Issue 534

News

Pensioner protests war on Iraq BY KAMALA EMANUEL LAUNCESTON - Anti-war activist Bob Bensemann cancelled his pension on March 24 in reaction against the government’s treatment of refugees and its support for war on Iraq. In his letter to
BY KAMALA EMANUEL BURNIE — Student anti-war activist Matt Hardy completed a week-long hunger strike against war on Iraq on April 2. Supported by a network of friends and family, Hardy spent the week outside the Kmart Plaza on one of the main
BY KERRYN WILLIAMS CANBERRA — The Members First group in the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) is running a national ticket against the ALP-dominated incumbent team in the union elections starting on May 2. The Members First candidates
BY KATHERINE BRADSTREET The national anti-war student network Books Not Bombs (BNB) will be holding conferences in every state over the Easter weekend to plan its coming activities and campaigns. "While CNN tells us that Iraq has been
BY ALISON DELLIT Australian companies have joined the queue for contracts to rebuild Iraq, the country that Australia has just helped destroy. At the same time, Prime Minister John Howard has confirmed that the Australian military will help occupy
BY JIM GREEN ADELAIDE — About 100 people attended a public debate on April 6 concerning the federal government's plan to build a national radioactive waste dump near Woomera, in northern South Australia. Organised by the Campaign Against
This photo was sent to student anti-war organisation Books Not Bombs by a supporter who attended the April 2 anti-war protest in Sydney. It shows two plain clothes police officers. Shortly after the picture was taken, he indiscriminately
BY BEN COLLINS MELBOURNE — About 1000 trade unionists met on April 9 to protest against the findings of the royal commission into the building industry and to plan the next steps in the campaign to defend unions from federal government attacks.
BY MARGARITA WINDISCH MELBOURNE — On April 8, the County Court was told that all matters relating to the Skilled Engineering and Johnson Tiles cases between the prosecution and all of the 15 unionists except Craig Johnston had been settled. The
BY KERRYN WILLIAMS CANBERRA — The Socialist Alliance in the ACT has doubled its financial membership over the past month, a result of intense involvement in the anti-war movement. The alliance has also collected thousands of signatures on a
BY KAMALA EMANUEL LAUNCESTON — The Socialist Alliance took a step forward with its state conference held here on April 5-6. Conference participants included members and observers from Hobart, Launceston, and the west and north-west coasts.
BY SARAH STEPHEN Hundreds of refugee-rights campaigners will converge on Baxter detention centre from all over Australia on the Easter weekend to focus the national spotlight on the horrors of mandatory detention. There is disconetent among local
BY ALISON DELLIT More than 30,000 people joined Palm Sunday marches for peace on April 13. The largest marches were the 15,000-strong protest in Sydney and a 10,000-strong protest in Melbourne. In Adelaide, 3000 marched, 1500 in Brisbane,
BY DOUG LORIMER CANBERRA — The head of the Palestinian Authority delegation to Australia, Ali Kazak, issued a statement on April 6 criticising Australian and other Western media for their uncritical reporting and interviewing of Australian,
BY ADAM LEEMAN SYDNEY — "The company is expecting us to give up, but the longer we are out here the stronger we get", a striking worker at picket line outside the Morris McMahon can manufacturing plant told Green Left Weekly. Sixty-five workers
BY GRANT COLEMAN Two-and-a-half-thousand university students from campuses around Australia took to the streets on April 10 in opposition to the governments proposed "reforms" to higher education. The actions were part of a national day of action

