Issue 359

News

Victoria's last wilderness endangered in regional forest agreement Victoria's last wilderness endangered in regional forest agreement By Vannessa Hearman MELBOURNE — The Wilderness Society is campaigning to keep the Wongungarah area in
By Angela Munro MELBOURNE — A costly "review" of the 1987 master plan for Royal Park in Melbourne's inner north has been used to legitimise the construction there of a corporate hockey, gridiron and netball stadium, and associated administrative
High school walkouts boost Jabiluka student rallies Rallies against the Jabiluka uranium mine were held on April 29 by tertiary and high school students, who joined the rally after walking out of school. The mine is being built inside Kakadu
By Sue Boland The fact that the current goods and services tax (GST) debate is posed as a choice between increasing compensation or exempting food demonstrates that all parties to the debate already know that the GST is intrinsically unfair. For
Construction workers defy Kennett's public holiday law By Michael Bull MELBOURNE — Tens of thousands of Victorian construction workers defied Federal Court orders when they did not work on Monday, April 26, taking a holiday in lieu of Anzac
'Commercial use' possible for navy wharf By Andrew Parker The Australian Greens fear a proposed naval ammunitions wharf on the far south coast of NSW may also be used to export logs for woodchipping. The $57 million wharf and jetty and an
By Nick Everett On April 27, the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) Centrelink section council voted to recommend Centrelink's proposals for a new industrial agreement to union members. The vigorous debate that preceded the vote, and the 10
By James Smith and Vannessa Hearman An outstanding documentary about the Indonesian political underground, Indonesia in Revolt: Democracy or Death, had its Sydney premier screening at the Globe Cinema on April 23 to an audience of 380 people. The
ANU restructuring' CANBERRA — On April 12 the Australian National University council announced a review of the structure and programs of all faculties in order to reduce an alleged 15% deficit in funding. The review will be carried out by a
By Bronwen Beechey ADELAIDE — A 24-hour picket at the site of the proposed power station at Pelican Point on the Le Fevre Peninsula is continuing, despite more arrests of protesters on April 27. Local residents and members of Community Action for
Union support for East Timor By Peter Johnston DARWIN — The Northern Territory's peak labour body last week moved to pressure the Indonesian and Australian governments to act in support of East Timorese independence. The Northern Territory
Socialism for the new millennium conferences — "Socialism for the new millennium" conferences, organised by the Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance, were held in Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney over the Anzac Day
Ranger profits fall By Jim Green On April 29 Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) announced significant profit falls over the past three months from the Ranger uranium mine in the NT. Sales revenue from Ranger fell by 25%, and after-tax profit

World

By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — On April 18, the Russian Communist League of Youth (RKSM) held its fourth national congress here — and survived as the largest, best organised force on the Russian far left. For the RKSM — often known by the
NZ students win against VSU By Zanny Begg Students in New Zealand have had a victory against the government's attempts to weaken student unions through the voluntary student membership (VSM) legislation. The legislation required student unions to
Indian priest calls for peace in Sri Lanka By Nadeem Ansari CANBERRA — The Reverend Jegath Gaspar Raj told a public meeting here on April 28 that war in Sri Lanka has brought misery to the Tamil people and has polarised the Tamil and Sinhalese
By Norm Dixon Britain's Independent Television Commission (ITC) on April 23 revoked the licence of Med TV, the satellite television station watched by millions of Kurds in Kurdistan, Turkey, the Middle East and Europe. "The decision is undoubtedly
By Patrick Bond JOHANNESBURG — The lack of a serious left alternative to the centre-right African National Congress ruling party — whose macro-economic strategy (aside from new labour regulations) is more austere and business-friendly than
Marchers demand new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal By Barry Sheppard Two mass marches and rallies were held on April 24 in defence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a revolutionary journalist and former Black Panther leader who has been on death row
By Jonathan Singer In the second week of the campaign by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) against mass retrenchments and pay cuts, members of the Korean Metal Workers Federation (KMWF) have played the key role in industrial action.
East Timor's freedom in the balance By Jon Land On April 27, as Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Indonesian President B.J. Habibie joked and chatted following their discussions on the situation in East Timor, the people of East Timor
From the insights of Abu Tayeb These are hard times! We don't live near Kosovo. We live in a camp near Nablus. But our little satellite dish broke anyway just when NATO was starting to bomb over there, and my children have not been able to watch

