Issue 453


BY LINDA WALDRON MELBOURNE — "I'm not interested in the mobile phone or being addressed as 'Councillor'. What is important is to give the city back to the people. It's time the council reflected the interests of residents, small business, the
BY MELANIE SJOBERG As the sun slowly crept above city office buildings, hundreds of union activists and officials responded to an urgent call by the NSW Labor Council to blockade parliament on June 19 in a desperate attempt to prevent Labor Premier
BY KERRYN WILLIAMS Meetings around Australia have been addressed by some of the 21 Australian activists who were detained by the Indonesian police on June 8-9. The activists had been attending the Asia Pacific People's Solidarity Conference in
BY ANDY GIANNIOTIS KATOOMBA — "For decades people have been asking the Australian socialist left 'Why don't you people get together?'", Philippa Skinner, a homecare worker from Woodford, told the Blue Mountains launch of the Socialist Alliance on
BY CHRISTOPHER PERKINS WOLLONGONG — "We got conned", South Coast Labor Council secretary Arthur Rorris told council delegates at a June 22 meeting to discuss the campaign against the New South Wales government's attempt to dismantle workers'
BY SEAN HEALY Queensland and federal police and the Australian Defence Force are readying for one of their largest-ever domestic operations: to protect the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which is being held in Brisbane in October. More
BY SEAN WALSH MELBOURNE — Two hundred protesters successfully blockaded the Nike superstore on Friday June 22, despite police attempts to disperse them. The weekly blockades, protesting Nike's extreme exploitation of workers in the Third World,
Student Environment conference NEWCASTLE — More than 500 students have registered for this year's Students and Sustainability Conference to be held at the Newcastle University, Callaghan Campus, from July 2 to July 6. Students from around the
BY JO WILLIAMS MELBOURNE — The rapid expansion of Socialist Alliance is continuing, with the launch on July 18 of a new branch of the alliance in Melbourne's western suburbs. The meeting, attended by more than 40 people, discussed how the
BY GARY MEYEHOFF DARWIN — The Top End Users' Forum has voiced concerns at the Northern Territory government's efforts to pass new laws expanding police powers, calling them "vote-grabbing". The Country Liberal Party has introduced draft
BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — The Australian Services Union (ASU) has called on the Queensland Labor government to make state subsidies for airline companies taking over the routes of collapsed regional airline Flight West conditional on guaranteed
BY SEAN HEALY SYDNEY — The giant transnational corporations will come under the spotlight in September, when more than 100 academics, researchers and activists from across the region gather here for the third conference of the Asia-Pacific
BY IGGY KIM SYDNEY — The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Engineering Union organised a protest outside the South Korean consulate on June 20, in solidarity with the Korean Construction Transportation Trade Union, which organises
BY PAUL BENEDEK& TAMARA PEARSON SYDNEY — Five Parramatta City Council officers, accompanied by two police, on June 15 ordered a display, which featured graphic photographs of the conditions inside one of Australia's concentration camps for
BY SARAH PEART MELBOURNE — At its June 18 meeting, the O3 to CHOGM Alliance unanimously decided to organise an S11-style three-day blockade of the Commonwealth Business Forum from October 3 to 5. The CBF is meeting in Melbourne before the
The Australian Senate passed the following motion, moved by Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown, on June 19: That the Senate: a) notes the police raid that resulted in the unlawful detention of 32 foreigners (including 20 Australians) attending a
BY IGGY KIM Renowned Russian Marxist writer and political commentator Boris Kagarlitsky will speak at the Second Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference, to be held in Sydney, March 29-April 1, 2002. Kagarlitsky was jailed for his
BY PAUL BENEDEK SYDNEY — "We were sacked for joining the union of our choice, a union which would actually stand up for our rights, not sit with management", says factory worker Linh Nguyen of the bitter dispute at Metroshelf, in Sydney's


