Issue 436

News

BY MICHELE JONES SYDNEY — The Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance started the year off in a big way with a well-attended opening of the eastern suburbs Resistance Centre on February 3. Around 50 members, supporters and political activists
BY KATHY NEWNAM ADELAIDE — "With M1, the people's movement is taking the initiative to protest against the rule of the corporate elite", declares the rallying call of M1 Adelaide, adopted at the coalition's February 7 meeting. The statement
BY KATH O'DRISCOLL LISMORE — Plans are underway here to organise International Women's Day, the region's first for two years. Women from different parts of the region having been meeting to prepare a march and rally, multicultural fair day, art
BY TONY ILTIS MELBOURNE — A native title claim by the Yorta Yorta people for a small portion of their traditional lands in the Murray-Goulburn region on the NSW-Victoria border was rejected by the full bench of the Federal Court on February 8.
BY JIM MCILROY BRISBANE — "The movement to challenge corporate power is a growing and unstoppable force for fundamental change", said Adam Baker, one of the two Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) candidates standing in the Queensland elections on
Vigil for refugees MELBOURNE — The Refugee Action Alliance is to begin a weekly vigil at Maribyrnong detention centre from February 25, in the hope it will give people to an opportunity to see for themselves the situation of detained
BY LISA MACDONALD SYDNEY — M1 Sydney has adopted a “call to action”, seeking the endorsement and active participation of organisations and individuals in building the mass anti-corporate protests planned for May 1, which are focused on a
BY MELANIE SJOBERG Rubbing shoulders with the 3200 corporate and political heavyweights at the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland, was one lone Australian trade union official: ACTU president Sharan Burrow. Maybe she thought it was a
BY KIM BULLIMORE SYDNEY — Protesters picketed Sussan's fashion store in Pitt Street Mall on February 8, chanting "this sweat goes with clothes at Sussans". The picket was part of the campaign, an initiative of Fairwear, aimed at protecting
BY JAMES VASSILOPOULOS CANBERRA — "The people who stand outside and say they work in the interests of the poorest people ... they make me want to vomit." This is how Mike Moore, the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO),
BY JODY BETZIEN MELBOURNE — Appearing alongside World Trade Organisation director-general Mike Moore during his February 6 visit here, federal trade minister Mark Vaile has announced a new government program to convince school students that "free
BY NICK SOUDAKOFF DARWIN — Two hundred people have marked the first anniversary of the death in custody of a young man sentenced to a 28-day jail sentence for stealing textas, in an emotional rally here on February 9 calling for an end to
More than 100 Sydney City Council workers rallied outside the Town Hall on February 8 to protest contracting out of their jobs. The rally was called by the Municipal Employees Union as a warning to the council before the expiry of the workers'
Adelaide: Thurs Feb 15, 6pm. 5th flr, Union Bldg, Adelaide Uni (Nth Tce). Ph 8231 6982 or <m1adelaide@start.com.au>. Brisbane: Wed Feb 14, 6pm. TLC Bldg, 16 Peel St, Sth Brisbane. Ph 3831 2644. Canberra: Anti-corporate teach-in. Sat
BY TRISHA REIMERS GEELONG — So heated were the different opinions that police had to be stationed at a February 6 meeting of 200 people to discuss the future of the Offshore Music Festival, which has been a regular occurence in the seaside town
BY DAVID HARRIS BAMBRA — One of the "lungs" of Victoria, the Otway Ranges, is at a crossroads as the destructive practice of clear-fell logging is now cutting into irreplaceable bio-diverse native forests. This is at the expense of other forest
BY GRANT COLEMAN PERTH — More than 500 issues of Student Underground, a new newsletter produced by secondary students which promotes International Women's Day and the May 1 blockade of the city's stock exchange, have been greeted with enthusiasm
BY DANIEL NEWMAN & BRONWYN POWELL WOLLONGONG — At a meeting at Brandon Park on February 5, 3000 BHP Port Kembla steelworkers voted for an immediate 24-hour strike, a series of rolling stoppages and called for a national steel union
BY GEOFF FRANCIS HOBART — Environmentalist Sarah Bayne turned herself in to the Hobart magistrates' court on February 6 for non-payment of a $5000 fine imposed in 1998 after she was arrested in a protest at Mother Cummings Peak. Bayne had
BY CHRIS SLEE MELBOURNE — On February 5, the Industrial Relations Commission began a hearing on the dispute between Yallourn Energy and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. The CFMEU is appealing against the termination of its