World

JOHANNESBURG — On April 5, more than 12,000 people marched behind about 15 "human shields", who have recently returned from Iraq, to oppose the US-led invasion of Iraq. The protest, organised by the Anti-War Coalition (AWC), marched through the
BY DOUG LORIMER “Already, the international battle for Iraq's oil resources is taking shape, as the rhetoric over who will administer post-war Iraq intensifies”, the US Congress-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on April 8.
In two separate incidents in late March, dozens of civilians in Iraq were killed by what eyewitness survivors say were US airstrikes. US officials, however, offered a range of denials and evasions about what may have caused the explosions. Despite
BY DAVID BACON SACRAMENTO — In 1968, bombs dropped over Vietnam exploded in US cities. Poverty and inequality combined with war to set cities alight. Today, young people's shrinking possibilities for a future other than military service after
The Egyptian government has arrested hundreds of anti-war and human activists in recent weeks. Among the detainees are well-known activists Dr Ashraf El Bayoumi. The detainees need your assistance. Please email protest notes to: General Habib al
BY JEFF SHANTZ TORONTO — The Great Lakes Security Summit, held here April 7-9, brought together Canadian provincial premiers and US state governors from the Great Lakes region for a conference on Canada-US "border security". Also present were US
BY NORM DIXON The international journalists' rights group Reporters Without Borders on April 8 called on US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld to provide evidence that the offices of the pan-Arab TV station al Jazeera and the Palestine Hotel in
BY IGGY KIM The Ceasefire of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) between the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the Indonesian government, which was signed on December 9, is near collapse. This follows a series of major violations by the Indonesian military
BY DOUG LORIMER Emboldened by the US military's apparent quick defeat of the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, the war hawks in and around the administration of US President George Bush are setting their sights on "regime change" in Syria and Iran.
BY ALLEN MYERS PHNOM PENH — The Not In Our Name movement has been holding weekly gatherings here to express opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq. Two events have provided additional opportunities for opponents of the war to make themselves
BY BARRY SHEPPARD OAKLAND, California — Police in full riot gear attacked a peaceful anti-war picket line at the docks here on April 7. The cops shot protesters and wharfies, who were nearby, with 2.5-centimetre diameter wooden dowels that left
BY JOHN PILGER LONDON, April 10 — A BBC television producer, moments before he was wounded by a US fighter aircraft that killed 18 people with “friendly fire”, spoke to his mother on a satellite phone. Holding the phone over his head so
BY ROHAN REARCE Since the White House set its sights on the invasion of Iraq, the Murdoch family-owned press around the world has been solidly pro-war. However, the April 7 edition of the Daily Telegraph, Murdoch's Sydney tabloid, set a new low
BY TAMARA PEARSON A successful two-day general strike on March 18-19 gave the opposition Movement for Democratic Change a large boost to win the March 29-30 Highfield by-election. The by-election was called following the expulsion from the MDC of
OAKLAND, California — More than 10,000 people marched through downtown Oakland on April 6 to protest against the US invasion of Iraq. Many participated in contingents of people of colour, labour and students. At the end of the march, singer
BY MIKE LEBOWITZ There was a lot of confusion outside Venezuela during the last year about what has been happening there. Some people have asked, "How could progressives and trade unionists support the Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chavez
BY PAUL SCHEMM CAIRO — On March 28, for the second consecutive Friday, thousands of Egyptians gathered at the al Azhar mosque to voice their opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq. But it was immediately apparent that the demonstration would

Culture

The Children of the Gulf War, an exhibition of photographs depicting the effects of depleted uranium on the children of the Iraq, is showing at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) until April 24. The exhibition consists of 58
In Shifting Sands: the Truth About UNSCOM and the Disarming of IraqWritten and directed by Scott RitterNow showing at: the Valhalla, Sydney (phone 9552 2456 for session details); the Nova, Melbourne (9347 2573); and the Schonell Twin, Brisbane (3377
BY BUSTER SOUTHERLEY ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico high school teacher and Green Left Weekly writer Bill Nevins continues to fight his March 17 suspension from his teaching job. In a letter sent to Nevins by the Rio Rancho school administration, he
Wilfred Owen: A New BiographyBy Dominic HibberdWeidenfeld & Nicolson, 2002424 pages, $59.95 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Death snatched 10 million lives in World War I but it reserved a cruel teasing for those who survived a long, five-year war

Editorial

A monstrous lie On April 8, the Pentagon revealed that an Iraqi factory near Hindiya, south of Baghdad, which the US invaders had originally told journalists was a facility for producing the nerve agent sarin, was, in fact, a