Issue 426

News

BY JOHN GAUCI SYDNEY — Teachers, parents and students have attacked a federal government bill which would increase private school funding, saying the bill will damage public education and only advantage the wealthiest families in the most elite
BY BEN COURTICE MELBOURNE — Workers at the Brownbuilt furniture factory in Huntingdale are entering their sixth week of being locked out by their employers. The workers, members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, imposed minor work
BY ZANNY BEGG The Finance Sector Union has beaten back an attempt by the Commonwealth Bank to coerce its workers onto individual contracts, for now at least, but the dispute remains bitter. The two parties have set a deadline of October 31 to
Unionists protest Reith CANBERRA — The ACT Trades and Labor Council organised a symbolic demonstration here on October 25, outside the offices of minister Peter Reith's Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business.
BY CHRIS SLEE MELBOURNE — Workers at five factories here owned by manufacturing company Southcorp returned to work on October 23 after a 12 day strike, having won several of their main demands. The workers, members of the Australian
BY MAURICE SIBELLE MELBOURNE — Some of the more repressive sections of Victoria's anti-student organisation legislation, enacted by the former Kennett government in 1994, were repealed on October 25, although the Coalition and independents were
BY BRONWEN BEECHEY ADELAIDE — A survey of 350 young casual workers here has revealed that many are being underpaid, do not know their rights and find that work is adversely affecting their studies and social life. With 27% of the workforce now
BY KATRINA BARBEN BRISBANE — Industrial action by workers at the Australian Communications Exchange has led to a significant breakthrough in negotiations, management agreeing in advance to implement a Queensland Industrial Relations Commission
Women rallied across Australia on October 27 to "Reclaim the Night" and protest against violence against women. In Sydney, Lauren Carroll Harris reports, 1000 women and children assembled in Hyde Park for the rally, which was kicked off with a
BY TONY ILTIS& SUSAN PRICE MELBOURNE — Labor Premier Steve Bracks had lied about protester violence at the S11 blockade of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting, a protest of 200 outside the ALP's state conference on October 21 was told. Paddy
In the last issue of GLW, the photo accompanying the article"Unions protest against UWS merger" identified the speaker as Robyn Moroney. The speaker was, in fact, Janice Baker from the Community and Public Sector Union.
BY BEN COURTICE MELBOURNE — Plant operators at the Qenos refinery in Altona, owned by oil giant ExxonMobil, have been locked out of work in a dispute over staffing levels. Management at the plant, formerly called Kemcor, wanted to put a clause
BY SAM KING ADELAIDE — The trial of 10 refugees charged with breaking out of the Woomera detention centre in June began here on October 24, but the defendants are confident they can beat the charges and were bolstered by a demonstration by 25

World

Budiman demands supreme court intervention On October 24, the chairperson of the People's Democratic Party (PRD), Budiman Sujatmiko, went to the Supreme Court to protest against the handling of the party's case against former President Suharto and
East Timorese solidarity activists in Australia have condemned federal government attempts to maintain control of large parts of East Timor's oil-rich seabeds, accusing it of being “still greedy for blood money”.  In an October 27
LAHORE — Ten labour leaders have been charged with breaching the peace, sedition and making provocative speeches against the military government. The police charges against them follow a public meeting held on October 18 by Rail Mazdoor Itehad
On August 22, hundreds of members of the Riau Farmers Union demonstrated outside the Indonesian People's Bank in Pekanbaru demanding rural assistance loans so that they could buy seeds for the next harvest season. On the same day in Sumatra's largest
Foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer has already been hit by a flurry of letters, protesting against his government's refusal to hand back control of the Timor Gap oil reserves to East Timor. Printed below are excerpts from some of the letters.
The Jubilee 2000 anti-debt coalition has condemned the practice of "vulture funds", private hedge funds which buy Third World countries' debt cheap and then sue for full repayment, after one such fund received a one-off $58 million payment from Peru
On October 23, a deadly cholera epidemic in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province claimed its 31st victim. More than 3600 cases have been reported since the outbreak began in mid-August. On October 24, national spokesperson for the National Health
Anti-dam protesters and villagers have vowed to fight a two-to-one decision in India's Supreme Court allowing work to continue on the controversial, half-finished Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River in the western state of Gujarat. Medha
Fiji military forces detained three Radio Fiji staff members on October 20 after a report that angered them was aired on the state-run station's early morning news bulletin. Acting chief executive Francis Herman, news director Vasiti Waqa and
While combat raged in Colombia, more than 300 delegates of the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia's second-largest rebel group, as well as from the United States, European Union and Latin America, began a three-day
A number of people in the ZNet forum system and elsewhere have raised questions about the prominent role they see assigned to United States-NATO in the flood of commentary on recent events in Yugoslavia, "gloating over the victory of the opposition
SEOUL — The protests against the Asia-Europe parliamentary meetings (ASEM) on October 20 (O20) in Seoul were very lively, youthful and colourful (see GLW #425). However, they also reflected the most pressing problems facing the South Korean left
The Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) has expressed "grave concern" at the announcement by the Australian government that military aid to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) will be boosted by $10 million, on top of the present annual
Students at Waikato University have paid a heavy price for a decision two years ago to implement voluntary student membership of the Waikato Student Union. But they have now rescinded that decision, voting overwhelmingly to reinstate compulsory
The Persian Gulf state of Qatar has taken back its invitation to host the next ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation. The last ministerial meeting, in Seattle, US, collapsed in part due to massive demonstrations which disrupted its
Protesting community members in East Kalimantan were violently attacked by the Indonesian Mobile Police Brigade (BRIMOB) on October 8. Seven protesters were shot, several were seriously wounded, and two were declared missing. The violence ended a
HANOVER — Germany's Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) held its seventh congress in the town of Cottbus, in former East Germany, on October 14-15. The party drew a balance sheet of its 10 years of existence, elected a new party chairperson and
Hundreds of people confronted the world's most powerful finance ministers during three days of protest against the October 24-25 meeting of the G20 in Montreal. Protest organisers said the G20 — which includes the Group of Seven richest

Culture

BY MELANIE SJOBERG Short films, documentaries, experimental and animation pieces, all made by women, as well as digital and interactive artwork by women, are but some of the planned highlights of the 10th annual international film festival,
The environmental campaigning organization ELEMENT will launch its national "It's easy being green" campaign with 10 hours of entertainment featuring 16 of Sydney's best alternative acts, including Insurge and Sub Base Snarl. "Our aim is to provide
Indonesia: An Eyewitness AccountBy Michael MaherViking, Penguin Books274pp. $30 REVIEW BY PIP HINMAN "Suharto had promised to build foundations that would secure Indonesia's future. Instead, he bequeathed his people a house of cards". This is
REVIEW BY BILL NEVINS Angel of New OrleansDavid RoeRoyal Rags Records, New Orleans<davidroe111@email.msn.com> If you are wandering New Orleans' French Quarter streets, you will likely come upon what seems to be a statue of an angel, all
SYDNEY — The Anin Murak choir, from East Timor's devastated Dili region, is touring NSW. Money raised will go to an education fund to support the young singers, who have no school facilities in their district. The tour is being organised with the
Australia's only national environmental film festival, Wild Spaces, has been launched for the fifth year. The festival will hit 18 cities and regions, covering every state of Australia, on November 3-5. This film and video festival, which is
REVIEW BY SHANE HOPKINSON The Houseparty: A Politically Correct Love StoryBy Winsome HawthorneSubversion PressWrite to PO Box 183, Kurrajong, NSW 2758 or <subversion@arachnoid.net.au> A new genre of writing has emerged — the