Issue 460

Australia

BY RUSSELL PICKERING
SYDNEY — When 16 solidarity activists, including a number of children, began their occupation of the Colombian consulate on the morning of August 8, they were protesting rampant violations of human rights in the South

BY NICK EVERETT
SYDNEY — The 350 workers employed by the Marrickville-based car components maker TriStar Steering and Suspension won victory on August 8 in their dispute over pay and the protection of their entitlements. Militant action forced

BY VIV MILEY
Sacked academic Ted Steele and the National Tertiary Education Union have won their federal court case against Wollongong University, in a decision the union believes is an important win for academic freedom.
Steele and the NTEU

BY IGGY KIM
Left parties and activists around the world have enthusiastically welcomed a further step in the international process of socialist renewal and regroupment. The Socialist Alliance's first national conference received 41 greetings of

BY CHRIS SLEE
MELBOURNE — The Australian Tax Office is preparing to sack thousands of its workers, following a 9% cut in the department's funding announced in the May federal budget.
The tax office has taken on several thousand new workers in

BY SAM WAINWRIGHT
SYDNEY — Seventy-two workers at the Metroshelf factory in Revesby, in Sydney's west, have won their jobs back after a two-month struggle.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union had been pursuing an unfair dismissal claim

BY SARAH PEART
MELBOURNE — "We need to fight in the factories and in the communities to build a new international movement that is strong enough to take on the bosses' system", Martin Mitterhauser, an anti-corporate activist just back from last

Hiroshima A-bombing marked
BRISBANE — A graphic description of the terrible effects of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 was the keynote talk of an August 6 rally held here to mark the 56th anniversary of that catastrophic event. The

BY ROBYN MARSHALL
BRISBANE — Hundreds of people took action around the country on August 8, in a national day of action to demand the repeal of anti-abortion laws. August 8 marked the anniversary of the introduction of Medicare payments for

BY FEDERICO FUENTES
MELBOURNE — Students have begun to organise for the biggest possible blockade of the Commonwealth Business Forum on October 3 to 5. On nearly all university and TAFE campuses, students have formed collectives to help build the

BY JACKIE LYNCH
MELBOURNE — A solidarity committee has been established by unionists and supporters, following criminal charges of riot, affray, aggravated burglary and criminal damage being laid against six members of the Australian

BY PETER BOYLE
SYDNEY — As I rocked up to Sydney University for my usual Green Left Weekly sales spot on August 9, three university security officers were attempting to close down the Socialist Worker club's literature stall in the library

BY STUART MARTIN
WOLLONGONG — Determined to outsource maintenance work at its Port Kembla steelworks, BHP executives announced on August 7 that 436 jobs in the general and rail maintenance crews are to be axed and the contracts for them handed to

BY NOREEN NAVIN
SYDNEY — Teachers and parents in Dulwich Hill, in Sydney's inner west, are rallying to defend their local high school, appealing for statewide industrial action if the NSW government decides to close the school.
The two-month

SYDNEY — Fifty activists held a protest outside the US consulate on August 6 to demand an end to the 11 year-old economic sanctions against Iraq on the anniversary of their introduction. Passers-by heard how the sanctions have had a crippling

BY SUE BOLTON
In line with its perspective that the Socialist Alliance needs to give
support to extra-parliamentary campaigns, the conference voted to support
the protests being organised against the Commonwealth Business Forum in

BY RUTH RATCLIFFE
DARWIN — The Northern Territory Socialist Alliance branch has thrown itself into the August 18 NT elections, using the short election campaign to build opposition to the rampant racism of the Country Liberal Party government.

BY JEREMY SMITH
GEELONG — Five hundred people rallied on August 9 to protest against Labor Premier Steve Bracks, in town to open the Geelong Sheraton Hotel.
Most of the crowd were workers at Target whose jobs are under threat. Unionists in the

BY CHRIS SPINDLER
MELBOURNE — One thousand shop stewards and delegates from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Electrical Trades Union, the Plumbers' Union and the Maritime Union

Students fight casualisation
NEWCASTLE — Resistance is supporting a campaign to save the fine arts
faculty at Newcastle University. Eighty students from the faculty attended
a meeting to oppose the forced casualisation of teaching staff and

BY SUE BOLTON
"An historic moment for the left in Australia" was the most common comment made by participants in the founding conference of the Socialist Alliance in Melbourne over the August 4-5 weekend.
This is not the first attempt to unite