BY SEAN HEALY Two of the world's largest oil multinationals have admitted that they hired a London private investigation agency with links to the British secret service to spy on the protest activities of Greenpeace, the Body Shop and other
On June 6, dozens of Israeli settlers entered Luban a-Sharqiya and a-Sawiya, two Palestinian villages in the Nablus district of the West Bank, both of which are under complete Israeli security control, and burned agricultural fields, a hothouse, a
BY SEAN HEALY Environmentalists around the globe are planning to make July 11 an "international day of action" against the oil giant ExxonMobil (known in Australia as Esso), which they dub "the worst of the Greenhouse Gangsters". ExxonMobil has
BY JOHN PILGER LONDON — As George Bush escalates the new Cold War begun by his father, the attention of his planners is moving to the Middle East. Stories about the threat of Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" are again appearing in the US
BY SEAN HEALY United States negotiators have taken a hard line in defence of drug companies' patents in a special one-day meeting of the World Trade Organisation on June 20, stating that it would oppose any attempt to weaken the WTO's agreement on
A leading Timorese aid worker has branded as a "sham" an Indonesian canvassing drive which found that 98% of East Timorese refugees confined to camps in West Timor did not want to go home. Winston Neil Rondo, who works in camps in Kupang, claimed
Women have suffered disproportionately under the military rule of the Taliban. Since 1994, the Taliban regime has terrorised the people of Afghanistan, especially women and girls, imposing harsh decrees forbidding women from leaving their homes
BY BORIS KAGARLITSKY The times are past when the US and Russian presidents greeted one another simply as "Boris" and "Bill". Boris Yeltsin is no longer in the Kremlin, and Bill Clinton has left the White House. The new administrations in both
BY NICK EVERETT & REBECCA MECKELBURG BANDUNG — Police have arrested six members of the radical People's Democratic Party (PRD) in West Java, in an attempt to repress the largest strike the Indonesian province has seen since the coming to power of
Tuerkan Uzun, the editor and owner of a company which publishes an anti-capitalist newspaper and pamphlets in Turkey, faces prosecution in the country's State Security Court for breaching the country's anti-terrorist law. Uzun has been charged for
SAN FRANCISCO — Every time you think there is real progress in race relations in this country something ordinary occurs that tells you otherwise. Chicago's mostly white Catholic athletic league recently refused to allow the mainly black St. Sabrina
BY MAX LANE On June 15 the Indonesian police kidnapped eight members of the People's Democratic Party (PRD) and occupied and ransacked the PRD's West Java office. The PRD activists remain in police custody in Bandung and so far have been denied
BY PETER BOYLE Indonesian non-government organisations believe the June 8 raid by police on the Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference, during which 32 foreigners were detained, was "a threat not only for [conference organiser] INCREASE but for all


REVIEW BY SIMON BUTLER The Red North: Queensland's History of StruggleBy Jim McIlroyResistance Books, Sydney 200129 pages, $3.50 Communist parliamentarians, armed rural uprisings, revolutionary soviets — this is hardly the history of Queensland
US band Spearhead are one of the most radical voices in popular music. Spearhead's Michael Franti talked to MARK BROWN and JO HARVIE about the politics behind Stay Human, the band's critically acclaimed new album. Stay Human is a powerful attack on
REVIEW BY MARGARET ALLUM Me, You, ThemDirected by Andrucha WaddingtonWith Regina Case, Lima Duarte, Stenio Garcia and Luiz Carlos VasconcelosScreened at the Sydney Film Festival, June 6-22 If you saw Central Station, you'll have an idea of the


@box text intr = The Honourable Philip Ruddock, John Howard's minister for racism, plumbed new xenophobic depths this week with his full-frontal assault on a Joint Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs report on conditions in detention


By Trisha Reimers More than 50% of US garments are made in sweatshops. The vast majority (up to 90%) of sweatshop workers are women. In Australia, there are more than 300,000 outworkers. These outworkers are paid a few dollars an hour, or a pitiful
By Danny Fairfax On November 30, 1999, 75,000 people converged on Seattle to successfully stop the World Trade Organisation trade talks. Taking inspiration from that momentous event, similar actions have taken place around the world in opposition
"M1 was a great, inspiring demonstration of people's power and of what we can achieve if we organise against corporate tyranny, whatever the odds. I think the most inspiring thing at M1 was the level of solidarity and unity among protesters, and the
By Sophie Williams & Belinda Selke "The shameful events of yesterday had nothing to do with democracy or individual freedoms." That was how NSW Premier Bob Carr described the June 20 trade union blockade of the NSW parliament imposed to stop his
"Before S11, I was just getting a taste of the extent to which the planet and its inhabitants have been hurt. S11 was a taste of something better: people, lots of people joining together for the common good, not individual gain. That was symbolic of
By Kylie Moon and Chris Atkinson Since the November 1999 “siege of Seattle” a new movement has come onto the world stage, the movement against corporate globalisation. This was sparked by the victory in Seattle of stopping a new round of
By Kerryn Williams [On June 8, 2001, Indonesian police broke up the Asia Pacific People's Solidarity Conference at Sawangan, near Jakarta, arresting 32 foreign participants. Kerryn Williams was one of those detained.] "Welcome to democracy in