Issue 480


Do you want to help free the refugees? Do you have spare time, some ideas or skills you would like to share? The Free the Refugees Campaign (FRC) is active in many communities, high schools, workplaces and universities. It organises protest
BY LUKE WILLIAMS Peter Tatchell, renowned for his fight for gay liberation and human rights, has been denied a visa to Australia. The debacle has prevented him from attending his stepfather's funeral. He was refused entry despite repeated requests
BY IGGY KIM SYDNEY — Following the success of the second World Social Forum at Porto Alegre, Brazil, activists will meet at the second Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference to discuss the formation of a regional social forum. The
BY SUE BOLTON SYDNEY — The two main unions covering Qantas maintenance workers, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and the Australian Workers Union (AWU), won a small victory on February 4 when they forced Qantas to stop
BY NICK EVERETT On February 5, I attended a meeting of Sydney's Palm Sunday Committee on behalf of the Free the Refugees Campaign (FRC). I had received an email that day from Labor for Refugees co-convenor Amanda Tattersall that explained, "there
BY TOM NELSON BYRON BAY — People power hit the streets on February 14 when 500 people defied the rain to march for refugees' rights. It was by far the largest pro-refugee action ever held in northern NSW. Protesters chanted, "Freedom not
BY JESS MELVIN MELBOURNE — On February 8, several young people crowded into a temporary detention center were watched by police as they chanted and waved placards. This was not the refugee detention centre at Maribyrnong, however, but outside the
BY GARY MEYERHOFF DARWIN — "It is time both parties stopped playing the game — who can be tougher on refugees?", ALP Senator Trish Crossin told a public meeting on February 5, becoming the latest ALP politician to speak out against inhumane
BY MARIA VOUKELATOS BRISBANE — Young people will vote with their feet against the Coalition government's racist and inhumane policy of mandatory detention of refugees. In Brisbane, Geelong and Sydney high school students from the socialist youth
BY TIM GOODEN GEELONG — At its February 5 meeting, the executive of Geelong's Trades Hall Council recommended to affiliated unions that they call for a more humane approach to the treatment of refugees than that pursued by the federal Coalition
BY RAY FULCHER MELBOURNE — Julia Gillard, Labor's shadow minister for immigration and ethnic affairs, told a February 6 public meeting attended by more than 200 people that she was "not ashamed of the decisions Labor took in the run up to the
BY SHUA GARFIELD HOBART - The Policy and Intergovernment Committee of the Hobart City Council decided on February 5 against holding a public consultation about activities in city's Elizabeth Street mall. The consultation was originally proposed
BY MAX LANE PERTH — Almost 700 people turned out on February 4 to hear John Pilger condemn the corporate media bias in coverage of, and academic silence on, the so-called war against terrorism, refugees, globalisation and Australian government
They are not alone! @box text intr = WOLLONGONG — Drizzly rain couldn't stop more than 100 people acting in solidarity with refugees in the Wollongong mall on February 7. The candlelight vigil, organised by the Illawarra Refugee Action Collective


BY BOB BURTON In an extraordinary move the Papua New Guinea government has passed legislation that prevents any government agency from taking or supporting "in any way" proceedings against BHP-Billiton "in respect of an environmental claim" over
BY EVA CHENG Under severe pressure from the Bush administration and the International Monetary Fund, the five-week-old government of Argentine President Eduardo Duhalde has chosen the "lesser evil" of floating his country's currency, the peso,
BY SARAH PEART GLASGOW — The latest report released by the National Child Helpline (NCH) Scotland on January 22 shows that 310,000 children (42%) across Scotland are living in poverty. It also shows that nearly half of all children live in
BY ROHAN PEARCE "We hereby declare that we shall continue serving in the Israel Defence Forces in any mission that serves Israel's defence. The missions of occupation and oppression [in the occupied territories] do not serve this purpose — and we
BY DITA SARI JAKARTA — The driving forces of globalisation are the movement and expansion of capital and technology, through multinational companies. Globalisation, some people argue, has contributed a lot to the creation of a new world, with
BY DICK NICHOLS CARACAS — Venezuela's wealthy elite is using every resource at its disposal to force President Hugo Chavez Frias to retreat or resign. Their offensive reached its highest point yet on January 23, when their "March for Freedom and
BY ALAN MAASS CHICAGO — "There are business scandals that are so vast and so penetrating that they profoundly shock our most deeply held beliefs about the honesty and integrity of our corporate culture. Enron Corp is one of them. This financial
BY PHIL HEARSE LONDON — On January 28-29, 2500 workers at South West Trains, which daily brings 250,000 commuters to Central London, struck over pay and against the demotion of local union leader Greg Tucker. Over the same two-day period,
BY JOHN PILGER At the end of January the US government announced that it was building the biggest-ever war machine. Military spending will rise to US$379 billion, of which $50 billion will pay for its "war on terrorism". There will be special
BY BEN REID PORTO ALEGRE — The outstanding success of the second World Social Forum dealt a severe blow to the proponents of the "end of the anti-globalisation movement after September 11" pundits. Some 51,300 people from all over the world and
BY ROHAN PEARCE Predictions made by mainstream media commentators and spokespeople for the ruling elite that the movement against corporate tyranny would die in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks were disproved by the successful protests
BY NORM DIXON The United States has escalated its intervention in the civil war in Colombia with its February 5 announcement that Washington will help Colombia "protect" a strategic oil pipeline that is a frequent target of guerilla attacks. The


Spy GameDirected by Tony ScottWith Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack and Marianne Jean-BaptisteAt major cinemas REVIEW BY ZANNY BEGG Tony Scott's new film, Spy Game, is an intriguing investigation into how to construct a spy film
British anarchist band Chumbawamba has turned over $210,000 it received from General Motors to anti-capitalist campaigners. The band was paid the money for the use of its song "Pass it Along" to advertise GM Pontiac cars. "We're planning on using
REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas TruceBy Stanley WeintraubThe Free Press, 2001206 pages, $39.95 (hb) It was the war that was supposed "to be over by Christmas". It very nearly was. A spontaneous
Taliban: Made by the USA and Detention Without TrialBy EyeBlatant PropagandaSend $5 for each CD to PO Box 1327, Woden 2606 ACT, Australia, or visit <> REVIEW BY MARK ABBERTON "Taliban, Taliban: Made by the USA.


Anti-refugee policy can be abolished Prime Minister John Howard and immigration minister Philip Ruddock stood firm throughout the two-week hunger strike by asylum seekers in the Woomera detention centre. Some said this was proof that