Issue 415

Australia

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 said on July 31....

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 Labor leader...

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 screen at the...

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 mandatory sentencing...

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 occupying an office on...

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 2000 to gain...

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 PM John...

 


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.

After a march from Hyde Park...

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 supporters...

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 September 11...

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 single women and...

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 meeting here on...

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 workshops....

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 Moncada Barracks, which touched off...

World

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 1992 left-nationalist...

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 vice presidents Francisco Tudela and...

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 campaign, which has intensified in...

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 Murdered Political Prisoners, one...

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". Marking the 10th...

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, while the unpredictable Speight...

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 first-hand witness to the havoc the sanctions...

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 resolution panel decision, due for...

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 services declined, the black townships...

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 serious attack on hard-won workers'...

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 Democratic Party (PDI) four years ago...

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 "paramountcy" over Indian Fijians and to...

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 young people from around 12 countries...

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 have been charged with breaking the...

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 organised by the prison campaign group...

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 than 15,000 pro-independence...

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 promise to "roll back" the tax if it is...

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 Minister's favourite...

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 contain...

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 indicates...

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 its campaign, by...

Culture

ADF gets five red stars

Community Music
Asian Dub Foundation
London Records
<http://www.asiandubfoundation.com>

REVIEW BY DANIEL SULLIVAN

What could one expect from a band which has...

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 FBI
Janis Ian
Windham Hill

State executions, antisemitism, racial segregation, book burnings, war, government surveillance and the...

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 Roadshow.

...

Fringe theatre gets a boost at last

Rough Cuts
Belvoir St Downstairs, Sydney
Until August 13

REVIEW BY BRENDAN DOYLE

Theatre in Sydney is still losing ground to the multiplex cinemas, television...

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 calling on web designers everywhere to expose BP's...

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...