Issue 396

News

ACT assembly votes against mandatory sentencing By Andrew Hall CANBERRA — The ACT Legislative Assembly voted on March 1 to condemn the Northern Territory and Western Australia's mandatory sentencing laws and to distance itself from a
WA old growth forest loss continues PERTH — Behind the smokescreen of the state government's revised regional forest agreement (RFA), which halts logging in an additional 9000 hectares of old growth karri and karri/tingle forest, the WA
Residents demand clean air By Nick Everett SYDNEY — Fifty residents protested here on February 29 against the pollution of their suburbs by the unfiltered ventilation stacks used as part of the city's road tunnel program. The protest, in
Rally against development By Edward Johnstone BRISBANE — Fifty people gathered in Boundary Street, West End here on February 26 to protest against Bristram and the construction of a bridge connecting West End with St Lucia. The rally was
Suzuki on salmon By Alex Bainbridge HOBART — Renowned Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki has criticised the World Trade Organisation's record on ecological issues, telling a public meeting here on February 29 that the WTO could not be
Rally against GST on tampons By Nikki Ulasowski HOBART — The Tasmanian branch of the National Union of Students (NUS) organised a rally at the University of Tasmania here on March 3 to protest against the imposition of the GST on tampons and
Port Kembla Hospital protest By Marg Perrott WOLLONGONG — More than 300 people marched from Warrawong to the Port Kembla Hospital on February 26 to protest against the closure of the accident and emergency (A&E) department. There has been a
Residents organise to save O'Connor ridge By Geoff Wasteneys CANBERRA — Local residents have formed an action group here, Save the Ridge, to protest against ACT government plans to build up to six lanes of freeway through the Bruce/O'Connor
DARWIN — On March 11, a by-election will be held in the seat of Port Darwin following the resignation of Shane Stone, former Northern Territory chief minister and the architect of the NT's notorious mandatory sentencing legislation. ANDY GOUGH is
By Jennifer Long SYDNEY — Members of the Public Service Association (PSA) have voted to accept the NSW government's pay offer of 16% over four and a half years. More than 10,000 members voted to accept the offer, about 75% of total votes cast. A
Forest protester jailed for not paying fines By Alex Bainbridge HOBART — Environmentalist Karen Weldrick was jailed for 31 days on February 24 for refusing to pay a fine of $3094.50 imposed for her involvement in a 1998 action to stop logging
CPSU members defend delegate By Chris Slee MELBOURNE — Twenty members of the Community and Public Sector Union attended the inaugural meeting of a committee to defend Marcus Banks. Banks, a CPSU delegate at the Moreland Centrelink office, was
By Stuart Martin CANBERRA — The ACT and Victorian branch executives of the Community and Public Sector Union have reacted angrily to undemocratic changes thrust on the union by its national management committee. Conferences have been called to
By Ben Leeman Thirteen anti-logging protesters were injured in an attack by 50 pro-logging thugs in East Gippsland on the night of February 20 and the early morning of February 21. The thugs attacked the long-established protest camp at 11.30pm.
Human cost of government cruelty By Roberto Jorquera PERTH — Opponents of Australia's harsh anti-refugee policies told a public meeting here on March 1 that the federal government is avoiding its international and human rights
Action for the south-east forests CANBERRA — Eighty people attended an art exhibition, slide show and public meeting organised by The Wilderness Society and the Friends of the Mongarlowe River here on March 2. Paintings, photography and poems
Labor: criticisms but no promises By Kerry Baker HOBART — Federal shadow minister for education Michael Lee strongly condemned the federal government's goods and services tax, and its likely impact on education, but carefully avoided

World

By Farooq Sulehria LAHORE — Two hundred and fifty trade unionists and activists attended a seminar on February 9 which was sharply critical of Pakistan's new military government. The forum was organised by the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) and was
Broad support for Scottish socialists By Greg Harris EDINBURGH — The last weekend of February was the British Labour Party's 100th anniversary. On the same weekend, the young Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) held its second annual conference in
Statement in support of Birzeit University students The Democratic Socialist Party (Australia) sends its solidarity and support to the students of Birzeit who are taking action for the release of students arrested by the Palestinian Authority (PA)
Philippine police attack workers Several dozen heavily armed members of the Philippine National Police's tactical response unit attacked striking workers outside the Royal Sweets factory in the Manila suburb of Pasig on February 25. Some 200
Killer cops go free By Norm Dixon On February 25, residents of New York City's African-American, Latino and immigrant neighbourhoods were stunned to hear that a jury had acquitted the four police officers who shot Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo
East Timor people's 'indefatigable spirit' By Peter Johnston DILI — On arriving in East Timor, one is struck by how little has been repaired in the months since the militia destruction. Very few buildings were not damaged in the
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
By Lara Pullin The British home secretary Jack Straw has released former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, ostensibly on medical grounds. On March 2, the general left his country residence outside London and took a plane back to his native Chile.
World Bank sneers at debt relief WORLD BANK president James Wolfensohn told a media conference in Manila on February 26 that using Christianity's Jubilee year as a platform to campaign for debt relief for the Third World is "whimsical" and could
By Michael Karadjis On January 15, the paramilitary killer Zeljko Raznatovic, also known as Arkan, was shot and killed in Belgrade, adding another to the 500 unsolved murders of high-ranking individuals in Serbia in the last few years. This was
'Parliament won't solve workers' problems' Twenty nine labour federations now operate in Indonesia. The National Front for Labour Struggle, which has 11 affiliated regional organisations, is one of the more important federations. Green Left
Campaign to save Iraqi women By Lisa Macdonald Zarian was murdered in 1997 by her male relatives for marrying the man she loved without her father's permission. In 1997, Kazhal Kheder's male relatives cut off her nose; they had wanted to kill her
By Ahmad Nimer RAMALLAH — Recent events at the main Palestinian university, Birzeit University, have resulted in the growth of the most significant protest movement here since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA). For the first
Life in a Timorese village after independence By Vanya Tanaja DILI — Whilst independence from Indonesian rule has been won, some things in East Timor have changed little. After the militia violence of September, many Timorese are worse off
Castro condemns US for Elian tragedy On December 23, Cuban president Fidel Castro gave a speech to the school children outside the United States Interests Section in Havana, in which he condemned US immigration policy towards Cuba for encouraging
May Day plans under way in Indonesia By May Sari Attended by 50 of its leading members, the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI) held its national council meeting in Cisarua, West Java, on February 13-15. The Palembang Workers'
Australia signs new Timor Gap treaty The Australian government has signed a new treaty with the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor for the disposition of gas reserves in the Timor Sea. The Byun Undan Gas Recycling Development
By Norm Dixon The Turkish government has significantly stepped up repression in the country's Kurdish south-eastern provinces. Ankara is cynically taking advantage of concession's offered by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the easing of

