Issue 521

Australia

BY ANDREW HALL CANBERRA — Activists have taken to the streets in support of refugees in increased numbers early in 2003 to explain why refugees have a cause to rebel. An emergency Refugee Action Committee meeting on January 6 was attended by
BY SARAH STEPHEN Since the December-January fires in five refugee prisons, there has been much corporate media attention on those charged, or accused (and locked up without charge) of starting them. But we have seen few reports of the brutal
national secretary John Percy; Sydney University student activist Ashisha Cunningham; former BHP steelworker now teacher Geoff Payne; Sudanese political refugee and refugee-rights activist Osama Yousif; feminist activist and trainee teacher at
BY ROBIN TAUBENFELD BRISBANE — Police have suggested that the wheels are "now in motion" to close down the Narangba protest camp. The protest camp, which has maintained a 24-hour peaceful vigil opposite the proposed Steritech nuclear irradiation
BY ANDREW HALL CANBERRA — Certified agreement negotiations in the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR), finalised with an all-staff vote on 18 December, were bitter and protracted. Department secretary Dr Peter Boxall, a
BY JONATHAN STRAUSS SYDNEY — NSW police officers subjected the Mufti of Australia and Imam of the Lakemba mosque, Sheikh Taj el-Din al Hilaly, to demands for a body search on January 6. According to al Hilaly's lawyer, Stephen Hopper, as a
BY PETER ROBSON & LISA LINES Refugees' rights protests organised at short notice in Adelaide and Newcastle helped to expose the media's lies about asylum seekers in the second week of January. In Adelaide, 60 people attended a January 8 protest
BY JODY BETZEIN MELBOURNE — More than 350 people gathered at the state library on January 11 in a resolute display of support for refugees, following the series of fires in Australia's detention centres. Speakers addressed what became the theme
BY DAVE WRIGHT BRISBANE — Centrelink workers have overwhelmingly rejected management's new enterprise agreement. More than 70% voted against what was an attack on Centrelink workers' wages and conditions. The vote was even more emphatic in

World

BY ROHAN PEARCE A report in the December 26 Washington Post has revealed that US forces are torturing Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners at its Bagram air base in Afghanistan. According to the report, "Those who refuse to cooperate inside this secret
BY EVA CHENG In the biggest political demonstration in Hong Kong since China resumed sovereignty over the territory in 1997, 60,000 people took to the streets on December 15. The protest was against the Hong Kong government's attempt —
BY FEDERICO FUENTES BUENOS AIRES — The anniversary of the Argentinazo, the popular uprising which resulted in the fall of five successive presidents in two weeks in December 2001, was marked by a massive demonstration here on December
BY DALE McKINLEY JOHANNESBURG — In the words of South African President Thabo Mbeki, "the question cannot be avoided for too long", especially in light of the recently concluded 51st national congress of the ruling African National Congress
BY EVA CHENG In late December, two leaders who took part in organising a 17,000-strong workers' protest last March in Liaoyang, Liaoning province, and have been in detention ever since, were charged with "subversion". They could be executed if
BY SARAH STEPHEN On January 8, the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act came into effect in Britain. Its impact on asylum seekers will be severe, withdrawing entitlements to living allowance and accommodation from those who do not claim asylum
BY STUART MUNCKTON Reading the mainstream press over the last month, one could be forgiven for believing that Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has become so unpopular that his government is facing a revolt by the country's workers. However, at
BY JOHN PILGER LONDON — The US and British attack on Iraq has already begun. While the British Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair continues to claim in parliament that "no final decision has been taken", Royal Air Force (RAF) and US fighter bombers
BY ROHAN PEARCE "Well, the problem with guns that are hidden is that you can't see their smoke", White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer told journalists at a January 9 press briefing. Fleischer was responding to the interim report delivered to the
BY ROHAN PEARCE In a December 27 BBC radio interview, Ruud Lubbers, UN high commissioner for refugees, said that a war on Iraq "will be a disaster from a humanitarian perspective". This is confirmed by confidential draft UN report obtained by the
Around 30,000 people staged a candlelight rally at Gwanghwa Gate, Seoul, on New Year's Eve to protest the killing of two high school students, Shin Hyo-Soon and Shim Mi-Sun (inset), by US soldiers driving an armoured vehicle in June. The
BY ROHAN PEARCE US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has issued a report on the controversial use of cluster bombs in the war on Afghanistan. The report, Fatally Flawed: Cluster Bombs and Their Use by the United States in Afghanistan, reveals that the

Culture

BY MIKE BYRNE Punk rock legend and lead singer of the Clash, Joe Strummer, died of a heart attack on December 22, aged 50. Born John Graham Mellor in 1952, the son of a British diplomat, Strummer became disillusioned with his middle-class
Tears in our eyes, our hearts enveloped in sadnessGoing through the pain, sharing the griefFaces of Bali, faces of SIEV-X drowned at seaFaces of Afghans, faces from Iraq, from Palestine, from Kashmir, from Chechnya, from New YorkFrom every avoidable
BY RICHARD INGRAM Links #22 New Course Publishers, Sydney 2002—128 pages, $8 each or $39 for six issues Order at <links@dsp.org.au> Available from Resistance Bookshops (see page 2) or visit <http://www.resistancebooks.com>
Our World is Not For Sale Peter Hicks and Geoff Francis CD and multimedia e-book, $25 Order at <http://www.trump.net.au/~glazfolk> REVIEW BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE Songwriters Peter Hicks and Geoff Francis justifiably believe their