Issue 520


BY ANDREW HALL The launch of the revamped Labor Party refugee policy on December 5 has generated a renewed and much-needed debate over the need for a more compassionate refugee policy. Marketed by Labor leader Simon Crean and deputy
BY CHRIS LATHAM PERTH - On December 8, more than 1000 people rallied in Perth to oppose the impending war in Iraq. Organised by the NOWAR Alliance, the protest demanded: no war on Iraq; no Australian support for war; an end to sanctions on Iraq;
BY JENNY LONG SYDNEY — The Terrorism and Police Powers Act, which was rushed through NSW parliament on December 3, amounted to a political hijacking of the public's fears of terrorism by Premier Bob Carr and police minister Mick Costa, said the
BY GRANT COLEMAN WOLLONGONG — On November 21, students from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, labeled the Coalition government "out of order" and started their "walk for a better education". The journey has taken them through the Blue
BY NIKKI ULASOWSKI PERTH — Fremantle streets were filled with protesters on December 1 as 15,000 people mobilised to oppose the proposed development of a marina resort at the fragile and unique Ningaloo Reef, in north-west WA. Speakers
PERTH — Seventy-five people dined and wined on a November 30 river cruise on the Swan River. Greetings were presented by trade unionist Craig Johnston and Democratic Socialist Party member Anthony Benbow. The cruise raised $900 for Green Left
BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — Community and Public Sector Union members at Centrelink met November 27-29 and rejected management's offered enterprise agreement. CPSU members conducted a half-day strike on December 2, with another scheduled for
BY SUE BULL MELBOURNE — Many in Melbourne are watching as Australia’s biggest builder takes on Australia’s strongest union. Every media outlet raced to get pictures of 650 Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union members working
BY SIBYLLE KACZOREK DARWIN — On November 30, 300 people rallied and marched against the looming US-led war on Iraq. In Alice Springs, 100 people also rallied. Col Friel, a veteran human rights and environmental activist, told the
BY KAREN FLETCHER MELBOURNE — Although the big news of the November 30 Victorian election was the massive swing to Labor and the Greens' remarkable results (particularly in inner-city seats), the Socialist Alliance has been quietly celebrating
Ruddock sued for $750,000 SYDNEY — Iranian refugees Mohammed and Zahraa Badraie announced on December 3 that they would seek $750,000 in compensation from the federal government for the psychological trauma and suffering inflicted on their
BY CLAYTON McDONALD BRISBANE — "Separately, our voices are weak, together we are strong and can show that the majority of Australians are people of peace", Reverend David Pitman of the Wesley Mission told the 500 people who gathered on December 2
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — Two floats in the November 30 Launceston Christmas parade have sparked a string of letters in the Examiner, the town's daily tabloid. The Peace on Earth float was entered by a coalition of No War on Iraq,
BY MARG PERROT WOLLONGONG — The life of prominent union leader and left political activist Peggy Errey was commemorated by 150 people at her funeral in Wollongong on December 5. Peggy Errey was born in Ireland in 1914 to a staunchly republican


BY JEFF SHANTZ TORONTO — Sunkmanitu Tanka Isnala Najin, or Wolf Smoke, is an Indigenous person of Mohawk, Lakota and Seneca heritage. His tireless defence of Indigenous people's rights in North America has brought down the wrath of the Canadian
BY EVA CHENG In November, Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South launched a useful 60-page expose of the dirty tricks that rich countries use to get their way within the World Trade Organisation. Power Politics of the WTO is based on extensive
BY ROHAN PEARCE Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the US rulers hoped that by whipping up mass patriotism and fuelling fears of “terrorist” attacks, they could finally overcome the “Vietnam syndrome”. However, evidence is mounting,
BY DOUG LORIMER DELHI — “Red resistance to saffron subversion” was the central theme of the seventh congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) held November 25-30 in the city of Patna, capital of Bihar state, in
BY PAUL CLARKE LONDON — Britain's firefighters are locked in a bitter battle over pay and conditions with British Prime Minister Tony Blair's right-wing New Labour government. The struggle has been dubbed by some commentators "Blair's miners'
MANILA — Some 20,000 militant workers, together with the urban poor and student youth, celebrated National Heroes Day on November 30 with a vow to “continue Gat Andres Bonifacio's struggle by resisting imperialist globalisation and war”.
BY NORM DIXON Munyaradzi Gwisai, the revolutionary socialist MP who was elected to Zimbabwe's parliament in 2000 with the backing of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, has been stripped of his seat. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
Green Left Weekly's SARAH STEPHEN spoke to OLFAT MAHMOUD, executive director of the Women's Humanitarian Organisation, when she visited Australia in November. WHO provides humanitarian assistance to some 350,000 Palestinian refugees in
BY JON LAND Dili, the capital of East Timor, was hit by a wave of protests and riots on December 3-4. The unrest culminated in at least two deaths and scores of injured, when police fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse angry crowds of
BY EVA CHENG After being stalled for two years by the Third World's objections, a new round of haggling on world trade rules being pushed by the imperialist governments was launched at the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) fourth ministerial meeting
BY MIKE KARADJIS United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, releasing a grand plan for the resolution of the 28-year-old Cyprus conflict on November 11, has given Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders a one-month deadline to agree on its
BY AHMAD NIMER RAMALLAH — As the Palestinian people's intifada (uprising) enters its 27th month, the Israeli government has escalated it strategy of collective punishment. At the time of writing, all Palestinian cities in the West Bank, with the
BY DAVEY GARLAND When questions were asked in the British parliament a year ago about whether depleted uranium (DU) weapons had been used in the military strikes on Afghanistan, "It is not being used at present" was defence minister Geoff Hoon's


It's a Free Country: Personal Freedom in America after September 11 Edited by Danny Goldberg, Victor Goldberg and Robert Greenwald RDV Books, 2002 362 pages, $39.95 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON One month after the September 11,
Bowling for Columbine Written, produced and directed by Michael Moore Opens December 26 At major cinemas REVIEW BY MARGARET ALLUM Visiting the Bowling for Columbine web site is more like visiting an activist site than a film
Boy Overboard By Morris Gleitzman Puffin Books 144 pages, $14.95 (pb) REVIEW BY ANDREA BLAKE Boy Overboard is a book that tackles the issue of refugees by humanising their experiences. It is written for readers who are 10 years old


Prime Minister John Howard's December 1 statement in an interview on Channel Nine's Sunday program that his government would launch pre-emptive military attacks on neighbouring countries to stop any suspected terrorist strike on Australia has


BY RAUL BASSI I am thrilled about the level of discussion on left unity. I have never before seen such a large number of contributions to such a discussion. I come from an old tradition of activism, politics and trade unionism. The best I can do is
BY NICK CHINNA As a non-affiliated member of the Socialist Alliance, I would like to contribute to the debate on left unity and the nature of the alliance. I am relieved that the Democratic Socialist Party's (DSP) decision to postpone its