Issue 393

Australia

Darwin's International Women's Day plans

By Angela Hassan and Sibylle Kaczorek

DARWIN — The International Women's Day (IWD) 2000 collective here is building on the gains made over the last few years. As the collective has broadened its activities, a greater...

CPSU to sack staff and set up a call centre

By Stuart Martin

CANBERRA — The national management committee of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has voted to restructure the administrative functions of the union, cutting staff and setting up a call...

By Marg Perrott

WOLLONGONG — The Port Kembla Copper (PKC) smelter started operating here secretly on February 4. Local residents began smelling sulphur fumes at 3pm. Some people began coughing, others had difficulty breathing.

At a public meeting...

Blockade of Beverley uranium mine planned

By Bronwen Beechey

ADELAIDE — Opponents of uranium mining plan to set up a blockade of the Beverley uranium mine in South Australia from February 25. The mine is situated in the foothills of the Flinders Ranges....

Socialists to stand for Brisbane council

By Jim McIlroy

BRISBANE — The Democratic Socialists have announced they will be running two candidates in the Brisbane City Council election. They are Graham Matthews for the Dutton Park ward, which covers the inner...

Union leader demands Laidlaw resign

By Erica Haines

ADELAIDE — Chris White, the secretary of South Australia's peak union body, the United Trades and Labor Council (UTLC), has called for the resignation of state transport minister Diana Laidlaw over her...

By Graham Matthews

BRISBANE — On February 5, voters in the Queensland seats of Bundamba and Woodridge returned Labor members at by-elections. Both Labor candidates were elected with more than 50% of the primary vote.

In Bundamba, Jo-Ann Miller...

NTEU delays strike action at UQ

By Robyn Marshall

BRISBANE — The University of Queensland branch of the National Tertiary Education Industry Union voted on February 8 to delay a 48-hour strike for a pay increase.

A few hours before the...

WA uranium mine on the rocks

WESTERN MINING Corporation (WMC) announced that it would hand back the Yeelirrie uranium deposit to the Western Australian government if it failed to find a buyer in two years, according to a report in the February 9 West Australian....

Crushing 'the lungs of western Sydney'

By Alistair Dickinson

SYDNEY — Development of the 1535-hectare Australian Defence Industries (ADI) site at St Marys in Sydney's outer west now appears imminent. The developer, Comm Land (formerly called Lend Lease/ADI...

By Michael Bull

MELBOURNE — The man at the head of Yallourn Energy, Mike Johnson, stated in the Age on February 8 that the PowerGen company had paid too much for the plant in 1996 and has been losing money ever since. This was the main reason the company...

National Textiles workers still waiting for money

By Alison Dellit

NEWCASTLE — In a significant victory for working people, Prime Minister John Howard announced on February 8 that cabinet had approved $4 million to pay the sacked National Textiles workers'...

By Linda Kaucher

SYDNEY — Cuba's Olympic Committee announced Havana's bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games on February 7, during its visit to Sydney. The delegation, headed by committee vice-president Angel Iglesias, came not just to check arrangements for its...

East Timor group folds

By Roberto Jorquera

PERTH — Thirty-five people attended the final meeting of Friends of East Timor WA (FOET) on February 6, at which the single item for discussion was a proposal that the group wind up after two decades of campaigning...

'No menstruation tax!'

By Kamala Emanuel

HOBART — Seventy people, predominantly women, demonstrated outside the office of Liberal senator Eric Abetz on February 11 to protest plans for the GST to be levied on sanitary products, such as tampons and pads....

By Rohan Gaiswinkler and Peter Johnston

DARWIN — In a tragic event which puts the Northern Territory's mandatory sentencing laws under the national and international spotlight, a 15-year-old Aboriginal boy committed suicide here on February 10, while serving a...

By Erica Haines

ADELAIDE — On February 8, the South Australian Liberal government announced its plans to sell the TAB and State Lotteries Commission by the end of the year.

Government enterprises minister Michael Armitage stated that a...

By Jonathan Singer

Coalminers at the five BHP coalmines in the Illawarra region of NSW struck for a second consecutive day on February 9, claiming that BHP management harassed workers and their families during their first strike day.

Construction,...

By Philippa Stanford

ADELAIDE — A "People's Conference" to discussed South Australia's proposed nuclear waste repository will convene here on March 4 and 5. Conference organisers have invited speakers from both sides of the debate.

Speakers will...

Union beats Yallourn Energy

By Michael Bull

MELBOURNE — Energy unions have claimed victory in an increasingly bitter battle over the future of Victoria's power industry, after the Australian Industrial Relations Commission ruled in the workers' favour on...

Council calls for reactor closure during Olympics

By Jim Green

SYDNEY — The mayor of Sutherland Shire Council, Ken McDonell, has called on the federal government to shut down the nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights during the Sydney Olympic Games....

ACI reneges on agreement

By Chris Slee

MELBOURNE — Management at the ACI glass mould manufacturing plant has reneged on concessions made in negotiations with the union. Members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union have been locked out since...

Protest against Ruddock

PERTH — Twenty people protested against immigration minister Philip Ruddock here on February 9. The protesters demanded the repeal of the Border Protection Act, full welfare rights for migrants and refugees, and an open door policy for all refugees.

...

By Martin Schenke

BRISBANE — Railway workers have won some concessions from the state government after they went on strike for 24 hours on February 9. The 14,600 rail workers walked off the job after their demand for a pay rise of 12% over two years was rejected...

World

By Eva Cheng

The Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (Liberation) (CPI-ML) emerged in the late 1960s from the peasant revolts in the Naxalbari region of West Bengal (known as the Naxalite movement). At first, the party relied heavily on armed struggle as the...