World

BY VANYA TANAJA DILI — Public hearings held here January 14-24 to discuss the timetable for East Timor's transition to independence have revealed sharply differing views among East Timorese leaders over the political mechanisms to be used to
BY MARGARET ALLUM "In his attempt at reinventing himself, Ariel Sharon is claiming supernatural powers — i.e. the ability to accomplish the impossible", wrote Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian parliamentarian and professor at Birzeit University, in
BY ABBY SCHER NEW YORK — Over the past 12 months, the US government has intensified its crackdown on political dissidents opposing corporate globalisation. With the Secret Service taking on extraordinary powers designed to combat terrorism,
SAN FRANCISCO — The Los Angeles Times ran a cartoon that graphically shows the situation California's consumers find ourselves in today: two big pulley wheels sucking in a consumer. The top wheel says, "power suppliers" and the bottom wheel,
BY MAX LANE During 2000, only the People's Democratic Party (PRD) championed the political slogan: "Smash the remnants of the New Order, leave behind the fake reformers". But now, following attempts by the party of former dictator Suharto and the
BY RICHARD PITHOUSE DURBAN — Lotus Park is a ghetto with a view. The unpainted, cracked, leaking blocks of flats sit on a hill in Isipingo, south of Durban. In the valley, you can seen the houses of the rich and, along the freeway, you can
BY KERRYN WILLIAMS On January 30 more than 500 high school students and 300 urban poor youth, with the help of 15 buses, mobilised in Jakarta for the "Anti-New Order Tour". Organised by the Popular Youth Movement (GPK) and Jabotabek High School
BY BEN REID MANILA — The leader of the militant BMP trade union federation and prominent leftist, Filemon "Popoy" Lagman, was assassinated on February 6. Four gunmen opened fire while Lagman was visiting the Diliman campus of the University of
BY EVA CHENG Whether the US economy is plunging into a recession is the $64 million question of the day. Preliminary data for the December quarter suggests that US gross domestic product was growing at an annual rate of only 1.4% at the end of
BY MAX LANE Golkar chairperson Akbar Tanjung has accused the People's Democratic Party and two student activist organisations, Forkot and Jarkot, of being behind the burning down of its offices throughout East Java. Jakarta's main daily, Kompas,
BY SEAN HEALY Ecuadoran President Gustavo Noboa has been forced into a partial backdown on International Monetary Fund-mandated prices rises on fuel and transport after massive countrywide protests by indigenous people and unionists reminiscent of
BY SEAN HEALY Leaked internal correspondence has revealed a deep crisis of morale in the World Bank, with staff fearful of being humiliated by top executives or of being made redundant, incensed at being forced to compete against each other in the

Culture

BY ARUN PRADHAN MELBOURNE — Lest We Forget is the latest offering by political rabble-rouser and comedian Rod Quantock. It is Quantock's inquiry into the police violence at the September 11-13 (S11) protests outside World Economic Forum meeting.
REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Gore Vidal: A BiographyBy Fred KaplanBloomsbury, 2000850 pp, $24.95 (pb) "Listen, you queer! Stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I'll sock you in your goddam face and you'll stay plastered!" No, this scintillating oratory is
I see the struggle of my people in a land so unjust I try not to revert to racism But there's very little you can trust The governments make all these promises Assuring us it will all be OK Most of which are broken after election day
You peer insensate from the parapetlike some myopic gargoyleone eye blinded by the futurethe other averted from the pastAnd from your twisted spout- regretDeep and sincere, no doubtbut, not sorrow: yetGabbling grotesque glyphdistorting the story of

Editorial

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics (ABARE) released its report on the outcome of dairy deregulation on January 30. It confirmed that in the six months since the final stage of dairy deregulation was implemented on July 1, 200