Issue 435

News

BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — Green Left Weekly volunteers have vowed to defy attempts by Hobart City Council to prevent the paper being distributed in the Elizabeth Street Mall. Council officers directed two Green Left Weekly distributors to leave
BY VIV MILEY John Howard upped the election stakes on January 29 when he unveiled his $2.9 billion innovation action plan, Backing Australia's Ability. The plan was applauded by business circles, university administrators and research bodies, but
BY BARBARA WHELAN PERTH — Residents of Burt Way, East Perth are outraged over Perth City Council's plan to demolish the housing in their street to make way for luxury high rise apartments. Local resident Karen Kinsett told Green Left Weekly
BY SARAH PEART MELBOURNE — "The task facing us is to build a worthy sequel to S11 on May 1 that will strengthen and advance the movement, organisationally and ideologically", M1 Alliance spokesperson and Democratic Socialist Party activist Jackie
BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — Traditional dances were performed outside Cairns District Court on January 31 to celebrate the acquittal of two Torres Strait Islanders charged with robbing a group of commercial fishers. Benjamin Ali Nona and George
BY STEPHEN MARKS NEWCASTLE — Thanks to international working-class solidarity, 160 Southland Colliery workers near Cessnock are reported to have won their entitlements back after the collapse of the Colrack Group on January 10. Colrack's parent
BY JACQUI LEE PERTH — The Democratic Socialist Party's candidates in the February 10 Western Australian state election are calling on their supporters to give their first preference votes to socialist and Green candidates and to return a Labor
BY ANDY GIANNIOTIS SYDNEY — With the demise of the Refugee Action Collective, members of the International Federation of Iraqi and Iranian Refugees (IFIR), the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) and independent anti-racist activists have
BY SHUA GARFIELD HOBART — The National Union of Students (NUS) education committee met on January 25 to plan its campaigns for 2001. One of the main issues discussed was how NUS should respond to the Labor Party's federal election policy
BY PHIL SHANNON CANBERRA — The federal Department of Health and Aged Care has been publicly embarrassed by a recent outbreak of legionella in one of its Canberra buildings. The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) reports that staff in the
BY PETER BOYLE The Democratic Socialist Party's appeal for a socialist electoral alliance to stand common candidates in the next federal elections has met with an enthusiastic response from the activist left. So far the International
BY SUE BULL GEELONG — Following the demise of Wainwright's Tree in September 1999, this city has desperately needed a progressive bookshop and activist centre. The Democratic Socialist Party, Resistance and Green Left Weekly have announced that
BY ZANNY BEGG SYDNEY — The Department of Corrective Services has released statistics for the September quarter on imprisonment rates in Australia. These figures show that the average daily number of people in prison has steadily increased from
BY ROBERT DARCY SYDNEY — Dita Sari, chairperson of the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggles (FNPBI), has written to the central New South Wales branch of the Maritime Union of Australia to thank the union for funding a number of FNPBI
Adelaide: Feb 17, noon-2pm. Women's Studies Resource Centre, 64 Pennington Tce, Nth Adelaide. Ph 8231 6982. Brisbane: International Women's Day Collective meeting. Mon Feb 12, 6.30pm. TLC Bldg, 16 Peel St, Sth Brisbane. All women welcome. Ph 3831
BY CHRISTOPHER PERKINS WOLLONGONG — Teachers and library staff at TAFE's Illawarra Institute of Technology are taking action against attacks which have flowed from repeated budget cuts by the NSW Labor government. TAFE library staff, members of
BY KAREN FLETCHER BRISBANE — The Brisbane M1 Alliance has pledged to build a peaceful mass blockade of the Brisbane office of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) on May 1 and bring the business of neo-liberal globalisation to a standstill for a
BY NICK SOUDAKOFF DARWIN — Twenty spirited demonstrators chanted "Deport Ruddock, not the refugees" in protest at an appearance by the minister for immigration at a meeting here on February 1. The meeting, attended by 100 people, was part of
BY JIM McILROY BRISBANE — The Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) candidates in the February 17 Queensland elections have slammed the decision by 17 National Party candidates to give preferences to the racist One Nation party in the upcoming state
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — Retail workers at the K&D chain of hardware stores grudgingly voted to accept an enterprise agreement on January 22 that offered a pay increase of less than 4.5% a year in exchange for an erosion of conditions,
BY GAIL LORD SYDNEY — Community activists from Richmond, Penrith and across the Blue Mountains are organising to stop a new women's prison from being built in Windsor, on the city's western outskirts. They say the state government should

