Issue 448


BY LISA MACDONALD SYDNEY — It rained hard on May 6, the day scheduled for the traditional May Day rally and march. But, determined not to let the weather deter them, hundreds of activists nevertheless turned up to the assembly point in Hyde Park
BY DAVID GOSLING CANBERRA — Supporters of democracy in Burma were attacked, and several injured, by police here on May 4 when they attempted to burn a Burmese flag outside the military regime's Canberra embassy. The 80 protesters were calling
BY JIM MCILROY BRISBANE — Long-distance truck owner-drivers have blockaded major transport depots on Brisbane's southside, and have forced major companies to sign up to improvements in payments and conditions, according to Transport Workers Union
BY NOREEN NAVIN SYDNEY — Pressure is mounting on Bob Carr's state Labor government to back down on its controversial "Building the Future" plan, which will force the closure of several inner-city high schools. A rally outside the Department of
BY CHRIS SLEE MELBOURNE — The Power Workers Support Committee has begun holding public meetings in Melbourne's suburbs to build support for the Yallourn Energy workers. Public meetings were held in Sunshine on May 2 and Brunswich on May 10.
BY ARUN PRADHAN MELBOURNE — Footscray residents, members of the Socialist Alliance, refugees, Victorian University staff and students and migrants originally from Egypt, Chile, Somalia, India and Papau New Guinea came together on May 10 for the
BY KATHY NEWNAM ADELAIDE — Following the overwhelming success of Adelaide's M1 blockade of the Australian Stock Exchange, more than 500 people joined the annual May Day parade here on May 5. A spirited contingent of Socialist Alliance members
BY LINDA WALDRON MELBOURNE — Six hundred Bradmill workers seized the opportunity presented by the re-enactment of the first sitting of federal parliament in Victoria's Parliament House on May 10 to mobilise to save their jobs. They demanded to
BY MELANIE SJOBERG If you are one of the estimated 1.8 million low-paid workers in Australia reliant on an award for your wage, your pay packet will soon receive a $13 (before tax) boost, courtesy of the national wage case decision handed down by
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — "Workers had a gun at their head." This was how Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Greg Cooper described the circumstances surrounding the vote workers employed by the Incat boat-building company on May
BY BRONWEN BEECHEY ADELAIDE — The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has claimed victory after a strike at Mobil's Port Stanvac refinery. The strike was part of a long-running dispute with Mobil over plans to reduce the work force at Port
BY LISA MACDONALD SYDNEY — "We value our relationship with S11 and M1, a relationship born of common values and goals [and] we'd like to talk to you about what will take place at CHOGM and work closely with you", John Maitland, the national
BY JIM McILROY BRISBANE — John Jones, spokesperson for the Dalungalee Aboriginal traditional owners of Fraser Island, accused Queensland Labor Premier Peter Beattie of a "kneejerk reaction", after the state government ordered the immediate
BY JAMES CRAFTI & JODY BETZEIN MELBOURNE — Around 250 people participated in the "regular" Friday evening Nike superstore blockade on Swanston Street on May 11. The Nike superstore was successfully shut-down by protesters for the eighth week in a
BY KIM BULLIMORE SYDNEY — Thirty-five people, including members of the Indigenous Student Network from New South Wales and ACT, Arbunna elder Kevin Buzzacott and elder Ray Jackson, attended the newly formed Indigenous Solidarity Action Collective
BY SIMON MILLAR After more than two years of unsuccessful attempts by Yallourn Energy to stonewall the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Victorian mining and energy division into giving up more than 200 workers' jobs, arbitration on
M1 assessed BRISBANE — Fifty people packed the Resistance Centre on May 5 to hear speakers on the M1 (May 1) blockades of Australian stock exchanges and the next step for the anti-corporate globalisation campaign. Tim Stewart from the M1
BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — A report into the mysterious concentration of illnesses at the Capalaba Post Office, south-east of the city, has been described by former workers as "superficial" and "a farce". Up to 40 current and former Australia
BY SHUA GARFIELD HOBART — "Save the Forests!" and "Corporate Greed!" were among the more polite greetings given to Prime Minister John Howard upon his arrival in the small Tasmanian town of Margate on May 12. Howard was arriving to attend the
BY JOHN PERCY SYDNEY — The Seraiki National Party from Pakistan has accepted an invitation to attend the second Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference, scheduled for here at Easter 2002. The conference will be the first time


