Issue 352

Australia

Victorian ALP factional conflict By Vannessa Hearman MELBOURNE — The Victorian Labor Party's factional conflict became "public" at its state conference on February 27-28. About 20 delegates walked out during opposition leader John Brumby's
Candidates discuss environmental policies By Justin Randell WOLLONGONG — Candidates standing for seats in the Illawarra in the March 27 NSW election attended an "Environmental health community forum" on March 2. Candidates from the Liberal and
By Dick Nichols SYDNEY — Alan Jones, Sydney radio 2UE's right-wing breakfast "shock jock", re-entered old territory recently when he commented on the Maritime Union of Australia. Jones, who made daily attacks on the MUA during its dispute with
By Mark Abberton MELBOURNE — The Student Unionism Network (SUN) is at a crossroads in its planning for the Victorian day of action against "voluntary student unionism" (VSU) on March 31. SUN has pressured the Victorian branch of the National
By Damien Christmas and Jackie Lynch MELBOURNE — After an emergency general student meeting on March 2, around 100 students at the Frankston campus of the Chisholm Institute of TAFE marched to Administration Building and commenced an indefinite
By Nick Fredman LISMORE — EarthSave, a relatively new party contesting the March 27 NSW election has been accused by a group of former members of hiding a reactionary agenda beneath a progressive veneer. The disaffected supporters have alleged
By Margaret Allum The streets on March 6 were alive with the sounds of chanting and demands for women rights as thousands marched on International Women's Day around Australia. Following are only some of the reports from marches where indigenous
In defence of 'throwback' unionism By Chris Spindler MELBOURNE — Eight months ago, the Workers First team won the leadership of the Victorian branch of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU). Workers First's platform
Strike at Sun Metals By Bill Mason BRISBANE — A strike by more than 1000 workers has halted construction of the $1.2 billion Sun Metals Zinc Refinery, south of Townsville. The action is over workers' right to choose their unions. A meeting of
By Liam Mitchell and Vannessa Hearman The issue of possible international involvement in an independent East Timor dominated the discussion at an Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET) seminar titled "East Timor: the way
By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — Around 80 people left the Adelaide Hills with concrete campaigning plans following the third SA United Trades and Labor Council (UTLC)-organised Summer School on February 26-28. Among the speakers was Kathryn Heiler
Organising against 'nuclear capitalism' By Edward Skimmerhorn HOBART — Democratic Socialist Party spokesperson Tony Iltis discussed the political economy of the nuclear industry at a "Politics in the Wholefood Shop" forum on March 2. Iltis, who
SA public servants intensify action By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — Two hundred state public servants walked off the job on March 4 in response to the standing down of two Public Service Association (PSA) members over their participation in
By Dot Tumney The Kumarangk Legal Defence Fund (KLDF) has re-launched a web site dealing with 10 defamation cases against 18 people and organisations in relation to the Hindmarsh Island bridge affair. Members of the local Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal
Sydney universities strike By Tyrion Perkins SYDNEY — A National Tertiary Education Union members' meeting at Sydney University on March 3 resolved to test the vice-chancellor Gavin Brown's recent promise to speed up enterprise bargaining

