Issue 484

Australia

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

World

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

BY CAT LAZAROFF

Editorial

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,

Culture

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 <links@dsp.org.au>

“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 <http://www.gadflyrecords.com>
Lead singer of New York Irish rebel band Black 47 Larry Kirwan opens this CD wailing with voice and guitar,"Hey,

Election blindercan't be kinderlip sewingchildren throwingpeople smugglingcountry jugglingcompassion presumingtime consumingqueue jumpingpeople dumpingrazor wirecells on fireleaky shipspoliticians' slipsTampa pamperingrather hamperingPacific