Issue 420

News

BY LUKE FOMIATTI SYDNEY — Student elections at Sydney University last week resulted in a massive swing to the National Organisation of Labor Students (NOLS), a loose grouping of ALP students. This year's NOLS presidential candidate, Moksha Watts,
BY LINDA KAUCHER SYDNEY — The World March of Women 2000 conference on September 2 brought together speakers on many factors contributing to women's poverty and many aspects of violence against women. The WMW 2000, initiated by women in Canada and
BY HELEN BRANSGROVE& OWEN RICHARDS SYDNEY — "Waiting is the greatest punishment in life." With these words, Maqsood Alshams encapsulated the plight of refugees held in Australian detention centres. Alshams, a member of the Refugees Action
BY JONATHAN STRAUSS SYDNEY — Journalists, photographers and artists at the highly profitable John Fairfax Holdings, publishers of the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Financial Review, Business Review Weekly, some regional and
BY PAT BREWER CANBERRA — After a hard-fought two-year industrial campaign waged against a recalcitrant Australian National University management, an enterprise agreement negotiated by the combined unions was put to a staff ballot at the end of
BY IAN JAMIESON PERTH — Rising fuel costs have sparked a number of protests here, culminating in a 1500-strong rally outside Parliament House on September 7. With petrol and diesel prices reaching the $1 or more per litre mark, anger at the
BY JO ELLIS AND PETER JOHNSTON DARWIN — Darwin City Council has made a significant concession to the distributors of Green Left Weekly. Council said that it will reconsider later this year the fees applying to "low impact uses" of public places
BY KILTY O'GORMAN SYDNEY — The construction of a new women's prison at Windsor must be stopped. A NSW Legislative Council committee looking into increased prison population released a report in July on issues relating to women. This committee
BY GRAHAM WILLIAMS GEELONG — The strike and picket by maintenance workers at the Godfrey Hirst carpet factory in South Geelong, which began on August 18, is continuing. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Electrical Trades Union (ETU)
BY ANNE O'CASEY MELBOURNE — "It is ironic that our political and financial leaders hail the 'globalisation' brought about by bodies such as the World Economic Forum, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, yet are fighting tooth and nail
BY IAN JAMIESON PERTH — Frustration is building among council workers and staff in Fremantle and the adjoining municipality of Cockburn over delays in enterprise bargaining. Anger at stop-work meetings over promised pay increases in Fremantle
BY BRONWEN BEECHEY ADELAIDE — On September 3, a group of activists responded to a call by the Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance to protest outside the Adelaide Remand Centre. A number of refugees are being held there awaiting trial on

World

More than 4000 people from around the world are expected to attend the Second World Meeting of Friendship and Solidarity with Cuba to be held in Havana, November 9-14. The five-day conference has been organised by the Cuban government to bring
Police crackdown in West Papua Indonesian police in West Papua have been ordered to continue a crackdown against West Papuans who raise the "Morning Star" independence flag in the province. According to the state news agency Antara, a police
The Fiji Labour Party (FLP) has denounced the composition of the commission charged with "reviewing" the country's constitution. The seven-member body is dominated by individuals known to support a return to the provisions of the racist 1990
A confidential internal report leaked to GeneWatch UK reveals that Monsanto is involved in a global campaign to promote genetically modified foods by influencing which experts get on international scientific committees, promoting their views through
Indonesian trade unions are threatening to hold nationwide protests after the government decided to go ahead with fuel price increases next month. A similar move in 1998 triggered a nationwide wave of rioting which ended President Suharto's 32-year
Mexican environmentalists sentenced Rodolfo Montiel Flores, the imprisoned leader of a campesino environment group in the western Mexican state of Guerrero, was notified on August 28 that he had been sentenced to six years and eight months' jail
The Australian goldmining company Eurogold/Normandy is persisting in its attempts to mine in Bergama, Turkey, despite a 1999 Turkish High Court decision ordering it to cease operations. Local people have campaigned against the mine, using direct
Last June, the trial of Ahmed Shamasna (Abu Faiz) opened in the Israel military court of Beit El, on the West Bank. Abu Faiz, a Palestinian whose "illegal" home had been demolished in 1997, was charged with "illegal building" in his attempt to
BY STEVE MYERS On September 7, more than 200 Zaschita (Defence) trade union members and several local communities near Astrakhan, in southern Russia by the Caspian Sea, celebrated a complete victory. It followed a five-day, around-the-clock highway
The fifth round of talks between the Papua New Guinea government and Bougainville leaders, that opened on September 4, marked limited progress towards a lasting political settlement for Bougainville. After three years of negotiations, the likelihood
SAN FRANCISCO — Racism is not just about discrimination and prejudice. Nor is it just about economic privileges for one racial or ethnic group. Racism is also about life and death. According to a fact sheet distributed by the leading civil rights
ERIE, Pennsylvania — The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) voted at their annual convention on August 30 to endorse US Green Ralph Nader's candidacy for president, stating, "The wasted vote in this election would be for
The people of Fiji are beginning to see financial abuses by the military-backed interim administration early in its illegal term. In early August, unelected "Prime Minister" Larsenia Qarase recommended the largest cabinet in Fiji's history. The 20
BY CAT WIENER The European Union is calling for a World Trade Organisation (WTO) disputes panel to rule on a challenge to United States trademark law by French spirits distributors Pernod Ricard, which is involved in a joint venture with Cuba's
The brutal murder on September 6 of three United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) staff by pro-Jakarta militia thugs at Atambua marks a dangerous turning point for 120,000 East Timorese refugees languishing in camps around West Timor.
The war against Iraq continues its deadly course. This small nation of 20 million people has been singled out for inhuman punishment yet the world's press has been largely silent. An entire nation has suffered a decade of starvation and
Since 1995, revolutionary supporters of the Cuban Revolution in Britain have been organising solidarity through the Rock Around the Blockade (RATB) organisation. Its goal is to provide material support for Cuba, while demonstrating Cuban socialism's
WASHINGTON, DC — The Texas prison system grew faster than any other prison system in the United States during the 1990s, adding nearly one out of every five prisoners to the country's prison boom. In a new study released by the Washington-based

