Issue 415

Australia

Big protest, little politics
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE
HOBART — "Greenies don't want to take away jobs, we want to save jobs and forests" was the best message that came from the platform of a rally against woodchipping here on August 2. The plea for

Military 'consultation' attract protest
BY ADAM BAKER
BRISBANE — "There will always be arguments for spending in other areas, but we have to make sure we are making the correct decision", said Prime Minister John Howard from a large video

ALP votes to support mandatory sentencing
The ALP national conference voted on August 3 to withdraw its opposition to Western Australia's mandatory sentencing legislation. In a deal with the WA branch, the party changed its platform so that

Students occupy in IVF protest
BY ANGELA LUVERA
BRISBANE — Students from various political persuasions — socialists, Laborites, anarchists — united to protest against John Howard's plan to restrict access to in vitro fertilisation by

Students prepare for the 'big show'
BY ADAM BAKER
BRISBANE — "On September 11 in Melbourne the big show is coming to town", Griffith University academic Richard Sanders told students at an August 1 forum here, which discussed the penetration of

Campaign 2000 kicks into action
BY CHRIS SPINDLER
MELBOURNE — A 24-hour strike at white goods manufacturer Email on August 3 marks the first of possibly many industrial disputes here as manufacturing workers begin their cross-industry Campaign

BY TRISH CORCORAN& HELEN BRANSGROVE
SYDNEY — Angry about suddenly losing their jobs and their employer's refusal to pay their entitlements, 140 construction workers occupied the head office of Deemah Marble and Granite and then the office of

 

Hiroshima Day
BY JENNY LONG

SYDNEY — Three hundred people gathered here on August 5 to mark the
55th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and
to protest against war and the nuclear industry.

Long walk at halfway point
BY SEAN HEALY
The "long walk" for Aboriginal justice, from Lake Eyre in South Australia to Sydney, has reached its halfway point. Starting from Lake Eyre on June 10, the walkers, who include Aboriginal elders and their

Indy Media Centres launched in Melbourne, Sydney
BY SEAN HEALY
SYDNEY — Independent Media Centres are now up and running in Melbourne and Sydney, where they'll provide a protesters' eye view of protest actions at the World Economic Forum's

BY KAREN FLETCHER
ALICE SPRINGS — On August 2, the third day of the National Conference of Community Legal Centres, delegates learned that Prime Minister John Howard had announced he would amend the Sex Discrimination Act to make it legal to deny

BY ZANNY BEGG
SYDNEY — A determined Aboriginal community would not be deterred by Olympics organisers' boast that "not one black toe would cross the Homebush Bay line", the Indigenous Social Justice Association's Ray Jackson told a packed public

By Chris Slee
MELBOURNE — More than 200 people attended the Global Action Conference, jointly sponsored by Friends of the Earth and Green Left Weekly, held at Melbourne University on July 29. The conference comprised three plenary sessions and 11

Latin America solidarity
BRISBANE — Supporters of the Cuban Revolution danced into the early hours of the morning to the Latin sounds of DJ Sonido Tropicale here on July 29, in commemoration of the 48th anniversary of the July 26 attack on the

BY SEAN HEALY
SYDNEY — NSW Premier Bob Carr's Labor government appears hell-bent on committing 230,000 tonnes of predominantly old-growth timber from north-east NSW to be burned each year for charcoal at Gunnedah, the North East Forest Alliance

World

Despite the announcement on July 31 by Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid that refugee camps in West Timor controlled by the pro-Jakarta militia will be closed, the fate of tens of thousands of East Timorese refugees remains perilous. The terror

CHILE: Pinochet's victims demand justice
SANTIAGO — On July 5, I chanced upon a demonstration outside the national office of the Democratic Concertation, the ruling political coalition in Chile. Patricia Silva from the Association of Relatives of

Lift the sanctions on Iraq!
BY LEIGH HUGHES
When asked in 1996 about the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children from United States-enforced sanctions against the country, US secretary of state Madeleine Albright declared "the price is worth it".

FIJI: Why the military turned on Speight
Following the arrest of coup leader George Speight and more than 360 of his supporters by the Fiji military on July 26, many mainstream observers are claiming that "normalcy" is returning in Fiji. However,

DENIS HALLIDAY is probably the world's most high-profile critic of continuing sanctions against Iraq. He should know. As United Nations assistant secretary-general heading the international organisation's humanitarian mission in Iraq he was

International news briefs
WTO recognises asbestos danger
World Trade Organisation officials are claiming a new trade ruling on asbestos proves that the body is not, as critics claim, stacked in favour of business interests.
A WTO dispute

SOUTH AFRICA: iGoli 2002 — is the future private?
JOHANNESBURG — By December 1998, this city's glitter was tarnished by capital flight and a decade of bad management. South Africa's city of gold (iGoli) was deep in the red. While suburban

