Issue 430


Picket blocks Age MELBOURNE — A picket line imposed by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and the Electrical Trades Union prevented distribution of the November 23 edition of the Age. The picket arose from a dispute around a
BY JIM McILROY BRISBANE — The Queensland Labor government faces its biggest crisis revelations over electoral rorts escalate. Te Shepherdson inquiry, established under the auspices of the Criminal Justice Commission following the conviction
BY ZANNY BEGG SYDNEY — In one of the biggest campaign organising meetings to be held in Sydney for a long time, 60 people crammed into the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre on November 23 to discuss plans for May 1 in Sydney. The meeting was called
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — Residents of two rural municipalities, Huon Valley and Kingborough, are organising a convoy to converge at Parliament House on December 10. The gathering is designed to build support among city people for the campaign
S11 films hit Nimbin LISMORE — For the first event organised by Green Left Weekly supporters in the famous northern NSW counter-cultural centre of Nimbin, 30 people packed the Timbarra Environmental Caf‚ to watch several documentaries on the
BY ANDREW HALL CANBERRA — The ACT Coroners Court was told on November 17 that it was "a tragic indictment of the system" that a Canberra man had committed suicide while holding a letter of demand from the Child Support Agency (CSA). Warren
BY STEPHEN O'BRIEN NEWCASTLE — Metal workers, fleeced of their entitlements by the Steel Tube Pipe (STP) group of companies, have extended their picket lines from the Carrington plant of the Newcastle-based group to the luxurious mansion being
BY KAREN FREDERICKS BRISBANE — The Queensland Labor government has rushed laws through parliament to retrospectively abolish remissions ("time off for good behaviour") for prisoners in response to recent Supreme Court cases in which prisoners
BY LISA MACDONALD SYDNEY — "Palestine yes! Slaughter no! Israeli troops have got to go." This was the chant that greeted shoppers and workers knocking off for the day as around 100 supporters of a free Palestine marched down George Street in the
BY BRONWEN BEECHEY ADELAIDE — The Adelaide City Council's proposal to ban the public consumption of alcohol within the city and North Adelaide came under fire at a meeting of around 100 people in the Adelaide Town Hall on November 20. The
BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — The controversial Naturelink cableway on the Gold Coast will not go ahead. The Queensland state government on November 8 rejected the proposal in line with its ban on commercial activity in national parks. The Gold
BY CHRIS SLEE MELBOURNE — Drivers working in the long distance freight industry blockaded oil company depots and the Melbourne docks on November 20. They were demanding an increase in the cartage rate from $1 per kilometre to $1.43 per kilometre,
BY GRANT COLEMAN PERTH — Fifty people attended a public meeting here on November 19 to discuss the continuing destruction of Western Australia's old growth forests. With a state election to take place in February or March next year, the
BY SARAH STEPHEN PERTH — Radical left groups and activists have joined together to run in the next Western Australia state election, due early in 2001. Democratic Socialist candidates Anthony Benbow (Fremantle) and Roberto Jorquera (Perth),
BY VIV MILEY HOBART — Premier Jim Bacon's Labor government introduced amendments to workers' compensation laws in parliament on November 21. While claiming that workers will benefit, the changes have been designed primarily to save the bosses
BY ERIN KILLION NEWCASTLE — "No person shall, in connection with any election, simultaneously campaign [for a candidate] and engage in political activities". This is just one of the amendments to the rules and regulations governing the conduct of
BY JOHN NEBAUER ADELAIDE — About 300 people packed Her Majesty's Theatre on November 16 to hear journalist John Pilger. The evening discussion, titled Hidden Agendas, was part of a series promoting the 2001 Festival of Ideas. The discussion


SAN FRANCISCO — Corporate racism suffered a defeat on November 16. In the largest settlement ever in a corporate racial discrimination case, the Coca-Cola Company agreed to pay more than US$156 million to resolve a federal lawsuit brought by black
BY MAX LANE JAKARTA — Demonstrations and protests are a daily feature of life in Indonesia today. "Traffic jam, pak, two demos today" is a common refrain from taxi drivers. The TV news and newspapers are also peppered with reports of different
BY SEAN HEALY MAE SOT, Thai-Burma border — Heavily pregnant, Ma Thi Da brings out the plates that she, and 500 other Burmese women, made and then hand-painted in a factory in this border town. They'll fetch a pretty penny in the export markets
BY DAVE GILBERT BANGKOK — Fifty sweatshop workers and students protested outside the Shangri La Hotel here on November 14 against the visit of golf champion and Nike sponsor Tiger Woods. They called on Nike to respect workers' rights to join
BY VANJA TANAJA DILI - Five women considered to be "indecently" dressed were chased by a mob of mainly young men near the Mercado Lama (Central Market) here on November 10. Four managed to hide in an NGO-run clinic which was then stoned by the mob.
BY NORM DIXON The Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) on November 19 pulled out of negotiations with the Papua New Guinea government. The militant pro-independence group was frustrated at the slow pace of talks and the PNG government's
BY JOHN PERCY The governments of Cuba and Venezuela are seeking the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles, a notorious Cuban terrorist with a long record of attacks against the Cuban Revolution. Posada has close ties with the US Central Intelligence
PT Caltex workers go on strike On November 21, 3000 workers at PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia in Pekanbaru, in the South Sumatra province of Riau went on strike to demand a 360% increase in wages and benefits. Recently PT Caltex has been hit by a
BY JON LAND On November 21, some 400 East Timorese refugees were repatriated from West Timor. This was the first coordinated return of refugees since the murder of UN workers in the West Timor town of Atambua on September 6. The return of these
BY EVA CHENG According to the US business magazine Forbes, "There has probably never been a better time for capitalists in modern China", and China's "long-awaited admission soon to the World Trade Organization will galvanize the economy more
BY NORM DIXON The Israeli military's massive November 20 air and sea missile bombardment of heavily populated residential areas in Gaza — which, with the West Bank and east Jerusalem, was invaded by Israel in 1967 — had little to do with
BY SUE BULL& TIM GOODEN KATHMANDU — The Socialism 21 Conference here finished on a high note as representatives from 17 countries linked arms and led a spirited 10,000-strong rally against price hikes on November 9. The rally was organised by
BY JIM GREEN A report released by the World Commission on Dams (WCD) on November 16 paints a damning picture of the environmental and social impacts of many of the world's 45,000 large dams. The WCD was formed in 1998 following a process
BY AHMED NIMER Ramallah, West Bank — At the time of writing, Israeli military forces continue their brutal assault on Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israeli military has bombarded Palestinian towns with rockets on a
BY JAMES BALOWSKI For the first time since the overthrow of former President Suharto, the Indonesian government has arrested and charged a human rights activist under the notorious "sowing hatred" articles of the Indonesian Criminal Code. The
The Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions, backed by South Africa's trade union movement, has announced that a three-day blockade of the tiny southern African country's border crossings will begin on November 29. The goal of the action is to force


BY JONATHAN STRAUSS Rough CrossingBy Tom StoppardDirected by Lloyd KingNew Theatre, SydneyThursday to Sunday until December 23$22/$15, bookings 9873 3575 Since the New Theatre's establishment in 1932, much of Sydney's alternative and radical
Orwell: Wintry Conscience of a GenerationBy Jeffrey MeyersNorton, 2000380pp, $39.90 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON "Big Brother is watching you"; "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others" — these epigrams from Nineteen
BY MAX LANE Since August, a new left-wing theoretical magazine, Jurnal Kiri (Left Journal), has been published in Indonesia. Three editions of the 160-page magazine have appeared. Its general editor is Marlin, who is also member of the editorial