Issue 404

News

BY MELANIE SJOBERG A May 1 decision by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission has granted a $15 per week safety-net increase to those awards applying to workers forced to rely on the basic rate. The decision caused a collective whine from
Federation of Cuban Women Australian tour, July 22-30 You are invited to help organise the national tour of the Federation of Cuban Women! The Federation of Cuban Women, an outstanding champion of women's rights around the world, was organised
Incat workers denies pay rise despite huge profit BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — Shipbuilding company Incat made a $53 million after-tax profit in 1998-99 — $17 million more than the previous year — yet Incat boss Craig Clifford is denying a
BY STUART MARTIN CANBERRA — Members First, the rank-and-file group challenging the incumbents in the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), believes it is ready for the union's national office bearer election, which opened on May 5 and run
Threat of action forces progress at Uni of Canberra BY PAT BREWER CANBERRA — After 18 months of stalling and evasion by management at the University of Canberra, enterprise agreement talks have progressed further in four weeks than they had in
BY KIM BULLIMORE NEWCASTLE — Accusing Prime Minister John Howard of attempting to "whitewash the past" and arguing that his stance on reconciliation has "nothing to do with justice or equality for indigenous people", the newly formed Indigenous
Critical Mass blocks CityLink MELBOURNE — Critical Mass activists targeted the hated CityLink freeway project and Domain tunnel for their monthly cycle protest on April 28. Two hundred cyclists rode onto the tollway, blocking all five lanes of
Moya Farrell, 1940-2000 BY ZENY GILES NEWCASTLE — Moya Farrell's activism began at university when she joined a protest outside a hotel in South Yarra, Victoria, which refused to serve Pacific Islanders. She proudly held up a sign which said,
Public sector needs an industry-wide campaign COMMENT BY CHRIS SLEE Members First, the rank-and-file group within the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), fully supports the struggle by Australian Taxation Office workers for better pay and
May 1 'carnival against capitalism' BY CHRIS WILLIAMS Aiming to take May Day, the annual workers' day, back to its militant roots, hundreds of mainly young radicals around the country demonstrated, marched, waved flags and chanted on May 1. In
Tax workers start industrial campaign BY CHRIS SLEE MELBOURNE — Unionists at the Australian Taxation Office have voted in favour of a campaign of industrial action, including bans and a part-pay stoppage on May 11. Members of the Community and

World

INDONESIA: Budiman Sujatmiko: democracy is yet to be won BUDIMAN SUJATMIKO, chairperson of Indonesia's People's Democratic Party (PRD), has been active in the movement for democracy in his country since 1988, when he was a student at
BY JULIA PERKINS JAKARTA — After marching with thousands of other workers on Parliament House here on May 1, 1500 workers from the Indian-owned textile company Texmaco camped outside overnight to protest against their treatment by their employer
May Day around the world A different sort of May Day May 1, the annual day of action to mark working-class struggle and internationalism was celebrated in many countries this year with greater enthusiasm and broader participation than has been
Buddhist monks in Upper Burma are threatening a national uprising on May 25 if the repressive State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) does not agree to a dialogue with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her Committee Representing the People's
ZIMBABWE: Crisis showcases reasons for IMF, World Bank protests In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe appears to have taken leave of his senses, potentially plunging his country of 12 million people into civil war. What does this have to do with
SRI LANKA: Army faces serious defeat In the wake of a string of dramatic military victories by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Sri Lankan government has appealed for foreign military assistance. Some 35,000 Sri Lankan troops have
COLOMBIA: US to intensify support for terror state By Joseph Raso United States policymakers are preparing to substantially increase their materiel backing for Latin America's premier human rights violator. A $1.6 billion package for Colombia,
Led by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the workers of South Korea's four main automobile manufacturers have launched a united campaign to resist a government plan to allow the sale of Daewoo Motors, one of the four, to a foreign
BY CHRIS ATKINSON MELBOURNE — "The year 2000 is the year of emergency", Xanana Gusmao, the chairperson of the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT), told 500 invited guests at the May 4 opening of the Melbourne office of the CNRT's
KURDISTAN: Solidarity helps stop attacks on communists The following is abridged from a letter sent on April 20 by Rebwar Ahmed, secretary of the central committee of the Worker Communist Party of Iraq, to all those organisations which supported
ZIMBABWE: Uninformed 'solidarity' It is difficult to imagine why the Communist Party of Australia's Guardian published an article about the events in Zimbabwe (“Demonising Mugabe to protect white farmers”, April 19) that lacks the most
PHILIPPINES — The following is abridged from an account of the situation in Mindanao distributed on May 3 by the Revolutionary Workers Party of the Philippines (RPMP). The situation in our country, especially in Mindanao, is becoming worse. Trends
BY MARTIN ILTIS MELBOURNE — "In the new period, new struggles, we need new heroes", East Timorese independence leader Xanana Gusmao told those attending the launch of his autobiography here on May 4. He was explaining why he did not think he
VIETNAM: The inspiration hasn't faded When, on April 30, 1975, a single tank of Vietnam's National Liberation Front (NLF) rolled over the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon, it not only ended a decades-long war, it also ended any idea of
Largest strike in Norway for 14 years BY MARGARET ALLUM The largest strike in Norway for 14 years began on May 3, when almost 85,000 private sector workers rejected a new contract. Two-thirds of the union's rank-and-file membership voted against

