Issue 371

News

By Alex Bainbridge HOBART — Thirty people protested against the reactionary policies of John Howard's Coalition government during a federal cabinet meeting here on August 3. The lively action contrasted with the larger but very tame salmon
Hiroshima Day events took place around the country on August 6-7, commemorating the victims of the US nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Current campaigns were also highlighted, including the Jabiluka uranium mine in Kakadu
Court 'backs down' on RFA By Grant Coleman PERTH — Under mounting pressure from opponents of old-growth forest logging, a large majority in Western Australia, the Court government has announced changes to the WA regional forest agreement (RFA).
Union demands transport industry inquiry By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Hughie Williams, Queensland state secretary of the Transport Workers Union (TWU), has called for an urgent inquiry into the road transport industry. This follows another fatal
Women's edition banned at Griffith University BRISBANE — The centrespread of the women's edition of the Griffith University student newspaper, Gravity, has sparked controversy. It features a picture of women's genitals with by a poem by Jen Clark
By Trish Corcoran SYDNEY — On the evening of August 3, residents from the north shore of Sydney Harbour were overwhelmed by a "gassy" smell. Hundreds of calls were received by emergency services. The stink was caused by a spill of 80,000 litres
Indonesian unionist starts Australian tour By Martin Iltis MELBOURNE — An Australian tour by Indonesian unionists from the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggles (FNPBI) is under way. Romawaty Sinaga, the head of the international
Exhibition exposes ships of shame By Ana Kailisand Claudia Beltran PERTH — The Global Mariner exhibition is an awesome multimedia display of issues facing seafarers worldwide. The ship Global Mariner was purchased by the International Transport
By Graham Matthews BRISBANE — The "net bet" fiasco, involving Queensland treasurer David Hamill and deputy speaker Bill D'Arcy, is threatening to throw the Queensland Labor government into crisis. Hamill has had to stand down pending the results
NSW firefighters fight inequities By Frances Sheehan SYDNEY — A mass meeting of members of the NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU) voted on August 6 to continue a campaign of industrial action over inequities in death and disability
Gatton students defend their college By Robyn Marshall About 200 students from the agricultural college in the small town of Gatton, about an hour's drive from Brisbane, opposed a University of Queensland administration proposal to close the
New police blitz to increase intimidation By Nicole Hilder WOLLONGONG — "Operation Midia" is a new law and order blitz by the Shoalhaven Local Area Command, which is using with gusto new powers given to police by the NSW Labor government. Cops
Australian Prisoners' Union formed By Sean Healy On July 17, prisoners' rights activists launched a new organisation, the Australian Prisoners' Union. The launch took place at the 15th anniversary function for Breakout, a design and printing
Southern Cross Uni dispute continues By Nick Fredman LISMORE — On August 4, staff at Southern Cross University stopped work for the second time since enterprise bargaining negotiations broke down in May. Staff unions and the Student
By Alex Bainbridge HOBART — The salmon industry used the opportunity of a federal cabinet meeting here on August 3 to mobilise opposition to the government's decision to allow uncooked salmon to be imported. Around 500 people rallied in Franklin
Queensland NTEU takes action By Justin Randell and Adam Baker BRISBANE — Academics, students and general staff have taken action for better enterprise bargaining agreements at the University of Queensland, Griffith University and Queensland
School bursar dispute continues By Sue Bull CANBERRA — Locked-out school bursars met with ACT education minister Bill Stefaniak on August 3 and came away empty handed. Stefaniak maintained he would have a proposal for the Community and Public
WA forests: for a green-worker alliance Western Australia's regional forest agreement (RFA) has given a glimpse of what an Achilles heel the environment continues to be for the capitalist system. From the very start of negotiations, the threat to
Pilger film a hit ADELAIDE — The premiere screening on July 31 of John Pilger's latest documentary, The Timor Conspiracy, was a huge success. The 200-seat Mercury Cinema was filled. About 40 people had to be turned away. The crowd responded
Supermax prisoners win challenge By Karen Fredericks BRISBANE — The Queensland Supreme Court ruled on July 28 that the Maximum Security Unit (MSU) at the Woodford Correctional Centre near Brisbane was operated unlawfully for nearly two years.

