Issue 353

News

By Norrian Rundle MELBOURNE — Victorian Australian Education Union members are very angry at the unprecedented votes in February by the union's council to impose a $100 compulsory levy on all members but to take no industrial action for the next
Kurds demand Ocalan's release By James Vassilopoulos CANBERRA — Four hundred Kurds protested against the kidnapping and cruel treatment of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), outside the federal parliament on March
Left parties stand in NSW election By Sam Wainwright SYDNEY — As Labor and the Coalition engage in a cynical law-and-order auction for the March 27 NSW poll, the biggest talking point has been the record 80 parties (264 candidates) contesting
By Vannessa Hearman MELBOURNE — The Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) is prosecuting Nike and three other garment manufacturers (Swiss Model, Apple and Motto) in the Federal Court for alleged breaches of the industry
By Mary Merkenich MELBOURNE — Australian Education Union members at Mill Park Secondary College in Melbourne's north-west recently stopped an erosion of their working conditions. Mill Park is the second largest state secondary college in
Council kicks out Boral By Alison Dellit and Hugh McCallum NEWCASTLE — On February 9, Newcastle City Council voted nine to two to make environmental performance part of the criteria for deciding which companies it will have commercial dealings
CFMEU accused of breaching Workplace Relations Act By Michael Bull MELBOURNE — The Construction and General Division of the Victorian branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Engineering Union (CFMEU) is facing two separate court
Public meeting opposes power station By Emma Webb ADELAIDE — Four hundred people attended a public meeting organised by Community Action for Pelican Point on March 9. CAPP opposes the building of a power station at Pelican Point on the LeFevre
Tanner laments 'family breakdown' By Jo Brown CANBERRA — Victorian Labor "left" MP Lindsay Tanner addressed a public meeting of 60 students organised by the Labor Left Club at the Australian National University on March 9. Tanner, who was
Speak-out against anti-abortionists By Jenny Long SYDNEY — Around 30 activists attended a March 13 speak-out against anti-abortionists' harassment of patients at an abortion clinic in Sydney's inner west. As pro-choice activists described the
By Mick Lambe COX PENINSULA, NT — People Against Racism In Australian Hotels (PARIAH) was created to expose and challenge escalating racism and bigotry here. This is one of the few places in Australia where indigenous people are still in the
After having been postponed due to rain a week earlier, the International Women's Day march went ahead in Adelaide on March 13, reports Jo Ellis. Three hundred women and men rallied in support of the march's main demand, that anti-abortion laws be
Equality before the law? By Tony Iltis HOBART — On March 4, Robyn Scotney from Bridgewater was jailed for a year for "defrauding the commonwealth". Her actual crime? She had failed to notify Centrelink that she was in a "de facto" relationship.
By Kylie Moon PENRITH — Sydney's urban sprawl is relentless. One proposed project is at the 1535-hectare Australian Defence Industries (ADI) St Marys site, bordering Penrith and the Blue Mountains. The site, the largest remaining tract of
Community Legal Centres resist restructuring By Graham Matthews BRISBANE — On March 8, about 50 community legal centre (CLC) workers, management committee members and supporters attended a public meeting to hear an explanation of the federal
WA plans boot camps for addicts By Stuart Munckton PERTH — Western Australia's Liberal government is considering using "boot camps" to deal with the drug problem in the state. Under the plan, a heroin addict convicted of a criminal offence
Plumbers' union campaigns for increased apprentice wages By Vannessa Hearman A year ago the Plumbing Division of the Communication, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) lodged a wage claim with the Industrial Relations Commission to increase
By Alana Kerrand Jen Crothers SYDNEY — "go girl!", the Sydney Women's Festival held in the Domain on March 7, was attended by around 7000 people. Those who believed the hype that the festival was to be the new face of the feminist movement would

