Issue 499

Australia

BY SAM WAINWRIGHT
SYDNEY — Seventy-five workers employed by Nonferral Pty Ltd in Wetherill Park have been locked out for two weeks after refusing to work in unsafe conditions. The workers were concerned about the dangers of transporting molten

AMWU members defend their union
GEELONG — On June 28, a meeting of 150 Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) members from Alcoa's Port Henry aluminium smelter discussed the state and federal governments' attacks on the leadership of

BY REBECCA MECKELBURG& MARCEL CAMERON
BRISBANE — As the ALP state government reels from growing industrial turmoil in public hospitals, Premier Peter Beattie has withdrawn his unprecedented threat to attempt to conduct a secret ballot of

Vigil for refugees 1
NEWCASTLE — A chilly night here on July 5 did not prevent 30 people from gathering in Civic Park for a vigil in support of the refugees on hunger strike in the Woomera detention centre.
Dave McKay and Cherry from the

HOBART — More than
50 people participated in the state-wide launch of the Socialist Alliance
election campaign on the Salamanca Lawns on July 6. The alliance's first
ever television advertisement premiered at the event. It will be shown
on

BRISBANE — Green Left Weekly's ROBYN MARSHALL spoke to several
nurses at the Royal Brisbane Hospital on July 5 about the dispute. “I know
that nurses from RBH, from the Royal Women's Hospital and other workplaces
have lots of determination to

BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE
HOBART — The controversial Southwood woodchip mill proposal was approved by Tasmania's Resource Planning and Development Commission on July 3.
Despite onerous conditions imposed by the commission, Labor Premier Jim Bacon's

BY NICK EVERETT
SYDNEY — Environmental activists rallied outside the Sydney hearings of the pro-boss royal commission into the building industry on July 5, highlighting the record of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's

BY SEAN MARTIN-IVERSON
PERTH — On July 6, 90 people at a Socialist Alliance seminar discussed issues facing unionists today, including refugees, internationalism and fighting anti-worker attacks.
The highlight of the event was a session

BY ROWAN STEWART

GEELONG — On June 28, 600 Australian Manufacturing Workers Union,
Electrical Trades Union and Australian Workers Union members and contractors
from the joint Alcoa and Kaal aluminium smelter and rolling operations
at Point

BY JEREMY SMITH

All positions in the National Tertiary Education Industry Union are
up for election in 2002.

In the national elections, president Carolyn Allport, general secretary
Grahame McCulloch and national assistant secretary Ted

BY PIP HINMAN

August 26 marks one year since the Coalition government refused to
allow the Norwegian freighter MV Tampa to deliver those asylum seekers
it had rescued to Christmas Island — it marks one year of the “Pacific
Solution”.

BY PERRY BROWN & KATHY NEWNAM
FORSTER — "This meeting is very encouraging", began Pat Thompson, in her address to the inaugural meeting of the Great Lakes Rural Australians for Refugees group, held in Forster on June 29. Thompson, one of the

BY CRISTINA SACCO

WOLLONGONG — Following an explosion at the Port Kembla Copper smelter
(PKC) on June 8, the Wollongong City Council has asked PKC to stay closed
until an independent safety investigation has been carried out. NSW planning

BY MAURICE FARRELL

SYDNEY — More than 200 people joined a rally and march on June 27
to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Stonewall Bar riot in New York
City, considered the birthplace of the modern lesbian and gay rights movement.

BY SARAH STEPHEN
The information available from the hunger strikers in Woomera detention centre, whose protest passed the two-week mark on July 7, is heart-rending. The July 5 Canberra Times spoke by telephone to Ramzi, who said "We are very weak

BY LIAM MITCHELL

SYDNEY — Workers
at Dayson's compressor re-manufacturing plant in Rydalmere have expressed
gratitude to supporters who have been joining them on picket lines at the
company's gates. The dispute, over the sacking of seven

BY CHRIS ATKINSON
DARWIN — NT University's international students are the latest victims of the government and corporate media's racist scaremongering campaign. The pass grade on an English language subject compulsory for international students

BY FRANCES SHEEHAN
SYDNEY — Fed up with being asked to perform miracles on the smell of an oily rag, staff at the Department of Community Services (DOCS) have taken industrial action to secure the extra staff and resources needed to protect