Culture

Democracy in Cuba and the 1997-98 ElectionsBy Arnold AugustEditorial Jose Marti, Havana Cuba, 1999. 410 pp.Canada Distribution and Publishing <cuba@aei.ca> REVIEW BY RACHEL EVANS Ever wanted an accurate description of Cuba's socialist
The Marriage of FigaroBy BeaumarchaisCompany B BelvoirOpera House Drama Theatre REVIEW BY MARK STOYICH This is a terrific production of a classic play, which begins brilliantly, ends brilliantly and is pretty good in between, too, with only
BY RICHARD PITHOUSE DURBAN, South Africa — Together with the bunnychow (see the glossary for a translation of South Africanisms), the spliff and the palm tree, life in Durban includes AmaZion trance dancing on traffic circles. So it's rather
BY JOHN FRAME BRISBANE — Simon Hunt, formerly known as Pauline Pantsdown, is fighting for his new single "I'm Sorry" (performed by his "Little Johnny" persona) to get airplay. Prime Minister John Howard's (unauthorised) voice, like Pauline

General

SYDNEY — About 30 people attended a vibrant high school speak-out in Town Hall Square on September 7, organised by Resistance. The theme was "Fight for global justice". Activists endured the rain to hear from speakers on topics including Cuba,
BY SEAN HEALY MELBOURNE — "We can do it, we will do it and we must do it. Let the struggle begin", said Malaysian consumer rights activist Meena Ramon of the global movement to end corporate globalisation, to rousing cheers at a seminar here on
BY SEAN HEALY MELBOURNE — Organisers of protests against the World Economic Forum have angrily rejected accusations that their opposition to "free trade" and corporate-driven globalisation is a new form of Western "protectionism" that will hurt
BY SAM WAINWRIGHT Just two weeks ago we watched 80 imprisoned asylum seekers hold off for nearly 24 hours 200 police and security guards armed with tear gas and water cannon. Our smug, reptile-like minister for immigration, Philip Ruddock,
The following is the address by Cuba's President Fidel Castro to the United Nations' Millennium Summit in New York, September 6. There is chaos in our world, both within countries' borders and beyond. Blind laws are offered like divine norms that
BY ZANNY BEGG SYDNEY — While the eyes of the world are on Sydney during the Olympic Games, progressive activists are gearing up for a series of protests to highlight the Australian government's abysmal human rights record. The focus of most of
REVIEW BY RICHARD INGRAM A new edition of Links has just appeared. This is the 16th issue of the "international journal of socialist renewal". The very topical theme of this issue is alternatives to globalisation. The introductory editorial notes
AMSTERDAM — A worker in the garment industry anywhere in the world today is faced with decreasing wages, deteriorating health and an increased risk of losing her job. The Clean Clothes Campaign (or CCC, as it is called) aims to improve working
BY SHANE BENTLEY SYDNEY — In the wake of protests by desperate asylum seekers, and the racist hysteria of the Australian government and commercial media, the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) here is stepping up the campaign for refugee rights.
BY SEAN HEALY MELBOURNE — "The most important thing I can tell people in Australia is that this fight against the World Economic Forum is not just of concern to people in this country; it concerns people everywhere, all over the world", said
BY PIP HINMAN SYDNEY — In debates on workers' struggles against corporate globalisation, not a lot has been heard from community and trade union leaders from the Third World. However at the Globalisation and Corporate Tyranny seminar here on
BY PIP HINMAN SYDNEY — On September 5 some 250 trade unionists, students and campaigners were treated to a radical-sounding speech from Australian Manufacturing Workers Union national secretary Doug Cameron, the most prominent of the ALP's "fair
SYDNEY — On August 23, South Sydney City Council workers armed with sledgehammers and crowbars attempted to evict almost 30 homeless squatters from council-owned buildings at 147-159 Broadway, near Glebe. The squats are less than 100 metres from
Adelaide S11 — an eyewitness account. What really happened & where to now? Resistance meeting. Sat Sept 16, 2pm. Resistance Centre, (upstairs) 34 Hindley St, city. Ph 8231 6982. Fighting globalisation. Socialist training camp. Sat
Oppose corporate tyrannyResistance Books, 2000$5.95, 58pp. REVIEW BY JONATHAN STRAUSS Oppose corporate tyranny: why the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO should be abolished is about the corporate takeover of the planet and the international
BY SUSAN PRICE MELBOURNE — Green Left Weekly condemned as censorship a decision by organisers of the World Economic Forum summit to deny accreditation to the newspaper's journalists. The World Economic Forum knocked back applications from other
BY NORM DIXON The federal Labor "opposition" on September 7 voted with Coalition government senators to pass the Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill. The law hands sweeping powers to the federal government to deploy