World

BY MAX LANE
Militant trade union leader and former political prisoner Dita Sari has been awarded the Raymond Magsaysay Award, considered an Asian Nobel Prize, for being a "leader of new forces in Asia".
The chairperson of the Indonesian National

Seven years after the African National Congress swept to office on the promise of "a better life for all", the patience of South Africa's working class and poor is wearing thin. Across the country, community organisation and mobilisation is beginning

BY SEAN HEALY
As if the World Trade Organisation's Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights agreement wasn't stringent enough, a new study of bilateral trade treaties has found that many contain even stronger protections of corporations'

BY SEAN HEALY
Humans have made all kinds of nifty things — the axe, the wheel, the spinning jenny, the aeroplane, the pill, the Pentium III computer chip — and achieved all sorts of things with them. But these inventions have not freed society.

BY EVA CHENG
Companies in the US planned to lay off 205,975 workers in July, 65% more than in June. These new cuts bring the total US job losses so far this year to nearly a million, three times those over the same period last year.
Such cuts are

BY MAX LANE
In moves which confirm activists' appraisals that her government represents a return to power of those allied with former dictator Suharto, the government of newly-elected president Megawati Sukarnoputri is escalating a targeted program

BY SEAN HEALY
Giant US soft drink company Coca-Cola is being sued in a US federal court for allegedly collaborating with death squads to kill, threaten and intimidate workers at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia.
The suit was filed on July 20

BY MAX LANE
Military generals and figures linked to the regime of former dictator Suharto have done well in the first cabinet of newly-elected President Megawati Sukarnoputri, which was announced on August 9.
In a signal move, Sukarnoputri has

BY SEAN HEALY
Cuban President Fidel Castro has congratulated the 300,000 people who protested against global capitalism during the July 20-22 summit of G8 leaders in Genoa, Italy, and joked that world leaders might soon have to meet on the

BY SEAN HEALY
While they undoubtedly thought that brutality would fix everything, things are only getting worse for Italy's authorities, with ever more condemnations coming from ever wider circles of their violent attempts to put down anti-G8

BY CYNTHIA PETERS
Type "teen jobs" in the findinfo.com search engine, and a good portion of what it turns up will have something to do with teens and blow jobs.
The few actual links to job listings talk in glorified terms about "career planning"

Eighty supporters of Solidarity for the Acehnese Peoples Movement, mostly non-Acehnese, held a protest in Jalan Thamrin, a central Jakarta thoroughfare, on August 7.
The demonstration, which included supporters from the People's Democratic Party,

BY SAM FROST
Oil giant ExxonMobil's operations in the Indonesian province of Aceh are to be examined by a US court, after 11 Acehnese filed a suit against the company, claiming to have suffered human rights abuses at the hands of military units

Editorial

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has won a significant victory in the industrial dispute at the Sydney car parts manufacturer TriStar. The immediate issue was the safeguarding of workers' entitlements.
In the face of an intense

Culture

The New Rulers of the WorldWritten and directed by John PilgerScreening on SBS, Tuesday, August 21, 8.30pm
REVIEW BY SEAN HEALY
"Do you know the difference between Tanzania and Goldman Sachs? The gross national product of Tanzania is $2.2

Starting From ZeroA documentary by Mandy King & Fabio CavadiniScreening on SBS, Friday, August 17, 8.30pm
REVIEW BY FIONA CROCKFORD
Starting from Zero profiles the return home in October 1999 of three East Timorese exiles following the decisive

Sydney community radio station 2SER's annual radiothon is on again — and
the station is after your support.
The radiothon, which began on August 10 and runs until August 17, is one of the main ways by which the station, long a centre of

Just ArtShowing August 8-1531 Woods Street, Darwin
REVIEW BY JO ELLIS
Opened by Dadang Christano on August 8, this eclectic collection of artworks by local and international artists, explored the themes of democracy, peace and freedom.
Taring

REVIEW BY SARAH STEPHEN
LiamDirected by Stephen FrearsScreenplay by Jimmy McGovernStarring Anthony Borrows, Megan Burns, Ian Hart and Claire HackettShowing at Dendy and Palace cinemas nationally
Liam, the latest film scripted by Jimmy

BY TYRION PERKINS
The first Australian version of the television show Big Brother is finally over, but there is another in the pipeline. Channel 10 marketers did their job so thoroughly that even its news readers were plugging the show. Big Brother

Who's Afraid of the Working Class?Written by Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius, Melissa Reeves and Christos TsiolkasDirected by Tanya DennyNew Theatre, Sydney
Playing until September 1
REVIEW BY BRENDAN DOYLE
"Strong language", the program