Issue 442

News

Sabotage of Fair Employment Bill MELBOURNE — On March 20, 150 people protested against attempts by the Liberal and National parties to block the Fair Employment Bill from passing through the Victorian parliament’s upper house. The
BY STUART MUNCKTON CANBERRA — Chanting "Lock up Ruddock, free the refugees!", 30 people protested outside the National Press Club while immigration minister Philip Ruddock addressed journalists on the government-designated "Harmony Day", March
BY JIM MCILROY BRISBANE — Community and Public Sector Union members in Centrelink offices and call centres around the country met during the week of March 19-23 to vote on a resolution from their union to launch a "community based campaign" to
BY NICOLE HILDER WOLLONGONG — Wollongong University Resistance Club injected radical politics into an otherwise inane annual general meeting of the students representative council on March 20. Instead of actively building the meeting, the SRC set
BY SIMON ROZ ADELAIDE — A rally and march on March 17 attracted about 700 people supporting the call to ban genetically modified (GM) foods. After hearing speakers outside Parliament House, the protesters marched to the Central Market where they
BY ROBYN MARSHALL BRISBANE — A meeting on March 19 to discuss decriminalisation of abortion in Queensland attracted interest from many quarters, including sections of the Labor Party. The abortion issue has come back onto the political agenda
BY JIM GREEN Rio Tinto chief executive Leigh Clifford said on March 22 that the company was unlikely to proceed with development of the Jabiluka uranium mine on ground excised from the Kakadu National Park without a significant shift in community
BY GAIL LORD SYDNEY — In case you missed it, March 21 was the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. To draw public attention to the day, Amnesty International organised a protest action outside the

World

BY NORM DIXON President Fidel Castro on March 18 announced that Cuba has produced versions of anti-AIDS medicines patented by US drug corporations. He said Cuba was prepared to help South Africa, Brazil and other Third World countries to produce
BY JON LAND Chances are increasingly remote that the Indonesian legal system will bring to justice those responsible for war crimes and human rights abuses committed before, during and after East Timor's August 1999 referendum. Any trial that does
BY NORM DIXON South African President Thabo Mbeki on March 14 declined to declare South Africa's debilitating AIDS epidemic a national emergency. Such a declaration would have allowed Pretoria to immediately invoke World Trade Organisation
BY PETER GORMAN IQUITOS, PERU — Though the stated objectives of Plan Colombia are to end the 30-plus-year-old civil war that has cost the lives of more than 35,000 Colombians and to end the production of cocaine and heroin, there may be a simpler
BY DAVID BACON RIO BRAVO, TAMAULIPAS — Advocates of the North American Free Trade Agreement promised that free trade would bring a new era of respect for workers rights in all three countries — the United States, Canada and Mexico. Especially
BY PIP HINMAN The Indonesian military is stepping up its war against the Acehnese people. Jakarta has declared a "limited military operation" to "rid" Aceh of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). The Indonesian government has branded GAM a "separatist"
BY JOHN PILGER LONDON — Royal Air Force pilots have protested for the first time about their role in the bombing of Iraq. Pilots patrolling the so-called no-fly zone in the north of the country have spoken angrily about how they have been ordered
BY JOHN GAUCI SYDNEY — The large turnout of 230 people for a March 17 dinner and public meeting here on issue "Free Aceh, Referendum now!" is an indication of growing interest in the struggle in Aceh among the Australian public. The event was
A former member of the Labour Party's national executive committee, Liz Davies, has announced her resignation from the Labour Party after two decades of membership, and declared her support for the Socialist Alliance and other left candidates in the
BY SEAN HEALY Anti-globalisation protesters demonstrated in their thousands on March 17 in the southern Italian city of Naples against the Global Forum, a meeting of government officials and representatives of the largest information technology
BY GREG HARRIS & MARGARET ALLUM With Westminster elections likely to be called for May 3, Tony Blair's British Labour Party appears to be reaching the limits of government by image management. Leaving aside questions of ministerial competence and
Starting March 27, a United States court in Washington, DC, will hear evidence that Indonesian General Johnny Lumintang is responsible for gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity committed in East Timor. The proceeding will
The parties of the banned Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy are calling on supporters worldwide to write to Pakistani ruler Pervaiz Musharraf and to Pakistani embassies to demand the release of imprisoned political leaders. Musharraf's
BY EVA CHENG The pro-business reality of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement hit home forcefully in August when the Mexican government was ordered by a NAFTA tribunal to pay nearly US$16.7 million to US waste disposal Metalclad
BY SEAN HEALY The military dictatorship of General Pervaiz Musharraf has launched a fierce crackdown against its opponents, arresting 20 leaders of political parties belonging to the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy, including the
The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) has called for this year's world water day to be declared a day of mourning for the millions of people who are sick and dying as a result of not having access to water. The United Nations chose
BY SEAN HEALY The Argentinian government of President Fernando de la Rua is in crisis and its economic plans are in tatters, after protesters took to the streets in anger at a new austerity package which included savage cuts in government
George W. Bush campaigned for president on two broad themes — as a "compassionate conservative" and against "big government" taking away the rights and money of the American people. Now that he's president, the record is already in on what those

