Issue 486

News

BY EDWARD JOHNSTONE MELBOURNE — The Socialist Alliance received 1608 votes in the six wards it contested in Moreland and Darebin council elections held in March. In the city of Moreland, candidate for Merri ward Judy McVey received 374 votes,
BY CHRIS LATHAM PERTH — The prospects for peace and a united Ireland had been enhanced by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, Mitchell McLaughlin, national chairperson of the Irish republican party Sinn Fein, told a February 28 public meeting.
Terror laws in parliament On March 22, the federal government introduced the final bill of its "anti-terrorism" package into parliament. It proposes to give ASIO the right to detain people for 48 hours without access to legal advice, and with
BY TIM GOODEN GEELONG — What could only be described as a David and Goliath battle looks likely to end in a fall for giant energy corporation AES. On March 15, AES announced it was not proceeding with the construction of a gas-and-kerosene
BY LISA MACDONALD SYDNEY — "Justice, yes! Occupation, no! Israeli troops have got to go!" and "Free, free Palestine!". These words echoed down the main streets of central Sydney on March 24, as more than 400 protesters marched from Sydney Town
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — A March 19 Socialist Alliance application to be registered as a political party in Tasmania has been accepted by the Tasmanian Electoral Office (TEO). Notifications were printed in Tasmania's three daily papers on
Eighty people attended at refugee-rights protest in Leichhardt on March 21 organised by Free the Refugees campaign. Photo by Jonathan Strauss. From Green Left Weekly, March 27, 2002. Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.
BY SUZIE AMBROSE DARWIN — The prediction of the March 7 NT News editorial — "No votes for ratbags" — was disproved in the March 16 elections for Lord Mayor of Darwin. Socialist Alliance candidate Ruth Ratcliffe received 1057 votes after
BY KERRYN WILLIAMS CANBERRA — “I used to be an activist, where I was very flexible and could criticise everything, but now I'm representing East Timor”, East Timor's deputy minster for foreign affairs and cooperation Fernando de
BY PETER BOYLE SYDNEY — A week out from the start of the Second Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference, the phones were running hot in the Sydney office used by the young voluntary conference organising team headed by Iggy Kim. There
Rally for Palestine I BRISBANE — A speakout against Israel's terror against the Palestinian people was held on the steps of King George Square on March 22. Organised by the M1 Alliance, the action drew attention to the Palestinian people's
BY LINDA WALDRON& NATALIE ZIRNGAST MELBOURNE — Workers at Flair Menswear Preston, manufacturers of Hugo Boss fashions, held a victory barbecue on the morning of March 18, after a two-week picket. A planned solidarity sausage sizzle at the
BY LISA MACDONALD SYDNEY — "We want the people detained in the Villawood refugee prison, as well as the Australian public, to know that there are many people in this country, and around the world, who strongly oppose the Australian government's
GEELONG — On March 23 the Geelong branch of the Democratic Socialist Party unveiled its new shopfront and opening hours. The bookshop is open Monday to Wednesday from 4-6pm, Thursdays noon to 6pm, Fridays 5-7pm and Saturdays 9.30am to 12.30pm. The
BY JACKIE LYNCH MELBOURNE — Electrical Trades Union state secretary Dean Mighell received enthusiastic applause for his decision to leave the ALP at a mass meeting of some 800 ETU members on March 20. In a passionate and fiery speech,
BY JIM McILROY BRISBANE — "If you want to replace the World Bank, World Trade Organisation and International Monetary Fund, you need to create massive movements that are powerful, conscious and raise the social costs for the ruling class",
BY ALISON DELLIT In the biggest show of solidarity with asylum seekers yet seen in Australia, more than 45,000 people attended Palm Sunday marches around the country on March 24, calling for freedom and justice for refugees. More than
BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS MELBOURNE — At its March 19 meeting the central Melbourne Refugee Action Collective (RAC-Vic) endorsed the idea of a national day of action for refugee rights for Sunday June 2. While not discussing details of the action, RAC

