Issue 390

News

By Anthony Benbow and Jonathan Singer A dispute over individual contracts at a Western Australian mine has, in the last week, become a major test of strength between workers and their employers. Workers at BHP's iron ore operations in the Pilbara
By Frances Sheehan SYDNEY — The NSW media on January 20 reported the proposed restructuring of the state's Department of Community Services (DOCS). It was reported that it would involve cutting staff, re-dividing the two main parts of the
The following is a statement, being distributed by the Democratic Socialist Party, in support of the BHP workers in the Pilbara. We, the undersigned, extend our support and solidarity to striking workers at BHP Pilbara in their action to defend the
Telstra staff reject pay deal By Mike Andrews BRISBANE — Despite management's campaign of intimidation against them, on November 25, 59% of Telstra workers voted to reject a proposed enterprise agreement which would have drastically reduced
By Jim McIlroy BRISBANE — The Queensland Labor government will become a minority government, forced to rely again on the support of independent Peter Wellington, if it loses even one of the two by-elections for the traditionally safe Labor seats
By Raul Cienfuegos MELBOURNE — US Latin America analyst James Petras spoke here on January 12 about the "pillage" of Latin America by the imperialist powers of North America and Europe. Petras is a professor of sociology at the State University
By Andy Gianniotis and Chris Latham WOLLONGONG — Students have halted an attempt by the University of Wollongong administration to increase the number of students who refuse to join the Student Representative Council (SRC). The administration was
Protesters demand release of Iraqi prisoners By Paul Benedek and Susan Barley SYDNEY — Forty people demonstrated at Greece's consulate here on January 19 to protest against the ill-treatment of 69 asylum seekers detained in the Greek island
Queensland rail workers stop work BRISBANE — Rail workers around Queensland stopped work on January 19 to discuss a pay claim for 12% over two years. The meetings voted for possible ongoing rolling stoppages if Queensland Rail fails to improve
By Dave Andrews FREMANTLE — In a significant victory for the union movement, the Western Australian state government has been ordered to pay costs to the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) for the union's defence of its members in Geraldton. The
CFMEU court challenge to award stripping By Jonathan Singer The mining division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has challenged the stripping of conditions from awards contained in the 1996 Workplace Relations Act
Unions to fight hospital privatisation By Troy Saxby NEWCASTLE — The Newcastle Trades Hall Council voted unanimously on January 18 to launch a campaign against the privatisation of any part of the Mater Hospital. The Sisters of Mercy, who run
By Chris Slee MELBOURNE — Workers are in their fifth week of picketing the ACI glass mould manufacturing plant at Lexton Road, Box Hill, after being locked out by the company on December 20. The company is attempting to force the workers to

World

Taliban are still brutal 'villains' By Lynette Dumble Since its seizure of Afghanistan in 1996, the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban has rapidly become the world's most despised regime. In August, a United Nations investigation revealed that the
By Roberto Jorquera In the mid-1980s, the objective political and economic situation began to pose major challenges for the Cuban Revolution. The economy was starting to show signs of stagnation and increased bureaucratic practices. The gains that
Syria: the peace of the weak Last week, the latest round of peace talks between Israel and Syria began. In this article, abridged from Challenge magazine, YAKOV BEN EFRAT explains the probable consequences of the peace talks for Syria and the Arab
West Papuans occupy embassy in Jakarta By Tim Murphy Students from West Papua occupied the Dutch embassy in Jakarta on January 17. They are demanding that Holland fulfil its promises to help West Papua achieve independence from Indonesia. West
Put Pinochet on trial! CANBERRA — Members of the Canberra Chilean community and other solidarity activists protest outside the British High Commission on January 17 against the decision by the British government not to extradite former dictator
By Jorge Jorquera In the January 16 second round of Chile's presidential election, the far-right Alianza Por Chile presidential candidate, Joaquin Lavin, was defeated by the Concertacion's candidate, Ricardo Lagos, with 51.31% to Lavin's 48.69%.
Ethiopian's deportation a 'death sentence' By Sean Healy Immigration minister Philip Ruddock has rejected an application for refugee status by an paraplegic Ethiopian man with HIV. Abebe Fekado's application was rejected by the immigration
By Max Lane The commander-in-chief of the Indonesian armed forces (TNI), Admiral Widodo, has met President Abdurrahman Wahid to assure him that the TNI is not planning a coup. Other key generals have given the same assurances in the wake of strong
Statement by the Campaign to Stop the War in Chechnya We, the undersigned, condemn the Russian invasion of Chechnya. We call for the immediate withdrawal of all Russian forces, and for the recognition of the Chechens' right to self-determination.
Jailed activist on hunger strike in Peru Lori Berenson, a United States activist serving a life sentence for treason in Peru, launched a hunger strike on January 11, the fourth anniversary of her jailing. She is demanding to be transferred to
International news briefs Britain to renew arms sales to Jakarta The British government looks set to resume its highly controversial sales of Hawk fighter aircraft to Indonesia. The European Union's embargo on arms sales to Indonesia, placed at
Oppose union busting at Greenpeace Greenpeace Canada (GPC), with an annual budget of more than $7 million, is on a drive to bust the union of telephone and door canvass employees. The phone canvass department raises an estimated $250,000 for GPC,
By Steve Myers Many commentators are saying that the replacement of Boris Yeltsin by Vladimir Putin, as acting president of Russia, represents a "new millennium turn" in Russian politics — a turn to a more assertive, nationalistic and militarist
Ecuador's President Jamil Mahuad was ousted late January 21. The country's defence minister and head of the military Carlos Mendoza removed Mahuad after the president refused to resign earlier in the day. In a series of rapid developments provoked by
By John Meehan DUBLIN — In early June 1998, the Good Friday agreement (GFA) was endorsed by huge majorities in parallel referendums on both sides of the border dividing Ireland. One month later elections to a new devolved Northern Ireland
Cubans demand 'Bring Elian home!' By Gilberto Firmat ATLANTA — Elian Gonzalez is at the centre of what has become the bitterest dispute ever between Cuba and the United States. He was found on November 25, Thanksgiving Day, floating in an
Indonesia's militant trade union, the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI), on January 20 condemned the minister of finance Bambang Sudibyo's proposal to increase the salaries of senior politicians. The increases are contained in the

