Issue 539

News

BY MARCUS PABIAN MELBOURNE — Part of the May 22 national day of protest called by the National Union of Students (NUS) against the Howard government's education "reforms", announced in its May 13 budget, 330 students marched in protest from
BY DANNY FAIRFAX CANBERRA — Anti-war and anti-corporate activists in the ACT have begun organising protests to take place against the Defence and Industry 2003 conference, which will be held in the National Convention Centre on June 24-26. The
BY RAY FULCHER MELBOURNE — In a handout to the insurance companies, Victorian Premier Steve Bracks' Labor government has introduced new laws restricting the right to sue for personal injuries. Under the new Wrongs and Limitations of Actions Act
BY LIAM MITCHELL SYDNEY — Solidarity actions at the Arncliffe factory at the centre of a 10-week dispute over wages and conditions have intensified. Unionists have joined with other supporters to attempt to stop daily attempts by trucks and a bus
BY ANDREW HALL CANBERRA — Rank-and-file militants in Members First have done well in the Community and Public Sector Union national office election. The results indicate that large numbers of public sector workers do want a union that once
BY JAMES CAULFIELD CANBERRA — Speaking at an anti-war forum held on May 20, "human shield" Ruth Russell described Australian Prime Minister John Howard and US President George Bush as "armchair killers" who don't have to face the consequences of
Emergency pickets were held across Australia on May 23, as part of an international day of action for democracy and justice in Aceh. Protests were held in Adelaide, Darwin, Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney, as well as in the US, Germany, Holland,
BY NICK EVERETT On May 21, I was arrested for attending a protest in Jakarta. Australian Books not Bombs convener Kylie Moon, South Korean student activist Yung-Chan Choi and South African anti-war activist Lydia Cairncross were also arrested. The
BY PAUL PRITCHARD HOBART — Amid reports of increased cases of asthma from the thick palls of smoke that cover much of Tasmania during the forestry "re-generation burns" comes an altogether more disturbing story. In April, Australia's biggest
SYDNEY — On May 19, two dozen activists, most members of the UTS queer group, gathered outside the Queen Victoria Building to call for the NSW parliament to pass a bill that would equalise the age of consent for gay and heterosexual sex. The bill
BY SARAH STEPHEN On May 19, ABC television's Four Corners program presented a damning expose of the horrors that went on behind the razor wire of the Woomera immigration detention centre before its closure in mid-April. In the first half of 2000,
During a national phone hook-up on May 24, refugee rights activists decided to launch a campaign against the threatened deportation of Iranian refugees. On April 29, Iranians in the Baxter detention centre were told by the immigration department
BY CHRIS SLEE& GEOFF SPENCER MELBOURNE — Strikes and lockouts continue at a number of Melbourne factories as members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union campaign for new enterprise agreements which include a 36-hour work week. After

World

BY JEFF SHANTZ TORONTO — The Ontario provincial government has suffered a serious setback in its attempts to criminalise resistance to its neoliberal policies. After four gruelling months, the court case against three anti-poverty organisers of
BY DOUG LORIMER US President George Bush met with 11 "exiled Cuban activists" (as the US corporate media described them) at the White House on May 20 — the 101st anniversary of the adoption by Cuba of a constitution which guaranteed Washington
BY ALICIA JRAPKO More than 10,000 piqueteros (unemployed workers) marched in Buenos Aires on May 14, in a massive show of support for the workers who had occupied the Brukman textile plant. The occupiers were violently evicted by police on April
BY ROBERTO BARRETO PUERTO RICO — The people of Vieques have won an important victory over the US Navy. After six decades of struggle — including mass mobilisations and mass civil disobedience actions over the past four years — the navy was
BY MURRAY SMITH PARIS — Following the success of the massive one-day general strike on May 13, the government of French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin is in deep trouble. The May 13 strike, the largest since 1995, was in response to the
BY DOUG LORIMER On May 22, the United Nations Security Council adopted a US-sponsored resolution which approved the Anglo-American military occupation of Iraq, lifted UN economic sanctions imposed in August 1990 and put revenue from sales of Iraqi
By JAMES BALOWSKI JAKARTA — Following the breakdown of last-ditch talks in Tokyo between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), Jakarta on May 19 launched a "security restoration operation" in Aceh — an all-out military
BY CHRIS SLEE Father S. Guy de Fontgalland, a Sri Lankan Catholic priest and author of Social Development and Poverty in the Plantation in Sri Lanka, recently visited Melbourne. He spoke to Green Left Weekly about the situation faced by Tamil
BY ROHAN PEARCE The May 12 terrorist attacks on the al Hamra, Jadawal and Vinnell compounds in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, which killed more than 90 people, were not merely assaults on "symbols" of the imperialist West. The bombers were also
The Ruckus Society has produced the War Profiteers Deck of cards to expose some of the real war criminals in Washington's endless war of terror against the Third World. This is no Sunday bridge club. These are individuals and institutions that stack
BY DALE T. McKINLEY JOHANNESBURG — Two years ago I sat with veteran African National Congress leader Walter Sisulu in his modest Johannesburg home to talk about his days as a youthful ANC leader in the 1940s and 1950s. Although I had briefly met
BY ROHAN PEARCE On May 19, tens of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad. They chanted, "We will not sell this country", and demanded that the US military end its occupation of the country. It was the latest sign that Washington's
BY PATRICK BOND HAVANA — Visitors experiencing Cuba for the first time cannot help but remark upon how the economic and political pressures being imposed on the country seem untenable. What would be possible in a just world, given Cuban society's
Petition now has 3797 signatures As reported in Green Left Weekly #536, on May 1, 160 intellectuals and artists — including Nobel Prize winners Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rigoberta Menchu, Aldolfo Perez Esquivel and Nadine Gordimer — launched an
BY COKRO HAMID JAKARTA — As Indonesian troops launched a full-scale military offensive in Aceh, there have been protests in other parts of Indonesia, especially Jakarta. Protest and solidarity actions have been organised by the Solidarity

Culture

BY BUSTER SOUTHERLY ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — On May 13 at the Rio Rancho High School — where, in response to the performance of an anti-war poem, the school's poetry club was disbanded and student poets were "investigated" and their poems
REVIEW BY HELEN REDMOND The Life of David GaleDirected by Alan ParkerWith Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet and Laura LinneyAt major cinemas Now should be the best time ever for a Hollywood drama that exposes the barbarity of the death penalty in the
MELBOURNE — The Melbourne Workers Theatre and the Canto Coro choir present 1975 — A Populist Opera. Irene Vela's work explores the tumultuous events in Australia's political history that took place in that year, including the sacking of Prime
This garden has been in a drought for a long time,Once you could take hope from this garden,But for a long time you stole it,Now it is dry,No-one is thinking about the dying flowers,No-one is thinking about why children panic in their sleep at
BY MARISOL SALINAS MELBOURNE — Community radio station 3CR is holding its annual radiothon from June 2 to June 15. This year's theme is "3CR — the voice of dissent, a voice for peace" and the station is hoping to raise $130,000. 3CR has
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 (02) 9564 1277. Visit
REVIEW BY NICK FREDMAN Matrix ReloadedWritten and directed by Larry and Andy WachowskiWith Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence FishburneAt cinemas every-bloody-where Recently, the US anti-war coalition Not In Our Name issued a leaflet,

Editorial