Issue 496

News

BY JIM McILROY BRISBANE — Protesters picketed the initial stage of construction of the food irradiation plant at Narangba on June 13, forcing four trucks to turn back. The protesters have vowed to continue to picket the site, north of the city,
BY NICK EVERETT SYDNEY — A June 1 public meeting entitled "How the West views the East" proved to be a popular focal point of political discussion and debate at the Sydney Writers' Festival. The meeting featured Tariq Ali, Egyptian writers and
BY KERRY VERNON BRISBANE — Queensland's nurses have begun a state-wide industrial campaign after rejecting a state government offer that was one-third of what the Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) has sought. Gay Hawksworth, QNU state secretary, said
BY PAUL MILLER MELBOURNE — On June 1, 100 Footscray residents protested outside the Footscray swimming pool against its closure. The rally was organised by the Footscray Community Association. The Maribyrnong City Council has recently decided
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — Public sector nurses are maintaining a work-to-rule campaign to win safer staffing levels in hospitals. Nurses are refusing to do unreasonable overtime and are making sure that meal breaks are claimed. They are also
SYDNEY — The refugees' rights campaign came to the western Sydney suburb of Fairfield on June 15. Around 30 people took part in a march organised by the western Sydney Resistance branch to promote the June 23 National Refugee Week actions. In
BY MARCEL CAMERON BRISBANE — Maintenance workers at the Caltex oil refinery won an important victory against their employer, Transfield Services, on May 21 after nine weeks of industrial action. The dispute centred on the expiry date for the
BY MELANIE SJOBERG SYDNEY — The first Australian delegation allowed into the devastated Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank returned to Australia with emotional and harrowing stories. The delegation included union movement activists and a
BY SUE BULL MELBOURNE — The federal Coalition government is rolling out its big guns to attack Victoria's militant trade unionists. In the latest outburst, immigration minister Philip Ruddock slammed the Victorian branch of the Construction,
BY SARAH STEPHEN Only 40 of the 327 Afghans on Nauru who have had their claims processed have been accepted as refugees. "The rest may have perfectly rational fears of famine, lawlessness and postwar devastation, but they don't count", declared the
BY NICK EVERETT SYDNEY — Speaking to an overflow audience of 250 people at the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre on June 2, writer, film-maker and left activist Tariq Ali analysed the key issues in world politics after September 11. The meeting,
CMG answers strike with lock-out ROCKHAMPTON — Workers at Consolidated Meat Group's Lakes Creek plant have been on strike since June 3. The workers are attempting to win back wages and conditions stripped from them after the arbitration
BY GRAHAM WILLIAMS MELBOURNE — Maintenance workers at the BHP factory in Hastings decided to return to work on June 14 after beating the "Big Australian". They had been on strike since May 21. The 280 workers, who were fighting BHP's attempts to
BY CHRIS LATHAM PERTH — On June 1, Iranian asylum seeker Nader Sayadi Estahbanati was deported from Esperance in WA on the Iranian freighter Mazardaran. In 2000, Estahbanati and two friends stowed away on the Mazardaran to flee persecution in
BATHURST — Communications students at Charles Sturt University's campus here are being taught too well — this is the university administration's justification for course and staff funding cuts. Students occupied the university's media centre on
BY KAMALA EMANUEL HOBART — "Today we are welcoming home the remains of people who should never have been taken away", announced Tasmanian Aboriginal community leader Michael Mansell at the Hobart international airport on June 14. He was

