Issue 452

Australia

BY JACKIE LYNCH
MELBOURNE — In the same week that the Victorian Ombudsman cleared police of accusations of violence at last year's S11 protests, an activist who "pied" the Victorian premier has been sentenced to prison.
Victorian Ombudsman

BY GRANT COLEMAN
PERTH — The Liberals have only just managed to hold on to the lower house seat of Nedlands in a by-election on June 9. Greens candidate Steve Walker came within 3.5% of stealing the blue-ribbon Liberal seat.
The seat was

BY MARIA VOUKELATOS
SYDNEY — "What's disgusting? Union busting! What's outrageous? Sweatshop wages!", has been one of the lively chants ringing outside Nike's main Sydney store on George Street every Friday night.
The Sydney pickets are

BY CHRIS SLEE
MELBOURNE — In its first election campaign, in the by-election for the federal seat of Aston, the newly-formed Socialist Alliance plans to put the street back into street campaigning, calling an anti-GST protest for Wantirna on June

BY GEOFF FRANCIS

HOBART — Environmental activists have chalked up a significant victory
by forcing the state government to announce on June 5 that it is “shelving
its plans for a deep water port at Electrona in south-east Tasmania”. The

BY SARAH STEPHEN
The movement for refugee rights took a great leap forward on June 3, Australia's first ever nationally coordinated day of protest in defence of the rights of detained asylum seekers. Rallying to the cry "Free the refugees",

BY SARAH STEPHEN 

Ten years is the maximum penalty for escaping a detention centre
and being “unlawfully at large” — and it is what faces Parviz Eftekhari,
who escaped from Woomera detention centre on June 9.

The escape followed a

BY SAM WAINWRIGHT
SYDNEY — Striking workers picketing the production plant of Metroshelf, which builds supermarket shelving, were sacked en masse on June 15 — but have vowed to fight on.
The strike, at the plant in Revesby, in Sydney's west,

BY STEPHEN MARKS
NEWCASTLE — More than 40 people attended the launch of the Newcastle Socialist Alliance on June 15. Participants included students who had taken part in the M1 stock exchange blockades, trade unionists, Latino workers,

BY NICK FREDMAN
LISMORE — The streets outside Lismore courthouse were enlivened on June 4 by chanting protesters, anti-corporate banners, and clouds of illicit smoke. The 200-strong crowd had gathered in solidarity with three people arrested for

BY SARAH STEPHEN
The Curtin Immigration Detention Centre was on show to the media for the first time on June 10, a move the immigration department described as being part of an effort to change public perceptions, created by three riots in close

BY KAMALA EMANUEL
HOBART — The usefulness of revolutionary solutions to "globalisation" featured prominently in the discussion at the June 13 public forum organised by the M1 Alliance. This was despite the fact that only one of the featured

BY LYNDA HANSEN
BRISBANE — "I would like to ask immigration minister Philip Ruddock, do you know what it is like to be a refugee? No, of course you don't, you do not care about refugees!", Latin American solidarity activist Rafael Pacheco told a

BY BRONWYN REES-ALLEN & LINDA WALDRON
MELBOURNE — On June 8 a large contingent from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) joined 250 protesters outside the Nike superstore in Swanston Street. The presence of the militant union

[The following motion was passed unanimously by the Asia Pacific Peoples
Solidarity Conference in Jakarta on June 7.]

For the past 10 weeks workers and students in Melbourne have blockaded
the Nike superstore in the central business district

World

BY PHIL HEARSE
LONDON — Candidates of the Socialist Alliance and the Scottish Socialist Party won more than 129,000 votes in the June 7 British general election. In England and Wales constituencies, Socialist Alliance candidates won an average of

Joao Carrascalao, a cabinet member of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, told ABC radio on June 4 that telecommunications carrier Telstra is spying on Timorese leaders' phone calls for the Australian government.
Telstra

BY JIM GREEN
Criticising the German Greens is like shooting fish in a barrel, but why bother? The answer is simple: the party has successfully spread confusion amongst environmentalists and anti-nuclear campaigners.
Since I wrote a critical piece

BY DANI BARLEY
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — The headline on the front page read in big bold letters, "8.14 am. It was over". The US federal government has executed Timothy McVeigh, the man who committed the worst act of terrorism on US soil.

