Issue 348

News

By Michelle Wickham SYDNEY — Guided tours of the Opera House by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a part of the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, have been cancelled after objections from the Catholic Church. The gay male "nuns" are an annual
IWD on NSW north coast IWD on NSW north coast By Kath O'Driscoll LISMORE — Organising is under way for a march and rally for International Women's Day on March 6. A collective of campus and high school students, community workers and other
By Shane Bentley SYDNEY — Faruque Ahmed, president of the Taxi Drivers Section of the NSW Transport Workers Union (TWU) and a taxi driver for 14 years, is leading a campaign for an independent inquiry into the NSW taxi industry. "The industry is
Suspension of needle exchange increases HIV risk By Tom Flanagan SYDNEY — "Redfern is surely one of the most urgent and obvious places in NSW for a government-funded injecting room. It is not the place to suspend a needle exchange program",
Victory at Australian Dyeing Company By Maurice Sibelle MELBOURNE — After 67 days on the picket line, 80 locked-out workers at the Australian Dyeing Company won a major victory on February 5. ADC management agreed to a 10% wage rise over two
MUA ex-official attacks 'character assassination' By Dick Nichols BRISBANE — Jeff Langdon, former organiser with the Maritime Union of Australia's (MUA) south Queensland branch and well known for his work during the Patrick dispute, has
By Steve Ryan SYDNEY — Despite decades of attempts to convince governments of the public's will to save our remaining forests and wilderness areas, and the need to preserve biodiversity, the dollar has won the debate. Woodchips are evidently more
Help needed to overcome arson attack By Iggy Kim PERTH — In October, the home of well-known Aboriginal activist Clarrie Isaacs was severely burnt in a suspected arson attack. The fire melted light fittings and electrical wiring throughout the
ACTEW privatisation victory By James Vassilopoulos Unions scored an important victory on February 2, when the Legislative Assembly voted down the government's proposal to privatise the Australian Capital Territory Electricity and Water (ACTEW).

World

Scotland's new socialist party ALAN McCOMBES is editor of Scottish Socialist Voice and an executive committee member of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP). He spoke to Green Left Weekly about Scottish politics and the formation of the SSP.
By Peter Montague A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association in April 1998 estimated that adverse reactions to prescription drugs kill about 106,000 people in the USA each year — roughly three times as many as are killed by
New patents for terminator seeds The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) has announced that it has uncovered 36 new patents describing a wide range of techniques that can be used for genetic sterilisation of plants and seeds. The
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — For the head of administration in the Bykovsky region of Volgograd province on January 28, there could be no doubt that local teachers were angry at having been denied their pay since August. The teachers barricaded him
By Norm Dixon Nigerian newspapers reported on February 1 that as many as 19 young people opposed to the operations of western oil companies in the Niger River delta, in Nigeria's south, were killed by federal troops in the preceding days. Troops
DEDE OETOMO is coordinator of Gaya Nusantara, a national gay rights group in Indonesia. He is currently visiting Australia and will address the Indonesian Solidarity Dinner at the Resistance Centre in Sydney on February 19 (details below). Last
Critical new evidence in Mumia Abu-Jamal case By Jeff Mackler SAN FRANCISCO — Speaking at a January 23 national leadership conference in New York City, held to prepare the April 24 mass demonstrations demanding a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal,

Culture

I Protest!By Phil Thornton, Liam Phelan and Bill McKeownPluto Press Australia, 1997224 pp., $19.95 (pb) Review by Jonathan Strauss I Protest!, written by three journalists, Phil Thornton, Liam Phelan and Bill McKeown, is subtitled "Fighting for
Questioning the Millennium: A Rationalist's Guide to a Precisely Arbitrary CountdownBy Stephen Jay GouldVintage, 1998190 pp., $17.95 (pb) Review by Phil Shannon This may be the only occasion in the history of Green Left Weekly when the following
Betrayed by a kiss Judas KissBy David HareDirected by Neil ArmfieldBelvoir Street Theatre, SydneyUntil February 14 Review by Wendy Robertsonand Cassandra Pomroy Judas Kiss is a potent mix of Oscar Wilde's life and love. Hedonistic, luxurious
Bands defy 'cop killer' hysteria By Norm Dixon The popular band Rage Against the Machine was forced to live up to its name when it confronted hysteria following its decision to play a benefit concert for US death row political prisoner Mumia
12 months of Australian political cartoons By Kim Bullimore CANBERRA — The last 12 months have generated some of the most heated debates in recent Australian political history. Events such as Patrick's sacking of its entire work force, the
The Global Trap: Globalization and the assault on prosperity and democracyBy Hans-Peter Martin and Harald SchumannZed Press, 1997 (reprinted 1998)269 pp., $24.95 (pb) Review by Eva Cheng One of the biggest issues confronting working people today is

Editorial

You can't leave it to parliament @box text int = When the Kennett government was first elected in Victoria, it announced a series of cutbacks and attacks in rapid succession, hoping that any potential opposition would be stunned into inaction.

Resistance!

By Kate Carr BRISBANE — On January 14, an anti-voluntary student unionism (VSU) meeting here was dominated by office-bearers from the National Union of Students' Queensland branch (NUSQ), the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the
Drugs: high time for decriminalisation By Simon Frew Last week, the establishment media in Sydney went into a frenzy after the Sun Herald printed a photo of a 16-year-old boy (initially described by the media as 12 years old) shooting up heroin.
By Mel Bull NEWCASTLE — On January 23-24, more than 50 student activists from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia participated in the Environment Activist Weekend organised by the Student Environment Activist Network (SEAN) and the
By Emma Murphyand Virginia Brown MELBOURNE — On February 22, the Network Of Women Students Australia collective (NOWSA) decided that the plenary sessions for the July conference would be: Women and capitalism; Exploring different feminisms;
Resistance magazine's Sarah Peart spoke to Rodney Molseworthy, publicity officer of the Federation of Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) about the proposed truancy law in NSW. Question: What exactly is the government proposing? The
By Danny Fairfax and Ryan Liddell Imagine this: you wake up in the morning and you're feeling terrible. You have a headache and a sore throat. You ask your mother if you can stay home from school and, on feeling your temperature, she agrees. You
By Yanni Cotis and Jo Ellis The letter "A" breaking out of the confines of a circle symbolises everything anarchism aims to achieve: rebellion, uprising against authority, a revolutionary change in society. Both anarchists and socialists aim to
By Wendy Robertson At its last meeting, the National Union of Students (NUS) national executive decided it would not call a nationally coordinated day of action against the proposed introduction of voluntary student unionism (VSU) until May 6,
By Zanny Begg The federal government has launched a new measure aimed at teaching young people their "A B C". The $143-million scheme will link the payment of unemployment benefits for 18 to 24 year olds to their literacy and numeracy levels. From

By Simon Frew

Hemp is one of the world's most useful plants. Its uses range from paper to fuel, and it could replace many environmentally destructive products.