Issue 402

News

Australia sinking climate change efforts BY JIM GREEN Australia's aggressive promotion of carbon sinks may undermine global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas levels. Greenpeace International's climate policy director, Bill Hare, warned on April 13
Labor blocks debate on forests BY JIM GREEN The federal Labor "opposition" blocked an April 13 debate in the Senate on a call for the federal and state governments to uphold the law in the forests. Australian Greens senator Bob Brown, who put the
Mangrove-destroying road dumped BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — The Queensland government has decided to drop the controversial Mackay East-West Connector Road project after a six-year campaign by conservationists, anglers and businesspeople. In an
ACI workers appeal for support MELBOURNE — Workers at the ACI glass mould manufacturing plant in Box Hill have been locked out for four months. Below are extracts from an appeal issued by the workers, who are members of the Australian
Students serve log of claims BY ADAM BAKER AND KATE STEWART BRISBANE — Griffith University students, incensed at deteriorating campus conditions, have served a log of claims on their university administration. The students marched through the
Incumbents worried by union militants BY CHRIS SPINDLER The incumbents of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) leadership are resorting to dirty tricks to stave off the challenge by the militant Workers First ticket. Workers First's
'400 and still dancing' ADELAIDE — Supporters of Green Left Weekly celebrated the 400th issue of the paper on April 8 with a cocktail and dance party at the Resistance Centre. "400 and Still Dancing" raised funds for the Green Left Weekly
BY MARG PERROTT WOLLONGONG — "Sold down the alley", "Absolutely shocking" and "It was a waste of time [going out on strike]" — these were some of the comments by cleaners following a meeting with their union on April 12. On April 7, 200
BY KERRY BAKER HOBART — One hundred people gathered at the International Wall of Friendship on April 11 to protest against the forced removal of the five remaining Kosovar refugees in Tasmania. The Sopjani family were being held by the
Tax office pay dispute BY CHRIS SLEE The tax section council of the Community and Public Sector Union has recommended that CPSU members in the Australian Tax Office reject management's draft agency agreement. Management is offering a 4% a year
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — A range of allegations have been made concerning the privatisation of the Trust Bank by the state Labor government last year. Months after the privatisation was heralded as a "win for Tasmania", it has been revealed
UQ rally against restructure BRISBANE — More than 150 students and staff rallied in the Great Court at the University of Queensland on April 12 to oppose the planned restructure of the UQ arts faculty. Protesters condemned the corporatisation of
BY ANDY GIANNIOTIS MOSS VALE, NSW — Rather than renegotiate a collective agreement that has been in place for the last 20 years, Joy Mining Machinery has locked out 71 workers. Workers walked off the job on March 31 in protest against the company
BY NICK FREDMAN LISMORE — "There's something rotten in the state of Lismore!", thundered Maurie O'Sullivan, president of the NSW Public Sector Association, at a picket and rally at Southern Cross University (SCU) here on April 11. O'Sullivan was
East Timor activists fined BY JAMES VASSILOPOULOS CANBERRA — East Timor solidarity activist Gareth Smith was fined $16,335 on April 12 for painting the slogan, "Shame, Australia, shame", on the front wall of federal Parliament House to protest
Indonesian, East Timorese militants tour By ROHAN JOSEY BRISBANE — More than 130 people, some who travelled from as far away as Lismore and Toowoomba, packed the Queensland Council of Unions auditorium on April 11 to hear the Budiman Sujatmiko,
BY JOHN GAUCI A comprehensive agreement between the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) and the Independent Education Union (IEU) was reached on April 14. The agreement applies to all Catholic dioceses and relevant Catholic
Young people rally against 'legalised racism' Hundreds of secondary students walked out of school last week to protest the racist policies of the federal government, in particular its refusal to repeal mandatory sentencing laws in Western Australia
Rail workers walk out over safety BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — The Queensland Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) struck for 12 hours on April 13 against the introduction of driver-only trains in north Queensland. The "wildcat" strike was called at
Education should be GST-free BY PHILIPPA STANFORD ADELAIDE — The Australian Education Union's South Australian branch president, John Gregory, has called for all aspects of education to be totally exempt from the goods and services tax.

