Issue 54


Death by racism in WA By Leon Harrison PERTH — Legal action is being taken by the father of an Aboriginal youth who was a victim of the state Labor government's racist campaign concerning juvenile crime. Louis Johnson died on January 4,
By Peter Boyle MELBOURNE — Following the decision of the Western Australian government to restrict the distribution of People and Picture magazines to outlets registered for the sale of "adult publications", the Victorian government announced
Transport unions strike By Garry Walters MELBOURNE — The public transport system came to a halt here on April 29 as 2000 rail, bus and tram workers attended a stop-work meeting on a 6% pay claim under the enterprise bargaining provisions
Talking union A parliamentary inquiry into the status of women has recommended changes to the Affirmative Action Act, including tougher penalties for companies not complying with the act. At present, compliance is voluntary and the stiffest
By Peter Boyle MELBOURNE — Women have suffered disproportionately as a result of the rise of "law and order politics" in the 1980s, according to the organisers of an upcoming conference on "Women, Imprisonment and Law & Order". Women are
Timor book launched By Maurice Sibelle BRISBANE — "The Western world has a moral and political obligation to tell the truth," East Timor community representative Lucia Corte-real told a gathering here to launch a new book, East Timor: A
Rally backs Newnham By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Several hundred people, including many police, rallied in King George Square on May 1 in support of stood-down police commissioner Noel Newnham, recently found guilty of official misconduct and
Earth Summit notes MADRID — Greenpeace Spain says the Earth Summit is in danger of becoming a carnival used by some governments to "greenwash" their image on environmental questions. Spokesperson Marie Luisa Toribio accused transnational
By Rose McCann WOLLONGONG — For the first time in living memory, this year's May Day march was led here by women workers, members of the Federated Clerks Union (FCU). This was in keeping with a long-standing South Coast tradition, which gives
By Sean Malloy The federal government has amended the Social Security Act to stop unemployed people under the age of 21 from receiving a training allowance while attending CES courses. Michael Raper, coordinator of the Welfare Rights Centre
Davidson swings against Liberals By Angela Matheson SYDNEY — The Liberal Party won the Davidson by-election on May 2, but not without a backlash from voters showing their disgust with the Nick Greiner government over the Metherell affair.
Aytas coming to Sydney By Emlyn Jones SYDNEY — Representatives of the Aytas, an indigenous Philippines tribe who were removed from their ancestral land to make way for the US military bases, will arrive here on May 8. The two, Ben
Brisbane free speech campaign By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Supporters of free speech held a speak-out in the Queen Street Mall on May 1 to oppose city council plans to restrict activities in the area. ALP Lord Mayor Jim Soorley, under
By Ian Jamieson BURNIE — Tasmanian paper giant APPM is continuing to up the ante in its drive to eliminate unions from its large plant here. Among its latest moves is a series of civil writs against union officials, including ACTU president
Commission backs off over Killiekrankie By Steve Painter SYDNEY — The NSW Forestry Commission is negotiating with the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) over logging operations begun at Mt Killiekrankie in northern NSW as a result of the


By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — For a brief but dramatic period in mid-April, Russia was without a government. On April 13 first deputy premier Yegor Gaidar and his ministers marched indignantly from the chamber of the Congress of People's
By Peter Gellert MEXICO CITY — Mexico city's air pollution crisis continues to occupy the attention of the 20 million inhabitants of the worlds's largest city. In recent weeks, record-breaking ozone levels brought the issue to a head.
By Norm Dixon and Tom Jordan The Papua New Guinea government is tightening its military blockade of the besieged island of Bougainville and has mounted further attacks on the civilian population. The latest escalation came to light on April
By Norm Dixon South Africa is facing a health crisis of massive proportions if the spread of AIDS is not bought under control. Estimates from three recent studies agree that a post-apartheid South Africa may find itself losing between 150,000
Rafsanjani organises election win By Sean Malloy Elections held on April 10 in Iran have boosted President Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's project to reorient the Iranian economy towards the west. Rafsanjani is a leader of the Society of
By Alexander Cockburn Retail sales in the US were off 0.4% in March, which spelled bad news for Libya. Another couple of months' worth of poor economic numbers, and the bombs surely fall on Tripoli. Even by the brazen standards established in
By Poul Funder Larsen CHELYABINSK — After picketing the city administration building for 10 days, health workers in this city in the Urals region of Russia went on strike on April 20. There were predictions that their stoppage, called in
By Tracy Sorensen It should not be surprising that a central motif in the television images of the burning of Los Angeles is the car: run down, stopped, its driver hauled out and bashed or even shot, in a furious re-enactment of the original
By Irina Glushchenko MOSCOW — Repeatedly in the past few months, the Russian media have carried reports detailing the sombre news: women in this country are no longer willing to bear children. The reports have noted social causes —