World

BY PETER ROSSET Why do more than 800 million people still go hungry in a world marked by incredible affluence? Representatives from 180 countries gathered in Rome for the World Food Summit from June 10 to 13 to address just that question. At the
BY JORGE JORQUERA HAVANA — In front of us in the throng marched a man holding a flag emblazoned with Che Guevara's face and the slogan Hasta la victoria siempre (To victory ever onwards). His arm did not bend once to rest as we passed the Office
BY ROHAN PEARCE Western media reporting on the Middle East over recent weeks has focussed on the deaths caused by a handful of suicide bombings in Israel. Missing from most of the coverage is the scale of the violence being unleashed on
BY NICK BRAUN The right-wing majority on the executive of the 283,000-strong Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has declared the election of Socialist Alliance supporter Mark Serwotka as PCS general secretary "invalid" and that the
GUJARAT - The Indian government's Narmada Control Authority (NCA) on May 17 arbitrarily decided to raise the height of the controversial Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, from 90 to 95 metres. This will
BY MALIK MIAH SAN FRANCISCO — Here he goes again. University of California Regent Ward Connerly, a prominent African-American conservative and former benefactor of affirmative action programs, has submitted nearly one million voter signatures to
BY SARAH PEART & MATT PRESTON GLASGOW — Joining Kylie Minogue and XXXX beer in the list of embarrassing Australian exports to Britain is Canberra's racist policies towards asylum seekers. Judging by the British Labour government's
BY SARAH STEPHEN An interim ruling by New Zealand's High Court has found that the Labour-Alliance coalition government's policy of routinely detaining asylum seekers who arrive without authorisation is in violation of the United Nations refugee
BY MICHELLE BREAR SUVA, Fiji — Since the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) movement's formation in 1975, the campaign for self-determination for Pacific island nations under colonial rule has been central to its work, and that of its
BY DICK NICHOLS In the April 21 first round of France's presidential elections, 2.84 million people (10.44%) voted for far-left candidates, chiefly Lutte Ouvriere (LO) and the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR). On June 9, in the first round of
BY SARAH STEPHEN I participated in a work brigade in East Timor from May 13 to 26, organised by Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor/Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific (ASIET/ASAP). Seven people made the trip to Dili to
Hundreds of angry demonstrators rallied on June 8 outside the British Prime Minster Tony Blair's residence at 10 Downing Street, London, to protest against British arms sales to India and Pakistan and oppose war between the two countries.
BY SARAH PEART GLASGOW — In the same week that the Scottish Parliament celebrated its first 1000 days of existence on March 26, its members voted themselves a 13.5% wage increase, placing MSPs in the top 5% of income earners in Scotland. The sole
BY EVA CHENG  Thousands rallied on June 13 in at least nine cities across India and Pakistan to protest against the war drive and the threat of nuclear devastation on the subcontinent. “How can arms traders be peace-brokers?” was a
BY AHMED NIMER RAMALLAH — Figures from the Manufacturers Association of Israel confirm that the country's economy is in its deepest recession since 1953. Since the fourth quarter of 2000, 22,000 industrial workers have been laid off, industrial

Culture

The British radical band CHUMBAWAMBA has written a scathing song — "Her Majesty" — to "celebrate" Betty Windsor's Golden Jubilee on the British throne. London was subjected to four days of stage-managed "festivities" beginning June 1, culminating
These are the photos of Jenin:There are housesin ruinsready-made mausoleumsfor the bodies within.There are facesof familiesfamilies in ruinsa son half in a pita body in a pool, human reda daughter unrecognisedthe open-mouthed faces of newly widowed
SYDNEY — Once again, the screens of the State Theatre and Dendy Opera Quays have come alive with a feast of cinema from across the globe. The 49th Sydney Film Festival continues until June 21, with the theme "Small world, big screen". A number of
Behind the Tears ... Triumphant Voices: East Timor, a Photographic JourneyPhotographs by Ross Bird, David Dare Parker and Stephen DupontCurated by Emmanuel SantosPost Master Gallery, Australia Post House, corner Exhibition and La Trobe streets,
BY SIMON WHITTLE The Sex Pistols re-released their anti-monarchist anthem “God Save the Queen” at the end of May, 25 years after the national uproar the record received on its original release back in 1977. It was again timed to clash with
BY LOUIS PROYECT NEW YORK — Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould died on May 20 of cancer at the age of 60. Not only was he the best known scientist in the United States, he was a committed progressive who served on the advisory board of the Brecht

Editorial

World Refugee Day on June 20 is an opportunity to reflect on how much progress the refugees' rights movement in Australia has made in a relatively short period. The last six months of organising, which includes the consolidation of a huge movement