Issue 468

Australia

BY SUE BOLTON
If you thought that the federal Coalition government's royal commission into the building industry is meant to investigate corruption, you're wrong. The terms of reference of the royal commission, and federal minister for workplace

BY RUSSELL PICKERING
SYDNEY — The jaws of Newtown's Friday night dinner crowd dropped on October 19 as a noisy 200-strong community march blocked heavy city traffic as it proceeded up and then down King Street.
Organised by the Grayndler branch

BY KERRYN WILLIAMS
CANBERRA — "It's the function of groups like the Socialist Alliance ... to remind us of what is needed for courage and intelligence in political life. Not to run with the pack, but to ask the questions about where the world is

BY PAUL OBOOHOV
CANBERRA — The Labor Party is likely to form a minority government in the ACT following the October 20 election. The ALP polled 42% of the vote while the polled Liberals 31%.
The ALP gained a massive swing of 14.1% on the 1998

BY LISA MACDONALD
SYDNEY — John Howard may have committed 1550 Australian troops to support George Bush's "war against terrorism" on October 17, but, according to Ali Kazak, head of the Palestinian delegation to Australia, "The Australian

Adelaide: Students Together Opposing War And Racism (STOPWAR) meets every Wednesday, 4pm, Level 5, Union Building, Adelaide Uni. Phone (08) 8231 6982 for more information.
Brisbane: Highschoolers Agitating to End War and Racism (HATEWAR) meets

BY TOM FLANAGAN
SYDNEY — Thousands of NSW nurses converged on the Sydney Town Hall for a stop-work meeting on October 18. The town hall meeting, filled to overflowing, was broadcast by Skychannel to similar meetings around the state. The NSW

BY SEAN HEALY
SYDNEY — Metalworkers from around the world will march through Sydney's central business district on November 13 to "stop corporate globalisation", in one of the first such demonstrations by unionists in Australia.
One thousand

Anti-war rallies
Adelaide: NOWAR rally. Sun Nov 4, 2pm. Gather Victoria Sq., city. Ph Kathy 8212 6706, Irene & Ron 8332 3461.
Brisbane: Anti-war & refugee rights rally. Sun Nov 4, 3pm. King George Sq., city. Ph 0409 877 528.
Canberra: Anti-war

BY LISA MACDONALD
SYDNEY — In May 1998, Akin Birdal was severely wounded in an assassination attempt. A year later he was sentenced to 10 months in the Ankara central prison — all because he has dared to speak out against human rights abuses

BY DANIEL JARDINE
SYDNEY — Eighty people turned up to the Gaelic Club on October 19 for a Politics in the Pub discussion on the November 10 election.
Greens senate candidate John Key told the meeting that the Greens face particular problems in

BY OWEN RICHARDS & ANDREA MYLES
SYDNEY — In a protest unlike any before in this western Sydney suburb, 300 people marched defiantly through the streets of Auburn on October 20 under the banners "Stop the war!" and "Refugees are welcome!". The

BY KAMALA EMANUEL& ALEX BAINBRIDGE
HOBART — About 250 people attended an October 20 rally to protest the US-led war against Afghanistan and Australia's involvement in the war. That same day the Hobart Mercury editorialised against police

BY ANGELA LUVERA
High school students walked out of class and took to the streets on October 18 to voice their opposition to war and racism in a national day of anti-war action initiated by the socialist youth organisation Resistance. The walkout

BY JO ELLIS
CAIRUHI, East Timor — Australian solidarity activists have spent nearly two weeks here helping East Timorese counterparts begin an ambitious educational program which will involve local people in discussions about socialism and

Peace vigil gathers support
MELBOURNE — Peace activists have set up a permanent vigil on the lawns outside the State Library, in the heart of the central business district, to provide a continuous forum for the growing opposition to the

Socialist Alliance notes
Batman campaign launched
MELBOURNE - Sixty people crowded into the local Jika Jika community centre in Northcote to launch the Socialist Alliance campaign for the federal seat of Batman on October 13. The candidate in the

BY ALLEN JENNINGS
MELBOURNE — Latin American solidarity activists have agreed to establish a Colombian Solidarity Collective after hearing first-hand tales about the impact of the US-imposed Plan Colombia by two visiting human rights advocates.