World

A Pacific islands network which monitors globalisation in the Pacific is calling on Pacific island leaders to think before they ratify trade agreements and those who have ratified to withdraw from them. Pacific Network for Globalisation
BY A. SATTAR "The rise of fundamentalism in Pakistan is a vote of no-confidence of the working people in capitalist and feudal parties. It is the failure of these parties in power, which has given rise to religious fanaticism", argues Farooq Tariq,
BY GRIFF FOLEY The Western media portray Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe as the worst African dictator since Idi Amin. Mugabe is certainly tyrannical, but he is no freak or accident. Mugabe's regime is a product of the politics of Zimbabwean
BY CHRIS FLOYD The rule of law is dead. Even as a fiction, a dream of human betterment — of "civilization", to use that word we hear so often on the lips of warlords and terrorists these days — the idea of law has been discarded, trashed: just
BY NORM DIXON In the aftermath of the rigged March 9-10 presidential election, Zimbabwe's trade unions and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have failed to lead serious mass mobilisations to block the return of the authoritarian
Bob Crow, newly elected general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, RMT"> ENGLAND: Socialist Alliance holds trade union conference LONDON — The first trade union conference organised by the Socialist
BY KEEANGA-YAMAHTTA TAYLOR ATLANTA — Jamil Abdullah al Amin, the former 1960s Black Power leader, then known as H. Rap Brown, was found guilty on March 9 of shooting one Atlanta cop to death and injuring another. Prosecutors are seeking the death
Three million demonstrators marched through Rome on March 23 to protest new labour laws which will make it easier for employers to sack workers. The protest, the biggest ever held in Italy, was organised by the CGIL trade union federation.From Green
BY MAX LANE Almost every day, details of the murder of Acehnese civilians by Indonesian military forces are reported by democratic and human rights organisations and international news agencies. At least 300 killings have been reported since
BY FAROOQ TARIQ LAHORE — The national committee of the Labour Party Pakistan, meeting March 16-17, decided that the party should help form a united socialist electoral alliance in Pakistan. Left-wing political parties, trade unions and social
BY NICK SOUDAKOFF The US government has requested an additional 300 troops be allowed to perform "civic duties" on the Philippines island of Basilian as part of the Balikatan 02-1 war games nominally aimed at destroying the Abu Sayyaf kidnap group.
BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD Could it be that the very long prison sentences handed down to the five Cubans falsely accused of espionage were aimed at protecting Miami terrorist circles and dissuading any person or group who wants to counteract those
BY ROHAN PEARCE The United Nations-sponsored International Conference on Financing for Development — held in Monterrey, Mexico, on March 18-22 — produced a great deal of hot air, but little for the world's 1.2 billion people who live on less

Culture

BY STEVE DAY ADELAIDE — On March 8, San Francisco-based group Spearhead treated punters to a very special performance that will stick in the minds of many for a while to come. The charismatic Michael Franti hosted an evening of hip hop, funk,
Blindfold and Alone: British Military Executions in the Great WarBy Cathryn Corns &John Hughes-WilsonCassell & Co, 2001543 pages, $59.95 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON "I think an example is necessary in the interests of discipline", wrote
SYDNEY — A key episode of Australian trade union and working-class history, the great strikes of the 1890s, will be brought to life when New Theatre stages Reedy River. 2002 is the New Theatre's 70th anniversary year. In an attempt to offset
BY ROBYN MARSHALL BRISBANE — In the Brisbane City Gallery of the Town Hall is a remarkable collection of photographs, selected by radical Australian journalist John Pilger. The photographs that are included in Reporting the World are a

Editorial

ALP trickle will become a flood The response of rank-and-file unionists to Victorian Electrical Trades Union leader Dean Mighell's resignation from the Labor Party was predictable: “Good on yer mate, it's about time!” They don't want