Issue 441

News

BY LINDA WALDRON MELBOURNE — Five East Timorese solidarity activists have been found guilty of "public order" offences for burning the flag of the Indonesian consulate in September 1999, two days after the people of East Timor voted for
BY TAMARA PEARSON SYDNEY — John Howard faces little chance of re-election if his reception in Sydney's western suburbs is anything to go by — the Prime Minister, wearing his trademark stupid grin, was accosted by 150 demonstrators when he held
BY ANTHONY BENBOW PERTH — After six days of a round-the-clock picket line, workers at Linencare linen service in Perth's southern suburbs returned to work victorious. The members of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union,
BY MICHELLE BREAR SYDNEY — Workers are continuing their actions against swimming costume manufacturer Speedo, which shut the doors of its South Windsor factory on March 2, leaving 65 workers without jobs. Sixty of the workers were women who had
BY MARG PERROTT WOLLONGONG — March 9 was the 25th anniversary of the victory of the longest teachers' strike in Australian history, the Warilla strike, a date which was commemorated by a dinner of 60 veterans and supporters here. In 1976, the
BY TONY ILTIS MELBOURNE — "Although Indonesia has, like a good child, been obeying the [International Monetary Fund], the economy is not improving", Indonesian union leader Dr Setia Pribadi told a March 15 public meeting here on labour struggles
MELBOURNE — Feminist and socialist activist SURMA HAMID, from the Committee in Defence of Iraqi Women's Rights, has been active in the campaign to close Australia's immigration detention centres. In February, she was detained by Greek immigration
BY JIM GREEN The federal government's plan to build a new nuclear research reactor in the southern Sydney suburb of Lucas Heights hit another hurdle on March 15 when a French court banned a ship from unloading 360 spent fuel rods from the existing
BY AMANDA LEAHY ALICE SPRINGS — The "Alice in Wonderland" gay and lesbian festival was held here, March 10-17. Activities included a dance, a film festival, a pool night, a cabaret and a day at the races. In response, there were numerous
BY JIM GREEN Multinational mining company Rio Tinto may now decide to complete construction of and then operate the Jabiluka uranium mine in the Northern Territory itself, it was revealed on March 14. For several months Rio Tinto has been
BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — Some 37 years after they were forced from their homes at gunpoint by police acting on the orders of the Queensland National Party government, residents of the far-north Aboriginal settlement of Mapoon have achieved an
BY VIV MILEY The Senate on March 7 passed new legislation which widens the circumstances under which Australian Defence Force reserves can be called out by the defence minister to suppress civil protest actions and strikes. The legislation, which

World

BY JONATHAN STRAUSS COPENHAGEN — "We want a totally different agenda", Enhedslisten (Red-Green Alliance) MP Karl Albrechtsen, from Denmark, told the "Europe after Nice" conference held here on March 3-4. Attended by 160 delegates from 31
BY NORM DIXON The United States government, at the urging of the big Western drug corporations, is attempting to prevent Brazil expanding its production of cheap "generic" versions of patented anti-AIDS medicines. If Washington and the drug lords
BY JEFF HALPER TEL AVIV — Ariel Sharon's governing coalition, embracing both Labour's Shimon Peres and hard-line rejectionists, exposes the contradictions in the conventional left-right distinctions in Israeli politics. Over seven years after
BY AL GIORDANO While it is front-page news in South America, US President George Bush's half-billion dollar increase in funds for Plan Colombia — complete with a public relations facelift and attempted name change — has flown under the radar of
BY DALE T. McKINLEY HARARE — For a man who might soon find himself facing the life-threatening wrath of a former comrade turned despotic head of state, Dzinashe Machingura shows amazingly little concern. Maybe that's because Machingura is better
BY RICHARD PITHOUSE DURBAN — On March 5, there were protests by AIDS activists around the world against the South African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association legal attack on South Africa's laws designed to make anti-AIDS medicines cheaper.
A landowner group along the Ok Tedi River in PNG's Western Province is demanding more than A$1 million compensation for the destruction of the river system by the Ok Tedi mine, owned by BHP. The Opp Incorporated Land Group, claiming to represent
BY MICHAEL KARADJIS HANOI — While the historic advances made by revolutionary Cuba in education, health, welfare and other fields have long made for impressive contrasts with the grinding poverty, illiteracy and death from preventable diseases
Tahiti's pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru was re-elected mayor of the working-class city of Faa'a, near Tahiti's international airport, with an overwhelming majority in the municipal election held March 10-11. Temaru's election is a big boost
PARIS — In the last decade France has provided some of the most important examples of workers' capacity to struggle against the power of capital, and in December the small French city of Nice was added to the list of the sites of struggle against
BY IGGY KIM SEOUL — Daewoo's Bupyong factory recommenced operations on March 7 under the guard of 8000 riot police. As 80 buses took workers into the factory about 200 laid-off workers attempted to block them. All were detained by the police.
BY EVA CHENG Public anger against escalating corruption, smuggling, tax evasion, fee extortions and other forms abuses of power by Communist Party officials found expression among the delegates in the traditionally uncontroversial annual sessions
BY KERRYN WILLIAMS On March 12, a group of 70 masked thugs armed with batons, machetes and bamboo sticks attacked the Jakarta offices of the National Student League for Democracy (LMND). They smashed the gate, door and windows, then