World

Some 300,000 people living in the Wanni region in northern Sri Lanka have been cut off from food and medical aid for more than a month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on August 2. The only route to the region, which is
Herri Batasuna: for independence and socialism Green Left Weekly's CHOW WEI CHENG spoke to MIRIAN CAMPOS, from the international department of the left-wing Basque nationalist party Herri Batasuna, about recent developments in the Basque country
By Jim Green Pacific islanders are organising to stop the passage of plutonium reactor fuel from Europe to Japan through South Pacific waters. Two ships carrying mixed uranium-plutonium (MOX) fuel will pass through the Tasman Sea in late August or
Independence rally in West Papua An estimated 5000 protesters, many holding bibles, marched through the town of Mimika singing hymns as they marched to the office of the Mimika regent to demand independence for West Papua. The protesters shouted,
Washington, Canberra hope to disarm Falintil By Jon Land Falintil, the armed wing of the East Timorese resistance, is under renewed pressure to disarm. Although Falintil has upheld a unilateral cease-fire and abided by security guidelines called
US fans tensions with China By Eva Cheng Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui's July 9 statement of a desire for "state to state" relations with China has increased tensions, leading to Beijing's July 31 seizure of a Taiwanese military supply vessel
Downer in Dili: what wasn't reported By Sam King DILI — The Australian government, forced to recognise that some form of political change in East Timor is inevitable whatever the result of the referendum, has been attempting to woo the
Burmese students remember August 8 By Sean Healy August 8 is the 11th anniversary of the 1988 uprising in Burma. On the 8/8/88, the entire country rose up against the corrupt and brutal regime of General Ne Win, in power since a military coup in
South African workers confront 'comrade ministers' By Norm Dixon South African worker militants struggling against the African National Congress (ANC) government's austere economic policies, privatisations and job losses are discovering an
The following is abridged from a statement by the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM). US trade unionists demonstrated outside Texaco's Washington office on July 30 to protest against labour and human
Thousands of students return to East Timor By Sam King DILI — As the massive Indonesian passenger ship the Dobonsolo left Jakarta on July 23, thousands of people filled its seven tiers. Hundreds more set up sleeping places on the open deck.
Web site launched for imprisoned South African poet By Norm Dixon The Campaign for the Release of Mzwakhe Mbuli has a launched a web site to publicise the case the renowned artist. Mbuli is known as South Africa's "people's poet" for his daring
European elections provide some shocks By François Vercammen The June elections to the European Parliament sent a major shock wave through the political system. In Italy, the presidents of four parties have resigned. Social democrats in
By Vannessa Hearman DILI — Pro-independence forces and United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) workers are very confident that the referendum in East Timor on autonomy or independence, now scheduled for August 30, will go ahead
By Norm Dixon The Iraqi government on July 31 lodged a protest with the United Nations against the destruction of seven samples of VX nerve gas found at the UN Special Commission on Iraq's (UNSCOM) Baghdad headquarters. UNSCOM ignored an Iraqi

Culture

Education For Slavery or Liberation?By Jo WilliamsResistance Books, 199922pp, $2.95 Review by Kim Collins Jo Williams explains that the education system is one of the capitalist system's central means of disseminating capitalist ideology. It
Frida Kahlo's microscope of the psyche Frida: A Biography of Frida KahloBy Hayden Herrera Bloomsbury, 1998507 pp, $35.00 (pb) Review by Phil Shannon As Frida Kahlo was returning home from school one day in 1925 in Mexico City, a tram crashed into
Inside the Celtic Tiger — The Irish Economy and the Asian ModelBy Denis O'HearnPluto Press, London1998, 216pp. Review by Garret Mullan "Dublin is the new Paris" was the title of a recent article in the Observer newspaper. Ireland is a centre of
Intimate Union: Sharing a Revolutionary LifeAn autobiography by Tom and Audrey McDonaldPluto Press Australia, 1998 By Melanie Sjoberg Aspects of many of the dramatic shifts in the world's and Australia's politics and labour movement during the last

Resistance!

The National Union of Students (NUS) was formed in 1987. From its inception, it has been dominated by members of the Labor Party, particularly members of the National Organisation of Labor Students (NOLS). How the left should approach NUS has been
By Natalie Zirngast The classified version of the 1997 Australian defence policy document, leaked in the August 3 edition of the Bulletin, details a return to "forward defence". While the unclassified version made veiled references to concerns
By Chris Sitka People in the progressive left usually claim to be anti-racist. Therefore, I was appalled by the blatant racism of a large group of socialist women at the recent National Organisation of Women Students Australia (NOWSA) held in
By Wendy Robertsonand Maria Voukelatos In her letter, Sitka asserts that Resistance was "busily at work trying to preserve white privilege and superiority" when we opposed the adoption of a quota system at NOWSA. Resistance opposed the system, not
By Justin Randell Where does anti-Semitism come from? The first point to make is that anti-Semitism has changed over time. Throughout much of Jewish history, many Jews have been traders and money lenders. This is primarily because of the geographic