Issue 482

Australia

BY TAMARA PEARSON
SYDNEY — Sister Susan Connolly has counted 22 lies about refugees that have been spread by the federal government, she told the "People vs Philip Ruddock" public meeting held in Granville Town Hall on February 20.
Organised by

BY MARGARET GLEESON
SYDNEY — Thirty ALP members and trade unionists attended Labor for Refugees general meeting on February 17.
Federal MP for Sydney Tanya Plibersek told the meeting that the February 12 protest rally outside Parliament House

Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific, Thang Ngo, Socialist Alliance (Parramatta), Newcastle Action for Refugee Rights, Refugee Action Collective (Melbourne central), Australia West Papua Association, Progressive Young Hazaras, PIP HINMAN">

BY JIM MCILROY
BRISBANE — The government's so-called "anti-terrorism bill" will massively strengthen the powers of the Australian security Intelligence Agency (ASIO), Ross Daniels, Amnesty International activist and lecturer at Queensland

BY JACKIE LYNCH
MELBOURNE — Fifty people attended a Socialist Alliance barbeque in Northcote's Jika Jika Community Centre on February 16 to launch the alliance's election campaign for the Darebin council.
The Socialist Alliance is standing

BY CHRIS ATKINSON
DARWIN — There are not many places in Darwin for young people to hang out. Casuarina shopping mall is the main place. But the centre's management and its private security firm, Group 4, are often less than welcoming of young

BY RUSSELL PICKERING
PERTH — The state Labor government is under fire from civil-liberty groups for attempting introduce draconian legislation, known locally as the "anti-gang laws". The ALP rushed the bill into parliament last year soon after

BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE
HOBART — Manufacturing union organiser Greg Cooper joined a delegation of business leaders on February 22 to appeal to the federal government for financial assistance to shipbuilding company Incat. The union's call for

SYDNEY — On March 1, Sydney Town Hall will be filled by 2050 people, coming to hear journalist John Pilger speak on: "Breaking the silence: war, propaganda and the new empire." Tickets for the event, sponsored by Green Left Weekly, were sold out on

BY LISA MACDONALD
SYDNEY — On February 22, the NSW Socialist Alliance surmounted the final legal barrier to having its name printed next to its candidates on ballot papers in the 2003 state elections. The barriers were erected by the NSW

Cuban tours
MELBOURNE — More than 60 people met on February 20 for a public forum titled "From Cuba to Argentina: popular resistance to war and neo-liberal globalisation". Barbara Cantero, a representative of the Cuban Communist Youth (UJC),

BY BERNIE WUNSCH

LISMORE — The refugee solidarity movement in the Northern Rivers
region has grown rapidly. Around 400 people attended pro-refugee meetings
in the space of four days.

The February 15 launch of the Lismore chapter of

BY BRIANNA PIKE
DARWIN — "Resistance called this high school walkout to demonstrate our anger at the federal government's treatment of the world's most desperate people", Resistance organiser Chris Atkinson told Green Left Weekly.
Students from

BY RYK MOLON
DARWIN — Socialist Alliance candidate for Lord Mayor Ruth Ratcliffe and Independent Education Union organiser Simon Hall, who recently resigned from the Labor Party over its support for mandatory detention of refugees, addressed a

BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS
MELBOURNE — May 1 is set to become "no-war May Day" after the February 5 meeting of the M1 Alliance. Adopting a call to action, the alliance is planning protests based around three slogans: no war on refugees; no war on the

BY LISA MACDONALD
SYDNEY — "How many more lies do we have to endure until the refugees are free?", Free the Refugees Campaign's (FRC) Paul Benedek, the 300 people who rallied outside the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre on February 22. "No more!",

BY ANTHONY BENBOW
FREMANTLE — "I only wish the politicians could show refugees the same kindness, compassion and humility that my ancestors showed your ancestors hundreds of years ago" — with these passionate words, Nyoongar activist Kim

World

BY PETER McINNES
JOHANNESBURG — Around 480 voluntary retrenchments have been offered to municipal workers at the recently privatised Kelvin power plant.
Kelvin, a coal-powered electricity station, provides 25% of Johannesburg's electricity