WELLINGTON — East Timorese leader Jose Ramos Horta, currently cabinet member for foreign affairs, told Radio New Zealand International on June 7 that his country cannot support West Papua's demand for independence from Indonesia. Horta said East

BY SEAN HEALY
The architects of an integrated, capitalist Europe were dealt a stunning blow on June 7 when a clear majority in Ireland voted to reject the Treaty of Nice, the blueprint for the European Union's expansion.
The "yes" case in the

BY STEVE MYERS
For some years now, Russian presidents, Yeltsin and now Putin, have been unable to push a new labour code through the Duma, due to opposition by workers and fears within the Kremlin of a backlash. Putin failed in his last attempt

BY IGGY KIM
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions began an "all-out struggle" of rolling strikes on June 12 to protest the Kim Dae-jung regime's intensifying neo-liberal attacks.
The KCTU reported that on the first day 50,228 workers from 126

BY ALAN McCOMBES
GLASGOW — It was the most spectacular vote for socialism in any Westminster election in the last 50 years. As hundreds of thousands of voters deserted New Labour, the Scottish National Party and the Conservatives, tens of

BY SARAH STEPHEN
On June 14, a converted fishing boat, the Sea of Change, docked in Dublin, Ireland, its first stop in a pilot project to offer safe access to pregnancy terminations, family planning and contraception to women in countries which

Hundreds of people, mostly women, gathered at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre on June 4 for a peaceful protest calling for the abolishment of the Internal Security Act, the ISA, and to express their support for those being detained under the law.
At

BY MALIK MIAH
SAN FRANCISCO — There is an old saying: "When your neighbour is out of work, that's a recession; when you're out of work, it's a depression". In California, the wealthiest state in the United States (and the sixth largest economy in

BY AARON BENEDEK
TOKYO — Activists here are preparing to launch a Japanese chapter of ATTAC, Action for a Tobin Tax to Assist the Citizen, which calls for a tax on speculative capital flows.
Thirty socialists, unionists and non-government

Tens of thousands of teachers, public sector workers and students protested in the capital, Bogota, and most major cities on June 7 against budget measures agreed between the Colombian government and the International Monetary Fund.
The

BY SEAN HEALY
Swedish riot police have opened fire with live ammunition on anti-capitalist protesters, injuring three, one critically, in a desperate attempt to put down demonstrations in Gothenburg against a summit of European Union leaders.
It

BY IGGY KIM
At the invitation of the United Auto Workers, a delegation of South Korean trade unionists visited the United States on June 1-8 to try to stop the sale of Daewoo Motors to US auto giant General Motors.
The delegation was made up of

BY FRANZ VANDERPUYE
ACCRA — The campaign by individuals and non-governmental organisations to halt the government of Ghana's policy of privatising the water supply has been intensified, with the formation of the Ghana National Coalition Against

BY SALIM VALLY& PATRICK BOND
JOHANNESBURG — United States secretary of state Colin Powell was forced to spend an extra hour hemmed in the University of Witwatersrand campus by demonstrators on June 1, learning why the US is now widely regarded as

Culture

The End of Privacy: How Total Surveillance is Becoming a Reality
By Reg Whitaker
Scribe Publications, Melbourne, 2000
195 pages.

REVIEW BY ALEXANDER DEL SOL

In The End of Privacy, Reg Whitaker charts the development
of surveillance

Prescription Games: Money, Ego and Power Inside the Global Pharmaceutical IndustryBy Jeffrey RobinsonSimon & Schuster, 2001343 pages $45 (hb)
REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON
Up there with the banks in the sheer unadulterated greed stakes would have to be

REVIEW BY MARGARET ALLUM
Lost and DeliriousDirected by Lea PoolWith Mischa Barton, Piper Perabo and Jessica PareScreening at the Sydney Film Festival, State Theatre and Dendy Opera Quays, until June 22
Mary "Mouse" Bradford (played by Mischa

The Irish band has U2 has outraged Burmese officials over the inclusion of a track on the band's album All That You Can't Leave Behind. The military regime has introduced legislation to ban the album because of the song, "Walk on", which is a tribute

Actively Radical TV — Sydney community television's progressive current affairs producers tackle the hard issues from the activist's point of view. CTS Sydney (UHF 31), every Sunday, 9pm. Ph 9565 5522. Visit <http://www.channel31.org> for

REVIEWED BY KEITH MACKIE
When I first read a review of The Star Fraction by Ken McLeod I had to go out and get a copy of it immediately. Described as the first Trotskyist science-fiction novel, it is set in the future, but is an allegory on

BY FRED FUENTES
MELBOURNE — In Australia, with the most monopolised media in the world, there is a growing need to support alternative media. For the past 25 years, 3CR has been broadcasting on a volunteer basis, providing alternative coverage of