Issue 386


Drug war 'a smokescreen' By Graham Matthews BRISBANE — The Resistance Centre here opened itself to the cool breeze of the Caribbean on November 17 with a Green Left Weekly forum to discuss strategies for the left in Latin America. El Salvadoran
NTEU wins coverage of general staff By Daniel Jardine A decision handed down on November 15 by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission will give the National Tertiary Education Industry Union the right to cover general, non-academic, staff
Labor privatises Trust Bank By Alex Bainbridge HOBART — Tasmania's Labor government has decided to privatise the state's Trust Bank. The bank's sale to Colonial Ltd for $149 million is being presented by the government and the Mercury newspaper
WA prostitution bill punishes the victim By Julianne Green PERTH — Last week, Western Australia's police minister, Kevin Prince, released the final draft of legislation to massively increase the regulation of the sex industry. The Prostitution
NSW councils to oppose reactor and waste dump By Jim Green The campaign against the federal government's plan for a new nuclear reactor in the southern Sydney suburb of Lucas Heights has received a boost. The annual Local Government Association
MIM criticised over accident BRISBANE — A young football hero who lost both legs in an underground mining accident was exposed to unacceptable risk by mining giant MIM, the Queensland Mining Warden's Court determined on November 15. On January
New centre for Resistance in Melbourne By Arun Pradhan MELBOURNE — After more than a decade of housing left activism in Melbourne, the Anthony Street Resistance Centre has closed its doors permanently. A new Resistance Centre has opened, on the
NSW health crisis highlighted in the Illawarra By Marg Perrott WOLLONGONG — The crisis in the NSW health system was addressed at a meeting here on November 17 called by "nurses caring for the health of the Illawarra". One hundred and twenty
'Dare to struggle' against anti-union laws By Jim McIlroy BRISBANE — "Dare to struggle" should be the slogan of the trade union movement in its fight against workplace relations minister Peter Reith's second wave of anti-union laws, Andrew
Staff angry at university management's 'contempt' By Daniel Jardine SYDNEY — Macquarie University staff reacted angrily, at a general meeting on November 18, to management's rejection of a union enterprise bargaining offer, claiming it showed
Casuals strike in Land Titles Office By Chris Slee MELBOURNE — Casual workers at the Victorian Land Titles Office held four-hour strikes at the beginning of each of their shifts on November 14 and 15. The workers, members of the Australian
CFMEU and CARE in East Timor dispute By Michael Bull MELBOURNE — Negotiations have begun between the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and the aid agency CARE Australia, after some bizarre incidents occurred during reconstruction
Further threat to native title in WA By Sean Martin-Iverson PERTH — Premier Richard Court has proposed a new state-based native title system which will further restrict the common law land rights of Aborigines. The changes would replace native
Newcastle art attack NEWCASTLE — Artists for East Timor and Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor commemorated the 1991 Dili massacre by launching an "art attack" on the city square, Wheeler Place on November 12. Thirty people,
Men's group opposes hiring women By Nikki Ulasowski HOBART — A Tasmanian men's rights group has sought to prevent a public bus operator from instituting affirmative action measures to hire more female staff. With only 19% of its work force of
By Alex Bainbridge HOBART — A new investigation into the police shooting of Joe Gilewicz in 1991 has been ordered by the state government, after new evidence and further allegations of a police cover-up were presented in the manuscript of a
Support for refugees By Lynda Hansen BRISBANE — More than 150 people packed into St Andrew's Church on November 13 to support the Refugee Claimant Support Centre (RCSC). Guests at the centre's annual dinner feasted and were entertained by the
Westmead nurses strike By Lucy Honey SYDNEY — Around 150 nurses from Westmead Hospital in Sydney's west protested against bed closures and service cutbacks at a rally in Parramatta Mall on November 19. The rally was part of a two-hour strike
Gay and Lesbian service under threat By Angela Luvera PERTH — The Gay and Lesbian Community Service of WA, formerly known as Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service, is threatened by a lack of funding. A special general meeting will be held on
Second wave legislation slammed By Mark Cronin BRISBANE — About 60 people gathered at the Sailing Club in West End on November 11 to discuss workplace relations minister Peter Reith's second wave of industrial legislation. David Peetz, head of
NSW teachers reject government 'insult' By Tom Flanagan SYDNEY — At least 20,000 teachers marched on New South Wales parliament on November 18 to protest against the government's pay and conditions proposal. Some estimates put the attendance
Queensland anti-abortionists go on the rampage By Kamala Emanuel and Robyn Marshall COOLUM — Queensland National Party MP Fiona Simpson has said she will bring a private member's bill to limit late-term abortions. The threat follows anti-choice


