Issue 486

Australia

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

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

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