Issue 384


Proportional representation 'the best system' In a media statement issued on November 4, the Progressive Labour Party has condemned the NSW Labor government's planned changes to the Legislative Council, saying they would turn the upper house into
Jabiluka faces another obstacle By Jim Green The future of the Jabiluka uranium mine in the Northern Territory is in doubt. The Northern Land Council (NLC), following a full council meeting on October 19-21, advised Energy Resources of Australia
By Jim Green A survey commissioned by Greenpeace has revealed a strong anti-nuclear sentiment in the Australian population. The survey, conducted by Insight Research Australia in late September and early October, involved telephone interviews with
By Dot Tumney On November 4, the Supreme Court of South Australia overturned a damages award of more than $50,000 to Hindmarsh Island developers Tom and Wendy Chapman. The damages were awarded by the District Court last year after the Chapmans
Management digs in at Melbourne Uni By Jeremy Smith MELBOURNE — Up to 10 universities will be hit by industrial disputes this year as the National Tertiary Education Industry Union continues its national campaign for better salaries and
By Pip Hinman Internationally acclaimed film-maker and journalist John Pilger has endorsed a campaign to call Australian foreign policy makers to account for their part in the genocide in East Timor over the last 24 years. "The part played by the
SYDNEY — The State Rail Authority has been accused of breaching privacy laws by using electronic data received from station ticket machines to take disciplinary action against rail workers. Rail unions say 10 workers had faced disciplinary action,
Bank profits built on job cuts By Jonathan Singer On November 4, the Finance Sector Union (FSU) again called on Westpac to reverse its decisions to close more country branches and cut 3000 jobs, after Australia's four big banks announced record
By Maree Roberts CANBERRA — Community and Public Sector Union members in the ACT have responded quickly to a scurrilous attack on the political affiliations of some candidates in the union's elections. Ballot papers were being sent out when many
By Russell McGilton MELBOURNE — Twice in the three months to October, the private operators of the Women's Metropolitan Correction Centre in Deer Park have used chemical weapons to quell prisoners' demands. CS gas (often misleadingly called "tear
By James Vassilopoulos CANBERRA — Coroner Shayne Madden's report, released on November 4, into the July 1997 hospital demolition which killed schoolgirl Katie Bender found that the project "failed systemically". The report damns the ACT Liberal
Cops attack Reclaim the Streets action By Kath O'Driscoll LISMORE — Police viciously attacked a peaceful Reclaim the Streets demonstration and party here on November 5. At least 10 people were attacked with capsicum spray; three were taken to
Court rules against Rio Tinto A Federal Court ruling has found that three union delegates at the Rio Tinto-owned Hunter Valley No. 1 colliery were victimised when they had leave for union business "unreasonably refused". The company threatened the
Labor Council secretary to resign By Andrew Hall WOLLONGONG — The secretary of the South Coast Labour Council (SCLC), Paul Matters, is to resign his position of 12 years following an ongoing dispute over the leadership of South Coast unions.
ASIET plans solidarity in Adelaide By Bronwen Beechey ADELAIDE — Members of Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor met on October 31 to plan activities for the last part of the year. Among proposals adopted by the meeting were a
By Jim Green More than 100 people working in the nuclear industry, and about eight anti-nuclear activists, attended a two-day conference hosted by the Australian Nuclear Association (ANA) in Canberra on October 27-28. The conference theme was the
Patrick sacks MUA militant By Robert Darcy SYDNEY — On November 2 Glen Wood was sacked from Patrick Stevedores at Port Botany after reportedly refusing a supervisor's order to drive a straddle truck. Wood was previously an organiser for the


Indonesian union refused legal status By Sam King JAKARTA — The independent Workers' Committee for Reform Action (KOBAR) is made up of factory-level trade unions in six industrial sectors in Jakarta. It is affiliated to the Indonesian National
By Eva Cheng The Indian left scored very mixed results in the September-October general elections, but the challenge ahead is extraordinary. The Hindu neo-fascist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to secure national power a second time by
HARARE — Riot police used batons and tear gas to disperse scores of students protesting against delays in the disbursement of their allocations at the University of Zimbabwe on October 19. Large boulders and concrete slabs were used to set up
By Dr Amjad Ayub On October 29, Pakistan's new "chief executive", General Pervaiz Musharraf, set up a seven-member National Security Council (NSC) to oversee the running of the country. Contrary to his early claims, none of the council members are
By Russell Mokhiberand Robert Weissman The criminal element has seeped deep into every nook and cranny of US society. Forget about the underworld — these crooks dominate every aspect of our market, culture, and politics. They cast a deep dark
By Mick Barclay* DILI — Next to the side entrance of the United Nations compound is a grave containing two young bodies, marked with a crudely fashioned metal cross. One is of a four-year-old who died while the militia were hacking many people to
JAKARTA — On October 30, Green Left Weekly's SAM KING spoke with REINHARD SIRAET about the history and prospects of the student democracy movement in Indonesia. Siraet is coordinator of the international department of the Indonesian National
Left leads in Uruguay election The left-wing coalition, the Broad Front (FA), scored the highest vote in Uruguay's national elections, held on October 31. FA presidential candidate Tabaré Vázquez, of the Socialist Party, won 38.5% of
By Sean Healy Thai authorities plan to deport up to 3000 Burmese dissidents to third countries, including Australia. All Burmese student dissidents must register for "resettlement" with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) by
A shrinking number of colossal companies — nicknamed the "Gene Giants" — dominate global sales of seeds and agrochemicals, according to a report released in September by the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI). The top five gene
Arrests of gay men have begun in Uganda, following a recent statement by President Yoweri Museveni that he would order police to "lock up" homosexuals, according to the San Francisco based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission


