Issue 530

News

BY SARAH STEPHEN Thousands of refugees' rights supporters from around the country are set to converge over the Easter weekend on the Australian government's latest concentration camp — the Baxter detention centre, near Port Augusta in South
Rally defends refugees CANBERRA — "If Saddam Hussein is such a monster, why do you lock his victims up in hell-holes such as the detention camps in Baxter, Woomera and Nauru? If Saddam is such a monster, why are you trying to force asylum
Balmain calls for peace BY LACHLAN MALLOCH SYDNEY — Chants of "Come on Balmain, stand for peace, join the march on Darling Street" echoed from 300 anti-war protesters who marched through Balmain on March 15. Led by peace drummers, the march,
BY ROHAN GAISWINKLER HOBART — More than one thousand people protested against war on March 15, in a protest organised at less than a week's notice in response to the escalation of US plans for war. The rally, called by the Peace Coalition,
BY SUE BOLTON MELBOURNE — At a March 11 caucus of the national left unions in the leadup to the Australian Council of Trade Unions executive meeting on March 25-26, there was a discussion about whether to propose a motion to toughen up the ACTU's
BY STEVE O'BRIEN CHARLESTOWN, NSW — The newly opened campaign headquarters for the Socialist Alliance's election campaign for the seat of Charlestown in the March 22 NSW election is attracting the attention of voters. The windows of the
BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — "In the face of a US-led war on Iraq and the looming World Trade Organisation meeting in Mexico in August, the Brisbane Social Forum wants to create an axis of hope — discussing how another world is possible", according
BY JAMES CAULFIELD CANBERRA — Around 800 people came to Parliament House on March 13 for an anti-war rally to coincide with Prime Minister John Howard's speech to justify Australian involvement in a US war on Iraq. Howard's speech was
BY BENN BANASIK SYDNEY — "Peace is possible! War is not the answer!" echoed through the streets of the famous seasside suburb of Manly on March 10 as more than 700 anti-war residents joined together to show they will not support a war on the
BY CHRIS WILLIAMS WOLLONGONG — Illawarra NoWar is calling on the government of France to use its veto against any plans for war put to the UN Security Council. On March 11, a delegation from NoWar took their message directly to the French
BY TONY ILTIS TRARALGON — The depth of opposition to Prime Minister John Howard's rush towards war was again demonstrated on March 14 when more than 2000 people rallied and marched in the La Trobe Valley town of Traralgon in the Gippsland region
BY JOHN PERCY During the last few years, visits to the Green Left Weekly web page have been steadily rising, but they've taken a dramatic leap in the last month, probably reflecting the rising anti-war consciousness and activity. In April 2001,
BY ALISON DELLIT On March 15, the day after a 2000-strong protest in Traralgon, people hit the streets in a number of regional and rural areas in Victoria to oppose the government's support for Washington's war drive. Six-hundred people marched
BY LAURIE SAUNDERS MELBOURNE — Socialist Alliance candidates recorded respectable results in the Maribyrnong and Brimbank local council elections on March 15. Maurice Sibelle scored 6.1% of the vote in McKay, a ward of the Brimbank council
BY OSCAR JUKES & RUTH RATCLIFFE DARWIN — Cries of "UN, USA — no war, no way!’‘ woke up the usually sleepy Smith Street Mall as 2500 people took to the streets on March 15. Larrakia activist June Mills opened the rally saying: "No more
400 rally against war BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS MELBOURNE — Around 400 people rallied in Federation Square on March 14, a snap action that was called just six days before. Protesters condemned Prime Minster John Howard's speech on March 13 that

