Issue 401

News

BY ANDY GIANNIOTIS WOLLONGONG — A proposal to unite the different threads of environmental action in the Illawarra into one "super-group" was adopted unanimously at a public meeting at Macabe Park on March 19. Organised by the Illawarra
Asylum seekers protest Asylum seekers at the remote Woomera detention centre in outback South Australia have launched a peaceful protest, demanding to be released. Several hundred men, women and children gathered on April 7 near the razor-wire
Tasmania Uni cuts provoke anger BY ROHAN PEARCE HOBART — Official attempts to transform the University of Tasmania into a "business-friendly" institution have provoked anger from students whose departments are being de-funded. Thirty-five
Forest activists occupy Timbercorp MELBOURNE — Forest campaigners from Friends of the Earth (FoE) occupied the offices of Timbercorp here to protest against the company's destruction of one-third of red tail black cockatoo nesting sites at a
Timorese support call for scholarships BY MICHAEL DOYLE AND KIM BULLIMORE NEWCASTLE — Young East Timorese are enthusiastic about calls for the Australian government to extend scholarships so they can study in this country, an activist recently
New threat to Fraser Island BY CAM WALKER Fraser Island, off Queensland's central coast, was "saved" in the early 1990s, when the federal government intervened to stop logging on the island following a concerted campaign by many environment
ILO condemns Australia on labour laws The federal government has again come under international scrutiny and criticism, this time for its record on labour rights. The International Labor Organisation (ILO) has condemned the Workplace Relations Act
Week of action against mandatory sentencing The socialist youth group Resistance has called a national week of action to demand that the federal government overturn mandatory sentencing laws in the Northern Territory and Western Australia and
Mass DNA test in NSW BY SEAN HEALY SYDNEY — Civil libertarians expressed horror at the mass screening of DNA samples from men in the north-west New South Wales town of Wee Waa. It is the first mass screening in Australia. Police hope the
ALP won't decriminalise marijuana BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — The ALP government has reneged on an election campaign promise to decriminalise marijuana use in Tasmania. Instead, minor violations of the laws against marijuana use will result in
Stop Nuclear Dumps group formed BY JIM GREEN Opponents of a planned national nuclear dump in northern South Australia have formed a new group, Stop Nuclear Dumps. The group was formed by Everyone for a Nuclear Free Future (formerly the Adelaide
Three Somalis wish to stay Three Somali asylum seekers, held in Port Hedland detention centre since 1997, have reversed their attempt to withdraw their application for a protection visa. The three had said they were so weighed down with years in
Kakadu crunch time BY JIM GREEN The future of the Jabiluka uranium mine in the Northern Territory may become clearer following meetings in coming weeks between Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) and its parent company, North Limited. The main
Telstra anti-privatisation rally planned BY TIM STEWART BRISBANE — With the leaders of Telstra unions concentrating their campaign efforts in towns like Geelong and Townsville, the left-wing Members First activist group in the Community and
'Mandatory sentencing is a crime' BY ANGELA LUVERA BRISBANE — Forty people picketed the Northern Territory Tourist Bureau here on April 3. Aboriginal rights activist Sam Watson spoke of the need for more people to join the campaign to overturn
New abortion clinic for regional NSW By Leslie Williams CANBERRA — A new, privately owned gynaecological clinic in the NSW regional city of Queanbeyan, bordering the Australian Capital Territory, is to provide services to women, beginning with
Stolen children protest CANBERRA — Three hundred members of the stolen generations, and their supporters, rallied here on April 6 to condemn statements by PM John Howard and Aboriginal affairs minister John Herron. The rally marched from the
BY SUE BULL GEELONG — Union leaders have described as a great success a strike by Deakin University staff, who walked off the job on April 5 to protest against stalled enterprise bargaining negotiations. Michael Pegg, Victorian assistant
Members First to contest CPSU national elections BY MELANIE SJOBERG Arguing that the current leaders of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) have not stood up to challenge massive job losses and outsourcing in the Australian Public
Protesters confront Howard BY DANI BARLEY SYDNEY — More than 300 people gathered in Faulconbridge, in the Blue Mountains, on April 7 to protest against Prime Minister John Howard's racist government. The protesters were high school students

