Issue 478

Australia

BY KATE WILSON
"A boy my age inside tried to hang himself with his bed sheet last night", 16-year-old Resistance member Jess Melvin told protesters holding a vigil outside western Melbourne's Maribyrnong detention centre on January 24. "I can go to

BY GARY MEYERHOFF
DARWIN — The Northern Territory's draconian Public Order and Anti-Social Conduct Act may soon be repealed by the NT Labor government. Pippa Rudd, spokesperson for NT Attorney-General Peter Toyne, told Green Left Weekly on

BY BILL MASON
BRISBANE — Two-hundred and fifty people rallied in the Queen Street mall on January 25 to support the rights of refugees protesting inside Woomera detention centre.
The rally, organised by the Brisbane Refugee Action Collective,

BY ROB MILLER
MELBOURNE — More than 500 people attended a protest called by the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) outside the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs on January 24. Many city workers attended the lunchtime rally to

BY BILL MASON
BRISBANE — While preparations were going ahead for the official jingoistic parade to celebrate Australia Day, around 300 Murris and their supporters gathered on January 26 to mark decades of Aboriginal struggle for land and

BY TIM E.STEWART
BRISBANE — A car, bus and bicycle cavalcade to the March 2 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is being planned. The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Resort at Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane.

Socialist Alliance stands for Moreland council
MELBOURNE — The Socialist Alliance will stand two candidates in the Moreland City Council elections on March 16. Jonathan Sherlock will contest Hoffman ward, where he received 4.7% of the vote in a

After organising Australia-wide emergency 24-hour hunger strikes in solidarity with protesting refugees between January 24-27, Resistance is calling on more young people to do the same.
"Philip Ruddock claims that hunger striking indicates

BY JENNY LONG
SYDNEY — Around 90 Labor Party and union members gathered on January 22 to hold the first organising meeting of a Labor for Refugees group.
Secretary of the NSW Labor Council John Robertson announced the group's formation in

BY MAX LANE
The Australia Indonesia Institute (AII) is advertised as a body promoting people-to-people relations between Australia and Indonesia. Its real role in defending the political status quo in Indonesia and Australia has been revealed by a

BY STUART MUNCKTON
CANBERRA — With the Coalition government on the back foot over its refugee policies, activists from around Australia are planning to converge on Parliament House on February 12 to call for a more humane refugee policy. February

Got everything he wished for
"But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." — George the Crusader, speaking on new year's eve.
Bushonomics
"The first condition to make sure that people can find work is to make sure our nation

BY ANTHEA STUTTER
HOBART — Abortion access in southern Tasmania will resume after the January 18 announcement that a privately run clinic is to be established in Hobart city centre. Public hospital doctors withdrew abortion provision late last

GEELONG — On January 18, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's (construction division) opened its new Victorian branch office in the presence of 400 members and guests.
The new premises will also be home to the Australian

Melbourne: 1pm, Saturday February 2. City Square. Organised by Refugee Action Collective West. Ph Jody 03 9639 8622.
Perth: Noon, Saturday February 2. Wesley Church cnr, city. Ph Nikki 08 9218 9608.
Canberra/national convergence: 12.30pm, Tuesday

World

BY SUE BOLTON
A heated dispute which broke out in November within the New Zealand Alliance over its MPs support for the sending of SAS troops to participate in the US-led war in Afghanistan appears to have ended in a compromise.
After a vigorous

BY MONICA MOOREHEAD
A legal appeal on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther activist who was framed for murder, was filed for the third time with the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court on January 9.
The appeal asks that the Supreme

The movement against corporate globalisation is anything but dead:
December 13-14, Brussels, Belgium: European Trade Union Confederation mobilises 100,000 trade unionists; global justice demonstration of 25,000;
December 19, Argentina: Mass

BY ROHAN PEARCE
No-one predicted the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. However, it was predictable that the wealthy elite in the First World would attempt to use those drastic events to find a way to derail the growing revolt

BY ALLEN JENNINGS
Colombia reached the brink of all-out war as the government threatened to end three-year-old peace negotiations with the left-wing guerilla organisation, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Buoyed by increased US

BY NORM DIXON
The United States has offered to spread its "war on terrorism" to Nepal. A US official told Associated Press on January 19 that during a visit to the Himalayan kingdom US Secretary of State Colin Powell had offered increased US

BY NORM DIXON
The "anti-terrorism" campaign led by the United States is being used as the excuse for attacks on human rights and civil liberties by governments around the world, Human Rights Watch concluded in its annual world survey released on

BY NORM DIXON
The United States government and military is prepared to exploit the horror of the September 11 mass murders in order to win public acceptance for the use of nuclear weapons in the "war against terrorism" and "rogue states". A report

BY MAX LANE
The Indonesian government's implementation of policies demanded by the International Monetary Fund — the reduction of subsidies on petrol and kerosene, as well as on electricity and telephone charges — has caused widespread price

BY MARGARET ALLUM
A trial of 42 women accused of violating Portugal's strict anti-abortion laws has resulted in a string of convictions, including eight-and-a-half years in prison for Maria do Ceu Ribeiro. Ribeiro, a midwife, was convicted on

US relatives of victims of the September 11 terrorist strikes delivered compensation claims to US officials in Kabul on January 22 on behalf of Afghan civilians who have lost family members or homes in Washington's bombing of Afghanistan.
Agence

Editorial

The Coalition government is facing a serious political crisis. The desperate and heroic actions of more than 300 hunger strikers at Woomera and Maribyrnong detention centres have again focused the spotlight on the inhumanity and illegality of the

Culture

Beautiful Exile: The Life of Martha Gellhorn — Reporter, Lover, Traveller and RebelBy Carl RollysonDuffy and Snellgrove, 2001284 pages, $19.95 (pb)
REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON
Even without being the lover of HG Wells and the wife of Ernest

Black Hawk Down: Hollywood joins Bush's war
Black Hawk DownDirected by Ridley ScottWritten by Ken Nolan, based on the book by Mark BowdenStarring Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor and Tom Sizemore
REVIEW BY STUART EASTERLING
Black Hawk Down is a war

Below are excerpts from a leaflet distributed in January at New York screenings of Black Hawk Down by the Act Now to Stop War & End Racism (ANSWER) anti-war coalition.
In his review of Black Hawk Down, New York Times movie reviewer Elvis Mitchell

Saudi Time Bomb?WGBH FrontlineSBSTuesday, February 5, 8.30pm
REVIEW BY NORM DIXON
This program opens with US President George Bush's famous September 20 warning that justified Washington's war on Afghanistan: "Either you are with us or you are

Bin Laden, Saddam behind pretzel attack
BY ROHAN PEARCE
Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet believes that there is "credible evidence" linking Osama bin Laden to the attempted assassination of George Bush with a pretzel. Studies by

SYDNEY — Gaywaves, the gay and lesbian radio program broadcast on Radio 2SER FM, is looking for people interested in helping to produce the show.
Gaywaves is run by a small collective. Its aims include affirming gay and lesbian identity and