Issue 499

Australia

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
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

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 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
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