Issue 391


Mater Hospital staff rally against privatisation
By Alison Dellit
NEWCASTLE — On January 4, more than 400 Staff walked off the job and rallied in opposition to plans to privatise the Mater Hospital. The protest was part of a "public awareness

By Sean Healy
Federal Labor leader Kim Beazley has announced that his party will establish a new coastguard to "protect Australia's borders" when it is elected to government. Beazley said the initiative, announced on January 23, was motivated by

ALP challenged in Woodridge by-election
By Jim McIlroy
BRISBANE — Peter Beattie's Labor government is in danger of losing the outer suburban seat of Woodridge, traditionally one of Labor's safest, to an ex-ALP independent local councillor,

By Stephen O'Brien
NEWCASTLE — National Textile workers have vowed to continue their fight to win their full entitlements after their January 21 sacking, even at the risk of being jailed. The workers, some of whom have up to 46 years experience,

By Erica Haines
ADELAIDE — Vehicle manufacturer Mitsubishi has confirmed it will stay in South Australia for at least another 10 years but will impose a major restructuring program which will cost up to 1000 jobs — more than a quarter of its

Action for workplace safety
Workers covered by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union at the Western Australian government's Belltower project walked off the job for seven days from January 25. Black flags were hoisted over the

By Melissa Corbettand Justine Kamprad
MELBOURNE — More than 350 people marked "Invasion Day" here on January 26 with a rally in the Bourke Street Mall. It was one of several events held around the country on the day. Rally chairperson Charmaine

Seventy-three people deported to China
By Sean Healy
The federal government has deported 73 people back to China after only five weeks of investigation. The group arrived at Christmas Island, off Australia's north coast, in December and has since

Another wetland threatened
By Marg Perrott
WOLLONGONG — The re-opening of the Port Kembla copper smelter continues to cause hardship to Wollongong residents. On January 23, 100 residents of Primbee, a lakeside suburb five kilometres from the

Darwin solidarity group joins ASIET
By Sibylle Kaczorek
DARWIN — This city's East Timor-Indonesia Solidarity Group (ETISG) decided, at its first meeting for the year on January 26, to join the national solidarity group, Action in Solidarity

Candidate to campaign for prostitution law reform
By Philippa Stanford
ADELAIDE — Speculation that brothel owner Stormy Summers will run for the position of lord mayor of Adelaide in the May council election has sparked enormous controversy.

By Jim Green
SYDNEY — The state Labor government released its proposals for the southern NSW regional forest agreement on January 28. The agreement will allow large-scale logging to continue in NSW's forests. The agreement is to be finalised by

By David Wright
BRISBANE — The Queensland Labor government's proposed indigenous heritage legislation continues the trend of both Labor and Liberal governments winding back the clock on land rights for Aboriginal people. Premier Peter Beattie's

ACI extends lockout
By Chris Slee
MELBOURNE — Locked out workers at the ACI glass mould manufacturing plant in Box Hill have received letters from the company telling them that the lockout will continue until March 4. The lockout, which began

Police raids on One Nation condemned
By Margaret Allum
On January 21, offices of the One Nation party in Ipswich, Queensland, and Sydney were raided by the Queensland police major fraud squad and the New South Wales commercial crime squad.

By Lachlan Malloch
SYDNEY — Members of the NSW Public Service Association (PSA) will be presented this week with a televised message from their union leaders urging them to vote for the state Labor government's offered pay rise of 16% over four

A campaign for an open door for all Timorese
By Max Lane
Jakarta's long war against East Timor may be (officially) over and may now be less of a "foreign policy issue" in formal Australian-Indonesian relations. But justice is still a long way

Adelaide lord mayor defects to ALP
By Philippa Stanford
ADELAIDE — The ALP announced on January 26 that it had wooed Adelaide Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith into contesting Labor pre-selection for the marginal seat of Adelaide. In an echo of

By Graham Matthews
BRISBANE — Pauline Hanson was forced to flee from a One Nation meeting in the small town of Oakey, near Toowoomba in Queensland, on January 20. Her pursuers were not enraged leftists, but former colleagues who had left One


MOSCOW — ANATOLY BARANOV, a long-time activist on the Russian left, now holds a prominent post as public relations director for one of the country's leading military-industrial corporations, which produces the famous MiG fighter aircraft. Baranov

By Neville Spencer
Gustavo Noboa was installed as president of Ecuador on January 22. He has promised to continue the economic policies which led to the ousting of President Jamil Mahuad the previous day in a coup which took place on the back of a

The following is abridged from a statement, in solidarity with the striking electricity workers of Uttar Pradesh, India, issued by the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) on January 25. The Labour Party Pakistan expresses its deepest solidarity with the