World

BY FIDEL CASTRO
[The following is a slightly abridged version of a speech given by Cuban President Fidel Castro to an extraordinary session of Cuba's National Assembly on June 26.]
Around the time when he assumed office, we wanted to avoid any

BY JOHN PILGER 
LONDON — In May, the Glasgow University Media Group, distinguished
for its pioneering media analysis, published a study on the reporting of
the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. It ought to be required reading in newsrooms

BY MICHELLE BREAR
SUVA — Despite being declared free and fair by international observers, Fiji's 2001 general election was riddled with fraud and corruption. The most recent scandal to emerge involves the interim government spending up to F$30

BY RANDALL GICKER
BROWNSVILLE, Tennessee — Three hundred black farmers on July 1 took over the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regional office here to protest against the agency's failure to process loan applications. The growers were

More than 400 Afghans protested outside the United Nations compound
in Kabul on July 4, according to the BBC. The demonstration was against
the July 1 US bombing raid in the country's south-west that slaughtered
at least 40 people, possibly

BY JAMES VASSILOPOULOS
On June 18, Greek workers paralysed the country with a massive general strike against a government attempt to increase the age of retirement and reduce pensions. This militant action underscores the radicalisation that is

BY ROGER RONNIE
More than 100,000 municipal workers across South Africa — members of the militant South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) — began a national strike on July 2. Tens of thousands have marched in demonstrations in major

BY EVA CHENG

Pakistan is moving into a new period of political turmoil following
the June 26 and July 2 killings of 13 Pakistani soldiers in firefights
with al Qaeda forces.

According to the June 27 Washington Post, the June 26

BY RAHUL MAHAJAN

Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat stunned the world yesterday
by demanding that the United States hold democratic elections for a new
chief executive before it attempts to continue in its role as broker between

BY KAREN FLETCHER

OTTOWA — More than 5000 people braved flooding rain to “take” the
Canadian capital, Ottowa, behind the banner “Open the Borders: No-one is
Illegal” on June 27, the final day of the G8 leaders' summit.

Despite grave

BY KATHRYN KELLY 
The occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Israel which has
been in place since the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war represents a slow death
for the Palestinian people.

I've recently returned from an Australian

BY MAX LANE

JAKARTA — On June 25, the Jakarta Media Centre was packed to overflowing.
Former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) and Dita Sari,
the most prominent labour movement figure in Indonesia, were going to speak
on the

BY SHANE BENTLEY
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which covers 10,500 waterfront workers (known as longshoremen) on the US west coast, is headed for a showdown with the bosses' Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) after the ILWU's

Editorial

Howard sets pace for Europe's mainstream racists
When asked on his arrival in Frankfurt last week whether he would be
defending Australia's approach to asylum seekers during his European trip,
Prime Minister John Howard said: “I

Culture

REVIEW BY JON LAND
Emails from East TimorDocumentary by Peter MarraWritten and narrated by Dave OwensHandwoven ProductionsOrder from <handwoven@xtra.co.nz>
Emails from East Timor is one of a number of new films and books that look at

BY LOUIS PROYECT
Although Stephen Spielberg emerged side-by-side with George Lucas as a purveyor of juvenile film fantasies during the Reagan era, he has evolved into one of the more important social commentators in Hollywood. Whether dealing with

REVIEW BY EVA CHENG

The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush's Military-Industrial Complex
By Helen Caldicott
Scribe Publications, Melbourne, 2002
320 pages, $30 (pb)

Although the risk of India and Pakistan launching a nuclear war

Queensland band Future Native is flying high after the successful launch
of its debut single “Your Backyard”. A rousing rendition of its reconciliation
song “Kakadu” is also included.

The purpose of “Your Backyard”, says Future Native's

Museworthy: Jose Touches His Toes
Jose's smooth bum
leans up against the cold wall
Tight pants
go all the way to the floor
And Jose says
“It feels like a cunt
It really does”
And the man looks
at Jose's smooth face
and

REVIEW BY SARAH STEPHEN 

Secret Ballot
Written and directed by Babak Payami
Starring Nassim Abdi
and Cyrus Ab
Distributed by Celluloid Dreams (< info@celluloid-dreams.com>)
Screened at the
49th Sydney Film Festival