Issue 538


BY ALEX SALMON PERTH — Seven-hundred people attended a meeting at Fremantle Town Hall on May 14, to hear long-time peace activist Reverend Neville Watson, who has just returned from a "peace mission" in Iraq. The 73-year-old Watson travelled to
SYDNEY — Supporters of Green Left Weekly packed into the Fairfield Community Centre on May 17, to enjoy a night of music, good food and fabulous company while raising much needed funds for the paper. Activists from anti-war, feminist, refugees'
BY JEREMY SMITH BALLARAT — On May 7, the University of Ballarat council passed a motion to phase out the Bachelor of Arts (Theatre Production), threatening the employment of three production lecturers. Only four such courses exist in higher
BY JODY BETZIEN MELBOURNE — "We see on a daily basis the incredible courage and perseverance of refugees who have lost everything. For them, every day spent in exile or flight is a day too long. That is why World Refugee Day should be, for all of
BY TONY ILTIS MELBOURNE — While lawyers and visitors have been denied access to Iranian detainees at Australia's refugee concentration camps, Iranian government officials have been given access, Greens spokesperson on refugees Pamela Curr told 50
BY AARON BENEDEK SYDNEY — Despite Washington's military victory in Iraq, residents of Sydney's south-western suburbs are determined to maintain the anti-war organisations established in the area earlier this year and build opposition to the US
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — Described by the Mercury as "a rare attack", on May 5 Unions Tasmania protested the state Labor government's privatisation plans. The government is planning to privatise the Civil Construction Corporation, the Stanley
BY PIP HINMAN SYDNEY — With the likelihood of all-out war erupting in Aceh, solidarity campaigners have launched an emergency campaign directed at getting the Australian government to end military ties with Indonesia and pressure Jakarta to get
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — On May 16, 350 people attended a forum organised by the Peace Coalition in the Stanley Burbury Theatre at Tasmania University on the topic "Casualties of War". Speakers on the forum's panel were left-wing writer Tim
BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS MELBOURNE — Australian and international delegates met at the "Keep space for peace" conference on May 17-18 to discuss greater cooperation of the international peace movement, especially to combat the increasing militarisation
BY LISA MACDONALD SYDNEY — Treasurer Peter Costello's 2003 budget was giving a caning at a "People's reply to the budget" on May 16. At the meeting, organised by the Socialist Alliance, a range of speakers described the greater disadvantage and
BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS MELBOURNE — In a "private settlement", three Victorian unions have agreed to pay $300,000 in fines to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for violating the secondary boycott provisions of the Trade


BY MURRAY SMITH PARIS — On May 13, French workers held their biggest one-day general strike since 1995, as 2 million people took to the streets of a hundred towns and cities. In Paris, 250,000 marched in Paris, 200,000 in Marseilles, 100,000 in
BY DOUG LORIMER On April 30, the US State Department branded Iran "the most active state sponsor of terrorism during 2002". A week later, the department accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons in violation of the nuclear
BY CHRISTANO KERRILLA In the poorer districts of Caracas, the Policia Metropolitana (Metropolitan Police — PM) were never looked upon with high regard. There is a local saying in the barrios that it is better to be left with the muggers than with
BY EVA CHENG For more than five decades, Washington has justified its strong military presence in north-east Asia in the name of countering "communism". Even though pro-capitalist governments now rule Russia and China, Washington has shown no
BY ELISABETH KEAN On May 9, the Israeli military raided the office of the International Solidarity Movement in Beit Sahour, Palestine. During the raid, two ISM volunteers and a visitor from the Human Rights Watch organisation were detained. ISM
BY DOUG LORIMER On May 9, the United States presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for the lifting of 12-year-old economic sanctions on Iraq. It would give Washington control over the Iraq's oil revenues and proposes the
BY MAX LANE JAKARTA — A report issued on May 9 by the conservative Brussels-based International Crisis Group, headed by former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans, declared: "The Indonesian military is not using the phrase 'shock and awe',
BY FAROOQ TARIQ LAHORE — On May 11, one farmer was killed and three injured when a group of Rangers, a para-military unit under the direct control of the Pakistani military, fired on tenant farmers at the Okara farms in Punjab province. The
BY MILES MILTON LONDON — The Socialist Alliance has its first local councillor in England following the May 1 British local government elections. Michael Lavalette won in Preston town centre ward, in Lancashire, with 546 votes (38%), trouncing
BY DOUG LORIMER Despite their joining the US campaign claiming that Pyongyang is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, both the Japanese and South Korean governments continue to fund the construction of a nuclear power plant in North Korea.
BY ALICIA JRAPKO With 57% of the Argentinian population in poverty and an official unemployment rate of 30%, workers have responded by seizing control of factories abandoned by their owners due to bankruptcy or lack of profits. Fifty years ago,
BY DOUG LORIMER In a new act of provocation aimed at creating a confrontation with Cuba, the US government on May 12 ordered seven diplomats at Cuba's United Nations mission to leave the US within 48 hours. The next day, the US State Department
BY FIDEL CASTRO [The following is part of the speech delivered by Cuba's President Fidel Castro Ruz to a rally of 1 million people in Havana's Jose Marti Revolution Square on May 1, 2003.] Our heroic people have struggled for 44 years from this


Actively Radical TV — Sydney community television's progressive current affairs producers tackle the hard issues from the activist's point of view. Includes the Green Left news. CTS Sydney (UHF 31), every Sunday, 9pm. Phone (o2) 9564 1277. Visit
BY BUSTER SOUTHERLY ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — On May 1, poet, teacher, youth poetry coach and Green Left Weekly writer Bill Nevins received a terse notice from the Rio Rancho School District informing him that he has been fired from his Rio
REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Bioterror: Manufacturing Wars the American WayBy Ellen Ray and William H Schapp (eds)Ocean Press, 200380 pages, $14.95 (pb) With Iraq invaded and occupied, at last we can all go about our lives free from the fear of anthrax
BY DERMOTT RYDER Peter Costello, Liberal leadership hopeful and feral federal treasurer, in his budget has perpetrated the most savage attacks on the living conditions, medical care and welfare of workers, unemployed, disabled, the sick and elderly


When the Socialist Alliance was founded in February 2001, Green Left Weekly supported the new political organisation. The social problems created by the capitalist profit system — war, unemployment, poverty, racism, the oppression of women, etc —