West Papuans plan independence protest Thousands of pro-independence West Papuans held a "birthday celebration" for leader Theys Eluay in the Sentani subdistrict of the capital, Jayapura, on November 12. Local residents say that between 3000 and
The transition in East Timor By Avelino da Silva Before the August 30 referendum, the Socialist Party of Timor (PST) had called for the formation of a transitional Democratic Collective Government to represent all the existing political forces in
Friends of the Earth meet in Ecuador Leanne McLean and Cam Walker have recently returned from the Friends of the Earth (FoE) International annual meeting, held in Quito, Ecuador. Having admitted three new members — from Colombia, Cameroun and
Dubliners demand: 'Share the wealth!' By Carol Mitchell DUBLIN — On October 20, 1000 people marched to Parliament House to demonstrate against the Fianna Fail government's austerity policies. Under the slogan "Share the Wealth", the march was
Kuzbass Workers Council elected By Steve Myers Four hundred and twenty-five factory committee delegates, plus observers from across Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, attended the Kuzbass Workers Conference in Novokuznetsk this month. The Kuzbass is
By Sean Jacobs CAPE TOWN — The powerful ruling alliance of South African President Thabo Mbeki's African National Congress and the 3 million-strong Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is under strain. In August, thousands of public
By Sean Healy A videotape smuggled out of Burma by Thai drug investigators has provided further evidence of the close links between Burma's military regime and heroin traffickers. The videotape shows an October 1 meeting between intelligence chief
South American armies sniff a chance for power By Jorge Jorquera QUITO, Ecuador — On November 18, the 23rd session of the Conference of American Armies (CEA) concluded in La Paz, Bolivia. At an impromptu media conference following the Session,
Capitalism brings 'rampant sex bias' Working women in Russia and eastern Europe have endured "rampant sex bias" as a result of the restoration of capitalism, according to a November 15 Associated Press report. A survey of some 900 companies and
By Steve Myers The Kremlin's purported reasons for its war against Chechnya are the apartment bombings earlier this year in Moscow and later in Volgodonsk, nearer Chechnya, and the so-called threat of "Islamic terrorism". However, many factors
By Chris Latham JAKARTA — Despite torrential rain, thousands of students participated in protests here to commemorate the first anniversary on November 13 of the Semangi tragedy, named after the Semangi bridge where six students were shot dead by
By Doug Henwood The concept that has now entered daily speech as "globalisation" is used pretty recklessly. It's described as an innovation, when it's not; it's described as a weakening of the state, though it's been led by states and multi-state
Vyborg workers defeat state militia In July and October, armed police units called "Typhoon" and bosses' mercenaries in the Leningrad region of Russia failed to take military control of the Vyborg pulp and paper mill from the workers' who have been
East Timorese criticise UN role By Jon Land United Nations officials have come under heavy criticism from leaders of the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT). In a move to reduce tension between CNRT and the United Nations
Zimbabwe workers force health spending up By Norm Dixon The Zimbabwean government bowed to public pressure on November 17 and agreed to raise per capita health spending by more than 100%. State medical staff pay will be boosted by 50%. Health


In the Blood: God, Genes and DestinySteve JonesHarper Collins, 1996300 pp., $24.95 (pb) Review by Dot Tumney Steve Jones' In the Blood is a useful overview of inheritance in all its forms and of the interaction of biological, religious, economic
Happy families — not Straight and NarrowWritten by Jimmie ChinDirected by Alex LanhanNew Farm Nash Theatre, BrisbaneUntil December 4Phone 3217 6653 to book Review by Lynda Hansen Straight and Narrow traces the disintegration of Bob (Matthew
The Liverpool dockers put their case Review by Allen Myers Dockers: Writing the Wrongs and DockersABC-TV, Wednesday, December 1, 8.30 and 9.30pm The story of the Liverpool dockers' heroic two-and-a-half-year struggle to regain their jobs — and
Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold WarBy Frances SaundersGranta, 1999509 pp., $49.95 (hb) Review by Phil Shannon For an organisation which has spied on citizens, manipulated elections, overthrown governments, supported dictatorships,
Correction In an article in issue #383 about the new charges against framed South African poet Mzwakhe Mbuli, we gave an incorrect e-mail address for those readers wishing to send messages of solidarity to him via the Campaign for Release of
By Dave Holmes Resistance Books, the publishing house associated with Resistance and the Democratic Socialist Party, has completed its most successful year to date. With 1999 not yet over, it has brought out 14 titles — eight books and six
Gales natural and human Voyage of the Pacific PeacemakerBy Win OliveSelf-published, 1999299 pp., $25 Review by Bill Ethell In 1978 Win Olive was invited by three friends to camp beside the East Alligator River in the Northern Territory. After


Welfare through the looking glass If anyone has travelled through time, then Lewis Carroll, best known for writing Alice in Wonderland, has. Conclusive evidence is provided by his modelling of the companion novel, Through the Looking Glass, on the


Students protest in Burkino Faso OUAGADOUGOU — Hundreds of students demonstrated on November 16 to demand the reinstatement of their colleagues who where expelled from Sabou and Koudougou high schools, 100 km outside the capital. The angry
By Marina Carman and Chris Latham JAKARTA — On November 9, we met with activists from Forkap (Women's Communication and Action Forum) at the University of Indonesia. Forkap was formed after a student demonstration in early 1998, during which
By Natalie Zirngast Proposed changes to immigration policy on asylum seekers, currently being championed by federal Coalition immigration minister Philip Ruddock, hark back to the racism of the white Australia policy. The white Australia policy
By Nick Soudakoff Since the January 1, 1994, Chiapas uprising, the Zapatistas have been a major factor in Mexican politics and an inspiration for struggles in Latin America and around the world. Their example has been used by many, including
By Martin Schenke and Zanny Begg At a range of protests organised by students over the last month, activists have put forward the demand to "shut down" meetings of right-wing organisations. There have been calls in Sydney to shut down the