By Eva Cheng

Indian workers have launched a wave of strikes against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the ruling 24-party national coalition. The actions are in protest against the BJP's Hindu fundamentalism and its neo-liberal, pro-business economic...

Campaigning for human rights in East Timor

DILI — The East Timor Human Rights Commission (ETHRC) was established on October 1 to conduct investigations and monitoring of human rights violations in East Timor, educate the East Timorese people about human rights issues and establish...

By Gilberto Firmat

ATLANTA — More than one month after the Clinton administration announced that it would send Elian Gonzalez back to his father in Cuba, it has not lifted one finger to put this into practice.

The six-year-old boy found adrift on...

The following is abridged from an open letter to United Nations' secretary-general Kofi Annan and Amnesty International's Middle East Watch, circulated on January 25 by Saman Karim from the Worker Communist Party of Iraq.

There are more than 6000 Iraqi refugees forgotten in the desert of...

How long does it take to change a child's mind?

The Cuban government has published, as a new booklet titled How long does it take to change the mind of a child?, a round table discussion with psychologists and other specialists reflecting on the possibly serious consequences for...

Mexico: the poor fight for their university

By David Bacon

MEXICO CITY — Around 100,000 people marched through Mexico's capital on February 9, clamouring for the release from prison of the strikers who had shut down the National Autonomous University of...

Oleg Shein is the only elected revolutionary Marxist in the new State Duma of Russia. He is one of these characters who seems to work non-stop around the clock, seven days a week.

The group he represents, the Movement for a Workers Party (MWP), was formed in August as a...

Mbeki warns South African unions

By Norm Dixon

South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki used his annual "state of the nation" address to the joint sitting of national parliament on February 4 to warn trade unions that the African National Congress government...

Burmese demand independent investigation

By Andrew Hall

CANBERRA — Sixty members of the Burmese community marched and rallied outside the Thai and Burmese embassies on February 11. They were demanding an independent investigation into the execution of...

On February 5, an anti-war demonstration took place in Moscow's Pushkin Square. The demonstration was called by a number of Russian anarchist and ecologist groups, including the Anarchist Anti-war Movement, the Dikobraz group, the ecologist movement Rainbow Keepers and the Localization...

Socialist parties from the Asian region have called for February 17 to become an international day of coordinated protest against the kidnapping of six-year-old Elian Gonzalez.

The US government and the right-wing Cuban exile community in Miami refuses to return Elian to...

By Kurt Lhotzky

VIENNA — The general elections in October brought a dramatic change to traditional politics in Austria. Support for the Social Democrats (SPOe), who polled 38.1% of the vote in 1995, dropped to 33.15%. The conservative bourgeois People's Party (...

Cuba's struggle for emigres' rights

By Gilberto Firmat

The case of Elian Gonzalez has put the spotlight on US-Cuba immigration disputes and the United States' 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, Cold War legislation which grants all Cubans (except convicted felons)...

JAKARTA — On February 11, 500 workers from clothing manufacturer PT Matahari Sentosa I in Bandung, West Java, staged a sit-in at the parliament building here. The workers, members of the militant Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI) trade union, were demanding a 100%...

Editorial

Make the bosses pay

The successful fight of the 342 workers sacked by National Textiles when it went bankrupt to secure payment of their full leave and severance entitlements is an important victory for all workers. It opens the door for other workers who have money owing to them by...

Resistance!

By Ruth Ratcliffe

Six-year-old Elian Gonzalez was plucked from the sea after his mother drowned in an attempt to get from Cuba to the United States. The vast majority of people in both Cuba and the US believe Elian should be returned to his father in Cuba....

By Angela Luvera

BRISBANE — Forty-one students have joined Resistance during Orientation Week at the University of Queensland (UQ), February 7-11. Many of those who joined were especially interested in feminism and socialism, and were concerned about the treatment...

By Federico Fuentes and Marina Carman

The latest craze in Sydney seems to be Cuban music. For two weeks in January, the Bacardi Festival attracted tens of thousands of people to Darling Harbour. Many trendy clubs have regular Cuban theme nights.

...

Notice

The last issue of Resistance magazine reported that the National Union of Students' national education committee decided at its February 3 meeting to call a national day of action for public education on April 5.

What was not reported is that a subsequent meeting of...

By Simon Tayler and Eva Boland

CANBERRA — In March, the NSW Labor government plans to sign the regional forest agreement (RFA) it put forward last year for the Eden management area. Eden has very little old-growth forest remaining, and the RFA does little or...

Culture

Viva East Timor!

Liberdade Viva East Timor
Various artists
Mushroom Records

Review by Mark Abberton

In 1975, Paul Stewart's brother was killed in East Timor, along with...

Helen and David v McGoliath

Review by Jim Green

McLibel: Two Worlds Collide
SBS, Tuesday February 22, 8.30pm

This documentary recounts the McLibel story — the David and Goliath court battle between two London-based...

CIA defeated with 72 hours

By Roberto Jorquera

The Bay of Pigs and the CIA
By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Ocean Press, Melbourne, 1999
212pp., $24.95

In the early hours of April 17, 1961 the "Cuban...

Whistle-blower versus big capital

Review by Tyrion Perkins

The Insider
Directed by Michael Mann
Starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe

The Insider exposes the lengths that big business will...

Writings of a Chinese dissident

The Courage to Stand Alone
by Wei Jingsheng — Penguin Books, 1998
288 pp.

Review by Chris Slee

Wei Jingsheng spent nearly two decades in prison for campaigning for...