World

BY DOUG LORIMER Despite the March 1 vote by Turkey's parliament against allowing 62,000 US troops to be deployed in Turkey, the Pentagon has pushed ahead with preparations to use bases in eastern Turkey as part of its planned invasion of Iraq. US
According to a poll published in the March 7 Glasgow Herald, support for the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) has surged because of its steadfast opposition to a war in Iraq, with or without UN backing. "The Scottish Socialist Party has made
BY IGGY KIM Dita Sari, head of the Indonesian National Front for Workers' Struggle, was in Baghdad on March 14-18 as part of high-profile Asian peace mission to Iraq. Mission members visited hospitals, orphanages and schools. They met with
BY MICHAEL ARNOLD On February 1, Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra significantly upped the stakes in the war on drug users, resolving to make Thailand "drug free" within three months. Given the level of drug use and distribution in
BY NORM DIXON Just a month after more than 12 million people across the planet took part in the largest anti-war protest history in an attempt to prevent the United States' war machine decimating the people of Iraq, millions of people throughout
BY DOUG LORIMER On March 9, US Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that Washington was "in striking distance" of getting "nine or 10" votes on the UN Security Council to pass a draft resolution giving Iraq until March 17 to "disarm" or face an
WELLINGTON — Five people were arrested at a 600-strong anti-war protest outside Parliament House on March 10. The demonstrators mobilised to “greet” Australia's pro-war Prime Minister John Howard as he arrived for a state luncheon hosted by
More than 1 million people marched through Cairo on March 1 in a anti-war protest sponsored by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party. Members of the party, including the minister of information, marched with the
BY NICK SOUDAKOFF The Philippines government has threatened to label the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) a "terrorist" group. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on March 10 stated that "actions, including the sabotage of [electricity]
MANILA — More than 3000 women, led by Women Rage (Women's Resistance to Globalisation and to End War), protested outside the US embassy here on International Women's Day, March 8. The women demanded that the Philippines government address issues of
BY TERESA FOARD LONDON — Several hundred people marched from Parliament Square, Westminster, to a rally at the US embassy on March 8, International Women's Day. There was a significant presence from the Iraqi, Kurdish and Iranian communities,
BY ROHAN PEARCE US President George Bush has increasingly resorted to the claim that the aim of his regime's planned invasion of Iraq is to spread "democracy" throughout the Middle East. The worth of this claim is belied by the US record of backing
BY DANNY FAIRFAX On February 15, 500,000 people converged on Berlin, and 50,000 in Stuttgart, to say "Keine lust auf krieg!" (We don't want war!). This is despite the fact that the federal Social Democratic Party (SPD)/Greens coalition government,
BY JAMES BALOWSKI JAKARTA — In response to continuing protests and press criticism, the government of President Megawati Sukarnoputri is resorting to the tactics used by the Suharto dictatorship to suppress dissent. A March 1 article in the
Suddenly, and without justification, five Cuban political prisoners being held in US prisons were thrown into solitary confinement on March 3. Prison authorities have not given the official reason for the illegal confinement in "the hole", but
With media attention focused intensely on the UN Security Council debate over Iraq, the London-based Observer newspaper revealed on March 2 that the United States is apparently spying on the diplomatic delegations of Security Council nations. Despite
BY ROHAN PEARCE US Secretary of State Colin Powell made headlines on March 9 when he announced that Iraq's unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program — pilotless "drones" — were the ever-elusive "smoking gun" that proved Iraq was concealing banned
BY ALI ABUNIMAH, MICHAEL BROWN & NIGEL PARRY The inclusion in the Israeli government of the racist National Union, which openly calls for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, has received muted coverage in the mainstream media. The

Culture

MELBOURNE — Scottish folk music legend Dick Gaughan will be performing at Trades Hall for one night only on March 25. His songs evoke a deep sympathy and respect for the working class, their struggles and their victories. A professional musician
REVIEW BY JOHN ESTHER Antwone FisherWritten by Antwone FisherDirected by Denzel WashingtonWith Derek Luke, Denzel Washington, Joy Bryant and Salli Richardson It is a Hollywood fairytale come true. Antwone Fisher was a security guard at Sony
Anthony Blunt: His Lives By Miranda Carter Macmillan, 2001 590 pp, $25 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON In 1979, when British PM Margaret Thatcher exposed Sir Anthony Blunt as the “Fourth Man” of the famous Cambridge University spy ring (Guy
BY BUSTER SOUTHERLY "Now how many people must get killed? For oil families' pockets to get filled?", ask the Beastie Boys in the new anti-war song "In a World Gone Mad". The song was released on March 11 on the group's web site