Culture

REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Cruel Britannia: Reports on the Sinister and the PreposterousBy Nick CohenVerso, 2000247pp, $35(pb) "I appreciate there were some people who voted for us who thought we would make a difference. They didn't understand" —
S11 DocoWritten, produced and directed by Charlie Hill-Smith, Cindy Elliot & Pat Stirling$8Order a copy by email at <charlie@cobweb.com.au> StruggleKineticDistributed by MGM Records BY SEAN HEALY I've spent most of the last six months
Australia's Bid for the Atomic BombBy Wayne Reynolds Melbourne University Press, 2000218pp, $32.95(pb) REVIEW BY JIM GREEN It has been known for many years that Australian governments considered, and pursued, the development of nuclear weapons
BY ZANNY BEGG The Guerrilla Girls were formed in 1985 after the Museum of Modern Art in New York held a blockbuster exhibition of 169 of the world's "most significant contemporary artists". All the artists whose work was on display were white, and

Editorial

On March 6 eight West Australian Liberal MPs wrote a letter calling on Prime Minister John Howard to block the imminent $10 billion takeover of Australia's 12th largest company, Woodside Petroleum, by the Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell.

General

BY TONY ILTIS MELBOURNE — "The borders are open for the capitalists to exploit workers all over the world but they are shut in the faces of refugees and poor people", Surma Hamid of the Committee in Defence of Iraqi Women's Rights told a forum
BY JEREMY SMITH BALLARAT — The National Tertiary Education Union at the University of Ballarat has voted to back the planned M1 blockade of Melbourne's stock exchange. The motion, passed by the branch's executive on March 9, follows strong
BY KAREN FLETCHER BRISBANE — The M1 Alliance has issued a call for nominations for "Corporate Scumbag of the Week" in the lead up to the blockade of the Brisbane stock exchange on May 1. The campaign was launched and warmly received at the
BY SEAN HEALY The two letters — M1 — are certainly getting around: they're on flyers, on lamp posts, stencilled onto footpaths, they've even started to get into the mainstream media. The idea is getting around too: "we're going to blockade the
BY SARAH CLEARY HOBART — Despite much interest in the planned M1 action from students, the University of Tasmania's clubs and societies council voted on March 12 to deny an application to affiliate from the campus' M1 Alliance group. While the
BY DANNY FAIRFAX SYDNEY — After assembling in Hyde Park on March 17, 300 protesters set off on a tour of this city's most notorious corporate scumbags. The tour was organised as part of the build-up toward the May 1 blockade of the Australian
HOBART — On February 24, Greens Senator BOB BROWN endorsed the May 1 (M1) protests against corporate tyranny. The protests will be held around Australia and target the Australian Stock Exchange. "M1 is a way of expressing the need for us to close