World

By Barry Sheppard Five workers atop a 100-foot oil tower were engulfed in flames at the Tosco refinery in Martinez in the San Francisco Bay Area on February 23. One worker was killed outright, three died after days of acute agony and another is in
By Eva Cheng BRUSSELS — Between 500-1000 social movement activists from around the world will be meeting in Brussels on March 12-13 to map out a strategy for an international campaign to press the rich countries to waive the crushing debt they
MOHAMMED ISSA is president of the Afghan Watan Party. He was interviewed in Brussels on February 10 by AMJAD AYUB for the Pakistani Marxist news magazine Struggle. The following is abridged from that interview. Question: What is the present
By Lisa Young GLASGOW — If I had to pick one word to describe the first conference of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) on February 22, it would be "inspirational". More than 200 people from all over Scotland — some long-time activists and
By James Balowski In a surprise turn of events, on February 24 it was announced that the People's Democratic Party (PRD) has been officially registered as a political party. Earlier, the body overseeing the election registrations had "postponed" a
By Norm Dixon Lawyers representing Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) abducted by Turkish commandos in league with US intelligence agencies, say he is being psychologically tortured and denied his legal rights. The
By Norm Dixon Nigeria's corrupt and brutal military — which has ruled Africa's most populous country with an iron fist almost continuously since independence — has succeeded in placing its favoured candidate, former military dictator Olusegun
By Pamela Currie GLASGOW — Statistics published by Scottish Women's Aid (SWA), the main organisation providing care and support to women and children fleeing domestic violence, reveal the extent of the crisis in the provision of these
The following is an abridged version of a February 24 statement by JOSE RAMOS-HORTA on Indonesia-orchestrated violence in East Timor. There is abundant information concerning the Indonesian-instigated violence in East Timor. Gangs of youth,
SYDNEY — Green Left Weekly's LUCY HONEY and KYLIE MOON spoke to RIZAN NADIR, a member of the Committee in Defence of Iraqi Women (CDIW) who lives in Sydney, about the conditions women face in Iraq today. "Women in Iraq have no rights over their
Political prisoner sends greetings on IWD Following is the text of an International Women's Day message to Australian activists from Indonesia's only woman political prisoner, DITA SARI. Sari, a leader of the People's Democratic Party, is serving a
Nationalists in Portadown are seeking support across Ireland in an effort to end eight months of sectarian violence against their community. Violence flared after a rally on February 19 at which Orange district spokesperson David Jones threatened his
Indonesian political prisoners may be pardoned Stop press: Indonesian political prisoners may be pardoned Following the registration of the People's Democratic Party (PRD) for the June 7 Indonesian general election (see article page 18),

Editorial

The army's new manual, Fundamentals of Land Warfare, suggests two uses for the organisation: “The Army provides expeditionary forces to support Australia's national interests offshore and territorial forces to protect Australian sovereignty.”

Resistance!

By Jane Armanasco PERTH — On February 27, more than 150 people braved sweltering heat to protest against environmental destruction. The main demands of the rally, which was organised by Resistance, were: Stop the logging of old-growth forests!
By Zanny Begg On May 10, 1968, thousands of students and police clashed on the streets of Paris in the infamous "night of the barricades". The night has come to symbolise, with fear by conservatives and enthusiasm by radicals, the revolutionary
By Andy Gianniotis The side effects of living in such a deeply alienated society, ruled by an irrational capitalist system, add up to probably the best possible argument for socialism. And we talk about these side effects a lot. We talk about all
By Aaron Benedek To defeat the federal "voluntary student unionism" (VSU) legislation it is essential that the student movement launch a campaign immediately. Despite many students having heard of VSU, it is clear that many do not understand what
By Chris Latham Since President Suharto resigned last May the repression in Indonesia has continued. At least 15 students have been killed, 15 students remain "disappeared" — suspected dead — and a another 10 students remain imprisoned. In
Coalition attack on student unions unveiled By Wendy Robertson After two months of shadow-boxing, federal education minister David Kemp has "leaked" the proposed "voluntary student unionism" (VSU) legislation. It is expected that the legislation
VSU in Victoria: 1) prohibits administrations from making students' membership of student organisations compulsory; 2) limits the expenditure of funds from compulsory non-academic fees on facilities and services or activities of direct benefit to
By Chris Latham Last year featured the largest protest movement in the history of Indonesia. These protests, which mobilised millions of people, ended the dictator Suharto's 32-year reign. They were primarily built by students. How did students, a

Culture

Andy Warhol's peculiar brand of subversion By Louis Proyect When Andy Warhol moved to New York City in 1958 after graduating from the Carnegie Art Institute (now part of Carnegie-Mellon) in Pittsburgh, he knew that abstract expressionism had no
Getting the word out about cultural activism By Dave Riley Scott M.X. Turner describes himself as a "punk rock/trad Irish/reggae guitarist and singer". The mix may seem a strange one, but Turner's approach to his music is far from eclectic. When
A nostalgic company history of Australian Stalinism The Reds By Stuart Macintyre Allen & Unwin, 1998. $49.95.  Review by Bob Gould Stuart Macintyre is a competent historian where either his past Althusserian
A ghost or a spirit? BulworthDirected by and starring Warren BeattyAlso starring Halle BerryShowing in most major cinemas Review by Jonathan Singer Fact: Bulworth is a good — a very good — movie. Fact: It is one you should definitely see.