Issue 484


Afghan, Iraqi events SYDNEY — Around 60 people gathered in Parramatta Town Hall on March 8 for a "Women's rights are human rights" dinner organised by the worker-communist parties of Iraq and Iran. The next night, around 200 members of the Afghan
BY LAUREN CARROLL HARRIS "This year's International Women's Day [IWD] takes place in a very dangerous political climate for women — both in Australia and internationally. The launching by the United States of a socalled war against terrorism —
BY LAURA COX ROCKHAMPTON — Almost 3000 spirited protesters marched through the CBD on March 2, in support of the 1350 workers who lost their jobs when Consolidated Meat Group (CMG) closed the Lakes Creek abattoir in mid-January. Mounting
BY BARRY HEALY PERTH — Dr Jeffrey Claflin, director of Waste Control, the toxic waste treatment plant that exploded in February last year in what has been called Australia's worst toxic fire, has been charged with breaches of the company's
BY MARY CARROLL SYDNEY — One hundred and thirty people filled the Manly Youth Centre Hall on February 28, attending a "People v Philip Ruddock" meeting called by the northern branch of the Socialist Alliance. Speakers were moved to tears as
BY SAM WAINWRIGHT SYDNEY — On March 6 Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) members employed on NSW construction sites went out on strike for 48 hours. They are defending a range of conditions that will be removed from their award under
BY SARAH STEPHEN Tahmeena Faryal, a 23-year-old activist involved in the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), will be a featured speaker at the Second Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference, which will be held in
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — The Socialist Alliance is half-way to the arduous task of Tasmanian electoral registration. In a blatant deterrent to political involvement, Tasmanian electoral law requires 100 members to be prepared to have their
BY SARAH STEPHEN A hunger strike by around 150 mostly Iraqi asylum seekers held in Woomera detention centre began on March 7. Fifteen shallow graves were dug, and detainees buried themselves up to their necks, indicating that they would rather be
BY LISA MACDONALD SYDNEY — On February 26, the Socialist Alliance received confirmation from State Electoral Office that the alliance has been registered as a political party in NSW. This enables the alliance to have its name printed on ballot
BY SAM WAINWRIGHT SYDNEY — In the small hours of March 4 two production workers and a contract fitter from the Caltex oil refinery at Kurnell were admitted to Sutherland Hospital suffering exposure to hydrogen sulphide gas. Prolonged exposure
BY LISA MACDONALD SYDNEY — The 1500 local residents who rallied in Mona Park, Auburn, on February 23 sent a clear message to the NSW Labor government: no new waste dump in Sydney's western suburbs! The rally was called to oppose the building of
BY SUE BULL MELBOURNE — Elizabeth Vujkov has worked for Flair Menswear, now owned by Hugo Boss, for 23 years. She was shocked when she was told on February 26, along with 119 others, that the whole manufacturing section of the company was being
BY KATE WILSON More than 650 young people have joined the socialist youth group Resistance since January, 465 of them students who joined from stalls at campus orientation weeks. Resistance's national coordinator, Simon Butler, told Green Left
BY JENNY LONG SYDNEY — Around 400 people gathered for the ChilOut (Children Out of Detention) and NSW Teacher's Federation's "Suits against detention: Middle Australia protests!" rally on March 7. Chilout's Junie Ong opened the speaking list,
Forum discusses power station GEELONG — On March 4, the Socialist Alliance hosted a discussion around the topic "Our energy, our future, is there space for community democracy?". This "politics in the pub" continued nine months of campaigning
BY MELANIE SJOBERG SYDNEY — The M1 collective is organising a peaceful blockade of Australasian Correctional Management, which runs Australia's refugee detention centres, at 8am on May 1, kicking off a day of action for global justice and peace
BY SIMON DIVECHA BHP Billiton is attempting to wash its hands of responsibility for 10 years' damage caused by its Ok Tedi gold and copper mine in Papua New Guinea. The company is putting its majority share in Ok Tedi Mining Ltd into a holding
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — On March 6, Tasmanian police broke up the Weld River community picket. The picket was established on February 4 to save more than 3000 hectares of unlogged, old growth forest, immediately adjacent to a World Heritage
BY KAMALA EMANUEL HOBART — "The problem of Afghanistan is a political one. It won't be solved with aid. As long as warlordism continues, there will be no real solution", Tahmeena Faryal, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
Socialists picket Bracks MELBOURNE — Supporters of the Socialist Alliance held a rally outside the Treasury Place office of Victorian Labor Premier Steve Bracks on March 5, protesting at the government's failure to reverse service cuts carried
BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS MELBOURNE — The Victorian Labor government sent police and environment department staff to dismantle the Goolengook forest blockade in East Gippsland in the early morning on March 5. The blockade has been the longest
Bus drivers strike for better pay SYDNEY — Government bus services in Sydney and Newcastle stopped for 48 hours on March 6-7, as drivers and maintenance workers took strike action over pay. The strike was called after the Rail, Tram and Bus