BY FEDERICO FUENTES
The campaign against leftist President Hugo Chavez, led by local big business interests and backed by Washington, has rapidly escalated in recent months, with more and more talk of the need to remove Chavez.
On November 5-7,

BY MAX LANE
On February 22, Haji Ponke Princen died. Princen, who was 76, was one of Indonesia's finest militant democrats.
As a young man, Princen was sent to Indonesia as a Dutch soldier to fight against the Indonesian people's struggle for

BY FEDERICO FUENTES
Protests against the government in Argentina continue to grow. Calls for new elections and the resignation of the government are being increasingly linked to the demand for a "workers' government".
On February 15, 20,000

BY SARAH PEART
GLASGOW — At 5am on February 11 a convoy of mini buses, cars and vans carrying 500 anti-nuclear activists from across Europe made their way to the home of Britain's Trident nuclear missile submarine base at Faslane on the Clyde

BY NORM DIXON

The SBS Dateline current affairs program on February 13 broadcast
a special report — “Killing Mugabe: The Tsvangirai Conspiracy” — and a
follow-up report on February 20, by Walkley Award-winning Australian journalist
Mark

BY ROHAN PEARCE
Israeli society is becoming increasingly polarised. On one side there are those who have lost, or are losing, faith in a military strategy to crush the current intifada, and who are beginning to understand that without justice for

BY SARAH PEART
GLASGOW — Fifty delegates attended the founding conference of the Scottish Socialist Party's youth network, Scottish Socialist Youth, on February 9.
A central campaign for the SSY will be a campaign to legalise cannabis. Two very

BY NGLINTING DARMONO
YOGYAKARTA — There's no such thing as a wholly "natural" disaster. The recent catastrophic floods in Jakarta and along the northern coast of Java, which claimed at least 200 lives, were no exception.
The Dutch colonial

BY AHMAD NIMER
RAMALLAH — Last week there was a massive escalation in Israel's military attacks against the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. On a nightly basis, Israeli F-16 warplanes have dropped bombs over Palestinian

BY MAX LANE
Normalinda, an activist from the Indonesian National League of Students for Democracy (LMND) and Fransiscus "Black" Farneubun, an activist from the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD), were each sentenced to three months in prison by a

BY BRIAN WHITAKER
LONDON — Whatever authoritarian aspirations Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh may have cherished in the past, tribal and regional fiefdoms have always served as a brake on centralised power. Now, thanks to September 11, the

BY TAFADZWA CHOTO
HARARE — Around 1500-2000 people mobilised on February 15 under the slogan, "No to dictatorship, no to neo-liberal poverty". Earlier that day, the High Court had refused hear the organisers' urgent application against the

BY EVA CHENG
Capitalism's nagging overcapacity problem refuses to go away. Having long plagued many key industries, the problem found new and sharp expressions in the global steel industry in the wake of the 1997-98 economic crises in Asia, Russia

BY MAX LANE

The chairperson of SMUR (Students in Solidarity with the People), Mahmudal,
was arrested in Banda Aceh on February 19 during a demonstration organised
by ORPAD (Acehnese Women's Democratic Organisation).

SMUR is an

Editorial

Howard must go!
By February 22, it appeared that former defence minister Peter Reith had
finally decided to hang on to the hot potato of blame in the “children
overboard” scandal.

Admitting that he knew the federal Coalition

Culture

Shallow HalWith Jason Alexander, Jack Black, Gwyneth PaltrowAt major cinemas
REVIEW BY DALE MILLS
So much bilge pours out of Hollywood that it is surprising to find something half-decent at all. This film is one of the half-decent ones. Don't be

Rabbit Proof FenceDirected by Phillip NoyceIntroducing Evelyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury and Laura MonaghanWith Ningali Lawford, David Gulpilil, Deborah Mailman and Kenneth BranaghScreening at Dendy Newtown and cinemas across Australia
REVIEW BY KIM

Since forming in 1994, after what they call "a brief interlude on public transport", Regurgitator has cut four full-length albums and flirted with every music style except polka and yodelling. The band rates as a highlight of its career "a 5am