Issue 536

Australia

BY GILLIAN DAVY MELBOURNE — Iraqi and Afghan refugees who now face the threat of forcible return to their "liberated" home countries addressed a forum held on April 29 at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, organised by the RMIT Refugee
BY KATIE CHERRINGTON NEWCASTLE — Aid worker and freelance journalist Donna Mulhearn spoke at a public forum at Club Nova on April 23, detailing her experiences as a "human shield" in Iraq. Mulhearn told the 70 people present that they were right
BY TONY ILTIS MELBOURNE — A May 1 forum organised by the Socialist Alliance hosted a lively debate about whether the budget should be blocked, after Greens speaker Pamela Curr explained her party's opposition. The forum, attended by 60 people,
BY ALEX SALMON PERTH — The WA branch of the mining division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union picketed the opening of Rio Tinto's annual general meeting on May 1. The unionists were protesting the company's attacks on workers
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — After a two-year struggle, the Australian Nurses Federation (ANF) has successfully forced the Tasmanian state government to pay a postgraduate allowance to all qualified nurses. On May 1, the Federal Court ordered
Qld electricians win 25% pay rise BRISBANE — After months of negotiations and substantial industrial action, on April 29 contract electricians won a 25% pay rise as part of a new industry standard in south-east Queensland. More than 30
Sydney: M1 targets Halliburton SYDNEY — Chanting "Halliburton OUT! Troops OUT! US imperialism OUT! OUT! OUT!", 150 people held a spirited May Day march to the office of Halliburton after a rally in Martin Place on May 1. Halliburton was the
BY TIM DOUGHNEY GEELONG — Six cleaning staff employed at the Gordon Institute, the largest provider of technical and further education in the Geelong region, have lost their jobs after a change of contractor. Waynes Cleaning Systems, a
BY TONY ILTIS MELBOURNE — This year's May Day rally, held on May 1 for the third year running rather than on the following weekend, had the theme "For a people's budget, not a war budget". The rally, which was organised by the Victorian Trades
On May 3 and 4, marches were held in several Australian cities to mark May Day, a traditional day of workers' struggle. In Sydney, around 2000 people rallied in Hyde Park on March 4 before marching, behind several trucks decorated with union
BY VANNESSA HEARMAN MELBOURNE — Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) state secretary Martin Kingham was acquitted of breaching the Royal Commission Act at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on May 2, following a three-day court

GEELONG — On April 28 at 6am, one hour before the end of the 12-hour night shift, security guards removed and locked out 110 workers from Geelong Wool Combing's Corio factory. The company's justification was that during enterprise bargaining negotiations with the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia, the union had refused to accept 25% pay cuts over 12 months.

World

BY SUSAN AUSTIN JAKARTA — About 10,000 people marched on May 1 in a colourful display of opposition to the anti-worker policies of the Indonesian government. Organised by the May Day Action Committee, the demonstration drew together contingents
BY ROHAN PEARCE With the destruction of the Baath Party regime, two significant political poles have emerged within Iraq — US-imposed administration headed by retired US general Jay Garner and the anti-US occupation Shiite clergy. It is the
BY IGGY KIM The United States has created a real mess for itself in Korea. Washington's strategy of incessantly stirring up confrontation would be less risky if it wasn't also accompanied by a doctrine of permanent, global, pre-emptive war: For the
FASLANE NAVY BASE — More than 600 people attended "The Really Big Blockade" anti-nuclear protest at the British navy's Faslane base, 30 kilometres from Glasgow, on April 22. Many protesters locked themselves to the gates. As people were slowly
BY ALLEN MYERS PHNOM PENH — Hundreds of workers jammed into the premises of the Womyn's Agenda for Change on May 1 to celebrate May Day. The day's events were organised primarily by garment workers, who produce for subcontractors who supply
BY DENIS OLSEN Pat Finucane, a high-profile Catholic solicitor who acted for republican paramilitary suspects, was shot dead by the loyalist paramilitary Ulster Defence Association in front of his family in 1989. After 14 years, three inquiries,
BY MAX LANE Following a meeting of the Indonesian cabinet security committee on April 28, security minister Susilo Bambang Yudotomo announced that Jakarta may consider resuming "security operations" and abandon peace negotiations in Aceh.
BY DOUG LORIMER The US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq has brought to surface the conflict that has been immanent between the US capitalist rulers and their French and German rivals since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold
BY DON MONKERUD APTOS, California Despite staunch backing from fundamental religious groups, the Bush administration continues to face opposition over the war in Iraq from mainstream religious leaders. Many wonder how religious groups that claim
BY MARCE CAMERON On May 1, 160 foreign intellectuals and artists — including Nobel Prize winners Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rigoberta Menchu, Aldolfo Perez Esquivel and Nadine Gordimer — launched an international declaration in defence of Cuba.
BY RUPEN SAVOULIAN& DOUG LORIMER While the world's attention is focused on Iraq, the US-led war in Afghanistan is still raging. US and British elite troops are battling Afghan guerrillas, making a mockery of Washington's claim that its military
BY OSCAR JUKES DARWIN — East Timor's parliament is discussing a new law that would allow the interior ministry to deport any foreigner who engages in political activity or even attends a political meeting or demonstration. The proposed law was
BY SARAH PEART GLASGOW — Socialism has taken a giant leap forward in Scotland. In a wonderful May Day election success, the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) will send six members into the Scottish parliament. The leader of the SSP, Tommy
Pyongyang Square <http://www.pyongyangsquare.com/>. Pyongyang Report <http://www.vuw.ac.nz/~caplabtb/dprk/pyr_index.html> CanKor <http://www.cankor.ca/>. Korea WebWeekly
BY CHRISTANO KERRILLA "There is a driving force behind this revolution and nobody or nothing can stop it", declared Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez on April 13 at the closing rally of the four-day World Encounter of Solidarity with the Bolivarian
BY BEH LIH YI KUALA LUMPUR — Around 1000 people, including plantation and factory workers, farmers, urban settlers and students, attended a lunch-time rally on May 1 in the Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) to commemorate May Day. Organised

Editorial

Every day last week, the newspapers carried full-page lists of medicines and dietary supplements recalled by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), after it suspended the manufacturing licence of Pan Pharmaceuticals for six months on April 28.

Culture

In the midst of parched desertno-one can come with usWe cannot journey hand in handThere is no green place to rest the eyeand the scorching wind of destiny lashes at our backsA call to DIMIA is like the smell of rain in the desertHope, like black
In Iraqthe Yanks are back.Democracy,I suppose,is what they're goingto impose. Democracy,dictatorship,do not let your sweet lips slip. They now tell us thatOperation Enduring Freedomwas a success.Well I'd hate to see a failure.Though in one
Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell YouBy Norman Soloman and Reese ErlichContext Books, 2003188 pages, $31 (pb) BY PHIL SHANNON "Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip", wrote George Orwell of journalists under dictatorships,
BY BUSTER SOUTHERLY NEW MEXICO — Bill Nevins remains suspended from his teaching job at the Rio Rancho High School (RRHS), and the school's student Poetry Slam Team and Writers Club, which Nevins coached, has been disbanded. Nevins, who writes
BY MICHAEL FRANTI SAN FRANCISCO — "We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace", this best sums up my opinion on militarism. The line came to mind at an organising meeting for a mass concert and rally we put on in San
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