Issue 397

News

Save Otways old-growth forests! GEELONG — People from across Victoria joined Geelong residents on March 4 to condemn a regional forest agreement which permits the woodchipping of old-growth forests in the nearby Otway Ranges. The 250-strong rally
Inner-city bypass condemned By Jim McIlroy BRISBANE — "The ALP-controlled Brisbane City Council's planned inner-city bypass will cut a swathe through beautiful Victoria Park and spew traffic out into suburban streets already overloaded in
Nuclear waster dump: 10 reasons for a referendum By Jim Green 1. Sydneysiders have been told that long-lived intermediate-level nuclear wastes — including reprocessing wastes from the nuclear reactor in Lucas Heights — will definitely be
Bank merger will hit Tasmania hard By Alex Bainbridge HOBART — In November, when it sold the Trust Bank for $149 million, the Labor state government promised that there would be no job losses, no branch closures and a "net benefit" for
Aboriginal communities face deregistration By Linda Kaucher Hundreds of remote Aboriginal communities face the loss of title to their land because of federal government enforcement of seriously flawed legislation. Federal law requires all
Tax workers dissatisfied with pay offer By Chris Slee MELBOURNE — Community and Public Sector Union members in the Australian Taxation Office are dissatisfied with management's "final offer" for a new agency agreement. Negotiations have been
Arrests at Beverley uranium mine By Bronwen Beechey ADELAIDE — Three people were arrested on March 3 during a peaceful protest at the Beverley uranium mine in the far north of South Australia. Protesters had gathered near the mine from
Union members reject undemocratic restructure By Paul Oboohov CANBERRA — Union delegates here have rejected their leaders' attempt to restructure the Community and Public Sector Union. A special conference of the CPSU's ACT branch on March 9
Arabunna Going Home camp to be re-established By Bronwen Beechey ADELAIDE — Anti-uranium and land rights activists will travel to Lake Eyre on March 26 to re-establish the Arabunna Going Home camp, which was forced to close by Western Mining
Promises on WA forests broken By Grant Coleman PERTH — A state government decision to hand $2 million to a private company to reopen a defunct sawmill has blown a giant hole in Liberal Premier Richard Court's claims to be a defender of WA's
By Cathy Pereira BRISBANE — Aboriginal elders spoke out passionately against mandatory sentencing at a rally here on March 5, branding the laws an abuse of human rights. One hundred and fifty people had gathered in heavy rain to call for an end
Police refuse help to dying man A POLICE sergeant ordered emergency crews not to take an Aboriginal man out of his burned-out cell, a coroner's inquest in Cloncurry, Queensland, was told on March 1. Two firefighters told the court that they tried
By Sue Bull GEELONG — As Geelong enters phase two of water restrictions, 83,000 tonnes of native forest in the nearby Otways is being wood-chipped. But the four businesses involved and the Victorian state government deny any connection between
By Jim Green ADELAIDE — Senator Nick Minchin, federal minister for industry, science and resources, used the platform of the People's Conference on uranium-related issues here on March 4-5 to add nothing to previous government statements about
Workers hit out at ACI By Chris Slee MELBOURNE — Locked out workers from the ACI glass mould manufacturing plant in Box Hill halted production at the firm's bottle-making plant in Spotswood for almost 24 hours on March 6. Two days later, they
Staff resist individual contracts By Nikki Ulasowski HOBART — General staff at the University of Tasmania have formed an industrial action committee to oppose an attempt by the vice-chancellor to introduce individual contracts as part of a new
Newcastle holds People's Inquiry By Geoff Payne NEWCASTLE "Madre, they will kill us." These words have stayed with Sister Carmel Hanson, even since she returned from East Timor last year. She feels that her assurances to people there that the
By Tim Gooden GEELONG — The Victorian building industry faces a three month shutdown from March 11 if threats by the Master Builders' Association of Victoria (MBA) are made good. The threatened lockout is the employers' response to demands by
Street artists v Sydney City Council By Bruce White SYDNEY — The Ombudsman has replied evasively to a complaint about council treatment of street artists but has, in passing, testified to how deliberate council's policy is. Sydney City Council
Web site against mandatory sentencing Territorians for Effective Sentencing launched their new web site on March 5 at <http://ms.dcls.org.au>. Go there now, it's mandatory! One Nation ordered to repay $500,000 BRISBANE — Pauline