Culture

Links highlights East Timor Review by Jonathan Singer Links #14Available at all Resistance Bookshops (see listings on page 2) for $6.50or by subscription (see advertisement on page 18) The relationship between struggles for national liberation
Am I Thin Enough Yet? The Cult of Commercialization of IdentityBy Sharlene Hesse-BiberOxford University Press, 1996, 190 pp. Review by Rachel Evans This book is a worthy successor to The Beauty Myth (1991) by Naomi Wolf. While Am I Thin Enough Yet?
Environment, Capitalism and SocialismDemocratic Socialist PartyPreface by Dick NicholsResistance Books, Sydney, 1999210 pp., $15.95 (pb)Available from all Resistance Bookshops (see page 2)or order by mail (see advertisement on page 7) Review by Sean
Art of Resistance The art of Resistance paints the town reda carpet lining the streets for angry mourners to march onblood red of the butchers, Suharto, Habibie, Howard, Evansa list too long to read in three decades;it creates a collage of people,
Jean Devanny: pioneer Marxist feminist Jean Devanny: Romantic RevolutionaryBy Carole FerrierMelbourne University PressMelbourne, 1999, 393pp., $49.95 Review by Jim McIlroy Jean Devanny was a leading figure in the Australian left in the 1930s and
In defence of reggae's 'overworked themes and topics' It's A New DayConfrontationConfrontation MuzikSend US$15 to 65 Hillside Drive, Apt. 121, Toronto, Ontario M4K 2M3, CanadaRAW 2000: Reggae for the New MillenniumVarious artistsRuff Stuff

Editorial

Put Pinochet on trial British home secretary Jack Straw's January 12 statement that he is "minded" to release Chilean General Augusto Pinochet, rather than extradite him to Spain to face charges of torture and crimes against humanity, should be

Resistance!

By Chris Latham The withdrawal of Indonesian troops from East Timor was a significant victory for the East Timorese resistance movement, and the international solidarity movement. But the struggle for independence came at a price. Since the
Now the government wants to reduce government funding to education again. This will mean higher student fees, cuts to courses and services, and decreasing staff wages and conditions. But the next steps in the privatisation of higher
MAHAMMAD MA'RUF is a member of the central leadership committee of the People's Democratic Party and editor of the PRD's newspaper, Pembebasan (Liberation). This interview was translated by Green Left Weekly's JAMES BALOWSKI. Question: How is the
By Keara Courtney International Women's Day (IWD) on March 8 is a beacon in the struggle for women's liberation. IWD's history goes back to February 28, 1907, when socialist women in the United States organised national demonstrations to demand
Adelaide — Connie 8268 3346 or Kathy 8231 6982 Brisbane — Karen 3846 5074 Canberra — Resistance will be travelling to the Sydney rally, phone 6247 2424 Darwin — Lari 8981 4714 Hobart — Kamala 6234 6397 or Sue 6234 7007 Melbourne
Erin Killion Growing worldwide inequality and hunger, sexism, racism and environmental destruction explode the lie that the 21st century heralds a new era of peace and prosperity. According to the government and mainstream media, Australia is a
Forums on this topic will be organised by Resistance on all major campuses during March. How well does Marxism explain the world today and help us understand how to change it? This forum seeks to answer this and many related questions. Is the
2000 student exposure tour — O'week Australian students are travelling to Indonesia in February to learn about political and social conditions, and meet with activists in the democracy movement. Reports from the tour will be held on most major