BY SARAH PEART DUNDEE — "The Scottish Socialist Party promotes a vision that tackles poverty and inequality head on", declared the SSP's sole MP, Tommy Sheridan, in opening the fourth annual SSP conference held in Dundee's Caird Hall over the
BY TARIQ SHAHZAD LAHORE — Hundreds of women and men paid five rupees each to participate in a March 6 festival to commemorate International Women's Day, organised by the Women Workers Help Line. This was the third year that this event
BY ROHAN PEARCE According to the Israeli interior ministry, the demand for gun permits rose 75% over the last year. In 2001, 7790 people applied for permits — almost twice the number of applications in 2000. In January of this year alone, 879
BY KAREN FLETCHER HAVANA — Through the US government's anti-Cuba propaganda outlet Radio Marti, the right-wing "Miami mafia" provoked a break-in and occupation by hooligans of the Mexican embassy in Havana on February 27. Beamed from Miami into
BY URI AVNERY TEL AVIV — Last week, in Europe, I happened to pass a frozen lake. I was told that a few days before it was possible to skate on it. But the temperature had risen and the ice cover had started to melt. It still covers the whole
BY NICOLE COLSON Colombian President Andres Pastrana gave the order on February 20 for his military to invade territory controlled by left-wing rebels in a deadly escalation of the government's four-decade-old dirty war. Pastrana broke off talks
BY NORM DIXON Zimbabwe Civil Service Employees Association president Ephraim Tapa and Faith Mukwakwa, his wife, have been missing since February 16. Their vehicle was intercepted by supporters of President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African Nation
BY TERESA FOARD LONDON — Around 20,000 people mobilised on March 2 in Hyde Park to march to Trafalgar Square for a rally called by the Stop the War Coalition — a broad movement of the left and trade unions. The anti-war protest had three
For several months, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) party has been whipping up communal tension and targeting Muslims in India. In particular, it has renewed its focus on building a Hindu temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, at the same site
With the Philippines now the "second front" in the US "war on terrorism", Green Left Weekly's ALLEN JENNINGS interviewed Rasti Delizo, head of the general secretariat of the Philippines Campaign for Peace with Justice. Can you give us some
BY LARRY DOUGLAS On March 7, 200 Bougainvilleans "visited" the Papua New Guinea-appointed governor, John Momis, in Buka and handed him a statement disapproving of the decision of the PNG government to oppose the Bougainvillean law suit against
BY ROHAN PEARCE On March 5, a group of Palestinian school children sent a letter to US President George Bush, in which they wrote, "[E]ven our parents' comforting does not free us from the horror we live on a daily basis, the images of funerals,
BY NGLINTING DARMONO YOGYAKARTA — Two hundred protesters from across central Java gathered in Yogyakarta on March 8 to mark International Women's Day. The protesters marched from Gadjah Mada University to the regional parliament. Their demands
BY CAT LAZAROFF TAKOMA PARK, Maryland — Atmospheric nuclear weapons testing exposed millions of people around the globe to radioactive fallout, and may have led to the cancer deaths of more than 15,000 people, suggests an analysis of government



AliDirected by Michael MannWritten by Eric Roth and Michael MannWith Will Smith, Jon Voight, Jamie Foxx and Mario Van PeeblesScreening at major cinemas REVIEW BY NICK EVERETT Michael Mann's Ali is a welcome departure from typical Hollywood
REVIEW BY LUKE FOMIATTI Links #20 New Course Publications, 2002 28 pages, $8 each or $39 for a six-issue subscription Order at <> “Every nation, in every region, now has a choice to make. Either you are with us,
(Our day must come!) REVIEW BY BILL NEVINS On FireBlack 47Gadfly RecordsTo order, visit <> Lead singer of New York Irish rebel band Black 47 Larry Kirwan opens this CD wailing with voice and guitar,"Hey,
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Sacrificed on the altar of imperialism “It is more dangerous, but at the end of the day ... the sure way to work against the enemy is to put people on the ground”, General Tommy Franks, the commander of Washington's war in Afghanistan,