Culture

The article on the Guerrilla Girls in the last issue of Green Left Weekly mistakenly stated that Guerrilla Girls' spokesperson "Frida Kahlo" had been interviewed while in Sydney. In fact, Kahlo was in New York. She spoke to Green Left Weekly's Zanny
Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans KnewBy Richard BreitmanPenguin, 2000325pp., $21 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON It was "the greatest and most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world",
The Laramie ProjectBy Moises KaufmanBelvoir Street Theatre, SydneyUntil April 15 REVIEW BY MARK STOYICH In 1998, near the town of Laramie in the US state of Wyoming, two young men tortured a young gay man, Matt Shepard, and left him for dead. The
Invisible War: Depleted Uranium and the politics of radiationSBS, April 3, 8.30pm REVIEW BY JIM GREEN Invisible War, produced by the French company Canal Plus and released in February last year, investigates the use of depleted uranium (DU)
REVIEW BY MARK STOYICH Up For GrabsBy David WilliamsonSydney Theatre CompanyDrama Theatre, Sydney Opera HouseUntil April 21 Up For Grabs is ostensibly about the art market, but it is full of the usual gossip about the Sydney social types that

Editorial

Rank and file soldiers of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force rebelled on March 23, giving PNG Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta until noon on March 26 to repudiate a cabinet decision to sack more than half of all PNGDF personnel. The soldiers also

General

BY SIMON BUTLER BRISBANE — At its largest and most productive meeting of the year, the University of Queensland's Students Campaigning Against Multinationals collective adopted a plan of action to build the M1 blockade of the Brisbane stock
BY ROHAN PEARCE As the national May 1 blockades of stock exchanges and other corporate targets approach, M1 activists have begun a big push to build the demonstrations. Since universities resumed this year, more than 1500 students have joined local
BY SUE BULL GEELONG — People in rural and regional Victoria, hit hard by policies such as privatisation and deregulation, will get a chance to show their anger at corporate globalisation, thanks to plans by local activists to organise a united
BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS MELBOURNE — After considerable debate, the Melbourne M1 Alliance resolved on March 20 to elect marshals from among its ranks to coordinate its planned May 1 blockade of the city's stock exchange. The marshals will be given an
BY RUTH RATCLIFFE DARWIN — In the absence of a local stock exchange, the M1 Alliance here has decided to blockade the offices of the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce and Industry, due to its anti-worker stance and its self-declared role as
BY LISA MACDONALD SYDNEY — The thirst for information, discussion and debate about issues facing the world's people and ecology in the era of neo-liberal globalisation was strongly evident at a "Fighting for the Future" conference held in Sydney
BY MARCEL CAMERON MELBOURNE — In response to the call by the M1 Alliance for a strike and blockade of the Australian Stock Exchange on May 1, construction workers will walk off city building sites and march on stock market offices here before
BY ROBERTO JORQUERA PERTH — Organisers of the M1 blockade of the Australian Stock Exchange here have added an end-of-day march to state parliament house to their plans. The new Labor state government of Geoff Gallop will be sworn in on that day.