Issue 418

News

Demanding reproductive freedom LISMORE — Twenty-five activists organised by the Southern Cross University Queer Collective held a sit-in at the office of federal National Party MP Ian Causley to oppose the Coalition government's proposed changes
Workers draw line at Godfrey Hirst BY TIM GOODEN GEELONG — A two-week strike at the Godfrey Hirst carpet factory looks set to escalate this week with textile workers likely to join members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU)
Campaign 2000 industrial action BY MELANIE SJOBERG MELBOURNE — Industrial action associated with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union's (AMWU) "Campaign 2000" is on the rise as the union campaigns for employers to agree to its claims
Fires of reconciliation CANBERRA — The walk for peace led by Arabunna elder Kevin Buzzacott arrived here on August 21. The walk left the shores of Lake Eyre on June 10 and has covered 2400 kilometres and passed through many towns, including
Refugee detention centres have to go! BY PAUL BENEDEK SYDNEY — Chanting "Refugees yes, racism no, detention centres have got to go" and "Free the refugees now!", more than 1500 people marched on the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre on
'No increased military powers!' BY KAMALA EMANUEL HOBART — Chanting "Tax the rich, not the poor. Money for jobs, not for war!", protesters braved rain to demonstrate their opposition to increased military spending at the federal government's
Aboriginal Tent Embassy set to stay BY JENNIFER THOMPSON SYDNEY — With a Land and Environment Court injunction looming, an agreement between police, South Sydney Council and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy was reached on August 23 which allows the
Kindergarten teachers call 'time out' on Labor BY SUE BULL GEELONG — Kindergarten teachers in Victoria are now paid 30% less than their primary and secondary school colleagues, making them the worst paid teachers in Australia, staff and parents
Queensland Labor threatened by electoral fraud BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS BRISBANE — The Queensland Labor Party has landed in hot water after ALP member and Townsville political identity Karen Ehrman, jailed for nine months in early August, alleged
BY KATHY NEWNAM ADELAIDE — The bread and roses that adorned the meeting hall of the first South Australian Inter-Union Women's Conference on August 18 symbolised women's continuing struggle for their "basic needs and a rich cultural life",
Olympics torch met by activists BY NICK FREDMAN LISMORE — Amidst the surreal atmosphere created by chariots, giant video screens and corporate trucks and displays, 30 activists used the opportunity presented by the Olympic torch's passage here
BY PIP HINMAN SYDNEY — Romawaty Sinaga, the international officer of the militant Indonesian National Front for Workers Struggle (FNPBI), in Australia to meet other trade unionists, has appealed for greater assistance for the emerging independent
Courts are 'homophobic, misogynist' BY PAM CURRIE BRISBANE — Jennifer Morgan's fight began six years ago when a doctor at a Brisbane clinic told her to forge a male partner's signature on a consent form so as to qualify for artificial
S11 benefits CANBERRA — Several hundred people enjoyed two benefit concerts here, on August 19 and 23, to raise funds for the Canberra S11 Alliance. The concerts featured local bands, including Iron Sausage, Recalcitrate, The Bigots, Jedis on
Sacked workers seek action from ALP BY MELANIE SJOBERG MELBOURNE — The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) Victorian secretary Craig Johnston has called on Victorian Labor Premier Steve Bracks to intervene to prevent the closure of

World

Around 20,000 people from around the state of Bihar braved torrential rains to march to Parliament Street in Delhi on August 23. The march and rally were organised by the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) to support demands for an economic
Spotlight on Indonesia Massive public transport strike A strike of some 10,000 public transport drivers paralysed North Sumatra's capital city, Medan, on August 21. The strikers were demanding cheaper spare parts, subsidised fuel and an end to
World Bank admits failure The World Bank has admitted that a sector adjustment loan for the restructuring of India's coal industry “has exacted a severe toll on citizens whose lives ultimately were supposed to have been made better by
Race and class in the US: The duopoly It's official: Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman are the Democratic Party nominees for president and vice-president of the United States; George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are the Republican Party nominees. The "race
EAST TIMOR: Transition still painful August 30 is the first anniversary of East Timor's courageous act of self-determination, when, after 24 years of occupation, 78.9% of voters defied concerted Indonesian military and militia attempts to crush
OLEG SHEIN from the Russian trade union confederation Zaschita (Workers' Defense) toured Europe in July at the invitation of International Solidarity with Workers in Russia. He was interviewed on July 14 by GREG DROPKIN for LabourNet
Death of Indian Marxist Arvind N. Das Distinguished Indian Marxist intellectual Arvind N. Das died on August 7, just a month before he would have turned 52, in Amsterdam's Free University Hospital. A fortnight earlier, he had suffered a cardiac
INDONESIA: Workers demonstrate at legislature Although most of the protests in Jakarta during the annual session of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) were relatively small, the final day of the session, August 18, drew
Debt relief leaves countries worse off An International Monetary Fund-administered initiative to relieve the debt burden on the world's poorest countries is a "fraud" which is leaving countries like Zambia worse off than before, the British aid
IRAQ: US, Britain bomb civilian targets IRAQ: US, Britain bomb civilian targets United States and British warplanes attacked sites in northern Iraq on August 15. This followed heavy bombardment in southern Iraq on August 10-12. The air strikes
RIO BRAVO, TAMAULIPAS — Mexico's new national government of Vicente Fox hasn't taken office yet, but already it confronts its thorniest political problem. This challenge comes not from the country's former governing party, the Institutional
THAILAND: Villagers seize dam, demand justice VILLAGE OF THE POOR, northern Thailand — It's early morning in the Kaeng Tana National Park and I'm on the verandah of a guesthouse overlooking the wide brown Moon River, just above its confluence
DILI — Its 4.45pm and the heat is stifling. There is a crowd of students at the door, smiling at me hopefully. Some have travelled miles on foot, on top of buses and in carts to get here. Word had spread that English courses are being offered at
CUBA: Money has 'tainted' Olympics The head of Cuba's Olympics committee, Jose Ramon Fernandez, has accused Western commercial influences of corrupting sport. Fernandez, who is also one of the country's vice-presidents, charges that rich countries
UNITED STATES: Fox 'violated whistle-blower act' After a three-year fight to clear their names, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson won a partial victory on August 18 against former employer Fox TV. A Tampa, Florida, jury found that Akre was fired by Fox
PAKISTAN: Apology demanded for military atrocities LAHORE — The Joint Action Committee for People's Rights Lahore (JAC) has demanded that Pakistan's military government give a formal apology for the atrocities committed by Pakistani military
PAKISTAN: Sugar mill workers fight for jobs LAHORE - More than 700 workers in sugar mills in Sind province were made redundant during July and August. At the Alnoor Sugar Mills and Shah Murad Sugar Mill, both owned by the same person, 240 workers
CUBA: Another shady and sinister story The case of six-year-old Elian Gonzalez, plucked from the Florida straits in November and held against his family's will for eight months until his July return, forced world attention onto US policy towards
A report into the daily operations of Papua New Guinea's Tolukuma goldmine claims that the mine's Australian operators expect to wipe out all fish life and food resources along a 30-kilometre stretch of a nearby river. This is a direct consequence of
East Timor: one man's perspective The DiplomatDirected by Tom ZubryckiProduced by Sally Browning and Wilson da SilvaDistributed by Gil Scrine FilmsChauvel and Valhalla Cinemas, Sydney REVIEW BY NICK EVERETT The Diplomat follows East Timorese
BASQUE COUNTRY: ETA violence hinders Basque struggle Green Left Weekly's SARAH PEART spoke to MIKEL ARAVA ETXEZARRETA from the United Left executive in the Basque Country about the state of the struggle for Basque self-determination. Question:

Culture

Indigenous Americans celebrate unity BY BILL NEVINS ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Turtle Island, Aztlan, the Land of the People: these are all names for the sacred places where the varied indigenous peoples of the Americas thrived for untold
Gore (not Al) without the dilemmas REVIEW BY MARK STOYICH The White DevilBy John WebsterSydney Theatre Company, at the Theatre Royal In Jacobean England, it was generally agreed that the end of the world would occur in the year 2000. How wrong

Editorial

Olympic freeloading There was quite a mixture of embarrassment and hypocrisy on display last week as corporate "hospitality" for politicians hit the news. Olympic tickets, plus air fares, accommodation, food and drink and who knows what else —

General

Farnham's managers threaten to sue S11 BY ARUN PRADHAN MELBOURNE — John Farnham's managers have admitted they doesn't know who to sue to prevent the adoption of the singer's "You're the Voice" as the official anthem of September 11 protests
Media sell us the rope to hang them BY JODY BETZIEN MELBOURNE — The planned September 11 protests have become the story of the moment for the corporate media — and the most screaming of the screaming headlines are being devoted to a planned
COMMENT BY JORGE JORQUERA MELBOURNE — Prime Minister John Howard and Victorian Premier Steve Bracks are now both on record decrying planned September 11 (S11) protests against the World Economic Forum as likely to be "violent". The protest
It's us or globalisation BY STEPHEN DARLEY Globalisation is not that new and not that different, despite some unique features. It's the latest phase of what we used to call imperialism — capitalism on a global scale, neo-colonising through
Massive cop presence at anti-corporate demo BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS BRISBANE — An August 25 demonstration against the corporate takeover of the Queen Street Mall attracted 50 demonstrators and a massive police presence, including members of the
DSP, Resistance in the thick of it BY CHRIS SPINDLER MELBOURNE — The September 11 protests here against the multinationals' World Economic Forum have gathered enormous steam; a diverse range of groups and individuals which have helped to turn
Melbourne Uni students to vote on s11 BY RAY FULCHER MELBOURNE — Students at Melbourne University will vote on August 31 on whether their student union will support the S11 protests against the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting here on
OXFORD, England — Over the past year, European activists have watched large political mobilisations unfold in the United States with keen interest. Although Europe has not recently witnessed a demonstration on the scale of the Seattle anti-World
BY MELANIE SJOBERG MELBOURNE — The Victorian Trades Hall Council will endorse and participate in three events associated with protests against the September 11-13 World Economic Forum (WEF) summit here — but the major event, the start of the
Training camp prepares activists for S11 BY MARCEL CAMERON MELBOURNE — Forty activists attended a lively "socialist training camp" near Ballarat in country Victoria to prepare for the September 11-13 blockade of the World Economic Forum summit
S11 hits regional Victoria BY JACQUIE MOON GEELONG — With only two weeks to go until the S11 protests hit Melbourne, Victoria's regional residents are jumping on board the actions against the World Economic Forum (WEF). Geelong for Global
S11 teach-in brings unity BY NICK FREDMAN LISMORE — A day of lively discussion around the theme "Global justice not global capitalism" attracted more than 70 people here on August 20. The teach-in, organised by the Lismore S11 Alliance, aimed
BY SEAN HEALY Prime Minister John Howard has added his own shrill voice to growing official outrage about the planned September 11 mass protests against the World Economic Forum meeting in Melbourne. He has said that the world's governments "will