Sustaining the Earth: The past, present and future of the green revolution. By John Young New South Wales University Press, 1991. $19.95 Reviewed by Craig Brittain John Young has moved from the History Department at the University of
Not an American cowboy Trooper Bohan: The Shooting of Ben Hall, With Other Stories and Ballads By Colin Newsome Reviewed by Denis Kevans Good to meet an old bushman who's not an American cowboy. Colin Newsome was a shearers' delegate and
The Away Game em = By David McCartney Thank God the match is over. Long drawn out batting ... Like England playing for a draw, What a bore. All aboard! Back on the bus, home again, yes. Whoever left behind will have to clean up all the
Edward II Directed by Derek Jarman Starring Steven Waddington, Andrew Tiernan, Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry M15+, Kino, Melbourne, late June Reviewed by Mario Giorgetti While Hollywood is accused, with some justification, of homophobia and
The story not told on ANZAC Day By John Tognolini Another ANZAC Day is past, but it's worth considering these words of one veteran who never marched on April 25: "I never went one step. My son has never forgotten or forgiven me for not taking
NSW schools 'dodge homophobia issue' By Margaret El-Chami SYDNEY — The Gay and Lesbian Teachers and Students Association (GaLTaS) has responded angrily to NSW education minister Virginia Chadwick's refusal make to a homophobia unit
Brazil proposes forest program RIO DE JANEIRO — The Brazilian government is considering a plan to plant more than 200,000 sq km of forest for environmental reasons. The plan, developed by an international team working with the university of
Meeting Venus, Tannhõuser and pickets Meeting Venus Directed by Istvan Szabo Written by Istvan Szabo and Michael Hirst Starring Glenn Close, Niels Arestrup Reviewed by Ulrike Erhardt How can anyone withstand the lure of such a title?
Sydney's yearly film bonanza By Norm Dixon Enthusiasts of new and progressive cinema are already saving up for their tickets to the 39th annual Sydney Film Festival, beginning on June 4. Many have begun to prepare themselves mentally for the
Resistance Is Defence Mzwakhe Mbuli Virgin Earthworks through Larrikin Records Available on CD and cassette Reviewed by Norm Dixon Through the mid-'80s South African police were constantly embarrassed and infuriated by the phantom-like
The Master and Margarita By Michail Bulgakov Translated by Michael Glenny Collins. $16.95 Reviewed by Mario Giorgetti Osip Mandelstam, a Soviet poet who died in prison in 1938, divided literature into that permitted and that written without
Comment by Steve Painter As the German trade union movement unleashes a powerful strike wave over declining living standards — an approach dismissed as old-fashioned by most Australian union officials — most local unions are sinking deeper
Barefoot Student Army Produced by Open Channel in association with Lyndal and Sophie Barry Screening on True Stories, ABC TV, at 8 p.m., Sunday, May 10 Reviewed by Anthony Thirlwall and Bronwen Beechey In March 1988, Burmese students took to
The truly green machine By Alan A. Parker The humble bicycle is the truly green machine that can improve access to railway stations and trunk bus routes and be used instead of a car for most local trips, helping to alleviate growing problems
By Craig Cormick Blast magazine has received leaked copies of confidential government analyses of global political trends, and combined with the talents of our staff astrologer, we boldly outline the destiny of our globe towards the year 2001.
Comment by Scott MacWilliam There are currently two matters which draw media attention to politics in Papua New Guinea. The first is the revolt on Bougainville and the second the impending national election. Central to both is the political
Dioxin deadly, research confirms Following a recent push by international industrial lobbies to reduce controls on dioxin, latest research shows it still to be one of the most dangerous chemicals known. A chlorine by-product, dioxin is mainly
East Timor — A Western Made Tragedy By Mark Aarons and Robert Domm Left Book Club. $5.95 Reviewed by Tony Iltis The November 12 massacre of a funeral procession in the Timorese capital, Dili, put the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, now
By Steve Painter Canadian environmentalists are fighting plans by the New Brunswick provincial government to spray the region's forests with insecticide for the 40th year running. Opponents of the plan say this is probably the longest sustained


The two-party system after Wills The victory of left-wing independent Phil Cleary in the Wills by-election is a welcome result for all who recognise the rigged and corrupt nature of the two-party system. Wherever it survives, and not least in