Culture

The Eye has vision Review by James Vassilopoulos Politics Can Be FunEyeSend $10 to PO Box 1327, Woden, ACT 2606Visit <http://www.teknet.net.au/~eye/> The Canberra paste-up scene has been dominated by posters for apolitical techno and DJ
The new evidence on women's oppression The dispossession of women — A Marxist examination of new evidence on the origins of women's oppression By Pat BewerResistance Books, 200044 pp., $4.95Available from all Resistance Bookshopsor send
Washington on Trial: The People of Cuba Versus the US GovernmentOcean Press, Melbourne, 199944pp, $6.95 Review by Roberto Jorquera Since the 1959 revolution in Cuba, the United States has been at war with it. Few countries have had to face so much

Editorial

Talk is cheap, silence is worth less Prime Minister John Howard, in an interview with the Australian first reported on February 28, abandoned the December 31 deadline for the adoption of a document on Aboriginal reconciliation. The deadline was

General

By Jackie Lynch (Melbourne) This year, IWD rallies across Australia are raising demands around people's struggles in many other countries. From calls for war reparations for East Timor to demanding that the Australian government scraps its
By Karen Fletcher (Brisbane) Imagine a world where women have won liberation and participate fully in public and private life; where a woman's skills, talents and intellect are valued and rewarded; where women and girls stride purposefully and
Women of the world unite! Since its beginnings, IWD has been a day of unity, solidarity and action. On February 28, 1907, women socialists in the United States organised huge demonstrations and meetings around the country to demand political rights
Upcoming discussions on feminism sponsored by the Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance — all welcome ADELAIDE Resistance feminist video night & party. Sat March 11, 6.30pm. Resistance Centre, 34 Hindley St (upstairs), city.
By Trisha Reimers (Perth) When women's right to control their bodies is under attack ... when sexist advertising surrounds us ... when 1 in 4 women is sexually assaulted by the time she is 18 ... when media commentators and politicians tell us that
By Kamala Emanuel (Hobart) A pregnant woman is the only person qualified to determine what course of action to take regarding her pregnancy — whether to continue it or have an abortion. The right to decide should not have to be proven to satisfy
Marxist feminism in action The Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance have placed the issue of women's liberation at the centre of our work since our formation during the youth radicalisation and the "second wave" of feminism in the 1970s. This
Racism is a feminist issue Despite successive governments' rhetoric about reconciliation, many indigenous people in Australia live in Third World conditions and, across the board, Aboriginal people have lower levels of health, education employment,
By Bec Beirne (Sydney) You only need to glance at any mainstream media outlet to see that the "beauty myth" is alive and flourishing. The recent increase in the amount and blatancy of sexist advertising in Australia is a measure of the concerted

Resistance!

Don't diet! By Bea Brear SYDNEY — Protesters gathered outside the Sydney Town Hall on February 26 to vent their anger at the increasing quantity of sexist advertising visible in the city. The action, organised by Resistance, was aimed at
By Marina Carman "The supposed invincibility of the free market and capitalism was dealt a big blow last December in Seattle as thousands of trade unionists, environmentalists, anti-sweatshop activists, students and others effectively shut down the
Acts of Resistance New club launched GEELONG — Students at Deakin University in Geelong have formed a new Resistance club at the campus. Many students have already expressed an interest in the club, which is part of a new Resistance branch in
Ruddock confronted by anti-racists By Luke Fomiatti SYDNEY — Immigration minister Philip Ruddock held a "community consultation" here on March 1 at the Joan Sutherland Centre in Penrith. A crowd of angry protesters, including members of
Students oppose military Marina Carman One hundred and fifty students staged a protest outside the office of the regional legislative assembly in Surabaya, Indonesia, on February 22. The students were angry at the Indonesian military's