Issue 520

Australia

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
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;

World

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

Editorial

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

General

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

Culture

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