By James Smith SYDNEY — Despite a torrential downpour on October 23, well over 160 guests attended Left and Live, the annual Green Left Weekly fundraising dinner here. Billed as an evening of hard-hitting political comedy and music, the event
'Left Wing' Communism — An Infantile DisorderBy V.I LeninSydney: Resistance Books, 1999149 pp., 10.95 Review by Ben Courtice In April 1920, the Russian Communist leader Vladimir Lenin wrote a book for the international communist movement,
Ecologically sound sounds for CD surfers Music for Our Mother Ocean 3Various artistsSurfdog/Hollywood Records through Festival Review by Barry Healy The Surfrider Foundation is a Queensland-based organisation of surfies trying to clean up the
StiffedBy Susan FaludiRandom House Australia1999, 662 pp., $27.95 (pb) Review by Kath Gelber It was with some trepidation that I approached Susan Faludi's new book, Stiffed, and it had little to do with its sheer volume. I was impressed by Faludi's
A Political Prescription A Political Prescription I couldn't get to sleep last night,my mind was not at ease,I couldn't get to sleep last night,the Doctor said, I have a Capitalist Disease.Please explain, just what do you mean?She said, you
Skilled audacity Shine Eyed Mister ZenKelly Joe PhelpsRykodisc RCD 10476 Review by Barry Healy Kelly Joe Phelps delights in extracting the last drop of passion and pain out of the acoustic slide guitar, bending and scratching at the strings till
Goings on in the mall Wilma Loves Betty; and Other Hilarious Gay and Lesbian ParodiesEdited by Julie K. Trevelyan and Scott BrassartAlyson Publishers, 1999323 pp., $11.95 Review by Lynda Hansen Ever wondered what Wilma and Betty get up to while


A win for reaction The defeat of the republic referendum on Saturday was a victory for reaction. It was not an unmixed victory, however, and need not be a major one, provided progressive-minded people understand the reasons for it. The result of


By Sam King JAKARTA Suharto's fall and the mass movement that overthrew him have inspired a massive increase in the struggle for democracy in Indonesia's "autonomous province" of Aceh. On November 4, more than 30,000 people demonstrated in Aceh
By Kylie Moon BANKSTOWN — The student occupation at the Bankstown campus of the University of Western Sydney (Macarthur) has entered its 10th day, having already forced the university administration to agree to 23 of its 26 demands. The
By Tony Iltis HOBART — On November 1, 120 Kosovar Albanian refugees still housed at the Brighton army barracks in Tasmania were loaded onto an early morning flight to the Bandiana camp in northern Victoria, where they will remain until their
Timorese to hunger strike against early deportation By Kerrith Cabot Hundreds of East Timorese refugees in the Leeuwin "safe haven" in Perth told relief workers and human rights lawyers on November 5 that they intend to go on a hunger strike to
By Zanny Begg Amongst the student left there has been increasing support for "autonomous organising" of the oppressed. Tactical discussions about the best path towards liberation for groups such as women, gays and lesbians, and indigenous people
By Kerryn Williams SYDNEY — While waiting for the train to the city, I caught sight of the new addition to the landscape: an enormous billboard advertising Kayser "Perfects" underwear. The main image was of an extremely thin woman, wearing only
By Angela Luvera BRISBANE — Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer was invited by Griffith University to give a guest lecture on foreign affairs on October 29. Activists from the Griffith University student representative council called a
Labor gains in UTS elections By Will Williams SYDNEY — The left's influence was weakened considerably in the recent University of Technology, Sydney, (UTS) students' association elections, to the advantage of the National Organisation of Labor
Marina Carman The Sydney Morning Herald revealed on November 2 that author Naomi Wolf was being paid A$23,000 a month to advise US Vice President Al Gore on how to win over younger voters. In Australia, 1970s feminist Anne Summers was hired by