World

LOS ANGELES, California — This was the year California schools went test-crazy. In every district, students have taken the new state-mandated STAR (Standardised Testing and Reporting) test by the thousands. Based on their scores, every school in
Russia: Everyone loses in 2000 election By Boris Kagarlitsky MOSCOW — The official results of the March 26 Russian presidential election were no surprise. Former president Boris Yeltsin's handpicked successor, Vladimir Putin, won in the first
Since around April 1, an estimated 7000-10,000 Turkish troops have crossed the Turkey-Iraq border and are pressing deep into southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) to attack fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), according to reports carried by
SWEDEN: Parliament acknowledges Armenian genocide SWEDEN: Parliament acknowledges Armenian genocide Sweden's parliament on March 29 formally acknowledged the Armenian and Assyrian genocide, committed by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. During World
ENGLAND: Blair stumbles in mayoral grab By Greg Harris LONDON — Following a monumental effort to pre-select the least winnable candidate for London's new mayoral office, the British Labour Party continues to stumble towards defeat in the May 4
ENGLAND: British Nuclear fooled again The problems facing British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) continue to mount. On April 2 it was revealed that four workers at BNFL's Sellafield plant in north-west England were sacked for forging entry passes. The
Toxic hot spots in Europe Central and eastern Europe could be polluted again by toxic mine wastes, following several spills of cyanide and heavy metals spills from Romanian mines in recent months. A "Rivers of Life, Rivers of Death" conference was
BOUGAINVILLE: Help needed now Bougainville's struggle for self-determination has reached a critical point. A full political settlement hangs on just one crucial concession from the government of Papua New Guinea. The alternative is renewed war. The
Strikes across Indonesia JAKARTA — Protests were held in cities across Indonesia on April 1, most demanding that the government's planned fuel and electricity price increases be cancelled, not merely postponed. In Makassar, the capital of South
KURDISTAN: 'The PKK is threatened with decay' On February 16, 1999, Abdullah Ocalan, the chairperson of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), was kidnapped by Turkish intelligence in Nairobi, Kenya, and taken to the prison island of Imrali. Twelve
Indonesia: Opposition grows to IMF plan Mounting pressure has forced the Indonesian government to delay implementing key elements of an economic restructuring package negotiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The April 1 budget did not
UNITED STATES: From the news media to Elian, with love Oh Elian, we love you! We're the news media. And you're incredibly special. Many politicians, legal experts, psychologists, celebrities and pundits have wanted the world to know that they
Police crack down on anti-IMF/World Bank activists WASHINGTON — It was around 8 o'clock last Thursday evening [March 30] when the buzzer rang in activist Adam Eidinger's apartment. Thinking that some of his fellow activists had arrived a bit
UNITED STATES: A dozen reasons to protest on April 16 The next citizen showdown against corporate globalisation will be on April 16 and 17, when thousands of people come to Washington, D.C., to protest — through legal demonstrations and/or civil
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Protests are to be held here outside meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on April 16 and the World Bank on April 17 as part of a campaign to demand a world economy managed for people, not corporate profit. Other
IRELAND: Civilians the main targets BELFAST — In what is being hailed as "the most comprehensive study to date" of Troubles-related deaths, an April 1999 University of Ulster study confirms what has long been hidden by British propaganda and
Top food manufacturers shifting from GMOs Federal agriculture minister Warren Truss argues that Australia should continue with trials of genetically modified crops in order to avoid "missing the boat on the new science". However, in Europe, many
UNITED STATES: 'Hurricane' speaks out for Mumia The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal held a press conference on March 25 in Pittsburgh. A featured speaker was Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the former middleweight boxer who
DILI — Sixty East Timorese workers at the aid agency World Vision walked off the job and demonstrated on April 3, demanding an explanation from management for the sacking of eight security guards. World Vision management claimed the organisation
Mozambique, a country of 20 million inhabitants, has just suffered its worst floods for 30 years. The government estimates the cost of reconstruction at US$250 million. While governments of the industrialised countries point to the emergency aid they
Icebergs provide new global warming alert Two massive icebergs — one as large as Jamaica — have broken away from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, again drawing attention to warnings that human-induced global warming and its potentially catastrophic
Alternative economic program The People's Democratic Party (PRD) says that the government does have alternatives to slavishly following the International Monetary Fund's austerity prescription for Indonesia's ailing economy. Its alternative
INDONESIA: General faces US lawsuit Activists in the United States have launched a lawsuit against General Johnny Lumintang, the former deputy chief of staff of the Indonesian army. On March 31, Lumintang was served with a subpoena at Washington's
MADRID — What Have I Done to Deserve This? is the title of a popular movie directed by Spanish film-maker Pedro Almodovar. This is a question that I have often asked myself since living in Spain. I was born in Chile, left in 1975 following Augusto

Culture

Cartoons from out of Leftfield, and on the web By Rani Singh More than 2000 people have already visited a new web site which features political cartoons by Arun Pradhan. The cartoons include the fortnightly feature in Green Left Weekly, "From out
No Border, No Cry — the revolutionary vision of Stoic Frame By Bill Nevins ALBUQUERQUE — The US-Mexico border region is a hot, turbulent zone of cactus, songs, snakes, spicy food, guns and brave gente (people) doing what
Review by Stuart Munckton SchwerpunktBombscareAvailable at gigs for $5 or contact <oibombscare@hotmail.com> Punk rock has come a long way. The pop-punk, like that of Blink 182, which dominates the airwaves these days has little in common
A wake for the Brisbane Resistance Centre By Coral Wynter BRISBANE — On April 1, Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) and Resistance members and supporters held a wake for the Resistance Centre in Terrace Street, New Farm, in which the
By Mark Abberton The University of Wisconsin Madison (UW-M) in the United States is hosting a conference on hip hop music and culture from April 14-16. "The conference is meant to empower youth of all backgrounds and those willing to advance their
Mixed insights into East Timor East Timor: too little too lateBy Lansell TaudevinDuffy and Snellgrove, 1999$24.95, 319 pp. Ballot and bullets: Seven days in East TimorBy Tim FischerAllen and Unwin, 2000$19.95, 149 pp. Review by Jon Land A swathe

Editorial

UN a tool, not the answer The call by Geoff Clark, chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, for the federal government to invite members of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial