Issue 389


Labor faces by-elections in Queensland By Graham Matthews BRISBANE — The Queensland Labor government will face two by-elections in traditionally safe Labor seats on February 5. The by-elections are the result of the resignations of former
By Tom Flanagan SYDNEY — Opposition is rising among public servants in New South Wales to a pay offer made by the state Labor government. The pay deal is being put forward as an agreement between the NSW government, the Public Service Association
By Simon Butler Late on Christmas eve, federal education minister David Kemp released a government report revealing that the Coalition government has cut funding to higher education by $600 million over the past four years. Direct yearly government
By Anthony Benbow and Andy Gianniotis Hundreds of BHP iron ore workers in Western Australia's Pilbara region are to strike for four days in their fight for a collective agreement on wages and working conditions. Workers at Mount Newman voted at a
By Belinda Selke SYDNEY — Teachers at Seaforth TAFE have entered their fifth week on the picket line protesting against Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE's decision to close the college last December. The picket line was set up after the
By Tom Flanagan SYDNEY — Participants at a public meeting of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras held on December 11 strongly supported the elimination of restrictions on bisexuals gaining Mardi Gras membership. The meeting, attended by 40
Artists for East Timor exhibition By Stephen O'Brien NEWCASTLE — An art exhibition here, organised by Artists for East Timor and Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET), raised more $3000 for East Timor. The exhibition was
By Chris Spindler Mass meetings of unionists who are part of the Metal Trades Federation of Unions have overwhelmingly endorsed a log of claims and campaign strategy for "Campaign 2000", which aims to end enterprise bargaining and move to an
Nikki Ulasowski MELBOURNE — At the National Education Activists Conference held here on November 28-29, more than 100 people met to discuss the future of the campaign against the privatisation of higher education. One inspiring discussion at the
By Bronwen Beechey ADELAIDE — On January 7, the South Australian police, on government orders, broke up a protest camp of Arabunna people and their supporters outside Government House on North Terrace. Police arrived at the camp at 6am, removed
ALP-Labor Council-unions deal: a mini-Accord? By Jenny Long SYDNEY — The NSW government's pay offer to nearly 200,000 public sector employees (see article on this page) should be approached by workers with considerable caution. The involvement
Port Kembla Hospital protest WOLLONGONG — Twenty-five angry protesters confronted Colin Markham, the MLA for Wollongong, on January 14 demanding that the accident department at Port Kembla Hospital remain open. The closure has been
By Russell McGilton MELBOURNE — When you have that feeling that maybe you shouldn't go to work today, perhaps you should act on it. You could save a limb or even your life. Jason Carter would most likely agree. The 19-year-old apprentice had his
Court affirms: Brander is still racist By Stan Smith ADELAIDE — The South Australian Supreme Court has reaffirmed an earlier court decision that Michael Brander is a "racist in the worst sense". This is despite its January 12 ruling partially
Workers act against ACI lockout By Chris Slee MELBOURNE — Members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union are picketing the ACI glass mould manufacturing plant in Box Hill. The workers have been locked out since December 20. The union