World

BY JONATHAN STRAUSS PORTO ALEGRE — Cuban National Assembly president Ricardo Alarcon reaffirmed the internationalist and socialist perspective of the Cuban Revolution in a speech from the chair of a thematic panel at the World Social Forum
BY NORM DIXON Palestinians have submitted a report to the United Nations saying weapons used by Israel to quell the four-month-old intifada in Palestine contained depleted uranium, the January 19-20 Jordan Times reported. The Palestine Liberation
BY JOHN PILGER On the eve of an election campaign, the government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair is attempting, with mounting desperation, to suppress a scandal potentially greater than the arms-to-Iraq cover-up. This is the deaths of
BY MAX LANE In an escalation of tensions between President Abdurrahman Wahid and right-wing forces in the country's parliament, a full session of the DPR, the Indonesian house of representatives, voted almost unanimously on February 2 to accept a
BY SEAN HEALY Suddenly all the triumphalism is gone and the erstwhile "Masters of the Universe" are sounding like whining rich kids whose snowboards have been taken away from them. Over the last decade, the World Economic Forum's annual meeting,
BY ISAM AL-KHAFAJI When Turkey sent 10,000 soldiers into northern Iraq in late December, the event passed almost unnoticed by the international media. Turkish incursions into Iraqi Kurdistan have become routine. As on previous occasions, Turkish
BY JON LAND Imagine someone referring to prime minister John Howard and his foreign minister, Alexander Downer, as "more generous than Mother Theresa". You wouldn't be surprised if it came from a Coalition backbencher — but these are the precise
BY EVA CHENG The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) has taken an extraordinary series of measures to contribute to the efforts to relieve the devastating impact of the January 26 earthquake in Gujarat, in India's north west. The
Bosnia, Kosova and the West — The Yugoslav tragedy: a Marxist viewBy Mike KaradjisResistance Books, 2000251pp, $24.97 (pb) BY JUSTIN RANDELL Many articles and books have been written, from all points of the political spectrum, that attempt to
BY SEAN HEALY The Burmese military regime has revealed that it has been in secret talks with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi since October, the first face-to-face meetings between the Nobel Peace Prize winner and the generals since 1994. But
BY SEAN HEALY After a year-long, increasingly desperate search, the World Trade Organisation's general council has finally confirmed the venue for its next ministerial summit: the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. WTO bureaucrats and rich country
BY JOHN PERCY At its 19th congress in January, the Democratic Socialist Party decided to support the holding of a second Asia-Pacific international solidarity conference over the 2002 Easter weekend (March 29-April 1). The 2002 conference — to
BY NORM DIXON Talks between the Papua New Guinea government and Bougainville leaders on January 26 have finally resulted in an agreement to hold a referendum in which the people of Bougainville will be given the option to choose independence —
BY ROBERT DARCY New Zealand's Waterfront Workers Union (WWU) is locked in a major dispute with forestry giant Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) over the contracting of cheap labour to load log ships in South Island ports. Over the last three months pickets

Culture

Unearth ThisOb(zine) Blue Mountains/western Sydney music compilationAvailable from PO Box 300, Blaxland NSW 2774 or <http://fly.to/obzine> BY BARRY HEALY This collection of 17 tracks by different bands from the western Sydney/Blue
What Are Rock Stars Doing TodayMagic DirtWarner Music<http://www.magicdirt.net> REVIEW BY BEN COURTICE GEELONG — Local band Magic Dirt have produced a brilliant album of dreamy but catchy pop-leaning songs. It's the best new

Editorial

With the verdict handed down on January 31 by the judges presiding over the trial of the two Libyans accused of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the conditions imposed by the United Nations Security Council for the