World

Resistance and repression continue in Kurdistan By Norm Dixon The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has responded to the abduction of its leader, Abdullah Ocalan, by vowing to escalate the struggle for national self-determination. This was the
Fight over water privatisation in South Africa By Anna Weekes JOHANNESBURG — Attempts by the African National Congress government to privatise the water of Dolphin Coast municipality in kwaZulu-Natal province, in breach of a national agreement,
Victory for Scottish socialists GLASGOW — The registrar of political parties has been forced into a humiliating climb-down by the Scottish Socialist Party. The registrar's decision to bar the SSP from the ballot for the May 6 Scottish Assembly
By Sonny Melencio MANILA — On February 19, I went to the Las Pinas Post Office to claim a package sent by the Australian publishers of Links, an international theoretical journal for socialist renewal. When the person in charge opened the
South Africa announces 'world's largest' forest privatisation South Africa announces 'world's largest' forest privatisation By Norm Dixon The South African government on March 4 announced it latest privatisation project: the sale of the rights
Indonesian regime backtracking on Budiman release? By James Balowski On March 9, the Indonesian daily Kompas claimed that the chairperson of the People's Democratic Party (PRD), Budiman Sujatmiko, had rejected an offer of clemency by the
How democratic will Indonesia's election be? By James Balowski Last January, Indonesia's B.J. Habibie government announced a series of "electoral reforms" and set an election date of June 7. Since then, the establishment media has repeatedly
Remodernising Russia: the role of the left BORIS KAGARLITSKY interviews ANATOLY BARANOV. A left journalist, Baranov in 1996 came under attack from the authorities in the Moscow municipality, after an article he had written for the newspaper Pravda
On April 10, Green Left Weekly's MAX LANE spoke by telephone to East Timor resistance leader XANANA GUSMAO, who is still under house arrest in Jakarta. The telephone answered "Cipinang Prison" when I rang Xanana's house. Xanana had been imprisoned
Government hides report on Biak killings By Linda Kaucher The Australian Defence Department has refused a freedom of information request concerning West Papua put to the Department of Foreign Affairs. When Indonesian armed forces reacted
By Bastiaan van Perlo Nederland Bekent Kleur, a national platform against racism in the Netherlands, is seeking international assistance in its work. At this moment, we are involved in a struggle with our government to legalise a group of "sans
Papuan representatives demand independence By Linda Kaucher One hundred West Papuan community representatives met with President Habibie, members of his cabinet and the head of Indonesian armed forces (ABRI) in West Papua, in Jakarta on February

Culture

Cabaret Resist! to focus on women By Dave Riley BRISBANE — With poetry, monologues, percussion, songs and boppy melodies from the band Delta Skelter, the first Cabaret Resist! at the Resistance Centre on February 26 was an up-beat night
Beckett's back to haunt us Burnt PianoWritten by Justin FlemingDirected by Richard WherrettBelvoir Street Theatre, SydneyFrom March 9 Review by Brendan Doyle The danger of having a monumental dramatist like Samuel Beckett as a major character in
A short story by Dave Massey 6am: Home. That bloody clock, it's happened again! $8 at a garage sale was not money well spent. 6.20am: The street. Mounting those steps into the bus, sometimes I feel I'm stepping into the abyss. "How's it going"?
Mining a lode of cultural pride ROSEBERY, Tasmania — Tough times are often the catalyst for cultural expression. SARAH MAGUIRE reports on the "tough-as-steel" West Coast miners — and their artistic side. "We are the women and children, Of the
Targets, London 1860 — Targets, London 1860 — The dullest of records wereold Factory Reports bound, called "BlueBooks". Lists of figures, translations of workers'lives tossed about in debateand later boredom. Membersof Parliament used these

Editorial

Washington's hidden war on Iraq Imagine the United States is involved in its most intense air war since the 1991 Gulf War, and its most protracted since the Vietnam War. As it bombs its “enemy” many times every day, it kills several dozen

Resistance!

By Wendy Robertson Within days of leaking its proposal, the Coalition has introduced voluntary student unionism legislation into parliament. The move provoked widespread anger amongst students, who overwhelmingly reject VSU. In response, the
The campaign to stop uranium mining has a long and proud history in Australia. During the 1970s and '80s, thousands of people took to the streets to campaign against Australia's involvement in the nuclear cycle. In the early 1980s more than 300,000
Marxist feminism By Kathy Newnam "The general level of emancipation of a society is indicated by the level of emancipation of its women." This statement, drawn from the studies of Marx and his close collaborator, Engels, holds as true today as
By Keara Courtney The Labor Party, in contrast to the Liberals, sometimes tries to portray itself as an anti-nuclear party as a way of winning votes from the anti-nuclear and environmental movements. However, the ALP's real record gives the lie to
5000 rally for the WA forests By Marcel Cameron Perth — Five thousand people marched on Parliament House on March 9 to demand an end to the logging of old-growth forest in WA. The lively protest was called by the WA Forest Alliance, an umbrella
By Ryan Liddell SYDNEY — The National Children's and Youth Law Centre has released a booklet on high school rights. The kit, Know Your Rights at School, was funded by the Law Foundation of NSW and covers students' rights in 10 different areas,
The truth about Lucas Heights By Dr Jim Green A spokesperson for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) confirmed on March 10 that there had been a series of "mishaps" at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor over the last
By Sean Healy VSU didn't drop from the sky in 1993, when the WA and Victorian legislation was first floated. Rather, it has a 20-year history originating in attempts by right-wing students and governments to muzzle student organisations. The first