Issue 529

News

BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — At dawn on March 6, police raided the camp protesting against the Narangba irradiation plant in an attempt to suppress opposition to the controversial project. Up to 50 police were involved in the attack, which included
BY NORM DIXON The Socialist Alliance on March 3 called on Greens, Australian Democrats and ALP senators to demonstrate their opposition to Australia's participation in a US war on Iraq by blocking supply when treasurer Peter Costello delivers the
BY JON LAND After lengthy negotiations spanning several years, the Coalition government has finally bullied East Timor into accepting the terms of the new Timor Sea treaty. Talks had stalled in recent months because of the Australian government's
BY PIP HINMAN SYDNEY — "The Murdoch-owned Sunday Telegraph's attack on the NSW Greens on March 2 reveals how nervous some are about the Greens likely successes in the NSW elections", said Sam Wainwright, Socialist Alliance candidate for
BY JAMES VASSILOPOULOS CANBERRA — The planned March 23-24 national convergence on Parliament House has received more support, including endorsement by Unions ACT and more regional activist interest. A Unions ACT meeting on March 5 unanimously
Bankstown against the war BY ANDY GIANNIOTIS SYDNEY — On March 2, 70 people gathered in the Bankstown City Gardens for a "Peace Picnic". Local anti-war activists used the get-together to form the Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group. Following a
HOBART — On February 12, forest activists showed what they think of Premier Jim Bacon allowing Forestry Tasmania to use carrots laced with 1080 poison as bait to kill native animals. The poison causes a painful death, and is not monitored
BY ALISON DELLIT Across Australia on March 8, women, men and children took to the streets, using annual International Women’s Day marches as an opportunity to say “no” to US President George Bush and Prime Minister John Howard’s war on

World

BY DANI BARLEY DETROIT — With chants such as “Hell no, we won't go, we won't fight for Texaco”, students across the United States protested on March 5 in record numbers. Far exceeding the expectation of protest organisers, up to 50,000
BY JAMES PETRAS According to UN estimates, more than 10 million Iraqis will be injured, displaced, traumatised or killed by the planned US war of aggression. It is highly likely that US military intelligence figures coincide with these estimates.
East Timorese foreign minister Jose Ramos Horta's defence of Washington's "aggressive strategy" towards Iraq is not a surprise. Horta's approach to diplomacy throughout the struggle for East Timor's independence was always based on offering assurances to the US government that an independent East Timor would be friendly towards US interests. This approach was bound to lead to major defects of memory (and analysis) once independence was achieved. These defects are most evident in his article "War for peace? It worked in my country", published in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age on February 25.
GAZA STRIP — Eleven Palestinians, including a 60-year-old man, were killed and at least 100 wounded on March 6 in a renewed Israeli military onslaught on the Jabaliya refugee camp. The camp was invaded by Israeli occupation forces at dawn. The
BY ROHAN PEARCE The report by Hans Blix, head of UN weapons inspections in Iraq, to the UN Security Council on March 7 was a stunning blow to the US/British/Australian coalition's "case" for war. While Blix stated that Iraq had to produce more
ROME — On March 4, the general secretary of Funzione Pubblica CGIL (the public sector workers' union affiliate of the General Confederation of Italian Workers) announced that there would be a one-day public sector general strike on March 15,
According to an Associated Press report, 200,000 people took to the streets of the capital of Yemen, Sana, on March 1 to protest against a US attack against Iraq and demand that Arab leaders to take steps to avert war. Protesters carried banners
BY DOUG LORIMER Washington has turned the diplomatic battle over the passage of a UN Security Council resolution that it can claim gives it a mandate to invade Iraq into a charade. The resolution itself is a cynical ploy. It does not provide any
BY EVA CHENG US President George Bush's administration estimates that the US federal budget deficit will balloon to US$304 billion this fiscal year, but has not yet given any forecast of the financial costs of its planned invasion and occupation of
BY NICK SOUDAKOFF The Philippines government has blamed the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for a March 4 bomb blast that ripped through a crowded bus shelter outside Davao City airport in Mindanao. The MILF has been blamed even though the Abu Sayyaf
BY JEFF SHANTZ TORONTO — Picket lines went up at Canada's third-largest university, York University, on March 5 as students went on strike as part of a day of international student actions against the war. In one of winter's heaviest snowfalls,
BY DAVE MILSOM SHEFFIELD — Up to 1000 students took part in the international March 5 student strike against war here. Around 150 came from King Edward school and at least 10 other schools in the city participated. There was a lively march

Culture

HAVANA — On March 3, performers in the Cuban capital contributed their talents, along with others in more than 1000 cities around the world (including in all 50 US states), to the Lysistrata Project. The project was a worldwide, simultaneous
Black Paradise: 'Kami menyanyi untuk hidup' (We sing for life) BY JASON MacLEOD "Nanen babe nanen babe, Kwin matreuban maska teufyar deiwa teimwa, Aram usker ma enap aram enap (The morning star appears in the east and will soon be followed by the
BY BUSTER SOUTHERLY Australia's singing cowboy James Blundell is singing a different tune to the posse of good ol' boys in the White House, led by George "Texas Ranger" Bush. The top-selling country singer has released a song, "Back it up",
High and Mighty: SUVs — the World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That WayBy Keith BradsherPublic Affairs Press, 2002468 pages, $62 hb BY PHIL SHANNON Explorer, Patrol, Land Cruiser, Discovery, Range Rover, Jackaroo — the names say
MELBOURNE — More than 2000 people cheered and clapped as a number of great performers appeared on the stage of the Melbourne Concert Hall on February 28. They were there for the Morning Star Concert of West Papua. The biggest cheers went up every

Editorial

Student strike sets example to unions In a magnificent display of conscience, irreverence and determination, more than 30,000 students — largely from state and private high schools — took to the streets around the country on March 5