Apartheid minister backs ANC
By Norm Dixon

The apartheid regime's longest serving foreign minister, Pik Botha,
travelled the world defending the racist system and its dirty wars against
Angola and Mozambique and its terrorist attacks

By Malik Miah
OAKLAND, USA — Some 50,000 people, 90% African-American, marched in Columbia, South Carolina, on January 17, the federal holiday honouring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The protest was organised by the NAACP [National

The Basque Country after the cease-fire
By G. Buster
On January 21, 53 days after the armed, pro-independence Basque group ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasura — Basque Homeland and Freedom) announced it was ending its unilateral cease-fire, a bomb was

Will Indonesia's generals get away with murder?
On January 31, the investigation by the Indonesian National Commission for Human Rights into atrocities and human rights abuses in East Timor will release its report. It is likely to implicate dozens

Mauritius government outlaws dissent
By Sean Healy
The president of the island republic of Mauritius assented on December 31 to the new Public Security Bill. The bill, introduced to parliament by Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam on December

100,000 Indian workers on strike
One hundred thousand electricity workers are on strike in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, in protest against state government plans to privatise the electricity board. The strikers, who began their

International news briefs
Iranian oil workers' struggle
On January 17, 2000 workers from the maintenance section of the Abadan oil refinery in Iran went on strike to oppose a plan to "restructure" the oil industry which could lead to 40,000 of

Tamils call for international solidarity
By Ana Pararajasingham
The Sri Lankan army's humiliating defeats at the hands of the Tamil liberation fighters since the first week of November has proved beyond doubt the futility of a "military solution"


Tough luck
The federal Coalition government has moved another step along the path of turning Australia into a low wage, low (official) unemployment and low welfare country with its plan to intensify the harassment of unemployed workers receiving


According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, in 1998 there were 21 million people "of concern" — those seeking or already granted refugee status.
Amnesty International estimates that a new refugee is created every 21 seconds. One

By Nabaz
I am 16 years old and arrived in Australia from Iraq last February. In Iraq, I had to leave school when I was 11 and get a job to help my family survive. I had to get a labourer's job. The pay and conditions were extremely bad. There were

MELBOURNE — Resistance held a stall on January 21 in Bourke St Mall to campaign in solidarity with the Pilbara workers who are fighting attempts by BHP to introduce individual contracts. Participants sold many copies of Green Left Weekly and

By Troy Saxby
In response to the federal government's attempts to privatise higher education, Resistance has proposed that a national day of action be called for March 29 to demand "Free education, not privatisation!" and "Reverse education funding

By Diana Haywood-Rankine and Stuart Munckton
ADELAIDE — South Australia's only daily newspaper, the Rupert Murdoch-owned Advertiser, ran a page-one story on January 15 headed, "Weapons of street war. Vietnamese gangs 'vicious and violent'". The

By Marina Carman
With all the politicians' and mass media talk of "aliens" and "illegals", it can be easy to forget that they are referring to human beings. The passage of the federal Border Protection Act on November 25 made Australia one of the


Bridge of Courage: Life Stories of the Guatemalan Companeros and CompanerasBy Jennifer HarburyCommon Courage Press, 1995. Review By Martin Schenke
"Don't talk to me about Gandhi: he wouldn't have survived a week here ... For Gandhi's methods to

Review by Eva Cheng
From the Crisis of Capital to the Hope of LabourProduced by Labor News Production, South KoreaOur Four SeasonsProduced by Sammi Specialty Steel Co. Labour Union and Labor News Production$50 institutions/$30 individualsOrder

Marx through the keyhole
By Phil Shannon
Karl MarxBy Francis WheenFourth Estate, 1999431 pp., $49.95 (hb) Ever since he wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848, the theories of Karl Marx have been systematically pronounced dead and buried by the

Trouble in the LandBlack 47Shanachie records Review by Bill Nevins
Loss and disappointment can sour the heart, but Irish bard Yeats built visionary poetry out of the failure of the 1916 Easter rebellion: a "terrible beauty" was born. Trouble in the

Armed Insurrection MusicTet OffensiveOrder from 214 Ogden Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07307, USA, or e-mail <> Review by Ben Courtice
Let's be frank, if you're looking for a polished metal or punk sound like the Offspring or

By Craig Cormick
The Scene: A private nursing home by the sea. Two elderly men sit on chairs on a balcony, staring out over the ocean. In the rooms behind them, the walls are decorated with fine paintings by Rembrandt and Botticelli. Wagner plays

Manipulation in Wonderland
Being John MalkovichDirected by Spike JonzeStarring John Cusack, Cameron Diaz and Catherine KeenerScreening in selected cinemas Review by Jonathan Singer
Being John Malkovich has been categorised as comedy. I'm not sure