SOUTH AFRICA: COSATU bitterly condemns labour law changes
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) on July 27 condemned the African National Congress (ANC) government's proposed amendments to South Africa's labour laws as "the most

On July 27, peaceful student protesters in the central Java city of Yogyakarta were attacked by baton-wielding thugs. At least 21 people were badly hurt. The students were commemorating the military-backed attack on Megawati Sukarnoputri's Indonesian

FIJI: 'Indigenous rights' smokescreen for elite rule
Terrorist leader George Speight has claimed that his gang's kidnapping of the government of Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry was to defend "indigenous" Melanesian Fijians' political

PORTUGAL: 'Globalise the struggles'
SAN GIAO — A huge banner with the words "Globalizar as lutas" (Globalise the struggles) heralded the 17th youth camp of the Fourth International, held in San Giao in central Portugal, July 23-29. Around 400

LAHORE — The Dada Bhai Cement Factory in the Norrieabad District, in Sind province, has become the focus of attention of Pakistan's labour movement. Sixty of the factory's workers have lost their jobs for attempting to forming a union. Thirteen

On July 15, 100 people protested outside England's Harmondsworth Detention Centre in solidarity with the asylum seekers imprisoned there. Most of the inmates are from poverty and war-stricken Third World countries outside Europe. The protest was

Spotlight on Indonesia and West Papua
Independence activists killed in West Papua
Two residents attempting to hoist West Papua's Morning Star independence flag in the coastal city of Sorong were shot dead by Indonesian police on July 28.
More

President Hugo Chavez was re-elected by a comfortable margin in Venezuela's July 30 general elections. Chavez won 59% of the vote, beating his nearest rival and former ally, Francisco Arias, who gained 38%. Chavez and Arias were both leaders of the

Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori began his third consecutive term in power to the sound of massive protests in the country's capital, Lima, and the smell of police tear gas. Fujimori was inaugurated on July 28 for another five year term, alongside

Editorial

GST: rolling back the opposition
In the month since the introduction of the Howard government's goods and services tax, the big-business propaganda machine — commonly referred to as the "mass media" — has mounted a sustained attack on the ALP's

General

Globalisation's myths and victims
BY ALASTAIR GREIG
When I heard the World Economic Forum was to be held in Melbourne in early September, my mind raced back to an ABC interview I heard around six months ago with Pru Goward — the Prime

BY JORGE JORQUERA
MELBOURNE — In preparation for the S11 protests against the World Economic Forum meeting here in September, Green Left Weekly has launched a new web site. The site (<http://www.greenleft.org.au/globalaction/s11>) will

Heroes of the planet?
BY SEAN HEALY
The scene could be the boardroom of any major corporation: long teak table, leather seats, grey suits, million-dollar views - and an air of suppressed panic. "Gentlemen, we have a problem. Our market research

BY EVA CHENG
Prompted by the 1997-98 world economic crisis and after two years of rapid growth, the fledgling international movement for a "Tobin tax" — a tax on currency transactions to help curb financial speculation — is seeking to speed up

Culture

ADF gets five red stars
Community MusicAsian Dub FoundationLondon Records<http://www.asiandubfoundation.com> REVIEW BY DANIEL SULLIVAN
What could one expect from a band which has toured supporting Rage Against the Machine and worked

Actively Radical TV — Sydney community television's progressive current affairs producers tackle the hard issues from the activist's point of view. CTS Sydney (UHF 31), every Sunday, 9-11pm. Ph 9565 5522.
Access News — Melbourne community TV,

Setting the record straight
REVIEW BY BILL NEVINS
God and the FBIJanis IanWindham Hill State executions, antisemitism, racial segregation, book burnings, war, government surveillance and the terrorising of civilians, firings, black-listings,

Rules of racism
The Australian Arabic Council (AAC) wishes to bring to your attention the film Rules of Engagement, directed by William Friedkin and produced by Paramount Pictures, which will be distributed in Australia from August 17 by Village

Fringe theatre gets a boost at last
Rough CutsBelvoir St Downstairs, SydneyUntil August 13 REVIEW BY BRENDAN DOYLE
Theatre in Sydney is still losing ground to the multiplex cinemas, television and the home computer. The subsidised,

BP rogue web site contest
BP, the world's third largest oil company, has adopted the sun as its new logo and redesigned its web site (<http://www.bp.com>) to make it look like a clean, green environmental organisation. Greenpeace is

BY JACKIE LYNCH
MELBOURNE — Art met politics on August 3 when 30 people attended a public forum hosted by anti-sweatshop group Fairwear in Westspace, a gallery run by a collective of "activist artists". The forum was held during a Westspace