World

UNITED STATES: Washington farts at NPT The United Nations' Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, to be held in New York from April 24 to May 19, will face — and probably fudge — the fact that about 5000 nuclear weapons are
FRANKFURT, Germany — Twenty-six years ago, a young theology student, Manuel Campos, fled Portugal one step ahead of the secret police. Campos suddenly found himself in Germany, a young man with no prospects, few skills, and a head filled with
Mining company won't compensate PNG villagers BY JIM GREEN Dome Resources, the Australian mining company responsible for a spill of 100 to 150 kilograms of sodium cyanide in Papua New Guinea on March 21, says it does not plan to pay compensation
Just after midnight on April 5, weary government and civic representatives inked a deal that put a halt to three weeks of sometimes violent national strikes in Costa Rica. The strikes were the largest mass protests seen in this Central American
INDONESIA: May Day win for strikers JAKARTA — A three-day strike by 1800 workers employed at the PT Isanti shoe factory in Semarang, Central Java, forced the company to grant 23 out of their 25 demands on April 11. The strike was organised by the
SOUTH KOREA: Car workers fight back An estimated 80,000 car workers in South Korea are on strike. Workers from Daewoo initiated the walk-out to protest the proposed sale of their company to a foreign monopoly. The workers are demanding the
Russia: After Putin's coronation By Boris Kagarlitsky MOSCOW — In the Russian drama, a new act is beginning. Since the financial collapse of 1998, the “oligarchs” have recognised that the system they have created cannot survive
BRITAIN: Unity fires socialist election campaign LONDON — On April 13, the second major election rally of the London Socialist Alliance will be held. The LSA is a broad regroupment of socialist groups, which is using the May 4 elections for the
UNITED STATES: 16 years for pinching a chocolate According to an April 5 report on ABC radio, mandatory sentencing laws in the US state of Texas resulted in a man being jailed for 16 years for stealing a Snickers chocolate bar. Listeners to the AM
Martial law was declared in Bolivia in the early hours of April 8 by President Hugo Banzer. The drastic move came at the end of a week of protests, general strikes and transportation blockades that brought large parts of the Latin American country to
As the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis (national congress) meets on April 15-16, a great deal of attention will focus on what leader Gerry Adams has to say and considerably less on the character of the party he leads. It has become common place to talk about the
NOUMEA — Yann Celene Uregei, leader of the United Kanak Liberation Front/People's Congress (FULK/CP), died following a long illness, in his home in the suburbs of New Caledonia/Kanaky on April 7. "Old Yann", as he was respectfully known, had
US blocks global warming treaty deadline Environment ministers from the industrialised capitalist powers on April 9 failed to agree to a deadline for the ratification of the agreement on global warming reached in Kyoto three years ago. Ministers
BRITAIN: Punch-drunk British Nuclear floored again British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL), already punch-drunk from a series of scandals in recent months, faced another crisis on April 13 after a large number of confidential memos were leaked. One
US toxic waste rejected @body text = A ship carrying 110 tonnes of toxic US military waste from bases in Japan to Canada has had to return without unloading, Radio Australia reported on April 10. Two inflatable boats belonging to environmental
RUSSIA: Trade unionist bashed The following urgent appeal was issued by Konstantin Prasolov, from the independent Russian trade union Zaschita. The authorities in Bashkiria, Bashkortostan Republic, Russia, have again used brute force against
Democrats back white privilege, IMF austerity in Zimbabwe On April 4, Australian Democrat senator for Western Australia Andrew Murray successfully moved a notice of motion asking the Senate to "support the British government's strongly expressed

Culture

By Denis Olsen Readers of Green Left Weekly will know Dave Riley from his regular satirical column, "The Life of Riley" . But written satire is not his only cultural pursuit. He also does a lot of theatre work. The theatre Riley practises, however,
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Murder for Capital (Vol. 4) The Marx SistersBy Barry MaitlandAllen & Unwin, 2000315pp, $14.95 (pb) Reviewed by Phil Shannon Eleanor, Meredith and Peg possess something unique and quite valuable, something which greedy, unscrupulous rogues
Prime suspects To all men in Wee Waa: if you're innocent you've got nothing to worry about. How many men can say that! Just as soon as the results come back from the lab, you'll be among the fortunate few in Australia who we know did not bash and
Activist guide to workers' revolution The State and RevolutionBy Vladimir Ilyich LeninResistance Books, 1999108pp, $8.50 rrp Reviewed by Susan Price They say you should never judge a book by its cover. But the contemporary format of this newly

Editorial

Howard and Burke's dirty deal While the compromise on mandatory sentencing struck between Prime Minister John Howard and Northern Territory chief minister Denis Burke may have been sufficient to quell disquiet from the Liberal