Issue 394

Australia

SA education workers demand better pay and conditions
By Bronwen Beechey
ADELAIDE — The Australian Education Union (AEU) and the South Australian Liberal government returned to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) on February

Staff incensed by UQ management
By Robyn Marshall
BRISBANE — A general meeting of staff at the University of Queensland on February 16 described a management pay offer as inadequate. During resumed enterprise bargaining negotiations on

Opposition grows to CPSU centralisation
By Stuart Martin
CANBERRA — Opposition is growing inside the Community and Public Sector Union to attempts by the union's leaders to centralise control over membership services, publications and finances

No ADI development at St Marys!
SYDNEY — Around 150 people gathered outside NSW Parliament House on February 17 to oppose the development of the Australian Defence Industries site at St Marys in Sydney's west. The protesters listened to a wide

Rally against GST on tampons
CANBERRA — As part of a nationwide campaign against the GST on tampons, women here presented health minister Michael Wooldridge with a "Declaration of the GST on Sanitary Products" on February 16. The declaration was

ACI workers picket CUB
MELBOURNE — Locked out workers from the ACI glass mould manufacturing plant in Box Hill picketed the Carlton and United Breweries plant in Abbotsford on February 17. The picket, which involved 50 people and lasted four

Pressure mounts to abolish mandatory sentencing
By Jo Ellis
DARWIN — The death in custody of a 15-year-old Aboriginal youth on February 10 has increased calls for the abolition of mandatory sentencing laws in the Northern Territory and Western

Ruddock, Court threaten detainees
By Sean Healy
Immigration minister Philip Ruddock took time out of his busy schedule on February 14 to personally warn asylum seekers at the Curtin air base in WA that if they make trouble again, they will all be

Indonesian police threaten Australian unionist
Indonesian police are threatening to imprison or deport Australian trade unionist Roger Smith. Smith, who works in Indonesia for the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity, has been

By Michael Bull
MELBOURNE — Building unions' campaign for a 36-hour week and a 24% pay rise entered a dangerous new phase on February 16, when union job delegate Colin Reddie was bashed outside his workplace. Reddie, a member of the Construction,

ACT opposes mandatory sentencing
By James Vassilopoulos
CANBERRA — Three hundred people turned out to a protest on February 17 against mandatory sentencing in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The rally, called with only two days'

Deckhands fight for jobs
By Robert Darcy
SYDNEY — Two hundred tugboat deckhands and their supporters gathered at Circular Quay on February 17 to protest efforts by Adsteam, the country's largest tugboat operator, to cut crew numbers from four

By James Vassilopoulos
CANBERRA — Supporters of workers' rights discussed the implications of BHP's attempt to force their Pilbara work force into individual contracts at a Green Left Weekly forum here on February 16. Trevor Zeltner, the

Teachers warn of strike action
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Queensland teachers are considering industrial action, including strikes and work bans, over a stalled agreement on wages and conditions. The state Labor government has refused to

Mardi Gras launched
By Jen Crothers
SYDNEY — The annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was launched on the steps of the Opera House on February 11. After a colourful dance piece which made a dig at the Olympics, hosts Julie McCrossin and

By Chris Slee
YALLOURN — Unions are maintaining a protest camp outside the Yallourn power station in Victoria's La Trobe Valley, despite the February 9 ending of the month-long lockout of maintenance workers. The issues in dispute have not been

World

Amnesty backs new trial for Mumia
Amnesty International (AI) on February 17 called for a new trial for US political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal because his original trial was "deeply flawed".
After many years of monitoring the case and an exhaustive

Tube workers to contest London elections
Tube workers to contest London election
By Iggy Kim
LONDON — On February 10, the Campaign Against Tube Privatisation (CATP) officially launched its slate of 11 candidates for the Greater London

On February 7, Israel launched a devastating series of bombings against civilian areas in Lebanon, which injured 17 civilians and destroyed three major electrical power plants. The Israeli air strikes followed a series of successful military actions

CPI-ML discusses China's socialism
BALASUBRAMANIAN SIVARAMAN, politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (Liberation) (CPI-ML) was in Sydney in January for the Marxism 2000 Asia Pacific Solidarity and Education Conference. He

2,000,000 behind bars in the US
Washington, DC — The Washington DC-based Justice Policy Institute (JPI) reported at the beginning of this month that on February 15, the United States jail population would top 2 million for the first time. Using

Protests demand Elian be returned home
Protests occurred across Australia on February 17 to demand that the United States government allow six-year-old Elian Gonzalez to return to his family in Cuba. The protests were sponsored nationally by the

The following is abridged from an open letter written by Juan Miguel Gonzalez, father of Elian Gonzalez, to US attorney-general Janet Reno and US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) commissioner Doris Meissner on February 14. It was

A hot French winter looms
By Stan Demidjuk
The new millennium in France has begun prophetically. Besides the snow, rain, tempests and storms, a wave of industrial and political action has swept across the country. France is in for a very hot

International news briefs
PNG students confront fee increase
The University of Papua New Guinea has charged 32 students with offences relating to protest actions held last October. The students were opposing plans to increase tuition fees by 25%

By Allen Myers
PHNOM PENH — The Cambodian government is now awaiting the arrival of a team of United Nations legal experts to continue discussions on UN participation in a trial of former leaders of the Khmer Rouge (KR). This follows a "positive"

By Wolfgang Pomrehn
KIEL, Germany — Anti-fascist protests hit many European cities on February 12 and 13. Protesters opposed the new Austrian government, formed by the conservative OeVP (Austrian People's Party) and the FPOe (Freedom Party 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

Socialist Party of Timor holds first congress
By Jon Land
DILI — The Socialist Party of Timor (PST) held its first national congress here on February 10-11. The event marked an important stage in the development of the PST and the socialist

By Jon Land
DILI — East Timorese workers at the floating Hotel Olympia and Amos W. complex have won better wages and conditions following a 24-hour sit-in strike. The action, which began on February 10, involved 40 hospitality and housekeeping

Editorial

Government villainy
Three acts of government villainy within a week show just how far the government's vicious drive against undocumented refugee arrivals has gone — and how much we must do to stop the government in its tracks.
First, on

Resistance!

The federal minister for immigration, Philip Ruddock, is attending a series of "consultative" public meetings on the government's migration and "humanitarian" programs. Resistance organised a protest action outside the public meeting in Perth on

By Grant Coleman
In Orientation Weeks, student activists around the country are launching the campaign to stop the privatisation of higher education. The National Union of Students has called a national day of action on March 22 and numerous

By Bea Brear
SYDNEY — With International Olympics Committee (IOC) chief Juan Antonio Samaranch in town on February 16, the Sydney offices of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) became the focus of an angry rally. One

Marxism: outdated theory or guide to revolution?
Growing inequality and hunger worldwide, sexism, racism and environmental destruction explode the lie that the 21st century heralds a new capitalist era of peace and prosperity. Worsening living

By Kerryn Williams
Ten members of Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET) returned on February 14 from an action-packed, two-week student exposure tour of Indonesia. During the tour, the students met with activist and human

Ten months ago, the students of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) voted to go on indefinite strike to protest against university president Francisco Barnes de Castro's plans to charge students tuition fees for the first time (even

Students join Resistance
Resistance held stalls at numerous university Orientation Weeks between February 14 and 18.
Twenty people joined Resistance at the University of Newcastle. Western Sydney Resistance joined 10 people at the University of

In 1976, and again in 1981, Malcolm Fraser's Liberal government attempted to cut tertiary education funding, replace TEAS (the precursor of Austudy) with a loans scheme and reintroduce up-front fees. Student opposition on numerous campuses fed into

By Kerry Baker
HOBART — Last September, the University of Tasmania student union held a referendum on whether or not to create a "men's officer" position on the Student Representative Council (SRC). Because of the way the proposal was phrased,

By Bea Brear
SYDNEY — On February 14, a small but vibrant rally was held outside the Liberal Party headquarters in Sydney to protest against the GST. The action, organised by the Cross-Campus Women's Network, aimed to highlight the

Resistance magazine is calling on all readers to participate in the International Women's Day marches and rallies around the country. We can provide you with posters and leaflets to help publicise the day. We organise pre-rally breakfasts in most

Campaign against fees
The campaign against tuition fees in England, Scotland and Wales is heating up. A four-day occupation of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London ended on January 29. It was part of a campaign to

Culture

Not your average ex-MP
A Life on the Left: A Biography of Clyde CameronBy Bill GuyWakefield Press, 1999. 405pp. Review by Anthony Benbow
Sickened by stories about former Labor PM Paul Keating's business empire, or by listening to federal Labor's

Review by Mark Stoyich
A Streetcar Named DesireEnsemble Theatre CompanyThe Playhouse, Sydney Opera HouseUntil March 4 Once again, Tennessee Williams' clanking streetcar goes up and down the French quarter through one old street after another.