Issue 479

News

BY LUKE FOMIATTI & MELANIE SJOBERG SYDNEY — “This meeting to discuss war and globalisation occurs against the backdrop of US President George Bush's 'state of the nation' speech”, anti-war activist Tara Povey told 60 people at Trades
BY TAMARA PEARSON SYDNEY — Around 2000 people mobilised in Town Hall Square on February 2 to demand the closure of the Australian government's appalling immigration detention centres, an end to mandatory detention of asylum seekers and their
BY KERRYN WILLIAMS CANBERRA — More than 350 people packed into the Labor Club on January 29 to express their concern about the treatment of refugees in Australia's detention centres. The meeting was convened be the Refugee Action Committee
BY KAREN FREDERICKS BRISBANE — The fight for refugees' rights was given a boost on January 31 when 50 people picketed a meeting attended by immigration minister Philip Ruddock at Brisbane's main immigration department offices. Organised in 24
BY RICK MOLON & CHRIS ATKINSON DARWIN — "Refugees YES! Racism NO! Detention centres have got to GO!" echoed around the foyer of the luxury Novotel Atrium hotel on February 1. More than 80 refugee solidarity activists protested federal immigration
LISMORE — Twenty activists from the new Refugee Action Collective (Lismore) occupied a roundabout on February 1 and set up a symbolic detention centre. Many passers-by responded positively. In the previous week, the Refugee Action Collective (Byron
Refugee rights protests HOBART — Hundreds of people signed petitions and tooted their car horns in support of refugees' rights at a series of lunchtime vigils, organised by Resistance, outside immigration department offices between January 27
BY GILLIAN DAVY MELBOURNE — In the largest demonstration for refugees' rights held here so far, 4000 people rallied on February 2 in City Square to demand that immigration detention centres be closed and that the refugees be freed. The
BY KATE STOCKDALE DARWIN — Socialist Alliance's campaign for Lord Mayor of Darwin was launched on February 1 at a protest in support of refugees. The alliance will be running Ruth Ratcliffe in the March 16 poll. "The campaign is an excellent
BY TERRICA STRUDWICK ROCKHAMPTON — The Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) has spent the last week in unsuccessful negotiations with Consolidated Meat Group management in an attempt to reopen the Lakes Creek meatworks. CMG
BY NADEEM ANSARI & KERRYN WILLIAMS CANBERRA — At a January 31 public meeting, Lionel Bopage from Friends for Peace in Sri Lanka appealed to the new Sri Lankan government to begin peace negotiations with the Tamil population. Bopage recently
BY FEDERICO FUENTES PERTH — "The way we treat our most vulnerable and powerless will mark our society for years to come", Carmen Lawrence, ALP MP for Fremantle and the shadow minister for indigenous affairs, told 600 refugee-rights protesters on

World

In a statement released on January 16, the International Socialist Organisation of Zimbabwe — the country's only organised Marxist current — reminded Zimbabweans that "none but ourselves will liberate ourselves". The European Union is
Act Now to End War and Racism — ANSWER held a rally on February 2 to demand "Declare war on unemployment, poverty and mass layoffs not on the people of Afghanistan" and "Money for jobs, education and health care not war in Afghanistan". Visit
BY ADAM HANIEH RAMALLAH — Over the last week one topic has dominated conversation in the West Bank town of Ramallah: will tonight be the night? A general consensus holds that it is only a matter of time before Israeli tanks and troops take over
BY KEEANGA-YAHMATTA TAYLOR Jamil al Amin, the former 1960s Black Power leader known as H. Rap Brown, is on trial for his life in Atlanta. Al Amin is accused of shooting two Fulton County sheriff's deputies, killing one. Prosecutors claim that al
The following call for a national student mobilisation during the January 31-February 4 meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) was issued by Students for Global Justice. It has been slightly abridged. Every year, 1000 top business leaders come
BY EVA CHENG "If I rob a bank, they throw me in jail. But if they rob me, then they say that's OK", screamed a protester who had joined thousands of others outside the office of Argentina's President Eduardo Duhalde on January 11 to demand
BY ROHAN PEARCE The movement against corporate globalisation in the United States faces an important test at the January 31-February 4 meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in New York: has the wave of "anti-terrorist" hysteria crippled it?
BY PATRICK BOND HARARE — Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who led the national liberation fighters to win independence from the white Rhodesian colonists in 1980, is facing a presidential vote in March. His main opponent is the Movement for
BY TERRICA STRUDWICK The British Labour government's policy towards asylum seekers can be summed up in three words: detention, deportation and dispersal. There has been a major increase in the number of men, women and children incarcerated in
A massive demonstration in solidarity with migrants and asylum seekers took place on January 19 in Rome. Between 100,000 and 150,000 people protested against immigration laws proposed by Italy's far-right coalition government. The three-hour march
BY EVA CHENG Despite being the biggest in the US energy business and seventh biggest among all US firms before its December 2 collapse, Enron had not paid income tax in four of the five years before 2000, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.
BY NORM DIXON Last November, US government spokespeople flatly denied reports that mysterious aircraft were taking off in the dead of night from the besieged northern Afghan city of Kunduz. They were lying. The White House secretly approved the
BY DICK NICHOLS CHICAGO — Inevitably, the annual convention of the US International Socialist Organization, which took place in this freezing "windy city" between January 18 and 20, was dominated by two questions. How invulnerable is the US
A report in the January 26 British Medical Journal reveals that Argentina is running out of medical supplies and faces rising drug prices as the country sinks deeper into economic crisis. The report quotes Juan Carr, who heads Red Solidaria
The following appeal for May 1 to be an international day of action against the Unites States government's bogus "war on terrorism" and in opposition to the military intervention in Mindanao was issued by the Solidarity of Filipino Workers (BMP)
BY EVA CHENG The United States National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) officially declared on November 26 that the US had lapsed into recession, and had been in that situation since March 2001. Soon after, the capitalist media and mainstream

Culture

REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON A People's History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for IndependenceBy Ray RaphaelPart of the New Press People's History series, edited by Howard ZinnThe New Press, 2001386 pages, $55.90 (hb)
BY SARAH STEPHEN There is a huge range of refugee solidarity web sites popping up every day, reflecting the broadening of support and sympathy for the plight of people trying to find a safe haven in Australia. Children out of Detention
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
REVIEW BY TRISH CORCORAN The Boys From BallymoreBy Anthony BrownPenguin Books Australia, 2001355 pages, $23 Liam O'Brien returns to Ballymore after living in Australia, he remembers. Ballymore is a small town in Tipperary, Ireland. Liam finds the

Editorial

In his Australia Day address on January 26, Labor opposition leader Simon Crean argued that women and children asylum seekers should be released from refugee detention centres. He called for a "solution that is lasting, bi-partisan and firm, but