Culture

A 'wogs'-eye view of white Australia Review by Peter Johnston and Bill Posters Looking for AlibrandiStarring Pia Miranda, Greta Scacchi and Anthony LaPagliaDirected by Kate Woods This charming movie is a coming-of-age drama that leads us through
Infotainment LifestyleDavid BeniukUm & Ah through PhantomAvailable from Fish Records, order at <http://www.davidbeniuk.com> or send $29 to PO Box 29, Wollongong East 2520 Review by Grace Eliot Many Green Left Weekly readers will be
OthelloBy William ShakespeareQuasimodoBondi Pavilion, Sydneyuntil May 14 Review by Brendan Doyle There are productions that stay with you long after you have left the theatre. This version of Shakespeare's classic tale of jealousy is one of them.
Jane Austen with sex and politics Mansfield ParkStarring Frances O'Connor and Harold PinterDirected by Patricia Rozema Review by Jonathan Strauss I haven't read the Jane Austen novel of the same name, upon which this film is based, as well as her
The perfect pretext Review by Sean Healy The Legacy: Murder and Media, Politics and PrisonsWritten, directed and produced by Michael J. MooreScreening on SBS, Sunday, May 21, 8pm In life, Polly Klaas was a pretty normal, 12-year-old, white girl;
Media spotlight on a socialist By Margaret Allum The newspapers of the establishment do, from time to time, cover the activities of those fighting against the system that the rich and powerful uphold. Occasionally, the media even interview them.

Editorial

The 'new' relationship In the wake of Labor leader Kim Beazley's meeting last week in Jakarta with Indonesia's President Abdurrahman Wahid and PM John Howard's response to Wahid's announcement on April 27 that he was postponing his May visit to

General

SYDNEY — Resistance believes that the level of community anger about the Olympics Games here lays the basis for large protest actions, and has pledged to mobilise high school and university students for protests during and leading up to the
On April 21, the federal treasurer Peter Costello announced the cancellation of the bilateral debt owed by Nicaragua and Ethiopia to Australia as part of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program to reduce the debt of heavily indebted poor
Capitalist economists, media magnates, business people and politicians tell us that we are moving towards a "globalised" world economy in which capital and investment can move around freely and the Third World can compete in a "free" international
The disruption of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) summit in Seattle for three days last November by thousands of people, and the follow-up protest actions in Washington in mid-April showed the increasing anger about the blatant inequality and
Thousands of people protested in Indonesia on April 1 against policies demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in exchange for loans — these include cuts to subsides on fuel, public transport, electricity and education. An increase in