to its roots By Melanie Sjoberg Do you need an excuse to visit Adelaide? The WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) '99 festival. February 19-21, provides them — in abundance. A variety of international musical experiences, in the midst
Workers as history makers Under the Hook: Melbourne Waterside Workers Remember: 1900-1998By Wendy Lowenstein and Tom HillsEnlarged and updated, 1998To order, send $30 to Wendy Lowenstein, PO Box 1033, Hawksburn Vic 3142. Review by Mark Gregory

Editorial

For 'reconciliation', read 'surrender' Visiting Uluru on January 13, Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer performed what amounts to an allegory for the government's plan to achieve "reconciliation" with Aboriginal people by the centenary of

Resistance!

By Sean Healy Due to the increase in the number of people wanting to join Resistance and keep in contact with our campaigns, Resistance has changed its membership structure. It still costs $5 to join Resistance ($3 for high school students), but
By Natalie Zirngast Between December 16 and December 19, while much of the world was distracted by Christmas hype, a massive 70-hour air bombardment was launched by the US and Britain against Iraq. The offensive was appropriately dubbed Operation
Living famously By Wendy Robertson 1998 will go down as Resistance's year of living famously. Thanks to the near saturation media coverage our actions and politics have received, Resistance has become recognised across Australia. Year 12 politics
By Alison Dellit On December 19, federal education minister Dr David Kemp announced that the government would introduce "voluntary student unionism" (VSU) legislation in this sitting of parliament. Kemp also said that the government intended to
Resistance magazine spoke to Maurice Sibelle, coordinator of the Victorian TAFE Students and Apprentices Network (VTSAN), about how TAFE students plan to campaign against voluntary student unionism legislation (VSU). Question: What has been the
Abstudy cuts are racist By Aaron Benedek Aborigines suffer an infant mortality rate two to three times that of other Australians. Life expectancy is 18 to 20 years lower. Unemployment among Aboriginal men is over four times that among
By Zanny Begg and Amanda Lawrence From December 7 to 11, the national conference of the National Union of Students met at the University of Ballarat. Labor students were in a particularly strong position. They won more than 47% of all delegates