Political asylum seekers detained in Greece At least 36 Iraqi and 33 Afghani political asylum seekers are being held in deplorable conditions in a Greek prison on Kios Island. They have been held there since October 6. The detainees include women
Among the Philippines' contingent at the Abortion in Focus conference in Coolum, Queensland, in November were SYLVIA ESTRADA CLAUDIO and ALEXANDRINA MARCELO from the newly formed Reproductive Rights Resource Group. Green Left Weekly's KAMALA EMANUEL
NZ unionist killed on picket line By Murray Addison AUCKLAND — The New Zealand port of Lyttelton, near Christchurch, came to a standstill on January 5 as 250 port workers defied their employer, the Lyttelton Port Company, and walked off the job
By Sean Roberts Iraqi Kurdistan has been plunged into an atmosphere of lawlessness and terrorism after the 1991 US-sponsored Operation Desert Storm invasion of Iraq. Following the Gulf War, Iraqi Kurdistan was separated from Iraq under the United
By Karl Miller In early November, a seventh grade Texan class was asked to write a "scary" story. One student read his story out to the class. The teacher awarded the student a mark of 100%. Later that day, the school staff informed the district
Cuba's path out of underdevelopment By Roberto Jorquera Since 1959, the Cuban revolution has been an inspiration to millions around the world. A small underdeveloped nation, Cuba has been able to demonstrate what is feasible with a
By Michael Karadjis "The massacres that never were", ran the headline in the right-wing London Spectator. The article reported claims by journalist John Laughland that "only" hundreds of Albanians had been killed in Kosova during the NATO-Serbia
By Maire Leadbeater AUCKLAND — A new group, Justice for Asylum Seekers, has been formed here to agitate against the scandalous treatment of those seeking refuge from persecution. The inspiration for the group's formation was the hunger strike by
On January 14, more than 100,000 people marched in Cuba to demand that the United States government immediately return six-year-old Elian Gonzalez to his father in Cuba. Despite calls by Elian's father and the Cuban government for the child's safe
Mahathir cracks down on Malaysian opposition The Malaysian government has begun an attack on opposition groups. The United Malays National Organisation/National Front government of Prime Minister Mahathir is arresting leaders of opposition groups
Woman forced to return to Iran An Iranian woman fearing persecution for making "pornographic" films in her home country has lost her attempt to stay in Australia. The Federal Court has dismissed her appeal against an earlier decision to refuse her
By Barry Sheppard SAN FRANCISCO — The Battle of Seattle, the days of protest in December against the World Trade Organisation, has focused many people's minds on global inequality and "corporate capitalism" and inspired many to join the struggle
By Jonathan Singer In the longest such dispute by an enterprise union in South Korea's history, a sit-in strike by members of the Sammi Specialty Steel Workers Union (SSSWU) has now past its 1100th day. The dispute began when Pohang Steel Company
The Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations (AFTA) on January 6 expressed its shock and grief at the murder of Kumar Ponnampalam, a human rights lawyer and general secretary of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, a political party in Sri Lanka. He
German police attack leftists' commemoration By Wolfgang Pomrehn BERLIN — The police of Germany's new capital city had a lucky day on January 10. An obviously insane person threatened to attack the annual commemoration of the deaths of Karl
Popularising Marxism in Indonesia Since the coming to power of Indonesia's brutal New Order regime in 1965, discussion and dissemination of Marxist ideas has been banned in Indonesia. However, on November 20, 200 students and activists gathered at
By Boris Kagarlitsky MOSCOW — The campaigning for the December 19 elections to the State Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament, was notable for the listlessness of everyone who took part. It was not simply that the various candidates and
By Max Lane For the first time since 1974, a public split has emerged within the Indonesian army's top generals over how best to preserve the political authority of the Indonesian armed forces (TNI). The split has been provoked by the inquiry,


Out of IrelandBy Christopher KochDoubleday, 1999, 706pp., $39.95 (hb) Review by Phil Shannon During the Great Famine in Ireland from 1847-51, one and a half million Irish people starved to death while millions of pounds worth of food was exported,
One Word ... Magnificent! One Word ... We!New Theatre, 542 King Street, NewtownUntil January 29Book through MCA Ticketing on 9873 3575 Review by Wendy Varney Sydney's summer brings rich theatre offerings but surely none warmer and of better value
The sound of the United States' future By Norm Dixon California is infamous for the 1991 bashing of black motorist Rodney King and the 1992 Los Angeles "riot" — in reality a spontaneous uprising — that was triggered when the cops responsible
A scientific guide to revolution Fundamentals of Historical MaterialismBy Doug LorimerResistance Books, 1999216 pp., $12.95Available at all Resistance Bookshops, or write to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007. Review by Chris Slee Historical


Australia: haven for Nazis There is outrage at alleged Latvian Nazi mass murderer Konrad Kalejs' most recent safe return to Australia. In recent years, Kalejs — who arrived in Australia in 1950 and became an Australian citizen in 1957 — has