Culture

Sydney artist condemns 'Dr John' SYDNEY — Pictured is a lino-cut relief by Sydney artist Stephen Corry of "Dr" John Howard coming to the aid of the Australian poor (represented as a bed-ridden skull propped up by a pillow of bones). Dr John has a
By Louis Proyect Small SoldiersDirected by Joe DanteDreamworks SKGAvailable from most video shops Stephen Spielberg was involved with one solid antiwar film in 1998. That film was Dreamworks' Small Soldiers, not the flag-waving Saving Private Ryan.
At the Coalface: The human face of coalminers and their communities: An oral history of the early daysEdited by Fred Moore, Ray Harrison and Paddy GormanPublished by the mining and energy division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy
A highwaymen's romp Plunkett and MacleaneDirected by Jake ScottScreening from May 20 in major cinemas Review by Jonathan Strauss The production notes for Plunkett and MacLeane describe it as "the quintessential buddy movie ... a hybrid classic
By the Access News team MELBOURNE — Melbourne's only community controlled TV station is experiencing a financial crisis that could result in the closure of the station forever. Independent TV, free from government or corporate influence, is rare

Editorial

East Timor and trade union solidarity Workers and their unions are starting to discuss how they can take action in solidarity with the East Timorese nation's fight to decide its own future. Aircraft maintenance workers' delegates at the Qantas

Resistance!

By Angela Luvera On May 21 last year, Indonesian dictator Suharto was forced to resign. The military's killing of four students at the University of Trisakti on May 12 triggered massive protests and riots in Jakarta on May 13-14, which culminated
By Wendy Robertson Because injustice is intrinsic to the system ... For 32 years Suharto guaranteed the interests of Western businesses and governments, which, in return, provided full military, political and economic backing. The Timor Gap
By Jon Land While the people of East Timor contemplate the prospect of voting in August on whether to reject or accept the Indonesian government's offer of "autonomy", they are also preparing for an increase in attacks from the pro-integration
By Sean Healy Urgent action is needed in solidarity with the people of Indonesia and East Timor. In East Timor right now, the Indonesian military is arming and training militia gangs in an attempt to terrorise the population into submission.
Eight young people — university and high school students and young workers — recently returned from a 10-day tour across Indonesia. They saw first-hand the unfolding struggle for democracy. JO WILLIAMS and BRONWYN JENNINGS recount the experience.
Although the Indonesian regime has freed some political prisoners since the fall of Suharto, more than 20 key political prisoners remain in jail. Eight are members of the People's Democratic Party (PRD). PRD chairperson Budiman Sujatmiko, Dita Sari,
To our brothers and sisters in Australia, struggling to defend the right of students to organise to defend their rights and oppose the unjust policies of the Australian government, we send our support and solidarity. The Australian government's
By Chris Latham The movement that developed last year in Indonesia, culminating in big upsurges in May and November, was based on concerns arising out of economic insecurity, and growing anger and rejection of the undemocratic and repressive
By Aaron Benedek Capitalism is full of contradictions. A bus trip through Jakarta is a stark reminder of this fact. Amidst the sprawling slums of workers and urban poor, luxury motels and military-owned mansions act as obscene reminders of the
Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor. April 23, 1999 Cut all military ties with Indonesia! Disarm the pro-integration terror gangs! Indonesian army out of East Timor! Self-determination now! We oppose the war against the
EE By Danny Fairfax Last July and August, high school students in Australia gained notoriety when 25,000 of them walked out of school against racism. In Indonesia, high school students are also organising. Alongside workers, peasants and the urban
By Dave Gosling The radical wing of the Indonesian democracy movement has long supported the struggle of the East Timorese people for national self-determination. These forces, especially those organised in the People's Democratic Party (PRD),
John Howard and Alexander Downer would have us believe that the Australian government has a deep concern for human rights in Indonesia and East Timor. In reality, the Liberal government and the previous Labor government have a record of supporting