World

BY JOHN SEED
Early in the morning of October 11, dozens of women — many accompanied by their children — arrived in the Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve and began peacefully blockading construction machinery belonging to the company Techint,

BY EVA CHENG
Despite George Bush beating his war drum loudly all the way to the October 17-21 annual summit of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Shanghai, the US president has failed to obtain the kind of hearty support that

BY NICOLE COLSON
CHICAGO — George Bush says that he wants to bomb Afghanistan in the name of "freedom and democracy". His father said the same thing when he went to war against Iraq in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. But at every step of the way —

BY LINDA A. MALONE
The concept of universal jurisdiction in international law is undergoing a historic test in Belgium. On November 28, a Belgian court will decide whether Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon can be tried for his alleged role in the

BY EDWARD HERMAN
During the Cold War the United States supported a string of terror states, from the immediate post-World War II backing given Thailand dictator Phibun Songkhram, "the first pro-Axis dictator to regain power after the war", to its

BY MAX LANE
JAKARTA — The most right-wing elements among politically organised Islam have sought to use the US "war on terrorism" to seize the political initiative in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
At the same time, Megawati

BY JOHN PILGER
LONDON — The Anglo-American attack on Afghanistan crosses new boundaries. It means that America's economic wars are now backed by the perpetual threat of military attack on any country, without legal pretence. It is also the first

BY SEAN HEALY
Among all the words the United States government has used to describe the September 11 terrorist attacks — "atrocity", "outrage", "act of evil" — one phrase has been conspicuously missing: "crime against humanity".
It's an odd

BY NORM DIXON
While mainstream media reports from Pakistan have concentrated on demonstrations by Islamic fundamentalists, the country's left and democratic movements are also mobilising against the war.
On October 15, police in the Punjabi city

BY JAGGI SINGH & GRAEME BACQUE
The Ontario Common Front's autumn campaign of economic disruption got off to a flying start in Toronto early on October 16 as a series of "snake marches" paralysed human and vehicular traffic into Toronto's financial

While it's in the midst of what it calls a "war against terrorism", the United States has sought to frustrate international attempts to crack down on international terrorism.
There are 12 existing United Nations conventions on international

BY PAUL D'AMATO
CHICAGO — Many liberals who may have voiced criticism of US foreign policy in the past have enthusiastically signed on to Washington's war in Afghanistan. The Nation magazine recently came out in favour of "an all-out but

BY NORMAN SOLOMON
The Pentagon's air drops of food parcels and President Bush's plea for American children to aid Afghan kids with dollar bills will go down in history as two of the most cynical manoeuvres of media manipulation in the early 21st

Editorial

@box text intr = The October 16 announcement that more than 1500 Australian military personnel will be actively involved in the war on Afghanistan should horrify all Australians.
For years, both the major parties have defended increasing

Culture

REVIEW BY KOFI ANYIDOHO
Ama: A Story of the Atlantic Slave TradeBy Manu Herbsteine-Reads450 pages, US$19.95To order visit <http://www.ama.africatoday.com/order_ama.htm>
This is the story of Nandzi, renamed Ama, renamed Pamela, cruelly

Museworthy: The Law of Violent Hands
a torture chamber in my handa history of attempts
the hand with a proper namea form of private sovereignty
a hand coldly silver or dryly woodhustler aligning the world with horror
the hand writing

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World OrderBy Samuel P. HuntingtonTouchstone Books 1998367 pages $18.65 (pb)
REVIEW BY EDWARD SAID
Samuel Huntington's article "The Clash of Civilizations?" appeared in the Summer 1993 issue of

BY MELANIE EVANS
Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women And Welfare in the United StatesBy Mimi AbramovitzMonthly Review PressUS$15
The words, "Welfare is like a traffic accident. It can happen to anybody", were uttered by Johnnie Tilman, an