Issue 445

News

SYDNEY — In lively scenes reminiscent of the 1990s' campaign for East Timor's freedom, about 100 protesters — many of them Acehnese — gathered outside the Indonesian consulate here on April 21 to demand the Indonesian military leave Aceh and a
BY SAM FROST & KATHY NEWNAM ADELAIDE — The United Trades and Labor Council here has decided to back a "Unity Rally Against Corporate Tyranny", which will conclude the Adelaide M1 Alliance's blockade of this city's stock exchange. The UTLC's
BY NOREEN NAVIN SYDNEY — The April release of the NSW Labor government's "Building the Future" report has generated a community backlash not seen since former NSW Coalition education minister Terry Metherell took the axe to public education in
Craig Johnston, the militant leader of Victoria's Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, has been one of the Socialist Alliance's strongest backers since the announcement of its formation. Here is an abridged version of his speech to the
BY JOHN McGILL ADELAIDE — An attempt to sack maintenance workers employed at Mobil's Port Stanvac plant in South Australia was exposed by the Australian on April 12. Mobil is the Australian subsidiary of US-owned oil giant ExxonMobil. According
BY LIAM MITCHELL As the Easter holiday break hit, Ansett Airlines was warned by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) that its license to operate could be cancelled due to continuing safety problems through missed maintenance schedules.
BY JORGE JORQUERA  MELBOURNE — “It is exciting to hear of the newly established Socialist Alliance. Australia has for some time now had a great need for a left alliance. The Labor Party appears to have moved to the right, finding itself
BY NICK EVERETT SYDNEY — “When I first heard about the idea of the Socialist Alliance, these old bones straightened up a bit. I wanted to know more about it. I wanted to be able to participate with tens of thousands of others to change the
BY ANTHONY BENBOW PERTH — Metropolitan bus drivers here are fighting back against years of low pay and worsening conditions. At an April 18 stop-work meeting, drivers from three bus companies — Perth Bus, Path Transit and Southern Coast Transit
Geelong M1 sets up web site GEELONG — The collective organising a regional contingent for the Melbourne M1 blockade has established a web site of its own. Its designer, Camilo Jorquera, said the web site

World

Citigroup protests in 12 countries Students in 12 countries and 80 cities protested against the US-owned Citigroup banking corporation on April 11. Activists attacked the banking giant's funding of environmentally destructive projects. In New
BY SIBYLLE KACZOREK In a country oppressed for 400 years by colonial Portugal, then brutalised by 24 years of Indonesian military rule, and now suffering from dire poverty, the issues of women have long been considered secondary. But now East
BY MALIK MIAH In mid-March the United States Census Bureau released its official count for the US population. There are 281,421,906 people, as compared to 253,979,140 in 1990. Reflecting a historic trend, non-Hispanic whites declined from 75% to
BY NORM DIXON The Pacific tourist Mecca of Honolulu is to be the next focus of demonstrations against the international capitalist financial institutions — in this case the Asian Development Bank. The ADB's board of governors is to meet at the
BY EVA CHENG It's not hard to understand why the unauthorised landing of a US spy plane on China's southern Hainan island on April 1 sparked an international diplomatic crisis. Just turn the tables. Imagine what Washington would have done if a
BY TANYA VANAJA DILI — East Timor's social and political tensions may boil over into violence during elections scheduled for August, the country's first since it gained freedom from Indonesian military rule in 1999. Riots have broken out in two
BY SEAN HEALY Despite their best efforts over the past 18 months, the world's most powerful governments have had little success strong-arming others into agreeing to a new, comprehensive round of World Trade Organisation talks, which they had hoped
BY IGGY KIM SEOUL — Hundreds of riot police have attacked 400 workers laid off by the troubled Korean car manufacturer Daewoo, injuring 70, in an attempt to prevent the workers gaining entry to their own union office. But their assault may have
BY PIP HINMAN @box text intr = Activists from around 20 countries will be gathering in Jakarta between June 7 and 10 to discuss regional responses to the neo-liberal offensive hitting the people of Asia. Apart from Indonesia, Aceh and East Timor,
BY SEAN HEALY Authorities in the mid-west city of Cincinatti have lifted a week-long night-time curfew, imposed after the city's black residents rose up in anger at the police's April 7 killing of 19-year-old Timothy Thomas. Thomas was killed as
BY EVA CHENG Tens of thousands of protesters took various forms of civil disobedience to express their opposition to the US-sponsored Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, April 20-22. Covered by the thin veil of equality and democratic
BY NORM DIXON In late March, newspaper headlines hailed the announcement that giant Australian-owned mining, oil and steel corporation BHP and the huge Anglo-South African mining and base metals conglomerate Billiton had agreed to merge, forming
BY SEAN HEALY The decision to site the World Trade Organisation's next ministerial conference in the repressive emirate of Qatar wasn't only intended to prevent mass demonstrations. It was also designed to split opponents of a new trade round into

Culture

REVIEW BY KATHY FAIRFAX Aceh: The People's StruggleProduced by Actively Radical Television, SydneySend $24 to ARTV, 73-75 Princess Highway, St Peters, NSW, 2044Phone (02) 9565 5522 The people of Aceh, in the far north-west of the Indonesian
The REAL: Life on Film documentary festival provides a dynamic forum for documentaries exploring issues of cultural identity, human rights and provides a voice for those otherwise muffled by bigotry, poverty and war. The not-for-profit festival,
People's Power: Cuba's experience with representative governmentBy Peter RomanWestview Press, 1999$60 (hb), 284 pages REVIEW BY RACHEL EVANS &KARL MILLER Genuine Marxists advocate workers' democracy and fight hard for the self-organisation of
TrafficStars Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta JonesDirected by Steven SoderberghAt all major cinemas. REVIEWED BY STUART MUNCKTON Traffic, the latest film by director Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich), uses a series of
SYDNEY — "Naw?", asks the woman at the big desk. "Nawi to ciea?", she waits, pen poised above a sheaf of papers. "Walamai prsirako bdarawa!", the man next to her barks, "Nawi kasakaw sabay ziarat ciea?". Someone in the queue behind comes to the
BY MAX LANE Spread the word now! John Pilger's vivid and evocative writing and film-making, and the voices from the Third World that he brings onto the screen, will make his new documentary New Rulers of the World a landmark event in explaining the
M1: Our world is not for saleCompilationAvailable from activist centres and independent music stores. REVIEWED BY DANNY FAIRFAX The fact that this CD's proceeds go to funding the May 1 blockade of the Australian Stock Exchange building in Sydney

General

BY ANGELA LUVERA SYDNEY — High school students all around Australia are preparing to strike on May 1 to join the blockades and protests against corporate rule. Students will be striking for many reasons — for the cancellation of third world
BY LUKE FOMIATTI SYDNEY — On an internet increasingly dominated by slick corporate web sites advertising their latest products and full of information of (at best) dubious reliability, it's a welcome change to see something completely
BY ANDREW HALL CANBERRA — Its final tactics all but refined, the Canberra M1 Alliance has predicted that its May 1 blockade of Mining Industry House, which houses the main national lobby group for the big mining companies, will be a resounding
BY TIM STEWART BRISBANE — The M1 Alliance here has sent a letter to Queensland premier Peter Beattie and to the commissioner of police asking them to ensure that police officers exercise restraint and don't repeat the violent assaults of their
What the corporate media says: “But worst of all is M1's concerted push to get kids out of school and involved in a potentially dangerous protest. Instead, they should consider joining those kids on May 1 for a high school economics lesson.”