BY REEM HALAWANI As the Palestinian intifada enters its eighth month, the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon remains intransigently against granting any concessions to the Palestinians. Instead, it has escalated its attacks on the occupied
BY AHMED NIMER RAMALLAH — The mainstream media here and in the West are trying to find out who exactly is "behind" the Palestinian intifada against Israeli rule. They'd serve the Palestinian people better if they sought out who is behind the
BY JABULANE MATSEBULA The Swaziland government launched a vicious attack on the freedom of speech and the press on May 4, when it issued an order to shut down the Guardian of Swaziland and the Nation Magazine. Police impounded copies of the
Municipal elections in France, which took place on March 11 and 18 and are an important litmus test for the mood of the country, have brought a few surprises. The conservative right has lost the two most important local government positions, the
BY MALIK MIAH & RICH LESNIK SAN FRANCISCO — Mechanics and utility workers at United Airlines face a new representation election. The standoff pits the incumbent union, the International Association of Machinists, against the upstart Aircraft
More than 900 people took part in a march in Edinburgh on May 5 to mark the 75th anniversary of the British general strike. Veteran Labour MP Tony Benn and Scottish Socialist Party MP Tommy Sheridan addressed the protest. "People complain about the
BY SEAN HEALY A major international trade union confederation has told the World Trade Organisation that, in its view, the trade body has learned nothing from the defeat of attempts to launch a new, comprehensive round of trade talks at its last
BY PHIL HEARSE LONDON — Ten thousand police were mobilised here on May 1, against the "threat" posed by 5000 anti-capitalist demonstrators. This grotesque overkill was accompanied by a weeks-long barrage of press hysteria, warning of "anarchy"
BY EVA CHENG Five hundred Chinese workers in Israel have been on strike since late March, demanding they be paid two years' worth of unpaid wages, even though Chinese authorities have threatened them with seven years' imprisonment if they
BY SONNY MELENCIO MANILA — While President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo formally lifted the week-long "state of rebellion" she had declared on May 7, the "terror effect" remains. The police and army are still maintaining checkpoints around this city
BY EVA CHENG At least two farmers were killed and 18 wounded on April 15 when more than 600 police and paramilitary troops broke up a rebellion by farmers in Yuntang, Jiangxi province. The farmers were protesting against what they saw as endless
While efforts by the state to mount a lawsuit against Indonesia's former dictator collapsed ignominiously last year, the PRD has succeeded in taking Suharto and 12 other generals to court for the unlawful arrest of its members in 1996. This is the
BY VIV MILEY Twenty thousand people marched through Istanbul on May Day in support of left-wing hunger strikers in Turkey's jails. Twenty two prisoners have starved themselves to death since October, in a protest against authorities' decision to
BY NORM DIXON More than 2000 people staged a peaceful protest through the streets of Honolulu on May 9 to coincide with annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank at the Hawaii Convention Centre. Marchers' chants of "The ADB is B-A-D!" and
Indigenous elders from six Andean communities that grow nuna beans met in late February for a traditional Quechua "tribunal" to deliberate on US patent no. 6,040,503 on the "bean-nut popping bean" awarded to US food processor Appropriate Engineering


Getting Justice Wrong: Myths Media and CrimeBy Nicholas CowderyAllen & Unwin, 2001$19.95 BY KAREN FLETCHER Law and order politics have been the ticket to success for many an ignorant and talent-less politician or media "commentator". A really
REVIEW BY JOHN TRACEY BRISBANE — Theresa Creed has just recorded her first album, Unfinished Business, at Ando's Kitchen recording studio on the Gold Coast. It will be released through 4ZZZ's Zedhead Records later this year. Creed was born at
Into the Heart of the Fire: The British in the Spanish Civil WarBy James K. HopkinsStanford University Press, 2000 474 pages, $44.95 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON It was a desperate time. It called for desperate measures. When General Franco, aided
Thirteen DaysDirected by Roger DonaldsonWritten by David SelfWith Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood and Steven CulpAt major cinemas REVIEW BY KIM BULLIMORE For two weeks in 1962 the sights of the world's largest superpower were trained on a small


100 years of service ... to capitalism When the likes of Kim Beazley, Paul Keating and Bob Hawke swell with pride at something, you know it must really stink. On May 8, Labor leaders, past and present, gathered in Melbourne to