World

Cuba's battle for socialist renewal By Rafael Hernandez HAVANA — "What will happen when Castro dies?" That's the inevitable question I'm invited to talk about on Cuba overseas. Curiously enough, I also get a repeated question from the most
By Mark Abberton Five hundred people participated in a four-day congress beginning February 23 in Sentani, in Indonesian-controlled West Papua, to discuss efforts to build a unified leadership for independence. About 1000 security personnel stood
South Africa: 'Guns not butter' budget criticised By Norm Dixon South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) has been criticised for introducing an annual budget on February 23 that massively boosts spending for the armed services,
Leftists attacked in Iraqi Kurdistan The Worker Communist Party of Iraq (WCPI) has accused the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) — which jointly rules Iraqi Kurdistan with the Kurdish Democratic Party at the behest of Washington — of a savage
By George J. Aditjondro Since the forced withdrawal of the Indonesian armed forces (TNI) from East Timor, and with the TNI's "dual function" (its integration into Indonesia's political structures) being more openly challenged, old methods of
Lid lifted on global spy network By Sean Healy A report by a committee of the European Union (EU) has revealed, in the greatest detail yet, how governments of the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada maintain a global
Pinochet awarded Oscar for 'Best Actor' ON MARCH 8, the youth wing of Chile's Socialist Party held a mock ceremony in front of the army's offices in the capital, Santiago, to award a replica fake Oscar statue to a human rights activist wearing a
By Eva Cheng The Hindu-fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the leading party in the 24-party coalition that has ruled India since October, has seized power through the back door in the country's second most populous state of Bihar despite
Palestinian Authority forced to release students By Ahmad Nimer RAMALLAH, Palestine - Students at Birzeit University celebrated the unconditional release of those imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the widespread crackdown that
By James Balowski Indonesia has moved toward a more pluralistic democracy but human rights abuses remained rife in 1999, according to a US State Department report released on February 25. In June, Indonesia held its first free elections since
New anti-terrorism bill targets dissent By Alec Smart LONDON — Legislation allowing police increased powers of arrest and detention is being fast-tracked through the British parliament. "Anti-terrorist" laws, rehearsed and fine-tuned in

Culture

Deepa Mehta's latest feminist film disrupted By Eva Cheng Progressive Indian film-maker Deepa Mehta's latest production, Water, has been disrupted by violent attacks from Hindu fundamentalists in Varanasi, attacks supported by the Bharatiya
How PR buries the environment Global Spin: the corporate assault on environmentalismRevised editionBy Sharon BederScribe Publications336 pp., $29.95 (pb) Global Spin reveals the sophisticated techniques being used around the world by powerful
'Choke on your blue, white and scarlet hypocrisy!' Native North American Child: An OdysseyBuffy Sainte-Marie Vanguard 79340-2Order through CD shops that import Review by Tom Flanagan Buffy Sainte-Marie is possibly unique among the 1960s
Review by Mark Stoyich The Great ManBy David WilliamsonSydney Theatre CompanySydney Opera House from March 9 A group of friends and relations of a once great and powerful man gather to eulogise him after his death, only to realise that he was
Rage against Wall Street On a cold January day, militant rock band Rage Against the Machine took to the heart of the world financial system to film a video clip for "Sleep Now in the Fire", a track from the band's The Battle of Los Angeles. The
Revolutionary sex and free love Review by Phil Shannon Love of Worker Bees and A Great LoveBy Alexandra KollontaiTranslated and introduced by Cathy Porter Virago, 1999378 pp., $17.95 (pb) In their crusade against socialism, conservatives love to
Living without violence By Gail Lord Living without Violence 2000: an exhibition by women of western SydneyCasula Powerhouse Arts Centre, until April 2; Merrylands Central Library, until March 27; Parramatta Heritage Centre, until March 26 For
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General

By Allen Myers PHNOM PENH — Hundreds of women and men gathered in the main square here on March 8 to mark International Women's Day. The activities were organised by the OXFAM organisations and their Cambodian counterparts. The program extended
East Timorese women reflect on 1999 By Vannessa Hearman DILI — Activities to mark International Women's Day on March 8 here included performance art and a public forum on the place of women in the rebuilding process in East Timor. Held in a
Thousands march on International Women's Day Thousands of women and men turned out for International Women's Day marches and rallies around Australia this year. Karen Fletcher from Brisbane report that around 1000 women responded on March 11 to
In a colourful and militant display, 8000 women from all over Chiapas, Mexico, converged on San Cristobal de las Casas on March 8 for the International Women's Day (IWD) activities. Wearing traditional dress plus ski masks or handkerchiefs on their
Indonesian IWD marchers demand working women's rights By May Sari JAKARTA — Three hundred women and men marched from the Kapuk industrial area to Indonesia's parliament building on International Women's Day, March 8. IWD was not celebrated in

Resistance!

By Sarah Peart MELBOURNE — Mass protests are being planned outside the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to be held here on September 11 to 13. The conference is jointly sponsored by the Business Council of Australia
On February 14 in Manila, 3000 students participated in a rally against education funding cuts and tuition fee increases. It was the biggest student rally in three years. The budget for state universities for the year 2000 has been cut by 700 million
By Marina Carman When thousands of people shut down the World Trade Organisation (WTO) summit in Seattle for three days last November, it was proof that people are increasingly angry about the blatant inequality and powerful corporate influence
Free education, not privatisation! By Bronwyn Powell On March 22, students will take to the streets as part of a national day of action (NDA) called by the National Union of Students against education privatisation. This year, students at several